Federal Register Vol. 83, No.48,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 48 (March 12, 2018)

Page Range10553-10774
FR Document

83_FR_48
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 10771 - Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving ReentryPDF
83 FR 10729 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 10676 - Pure Magnesium in Granular Form From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 10729 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 10754 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 10762 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 10734 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 10736 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 10734 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 10756 - Rapiscan Laboratories, Incorporated Sunnyvale, CAPDF
83 FR 10720 - Information Collections Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
83 FR 10725 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
83 FR 10721 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
83 FR 10726 - Birach Broadcasting Corporation, Applications for Renewal of Licenses of AM Radio Stations WBVA, Bayside, Virginia and WVAB, Virginia Beach, VirginiaPDF
83 FR 10757 - Submission for Review: Life Insurance Election, Standard Form (SF) 2817PDF
83 FR 10717 - TSCA Alternative Testing Methods Draft Strategic Plan; Notice of Availability and Notice of Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10719 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed New Collection (EPA ICR No. 2570.01); Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 10729 - Comptroller General's Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 10763 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Cagnacci: Painting Beauty and Death” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 10762 - Waiver of Missile Proliferation Sanctions Against Foreign PersonsPDF
83 FR 10656 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 10729 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, (BSC, NCIPC)PDF
83 FR 10644 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Duncan, OKPDF
83 FR 10619 - Federal Preemption and State Regulation of the Department of Education's Federal Student Loan Programs and Federal Student Loan ServicersPDF
83 FR 10763 - Notice of Intent of Waiver With Respect to Land; Fort Wayne International Airport, Fort Wayne, INPDF
83 FR 10765 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Approval of New Information Collection: Generic Clearance for Customer InteractionsPDF
83 FR 10766 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
83 FR 10767 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Pilots Convicted of Alcohol or Drug-Related Motor Vehicle Offenses Subject to State Motor Vehicle Administrative ProcedurePDF
83 FR 10736 - Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; 18th Regular Meeting; Request for Information and Recommendations on Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items for ConsiderationPDF
83 FR 10734 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (National Institute of Nursing Research)PDF
83 FR 10617 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Black River, Port Huron, MIPDF
83 FR 10648 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chambers Bay, Steilacoom, WAPDF
83 FR 10647 - Pennsylvania Regulatory ProgramPDF
83 FR 10646 - Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation PlanPDF
83 FR 10611 - Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation AdjustmentsPDF
83 FR 10658 - Foreign-Trade Zone 61-San Juan, Puerto Rico; Application for Subzone; Manuel Freije Arce, Inc.; Cataño, Puerto RicoPDF
83 FR 10658 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 52-Suffolk County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Estee Lauder Inc.; (Hair Straightening Styling Balm); Melville, New YorkPDF
83 FR 10657 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 21-Charleston, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; AGRU America Charleston, LLC; (High Density Polyethylene Pipe); North Charleston, South CarolinaPDF
83 FR 10657 - Foreign-Trade Zone 98-Birmingham, Alabama; Application for Subzone; Brose Tuscaloosa, Inc.; Vance, AlabamaPDF
83 FR 10758 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 10761 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Extension of Review Period of Advance Notice To Implement Changes to the Method of Calculating Netting Members' Margin in the Government Securities Division RulebookPDF
83 FR 10730 - Notice of Availability of the Final Revised Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact for HHS/CDC Lawrenceville Campus Proposed Improvements 2015-2025, Lawrenceville, GeorgiaPDF
83 FR 10673 - Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 10660 - Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 10661 - Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; and Rescission of Review, in Part; Calendar Year 2016PDF
83 FR 10677 - Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
83 FR 10663 - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
83 FR 10664 - Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube From Mexico: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
83 FR 10658 - Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 10665 - Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 10730 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 10748 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 10624 - Revenue DeficiencyPDF
83 FR 10739 - John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System; Hurricane Sandy Remapping Project for Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New JerseyPDF
83 FR 10567 - Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems; Correcting AmendmentPDF
83 FR 10737 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Status Reviews of the Coqui Llanero, Carolina Heelsplitter, Hell Creek Cave Crayfish, Aristida chaseaePDF
83 FR 10732 - Proprietary Names for New Animal Drugs; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 10643 - Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation To Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles (VAAR Case 2014-V002); CorrectionPDF
83 FR 10714 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for Learning Management System (LMS) Pre- and Post-Test Assessment QuestionsPDF
83 FR 10714 - Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive Patent LicensePDF
83 FR 10762 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Ahmad Iman Ali, aka Sheikh Ahmed Iman Ali, Shaykh Ahmad Iman Ali, Ahmed Iman Ali, Abu Zinira as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
83 FR 10622 - Electronic Submission of Certain Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, and Veterans' Group Life Insurance FormsPDF
83 FR 10641 - Consumer Disclosure and Labeling; Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone OperationsPDF
83 FR 10640 - Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone OperationsPDF
83 FR 10753 - Request for Information-National Space Weather Action Plan; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
83 FR 10762 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi, aka Musa Muhajir as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
83 FR 10563 - Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. HelicoptersPDF
83 FR 10679 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10688 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10681 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10679 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10678 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10680 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10678 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10683 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 10682 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
83 FR 10565 - Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. HelicoptersPDF
83 FR 10683 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted Fishing PermitPDF
83 FR 10689 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Service Pier Extension Project on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, WashingtonPDF
83 FR 10715 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; HBCU All Star Student ProgramPDF
83 FR 10716 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 10715 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 10717 - Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting; Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group MeetingPDF
83 FR 10767 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Textron Aviation Inc.PDF
83 FR 10765 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Embraer S.A.PDF
83 FR 10559 - Special Conditions: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation Model MRJ-200 Airplane; Interaction of Systems and StructuresPDF
83 FR 10747 - Biodiesel From Argentina and Indonesia; Supplemental Schedule for the Subject InvestigationsPDF
83 FR 10748 - Large Diameter Welded Pipe From Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey Determinations 1PDF
83 FR 10672 - Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea; Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty OrdersPDF
83 FR 10752 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-The Open Group, L.L.C.PDF
83 FR 10752 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Armaments ConsortiumPDF
83 FR 10751 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-DVD Copy Control AssociationPDF
83 FR 10686 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing PermitPDF
83 FR 10751 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Medical Technology Enterprise ConsortiumPDF
83 FR 10753 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Node.js FoundationPDF
83 FR 10750 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation Operating Under the Name of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated PhotonicsPDF
83 FR 10750 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction ConsortiumPDF
83 FR 10757 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Notice of Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on NuScalePDF
83 FR 10759 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Clarify Certain Terms Used in the Schedule of FeesPDF
83 FR 10568 - Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower LicenseesPDF
83 FR 10733 - Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule UpdatesPDF
83 FR 10686 - Endangered Species; File No. 19496-01PDF
83 FR 10681 - General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee; Meeting AnnouncementPDF
83 FR 10755 - Qualification of Safety-Related Lead Storage Batteries for Nuclear Power PlantsPDF
83 FR 10553 - Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)PDF
83 FR 10650 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Emissions Statement Requirement for the 2008 Ozone StandardPDF
83 FR 10652 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Emissions Statement Rule Certification for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
83 FR 10638 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
83 FR 10645 - Excentials B.V.; Withdrawal of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use)PDF
83 FR 10670 - Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
83 FR 10628 - Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources; AmendmentsPDF
83 FR 10626 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Amendment to Ambient Air Quality Standard for OzonePDF

Issue

83 48 Monday, March 12, 2018 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 10656 2018-04833 AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses; Approvals: Joint Owner Florida State University Research Foundation, 10714-10715 2018-04880 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Consortium, 10750 2018-04838 DVD Copy Control Association, 10751-10752 2018-04843 Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation Operating Under the Name of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, 10750-10751 2018-04839 Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, 10751 2018-04841 National Armaments Consortium, 10752 2018-04844 Node.js Foundation, 10753 2018-04840 The Open Group, LLC, 10752-10753 2018-04845 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), 10553-10559 2018-04823 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: HHS/CDC Lawrenceville Campus Proposed Improvements 2015-2025, Lawrenceville, GA, 10730 2018-04902 Requests for Nominations: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 10729-10730 2018-04927 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 10730-10732 2018-04893 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Black River, Port Huron, MI, 10617-10619 2018-04914 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Chambers Bay, Steilacoom, WA, 10648-10650 2018-04912 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 10656-10657 2018-04928
Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application Package for Learning Management System Pre- and Post-test Assessment Questions, 10714 2018-04881 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

Education Department Education Department RULES Federal Preemption and State Regulation of the Department of Education's Federal Student Loan Programs and Federal Student Loan Servicers, 10619-10622 2018-04924 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: HBCU All Star Student Program, 10715 2018-04856 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Virginia; Amendment to Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone, 10626-10628 2018-04422 Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources; Amendments, 10628-10638 2018-04431 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Pennsylvania; Emissions Statement Requirement for the 2008 Ozone Standard, 10650-10652 2018-04813 Virginia; Emissions Statement Rule Certification for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 10652-10655 2018-04812 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 10719-10720 2018-04936 Meetings: Toxic Substances Control Act Alternative Testing Methods Draft Strategic Plan, 10717-10719 2018-04938 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters, 10565-10567 2018-04861 Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems; Correcting Amendment, 10567-10568 2018-04888 Special Conditions: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation Model MRJ-200 Airplane; Interaction of Systems and Structures, 10559-10563 2018-04850 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: Duncan, OK, 10644-10645 2018-04925 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Customer Interactions, 10765 2018-04922 Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 10766-10767 2018-04921 Pilots Convicted of Alcohol or Drug-Related Motor Vehicle Offenses Subject to State Motor Vehicle Administrative Procedure, 10767-10768 2018-04920 Land Waivers: Fort Wayne International Airport, Fort Wayne, IN, 10763-10765 2018-04923 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: Embraer S.A., 10765-10766 2018-04851 Textron Aviation Inc., 10767 2018-04852 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Consumer Disclosure and Labeling: Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations, 10641-10643 2018-04876 Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations, 10640-10641 2018-04875 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 10720-10721, 10725-10726 2018-04944 2018-04946 License Renewals; Applications: Birach Broadcasting Corp.; AM Radio Stations WBVA, Bayside, VA, WVAB, Virginia Beach, VA, 10726-10729 2018-04942 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 10721-10725 2018-04943 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 10729 2018-04999 2018-05068 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 10638-10640 2018-04783 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees, 10568-10610 2018-04835 NOTICES Combined Filings, 10715-10717 2018-04854 2018-04855 Meetings: Electric Quarterly Report Users Group, 10717 2018-04853 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: 5-Year Status Reviews of the Coqui Llanero, Carolina Heelsplitter, Hell Creek Cave Crayfish, et al., 10737-10739 2018-04886 John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System; Hurricane Sandy Remapping Project for Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, 10739-10747 2018-04889 Meetings: Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 10736-10737 2018-04919 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Food Additive Petitions: Excentials B.V.; Withdrawal, 10645 2018-04775 NOTICES Guidance: Proprietary Names for New Animal Drugs, 10732-10733 2018-04885 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: AGRU America Charleston, LLC; Foreign-Trade Zone 21; Charleston, SC, 10657 2018-04906 Estee Lauder Inc.; Foreign-Trade Zone 52; Suffolk County, NY, 10658 2018-04907 Subzone Applications: Brose Tuscaloosa, Inc.; Foreign-Trade Zone 98; Birmingham, AL, 10657 2018-04905 Manuel Freije Arce, Inc.; Foreign-Trade Zone 61; San Juan, PR, 10658 2018-04908 Government Accountability Government Accountability Office NOTICES Meetings: Comptroller General's Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards, 10729 2018-04934 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Updates, 10733-10734 2018-04834 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea, 10672-10673 2018-04846 Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from the Republic of Korea, 10661-10662 2018-04899 Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from the Republic of Korea, 10670-10672 2018-04679 Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from India, 10665-10670 2018-04894 Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 10673-10676 2018-04901 Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon from the People's Republic of China, 10677-10678 2018-04898 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China, 10663-10664 2018-04897 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Mexico, 10664-10665 2018-04896 Pure Magnesium in Granular Form from the People's Republic of China, 10676-10677 2018-05023 Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China, 10658-10660 2018-04895 Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 10660-10661 2018-04900 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain LED Lighting Devices and Components Thereof, 10748-10749 2018-04891 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, 10747-10748 2018-04849 Large Diameter Welded Pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, 10748 2018-04848 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (National Institute of Nursing Research), 10734-10736 2018-04918 Meetings: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Amendment, 10734 2018-04949 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 10734, 10736 2018-04950 2018-04951 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Exempted Fishing Permit, 10686-10688 2018-04842 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted Fishing Permit, 10683-10686 2018-04859 Meetings: Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 10682 2018-04863 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 10679-10680 2018-04868 General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee, 10681-10682 2018-04829 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 10678-10679 2018-04867 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 10683 2018-04864 New England Fishery Management Council, 10678-10679, 10681, 10688-10689 2018-04862 2018-04865 2018-04869 2018-04870 2018-04871 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 10680-10681 2018-04866 Permit Applications: Endangered Species; File No. 19496-01, 10686 2018-04830 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Service Pier Extension Project on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, WA, 10689-10713 2018-04857 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Requests for Information: National Space Weather Action Plan, 10753-10754 2018-04874 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Guidance: Qualification of Safety-Related Lead Storage Batteries for Nuclear Power Plants, 10755 2018-04828 License Terminations: Rapiscan Laboratories, Incorporated Sunnyvale, CA, 10756-10757 2018-04947 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on NuScale, 10757 2018-04837 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 10754-10755 2018-04980 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Life Insurance Election, 10757-10758 2018-04940 Postal Service Postal Service RULES Revenue Deficiency, 10624-10625 2018-04890 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc.: Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry, Federal; Establishment (EO 13826), 10769-10774 2018-05113 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 10758-10759 2018-04904 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 10762 2018-04967 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 10761-10762 2018-04903 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 10759-10761 2018-04836 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Cagnacci: Painting Beauty and Death, 10763 2018-04930 Designations as Global Terrorists: Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi, aka Musa Muhajir, 10762-10763 2018-04873 Ahmad Iman Ali, aka Sheikh Ahmed Iman Ali, Shaykh Ahmad Iman Ali, Ahmed Iman Ali, Abu Zinira, 10762 2018-04878 Waivers of Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Foreign Persons, 10762 2018-04929 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments, 10611-10616 2018-04909 PROPOSED RULES Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan; Withdrawal, 10646-10647 2018-04910 Pennsylvania Regulatory Program, 10647-10648 2018-04911 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Electronic Submission of Certain Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Forms, 10622-10624 2018-04877 Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation to Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles; Correction, 10643 2018-04883 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 10769-10774 2018-05113 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 48 Monday, March 12, 2018 Rules and Regulations BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2017-0030] RIN 3170-AA75 Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending certain Regulation Z mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 19, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Adam C. Mayle or Joel L. Singerman, Counsels; or Amanda Quester, Senior Counsel, Office of Regulations, at 202-435-7700 or https://reginquiries.consumerfinance.gov/. If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Summary of the Final Rule

On August 4, 2016, the Bureau issued the Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule) amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules.1 The Bureau learned, through its outreach in support of industry's implementation of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, that certain technical aspects of the rule relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case may create unintended challenges in implementation. To alleviate any unintended challenges, the Bureau issued a proposed rule on October 4, 2017, to address the timing provisions.2 The Bureau is now finalizing the proposed amendments without revision.

1 81 FR 72160 (Oct. 19, 2016).

2 82 FR 48463 (Oct. 18, 2017).

Among other things, the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule addresses Regulation Z's periodic statement and coupon book requirements when a person is a debtor in bankruptcy.3 It includes a single-billing-cycle exemption from the requirement to provide a periodic statement or coupon book in certain circumstances after one of several specific triggering events occurs resulting in a servicer needing to transition to or from providing bankruptcy-specific disclosures. The single-billing-cycle exemption applies only if the payment due date for that billing cycle is no more than 14 days after the triggering event. The 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule also includes specific timing requirements for servicers to provide the next modified or unmodified statement or coupon book after the single-billing-cycle exemption has ended.

3 The provisions of Regulation Z discussed herein were amended by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule but are not effective until April 19, 2018. To simplify review of this document and differentiate between those amendments and this final rule, this document generally refers to the 2016 amendments as though they already are in effect.

Based on feedback received regarding implementation of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau understands that certain aspects of the single-billing-cycle exemption and timing requirements may be more complex and operationally challenging than the Bureau realized, and that the relevant provisions may be subject to different interpretations, as discussed more below. The Bureau is therefore issuing this final rule revising § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and (C) and related commentary to replace the single-billing-cycle exemption with a single-statement exemption. This final rule provides a single-statement exemption for the next periodic statement or coupon book that a servicer would otherwise have to provide, regardless of when in the billing cycle the triggering event occurs. The Bureau is adding new comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 through -3 to clarify the operation of the single-statement exemption. The Bureau is also removing § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and its related commentary, as they are no longer necessary in light of the changes to § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and its related commentary.

The Bureau believes this final rule provides a clearer and more straightforward standard than the timing requirement adopted in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, offering greater certainty for implementation and compliance, without unnecessarily disadvantaging consumers.

II. Background

In August 2016, the Bureau issued the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, which amends certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules in Regulations X and Z.4 Most of these amendments became effective October 19, 2017. Provisions relating to bankruptcy periodic statements and successors in interest become effective April 19, 2018.5

4 81 FR 72160 (Oct. 19, 2016). The amendments cover nine major topics and focus primarily on clarifying, revising, or amending provisions regarding force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, and loss mitigation requirements under Regulation X's servicing provisions; and prompt crediting and periodic statement requirements under Regulation Z's servicing provisions. The amendments also address proper compliance regarding certain servicing requirements when a person is a potential or confirmed successor in interest, is a debtor in bankruptcy, or sends a cease communication request under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

5 In June 2017, the Bureau issued policy guidance on its supervisory and enforcement priorities regarding early compliance with the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. Policy Guidance on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance With the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), 82 FR 29713 (June 30, 2017). The Bureau indicated in the guidance that it does not intend to take supervisory or enforcement action for violations of Regulation X or Regulation Z resulting from a servicer's compliance with the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule occurring up to three days before the applicable effective dates. Id. at 29713.

Under existing § 1026.41(a)(2) in Regulation Z, a servicer generally must provide a consumer, for each billing cycle, a periodic statement meeting certain requirements. Existing § 1026.41(e)(5) provides a blanket exemption from § 1026.41 for a mortgage loan while a consumer is a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the United States Code. The 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, however, generally limits this exemption to only certain consumers in bankruptcy.6 When a consumer either is a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the United States Code or has discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328, so long as an exemption under § 1026.41(e) does not otherwise apply, the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule requires a servicer to provide a periodic statement or coupon book with certain bankruptcy-specific modifications. In these circumstances, once a consumer enters bankruptcy, a servicer must transition from providing unmodified periodic statements or coupon books to providing periodic statements or coupon books with bankruptcy modifications. Similarly, when a consumer exits bankruptcy, a servicer generally must transition back to providing unmodified periodic statements or coupon books.

6See § 1026.41(e)(5)(i) (81 FR 72388-89, Oct. 19, 2016).

To allow servicers time to make this transition in their systems, the Bureau finalized a single-billing-cycle exemption in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.7 Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule provides that a servicer is exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with respect to a single billing cycle when the payment due date for that billing cycle is no more than 14 days after the date on which one of the three triggering events listed under § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs: (1) A mortgage loan becomes subject to the requirement to provide a modified periodic statement; (2) a mortgage loan ceases to be subject to the requirement to provide a modified periodic statement; or (3) the servicer ceases to qualify for an exemption pursuant to § 1026.41(e)(5)(i). Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) sets forth the timeframe within which a servicer must provide the next periodic statement after an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs.8

7See generally 81 FR 72160, 72324-26 (Oct. 19, 2016).

8See § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) (81 FR 72389, Oct. 19, 2016).

Since issuing the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau received questions indicating that the single-billing-cycle exemption may be more complex and operationally challenging than the Bureau realized, and that the provisions setting forth the exemption and transition timing requirements may be subject to different interpretations. The Bureau therefore proposed to replace the single-billing-cycle exemption with a single-statement exemption, which the Bureau believed would be a clearer and more straightforward standard.

III. Summary of the Rulemaking Process

The Bureau has supported implementation of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule by providing an updated compliance guide, other implementation aids, a technical corrections final rule,9 an interim final rule related to timing for certain early intervention notices,10 policy guidance regarding early compliance,11 and informal guidance in response to regulatory inquiries. Information regarding the Bureau's implementation support initiative and available implementation resources can be found on the Bureau's regulatory implementation website at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/mortserv/. The Bureau continues to facilitate industry's implementation progress, including by responding to informal guidance inquiries and publishing additional implementation materials, as appropriate. Based on its ongoing outreach, the Bureau believes that industry has made substantial implementation progress regarding the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

9 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction, 82 FR 30947 (July 5, 2017).

10 82 FR 47953 (Oct. 16, 2017).

11 Policy Guidance on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance With the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), 82 FR 29713 (June 30, 2017).

The Bureau also learned, through its outreach in support of industry's implementation of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, that certain technical aspects of the rule relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case may create unintended challenges in implementation. As a result, and to alleviate any unintended challenges, the Bureau issued a proposed rule on October 4, 2017, published in the Federal Register on October 18, 2017, to address the timing provisions.12 The comment period on the proposed rule ended on November 17, 2017. The Bureau received ten comments, including seven from industry trade associations, two from individual consumers, and one from consumer advocacy groups. As discussed in more detail below, the Bureau has considered these comments in adopting this final rule.

12 82 FR 48463 (Oct. 18, 2017).

IV. Legal Authority

The Bureau is finalizing this rule pursuant to its authority under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) 13 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act),14 including the authorities discussed below. In general, the provisions in this final rule amend certain provisions previously adopted by the Bureau in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. In doing so, the Bureau relied on one or more of the authorities discussed below, as well as other authority. The Bureau is issuing this final rule in reliance on the same authority and for the same reasons relied on in adopting the relevant provisions of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, as discussed in detail in the Legal Authority and Section-by-Section Analysis parts of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

13 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

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

A. TILA

Section 105(a) of TILA, 15 U.S.C. 1604(a), authorizes the Bureau to prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of TILA. Under section 105(a), such regulations may contain such additional requirements, classifications, differentiations, or other provisions, and may provide for such adjustments and exceptions for all or any class of transactions, as in the judgment of the Bureau are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of TILA, to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance therewith. Under section 102(a), 15 U.S.C. 1601(a), the purposes of TILA are to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various available credit terms and avoid the uninformed use of credit and to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing practices. For the reasons discussed in this document, the Bureau is adopting these amendments to Regulation Z to carry out TILA's purposes and such additional requirements, adjustments, and exceptions as, in the Bureau's judgment, are necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of TILA, prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance therewith.

Section 105(f) of TILA, 15 U.S.C. 1604(f), authorizes the Bureau to exempt from all or part of TILA any class of transactions if the Bureau determines that TILA coverage does not provide a meaningful benefit to consumers in the form of useful information or protection. For the reasons discussed herein, the Bureau is finalizing the amendments relating to exemptions for certain transactions from the requirements of TILA pursuant to its authority under section 105(f) of TILA.

This final rule also includes amendments to the official Bureau commentary in Regulation Z. Good faith compliance with the interpretations would afford protection from liability under section 130(f) of TILA.

B. The Dodd-Frank Act

Section 1022(b)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1), authorizes the Bureau to prescribe rules “as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof.” TILA and title X of the Dodd-Frank Act are Federal consumer financial laws.

Section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5532(a), provides that the Bureau “may prescribe rules to ensure that the features of any consumer financial product or service, both initially and over the term of the product or service, are fully, accurately, and effectively disclosed to consumers in a manner that permits consumers to understand the costs, benefits, and risks associated with the product or service, in light of the facts and circumstances.” The authority granted to the Bureau in section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act is broad and empowers the Bureau to prescribe rules regarding the disclosure of the “features” of consumer financial products and services generally. Accordingly, the Bureau may prescribe rules containing disclosure requirements even if other Federal consumer financial laws do not specifically require disclosure of such features.

Section 1032(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5532(c), provides that, in prescribing rules pursuant to section 1032 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Bureau “shall consider available evidence about consumer awareness, understanding of, and responses to disclosures or communications about the risks, costs, and benefits of consumer financial products or services.” Accordingly, in proposing to amend provisions authorized under section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Bureau has considered available studies, reports, and other evidence about consumer awareness, understanding of, and responses to disclosures or communications about the risks, costs, and benefits of consumer financial products or services.

V. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1026.41 Periodic Statements for Residential Mortgage Loans 41(e) Exemptions 41(e)(5) Certain Consumers in Bankruptcy 41(e)(5)(iv) Timing of Compliance Following Transition

As finalized in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) set forth a single-billing-cycle exemption from the requirement to provide a periodic statement or coupon book in certain circumstances after one of several specific triggering events occurs; and § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) established timing requirements for resuming compliance after that exemption. The Bureau proposed to revise § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and related commentary, and to remove § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary. Instead of a single-billing-cycle exemption, proposed § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) would have provided a single-statement exemption for the next periodic statement or coupon book that a servicer would otherwise have to provide following a triggering event, regardless of when in the billing cycle the triggering event occurs. Proposed comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 through -3 would have clarified how the single-statement exemption would operate in specific circumstances. For the reasons discussed below, the Bureau is finalizing § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and related commentary as proposed, and is removing § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary, as proposed.

The Bureau received ten comments on the proposal, including seven from industry trade associations, two from individual consumers, and one from consumer advocacy groups. All comments addressing the substance of the proposal supported replacing the single-billing-cycle exemption with the proposed single-statement exemption. Several industry trade association commenters stated that the proposed changes would simplify implementation or improve compliance. They stated, for example, that the proposed single-statement exemption was clearer and more straightforward than the single-billing-cycle exemption, or that the proposed single-statement exemption would vastly reduce the complexity of compliance. The consumer advocacy groups and two consumer commenters also expressed general support for the proposal. One industry trade association supporting the proposal also suggested that the Bureau clarify in commentary that a servicer would not violate proposed § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) by providing a periodic statement or coupon book while the single-statement exemption applies, and that the servicer would not be required to correct such a statement. The Bureau also received several comments from industry trade associations that requested amendments to aspects of the periodic statement requirements other than the timing requirements addressed in the proposal, as discussed further below.

The Bureau is adopting § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and related commentary as proposed. As finalized, § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) provides that, as of the date on which one of the triggering events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs, a servicer is exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with respect to the next periodic statement or coupon book that would otherwise be required but thereafter must provide modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of this section. Comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 through -3 describe how the single-statement exemption operates in specific circumstances. Comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 explains that the exemption applies with respect to a single periodic statement or coupon book following an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) and provides two examples illustrating the timing. Both examples assume that a mortgage loan has a monthly billing cycle, each payment due date is on the first day of the month following its respective billing cycle, and each payment due date has a 15-day courtesy period.

Comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1.i explains that, if an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 6, before the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer has not yet provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a November 1 payment due date, the servicer is exempt from providing a periodic statement or coupon book for that billing cycle. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after November 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the November 1 payment due date.

Comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1.ii provides an example for when a servicer already timely provided a periodic statement or coupon book for a billing cycle in which an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs. It provides that, if an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 20, after the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer timely provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a November 1 payment due date, the servicer is not required to correct the periodic statement or coupon book already provided and is exempt from providing the next periodic statement or coupon book, which is the one that would otherwise be required for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a January 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after December 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the December 1 payment due date.

Because comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1.i and -1.ii describe when a servicer must provide periodic statements or coupon books following the exemption, § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary are unnecessary. The Bureau is removing § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary.

The Bureau is also adopting as proposed comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 and -3 to clarify how the single-statement exemption would operate in additional specific circumstances. Comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 states that, if a servicer provides a coupon book instead of a periodic statement under § 1026.41(e)(3), § 1026.41 requires the servicer to provide a new coupon book after one of the events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs only to the extent the servicer has not previously provided the consumer with a coupon book that covers the upcoming billing cycle. Comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-3 clarifies that the single-statement exemption in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) might apply more than once over the life of a loan. For example, assume the exemption applies beginning on April 14 because the consumer files for bankruptcy on that date and the bankruptcy plan provides that the consumer will surrender the dwelling, such that the mortgage loan becomes subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f). If the consumer later exits bankruptcy on November 2 and has not discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328, such that the mortgage loan ceases to be subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f), the single-statement exemption would apply again beginning on November 2.

The Bureau believes that these amendments will provide a clearer and more straightforward standard than the timing requirement finalized in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. The Bureau anticipates that the amendments will offer greater certainty for implementation and compliance, without unnecessarily disadvantaging consumers.

The Bureau declines to adopt one commenter's recommendation to clarify in commentary that a servicer does not violate § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) by providing a periodic statement or coupon book while the single-statement exemption applies. This clarification is unnecessary because Regulation Z does not prohibit a servicer from providing a periodic statement or coupon book while the single-statement exemption applies. The Bureau notes, however, that servicers choosing to provide a periodic statement or coupon book while an exemption applies should provide accurate disclosures and comply with other applicable laws. The Bureau also notes that § 1026.41 does not prohibit servicers from adding language to a periodic statement or coupon book that may be helpful in limiting any potential liability.

As stated above, the Bureau also received several comments from industry trade associations that requested amendments to aspects of the periodic statement requirements other than the timing requirements addressed in the proposal. For example, one industry trade association recommended expanding the small servicer exemption set forth in § 1024.41(e)(4). Another suggested that, when a consumer files a chapter 12 or 13 bankruptcy case, the servicer should be exempt from providing bankruptcy-specific periodic statements or coupon books under § 1026.41(f) until the consumer's bankruptcy plan is confirmed. The Bureau's proposal did not address the small servicer exemption, nor did it raise the question whether the periodic-statement requirement should apply only after a plan is confirmed in chapter 12 or 13 bankruptcies. Because these comments are beyond the scope of the proposal, the Bureau declines to adopt their recommendations.

One industry trade association also requested that the Bureau include language in the final rule that could help insulate a servicer that is unable to suppress a periodic statement when an exemption applies. The commenter stated that events triggering an exemption sometimes occur near-in-time to when a servicer is scheduled to provide the periodic statement. The commenter indicated that, because servicers sometimes do not learn of the triggering events in real-time, a servicer might provide a periodic statement containing inaccurate information. The commenter stated that this could be particularly problematic if the servicer provides a standard periodic statement to a consumer who has recently filed for bankruptcy, instead of a periodic statement containing bankruptcy-specific disclosures and disclaimers under § 1026.41.

This recommendation broaches issues beyond the narrow timing requirements addressed in the proposal, and the Bureau is not adopting it. To the extent servicers are concerned about exposure to liability for providing a periodic statement that becomes inaccurate before it reaches the consumer, the Bureau notes that Regulation Z does not prohibit a servicer from adding language that may be helpful in limiting any potential liability. Further, the Bureau learned during outreach before issuing the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Rule that servicers often learn of new bankruptcy filings, important case activity, and case closings quickly, usually within approximately a day.15 Although some servicers may manually review bankruptcy filings,16 which may take longer, the Bureau believes that a servicer would typically learn of a consumer's bankruptcy filing with enough time to suppress periodic statements and make use of the single-statement exemption.

15See 81 FR 72160, 72317.

16See id.

VI. Effective Date

Regulation Z § 1026.41(e)(5), as amended by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, becomes effective April 19, 2018, along with the rest of the Regulation Z bankruptcy-specific periodic statement requirements. Thus, the Bureau proposed an April 19, 2018, effective date for the proposed revisions to § 1024.41(e)(5)(iv).

One commenter requested that the Bureau postpone the effective date of all the provisions relating to bankruptcy periodic statements in both the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule and this final rule.17 This comment is beyond the scope of the proposal, and the Bureau did not receive any comments requesting that the Bureau extend the effective date of only the proposed revisions to § 1024.41(e)(5)(iv).

17 After the close of the comment period, the Bureau received additional feedback related to the effective date of all the provisions relating to bankruptcy periodic statements in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. As noted above, this feedback is beyond the scope of the proposal.

The Bureau is adopting, as proposed, an April 19, 2018, effective date for this final rule and believes that there is no need to delay the effective date of this final rule. The Bureau believes that the revisions to § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv) would not require substantial reprogramming of systems by industry. The Bureau also believes it is issuing this final rule with sufficient time before the April 19, 2018, effective date to enable servicers to meet the requirements of the final rule.

VII. Dodd-Frank Act Section 1022(b) Analysis

In developing this final rule, the Bureau considered the potential benefits, costs, and impacts as required by section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Specifically, section 1022(b)(2) calls for the Bureau to consider the potential benefits and costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of consumer access to consumer financial products or services, the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the impact on consumers in rural areas. In addition, 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(2)(B) directs the Bureau to consult, before and during the rulemaking, with appropriate prudential regulators or other Federal agencies, regarding consistency with the objectives those agencies administer. The Bureau consulted, or offered to consult with, the prudential regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the HUD Office of Inspector General, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, including regarding consistency with any prudential, market, or systemic objectives administered by these agencies.

The Bureau previously considered the benefits, costs, and impacts of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule's major provisions.18 The baseline 19 for this discussion is the mortgage servicing market as it would exist “but for” this final rule; that is, the Bureau considered the benefits, costs, and impacts of this final rule on consumers and covered persons relative to the baseline established by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

18 81 FR 72160, 72351 (Oct. 19, 2016).

19 The Bureau has discretion in any rulemaking to choose an appropriate scope of analysis with respect to potential benefits, costs, and impacts and an appropriate baseline.

In considering the relevant potential benefits, costs, and impacts of this final rule, the Bureau reviewed the comments received and has applied its knowledge and expertise concerning consumer financial markets. The discussion below of these potential costs, benefits, and impacts is qualitative, reflecting both the specialized nature of the final amendments and the fact that the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, which establishes the baseline for the Bureau's analysis, is not yet in effect.

The Bureau requested comment on the discussion of costs, benefits, and impacts in the preamble to the proposed rule as well as the submission of data or other information that could inform the Bureau's consideration of the potential benefits, costs, and impacts of this final rule. The Bureau did not receive any such comments, data, or other information.

This final rule seeks to decrease burden incurred by industry participants by clarifying the timing requirements for certain disclosures required under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. As is described in more detail below, the Bureau does not believe that these changes will have a significant enough impact on consumers or covered persons to affect consumer access to consumer financial products and services.

A mortgage servicer generally must provide a consumer, for each billing cycle, a periodic statement or coupon book meeting certain requirements. Under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, servicers generally must provide a modified periodic statement or coupon book to certain consumers who are debtors in bankruptcy or who have discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan. The Bureau is amending § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv), as proposed, to provide that, when a servicer must transition to sending either modified periodic statements or to sending unmodified periodic statements, the servicer is exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with respect to the next periodic statement or coupon book that would otherwise be required but thereafter must provide modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41. This single-statement exemption replaces the single-billing-cycle exemption in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

The Bureau expects that these changes will reduce the cost to servicers of providing periodic statements. The Bureau understands, based on comments received in response to the proposed rule and through other industry outreach that implementing the single-billing-cycle exemption provided under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Rule might have proved more complex and operationally challenging for servicers than the Bureau realized and believes that a single-statement exemption will be clearer and operationally easier to implement. In addition, the single-billing-cycle exemption would have applied only when the payment due date falls no more than 14 days after the event that triggers the transition to or from modified periodic statements, whereas the final single-statement exemption will apply to these transitions regardless of when during the billing cycle the triggering event occurs. The Bureau believes that servicers will benefit from the more straightforward single-statement exemption standard and from the additional time afforded for some transitions.

Relative to the baseline established by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the final rule could sometimes afford servicers a longer exemption than the standard provided in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. As a result, the final rule might extend the period of time some consumers go without receiving any periodic statement or coupon book, which could disadvantage those consumers. However, any such delay would generally be at most one billing cycle, and servicers generally are required to provide consumers the information in periodic statements on request. Thus, the Bureau does not expect that the overall effect on consumers will be significant, and there is no basis to believe that these changes will have a significant enough impact on consumers or covered persons to affect consumer access to consumer financial products and services.

Potential specific impacts of the final rule. The Bureau believes that a large fraction of depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets that are engaged in servicing mortgage loans qualify as “small servicers” for purposes of the mortgage servicing rules because they service 5,000 or fewer loans, all of which they or an affiliate own or originated. The Bureau has estimated that 96 percent of insured depositories and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets service 5,000 mortgage loans or fewer.20 Small servicers are not subject to Regulation Z § 1026.41, and so are not affected by the amendments in this final rule.

20 Based on an analysis of December 2015 Call Report data as compiled by SNL Financial.

With respect to servicers that are not small servicers as defined in § 1026.41(e)(4), the Bureau believes that the consideration of benefits and costs of covered persons presented above provides an accurate analysis of the impacts of the final rule on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets that are engaged in servicing mortgage loans.

The Bureau requested comment regarding the impact of the proposed provisions in rural areas and how those impacts may differ from those experienced by consumers generally. After careful consideration of the comments received and based on the Bureau's knowledge and expertise concerning consumer financial markets, the Bureau has no reason to believe that the additional timing flexibility offered to covered persons by this final rule will differentially impact consumers in rural areas.

VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act,21 as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996,22 (RFA) requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small not-for-profit organizations.23 The RFA defines a “small business” as a business that meets the size standard developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) pursuant to the Small Business Act.24

21 Public Law 96-354, 94 Stat. 1164 (1980).

22 Public Law 104-21, section 241, 110 Stat. 847, 864-65 (1996).

23 5 U.S.C. 601 through 612. The term “ `small organization' means any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field, unless an agency establishes [an alternative definition under notice and comment].” 5 U.S.C. 601(4). The term “ `small governmental jurisdiction' means governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand, unless an agency establishes [an alternative definition after notice and comment].” 5 U.S.C. 601(5).

24 5 U.S.C. 601(3). The Bureau may establish an alternative definition after consulting with the SBA and providing an opportunity for public comment. Id.

The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to notice-and- comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.25 The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small entity representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.26

25 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

26 5 U.S.C. 609.

As discussed above, the final rule amends certain Regulation Z mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books under Regulation Z in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case.

When the Bureau issued the proposed rule that was finalized as the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, it concluded that those provisions would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and that an IRFA was therefore not required.27 That conclusion remained unchanged for the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.28

27 79 FR 74176, 74279 (Dec. 15, 2014).

28 81 FR 72160, 72364 (Oct. 19, 2016).

Similarly, when the Bureau issued the proposed rule in this rulemaking, it concluded that the proposal would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and that an IRFA was therefore not required.29 For the same reasons, the Bureau concludes that this final rule, as adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and therefore a FRFA is not required. As discussed above, the Bureau expects that this final rule will reduce costs to servicers, including small entities, of providing periodic statements. In addition, the final amendments do not affect servicers that are “small servicers” for purposes of the mortgage servicing rules. Small servicers are exempt from the requirements that the final rule would amend, and the Bureau believes that a large fraction of small entities that are engaged in servicing mortgage loans qualify as small servicers because they service 5,000 or fewer loans, all of which they or an affiliate own or originated. Therefore, a FRFA is not required for this final rule.

29 82 FR 48463, 48468 (Oct. 18, 2017).

Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA),30 Federal agencies are generally required to seek Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. Further, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor an information collection unless the OMB approves the collection under the PRA and the information collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to comply with, or is subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information if the collection instrument does not display a currently valid OMB control number. The collections of information related to the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule have been reviewed and approved by OMB previously in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Numbers 3170-0016 (Regulation X) and 3170-0015 (Regulation Z).

30 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

The Bureau has determined that this final rule will provide firms with additional flexibility and clarity with respect to what must be disclosed under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. It does not materially change the underlying information collections in terms of who is responding or when they must provide the disclosures. Additionally the Bureau believes this will have de minimis impact on the reported PRA burden for this collection.

X. Congressional Review Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Bureau will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to the rule's published effective date. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has designated this rule as not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1026

Advertising, Appraisal, Appraiser, Banking, Banks, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends 12 CFR part 1026 as follows:

PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 1. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

Subpart E—Special Rules for Certain Home Mortgage Transactions 2. Amend § 1026.41 by: a. Revising paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(B); and b. Removing paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(C).

The revision reads as follows:

§ 1026.41 Periodic statements for residential mortgage loans.

(e) * * *

(5) * * *

(iv) * * *

(B) Single-statement exemption. As of the date on which one of the events listed in paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(A) of this section occurs, a servicer is exempt from the requirements of this section with respect to the next periodic statement or coupon book that would otherwise be required but thereafter must provide modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of this section.

3. Amend Supplement I to Part 1026 as follows: a. Under Section 1026.41—Periodic Statements for Residential Mortgage Loans: i. 41(e)(5)(iv)(B) Transitional single-billing-cycle exemption is revised; and ii. 41(e)(5)(iv)(C) Timing of first modified or unmodified statement or coupon book after transition is removed.

The revision reads as follows:

Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Section 1026.41 Periodic Statements for Residential Mortgage Loans 41(e)(5)(iv)(B) Single-Statement Exemption.

1. Timing. The exemption in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) applies with respect to a single periodic statement or coupon book following an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A). For example, assume that a mortgage loan has a monthly billing cycle, each payment due date is on the first day of the month following its respective billing cycle, and each payment due date has a 15-day courtesy period. In this scenario:

i. If an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 6, before the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer has not yet provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a November 1 payment due date, the servicer is exempt from providing a periodic statement or coupon book for that billing cycle. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after November 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the November 1 payment due date. See § 1026.41(b).

ii. If an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 20, after the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer timely provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with the November 1 payment due date, the servicer is not required to correct the periodic statement or coupon book already provided and is exempt from providing the next periodic statement or coupon book, which is the one that would otherwise be required for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a January 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after December 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the December 1 payment due date. See § 1026.41(b).

2. Duplicate coupon books not required. If a servicer provides a coupon book instead of a periodic statement under § 1026.41(e)(3), § 1026.41 requires the servicer to provide a new coupon book after one of the events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs only to the extent the servicer has not previously provided the consumer with a coupon book that covers the upcoming billing cycle.

3. Subsequent triggering events. The single-statement exemption in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) might apply more than once over the life of a loan. For example, assume the exemption applies beginning on April 14 because the consumer files for bankruptcy on that date and the bankruptcy plan provides that the consumer will surrender the dwelling, such that the mortgage loan becomes subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f). See § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A)(1). If the consumer later exits bankruptcy on November 2 and has not discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328, such that the mortgage loan ceases to be subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f), the single-statement exemption would apply again beginning on November 2. See § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A)(2).

Dated: March 6, 2018. Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2018-04823 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1006; Special Conditions No. 25-716-SC] Special Conditions: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation Model MRJ-200 Airplane; Interaction of Systems and Structures AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (Mitsubishi) Model MRJ-200 airplane. This airplane will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. These design features are electronic flight-control systems and stability-augmentation systems that may affect the structural performance of the airplane. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on Mitsubishi on March 12, 2018. Send your comments by April 26, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-1006 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket website, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478).

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Todd Martin, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Section, AIR-675, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1178; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The substance of these special conditions previously has been published in the Federal Register for public comment. These special conditions have been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary, and finds that, for the same reason, good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above. We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On August 19, 2009, Mitsubishi applied for a type certificate for their new Model MRJ-200 airplane. The Model MRJ-200 airplane is a low-wing, conventional-tail design with two wing-mounted turbofan engines. The airplane is equipped with an electronic flight-control system, has seating for 96 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 98,800 lbs.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Mitsubishi must show that the Model MRJ-200 airplane meets the applicable provisions of part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-141; part 36, as amended by Amendments 36-1 through 36-30; and part 34, as amended by Amendments 34-1 through the amendment effective at the time of design approval.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model MRJ-200 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model MRJ-200 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Model MRJ-200 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

Electronic flight-control systems and stability-augmentation systems that may affect the structural performance of the airplane.

Discussion

The MRJ-200 airplane is equipped with systems that directly or as a result of failure or malfunction, affect its structural performance. Current regulations do not take into account the effects of systems on structural performance including normal operation and failure conditions. Special conditions are needed to account for these features. These special conditions define criteria to be used in the assessment of the effects of these systems on structures. The general approach of accounting for the effect of system failures on structural performance is extended to include any system in which partial or complete failure, alone or in combination with other system partial or complete failures, would affect structural performance.

These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

These special conditions are similar to those previously applied to other airplane models.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Model MRJ-200 airplanes. Should Mitsubishi apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Mitsubishi Model MRJ-200 airplanes.

For airplanes equipped with systems that affect structural performance, either directly or as a result of a failure or malfunction, the influence of these systems and their failure conditions must be taken into account when showing compliance with the requirements of 14 CFR part 25, subparts C and D.

The following criteria must be used for showing compliance with these special conditions for airplanes equipped with flight-control systems, autopilots, stability-augmentation systems, load-alleviation systems, flutter-control systems, fuel-management systems, and other systems that either directly, or as a result of failure or malfunction, affect structural performance. If these special conditions are used for other systems, it may be necessary to adapt the criteria to the specific system.

1. The criteria defined herein only address the direct structural consequences of the system responses and performance. They cannot be considered in isolation, but should be included in the overall safety evaluation of the airplane. These criteria may, in some instances, duplicate standards already established for this evaluation. These criteria are only applicable to structure the failure of which could prevent continued safe flight and landing. Specific criteria that define acceptable limits on handling characteristics or stability requirements, when operating in the system degraded or inoperative mode, are not provided in these special conditions.

2. Depending upon the specific characteristics of the airplane, additional studies that go beyond the criteria provided in these special conditions may be required to demonstrate the airplane's capability to meet other realistic conditions, such as alternative gust or maneuver descriptions for an airplane equipped with a load-alleviation system.

3. The following definitions are applicable to these special conditions.

a. Structural performance: Capability of the airplane to meet the structural requirements of 14 CFR part 25.

b. Flight limitations: Limitations that can be applied to the airplane flight conditions following an in-flight occurrence, and that are included in the airplane flight manual (e.g., speed limitations, avoidance of severe weather conditions, etc.).

c. Operational limitations: Limitations, including flight limitations, that can be applied to the airplane operating conditions before dispatch (e.g., fuel, payload and master minimum-equipment list limitations).

d. Probabilistic terms: Terms such as probable, improbable, and extremely improbable, as used in these special conditions, are the same as those used in § 25.1309.

e. Failure condition: This term is the same as that used in § 25.1309. However, these special conditions apply only to system-failure conditions that affect the structural performance of the airplane (e.g., system-failure conditions that induce loads, change the response of the airplane to inputs such as gusts or pilot actions, or lower flutter margins).

Effects of Systems on Structures

The following criteria will be used in determining the influence of a system and its failure conditions on the airplane structure.

1. System fully operative. With the system fully operative, the following apply:

a. Limit loads must be derived in all normal operating configurations of the system from all the limit conditions specified in 14 CFR part 25, subpart C (or defined by special conditions or equivalent level of safety in lieu of those specified in subpart C), taking into account any special behavior of such a system or associated functions, or any effect on the structural performance of the airplane that may occur up to the limit loads. In particular, any significant nonlinearity (rate of displacement of control surface, thresholds, or any other system nonlinearities) must be accounted for in a realistic or conservative way when deriving limit loads from limit conditions.

b. The airplane must meet the strength requirements of 14 CFR part 25 (static strength, residual strength), using the specified factors to derive ultimate loads from the limit loads defined above. The effect of nonlinearities must be investigated beyond limit conditions to ensure that the behavior of the system presents no anomaly compared to the behavior below limit conditions. However, conditions beyond limit conditions need not be considered when it can be shown that the airplane has design features that will not allow it to exceed those limit conditions.

c. The airplane must meet the aeroelastic stability requirements of § 25.629.

2. System in the failure condition. For any system-failure condition not shown to be extremely improbable, the following apply:

a. At the time of occurrence. Starting from 1g level flight conditions, a realistic scenario, including pilot corrective actions, must be established to determine the loads occurring at the time of failure and immediately after the failure.

i. For static-strength substantiation, these loads, multiplied by an appropriate factor of safety that is related to the probability of occurrence of the failure, are ultimate loads to be considered for design. The factor of safety is defined in Figure 1, below.

ER12MR18.000

ii. For residual-strength substantiation, the airplane must be able to withstand two-thirds of the ultimate loads defined in special condition 2.a.i. For pressurized cabins, these loads must be combined with the normal operating differential pressure.

iii. Freedom from aeroelastic instability must be shown up to the speeds defined in § 25.629(b)(2). For failure conditions that result in speeds beyond VC/MC, freedom from aeroelastic instability must be shown to increased speeds, so that the margins intended by § 25.629(b)(2) are maintained.

iv. Failures of the system that result in forced structural vibrations (oscillatory failures) must not produce loads that could result in detrimental deformation of primary structure.

b. For the continuation of the flight. For the airplane in the system-failed state, and considering any appropriate reconfiguration and flight limitations, the following apply:

i. The loads derived from the following conditions (or used in lieu of the following conditions) at speeds up to VC/MC (or the speed limitation prescribed for the remainder of the flight) must be determined:

1. The limit symmetrical maneuvering conditions specified in §§ 25.331 and 25.345.

2. the limit gust and turbulence conditions specified in §§ 25.341 and 25.345.

3. the limit rolling conditions specified in § 25.349, and the limit unsymmetrical conditions specified in §§ 25.367, and 25.427(b) and (c).

4. the limit yaw-maneuvering conditions specified in § 25.351.

5. the limit ground-loading conditions specified in §§ 25.473 and 25.491.

ii. For static-strength substantiation, each part of the structure must be able to withstand the loads in special condition 2.b.i., multiplied by a factor of safety depending on the probability of being in this failure state. The factor of safety is defined in Figure 2, below.

ER12MR18.001 Where: Qj = (Tj)(Pj) Qj = Probability of being in failure mode j Tj = Average time spent in failure mode j (in hours) Pj = Probability of occurrence of failure mode j (per hour) Note:

If Pj is greater than 10−3 per flight hour, then a 1.5 factor of safety must be applied to all limit load conditions specified in 14 CFR part 25, subpart C.

iii. For residual-strength substantiation, the airplane must be able to withstand two-thirds of the ultimate loads defined in special condition 2.b.ii. For pressurized cabins, these loads must be combined with the normal operating differential pressure.

iv. If the loads induced by the failure condition have a significant effect on fatigue or damage tolerance, then their effects must be taken into account.

v. Freedom from aeroelastic instability must be shown up to a speed determined from Figure 3, below. Flutter clearance speeds V′ and V″ may be based on the speed limitation specified for the remainder of the flight using the margins defined by § 25.629(b).

ER12MR18.002 Where: V′ = Clearance speed as defined by § 25.629(b)(2) V″ = Clearance speed as defined by § 25.629(b)(1) Qj = (Tj)(Pj) Qj = Probability of being in failure mode j Tj = Average time spent in failure mode j (in hours) Pj = Probability of occurrence of failure mode j (per hour) Note:

If Pj is greater than 10−3 per flight hour, then the flutter clearance speed must not be less than V″.

vi. Freedom from aeroelastic instability must also be shown up to V′ in Figure 3, above, for any probable system-failure condition, combined with any damage required or selected for investigation by § 25.571(b).

c. Consideration of certain failure conditions may be required by other sections of 14 CFR part 25 regardless of calculated system reliability. Where analysis shows the probability of these failure conditions to be less than 10−9 per flight hour, criteria other than those specified in this paragraph may be used for structural substantiation to show continued safe flight and landing.

3. Failure indications. For system-failure detection and indication, the following apply:

a. The system must be checked for failure conditions, not extremely improbable, that degrade the structural capability below the level required by part 25, or that significantly reduce the reliability of the remaining system. As far as reasonably practicable, the flightcrew must be made aware of these failures before flight. Certain elements of the control system, such as mechanical and hydraulic components, may use special periodic inspections, and electronic components may use daily checks, in lieu of detection and indication systems, to achieve the objective of this requirement. These certification-maintenance requirements must be limited to components that are not readily detectable by normal detection-and-indication systems, and where service history shows that inspections will provide an adequate level of safety.

b. The existence of any failure condition, not extremely improbable, during flight, that could significantly affect the structural capability of the airplane, and for which the associated reduction in airworthiness can be minimized by suitable flight limitations, must be signaled to the flightcrew. For example, failure conditions that result in a factor of safety between the airplane strength and the loads of part 25, subpart C, below 1.25, or flutter margins below V″, must be signaled to the crew during flight.

4. Dispatch with known failure conditions. If the airplane is to be dispatched in a known system-failure condition that affects structural performance, or that affects the reliability of the remaining system to maintain structural performance, then the provisions of these special conditions must be met, including the provisions of special condition 1, “System Fully Operative” for the dispatched condition, and special condition 2, “System in the Failure Condition” for subsequent failures. Expected operational limitations may be taken into account in establishing Pj as the probability of failure occurrence for determining the safety margin in Figure 1. Flight limitations and expected operational limitations may be taken into account in establishing Qj as the combined probability of being in the dispatched failure condition and the subsequent failure condition for the safety margins in Figures 2 and 3. These limitations must be such that the probability of being in this combined failure state, and then subsequently encountering limit load conditions, is extremely improbable. No reduction in these safety margins is allowed if the subsequent system-failure rate is greater than 10 3 per flight hour.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 22, 2018. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-04850 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0181; Product Identifier 2017-SW-085-AD; Amendment 39-19219; AD 2018-05-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters. This AD requires removing each shoulder harness seat belt comfort clip (comfort clip) and inspecting the seat belt shoulder harness. This AD is prompted by a report of a comfort clip interfering with the seat belt inertia reel. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these helicopters.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 27, 2018.

We must receive comments on this AD by May 11, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Fax: 202-493-2251.

Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0181; 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 comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G. Agusta 520, 21017 C. Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Matt Fuller, Senior 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:

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

Discussion

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued AD No. 2016-0054, dated March 14, 2016, to correct an unsafe condition for Finmeccanica S.p.A. (previously Agusta) Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters. EASA advises that a design review resulted in the determination that some passenger seat installations allow the use of comfort clips on flight crew and passenger shoulder harness seat belts to increase comfort to the occupant by locking the seat belt position. These comfort clips could prevent the seat belt inertia reel from retracting the shoulder harness during an emergency landing. The EASA AD further advises that this could result in injury to the seat occupant. To prevent this unsafe condition, the EASA AD requires removal of all comfort clips from service and inspecting the seat belt for wear from the comfort clip.

The FAA is in the process of updating Agusta's name change to Finmeccanica, and then to Leonardo Helicopters, on its FAA type certificate. Because this name change is not yet effective, this AD specifies Agusta.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, 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 these same type designs.

Related Service Information

Finmeccanica has issued Bollettino Tecnico No. 412-145, dated March 8, 2016, which specifies procedures for removing each comfort clip from the crew and passenger shoulder harness seat belts and for inspecting the seat belts for wear.

AD Requirements

This AD requires, within 50 hours time-in-service, removing from service any comfort clip installed on a crew or passenger shoulder harness seat belt and inspecting the shoulder harness seat belt for rips or abrasions. If there is a rip or any abrasion, the AD requires replacing the seat belt. This AD also prohibits installing a comfort clip on any shoulder harness seat belt.

Costs of Compliance

There are no costs of compliance with this AD because there are no helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S. Registry.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

There are no helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S. Registry. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-05-10 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-19219; Docket No. FAA-2018-0181; Product Identifier 2017-SW-085-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Agusta S.p.A. Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters with a seat belt comfort clip installed.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as a shoulder harness seat belt comfort clip interfering with the seat belt inertia reel, which could prevent the seatbelt from locking and result in injury to the occupant during an emergency landing.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective March 27, 2018.

(d) 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.

(e) Required Actions

(1) Within 50 hours time-in-service:

(i) Remove from service each seat belt comfort clip.

(ii) Inspect each shoulder harness seat belt for a rip and abrasion. If there is a rip or any abrasion, before further flight, replace the shoulder harness seat belt.

(2) After the effective date of this AD, do not install a shoulder harness seat belt comfort clip on any helicopter.

(f) 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: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email; 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.

(g) Additional Information

(1) Finmeccanica Bollettino Tecnico No. 412-145, dated March 8, 2016, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G. Agusta 520, 21017 C. Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. 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. 2016-0054, dated March 14, 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-2018-0181.

(h) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2500 Cabin Equipment/Furnishings.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 2, 2018. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-04872 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1010; Product Identifier 2016-SW-089-AD; Amendment 39-19191; AD 2018-03-18] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AW189 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting and altering the emergency flotation system (EFS). This AD is prompted by a report of punctured EFS kits. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these helicopters.

DATES:

This AD is effective April 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. 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.

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-2017-1010; 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, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On November 2, 2017, at 82 FR 50849, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Agusta Model AW189 helicopters with certain part-numbered and serial-numbered EFS float assemblies installed. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting each float bag for punctures, replacing the pressure relief/topping (PRT) valve O-ring part number (P/N) P-G10025 with a PRT valve gasket P/N 316683A, and replacing the inflate/deflate protection P/N 304694A with inflate/deflate protection P/N 304694B. The NPRM also proposed to require repairing the float bag if there are any cuts, tears, punctures, or abrasion on a float bag. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a punctured EFS float bag, which could result in loss of buoyancy of an EFS float bag while being used in an emergency water ditching and subsequent injury to helicopter occupants.

The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2016-0263-E, dated December 22, 2016 (AD 2016-0263-E), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters (previously Agusta) Model AW189 helicopters. EASA advises that during the first scheduled maintenance of an EFS kit, float bags were found punctured due to protruding parts of the pressure relief/topping valves that were not adequately protected. EASA further states that this condition could result in a partial loss of buoyancy of the EFS float bags, possibly resulting in injury to the helicopter's occupants in a ditching event. To prevent this unsafe condition, EASA AD 2016-0263-E requires a one-time inspection of the EFS, repair of any discrepancies found, replacing the pressure relief/topping valve O-ring with a gasket, and replacing the inflate/deflate protection with a new design inflate/deflate protection.

The FAA is in the process of updating Agusta's name change to Leonardo Helicopters on its type certificate. Because this name change is not yet effective, this AD specifies Agusta.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, 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 and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

The EASA AD requires compliance within 15 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 10 days for helicopters flying overwater above sea state 4 or within 120 hours or 60 days for helicopters operating overwater up to sea state 4. This AD requires compliance within 120 hours TIS regardless of sea state conditions.

Related Service Information

We reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico No. 189-135, dated December 20, 2016 (BT 189-135), and Aero Sekur Service Bulletin No. SB-189-25-003, dated November 30, 2016 (SB-189-25-003), which is attached to BT 189-135 as Annex A. BT 189-135 specifies following the procedures in SB-189-25-003 to inspect and modify certain EFS kits installed on Model AW189 helicopters.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects two helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators will incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Inspecting each float bag, replacing the PRT valve gasket, and replacing the inflate/deflate protection require about 40 work-hours, and required parts cost about $500, for a cost per helicopter of $3,900 and a cost of $7,800 for the U.S. fleet. If required, repairing a float bag will require about 2 work-hours, and required parts cost about $90, for a cost per float bag of $260.

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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska 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 Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-03-18 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-19191; Docket No. FAA-2017-1010; Product Identifier 2016-SW-089-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AW189 helicopters, certificated in any category, with an emergency float system (EFS) float assembly part number (P/N) 8G9560V00131, serial number (S/N) 066 or lower; P/N 8G9560V00231, S/N 068 or lower; P/N 8G9560V00331, S/N 068 or lower; or P/N 8G9560V00431, S/N 067 or lower, installed.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as a punctured EFS float bag. This condition could result in loss of buoyancy of an EFS float bag being used in an emergency water ditching and subsequent injury to helicopter occupants.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective April 16, 2018.

(d) 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.

(e) Required Actions

(1) Within 120 hours time-in-service:

(i) Unfold and inspect each float bag assembly for any cuts, tears, punctures, or abrasion. If there is a cut, tear, puncture, or any abrasion, before further flight, repair the float bag assembly.

(ii) Replace each O-ring P/N S-B10104 with a pressure relief/topping (PRT) valve gasket P/N 316683A.

(iii) Install each PRT valve P/N P-G10025 and apply a torque of 4.5 to 5.5 Nm (39.8 to 48.6 inch-pounds).

(iv) Replace each inflate/deflate protection P/N 304694A with a PRT valve protection P/N 304694B.

(v) Install a piece of tape approximately 220 millimeters long over each PRT valve protection P/N 304694B.

(2) After the effective date of this AD, do not install an EFS float assembly P/N 8G9560V00131, S/N 066 or lower; P/N 8G9560V00231, S/N 068 or lower; P/N 8G9560V00331, S/N 068 or lower; or P/N 8G9560V00431, S/N 067 or lower on any helicopter unless you have complied with the actions in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy 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.

(g) Additional Information

(1) Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico No. 189-135, dated December 20, 2016, and Aero Sekur Service Bulletin No. SB-189-25-003, dated November 30, 2016, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. 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.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0263-E, dated December 22, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2017-1010.

(h) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 3212 Emergency Flotation Section.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 2, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-04861 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2013-0485; Amdt. No. 91-345B] RIN 2120-AJ94 Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems; Correcting Amendment AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction; correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is correcting a final rule published on December 13, 2016. In that rule, the FAA amended its regulations to allow operators to use an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) in lieu of natural vision to continue descending from 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation (TDZE) to the runway and to land on certain straight-in instrument approach procedures (IAPs) under instrument flight rules (IFR). As part of the final rule, the FAA inadvertently removed some regulatory text. This document corrects that error. Additionally, this document corrects the same error in an amendatory instruction of the EFVS final rule to ensure the correction to the regulation is retained when the regulation is subsequently amended on March 13, 2018.

DATES:

The correcting amendment (amendatory instruction 2) is effective March 12, 2018. The correction to the final rule published at 81 FR 90126 (December 13, 2016), and delayed at 82 FR 9677 (February 8, 2017) is effective March 13, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Terry King, Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8790; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On December 13, 2016, the FAA published a final rule entitled, “Revisions to Operational Requirements for the Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and to Pilot Compartment View Requirements for Vision Systems.” 1 Prior to that final rule, the operating rules for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE were contained in § 91.175(l) and (m). In the EFVS final rule, which became effective, in part, on March 13, 2017, the FAA created new 14 CFR 91.176 to contain the operating rules for EFVS operations to touchdown and rollout and for EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE.

1 81 FR 90126; corrected at 82 FR 2193, January 9, 2017; delayed at 82 FR 9677, February 8, 2017; corrected at 83 FR 1186, January 10, 2018; corrected at 83 FR 4420, January 31, 2018.

As explained in the preamble to the final rule, the FAA provided an adequate transition period for operators and pilots conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation.2 During this transition period, which concludes on March 13, 2018, a pilot may comply with either § 91.175(l) and (m) or § 91.176(b). Beginning on March 13, 2018, persons conducting EFVS operations to 100 feet above the TDZE must comply with § 91.176(b).

2 81 FR at 90154.

Section 91.175(e)(1) included a cross-reference to § 91.175(l) prior to the final rule. To accommodate the transition period, the FAA made a conforming amendment to § 91.175(e)(1), effective March 13, 2017, by adding a cross-reference to § 91.176. Additionally, to conform with the conclusion of the transition period, the FAA included instructions to amend § 91.175(e)(1), effective March 13, 2018, by removing the cross-reference to § 91.175(l).

Prior to the EFVS final rule, § 91.175(e)(1) allowed a pilot operating an aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United States, to immediately execute an appropriate missed approach procedure whenever operating under § 91.175(c) or (l) and the requirements of that paragraph are not met at either of the following times: (i) When the aircraft is being operated below MDA; or (ii) upon arrival at the missed approach point, including a DA/DH where a DA/DH is specified and its use is required, and at any time after that until touchdown.

In amending § 91.175(e)(1), the FAA did not intend to remove paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii), which identify the following times referred to in paragraph (e)(1). However, the amendatory instruction advised the Office of the Federal Register to revise § 91.175(e)(1) and the regulatory text that accompanied the amendatory instruction failed to include paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii). As a result, paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii) were inadvertently removed from § 91.175. This error also occurs in amendatory instruction 18, which will amend § 91.175(e)(1) effective March 13, 2018.

The FAA intended only to update the cross references in § 91.175(e)(1) to coincide with the transition period and did not intend to remove paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii). The FAA is therefore revising § 91.175(e)(1) by reinstating paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii) accordingly. Additionally, in amendatory instruction 18 of the EFVS final rule,3 the FAA corrects the revisions to § 91.175(e)(1) by including the text of paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii). These corrections ensure the paragraphs are retained when the cross-reference to § 91.175(l) is removed on March 13, 2018.

3 81 FR at 90172.

Because this amendment results in no substantive change, the FAA finds that the notice and public procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary. For the same reason, the FAA finds good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make the amendments effective in less than 30 days.

Federal Register Correction

Effective March 13, 2018, in rule document 2016-28714 at 81 FR 90126 in the issue of December 13, 2016, on page 90172, in the third column, in amendatory instruction 18, paragraph (e)(1) is corrected to read as follows:

§ 91.175 [Corrected]

(e) * * *

(1) Whenever operating an aircraft pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section or § 91.176 of this part, and the requirements of that paragraph or section are not met at either of the following times:

(i) When the aircraft is being operated below MDA; or

(ii) Upon arrival at the missed approach point, including a DA/DH where a DA/DH is specified and its use is required, and at any time after that until touchdown.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

Air carrier, Air taxis, Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Transportation.

Correcting Amendment

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, Pub. L. 114-190, 130 Stat. 615 (49 U.S.C. 44703 note); articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).

2. In § 91.175, revise paragraph (e)(1) to read as follows:
§ 91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR.

(e) * * *

(1) Whenever operating an aircraft pursuant to paragraph (c) or (l) of this section or § 91.176 of this chapter, and the requirements of that paragraph or section are not met at either of the following times:

(i) When the aircraft is being operated below MDA; or

(ii) Upon arrival at the missed approach point, including a DA/DH where a DA/DH is specified and its use is required, and at any time after that until touchdown.

Issued under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and (g) and 44701(a) in Washington, DC, on March 6, 2018. Lirio Liu, Director, Office of Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2018-04888 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 11 [Docket No. RM11-6-000] Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule; annual update to fee schedule.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Commission's regulations, the Commission, by its designee, the Executive Director, issues this annual update to the fee schedule in the appendix to the part, which lists per-acre rental fees by county (or other geographic area) for use of government lands by hydropower licensees.

DATES:

This rule is effective March 12, 2018. Updates appendix A to part 11 with the fee schedule of per-acre rental fees by county (or other geographic area) are applicable from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018 (Fiscal Year 2018).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Annual Update to Fee Schedule (Issued March 6, 2018)

Section 11.2 of the Commission's regulations provides a method for computing reasonable annual charges for recompensing the United States for the use, occupancy, and enjoyment of its lands by hydropower licensees.1 Annual charges for the use of government lands are payable in advance, and are based on an annual schedule of per-acre rental fees published in Appendix A to Part 11 of the Commission's regulations.2 This notice updates the fee schedule in Appendix A to Part 11 for fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018).

1Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands, Order No. 774, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,341 (2013).

2 18 CFR part 11 (2018).

Effective Date

This Final Rule is effective March 12, 2018. The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 804, regarding Congressional review of final rules, do not apply to this Final Rule because the rule concerns agency procedure and practice and will not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. This Final Rule merely updates the fee schedule published in the Code of Federal Regulations to reflect scheduled adjustments, as provided for in section 11.2 of the Commission's regulations.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 11

Public lands.

By the Executive Director.

Anton C. Porter, Executive Director, Office of the Executive Director.

In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends part 11, chapter I, title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows.

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

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

2. Appendix A to part 11 is revised to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 11—Fee Schedule for FY 2018

State County Fee/acre/yr Alabama Autauga $62.99 Baldwin 109.71 Barbour 62.33 Bibb 57.82 Blount 100.13 Bullock 60.03 Butler 66.95 Calhoun 83.97 Chambers 71.74 Cherokee 94.24 Chilton 80.84 Choctaw 51.62 Clarke 56.37 Clay 68.19 Cleburne 75.67 Coffee 72.67 Colbert 77.74 Conecuh 54.89 Coosa 57.13 Covington 62.16 Crenshaw 55.92 Cullman 115.12 Dale 69.19 Dallas 50.58 DeKalb 104.48 Elmore 87.52 Escambia 62.61 Etowah 98.10 Fayette 58.54 Franklin 57.99 Geneva 59.58 Greene 55.96 Hale 57.65 Henry 61.61 Houston 71.78 Jackson 72.02 Jefferson 124.25 Lamar 40.73 Lauderdale 81.87 Lawrence 84.32 Lee 104.06 Limestone 112.13 Lowndes 47.59 Macon 67.74 Madison 102.41 Marengo 49.14 Marion 61.23 Marshall 104.51 Mobile 111.99 Monroe 54.24 Montgomery 72.33 Morgan 102.89 Perry 48.38 Pickens 56.99 Pike 62.78 Randolph 77.46 Russell 62.33 Shelby 115.74 St. Clair 105.82 Sumter 39.21 Talladega 80.18 Tallapoosa 66.54 Tuscaloosa 81.73 Walker 71.05 Washington 46.55 Wilcox 46.38 Winston 71.71 Alaska Aleutian Islands 1.04 Statewide 37.30 Arizona Cochise 22.64 Coconino 3.37 Gila 5.29 Graham 9.33 Greenlee 25.22 La Paz 20.76 Maricopa 91.48 Mohave 7.80 Navajo 4.18 Pima 8.42 Pinal 38.43 Santa Cruz 24.68 Yavapai 25.47 Yuma 116.65 Arkansas Arkansas 58.19 Ashley 63.73 Baxter 58.52 Benton 97.30 Boone 56.44 Bradley 76.62 Calhoun 53.94 Carroll 55.78 Chicot 58.47 Clark 40.53 Clay 70.15 Cleburne 60.06 Cleveland 85.45 Columbia 47.33 Conway 56.77 Craighead 70.37 Crawford 65.85 Crittenden 60.94 Cross 55.78 Dallas 35.10 Desha 61.18 Drew 55.29 Faulkner 71.93 Franklin 49.97 Fulton 35.13 Garland 80.90 Grant 49.42 Greene 74.98 Hempstead 44.92 Hot Spring 56.33 Howard 51.72 Independence 45.94 Izard 38.75 Jackson 55.20 Jefferson 63.62 Johnson 52.76 Lafayette 44.37 Lawrence 58.63 Lee 61.35 Lincoln 61.32 Little River 36.89 Logan 49.28 Lonoke 61.02 Madison 59.62 Marion 44.18 Miller 43.58 Mississippi 62.50 Monroe 52.74 Montgomery 54.99 Nevada 41.63 Newton 48.40 Ouachita 48.87 Perry 53.48 Phillips 57.26 Pike 46.79 Poinsett 67.33 Polk 58.17 Pope 60.22 Prairie 54.88 Pulaski 75.42 Randolph 44.21 Saline 77.20 Scott 48.21 Searcy 36.58 Sebastian 58.41 Sevier 51.23 Sharp 39.87 St. Francis 51.91 Stone 42.81 Union 55.59 Van Buren 54.44 Washington 90.20 White 56.41 Woodruff 54.74 Yell 49.83 California Alameda 45.67 Alpine 35.50 Amador 32.56 Butte 62.89 Calaveras 27.00 Colusa 44.95 Contra Costa 69.73 Del Norte 72.14 El Dorado 68.09 Fresno 68.58 Glenn 38.01 Humboldt 21.38 Imperial 57.96 Inyo 6.45 Kern 36.71 Kings 49.92 Lake 50.39 Lassen 15.95 Los Angeles 103.11 Madera 63.02 Marin 51.55 Mariposa 17.41 Mendocino 33.21 Merced 64.04 Modoc 14.25 Mono 23.32 Monterey 40.49 Napa 180.44 Nevada 89.67 Orange 180.87 Placer 88.26 Plumas 14.70 Riverside 84.52 Sacramento 59.05 San Benito 23.54 San Bernardino 111.36 San Diego 148.68 San Francisco 1,043.76 San Joaquin 83.51 San Luis Obispo 34.86 San Mateo 93.51 Santa Barbara 60.96 Santa Clara 55.56 Santa Cruz 102.55 Shasta 23.18 Sierra 12.45 Siskiyou 16.87 Solano 46.00 Sonoma 121.00 Stanislaus 79.75 Sutter 54.78 Tehama 24.64 Trinity 9.44 Tulare 62.36 Tuolumne 38.33 Ventura 129.29 Yolo 46.70 Yuba 47.94 Colorado Adams 26.21 Alamosa 26.59 Arapahoe 30.74 Archuleta 39.18 Baca 10.15 Bent 8.48 Boulder 104.28 Broomfield 35.76 Chaffee 55.17 Cheyenne 14.19 Clear Creek 50.06 Conejos 27.69 Costilla 20.05 Crowley 6.25 Custer 27.78 Delta 60.55 Denver 989.44 Dolores 26.32 Douglas 91.64 Eagle 71.87 El Paso 22.03 Elbert 20.46 Fremont 42.67 Garfield 50.68 Gilpin 51.68 Grand 41.72 Gunnison 51.41 Hinsdale 96.57 Huerfano 15.76 Jackson 19.02 Jefferson 100.22 Kiowa 12.45 Kit Carson 20.66 La Plata 33.89 Lake 53.21 Larimer 56.24 Las Animas 7.39 Lincoln 8.71 Logan 15.85 Mesa 61.44 Mineral 79.23 Moffat 13.32 Montezuma 20.21 Montrose 52.39 Morgan 26.02 Otero 11.91 Ouray 51.82 Park 24.29 Phillips 33.03 Pitkin 102.13 Prowers 12.54 Pueblo 13.39 Rio Blanco 24.24 Rio Grande 43.13 Routt 40.46 Saguache 27.12 San Juan 23.36 San Miguel 26.59 Sedgwick 23.20 Summit 60.65 Teller 36.61 Washington 17.84 Weld 36.10 Yuma 25.00 Connecticut Fairfield 320.04 Hartford 333.21 Litchfield 300.37 Middlesex 370.86 New Haven 331.00 New London 272.24 Tolland 261.57 Windham 200.99 Delaware Kent 219.29 New Castle 272.38 Sussex 215.28 Florida Alachua 104.77 Baker 126.18 Bay 101.07 Bradford 81.38 Brevard 105.37 Broward 446.05 Calhoun 41.34 Charlotte 98.63 Citrus 128.88 Clay 68.51 Collier 87.25 Columbia 88.29 Dade 494.83 DeSoto 91.41 Dixie 76.74 Duval 134.98 Escambia 94.99 Flagler 82.50 Franklin 37.81 Gadsden 86.23 Gilchrist 64.86 Glades 59.49 Gulf 81.43 Hamilton 56.18 Hardee 80.29 Hendry 78.98 Hernando 163.38 Highlands 57.18 Hillsborough 176.20 Holmes 54.94 Indian River 75.06 Jackson 65.55 Jefferson 81.99 Lafayette 80.27 Lake 146.74 Lee 184.62 Leon 107.08 Levy 116.25 Liberty 52.65 Madison 65.55 Manatee 108.80 Marion 182.04 Martin 128.10 Monroe 369.38 Nassau 93.16 Okaloosa 70.61 Okeechobee 89.39 Orange 162.82 Osceola 76.83 Palm Beach 138.00 Pasco 131.63 Pinellas 586.70 Polk 106.66 Putnam 107.61 Santa Rosa 153.23 Sarasota 127.61 Seminole 92.60 St. Johns 68.88 St. Lucie 93.70 Sumter 104.13 Suwannee 78.12 Taylor 74.06 Union 69.56 Volusia 119.46 Wakulla 68.17 Walton 55.98 Washington 55.94 Georgia Appling 61.77 Atkinson 70.41 Bacon 76.41 Baker 72.42 Baldwin 64.57 Banks 144.93 Barrow 144.90 Bartow 116.87 Ben Hill 66.91 Berrien 69.98 Bibb 86.20 Bleckley 61.40 Brantley 76.31 Brooks 87.12 Bryan 77.36 Bulloch 63.88 Burke 59.42 Butts 91.91 Calhoun 57.81 Camden 57.51 Candler 62.85 Carroll 117.00 Catoosa 149.55 Charlton 53.82 Chatham 136.19 Chattahoochee 54.87 Chattooga 81.22 Cherokee 250.26 Clarke 148.99 Clay 43.63 Clayton 147.01 Clinch 71.49 Cobb 322.78 Coffee 69.45 Colquitt 77.50 Columbia 129.53 Cook 72.58 Coweta 130.39 Crawford 81.35 Crisp 55.14 Dade 83.43 Dawson 205.31 Decatur 75.38 DeKalb 73.34 Dodge 58.10 Dooly 61.86 Dougherty 86.46 Douglas 173.89 Early 56.65 Echols 69.61 Effingham 73.31 Elbert 93.32 Emanuel 56.26 Evans 68.26 Fannin 171.61 Fayette 161.19 Floyd 102.82 Forsyth 290.06 Franklin 142.79 Fulton 178.87 Gilmer 162.01 Glascock 48.74 Glynn 103.48 Gordon 126.56 Grady 81.19 Greene 85.11 Gwinnett 272.65 Habersham 151.59 Hall 216.66 Hancock 90.32 Haralson 111.13 Harris 126.70 Hart 136.69 Heard 91.61 Henry 151.30 Houston 81.72 Irwin 67.07 Jackson 146.12 Jasper 91.35 Jeff Davis 87.62 Jefferson 52.70 Jenkins 49.56 Johnson 47.39 Jones 83.79 Lamar 101.24 Lanier 89.89 Laurens 54.11 Lee 75.91 Liberty 55.73 Lincoln 73.14 Long 64.96 Lowndes 93.32 Lumpkin 237.27 Macon 59.26 Madison 75.62 Marion 68.10 McDuffie 67.60 McIntosh 148.16 Meriwether 83.66 Miller 65.03 Mitchell 75.45 Monroe 89.96 Montgomery 45.57 Morgan 115.32 Murray 113.11 Muscogee 135.53 Newton 111.43 Oconee 190.54 Oglethorpe 85.44 Paulding 172.63 Peach 105.49 Pickens 177.15 Pierce 62.82 Pike 96.29 Polk 95.14 Pulaski 69.05 Putnam 100.31 Quitman 56.26 Rabun 186.71 Randolph 51.05 Richmond 69.91 Rockdale 184.21 Schley 59.95 Screven 56.29 Seminole 71.30 Spalding 137.94 Stephens 139.10 Stewart 51.77 Sumter 59.72 Talbot 54.97 Taliaferro 58.10 Tattnall 73.27 Taylor 53.42 Telfair 50.19 Terrell 62.36 Thomas 88.21 Tift 83.79 Toombs 62.56 Towns 155.98 Treutlen 47.32 Troup 105.03 Turner 62.89 Twiggs 65.99 Union 158.68 Upson 83.36 Walker 103.08 Walton 141.60 Ware 65.10 Warren 53.26 Washington 54.54 Wayne 72.45 Webster 46.76 Wheeler 39.37 White 181.14 Whitfield 127.85 Wilcox 64.34 Wilkes 73.27 Wilkinson 56.29 Worth 68.16 Hawaii Hawaii 169.66 Honolulu 428.59 Kauai 161.48 Maui 209.00 Idaho Ada 62.93 Adams 18.14 Bannock 21.55 Bear Lake 16.95 Benewah 18.93 Bingham 26.65 Blaine 34.07 Boise 16.92 Bonner 52.07 Bonneville 27.64 Boundary 40.78 Butte 18.36 Camas 17.69 Canyon 63.59 Caribou 16.71 Cassia 27.93 Clark 17.37 Clearwater 22.45 Custer 27.46 Elmore 24.40 Franklin 23.94 Fremont 26.62 Gem 32.93 Gooding 45.67 Idaho 16.63 Jefferson 31.24 Jerome 45.79 Kootenai 49.35 Latah 21.49 Lemhi 26.50 Lewis 16.72 Lincoln 31.30 Madison 39.51 Minidoka 41.35 Nez Perce 20.06 Oneida 14.16 Owyhee 14.64 Payette 36.03 Power 18.04 Shoshone 71.31 Teton 39.26 Twin Falls 36.85 Valley 29.48 Washington 11.91 Illinois Adams 137.89 Alexander 92.28 Bond 180.59 Boone 191.16 Brown 111.30 Bureau 204.67 Calhoun 106.10 Carroll 190.85 Cass 156.10 Champaign 222.21 Christian 211.47 Clark 137.12 Clay 132.97 Clinton 163.22 Coles 196.78 Cook 292.27 Crawford 139.49 Cumberland 151.84 De Witt 200.62 DeKalb 219.18 Douglas 212.38 DuPage 193.92 Edgar 183.31 Edwards 112.31 Effingham 161.79 Fayette 124.38 Ford 211.61 Franklin 103.52 Fulton 146.50 Gallatin 122.64 Greene 157.35 Grundy 212.62 Hamilton 101.04 Hancock 159.83 Hardin 98.70 Henderson 172.78 Henry 190.67 Iroquois 189.84 Jackson 109.90 Jasper 141.41 Jefferson 100.59 Jersey 164.58 Jo Daviess 135.51 Johnson 84.36 Kane 247.68 Kankakee 184.57 Kendall 242.35 Knox 191.69 La Salle 220.23 Lake 290.18 Lawrence 136.70 Lee 211.22 Livingston 200.62 Logan 200.48 Macon 218.62 Macoupin 173.54 Madison 178.11 Marion 117.27 Marshall 193.26 Mason 163.18 Massac 99.86 McDonough 196.15 McHenry 225.25 McLean 228.32 Menard 176.51 Mercer 169.50 Monroe 144.55 Montgomery 166.25 Morgan 186.52 Moultrie 214.57 Ogle 193.50 Peoria 193.15 Perry 113.64 Piatt 241.54 Pike 137.22 Pope 72.71 Pulaski 112.28 Putnam 175.67 Randolph 124.45 Richland 122.67 Rock Island 174.03 Saline 117.72 Sangamon 205.64 Schuyler 122.19 Scott 162.48 Shelby 168.52 St. Clair 176.23 Stark 207.60 Stephenson 189.84 Tazewell 207.63 Union 98.95 Vermilion 196.57 Wabash 148.25 Warren 193.19 Washington 144.58 Wayne 124.77 White 125.12 Whiteside 190.95 Will 218.62 Williamson 123.02 Winnebago 176.65 Woodford 216.32 Indiana Adams 161.61 Allen 172.21 Bartholomew 163.95 Benton 180.13 Blackford 117.92 Boone 172.14 Brown 111.65 Carroll 190.41 Cass 150.98 Clark 117.92 Clay 121.55 Clinton 186.12 Crawford 71.44 Daviess 180.72 Dearborn 113.56 Decatur 148.43 DeKalb 123.54 Delaware 147.84 Dubois 124.76 Elkhart 225.04 Fayette 129.64 Floyd 148.71 Fountain 133.82 Franklin 127.68 Fulton 140.13 Gibson 148.64 Grant 155.61 Greene 109.97 Hamilton 179.29 Hancock 159.48 Harrison 102.68 Hendricks 162.73 Henry 138.15 Howard 177.20 Huntington 152.09 Jackson 127.82 Jasper 171.06 Jay 183.12 Jefferson 98.74 Jennings 108.68 Johnson 169.91 Knox 157.50 Kosciusko 163.63 LaGrange 207.74 Lake 158.23 LaPorte 169.70 Lawrence 88.49 Madison 168.13 Marion 179.15 Marshall 145.12 Martin 112.62 Miami 141.39 Monroe 134.76 Montgomery 155.79 Morgan 137.31 Newton 158.26 Noble 134.83 Ohio 99.30 Orange 97.28 Owen 94.74 Parke 116.28 Perry 83.65 Pike 119.14 Porter 167.15 Posey 133.82 Pulaski 143.72 Putnam 117.09 Randolph 141.91 Ripley 113.77 Rush 169.84 Scott 100.17 Shelby 170.85 Spencer 107.95 St. Joseph 171.27 Starke 122.25 Steuben 125.14 Sullivan 116.53 Switzerland 98.40 Tippecanoe 187.76 Tipton 203.73 Union 138.21 Vanderburgh 118.03 Vermillion 132.53 Vigo 108.12 Wabash 144.14 Warren 164.30 Warrick 135.46 Washington 92.64 Wayne 144.42 Wells 176.57 White 190.73 Whitley 143.31 Iowa Adair 130.78 Adams 119.98 Allamakee 118.93 Appanoose 82.98 Audubon 186.22 Benton 201.77 Black Hawk 222.74 Boone 210.93 Bremer 215.57 Buchanan 204.95 Buena Vista 204.08 Butler 190.87 Calhoun 214.80 Carroll 210.30 Cass 152.72 Cedar 200.44 Cerro Gordo 185.35 Cherokee 207.47 Chickasaw 200.06 Clarke 94.41 Clay 206.42 Clayton 133.78 Clinton 198.52 Crawford 193.35 Dallas 188.04 Davis 82.25 Decatur 83.50 Delaware 201.42 Des Moines 155.79 Dickinson 197.37 Dubuque 170.29 Emmet 203.48 Fayette 192.27 Floyd 178.92 Franklin 185.77 Fremont 171.66 Greene 194.61 Grundy 224.48 Guthrie 162.05 Hamilton 227.00 Hancock 194.47 Hardin 206.42 Harrison 162.78 Henry 137.76 Howard 184.27 Humboldt 213.20 Ida 189.68 Iowa 169.17 Jackson 149.01 Jasper 173.79 Jefferson 128.33 Johnson 191.95 Jones 187.24 Keokuk 139.30 Kossuth 212.64 Lee 119.28 Linn 187.90 Louisa 160.51 Lucas 80.32 Lyon 230.46 Madison 137.03 Mahaska 157.16 Marion 124.73 Marshall 185.11 Mills 176.55 Mitchell 206.07 Monona 153.49 Monroe 88.64 Montgomery 156.81 Muscatine 175.78 O'Brien 238.63 Osceola 196.74 Page 140.63 Palo Alto 210.26 Plymouth 205.51 Pocahontas 213.41 Polk 197.13 Pottawattamie 196.57 Poweshiek 169.94 Ringgold 95.59 Sac 207.40 Scott 226.89 Shelby 189.30 Sioux 254.50 Story 219.07 Tama 181.75 Taylor 106.98 Union 96.19 Van Buren 97.13 Wapello 115.30 Warren 142.94 Washington 170.71 Wayne 90.35 Webster 205.51 Winnebago 188.60 Winneshiek 166.55 Woodbury 166.97 Worth 171.76 Wright 201.49 Kansas Allen 38.37 Anderson 42.80 Atchison 59.18 Barber 33.39 Barton 43.07 Bourbon 39.78 Brown 89.89 Butler 48.36 Chase 37.27 Chautauqua 31.74 Cherokee 51.18 Cheyenne 43.52 Clark 25.01 Clay 58.02 Cloud 54.72 Coffey 41.94 Comanche 25.32 Cowley 39.36 Crawford 46.03 Decatur 41.91 Dickinson 55.44 Doniphan 98.89 Douglas 78.42 Edwards 58.63 Elk 34.86 Ellis 36.62 Ellsworth 36.44 Finney 39.54 Ford 33.46 Franklin 63.79 Geary 53.27 Gove 35.34 Graham 36.24 Grant 36.62 Gray 36.68 Greeley 40.88 Greenwood 38.71 Hamilton 27.79 Harper 41.70 Harvey 70.62 Haskell 37.85 Hodgeman 29.54 Jackson 48.36 Jefferson 61.48 Jewell 53.03 Johnson 119.26 Kearny 35.65 Kingman 39.26 Kiowa 33.87 Labette 40.84 Lane 35.34 Leavenworth 88.89 Lincoln 41.05 Linn 48.36 Logan 32.43 Lyon 42.87 Marion 57.95 Marshall 73.99 McPherson 62.03 Meade 33.52 Miami 86.04 Mitchell 61.55 Montgomery 42.52 Morris 40.36 Morton 23.25 Nemaha 77.56 Neosho 41.15 Ness 28.61 Norton 36.41 Osage 44.69 Osborne 37.65 Ottawa 51.73 Pawnee 50.08 Phillips 34.38 Pottawatomie 52.42 Pratt 43.97 Rawlins 47.92 Reno 49.36 Republic 72.85 Rice 43.90 Riley 50.25 Rooks 36.07 Rush 35.65 Russell 31.39 Saline 54.31 Scott 41.70 Sedgwick 65.30 Seward 31.64 Shawnee 68.39 Sheridan 52.73 Sherman 46.92 Smith 44.58 Stafford 48.57 Stanton 30.43 Stevens 37.68 Sumner 49.26 Thomas 58.60 Trego 36.07 Wabaunsee 40.39 Wallace 34.66 Washington 64.13 Wichita 37.30 Wilson 39.50 Woodson 37.82 Wyandotte 132.14 Kentucky Adair 71.19 Allen 82.17 Anderson 86.65 Ballard 94.61 Barren 81.89 Bath 54.26 Bell 54.08 Boone 171.57 Bourbon 118.35 Boyd 64.86 Boyle 94.68 Bracken 58.26 Breathitt 39.76 Breckinridge 66.70 Bullitt 101.36 Butler 56.24 Caldwell 76.05 Calloway 82.52 Campbell 122.14 Carlisle 78.66 Carroll 73.34 Carter 48.87 Casey 56.48 Christian 96.04 Clark 91.28 Clay 44.28 Clinton 72.12 Crittenden 59.85 Cumberland 47.48 Daviess 107.99 Edmonson 66.15 Elliott 37.75 Estill 51.37 Fayette 253.39 Fleming 58.29 Floyd 40.95 Franklin 102.43 Fulton 97.05 Gallatin 84.15 Garrard 68.72 Grant 85.09 Graves 90.16 Grayson 63.12 Green 62.98 Greenup 49.22 Hancock 78.21 Hardin 97.46 Harlan 36.77 Harrison 75.91 Hart 61.70 Henderson 101.53 Henry 92.94 Hickman 96.77 Hopkins 80.71 Jackson 50.54 Jefferson 240.04 Jessamine 152.17 Johnson 48.66 Kenton 121.24 Knott 37.61 Knox 48.63 Larue 95.17 Laurel 95.90 Lawrence 39.38 Lee 52.90 Leslie 120.86 Letcher 64.30 Lewis 40.84 Lincoln 69.20 Livingston 59.16 Logan 93.12 Lyon 56.31 Madison 83.91 Magoffin 41.22 Marion 74.87 Marshall 85.02 Martin 139.97 Mason 71.67 McCracken 85.58 McCreary 49.77 McLean 104.55 Meade 90.20 Menifee 49.70 Mercer 93.95 Metcalfe 62.74 Monroe 65.59 Montgomery 76.26 Morgan 35.49 Muhlenberg 64.62 Nelson 93.50 Nicholas 60.03 Ohio 68.06 Oldham 173.72 Owen 64.13 Owsley 37.50 Pendleton 65.83 Perry 33.54 Pike 37.09 Powell 44.21 Pulaski 80.54 Robertson 50.26 Rockcastle 56.52 Rowan 59.30 Russell 85.64 Scott 127.15 Shelby 135.73 Simpson 115.75 Spencer 87.14 Taylor 77.37 Todd 102.61 Trigg 82.31 Trimble 87.77 Union 114.11 Warren 100.28 Washington 71.19 Wayne 63.23 Webster 88.81 Whitley 60.27 Wolfe 41.36 Woodford 226.76 Louisiana Acadia 58.49 Allen 55.40 Ascension 92.77 Assumption 80.34 Avoyelles 59.81 Beauregard 65.84 Bienville 62.71 Bossier 88.65 Caddo 71.77 Calcasieu 67.65 Caldwell 65.28 Cameron 46.37 Catahoula 64.00 Claiborne 66.37 Concordia 60.83 De Soto 71.41 East Baton Rouge 151.49 East Carroll 72.20 East Feliciana 78.60 Evangeline 55.92 Franklin 60.11 Grant 56.25 Iberia 82.65 Iberville 47.52 Jackson 74.61 Jefferson 100.28 Jefferson Davis 59.91 La Salle 67.62 Lafayette 125.75 Lafourche 56.62 Lincoln 87.72 Livingston 151.52 Madison 65.05 Morehouse 62.41 Natchitoches 64.00 Orleans 408.33 Ouachita 76.88 Plaquemines 33.28 Pointe Coupee 72.33 Rapides 67.03 Red River 51.51 Richland 60.54 Sabine 83.84 St. Bernard 43.83 St. Charles 57.11 St. Helena 88.22 St. James 92.80 St. John the Baptist 76.72 St. Landry 63.40 St. Martin 65.18 St. Mary 66.11 St. Tammany 192.85 Tangipahoa 108.55 Tensas 57.93 Terrebonne 59.12 Union 76.68 Vermilion 68.51 Vernon 83.31 Washington 93.46 Webster 91.81 West Baton Rouge 98.86 West Carroll 56.29 West Feliciana 69.57 Winn 63.73 Maine Androscoggin 67.50 Aroostook 37.59 Cumberland 129.22 Franklin 57.20 Hancock 88.70 Kennebec 75.47 Knox 99.99 Lincoln 91.86 Oxford 66.94 Penobscot 53.06 Piscataquis 45.16 Sagadahoc 99.50 Somerset 55.79 Waldo 49.11 Washington 41.17 York 128.19 Maryland Allegany 95.77 Anne Arundel 317.51 Baltimore 258.86 Calvert 206.66 Caroline 167.51 Carroll 223.32 Cecil 198.95 Charles 176.94 Dorchester 142.90 Frederick 208.27 Garrett 115.38 Harford 226.61 Howard 300.58 Kent 186.81 Montgomery 278.91 Prince George's 216.32 Queen Anne's 204.12 Somerset 150.03 St. Mary's 181.05 Talbot 181.33 Washington 164.02 Wicomico 172.31 Worcester 163.74 Massachusetts Barnstable 856.94 Berkshire 168.80 Bristol 350.48 Dukes 235.52 Essex 500.39 Franklin 146.18 Hampden 176.46 Hampshire 193.97 Middlesex 459.86 Nantucket 640.68 Norfolk 583.45 Plymouth 276.61 Suffolk 4,926.45 Worcester 224.40 Michigan Alcona 66.02 Alger 56.07 Allegan 129.75 Alpena 65.89 Antrim 97.08 Arenac 75.37 Baraga 50.05 Barry 107.81 Bay 108.83 Benzie 112.92 Berrien 151.46 Branch 96.26 Calhoun 99.58 Cass 107.27 Charlevoix 99.79 Cheboygan 67.25 Chippewa 43.95 Clare 76.79 Clinton 117.70 Crawford 89.59 Delta 52.86 Dickinson 59.90 Eaton 100.84 Emmet 85.63 Genesee 104.76 Gladwin 76.39 Gogebic 71.07 Grand Traverse 144.45 Gratiot 122.17 Hillsdale 93.28 Houghton 48.01 Huron 140.93 Ingham 110.49 Ionia 112.96 Iosco 72.39 Iron 53.87 Isabella 103.10 Jackson 103.54 Kalamazoo 126.03 Kalkaska 82.45 Kent 158.67 Keweenaw 68.16 Lake 70.36 Lapeer 123.86 Leelanau 182.34 Lenawee 109.91 Livingston 131.34 Luce 62.17 Mackinac 56.28 Macomb 149.59 Manistee 77.88 Marquette 55.19 Mason 77.34 Mecosta 80.93 Menominee 54.35 Midland 97.52 Missaukee 81.94 Monroe 123.32 Montcalm 90.37 Montmorency 61.56 Muskegon 138.96 Newaygo 96.37 Oakland 232.21 Oceana 87.26 Ogemaw 71.78 Ontonagon 45.88 Osceola 68.70 Oscoda 71.21 Otsego 68.43 Ottawa 174.92 Presque Isle 58.10 Roscommon 71.14 Saginaw 103.37 Sanilac 118.81 Schoolcraft 43.98 Shiawassee 96.91 St. Clair 101.21 St. Joseph 128.77 Tuscola 123.05 Van Buren 120.41 Washtenaw 138.01 Wayne 201.60 Wexford 77.13 Minnesota Aitkin 49.13 Anoka 168.14 Becker 75.71 Beltrami 47.35 Benton 95.74 Big Stone 108.74 Blue Earth 178.74 Brown 153.79 Carlton 52.19 Carver 161.45 Cass 53.24 Chippewa 144.03 Chisago 121.35 Clay 98.08 Clearwater 46.79 Cook 132.22 Cottonwood 153.13 Crow Wing 72.12 Dakota 158.18 Dodge 171.35 Douglas 85.78 Faribault 156.75 Fillmore 127.87 Freeborn 152.01 Goodhue 151.00 Grant 100.80 Hennepin 229.53 Houston 96.23 Hubbard 62.82 Isanti 103.79 Itasca 52.51 Jackson 170.30 Kanabec 63.97 Kandiyohi 133.96 Kittson 48.88 Koochiching 32.79 Lac qui Parle 122.26 Lake 91.56 Lake of the Woods 41.53 Le Sueur 154.63 Lincoln 108.08 Lyon 144.87 Mahnomen 56.72 Marshall 58.78 Martin 170.97 McLeod 150.10 Meeker 115.95 Mille Lacs 76.72 Morrison 77.31 Mower 166.89 Murray 157.31 Nicollet 180.86 Nobles 164.94 Norman 83.41 Olmsted 152.53 Otter Tail 69.82 Pennington 50.62 Pine 56.23 Pipestone 146.33 Polk 80.90 Pope 102.19 Ramsey 255.73 Red Lake 48.78 Redwood 176.30 Renville 168.77 Rice 159.75 Rock 195.95 Roseau 33.10 Scott 173.58 Sherburne 119.89 Sibley 167.06 St. Louis 52.40 Stearns 108.74 Steele 167.20 Stevens 124.52 Swift 142.61 Todd 65.88 Traverse 123.97 Wabasha 130.93 Wadena 49.72 Waseca 163.93 Washington 229.60 Watonwan 170.34 Wilkin 108.77 Winona 130.62 Wright 149.43 Yellow Medicine 127.59 Mississippi Adams 58.54 Alcorn 50.35 Amite 90.78 Attala 48.59 Benton 43.06 Bolivar 65.25 Calhoun 49.74 Carroll 50.68 Chickasaw 49.84 Choctaw 53.21 Claiborne 54.26 Clarke 63.60 Clay 44.21 Coahoma 68.05 Copiah 61.68 Covington 79.35 DeSoto 71.25 Forrest 92.16 Franklin 69.13 George 90.68 Greene 58.67 Grenada 49.30 Hancock 106.93 Harrison 167.22 Hinds 61.84 Holmes 56.58 Humphreys 59.58 Issaquena 51.73 Itawamba 54.16 Jackson 101.90 Jasper 53.89 Jefferson 57.16 Jefferson Davis 53.55 Jones 86.02 Kemper 46.87 Lafayette 60.50 Lamar 97.18 Lauderdale 64.41 Lawrence 72.53 Leake 72.23 Lee 51.59 Leflore 54.43 Lincoln 80.86 Lowndes 57.26 Madison 70.65 Marion 80.02 Marshall 53.21 Monroe 47.18 Montgomery 47.98 Neshoba 83.12 Newton 56.18 Noxubee 58.30 Oktibbeha 59.42 Panola 51.90 Pearl River 86.33 Perry 77.22 Pike 95.83 Pontotoc 49.06 Prentiss 42.32 Quitman 54.32 Rankin 80.66 Scott 68.18 Sharkey 61.84 Simpson 73.88 Smith 79.75 Stone 98.60 Sunflower 52.64 Tallahatchie 60.66 Tate 54.16 Tippah 43.90 Tishomingo 49.97 Tunica 72.87 Union 55.91 Walthall 80.73 Warren 50.65 Washington 57.36 Wayne 78.60 Webster 48.73 Wilkinson 60.63 Winston 58.61 Yalobusha 49.10 Yazoo 56.65 Missouri Adair 67.31 Andrew 97.64 Atchison 133.46 Audrain 104.91 Barry 69.64 Barton 57.77 Bates 62.23 Benton 57.36 Bollinger 55.27 Boone 100.01 Buchanan 94.72 Butler 87.38 Caldwell 62.44 Callaway 89.68 Camden 59.73 Cape Girardeau 85.97 Carroll 86.01 Carter 45.63 Cass 91.05 Cedar 50.02 Chariton 81.58 Christian 85.73 Clark 72.83 Clay 117.54 Clinton 94.07 Cole 79.94 Cooper 77.98 Crawford 57.09 Dade 60.18 Dallas 63.85 Daviess 76.40 DeKalb 77.33 Dent 43.98 Douglas 44.57 Dunklin 103.47 Franklin 102.17 Gasconade 67.28 Gentry 72.35 Greene 101.07 Grundy 63.19 Harrison 68.44 Henry 58.29 Hickory 53.28 Holt 104.26 Howard 69.64 Howell 51.67 Iron 44.19 Jackson 110.81 Jasper 64.15 Jefferson 93.52 Johnson 72.59 Knox 81.82 Laclede 60.38 Lafayette 115.96 Lawrence 70.33 Lewis 79.42 Lincoln 107.04 Linn 66.32 Livingston 80.04 Macon 68.00 Madison 50.50 Maries 53.55 Marion 97.74 McDonald 63.50 Mercer 60.90 Miller 60.96 Mississippi 113.97 Moniteau 74.04 Monroe 85.77 Montgomery 94.76 Morgan 72.63 New Madrid 121.72 Newton 70.74 Nodaway 89.23 Oregon 42.71 Osage 56.20 Ozark 44.57 Pemiscot 99.29 Perry 73.35 Pettis 75.10 Phelps 63.16 Pike 95.00 Platte 106.70 Polk 56.71 Pulaski 53.45 Putnam 56.61 Ralls 88.10 Randolph 72.18 Ray 74.93 Reynolds 40.14 Ripley 49.23 Saline 110.40 Schuyler 61.10 Scotland 80.59 Scott 111.91 Shannon 45.83 Shelby 97.50 St Louis 113.28 St. Charles 116.37 St. Clair 45.46 St. Francois 68.96 Ste. Genevieve 63.26 Stoddard 120.56 Stone 65.01 Sullivan 50.98 Taney 53.83 Texas 45.05 Vernon 59.18 Warren 106.49 Washington 52.66 Wayne 41.92 Webster 71.70 Worth 61.86 Wright 49.33 Montana Beaverhead 24.48 Big Horn 9.69 Blaine 13.12 Broadwater 25.11 Carbon 25.85 Carter 11.80 Cascade 23.16 Chouteau 17.62 Custer 8.84 Daniels 11.34 Dawson 9.83 Deer Lodge 35.41 Fallon 9.63 Fergus 18.99 Flathead 109.65 Gallatin 58.02 Garfield 10.84 Glacier 14.99 Golden Valley 12.38 Granite 28.02 Hill 14.22 Jefferson 24.89 Judith Basin 19.60 Lake 35.08 Lewis and Clark 33.27 Liberty 13.34 Lincoln 82.39 Madison 27.50 McCone 10.54 Meagher 21.11 Mineral 97.66 Missoula 60.79 Musselshell 10.84 Park 56.05 Petroleum 9.63 Phillips 12.63 Pondera 17.81 Powder River 12.10 Powell 20.78 Prairie 12.38 Ravalli 106.63 Richland 13.12 Roosevelt 13.89 Rosebud 9.06 Sanders 26.07 Sheridan 13.01 Silver Bow 34.45 Stillwater 30.66 Sweet Grass 23.60 Teton 23.08 Toole 15.75 Treasure 11.03 Valley 10.90 Wheatland 11.25 Wibaux 10.27 Yellowstone 16.77 Nebraska Adams 134.40 Antelope 108.33 Arthur 10.76 Banner 19.61 Blaine 13.05 Boone 112.25 Box Butte 27.19 Boyd 35.02 Brown 18.24 Buffalo 95.18 Burt 132.84 Butler 126.00 Cass 147.52 Cedar 112.25 Chase 50.07 Cherry 13.53 Cheyenne 22.73 Clay 130.71 Colfax 134.75 Cuming 136.60 Custer 48.32 Dakota 122.21 Dawes 18.94 Dawson 79.11 Deuel 25.44 Dixon 105.62 Dodge 142.90 Douglas 158.34 Dundy 34.60 Fillmore 140.39 Franklin 75.61 Frontier 37.37 Furnas 59.62 Gage 88.91 Garden 15.57 Garfield 25.24 Gosper 80.60 Grant 14.07 Greeley 82.23 Hall 113.84 Hamilton 164.17 Harlan 78.50 Hayes 32.95 Hitchcock 32.85 Holt 53.29 Hooker 11.27 Howard 75.10 Jefferson 100.02 Johnson 64.81 Kearney 134.53 Keith 47.34 Keya Paha 19.74 Kimball 22.09 Knox 70.64 Lancaster 116.64 Lincoln 36.58 Logan 28.94 Loup 18.88 Madison 122.69 McPherson 11.40 Merrick 97.73 Morrill 23.49 Nance 87.03 Nemaha 103.59 Nuckolls 96.07 Otoe 109.38 Pawnee 65.90 Perkins 57.84 Phelps 114.70 Pierce 110.11 Platte 129.56 Polk 151.34 Red Willow 40.59 Richardson 97.09 Rock 27.44 Saline 122.69 Sarpy 151.75 Saunders 134.15 Scotts Bluff 47.56 Seward 128.13 Sheridan 17.64 Sherman 60.33 Sioux 14.58 Stanton 111.42 Thayer 104.99 Thomas 12.80 Thurston 128.58 Valley 56.25 Washington 153.41 Wayne 111.35 Webster 72.07 Wheeler 31.20 York 143.41 Nevada Carson City 53.84 Churchill 19.52 Clark 45.04 Douglas 23.15 Elko 3.97 Esmeralda 14.38 Eureka 5.19 Humboldt 7.96 Lander 5.96 Lincoln 23.33 Lyon 17.61 Mineral 3.44 Nye 17.17 Pershing 7.49 Storey 308.06 Washoe 6.53 White Pine 6.56 New Hampshire Belknap 143.30 Carroll 124.64 Cheshire 76.80 Coos 62.60 Grafton 78.01 Hillsborough 170.39 Merrimack 104.25 Rockingham 194.85 Strafford 128.64 Sullivan 103.30 New Jersey Atlantic 307.49 Bergen 1,051.95 Burlington 241.76 Camden 314.04 Cape May 287.87 Cumberland 200.54 Essex 1,584.16 Gloucester 297.23 Hudson 319.28 Hunterdon 409.35 Mercer 506.91 Middlesex 491.34 Monmouth 538.64 Morris 577.73 Ocean 385.52 Passaic 778.78 Salem 197.05 Somerset 511.59 Sussex 266.37 Union 3,146.99 Warren 255.33 New Mexico Bernalillo 22.08 Catron 8.32 Chaves 7.01 Cibola 6.09 Colfax 7.72 Curry 11.27 De Baca 4.82 Dona Ana 34.86 Eddy 8.71 Grant 7.30 Guadalupe 5.18 Harding 5.50 Hidalgo 4.82 Lea 6.60 Lincoln 6.89 Los Alamos 297.31 Luna 8.25 McKinley 6.13 Mora 10.81 Otero 8.18 Quay 6.52 Rio Arriba 14.09 Roosevelt 9.49 San Juan 6.77 San Miguel 7.35 Sandoval 10.17 Santa Fe 16.48 Sierra 5.57 Socorro 9.59 Taos 22.83 Torrance 7.08 Union 7.16 Valencia 18.35 New York Albany 84.13 Allegany 47.51 Bronx 70.59 Broome 71.20 Cattaraugus 51.34 Cayuga 87.28 Chautauqua 56.06 Chemung 65.36 Chenango 49.82 Clinton 54.98 Columbia 141.78 Cortland 51.75 Delaware 67.67 Dutchess 140.83 Erie 80.32 Essex 57.28 Franklin 45.61 Fulton 58.30 Genesee 71.47 Greene 101.43 Hamilton 49.48 Herkimer 52.33 Jefferson 44.52 Kings 21,514.93 Lewis 45.34 Livingston 78.66 Madison 55.45 Monroe 96.41 Montgomery 62.41 Nassau 497.69 New York 70.59 Niagara 62.24 Oneida 54.06 Onondaga 85.65 Ontario 87.49 Orange 150.33 Orleans 70.52 Oswego 54.91 Otsego 60.95 Putnam 148.43 Queens 139.20 Rensselaer 93.29 Richmond 4,786.53 Rockland 2,351.47 Saratoga 130.07 Schenectady 93.76 Schoharie 61.86 Schuyler 77.58 Seneca 79.95 St. Lawrence 38.48 Steuben 49.78 Suffolk 317.57 Sullivan 99.97 Tioga 53.41 Tompkins 74.86 Ulster 136.89 Warren 108.52 Washington 65.87 Wayne 67.29 Westchester 437.15 Wyoming 71.06 Yates 107.40 North Carolina Alamance 128.17 Alexander 161.71 Alleghany 130.55 Anson 101.26 Ashe 154.61 Avery 189.41 Beaufort 83.08 Bertie 73.47 Bladen 89.47 Brunswick 116.96 Buncombe 233.82 Burke 144.55 Cabarrus 199.12 Caldwell 150.09 Camden 77.24 Carteret 89.37 Caswell 78.22 Catawba 146.80 Chatham 134.87 Cherokee 156.21 Chowan 86.14 Clay 135.65 Cleveland 111.90 Columbus 82.44 Craven 84.10 Cumberland 84.85 Currituck 111.12 Dare 104.86 Davidson 166.84 Davie 167.93 Duplin 110.81 Durham 233.17 Edgecombe 71.60 Forsyth 225.87 Franklin 116.11 Gaston 164.80 Gates 94.60 Graham 163.82 Granville 111.66 Greene 106.02 Guilford 168.13 Halifax 64.46 Harnett 145.40 Haywood 172.18 Henderson 212.24 Hertford 65.04 Hoke 87.09 Hyde 66.87 Iredell 163.48 Jackson 262.50 Johnston 132.73 Jones 72.51 Lee 113.63 Lenoir 91.75 Lincoln 151.45 Macon 207.45 Madison 147.17 Martin 76.63 McDowell 156.82 Mecklenburg 559.76 Mitchell 143.30 Montgomery 111.42 Moore 144.76 Nash 103.64 New Hanover 386.87 Northampton 71.15 Onslow 103.81 Orange 181.93 Pamlico 78.22 Pasquotank 85.87 Pender 114.96 Perquimans 88.21 Person 103.23 Pitt 86.48 Polk 199.33 Randolph 130.28 Richmond 111.97 Robeson 79.85 Rockingham 109.96 Rowan 153.80 Rutherford 109.69 Sampson 108.06 Scotland 97.86 Stanly 139.76 Stokes 104.59 Surry 124.71 Swain 171.02 Transylvania 240.24 Tyrrell 69.18 Union 153.52 Vance 94.06 Wake 260.29 Warren 69.66 Washington 82.03 Watauga 203.17 Wayne 112.10 Wilkes 131.64 Wilson 103.78 Yadkin 143.19 Yancey 176.22 North Dakota Adams 22.49 Barnes 62.34 Benson 36.05 Billings 21.96 Bottineau 37.69 Bowman 20.99 Burke 23.39 Burleigh 39.26 Cass 79.91 Cavalier 53.06 Dickey 62.86 Divide 18.02 Dunn 25.45 Eddy 37.30 Emmons 32.84 Foster 52.09 Golden Valley 23.50 Grand Forks 58.61 Grant 25.73 Griggs 50.87 Hettinger 31.27 Kidder 25.80 LaMoure 60.31 Logan 28.52 McHenry 25.07 McIntosh 32.81 McKenzie 20.57 McLean 36.61 Mercer 26.57 Morton 28.52 Mountrail 25.38 Nelson 32.77 Oliver 28.48 Pembina 71.89 Pierce 28.66 Ramsey 38.84 Ransom 50.97 Renville 45.11 Richland 82.84 Rolette 31.34 Sargent 66.17 Sheridan 26.08 Sioux 24.93 Slope 23.78 Stark 37.86 Steele 51.60 Stutsman 48.70 Towner 35.77 Traill 80.92 Walsh 66.31 Ward 42.88 Wells 45.11 Williams 20.78 Ohio Adams 79.70 Allen 147.11 Ashland 127.45 Ashtabula 91.19 Athens 77.44 Auglaize 168.28 Belmont 93.10 Brown 100.30 Butler 162.74 Carroll 103.51 Champaign 149.20 Clark 143.04 Clermont 142.17 Clinton 138.17 Columbiana 135.35 Coshocton 95.50 Crawford 130.34 Cuyahoga 476.46 Darke 197.61 Defiance 124.81 Delaware 165.32 Erie 131.07 Fairfield 132.88 Fayette 152.37 Franklin 171.27 Fulton 154.70 Gallia 90.59 Geauga 197.51 Greene 167.41 Guernsey 79.94 Hamilton 202.77 Hancock 131.73 Hardin 136.08 Harrison 83.74 Henry 157.17 Highland 100.76 Hocking 99.82 Holmes 162.12 Huron 124.88 Jackson 65.78 Jefferson 76.71 Knox 133.05 Lake 210.21 Lawrence 67.97 Licking 136.26 Logan 138.62 Lorain 130.79 Lucas 160.86 Madison 141.79 Mahoning 138.31 Marion 132.88 Medina 177.15 Meigs 67.59 Mercer 218.67 Miami 158.77 Monroe 64.25 Montgomery 163.09 Morgan 66.89 Morrow 130.37 Muskingum 90.84 Noble 70.93 Ottawa 132.32 Paulding 134.97 Perry 100.93 Pickaway 133.44 Pike 88.44 Portage 144.64 Preble 146.35 Putnam 140.01 Richland 138.17 Ross 100.44 Sandusky 131.11 Scioto 78.31 Seneca 135.66 Shelby 165.73 Stark 153.52 Summit 235.31 Trumbull 111.58 Tuscarawas 106.67 Union 143.01 Van Wert 174.75 Vinton 67.59 Warren 199.08 Washington 74.51 Wayne 173.67 Williams 106.57 Wood 162.08 Wyandot 140.01 Oklahoma Adair 54.58 Alfalfa 39.20 Atoka 38.51 Beaver 18.41 Beckham 30.48 Blaine 32.83 Bryan 48.86 Caddo 36.89 Canadian 53.13 Carter 43.55 Cherokee 65.37 Choctaw 40.58 Cimarron 13.93 Cleveland 86.20 Coal 34.76 Comanche 38.10 Cotton 31.07 Craig 43.93 Creek 49.31 Custer 36.96 Delaware 63.96 Dewey 27.93 Ellis 22.00 Garfield 39.55 Garvin 43.58 Grady 44.41 Grant 37.65 Greer 23.62 Harmon 26.27 Harper 21.00 Haskell 41.76 Hughes 34.41 Jackson 27.62 Jefferson 27.89 Johnston 37.07 Kay 37.31 Kingfisher 37.58 Kiowa 26.52 Latimer 36.76 Le Flore 54.75 Lincoln 47.55 Logan 51.96 Love 47.72 Major 30.96 Marshall 46.13 Mayes 58.27 McClain 56.34 McCurtain 48.07 McIntosh 42.51 Murray 38.24 Muskogee 48.69 Noble 39.31 Nowata 45.72 Okfuskee 35.20 Oklahoma 85.48 Okmulgee 49.69 Osage 29.10 Ottawa 63.62 Pawnee 36.72 Payne 52.17 Pittsburg 37.55 Pontotoc 48.51 Pottawatomie 48.44 Pushmataha 31.38 Roger Mills 28.45 Rogers 67.96 Seminole 38.93 Sequoyah 55.24 Stephens 34.96 Texas 22.07 Tillman 27.69 Tulsa 100.27 Wagoner 66.96 Washington 46.13 Washita 33.07 Woods 29.93 Woodward 30.55 Oregon Baker 19.91 Benton 116.51 Clackamas 264.85 Clatsop 108.95 Columbia 107.87 Coos 63.33 Crook 17.85 Curry 66.92 Deschutes 137.76 Douglas 60.56 Gilliam 9.77 Grant 15.81 Harney 10.75 Hood River 373.13 Jackson 91.96 Jefferson 12.59 Josephine 197.42 Klamath 28.97 Lake 19.98 Lane 134.01 Lincoln 94.17 Linn 95.05 Malheur 23.05 Marion 155.98 Morrow 18.68 Multnomah 234.24 Polk 120.61 Sherman 11.71 Tillamook 122.91 Umatilla 32.06 Union 30.39 Wallowa 24.79 Wasco 14.78 Washington 184.04 Wheeler 12.72 Yamhill 179.94 Pennsylvania Adams 171.11 Allegheny 144.65 Armstrong 78.93 Beaver 132.02 Bedford 101.38 Berks 243.22 Blair 125.33 Bradford 101.69 Bucks 337.15 Butler 130.34 Cambria 89.98 Cameron 53.67 Carbon 179.76 Centre 148.70 Chester 358.84 Clarion 81.03 Clearfield 72.72 Clinton 148.63 Columbia 128.83 Crawford 77.49 Cumberland 213.94 Dauphin 124.68 Delaware 378.81 Elk 93.90 Erie 94.38 Fayette 91.18 Forest 66.10 Franklin 182.47 Fulton 99.90 Greene 82.57 Huntingdon 105.22 Indiana 76.84 Jefferson 71.28 Juniata 138.34 Lackawanna 134.36 Lancaster 343.98 Lawrence 112.70 Lebanon 289.99 Lehigh 228.67 Luzerne 123.24 Lycoming 117.10 McKean 56.63 Mercer 93.90 Mifflin 134.74 Monroe 215.80 Montgomery 385.78 Montour 150.52 Northampton 225.61 Northumberland 134.46 Perry 138.68 Philadelphia 1,244.74 Pike 50.38 Potter 75.47 Schuylkill 176.71 Snyder 159.79 Somerset 72.24 Sullivan 84.66 Susquehanna 111.98 Tioga 94.38 Union 148.02 Venango 84.90 Warren 64.42 Washington 125.13 Wayne 102.41 Westmoreland 130.62 Wyoming 110.13 York 207.22 Puerto Rico All Areas 177.77 Rhode Island Bristol 605.22 Kent 204.20 Newport 526.63 Providence 343.71 Washington 280.98 South Carolina Abbeville 75.33 Aiken 103.15 Allendale 60.02 Anderson 118.56 Bamberg 60.13 Barnwell 66.17 Beaufort 91.82 Berkeley 96.84 Calhoun 75.84 Charleston 169.22 Cherokee 82.32 Chester 76.55 Chesterfield 74.34 Clarendon 49.95 Colleton 73.22 Darlington 66.91 Dillon 70.65 Dorchester 93.38 Edgefield 80.25 Fairfield 75.77 Florence 60.13 Georgetown 63.89 Greenville 176.38 Greenwood 65.35 Hampton 65.08 Horry 81.88 Jasper 73.77 Kershaw 83.00 Lancaster 106.85 Laurens 91.99 Lee 61.48 Lexington 108.14 Marion 63.18 Marlboro 58.87 McCormick 47.98 Newberry 73.60 Oconee 144.07 Orangeburg 68.61 Pickens 151.33 Richland 95.31 Saluda 77.43 Spartanburg 134.74 Sumter 62.98 Union 59.79 Williamsburg 56.63 York 136.57 South Dakota Aurora 65.71 Beadle 79.69 Bennett 15.72 Bon Homme 81.26 Brookings 118.58 Brown 81.19 Brule 63.38 Buffalo 32.91 Butte 17.22 Campbell 35.48 Charles Mix 65.47 Clark 70.51 Clay 123.07 Codington 74.68 Corson 18.19 Custer 31.90 Davison 94.41 Day 53.19 Deuel 82.13 Dewey 15.93 Douglas 79.41 Edmunds 61.01 Fall River 14.33 Faulk 54.13 Grant 83.27 Gregory 33.98 Haakon 16.73 Hamlin 99.42 Hand 53.08 Hanson 104.22 Harding 11.69 Hughes 54.61 Hutchinson 91.48 Hyde 38.68 Jackson 22.12 Jerauld 54.75 Jones 20.24 Kingsbury 92.35 Lake 113.57 Lawrence 39.48 Lincoln 151.38 Lyman 27.90 Marshall 62.20 McCook 118.20 McPherson 42.58 Meade 18.75 Mellette 19.90 Miner 89.40 Minnehaha 143.21 Moody 141.75 Pennington 19.44 Perkins 14.96 Potter 55.62 Roberts 70.44 Sanborn 66.16 Shannon 12.80 Spink 82.82 Stanley 25.53 Sully 43.41 Todd 14.23 Tripp 31.10 Turner 120.11 Union 139.49 Walworth 41.22 Yankton 115.28 Ziebach 13.22 Tennessee Anderson 162.76 Bedford 106.20 Benton 62.29 Bledsoe 97.44 Blount 189.30 Bradley 151.15 Campbell 103.84 Cannon 86.09 Carroll 68.09 Carter 145.56 Cheatham 118.67 Chester 53.57 Claiborne 85.22 Clay 77.23 Cocke 101.93 Coffee 98.38 Crockett 78.82 Cumberland 105.82 Davidson 172.90 Decatur 59.75 DeKalb 89.18 Dickson 92.51 Dyer 69.69 Fayette 87.30 Fentress 89.14 Franklin 108.32 Gibson 85.88 Giles 81.64 Grainger 105.68 Greene 112.63 Grundy 79.59 Hamblen 130.13 Hamilton 157.13 Hancock 63.85 Hardeman 70.97 Hardin 70.35 Hawkins 97.90 Haywood 100.26 Henderson 61.35 Henry 77.23 Hickman 66.53 Houston 63.05 Humphreys 79.03 Jackson 80.42 Jefferson 150.08 Johnson 132.39 Knox 213.16 Lake 91.47 Lauderdale 86.92 Lawrence 73.61 Lewis 72.33 Lincoln 93.69 Loudon 150.70 Macon 95.15 Madison 70.04 Marion 81.78 Marshall 83.86 Maury 101.41 McMinn 113.88 McNairy 59.96 Meigs 97.83 Monroe 125.27 Montgomery 119.78 Moore 98.04 Morgan 95.26 Obion 88.55 Overton 90.32 Perry 55.06 Pickett 80.74 Polk 124.23 Putnam 120.30 Rhea 97.24 Roane 141.32 Robertson 135.31 Rutherford 135.55 Scott 78.48 Sequatchie 89.94 Sevier 164.70 Shelby 127.46 Smith 73.86 Stewart 73.06 Sullivan 153.58 Sumner 135.17 Tipton 82.47 Trousdale 107.10 Unicoi 153.17 Union 80.25 Van Buren 103.42 Warren 99.18 Washington 178.35 Wayne 55.97 Weakley 82.72 White 104.67 Williamson 205.00 Wilson 123.19 Texas Anderson 64.80 Andrews 8.68 Angelina 83.64 Aransas 45.13 Archer 26.06 Armstrong 27.85 Atascosa 51.89 Austin 108.24 Bailey 21.32 Bandera 71.36 Bastrop 99.00 Baylor 27.52 Bee 49.44 Bell 81.12 Bexar 113.41 Blanco 125.23 Borden 15.50 Bosque 64.10 Bowie 60.10 Brazoria 80.43 Brazos 99.90 Brewster 12.42 Briscoe 22.09 Brooks 28.15 Brown 54.20 Burleson 76.09 Burnet 88.04 Caldwell 87.58 Calhoun 46.49 Callahan 40.00 Cameron 77.81 Camp 68.94 Carson 24.37 Cass 54.57 Castro 29.07 Chambers 52.88 Cherokee 65.43 Childress 20.36 Clay 41.79 Cochran 17.81 Coke 27.68 Coleman 40.07 Collin 140.46 Collingsworth 22.05 Colorado 87.65 Comal 139.00 Comanche 63.61 Concho 41.92 Cooke 86.55 Coryell 64.44 Cottle 16.39 Crane 15.63 Crockett 16.69 Crosby 22.65 Culberson 9.07 Dallam 24.97 Dallas 122.15 Dawson 20.89 Deaf Smith 26.19 Delta 48.38 Denton 161.88 DeWitt 69.20 Dickens 19.40 Dimmit 41.29 Donley 28.54 Duval 34.57 Eastland 52.65 Ector 12.81 Edwards 33.28 El Paso 51.32 Ellis 84.27 Erath 85.16 Falls 51.59 Fannin 67.85 Fayette 112.18 Fisher 28.67 Floyd 30.33 Foard 19.57 Fort Bend 108.47 Franklin 75.99 Freestone 55.63 Frio 54.10 Gaines 25.69 Galveston 95.46 Garza 18.38 Gillespie 112.85 Glasscock 23.71 Goliad 54.77 Gonzales 85.59 Gray 23.51 Grayson 99.53 Gregg 102.81 Grimes 102.38 Guadalupe 95.23 Hale 31.39 Hall 20.43 Hamilton 65.76 Hansford 24.50 Hardeman 23.18 Hardin 81.92 Harris 141.52 Harrison 75.36 Hartley 26.62 Haskell 19.60 Hays 164.24 Hemphill 19.60 Henderson 78.91 Hidalgo 80.46 Hill 59.67 Hockley 27.48 Hood 108.21 Hopkins 58.64 Houston 59.44 Howard 20.10 Hudspeth 14.90 Hunt 80.96 Hutchinson 20.20 Irion 24.87 Jack 51.82 Jackson 55.99 Jasper 83.41 Jeff Davis 12.71 Jefferson 43.91 Jim Hogg 35.36 Jim Wells 48.41 Johnson 108.01 Jones 29.47 Karnes 68.81 Kaufman 90.03 Kendall 126.82 Kenedy 17.42 Kent 22.62 Kerr 69.77 Kimble 46.95 King 16.09 Kinney 31.85 Kleberg 49.90 Knox 20.46 La Salle 51.72 Lamar 57.28 Lamb 30.66 Lampasas 66.52 Lavaca 77.65 Lee 84.73 Leon 66.39 Liberty 66.36 Limestone 50.10 Lipscomb 21.39 Live Oak 50.76 Llano 71.65 Loving 5.26 Lubbock 49.07 Lynn 23.84 Madison 74.14 Marion 58.91 Martin 27.35 Mason 62.71 Matagorda 52.52 Maverick 31.22 McCulloch 49.07 McLennan 68.64 McMullen 37.22 Medina 68.81 Menard 38.64 Midland 37.95 Milam 94.87 Mills 58.87 Mitchell 20.89 Montague 66.22 Montgomery 156.42 Moore 24.87 Morris 55.63 Motley 19.54 Nacogdoches 66.79 Navarro 54.37 Newton 53.08 Nolan 29.77 Nueces 41.03 Ochiltree 26.52 Oldham 15.63 Orange 88.01 Palo Pinto 63.77 Panola 55.66 Parker 132.78 Parmer 27.55 Pecos 13.44 Polk 72.38 Potter 14.50 Presidio 12.22 Rains 66.82 Randall 26.59 Reagan 12.88 Real 39.14 Red River 44.04 Reeves 7.12 Refugio 24.17 Roberts 17.42 Robertson 63.41 Rockwall 154.60 Runnels 34.27 Rusk 57.91 Sabine 71.99 San Augustine 61.19 San Jacinto 75.10 San Patricio 42.32 San Saba 64.57 Schleicher 24.54 Scurry 22.52 Shackelford 28.94 Shelby 77.55 Sherman 28.54 Smith 100.30 Somervell 103.14 Starr 46.89 Stephens 37.05 Sterling 13.97 Stonewall 19.04 Sutton 25.00 Swisher 24.40 Tarrant 167.91 Taylor 30.00 Terrell 10.30 Terry 30.16 Throckmorton 31.75 Titus 68.21 Tom Green 30.20 Travis 101.65 Trinity 61.39 Tyler 77.45 Upshur 75.83 Upton 15.56 Uvalde 52.95 Val Verde 15.10 Van Zandt 84.53 Victoria 60.73 Walker 88.18 Waller 165.43 Ward 9.80 Washington 146.98 Webb 28.67 Wharton 67.32 Wheeler 21.75 Wichita 31.59 Wilbarger 26.49 Willacy 48.41 Williamson 102.91 Wilson 79.14 Winkler 9.60 Wise 101.06 Wood 75.56 Yoakum 21.42 Young 36.65 Zapata 30.96 Zavala 40.66 Utah Beaver 21.68 Box Elder 13.05 Cache 38.30 Carbon 13.21 Daggett 23.19 Davis 70.37 Duchesne 9.04 Emery 18.45 Garfield 24.68 Grand 6.28 Iron 20.47 Juab 13.02 Kane 15.30 Millard 15.25 Morgan 17.09 Piute 31.82 Rich 10.92 Salt Lake 51.35 San Juan 4.06 Sanpete 23.36 Sevier 32.77 Summit 24.76 Tooele 12.96 Uintah 6.87 Utah 57.86 Wasatch 41.43 Washington 39.68 Wayne 43.82 Weber 63.20 Vermont Addison 83.29 Bennington 114.28 Caledonia 87.09 Chittenden 117.60 Essex 50.97 Franklin 76.66 Grand Isle 104.16 Lamoille 99.74 Orange 84.76 Orleans 66.56 Rutland 74.36 Washington 109.80 Windham 109.39 Windsor 103.85 Virginia Accomack 101.16 Albemarle 241.69 Alleghany 85.77 Amelia 84.60 Amherst 100.64 Appomattox 78.60 Arlington 1,484.00 Augusta 172.69 Bath 115.00 Bedford 122.28 Bland 89.02 Botetourt 120.62 Brunswick 57.62 Buchanan 72.94 Buckingham 84.95 Campbell 82.39 Caroline 113.93 Carroll 94.02 Charles City 103.68 Charlotte 62.69 Chesapeake City 120.21 Chesterfield 147.09 Clarke 217.51 Craig 87.50 Culpeper 178.03 Cumberland 99.02 Dickenson 81.91 Dinwiddie 82.88 Essex 84.05 Fairfax 418.35 Fauquier 219.02 Floyd 99.99 Fluvanna 140.70 Franklin 97.82 Frederick 162.92 Giles 72.94 Gloucester 138.77 Goochland 150.64 Grayson 115.79 Greene 189.90 Greensville 56.00 Halifax 63.42 Hanover 153.64 Henrico 181.55 Henry 74.53 Highland 93.30 Isle of Wight 98.16 James City 241.97 King and Queen 85.26 King George 138.91 King William 103.06 Lancaster 126.38 Lee 60.79 Loudoun 330.61 Louisa 157.95 Lunenburg 65.69 Madison 174.34 Mathews 170.93 Mecklenburg 71.08 Middlesex 106.41 Montgomery 134.63 Nelson 126.45 New Kent 152.50 Northampton 119.21 Northumberland 82.84 Nottoway 86.12 Orange 186.21 Page 162.34 Patrick 92.09 Pittsylvania 67.07 Powhatan 158.13 Prince Edward 88.40 Prince George 116.00 Prince William 243.66 Pulaski 84.84 Rappahannock 233.03 Richmond 79.56 Roanoke 118.00 Rockbridge 118.59 Rockingham 194.73 Russell 59.93 Scott 57.31 Shenandoah 154.02 Smyth 76.98 Southampton 73.63 Spotsylvania 169.20 Stafford 253.04 Suffolk 124.80 Surry 98.85 Sussex 62.86 Tazewell 61.14 Virginia Beach City 146.78 Warren 197.01 Washington 108.65 Westmoreland 98.71 Wise 76.08 Wythe 93.47 York 137.77 Washington Adams 20.86 Asotin 14.42 Benton 46.38 Chelan 148.43 Clallam 211.18 Clark 214.38 Columbia 18.24 Cowlitz 147.29 Douglas 17.26 Ferry 7.20 Franklin 49.60 Garfield 16.05 Grant 58.08 Grays Harbor 35.62 Island 241.22 Jefferson 154.80 King 363.15 Kitsap 448.10 Kittitas 74.91 Klickitat 24.15 Lewis 106.64 Lincoln 18.85 Mason 140.55 Okanogan 22.47 Pacific 58.56 Pend Oreille 51.74 Pierce 240.99 San Juan 224.13 Skagit 128.52 Skamania 172.26 Snohomish 272.01 Spokane 48.18 Stevens 26.64 Thurston 147.22 Wahkiakum 79.51 Walla Walla 35.35 Whatcom 195.77 Whitman 23.68 Yakima 30.54 West Virginia Barbour 54.34 Berkeley 160.05 Boone 48.26 Braxton 45.45 Brooke 54.14 Cabell 83.32 Calhoun 42.29 Clay 52.05 Doddridge 52.33 Fayette 68.31 Gilmer 40.93 Grant 66.09 Greenbrier 78.88 Hampshire 100.11 Hancock 81.52 Hardy 78.88 Harrison 58.90 Jackson 61.36 Jefferson 191.04 Kanawha 60.18 Lewis 54.73 Lincoln 56.19 Logan 54.17 Marion 59.90 Marshall 61.12 Mason 58.76 McDowell 66.68 Mercer 61.78 Mineral 83.57 Mingo 39.40 Monongalia 85.90 Monroe 63.45 Morgan 124.26 Nicholas 70.95 Ohio 64.28 Pendleton 64.66 Pleasants 53.72 Pocahontas 61.19 Preston 68.59 Putnam 71.06 Raleigh 69.15 Randolph 50.45 Ritchie 44.44 Roane 47.71 Summers 61.09 Taylor 68.97 Tucker 85.03 Tyler 51.04 Upshur 64.49 Wayne 52.26 Webster 60.98 Wetzel 50.77 Wirt 45.66 Wood 64.84 Wyoming 57.61 Wisconsin Adams 105.88 Ashland 50.26 Barron 76.40 Bayfield 55.45 Brown 148.09 Buffalo 91.86 Burnett 67.12 Calumet 150.69 Chippewa 74.46 Clark 85.34 Columbia 137.65 Crawford 73.88 Dane 165.36 Dodge 146.18 Door 111.11 Douglas 47.43 Dunn 90.53 Eau Claire 81.96 Florence 85.03 Fond du Lac 136.53 Forest 56.20 Grant 113.63 Green 119.43 Green Lake 124.04 Iowa 108.96 Iron 62.99 Jackson 84.42 Jefferson 141.51 Juneau 84.05 Kenosha 137.52 Kewaunee 118.78 La Crosse 91.31 Lafayette 133.63 Langlade 75.58 Lincoln 67.46 Manitowoc 144.10 Marathon 79.61 Marinette 82.85 Marquette 93.60 Menominee 35.08 Milwaukee 258.21 Monroe 87.53 Oconto 89.33 Oneida 114.38 Outagamie 143.90 Ozaukee 153.08 Pepin 89.71 Pierce 108.03 Polk 77.84 Portage 89.88 Price 51.90 Racine 148.78 Richland 82.20 Rock 150.76 Rusk 55.59 Sauk 105.95 Sawyer 62.58 Shawano 98.07 Sheboygan 143.11 St. Croix 114.72 Taylor 59.75 Trempealeau 87.29 Vernon 90.12 Vilas 146.12 Walworth 167.44 Washburn 67.77 Washington 159.22 Waukesha 178.19 Waupaca 104.86 Waushara 94.42 Winnebago 114.76 Wood 85.92 Wyoming Albany 9.82 Big Horn 26.66 Campbell 10.10 Carbon 9.82 Converse 6.59 Crook 15.49 Fremont 15.18 Goshen 13.57 Hot Springs 12.19 Johnson 10.60 Laramie 12.54 Lincoln 31.41 Natrona 10.89 Niobrara 9.36 Park 24.45 Platte 12.54 Sheridan 14.38 Sublette 23.47 Sweetwater 3.53 Teton 55.52 Uinta 12.83 Washakie 15.49 Weston 8.16 [FR Doc. 2018-04835 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Parts 723, 724, 845, and 846 RIN 1029-AC75 [Docket ID: OSM-2017-0012; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 189S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A00 18XS501520] Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments AGENCY:

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act), which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (1990 Act), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance, this rule adjusts for inflation the level of civil monetary penalties assessed under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA).

DATES:

This rule is effective on March 12, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Kuhns, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 4550, Washington, DC 20240; Telephone (202) 208-2860. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background A. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 B. Calculation of Adjustments C. Effect of the Rule in Federal Program States and on Indian Lands D. Effect of the Rule on Approved State Programs II. Procedural Matters and Required Determinations 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 Energy Supply, Distribution, and Use (E.O. 13211) L. Clarity of This Regulation M. Data Quality Act N. Administrative Procedure Act I. Background A. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015

Section 518 of SMCRA, 30 U.S.C. 1268, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to assess civil monetary penalties (CMPs) for violations of SMCRA. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's (OSMRE) regulations implementing the CMP provisions of section 518 are located in 30 CFR parts 723, 724, 845, and 846. We are adjusting CMPs in four sections—30 CFR 723.14, 724.14, 845.14, and 846.14.

On November 2, 2015, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) (2015 Act) became law. The 2015 Act, which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (codified as amended at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note), requires Federal agencies to promulgate rules to adjust the level of CMPs to account for inflation. The 2015 Act required an initial “catch-up” adjustment. OSMRE published the initial adjustment in the Federal Register on July 8, 2016 (81 FR 44535), and the adjustment took effect on August 1, 2016. The 2015 Act also requires agencies to publish annual inflation adjustments in the Federal Register no later than January 15 of each year. These adjustments are aimed at maintaining the deterrent effect of civil penalties and furthering the policy goals of the statutes that authorize the penalties. Further, the 2015 Act provides that agencies must adjust civil monetary penalties “notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act.” Therefore, the public procedure that the APA generally requires for rulemaking—notice, an opportunity for comment, and a delay in the effective date—is not required for agencies to issue regulations implementing the annual CMP adjustments. See December 15, 2017, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies (M-18-03), from Mick Mulvaney, Director, Office of Management and Budget, Implementation of Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2018, Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (OMB Memorandum).

Pursuant to SMCRA and the 2015 Act, this final rule reflects the statutorily required CMP adjustments as follows:

CFR citation Points
  • (where
  • applicable)
  • Current
  • penalty
  • dollar
  • amounts
  • Adjusted
  • penalty
  • dollar
  • amounts
  • 30 CFR 723.14 1 $64 $65 2 129 132 3 193 197 4 257 262 5 321 328 6 386 394 7 450 459 8 514 524 9 578 590 10 643 656 11 707 721 12 771 787 13 835 852 14 900 918 15 965 985 16 1,029 1,050 17 1,093 1,115 18 1,158 1,182 19 1,222 1,247 20 1,286 1,312 21 1,350 1,378 22 1,415 1,444 23 1,479 1,509 24 1,543 1,574 25 1,607 1,640 26 1,929 1,968 27 2,250 2,296 28 2,571 2,623 29 2,770 2,827 30 3,215 3,281 31 3,536 3,608 32 3,857 3,936 33 4,179 4,264 34 4,500 4,592 35 4,822 4,920 36 5,143 5,248 37 5,465 5,577 38 5,786 5,904 39 6,107 6,232 40 6,428 6,559 41 6,751 6,889 42 7,072 7,216 43 7,393 7,544 44 7,715 7,872 45 8,036 8,200 46 8,358 8,529 47 8,679 8,856 48 9,001 9,185 49 9,322 9,512 50 9,643 9,840 51 9,964 10,167 52 10,287 10,497 53 10,608 10,825 54 10,929 11,152 55 11,251 11,481 56 11,572 11,808 57 11,893 12,136 58 12,215 12,464 59 12,537 12,793 60 12,858 13,120 61 13,179 13,448 62 13,501 13,777 63 13,823 14,105 64 14,144 14,433 65 14,465 14,760 66 14,787 15,089 67 15,108 15,416 68 15,429 15,744 69 15,751 16,072 70 16,073 16,401 30 CFR 723.15(b) (Assessment of separate violations for each day) 2,411 2,460 30 CFR 724.14(b) (Individual civil penalties) 16,073 16,401 30 CFR 845.14 1 64 65 2 129 132 3 193 197 4 257 262 5 321 328 6 386 394 7 450 459 8 514 524 9 578 590 10 643 656 11 707 721 12 771 787 13 835 852 14 900 918 15 965 985 16 1,029 1,050 17 1,093 1,115 18 1,158 1,182 19 1,222 1,247 20 1,286 1,312 21 1,350 1,378 22 1,415 1,444 23 1,479 1,509 24 1,543 1,574 25 1,607 1,640 26 1,929 1,968 27 2,250 2,296 28 2,571 2,623 29 2,770 2,827 30 3,215 3,281 31 3,536 3,608 32 3,857 3,936 33 4,179 4,264 34 4,500 4,592 35 4,822 4,920 36 5,143 5,248 37 5,465 5,577 38 5,786 5,904 39 6,107 6,232 40 6,428 6,559 41 6,751 6,889 42 7,072 7,216 43 7,393 7,544 44 7,715 7,872 45 8,036 8,200 46 8,358 8,529 47 8,679 8,856 48 9,001 9,185 49 9,322 9,512 50 9,643 9,840 51 9,964 10,167 52 10,287 10,497 53 10,608 10,825 54 10,929 11,152 55 11,251 11,481 56 11,572 11,808 57 11,893 12,136 58 12,215 12,464 59 12,537 12,793 60 12,858 13,120 61 13,179 13,448 62 13,501 13,777 63 13,823 14,105 64 14,144 14,433 65 14,465 14,760 66 14,787 15,089 67 15,108 15,416 68 15,429 15,744 69 15,751 16,072 70 16,073 16,401 30 CFR 845.15(b) (Assessment of separate violations for each day) 2,411 2,460 30 CFR 846.14(b) (Individual civil penalties) 16,073 16,401

    In the chart above, there are no numbers listed in the “Points” column relative to 30 CFR 723.15(b), 30 CFR 724.14(b), 30 CFR 845.15(b), and 30 CFR 846.14(b) because those regulatory provisions do not set forth numbers of points. For those provisions, the current regulations only set forth the dollar amounts shown in the chart in the “Current Penalty Dollar Amounts” column; the adjusted amounts, which we are adopting in this rule, are shown in the “Adjusted Penalty Dollar Amounts” column.

    B. Calculation of Adjustments

    OMB issued guidance on the 2018 annual adjustments for inflation. See OMB Memorandum (December 15, 2017). The OMB Memorandum notes that the 1990 Act defines “civil monetary penalty” as “any penalty, fine, or other sanction that . . . is for a specific monetary amount as provided by Federal law; or . . . has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; and . . . is assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; and . . . is assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the Federal courts . . . .” It further instructs that agencies “are to adjust `the maximum civil monetary penalty or the range of minimum and maximum civil monetary penalties, as applicable, for each civil monetary penalty by the cost-of-living adjustment.' ” See December 15, 2017 OMB Memorandum. The 1990 Act and the OMB Memorandum specify that the annual inflation adjustments are based on the percent change between the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (the CPI-U) published by the Department of Labor for the month of October in the year of the previous adjustment, and the October CPI-U for the preceding year. The recent OMB Memorandum specified that the cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2018, not seasonally adjusted, is 1.02041 (the October 2017 CPI-U (246.663) divided by the October 2016 CPI-U (241.729) = 1.02041). OSMRE used this guidance to identify applicable CMPs and calculate the required inflation adjustments. The 1990 Act specifies that any resulting increases in CMPs must be rounded according to a stated rounding formula and that the increased CMPs apply only to violations that occur after the date the increase takes effect.

    Generally, OSMRE assigns points to a violation as described in 30 CFR 723.13 and 845.13. The CMP owed is based on the number of points received, ranging from one point to seventy points. For example, under our existing regulations in 30 CFR 845.14, a violation totaling 70 points would amount to a $16,073 CMP. To adjust this amount, we multiply $16,073 by the 2018 inflation factor of 1.02041, resulting in a raw adjusted amount of $16,401.05. Because the 2015 Act requires us to round any increase in the CMP amount to the nearest dollar, in this case a violation of 70 points would amount to a new CMP of $16,401. Pursuant to the 2015 Act, the increases in this Final Rule apply to CMPs assessed after the date the increases take effect, even if the associated violation predates the applicable increase.

    C. Effect of Rule in Federal Program States and on Indian Lands

    OSMRE directly regulates surface coal mining and reclamation operations within a State or on tribal lands if the State or tribe does not obtain its own approved program pursuant to section 503 of SMCRA, 30 U.S.C. 1253. The increases in CMPs contained in this rule will apply to the following Federal program states: Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington. The Federal programs for those States appear at 30 CFR parts 903, 905, 910, 912, 921, 922, 933, 937, 939, 941, 942, and 947, respectively. Under 30 CFR 750.18, the increase in CMPs also applies to Indian lands under the Federal program for Indian lands.

    D. Effect of the Rule on Approved State Programs

    As a result of litigation, see In re Permanent Surface Mining Regulation Litigation, No. 79-1144, Mem. Op. (D.D.C. May 16, 1980), 19 Env't. Rep. Cas. (BNA) 1477, state regulatory programs are not required to mirror all of the penalty provisions of our regulations. Thus, this rule has no effect on CMPs in states with SMCRA primacy.

    II. Procedural Matters and Required Determinations A. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that agency regulations exclusively implementing the annual inflation adjustments are not significant, provided they are consistent with the OMB Memorandum.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 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. E.O. 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, to the extent permitted by statute.

    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. As mentioned above, 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 the OMB Memorandum (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 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires agencies to adjust civil penalties annually for inflation “. . . notwithstanding Section 553 [of the Administrative Procedure Act].” Thus, no proposed rule will be published, and 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.

    (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. 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 Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

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

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

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 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's consultation policy, under Departmental Manual Part 512, Chapters 4 and 5, and under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and 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's tribal consultation policy is not required.

    I. 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 (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 the rule is covered by a categorical exclusion. This rule is excluded from the requirement to prepare a detailed statement because it is a regulation of an administrative nature. (For further information 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.

    K. Effects on Energy Supply, Distribution, and Use (E.O. 13211)

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

    L. Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 (section 1(b)(12)), 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 we publish 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 believe that we have not met these requirements in issuing this final rule, please contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Your comments should be as specific as possible in order to help us determine whether any future revisions to the rule are necessary. For example, you should tell us 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.

    M. Data Quality Act

    In developing this rule, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554).

    N. Administrative Procedure Act

    We are issuing this final rule without prior public notice or opportunity for public comment. As discussed above, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires agencies to publish adjusted penalties annually. Under the 2015 Act, the public procedure that the Administrative Procedure Act generally requires—notice, an opportunity for comment, and a delay in the effective date—is not required for agencies to issue regulations implementing the annual adjustments required by the 2015 Act. See OMB Memorandum, M-18-03, at 4.

    List of Subjects 30 CFR Part 723

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    30 CFR Part 724

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    30 CFR Part 845

    Administrative practice and procedure, Law enforcement, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    30 CFR Part 846

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: February 21, 2018. Joseph R. Balash, Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management.

    For the reasons given in the preamble, the Department of the Interior amends 30 CFR parts 723, 724, 845, and 846 as set forth below.

    PART 723—CIVIL PENALTIES 1. The authority citation for part 723 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., and 31 U.S.C. 3701.

    2. In § 723.14, revise the table to read as follows:
    § 723.14 Determination of amount of penalty. Points Dollars 1 65 2 132 3 197 4 262 5 328 6 394 7 459 8 524 9 590 10 656 11 721 12 787 13 852 14 918 15 985 16 1,050 17 1,115 18 1,182 19 1,247 20 1,312 21 1,378 22 1,444 23 1,509 24 1,574 25 1,640 26 1,968 27 2,296 28 2,623 29 2,827 30 3,281 31 3,608 32 3,936 33 4,264 34 4,592 35 4,920 36 5,248 37 5,577 38 5,904 39 6,232 40 6,559 41 6,889 42 7,216 43 7,544 44 7,872 45 8,200 46 8,529 47 8,856 48 9,185 49 9,512 50 9,840 51 10,167 52 10,497 53 10,825 54 11,152 55 11,481 56 11,808 57 12,136 58 12,464 59 12,793 60 13,120 61 13,448 62 13,777 63 14,105 64 14,433 65 14,760 66 15,089 67 15,416 68 15,744 69 16,072 70 16,401
    3. In § 723.15, revise paragraph (b) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 723.15 Assessment of separate violations for each day.

    (b) In addition to the civil penalty provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, whenever a violation contained in a notice of violation or cessation order has not been abated within the abatement period set in the notice or order or as subsequently extended pursuant to section 521(a) of the Act, 30 U.S.C. 1271(a), a civil penalty of not less than $2,460 will be assessed for each day during which such failure to abate continues, except that:

    PART 724—INDIVIDUAL CIVIL PENALTIES 4. The authority citation for part 724 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., and 31 U.S.C. 3701.

    5. In § 724.14, revise the first sentence of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 724.14 Amount of individual civil penalty.

    (b) The penalty will not exceed $16,401 for each violation. * * *

    PART 845—CIVIL PENALTIES 6. The authority citation for part 845 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., 31 U.S.C. 3701, Pub. L. 100-202, and Pub. L. 100-446.

    7. In § 845.14, revise the table to read as follows:
    § 845.14 Determination of amount of penalty. Points Dollars 1 65 2 132 3 197 4 262 5 328 6 394 7 459 8 524 9 590 10 656 11 721 12 787 13 852 14 918 15 985 16 1,050 17 1,115 18 1,182 19 1,247 20 1,312 21 1,378 22 1,444 23 1,509 24 1,574 25 1,640 26 1,968 27 2,296 28 2,623 29 2,827 30 3,281 31 3,608 32 3,936 33 4,264 34 4,592 35 4,920 36 5,248 37 5,577 38 5,904 39 6,232 40 6,559 41 6,889 42 7,216 43 7,544 44 7,872 45 8,200 46 8,529 47 8,856 48 9,185 49 9,512 50 9,840 51 10,167 52 10,497 53 10,825 54 11,152 55 11,481 56 11,808 57 12,136 58 12,464 59 12,793 60 13,120 61 13,448 62 13,777 63 14,105 64 14,433 65 14,760 66 15,089 67 15,416 68 15,744 69 16,072 70 16,401
    8. In § 845.15, revise paragraph (b) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 845.15 Assessment of separate violations for each day.

    (b) In addition to the civil penalty provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, whenever a violation contained in a notice of violation or cessation order has not been abated within the abatement period set in the notice or order or as subsequently extended pursuant to section 521(a) of the Act, 30 U.S.C. 1271(a), a civil penalty of not less than $2,460 will be assessed for each day during which such failure to abate continues, except that:

    PART 846—INDIVIDUAL CIVIL PENALTIES 9. The authority citation for part 846 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., and 31 U.S.C. 3701.

    10. In § 846.14, revise the first sentence of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 846.14 Amount of individual civil penalty.

    (b) The penalty will not exceed $16,401 for each violation. * * *

    [FR Doc. 2018-04909 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-1047] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Black River, Port Huron, MI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the Military Street Bridge, mile 0.33, the Seventh Street Bridge, mile 0.50, the Tenth Street Bridge, mile 0.94, and the Canadian National Railroad Bridge, mile 1.56, across the Black River at Port Huron, MI. This rule will modify the operating schedules of the bridges by expanding winter hours, and also modifies the operating schedule of all City of Port Huron drawbridges.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 11, 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 D. Soule, Bridge Management Specialist, Ninth Coast Guard District; telephone 216-902-6085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register IGLD85 International Great Lakes Datum of 1985 LWD Low Water Datum based on IGLD85 OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Advance, Supplemental) § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On December 11, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Black River, Port Huron, MI in the Federal Register (82 FR 58145). We did not receive any comments on this proposed rule.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

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

    The Black River flows southwest through the City of Port Huron, MI and empties into the St. Clair River just below the south end of Lake Huron. Large commercial freighters once traveled up the Black River to facilities past the Canadian National Railroad Bridge, but currently the river is mostly used by recreational vessels with a few small commercial vessels operating in the river. Large commercial vessels do not currently trade in the Black River.

    The Military Street Bridge provides a horizontal clearance of 73 feet and a vertical clearance of 13 feet above LWD in the closed position.

    The Seventh Street Bridge provides a horizontal clearance of 83 feet and a vertical clearance of 12 feet above LWD in the closed position.

    The Tenth Street Bridge provides a horizontal clearance of 90 feet and a vertical clearance of 18 feet above LWD in the closed position.

    The Canadian National Railroad Bridge provides a horizontal clearance of 80 feet and a vertical clearance of 14 feet above LWD in the closed position.

    The CSX Railroad Bridge, mile 0.09, is out of service and locked in the fully open position.

    All five drawbridges provide an unlimited vertical clearance in the open position.

    The CSX Railroad Bridge and Canadian National Railroad Bridge are not included in the existing regulation.

    The current regulation allows the Military Street Bridge and the Seventh Street Bridge to operate on the hour and half-hour between May 1 and October 31, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, except Federal Holidays. In April and November, between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., both bridges require a 3-hour advance notice for openings.

    The Tenth Street Bridge is currently required to open on signal from May 1 through October 31, except from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. a 1-hour advance notice is required for openings. In April and November the bridge requires a 3-hour advance notice for openings at all times.

    From December 1 through March 31 all three highway bridges requires at least 24 hours notice for openings.

    As noted above, both the CSX Railroad and Canadian National Railroad bridges are not included in the existing regulation.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard provided a comment period of 30 days and no comments were received. The City of Port Huron operates the three highway bridges and requested the winter operating dates to be expanded due to a lack of openings, use of the waterway has substantially changed, and early development of ice in the river that prevents most recreational vessels from transiting the waterway between November 1 and April 30. They requested the winter operating schedules (with 12-hours advance notice from vessels) to apply November 1 through April 30 each year.

    In addition to reviewing winter operating dates we have reviewed the current operating schedules for all drawbridges on the waterway. During our coordination with the City of Port Huron and stakeholders, concerns were also received regarding vehicle congestion and predictable bridge openings when the Military Street and Seventh Street Bridges are opened simultaneously for vessels. Both bridges currently open on the hour and half-hour.

    This rule alternates, or staggers, openings of the three highway bridges with Military Street and Tenth Street opening on the hour and half-hour, and Seventh Street (the middle highway bridge), on the quarter and three-quarter-hour, thereby providing predictable bridge openings and avoiding all of the highway bridges opening simultaneously, and allowing continuous vessel movements through the highway bridges. To prevent congestion at the bridges, the drawbridges will open at any time five or more vessels are waiting for an opening. This rule is expected to reduce vehicular traffic congestion and delays, and reduce the chance vessels will be stuck between the highway bridges and waiting for extended times for bridge openings.

    The Tenth Street Bridge is the furthest upriver highway bridge and provides a higher vertical clearance than the Military Street or the Seventh Street drawbridges, allowing most vessels to pass under the bridge without an opening. The volume of marine traffic and upriver marine facilities that require Tenth Street Bridge openings is significantly lower than Military and Seventh Street Bridges but the vehicular traffic is considerably higher than the other highway bridges. Between May 1 and October 31 this rule will allow the Tenth Street Bridge to open on the hour and half-hour from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. From 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. the bridge will require a 1-hour advance notice for openings. This schedule will provide predictable bridge openings for vehicles to cross the river at any time while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation. Between November 1 and April 30 the bridge will require a 12-hours advance notice to open.

    The Canadian National Railroad Bridge normally remains in the open to navigation position and only closes to navigation to accommodate the passage of trains. This rule will add the Canadian National Bridge to the current regulation. The bridge will open on signal at all times between May 1 and October 31, and will open if 12-hours advance notice is provided between November 1 and April 30, matching the winter schedules of the highway bridges.

    This rule was coordinated with the City of Port Huron, MI, local marine facilities, local emergency responders (including Coast Guard units), and local marine stakeholders. It is expected to reflect the current usage of the waterway by marine entities during the navigation season and winter periods, improve both marine and vehicular traffic mobility by reducing congestion and delays, simplify the schedules and language in the existing regulation, and provide for the reasonable needs of navigation.

    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. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Executive order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. 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 ability that vessels can still transit the bridge given advanced notice.

    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 did not receive any 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.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV above this final rule would 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.625 to read as follows:
    § 117.625 Black River (Port Huron).

    (a) The draw of the Military Street Bridge, mile 0.33, shall open on signal; except that, from May 1 through October 31, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour for recreational vessels, or at any time when there are more than five vessels waiting for an opening, and from November 1 through April 30 if at least 12-hours advance notice is given.

    (b) The draw of the Seventh Street Bridge, mile 0.50, shall open on signal; except that, from May 1 through October 31, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, the draw need open only on the quarter-hour and three-quarter-hour for recreational vessels, or at any time when there are more than five vessels waiting for an opening, and from November 1 through April 30 if at least 12-hours advance notice is given.

    (c) The draw of the Tenth Street Bridge, mile 0.94, shall open on signal; except that, from May 1 through October 31, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour for recreational vessels, or at any time when there are more than five vessels waiting for an opening, and from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. if at least 1-hour advance notice is provided, and from November 1 through April 30 if at least 12-hours notice is given.

    (d) The draw of the Canadian National Railroad Bridge, mile 1.56, shall open on signal; except from November 1 through April 30 if at least 12-hours advance notice is given.

    Dated: Febuary 23, 2018. J.M. Nunan Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04914 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter VI Federal Preemption and State Regulation of the Department of Education's Federal Student Loan Programs and Federal Student Loan Servicers AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Interpretation.

    SUMMARY:

    Recently, several States have enacted regulatory regimes that impose new regulatory requirements on servicers of loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program). States also impose disclosure requirements on loan servicers with respect to loans made under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). Finally, State regulations impact Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program servicing. The Department believes such regulation is preempted by Federal law. The Department issues this notice to clarify further the Federal interests in this area.

    DATES:

    March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathleen Smith, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, 830 First Street NE, Union Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5453. Telephone: (202) 377-4533 or via email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Congress created and expanded the Direct Loan Program with the goal of simplifying the delivery of student loans to borrowers, eliminating borrower confusion, avoiding unnecessary costs to taxpayers, and creating a more streamlined student loan program that could be managed more effectively at the Federal level.

    Recently, several States have enacted regulatory regimes or applied existing State consumer protection statutes that undermine these goals by imposing new regulatory requirements on the Department's Direct Loan servicers, including State licensure to service Federal student loans. State servicing laws are purportedly aimed only at student loan servicers, but such regulation affects the “[o]bligations and rights of the United States under its contracts” with servicers and with student loan borrowers, the “relationship between a Federal agency and the entity it regulates,” and the rights of the Federal government related to federally held debt. (Boyle v. United Technologies Corp., 487 U.S. 500, 504-05 (1988); Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs' Legal Comm., 531 U.S. 341, 347 (2001); United States v. Victory Highway Vill., Inc., 662 F.2d 488, 497 (8th Cir. 1981).) Accordingly, the servicing of Direct Loans is an area “involving uniquely Federal interests” that must be “governed exclusively by Federal law.” (Boyle, 487 U.S. at 504.)

    A. Interest of the United States

    Recently, the United States filed a Statement of Interest in a lawsuit brought by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against a Department loan servicer alleging violations of Massachusetts State law for allegedly unfair or deceptive acts related to the servicing of Federal student loans and administration of programs under the HEA. (Statement of Interest by the United States, Massachusetts v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, d/b/a FedLoan Servicing, No. 1784-CV-02682 (Mass. Super. Ct., filed Jan. 8, 2018).) The United States explained that Massachusetts is improperly seeking to impose requirements on the Department's servicers that conflict with the HEA, Federal regulations, and Federal contracts that govern the Federal loan programs. Accordingly, Massachusetts' claims are preempted because the State has sought to proscribe conduct Federal law requires and to require conduct Federal law prohibits. We believe that attempts by other States to impose similar requirements will create additional conflicts with Federal law.

    This is not a new position. The United States has previously responded when State law has been utilized in a way that conflicts with the operation and purposes of loan programs the Department administers pursuant to the HEA. On October 1, 1990, the Department issued a notice of its interpretation of regulations governing the FFEL Program (then known as the Guaranteed Student Loan program) (55 FR 40120) that prescribe the actions lenders and guaranty agencies must take to collect loans. The Department explained its view that these regulations preempt State law regarding the conduct of these loan collection activities.

    In 2009, the United States intervened in Chae v. SLM Corporation, 593 F.3d 936 (9th Cir. 2010), a case in which plaintiffs sought to apply State consumer protection laws to a FFEL Program loan servicer, to explain that the State laws on which the plaintiffs relied conflicted with Federal law. (Brief of Plaintiff-Intervenor-Appellee, Chae v. SLM Corp., 593 F.3d 936 (9th Cir. 2010) (No. 08-56154).) The Ninth Circuit concluded, among other things, that the precisely detailed provisions of the HEA “show congressional intent that FFELP participants be held to clear, uniform standards.” (Chae, 593 F.3d at 944.) The court held that State-law claims alleging misrepresentation were preempted by the HEA's express preemption of State-law disclosure requirements, and that other State-law claims “would create an obstacle to the achievement of congressional purposes” and were therefore barred by conflict preemption principles. (Id. at 950.)

    The Department issues this notice to clarify its view that State regulation of the servicing of Direct Loans impedes uniquely Federal interests, and that State regulation of the servicing of the FFEL Program is preempted to the extent that it undermines uniform administration of the program.

    B. Direct Loan Program

    Congress created the Direct Loan Program as part of the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-66). Under the program, the Federal government is the direct lender to the borrower and is responsible for all aspects of the lending process from loan origination through repayment, including the proper servicing and collection of the loan. In signing the Master Promissory Note for the loan, the borrower promises to repay the loan and any applicable interest and fees according to the terms and conditions outlined in the HEA, the Department's regulations, and the Note. (20 U.S.C. 1087e.)

    Congress provided that the program would be administered by the Department through student loan servicers, directing the Secretary to enter into contracts for loan “servicing” and for “such other aspects of the direct student loan program as the Secretary determines are necessary to ensure the successful operation of the program.” (20 U.S.C. 1087f(b)(4).) The HEA directs the Secretary to award servicing contracts only to entities “which the Secretary determines are qualified to provide such services” and “that have extensive and relevant experience and demonstrated effectiveness.” (20 U.S.C. 1087f(a)(2).) When procuring such services, the Department must, with specific exceptions, abide by “all applicable Federal procurement laws and regulations,” which include the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). (20 U.S.C. 1087f(a), 1018a.) To achieve its goals of streamlining and simplifying the delivery of student loans and of saving taxpayer dollars (See 139 Cong. Rec. S5585, S5628 (1993)), Congress designed a program in which servicing would be “provided at competitive prices” by entities “selected by and responsible to the Department of Education.” (20 U.S.C. 1087f(a)(1); H.R. Rep. No. 103-111, at 107 (1993).)

    The HEA and the Department's regulations provide comprehensive rules governing the Direct Loan Program, and the Department's contracts with loan servicers further specify the program's rules and requirements. As the United States recently noted in the Statement of Interest in Massachusetts v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority, “The Department's contract with [the loan servicer] is voluminous—spanning more than 600 pages and including provisions governing [the servicer's] financial controls, internal monitoring, communications with borrowers, and many other topics.” (Statement of Interest at 5.) In its contracts with loan servicers, including task orders and change requests issued under those contracts, the Department specifies in detail the responsibilities and obligations of the servicers for Direct Loans and the benefits provided under that program such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.

    Recently, States have sought to impose requirements on servicers that conflict with Federal statutes, Department regulations, and these comprehensive contracts. Most notable are State regulations requiring licensure of Direct Loan servicers in order to perform work for the Federal government. “A State may not enforce licensing requirements which, though valid in the absence of federal regulation, give `the State's licensing board a virtual power of review over the federal determination' that a person or agency is qualified and entitled to perform certain functions, or which impose upon the performance of activity sanctioned by federal license additional conditions not contemplated by Congress.” (Sperry v. Florida, 373 U.S. 379, 385 (1963) (quoting Leslie Miller Inc. v. Arkansas, 352 U.S. 187, 190 (1956)) (footnotes omitted).)

    Such licensing requirements “interfere[] with the federal government's power to select contractors” and to determine whether contractors are “responsible” under Federal law. (Gartrell Const. Inc. v. Aubry, 940 F.2d 437, 438 (9th Cir. 1991).) With regard to responsibility determinations of prospective contract awardees, the Department follows FAR Subpart 9.1 (48 CFR 9.100 through 9.108-5). The Department selects contractors for Direct Loan servicing under 20 U.S.C. 1087f and 1018a. State-imposed registration and licensure requirements conflict with these Federal authorities by adding to Federal requirements and are thus preempted. (See United States v. Virginia, 139 F.3d 984, 989 (4th Cir. 1998).)

    For example, a State may purport to require a Direct Loan servicer, as a condition of licensure, to demonstrate that it has adopted certain business standards set by the State regulator; to meet certain financial responsibility requirements such as liquidity, financial solvency, capitalization, and surety bond requirements; and to submit to investigations, audits, and background checks by State authorities. Federal law addresses standards of responsibility for prospective contractors, and a State may not, “through its licensing requirements, . . . review the federal government's responsibility determination.” (Gartrell, 940 F.2d at 439.)

    Some State servicing laws also purport to impose regulatory requirements on servicing that create additional conflicts with Federal law. For example, some State laws impose deadlines on servicers for responding to borrower inquiries and require specific procedures to resolve borrower disputes. Such laws establish deadlines for completing transfers of loans from one servicer to another and specific protocols for applying overpayments on loans. These are matters specified in the laws and regulations governing the Direct Loan Program as well as the contractual arrangements between the Department and the servicer. The Department has enforcement authority to oversee servicer compliance with these requirements, and “this authority is used by the [Department] to achieve a somewhat delicate balance of statutory objectives.” (Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs' Legal Committee, 531 U.S. 341, 348 (2001).) The interposition of State-law requirements may conflict with legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements, and may skew the balance the Department has sought in calibrating its enforcement decisions to the objectives of the program.

    State servicing laws also may undermine Congress's goal of saving taxpayer dollars in administering the Direct Loan Program. Some State laws purport to impose licensing fees, assessments, minimum net worth requirements, surety bonds, data disclosure requirements, and annual reporting requirements on the Department's servicers that will increase the costs of student loan servicing, perhaps exceeding the amount a servicer receives on a per loan basis under its contract with the Department, and certainly distorting the balance the Department has sought to achieve between costs to servicers and taxpayers and the benefits of services delivered to borrowers. Additionally, where State servicing laws go beyond the requirements of Federal law in restricting the actions a servicer may take to collect on a loan, such laws impede the ability of the Department to protect Federal taxpayers by ensuring the repayment of Federal loans. The Department's contracts require servicers to operate throughout the United States because loan borrowers are in all States. A servicer does not have the choice to refrain from operating in a particular State to avoid licensing fees and other costs imposed by the State. Rather, the States are using the servicers' compliance with Federal law and contracts to extract payments that benefit the State at the expense of the Federal taxpayer.

    A requirement that Federal student loan servicers comply with 50 different State-level regulatory regimes would significantly undermine the purpose of the Direct Loan Program to establish a uniform, streamlined, and simplified lending program managed at the Federal level. As courts have recognized, Congress provided “a clear command for uniformity” in the HEA with respect to the FFEL Program, and then “created a policy of inter-program uniformity by requiring that `loans made to borrowers [under the Direct Loan Program] shall have the same terms, conditions, and benefits, and be available in the same amounts, as loans made to borrowers under [the FFEL Program].' ” (Chae, 593 F.3d at 945 (quoting 20 U.S.C. 1087e(a)(1)).) Indeed, “Congress's instructions to the [Department] on how to implement the student-loan statutes carry this unmistakable command: Establish a set of rules that will apply across the board.” (Id.) State regulatory regimes conflict with this congressional objective.

    Uniformity not only reduces costs but also helps to ensure that borrowers are treated equitably and are not confused about the lending and repayment process. State-level regulation subjects borrowers to different loan servicing deadlines and processes depending on where the borrower happens to live, and at what point in time.

    These conflicts with statutes, regulations, Federal contracts, and congressional objectives suggest that State regulation of loan servicers would be preempted by Federal law. That result is even more evident where, as in the Direct Loan Program, State regulation implicates uniquely Federal interests. As the Supreme Court has recognized, “obligations to and rights of the United States under its contracts are governed exclusively by Federal law,” and this area of Federal concern extends to “liability to third persons” that “arises out of performance of the contract.” (Boyle v. United Technologies Corp., 487 U.S. 500, 504-05 (1988).) Here, there is no question that the “imposition of liability on Government contractors will directly affect the terms of Government contracts,” at the very least by raising the price of such contracts, and “the interests of the United States will be directly affected.” (Id. at 507.)

    Moreover, “the civil liability of Federal officials for actions taken in the course of their duty” is another area “of peculiarly Federal concern, warranting the displacement of State law.” (Id. at 505.) This area extends to the liability of contractors performing their obligations under contracts with the Federal government because “there is obviously implicated the same interest in getting the Government's work done.” (Id.) Here, the loan servicers are acting pursuant to a contract with the Federal government, and the servicers stand in the shoes of the Federal government in performing required actions under the Direct Loan Program.

    “[W]here the Federal interest requires a uniform rule, the entire body of State law applicable to the area conflicts and is replaced by Federal rules.” (Id. at 508.) The disposition of federally held debt such as government-issued loans is a Federal interest that requires uniformity because State intervention harms the Federal fisc.1 Accordingly, the Department believes that the statutory and regulatory provisions and contracts governing the Direct Loan Program preclude State regulation, either of borrowers or servicers.

    1See, e.g., United States v. Scholnick, 606 F.2d 160, 164 (6th Cir. 1979) (holding that “in any consideration of remedies available upon default of a Federally held or insured loan, Federal interest predominates over State interest” because of “an overriding Federal interest in protecting the funds of the United States and in securing Federal investments”); United States v. Wells, 403 F.2d 596, 597-98 (5th Cir. 1968) (“The national loan program of the Veterans Administration cannot be subjected to the vagaries of the various State laws which might otherwise control all or some phases of the loan program.”).

    C. Prohibited Disclosure Requirements

    Congress has provided that “[l]oans made, insured, or guaranteed pursuant to a program authorized by title IV of the [HEA] shall not be subject to any disclosure requirements of any State law.” (20 U.S.C. 1098g.) As a Federal district court recently explained, “Congress intended [section] 1098g to preempt any State law requiring lenders to reveal facts or information not required by Federal law.” (Nelson v. Great Lakes Educ. Loan Servs., No. 3:17-CV-183, 2017 WL 6501919, at *4 (S.D. Ill., Dec. 19, 2017).) Federal law provides a carefully crafted disclosure regime specifying what information must be provided in the context of the Federal loan programs. (See, e.g., 20 U.S.C. 1078-3(b)(1)(F); 1083(e)(1) and (2); 34 CFR 668.41(b); 674.42; 674.31; and 682.205.) The Department interprets “disclosure requirements” under section 1098g of the HEA to encompass informal or non-written communications to borrowers as well as reporting to third parties such as credit reporting bureaus.

    The United States previously addressed the scope of section 1098g in its submission to the Ninth Circuit in Chae. A State-law claim based on “a purported failure of disclosure runs headlong into express statutory preemption provisions,” according to the United States; “[s]uch additional requirements are barred whether they are enacted legislatively or implied judicially in the context of a tort suit.” (Brief of Plaintiff-Intervenor-Appellee at 11.) In Chae, the court held that State-law claims alleging misrepresentation by a student loan servicer were “improper-disclosure claims” and, therefore, preempted pursuant to section 1098g. (Chae, 593 F.3d at 942.) The court found the “allegations in substance to be a challenge to the allegedly-misleading method [the servicer] used to communicate with the plaintiffs about its practices.” (Id. at 942-43.) As the court explained, “the State-law prohibition on misrepresenting a business practice `is merely the converse' of a State-law requirement that alternate disclosures be made.” (Id. at 943 (quoting Cipollone v. Liggett Grp., 505 U.S. 504, 517 (1992)).)

    To the extent that State servicing laws attempt to impose new prohibitions on misrepresentation or the omission of material information, those laws would also run afoul of the express preemption provision in 20 U.S.C. 1098g.

    D. FFEL Program Loans

    The HEA and Department regulations governing the FFEL Program preempt State servicing laws that conflict with, or impede the uniform administration of, the program. State laws that require FFEL Program servicers to respond to a borrower's inquiry or dispute within a certain period of time, for example, conflict with the applicable Federal regulation that allows servicers 30 days after receipt to respond to any inquiry from a borrower. (34 CFR 682.208(c).) Deadlines for notifying borrowers of loan transfers between servicers similarly conflict with Federal statutes and regulations that allow for 45 days for notification. (20 U.S.C. 1078(b)(2)(F); 34 CFR 682.208(e)(1).) These deadlines are set after careful consideration of the need for timely responses and notifications to borrowers balanced against the time the servicer needs to ensure an accurate response and the costs of doing so. A uniform response time is also vital given the congressional purpose to ensure borrowers are treated equally in the administration of the program.

    The imposition of required dispute resolution procedures under State law would also conflict with the specific Federal regulations that govern the resolution of disputes raised by borrowers. (See 34 CFR 682.208(c)(3)(i) and (ii).) State laws that require servicers to communicate directly with the authorized representatives of a borrower could conflict with Federal regulations that mandate direct communications with borrowers and provide for specific exceptions when a FFEL Program participant such as a servicer is authorized to communicate with a borrower's representative. (See, e.g., 20 U.S.C. 1083(a); 1092c; 1077(a)(2)(H); 34 CFR 682.205(a)(1) and (b); 682.209(a)(6)(iii); 682.402; 682.210.)

    Finally, the State servicing laws may conflict with two express preemption provisions applicable to FFEL Program Loans. Federal regulations “preempt any State law, including State statutes, regulations, or rules, that would conflict with or hinder satisfaction” of certain requirements regarding guaranty agency imposition of collection charges, reporting to consumer reporting agencies, and collection efforts on defaulted loans. (34 CFR 682.410(b)(8).) Federal regulations also preempt State laws that would conflict with or hinder the efforts of lenders or their servicers to satisfy and comply with the due diligence steps for loan collection included in those regulations. (34 CFR 682.411(o)(1).) Recently enacted State servicing laws appear to conflict with these preemption provisions.

    E. Existing Borrower Protections

    The Secretary emphasizes that the Department continues to oversee loan servicers to ensure that borrowers receive exemplary customer service and are protected from substandard practices. First, the Department monitors servicer compliance with the Department's contracts, which include requirements related to customer service. These oversight efforts include, but are not limited to, call monitoring, process monitoring, and servicer auditing, conducted both remotely and on-site by the Department's office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). FSA has dedicated staff with the responsibility to ensure that servicers are adhering to regulatory and contractual requirements for servicing loans. For example, FSA reviews interactions between servicers and borrowers and compares the servicers' performance against a detailed Department checklist. FSA provides its performance evaluations to servicers through written reports and meetings and requires servicers to alter their practices when needed to correct deficiencies. FSA also maintains direct access to servicer systems and therefore can review individual borrower accounts to evaluate the servicers' treatment of those accounts against regulatory and contractual requirements.

    Second, the Department's procurement and contracting requirements incentivize improved customer service by allocating more loans to servicers that meet performance metrics such as high levels of customer satisfaction and by paying servicers higher rates for loans that are in a non-delinquent status such as those enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. Poor-performing servicers lose loans in their portfolio to better-performing servicers.

    Third, FSA maintains a Feedback System, which includes a formal process for borrowers to report issues or file complaints about their loan experiences, including problems with servicing. Borrowers may also elevate complaints to the FSA Ombudsman Group—a neutral and confidential resource available to borrowers to resolve disputes related to their loans.

    The Department seeks to promote exemplary customer service for student loan borrowers, consistent with the framework Congress established for the Federal student loan programs.

    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 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: March 7, 2018. Betsy DeVos, <E T="03">Secretary of Education.</E>
    [FR Doc. 2018-04924 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AP98 Electronic Submission of Certain Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Forms AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in this final rule amends its regulations governing the Servicemembers' and Veterans' Group Life Insurance programs to provide that certain Servicemembers' Group Life insurance (SGLI), Family SGLI (FSGLI), and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) applications, elections, and beneficiary designations, required by statute to be “written” or “in writing,” would include those that are digitally or electronically signed and submitted via an agency-approved electronic means. This document adopts as a final rule, with minor changes, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2017.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ruth Berkheimer, Insurance Specialist, Department of Veterans Affairs Insurance Center, 5000 Wissahickon Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144, (215) 842-2000, ext. 4275 (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On September 6, 2017, VA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (82 FR 42052), to expressly allow for electronic submission of certain SGLI and VGLI applications, forms, and beneficiary designations, by adding § 9.22 to part 9 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations. New § 9.22(a)(1) defines the terms “in writing” and “written” for purposes of certain statutes in chapter 19, subchapter III, of title 38, United States Code, to mean an intentional recording of words in visual form and to include hard-copy documents containing a person's name or mark, written or made by that person, and documents submitted through a VA-approved electronic means that includes an electronic or digital signature that identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic message, and indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the electronic document.

    VA provided a 60-day comment period for the public to respond to the proposed rule. The comment period for the proposed rule ended on November 6, 2017, and VA received two comments, which were favorable. Both comments expressed support for accepting electronically or digitally-signed insurance forms, as it will make it easier for Servicemembers and Veterans to update their life insurance coverage information. As all comments received were favorable, the proposed rule is being adopted as final, with minor stylistic edits to conform with Code of Federal Regulations formatting.

    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).

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that the adoption of this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This final rule will directly affect only individuals and will not directly affect any small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number and title for the program affected by this document is 64.103, Life Insurance for Veterans.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 9

    Life insurance, Military personnel, Veterans.

    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 27, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: February 27, 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, VA amends 38 CFR part 9 as set forth below:

    PART 9—SERVICEMEMBERS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE AND VETERANS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501, 1965-1980A, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Add § 9.22 to read as follows:
    § 9.22 Submission of certain applications and forms affecting entitlement to Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance.

    (a)(1) For purposes of this section, the terms in writing and written mean an intentional recording of words in visual form and include:

    (i) Hard-copy applications and forms containing a person's name or mark written or made by that person; and

    (ii) Applications and forms submitted through a VA approved electronic means that include an electronic or digital signature that identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic message and indicates such person's approval of the information submitted through such means.

    (2) With regard to the following actions, applications or forms that satisfy the definition in paragraph (a)(1) of this section will be deemed to satisfy the requirement in the referenced statutes that an application, election, or beneficiary designation be “in writing” or “written”:

    (i) Decline Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance for the member or Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance for the member's insurable spouse (38 U.S.C. 1967(a)(2)(A) or (B));

    (ii) Insure the member under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance or the member's spouse under Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance in an amount less than the maximum amount of such insurance (38 U.S.C. 1967(a)(3)(B));

    (iii) Restore or increase coverage under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance for the member or under Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance for the member's insurable spouse (38 U.S.C. 1967(c));

    (iv) Designate one or more beneficiaries for the member's Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance or former member's Veterans' Group Life Insurance (38 U.S.C. 1970(a)); and

    (v) Increase the amount of coverage under Veterans' Group Life Insurance (38 U.S.C. 1977(a)(3)).

    (b) Applications or forms that satisfy the definition in paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be utilized to—

    (1) Apply for Veterans' Group Life Insurance; and

    (2) Reinstate Veterans' Group Life Insurance.

    [FR Doc. 2018-04877 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    POSTAL SERVICE 39 CFR Part 111 Revenue Deficiency AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service is amending the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) to clarify the Postal Service revenue deficiency policy.

    DATES:

    Effective: May 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janet Meddick at (202) 268-2652 or Pierre DeFelice at (724) 993-3596 or Garry Rodriguez at (202) 268-7281.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Postal Service published a notice of proposed rulemaking on December 13, 2017, (82 FR 58580-58582) to amend DMM section 604.10.0, Revenue Deficiency, to update the definition of a revenue deficiency; designate Postal Service contacts for submitting appeals; and add sections to provide the definition of a mailer, description of assessments and mailers responsibilities, and policy on assessed revenue deficiencies.

    The Postal Service received 3 formal responses on the proposed rule, all of which included multiple comments.

    Comments from the first responder are as follows:

    Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on deducting deficiencies directly from a trust account.

    USPS Response

    Action by the Postal Service to deduct funds from a mailer's trust account or any other funds in USPS possession would be a last resort effort to collect revenue due after the appeal process has been exhausted and the mailer has not made an appropriate payment arrangement.

    Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the timing and handling of due process notification on appeals.

    USPS Response

    The 30 day time frame listed in 3.2.1 is the time for a mailer to respond to the notification of a revenue deficiency assessment. Reasonable extensions for appeal will continue to be entertained for mailers that request such time to review documentation and data to formulate their response.

    Comments from the second responder are as follows:

    Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the expansion of liability, written notification, and due process.

    USPS Response

    The clarification of “mailer” contained in new section 3.1.1 is intended to ensure that the identification and responsibility of any error in preparation is assessed to the appropriate party(ies), mail owner, mail preparer, and/or list provider. It is not intended as an effort to collect more than what is owed. The definition of “Revenue Deficiency” in new 3.1.1(a) specifically states that a written notification to the mailer citing the amount of the deficiency and the circumstances is required. Accordingly, a policy requiring written notification of the deficiency to the assessed mailer is still in existence.

    Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the interest charge.

    USPS Response

    The 6% interest charge is per annum after a final agency decision is rendered by the Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) when the mailer is in default.

    Mailer Comment

    Clarification needed on the collection process.

    USPS Response

    The possible actions that the USPS may choose to enforce would only be applied if an assessed mailer, after a final agency decision has been rendered, fails to make payment, enter into a payment agreement, or otherwise fails to negotiate a settlement of the debt.

    Comments from the third responder are as follows:

    The third responder had numerous comments that were determined to be beyond the scope of this final rule. The Postal Service will review and address these comments in a separate forum with the responder.

    These revisions will ensure the proper payment of postage while providing a superb customer experience from sender to receiver.

    List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), incorporated by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. See 39 CFR 111.1.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is amended as follows:

    PART 111—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552(a); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-1737; 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.

    2. Revise the following sections of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) as follows: Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services 604 Postage Payment Methods and Refunds

    [Delete 10.0, Revenue Deficiency, in its entirety and renumber 11.0 and 12.0 as 10.0 and 11.0.]

    607 Mailer Compliance and Appeals of Classification Decisions

    [add new 3.0 to read as follows:]

    3.0 Revenue Deficiency 3.1 General

    The revenue deficiency process outlined in 3.0 is an administrative process that supplements and does not diminish any rights the Postal Service has to recover revenue deficiencies through other legally available methods, such as when the deficiency arises as a result of fraud, misrepresentation, or the misuse of PC Postage products or other Postage Evidencing Systems.

    3.1.1 Definitions

    Revenue deficiency definitions are as follows:

    a. Revenue deficiency: Means a shortage or underpayment of postage or fees that has been calculated and assessed to a mailer. Unless assessed under other applicable postal regulations, revenue deficiencies are generally assessed as provided herein by the Postmaster; manager, Business Mail Entry; the program manager, Revenue and Compliance, or other postal official, who issues a written notification to the mailer citing the amount of the deficiency and the circumstances.

    b. Mailer: A mailer is defined as the mail owner or an individual or entity that prepares or presents a mailing to the Postal Service and includes those who allow others to use a postage meter or PC postage product (collectively “postage evidence system”—see 604.4.1.1 and 604.4.1.2) that has been authorized for use by the individual or entity.

    3.1.2 Assessments

    Postal officials review mailings, postage statements, and other relevant documentation in assessing a revenue deficiency. Mailers are required to cooperate and provide any documentation or information requested by postal officials during the review and assessment process. A mailer's failure to provide requested documentation or information during a review may result in a negative inference concerning the documentation or information requested.

    3.1.3 Assessed Revenue Deficiencies

    Assessed revenue deficiencies may be subject to the following:

    a. If a mailer fails to tender payment to the Postal Service within 30 days of receipt of a final agency decision, or fails to comply with the terms or conditions of a payment plan agreed to by the Postal Service concerning the final agency decision, or is suspected by the Postal Service of continuing to repeatedly short pay postage, the Postal Service may:

    1. Deduct from the mailer's trust account or any other funds in USPS possession any deficiencies incurred within 12 months of the date of the final mailing on which the deficiency was assessed.

    2. Initiate debt collection procedures.

    3. Restrict or suspend discounted mailing privileges with the concurrence of the manager, Revenue Assurance and Vice President Controller, or as otherwise allowed by regulation, or in accordance with any agreement with the mailer.

    b. Discounted mailing privileges may be suspended or restricted regardless of payment status of an assessed revenue deficiency if underpayment of postage occurs again after a mailer has been assessed a revenue deficiency.

    c. Interest on assessed revenue deficiencies will accrue at a rate of 6% per annum beginning 30 days after the receipt of the final agency decision and will continue until the debt is paid.

    d. Other fees and costs related to an assessed revenue deficiency may be collected as allowed by law or regulation.

    3.2 Appeal of Ruling 3.2.1 General Decision

    Except as provided in 604.4.4.4 through 604.4.4.5, 3.2.2, and 703.1.0, a mailer may appeal a revenue deficiency assessment by sending a written appeal to the postmaster or manager in 3.2.1a through 3.2.1c within 30 days of receipt of the notification. In all cases, the mailer may be asked to provide more information or documentation to support the appeal. Failure to do so within 30 days of the request is grounds for denying an appeal. Any decision that is not appealed as prescribed becomes the final agency decision. Mailers may send appeals as follows:

    a. To the district manager, Finance, for revenue deficiencies for fees. The district manager, Finance, issues the final USPS decision.

    b. To the Postmaster, manager, Business Mail Entry, program manager, Revenue and Compliance, or other postal official, for revenue deficiencies for postage. The appeal is then forwarded to the manager, PCSC, who issues the final agency decision.

    c. To the manager, Product Classification (see 608.8.0 for address), if the PCSC manager first assessed the deficiency. The manager, Product Classification issues the final agency decision.

    3.2.2 Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail Decision

    Nonprofit mailers have two levels of appeal. They may appeal revenue deficiency assessments as follows:

    If the initial revenue deficiency assessment was made by: First-level appeal Second-level appeal and final USPS decision Postmaster; manager, Business Mail Entry; manager, Revenue and Compliance; or other Postal official manager, PCSC (see 608.8.0 for address) manager, Product Classification (see 608.8.0 for address)

    All appeals must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the previous USPS decision. Any decision that is not appealed as prescribed becomes the final agency decision; no appeals are available within the USPS beyond the second appeal.

    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to reflect these changes.

    Ruth B. Stevenson, Attorney, Federal Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04890 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0592; FRL-9975-13—Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Amendment to Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia state implementation plan (SIP). This revision consists of an amendment to Virginia's SIP to incorporate by reference, the most recent federal ambient air quality standard for ozone. EPA is approving this revision in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on April 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0592. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On October 26, 2015 (80 FR 65292), EPA revised the primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone to 0.070 parts per million (ppm). The primary and secondary ambient air quality standards are met at an ambient air quality monitoring site when the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration is less than or equal to 0.070 ppm.

    On July 25, 2016, the Commonwealth of Virginia through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) submitted a formal revision to its SIP. The SIP revision seeks to incorporate the 2015 ozone NAAQS promulgated by EPA into the Virginia SIP.

    On October 16, 2017 (82 FR 47985 and 82 FR 48035), EPA simultaneously published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) and a direct final rule (DFR) for the Commonwealth of Virginia approving the SIP revision. EPA received adverse comments on the rulemaking and withdrew the DFR prior to the effective date of December 15, 2017. In this final rulemaking, EPA is responding to the comments submitted on the proposed revision to the Virginia SIP and is approving the revision to the Virginia SIP to incorporate by reference the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    In the July 25, 2016 SIP submission, Virginia seeks to add regulation 9VAC5-30-57 “Ozone (8-hour 0.070 ppm)” to the Virginia SIP. This regulation incorporates by reference the 2015 ozone NAAQS as promulgated by EPA and is consistent with the NAAQS set out in 40 CFR part 50. See 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015).

    Virginia's submittal seeks to add to the Virginia SIP Regulation 9VAC5-30-57 which incorporates by reference the 2015 ozone NAAQS, as promulgated by EPA. EPA finds the SIP submittal approvable pursuant to section 110 of the CAA.

    EPA received public comments on the NPR that will be addressed in section III of this rulemaking.

    III. Response to Comments

    During the comment period, EPA received several anonymous comments on this rulemaking. EPA is responding to the comments submitted on the proposed revision to the Virginia SIP specific to this action. All other comments received were either supportive of or not specific to this action and thus are not addressed here.

    Comment: A commenter stated that EPA should not add the 2015 ozone standard to any state's SIP as the Administrator has publicly stated that he intends to repeal the ozone standard. The commenter believes that the Administrator's announcement can be interpreted as a promulgation by the Agency, and EPA should not act until the review is completed. The commenter also stated that EPA must hold off on any ozone action until a court review is completed.

    Response: EPA disagrees with the comment. Specifically, EPA disagrees that it has promulgated, or could promulgate, a change to the 2015 ozone NAAQS through any public announcement. If EPA were to decide to revisit and change the 2015 ozone NAAQS, the existing standards would remain in place at least until EPA, through public notice and rulemaking, took final action to make any revisions. States may seek to incorporate existing NAAQS into their SIPs under CAA section 110. While judicial review may be pending relating to the 2015 ozone NAAQS, nothing prohibits a state from incorporating by reference the 2015 ozone NAAQS into its SIP.

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving the July 25, 2016 Virginia SIP revision submittal which seeks to add regulation 9VAC5-30-57 “Ozone (8-hour 0.070 ppm)” to the Virginia SIP pursuant to section 110 of the CAA. Regulation 9VAC5-30-57 incorporates by reference the 2015 ozone NAAQS which set the level of the 8-hour ozone standard at 0.070 ppm.

    V. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the Commonwealth of Virginia

    In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information that: (1) Are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) are required by law.

    On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their federal counterparts. . . .” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

    Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

    Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its program consistent with the federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Virginia 9VAC5-30-57 described in the amendment to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through http://www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region III Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.1

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151 or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 11, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action adding regulation 9VAC5-30-57 “Ozone (8-hour 0.070 ppm)” to the Virginia SIP may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Ozone.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

    PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart VV—Virginia 2. In § 52.2420, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by adding the entry “5-30-57” in numerical order under the heading “9 VAC 5, Chapter 30 Ambient Air Quality Standards [Part III]” to read as follows:
    § 52.2420 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Virginia Regulations and Statutes State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanation
  • [former SIP citation]
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 9 VAC 5, Chapter 30 Ambient Air Quality Standards [Part III] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5-30-57 Ozone (8-hour, 0.070 ppm) 06/01/2016 03/12/2018 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-04422 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505; FRL-9975-10-OAR] RIN 2060-AT59 Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources; Amendments AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action finalizes amendments of certain requirements that are contained within the final rule titled “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources,” published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2016 (2016 Rule). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing amendments of two narrow provisions of the requirements for the collection of fugitive emission components at well sites and compressor stations: Removes the requirement for completion of delayed repair during unscheduled or emergency vent blowdowns, and provides separate monitoring requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on March 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publically available, e.g., confidential business information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through https://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Karen Marsh, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-05), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-1065; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Outline. The information presented in this preamble is presented as follows:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information? C. Judicial Review II. Background III. Legal Authority IV. Summary of Final Action A. Delayed Repairs B. Alaskan North Slope V. Summary of Significant Comments and Responses A. The EPA's Legal Authority B. Delayed Repairs C. Alaskan North Slope VI. Impacts of the Final Amendments VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations L. Congressional Review Act (CRA) I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Categories and entities potentially affected by this action include:

    Table 1—Industrial Source Categories Affected by This Action Category NAICS code 1 Examples of regulated entities Industry 211111 Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction. 211112 Natural Gas Liquid Extraction. 221210 Natural Gas Distribution. 486110 Pipeline Distribution of Crude Oil. 486210 Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas. Federal government Not affected. State/local/tribal government Not affected. 1 North American Industry Classification System.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action. This table lists the types of entities that the EPA is now aware could potentially be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be regulated. To determine whether your entity is regulated by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability criteria found in the final rule. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble, your delegated authority, or your EPA Regional representative listed in 40 CFR 60.4 (General Provisions).

    B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of the final action is available on the internet. Following signature by the Administrator, the EPA will post a copy of this final action at https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry. Additional information is also available at the same website.

    C. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), judicial review of this final rule is available only by filing a petition for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by May 11, 2018. Moreover, under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the requirements established by this final rule may not be challenged separately in any civil or criminal proceedings brought by the EPA to enforce these requirements. Section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA further provides that “[o]nly an objection to a rule or procedure which was raised with reasonable specificity during the period for public comment (including any public hearing) may be raised during judicial review.” This section also provides a mechanism for the EPA to convene a proceeding for reconsideration, “[i]f the person raising an objection can demonstrate to the EPA that it was impracticable to raise such objection within [the period for public comment] or if the grounds for such objection arose after the period for public comment, (but within the time specified for judicial review) and if such objection is of central relevance to the outcome of the rule.” Any person seeking to make such a demonstration to us should submit a Petition for Reconsideration to the Office of the Administrator, U.S. EPA, Room 3000, EPA WJC West Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460, with a copy to both the person(s) listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, and the Associate General Counsel for the Air and Radiation Law Office, Office of General Counsel (Mail Code 2344A), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    II. Background

    On June 3, 2016, the EPA published a final rule titled “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources; Final Rule,” at 81 FR 35824 (“2016 Rule”). The 2016 Rule established new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the oil and natural gas sector. This rule addressed, among other things, fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations (“fugitive emissions requirements”) and emissions from pneumatic pumps. In addition, for a number of affected facilities (i.e., centrifugal compressors, reciprocating compressors, pneumatic pumps, and storage vessels), the rule required certification by a professional engineer of the closed vent system design and capacity, as well as any technical infeasibility determination relative to controlling pneumatic pumps at well sites. For further information on the 2016 Rule, see 81 FR 35824 (June 3, 2016) and associated Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505. A number of states and industry associations sought judicial review of the rule, and the litigation is currently being held in abeyance. In addition, the EPA received a number of petitions for administrative reconsideration of the rule and on April 18, 2017, convened a proceeding to reconsider certain aspects of the rule, including those related to the above three requirements.

    On June 16, 2017, the EPA proposed to stay the fugitive emissions requirements, the well site pneumatic pump requirements, and the requirements for certification of closed vent systems by a professional engineer for 2 years. The EPA proposed the stay of these requirements in order to provide the EPA with sufficient time to propose, take public comment on, and issue a final action on the issues under reconsideration. See 82 FR 27645 (June 16, 2017). On November 8, 2017, the EPA issued a notice of data availability (NODA), in which the EPA offered additional information in further support of the proposed stay and solicited comments on a suggestion from stakeholders to allow additional time to phase in these requirements as opposed to a stay. See 82 FR 51788 (November 8, 2017). Additionally, the NODA solicited comment and information on several implementation challenges raised by stakeholders. In particular, the EPA broadly solicited comments on issues associated with the requirement to complete repairs on components on a delay of repair (hereinafter referred to as “delayed repair” for short in this notice) 1 during emergency or unscheduled shutdowns or vent blowdowns and suggestions for addressing the issues. See 82 FR 51793.

    1 See 40 CFR 60.5397a(h)(2) for delay of repair requirements.

    EPA received a broad range of comments and information in response to the proposed stay and the NODA. Relevant to this action is information regarding two specific provisions of the fugitive emissions requirements that we have concluded present immediate compliance concerns: (1) The requirement that delayed repairs must be completed during unscheduled or emergency vent blowdowns that occur within the 2-year repair timeframe and prior to other scheduled events, and (2) the monitoring survey requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope. See section IV of this preamble for a discussion of these concerns and these final amendments. The Agency is still examining comments related to all other issues raised in the proposal and NODA, including other issues related to delayed repair and the Alaskan North Slope, and is not taking final action with respect to these other matters in this final action.

    III. Legal Authority

    The legal authority for this final action, which amends two narrow provisions of the fugitive emissions requirements in the 2016 Rule, is the same as that for the promulgation of the 2016 Rule. The EPA promulgated the 2016 Rule pursuant to section 111(b)(1)(B) of the CAA, which requires the EPA to issue “standards of performance” for new sources in the list of categories of stationary sources that cause or contribute significantly to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. See 81 FR 35828. CAA section 111(a)(1) defines “a standard of performance” as “a standard for emissions of air pollutants which reflects the degree of emission limitation achievable through the application of the best system of emission reduction which (taking into account the cost of achieving such reduction and any nonair quality health and environmental impact and energy requirement) the Administrator determines has been adequately demonstrated.” This definition makes clear that the standard of performance must be based on controls that constitute “the best system of emission reduction . . . adequately demonstrated.” The standard that the EPA develops, based on the best system of emission reduction (BSER), is commonly a numerical emissions limit, expressed as a performance level (e.g., a rate-based standard). However, CAA section 111(h)(1) authorizes the Administrator to promulgate a work practice standard or other requirements, which reflects the best technological system of continuous emission reduction, if it is not feasible to prescribe or enforce an emissions standard. The work practice standards for fugitive emissions from well sites and compressor stations were promulgated pursuant to CAA section 111(h)(1)(A). See 81 FR 35829.

    Agencies have inherent authority to reconsider past decisions and to revise, replace, or repeal a decision to the extent permitted by law and supported by a reasoned explanation. FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502, 515 (2009); Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 42 (1983) (“State Farm”). “The power to decide in the first instance carries with it the power to reconsider.” Trujillo v. Gen. Elec. Co., 621 F.2d 1084, 1086 (10th Cir. 1980); see also, United Gas Improvement Co. v. Callery Properties, Inc., 382 U.S. 223, 229 (1965); Mazaleski v. Treusdell, 562 F.2d 701, 720 (D.C. Cir. 1977). Accordingly, in this final rule, the EPA is using the same statutory authority in promulgating the 2016 Rule to amend two provisions of the fugitive emissions requirements in the 2016 Rule. As explained below in section IV, with these two narrowly tailored amendments, the fugitive emissions requirements better reflect BSER for reducing fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations.

    IV. Summary of Final Action

    The EPA is finalizing amendments to two fugitive emissions requirements: (1) The requirements for delayed repairs, and (2) the monitoring survey requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope.

    A. Delayed Repairs

    In this action, the EPA is finalizing amendments to the requirements related to delayed repairs. Specifically, the final rule removes the requirement for completion of delayed repairs during unscheduled or emergency vent blowdowns. Owners and operators are still required to complete repairs during the next compressor station shutdown, well shutdown, well shut-in, after a planned vent blowdown, or within 2 years, whichever is earlier.

    The 2016 Rule requires replacement or repair of a component within 30 days of detection of fugitive emissions, but allows delaying the replacement/repair under certain situations specified in the rule. Specifically, the rule requires that the delayed repair “must be completed during the next compressor station shutdown, well shutdown, well shut-in, after an unscheduled, planned or emergency vent blowdown or within 2 years, whichever is earlier.” See 40 CFR 60.5397a(h)(2). While the only unscheduled and emergency event specified in this regulation is with regard to vent blowdown, the EPA stated in the preamble to the 2016 Rule that “if an unscheduled or emergency vent blowdown, compressor station shutdown, well shutdown, or well shut-in occurs during the delay of repair period, the fugitive emissions components would need to be fixed at that time.” See 81 FR 35858, June 3, 2016. This preamble language implied that delayed repairs were required if any of these events occurred, regardless of whether it was planned. As mentioned previously, the EPA discussed in the NODA stakeholder feedback that requiring repair or replacement of fugitive emissions components during unscheduled or emergency vent blowdowns could result in natural gas supply disruptions, safety concerns, and increased emissions. In response, the EPA solicited comments on shutdown, shut-in, and blowdown scenarios that could result in technical, safety, and/or environmental issues, as well as suggestions for addressing them. See 82 FR 51793, November 8, 2017. The EPA learned from the comments, through additional specific examples, that the requirement to complete delayed repairs during an unscheduled or emergency vent blowdown could lead to a number of unintended negative consequences. In particular, emissions from requiring delayed repairs during an unscheduled or emergency shutdown, shut-in, or vent blowdown could result in greater emissions than the leaks that are to be repaired; as such, it could not possibly reflect BSER for addressing fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations.

    One commenter described configurations at well sites that can lead to an automatic emergency well shut-in and where the rule, if applied as suggested in the preamble, could have unintended consequences.2 Where well sites have a compressor that collects flash gas from a low pressure separator or a vapor recovery unit that collects flash gas from storage vessels, there are certain safety measures put in place in the event these compressors unexpectedly go offline. Depending on the remoteness of the well site, one safety measure available is to automatically shut in the well to prevent the release of gas from pressure relief valves. In these, and other similar emergency shut-in situations, the equipment is not depressurized so the well can be brought back into production as soon as possible. However, by requiring completion of the delayed repair during such shut-in events, equipment at this well site that have components placed on delayed repair would have to be depressurized and blown down, resulting in emissions that would not have occurred except for the delayed repair requirement and could be higher than the emissions from continuing to delay repair.

    2 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446.

    Similar scenarios were provided by the commenters for compressor stations, where changes in horsepower demand, upsets of the compressor unit or the station, lightning strikes, power loss, floods, unplanned maintenance or repairs of a pipeline, fire, third-party damage, or instrumentation outages can result in unplanned or emergency blowdowns of certain equipment at a compressor station.3 When the compressor station is not operating, gas will continue to enter gathering lines until upstream wells are routed to other compressor stations. This gas must be vented or flared to prevent overpressurization of the gathering lines. Repairs can require skilled labor crews and custom fabricated parts, both of which must be scheduled and ordered in advance.4 Given the unpredictability of these unplanned or emergency events, gas may need to be vented or flared for an extended period of time while the owner or operator organized completion of delayed repairs and before the compressor station is brought back online, thereby creating emissions that would not have occurred except for the delayed repair requirement and could be higher than the emissions from continuing to delay repair. For these reasons, not requiring repair during unplanned or emergency vent blowdowns would limit excess emissions from avoidable blowdowns.

    3 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12447.

    4 See Docket ID Nos. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12421, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12424, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12430, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12436, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12447, and EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12454.

    In addition to emissions from avoidable blowdowns described above, several commenters raised concerns about extended gas service disruption.5 For example, many natural gas transmission pipelines are operating year-round at or near capacity, with little redundancy in the supply chain. Further, some regions do not have access to alternate gas supplies. As we have learned, the requirement for delayed repairs during unplanned or emergency blowdowns can result in the unintended consequence of forcing owners or operators to choose between meeting contractual commitments governed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or complying with leak repair requirements.6 The disruption to service can also result in loss of home heating during the winter and the loss of natural gas supply to power plants during periods when electricity demands are higher. This is clearly an unintended and undesirable result and should, therefore, be avoided, as demonstrated by the leak repair requirement by the California Air Resource Board (CARB).7 We note that CARB's leak repair requirement, which CARB commented as being more stringent than the EPA's leak repair requirement in the 2016 Rule, does not require repair, if it would disrupt service.

    5 See Docket ID Nos. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12430, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12436, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12447, and EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12454.

    6 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12447.

    7 Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities, section 95669, California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Division 3, Chapter 1, Subchapter 10 Climate Change, Article 4, Subarticle 13. Effective date October 1, 2017. This regulation has a phase-in period from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019, where fugitive emissions are defined as a leak of 10,000 parts per million (ppm) or greater using EPA Method 21 on a quarterly monitoring frequency. After January 1, 2020, that leak definition decreases to 1,000 ppm on the same monitoring frequency.

    After examining the comments and supporting data on this issue, the EPA agrees with the commenters that delayed repairs should not be required during an unscheduled or emergency shutdown, shut-in, or vent blowdown due to the potential unintended consequences of further increasing the emissions, in addition to disruption of services. The EPA further concludes that this issue must be addressed immediately to avoid these unintended consequences. Because the proposed 2-year stay or proposed phase-in would offer only a temporary relief from this requirement, which the EPA has already concluded to be unacceptable, the EPA is not finalizing a stay or phase-in of this requirement. Instead, the EPA is taking final action to amend the delayed repair requirement to remove the terms “unplanned” and “emergency” from the list of events that would require completion of delayed repairs.

    B. Alaskan North Slope

    We are finalizing amendments to the fugitive emission monitoring requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope.8 New well sites that startup production between September and March must conduct initial monitoring within 6 months of the startup of production 9 or by June 30, whichever is later. Well sites that startup production between April and August must continue to meet the 60-day initial monitoring requirement in the 2016 Rule. Similarly, well sites that are modified between September and March must conduct initial monitoring within 6 months of the first day of production for each collection of fugitive emissions components or by June 30, whichever is later. Further, all well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope that are subject to the fugitive emissions requirements must conduct annual monitoring, instead of the semiannual monitoring required for other well sites. Subsequent annual monitoring must be conducted at least 9 months apart, but no more than 12 months apart. The specific repair, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements remain unchanged from the 2016 Rule, except as discussed in section IV.A of this preamble.

    8 Alaskan North Slope is defined in 40 CFR 60.5430a as.

    9 Startup of production is defined in 40 CFR 60.5430a as.

    Under the 2016 Rule, the initial monitoring survey of fugitive emissions components at a new well site must be conducted within 60 days of startup of production at the new well site. For a collection of modified fugitive emissions components, the initial monitoring survey must be conducted within 60 days of production after the modification. The rule requires semiannual monitoring thereafter. In response to our NODA soliciting additional comments and information on implementation challenges, the EPA received comments expressing immediate concerns with the timing for conducting fugitive emissions monitoring at well sites on the Alaskan North Slope. The commenters noted that these concerns were raised in comments on the proposed rule in 2015, in addition to petitions for reconsideration following promulgation of the 2016 Rule. The commenters cautioned that the monitoring technology specified in the 2016 Rule (i.e., optical gas imaging (OGI) and the instruments for EPA Method 21) cannot reliably detect methane emissions at well sites on the Alaskan North Slope for a significant portion of the year due to the lengthy period of extreme cold temperatures.10 According to manufacturer specifications, OGI cameras, which the EPA identified in the 2016 Rule as the BSER for monitoring fugitive emissions at well sites, are not designed to operate at temperatures below 4 °F,11 and the monitoring instruments for EPA Method 21, which the 2016 Rule provides as an alternative to OGI, are not designed to operate below +14 °F.12 One commenter provided data, and the EPA confirmed with its own analysis, that temperatures below 0 0F are a common occurrence, on the Alaskan North Slope between November and April.13 In light of the above, there is no assurance that the initial and semiannual monitoring that must occur during that period of time are technically feasible.

    10 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12434.

    11 See FLIR Systems, Inc. product specifications for GF300/320 model OGI cameras at http://www.flir.com/ogi/display/?id=55671.

    12 See Thermo Fisher Scientific product specification for TVA-2020 at https://assets.thermofisher.com/TFS-Assets/LSG/Specification-Sheets/EPM-TVA2020.pdf.

    13 See information on average hourly temperatures from January 2010 to January 2018 at the weather station located at Deadhorse Alpine Airstrip, Alaska. Obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Centers for Environmental Information and summarized in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505.

    During the rulemaking for the 2016 Rule, in response to comments expressing concerns with cold temperatures in several regions, the EPA had attempted to address the issue by providing additional flexibility in the form of allowing consecutive semiannual events to take place every 4 to 6 months. However, as commenters on the NODA correctly observed, the EPA did not address the issue as it relates to initial monitoring at well sites on the Alaskan North Slope; further, even with the additional flexibility, semiannual monitoring at well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope could still be required at a time when the temperature is below the operating temperature of the monitoring instruments.

    In light of the technical feasibility issue discussed previously, the EPA concludes that the current fugitive emissions monitoring frequencies for well sites do not reflect the BSER for monitoring fugitive emissions components at well sites on the Alaskan North Slope, and that a different fugitive emissions monitoring schedule is warranted for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope. Specifically, the EPA has amended the 2016 Rule to require that new or modified well sites that startup production between September and March conduct initial monitoring within 6 months of the startup of production or by June 30, whichever is later. We believe that the amendment would assure that initial monitoring take place when both OGI and EPA Method 21 are operable.

    In addition, the EPA is amending the 2016 Rule to require annual (instead of semiannual) monitoring of fugitive emissions at well sites on the Alaskan North Slope. During the rulemaking for the 2016 Rule, the EPA had evaluated annual monitoring at well sites and concluded that semiannual monitoring reflected the BSER for detecting fugitive emissions at well sites. During the rulemaking for the 2016 Rule, we stated in response to a comment that there would be months during the semiannual monitoring periods when the OGI camera could work effectively.14 However, after reconsidering the information provided by commenters and confirmed by the EPA, we now conclude that monitoring may not be technically feasible on the Alaskan North Slope for close to 6 consecutive months (November through April) due to the extreme cold temperatures that could render the monitoring instruments inoperable. Therefore, the EPA now concludes that annual monitoring more accurately reflects the BSER for monitoring fugitive emissions at well sites on the Alaskan North Slope because of the infeasibility of semiannual monitoring. The impracticability is demonstrated by the following example. If initial monitoring were conducted in August, the first semiannual monitoring would be required between December and February. Based on average temperatures during those months, it is unlikely that semiannual monitoring would be possible in this window. Further, in order for well sites on the Alaskan North Slope to conduct semiannual monitoring, the monitoring events would be limited to April/May and October/November, which creates additional difficulties with scheduling monitoring, repairs, and resurveys within the required periods.

    14 See Chapter 4 of the EPA's Responses to Public Comments, page 4-273 located at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7632.

    The EPA concludes that the Alaskan North Slope issue must be addressed immediately given that we are currently well into the cold weather months. Because both the proposed 2-year stay and the suggestion that we extend the phase-in period for the fugitive emissions requirements would offer only temporary relief from the initial and subsequent monitoring requirements at well sites, which the EPA has already concluded to be inappropriate for the reasons stated above, the EPA is not finalizing a stay or a longer phase-in of these requirements. Rather, the EPA is taking final action to amend the 2016 Rule to provide a separate fugitive emissions monitoring schedule for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope to accommodate its arctic climate.

    V. Summary of Significant Comments and Responses

    The EPA received a large number of comments covering a wide range of topics in response to our June 16, 2017, proposal and November 8, 2017, NODA. As discussed in sections II and IV of this preamble, the EPA is still in the process of reviewing many of these comments. As noted previously, however, in the course of this review, the EPA has identified two specific provisions of the fugitive emissions requirements in the 2016 Rule that pose significant and immediate compliance concerns, and EPA is taking final action here to make targeted amendments to the 2016 Rule to address these two concerns. The Agency is still evaluating comments related to other issues raised in the proposal and the NODA and is not taking final action with respect to those issues at this time. Accordingly, we are not responding to those comments at this time. This section summarizes the significant comments relevant to the amendments in this final action, and our response to those comments.

    A. The EPA's Legal Authority

    The EPA received numerous comments on the legal authorities for its proposal to stay certain requirements of the 2016 Rule for 2 years and for the alternative suggestion of providing longer phase-in periods for those requirements. Because this final rule does not involve staying or phasing in any requirement in the 2016 Rule, comments specific to the proposed stay and phase-in are deemed outside of the scope of this final action. The EPA is, therefore, not responding to these comments and is not addressing whether such authority exists.

    This final rule amends two aspects of the fugitive emissions requirements in the 2016 Rule, which was promulgated pursuant to the EPA's authority to set NSPS standards pursuant to CAA section 111(b) according to the procedures under CAA section 307(d). Summarized below are significant comments on the EPA's authority under CAA sections 111(b) and 307(d) to amend a previously promulgated NSPS.

    Comment: The EPA received general comments on the EPA's legal authority to amend the 2016 Rule under CAA section 111. One commenter stated that any revisions to the 2016 Rule must follow the substantive and procedural requirements found in CAA section 111 and 307(d).15 In order the meet these requirements and amend the NSPS, the commenter stated that the EPA must justify any revisions as being consistent with the statutory mandate, explain the basis for the revision (including supporting record), and follow the procedures established in CAA section 111(b)(1)(B), 42 U.S.C. 7411(b)(1)(B).

    15 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12451.

    The commenters further described the statute's procedural requirements, such as a thorough review of specific factors, such as whether the standard reflects BSER, “the cost of those standards, any resulting nonair quality health and environmental impacts, energy requirements, the amount of air pollution reduced by the standards, and how the standards may drive technological innovation.” 16 The commenter stated that a revision to the compliance date (as proposed) would require a factual analysis that demonstrated the new compliance date reflected in the emission reductions achievable through the BSER. Further, the commenter stated that standards must be promulgated that reflect “improved design and operational advance” that may not yet be realized by industry, “so long as there is substantial evidence that such improvements are feasible and will produce the improved performance necessary to meet the standard.” 17

    16 See 80 FR 64510, 64538 (October 23, 2015) (quoting Sierra Club v. Costle, 657 F.2d 298, 326, 347 (D.C. Cir. 1981)). See also 42 U.S.C. 7411(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), (h)(1).

    17 See Sierra Club v. Costle 657 F.2d at 364 and Portland Cement Ass'n v. EPA, 665 F.3d 177, 190 (D.C. Cir. 2011).

    The commenters further discussed the holding in the National Association of Home Builders case in 2012. “The fact that the original [rule] was consistent with congressional intent is irrelevant as long as the amended rule is also `permissible under the statute.' ” 18 In that case, the petitioners acknowledged that, although they believed the original rule was better, the amended rule was permissible. Oral Arg. Recording at 17:40-:43. As Fox made clear, that “suffices” as far as the court is concerned. Fox, 556 U.S. at 515. Further, as Fox noted, the Supreme Court has “neither held nor implied that every agency action representing a policy change must be justified by reasons more substantial than those required to adopt a policy in first instance.” Fox, 556 U.S. at 514 (citing Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Ass'n of the United States, Inc., et al., v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., 463 U.S. 29, 42 (1983)). To the contrary, according to the commenters, the State Farm case affirmed that “[a]n agency's view of what is in the public interest may change, either with or without a change in circumstances.” State Farm, 463 U.S. at 57 (quoting Greater Boston Television Corp. v. FCC, 444 F.2d 841, 852 (D.C. Cir.1970)); see Am. Trucking Ass'ns v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co., et al., 387 U.S. 397, 416 (1967) (declaring that an agency, “in light of reconsideration of the relevant facts and its mandate, may alter its past interpretation and overturn past administrative rulings”). Nat'l Ass'n of Home Builders, 682 F.3d at 1037.

    18Nat'l Ass'n of Home Builders, et al., v. EPA, 682 F.3d 1032, 1037 (citing Fox, 556 U.S. at 515).

    Response: The EPA agrees with the comment that it has authority to amend an NSPS when it demonstrates that such revision is consistent with the mandate of section 111(b) of the CAA and reasonably explain the basis for the revision based on the record before the Agency, as required by section 307(d) of the CAA. The EPA has done so in this final action and need not address at this time if this is the sole source of authority that the EPA may have to amend or stay an NSPS.

    A standard of performance promulgated under section 111(b) of the CAA must reflect the BSER for that emission source. In the 2016 Rule, the EPA conducted BSER analyses for reducing fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations, which resulted in the work practice standards promulgated in that rule. As explained below in this section and elsewhere in this notice, in the process of the current rulemaking, the EPA has identified two narrow provisions of the fugitive emissions requirements that pose immediate compliance concerns. The first issue concerns the potential that the current requirements for delayed repairs could result in an increase (instead of a reduction) of emissions and service disruption. The other issue concerns the technical feasibility of complying with the timeframe specified in the 2016 Rule for monitoring fugitive emissions at well sites in the Alaskan North Slope due to its extreme cold temperature for a lengthy period of time, which could render the monitoring instrument inoperable. After examining the comments and information on these two specific concerns, we conclude that the BSER and the resulting fugitive emissions requirements in the 2016 Rule did not adequately address these two compliance concerns and that revision is warranted. The revision is based on comments, data, and other information submitted during the rulemaking process, as well as our own analyses, all of which can be found in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505. A more detailed discussion of our revised analyses and amendment can be found below in this section as well as in section IV of this preamble.

    B. Delayed Repairs

    Comment: Twelve commenters provided information related to the requirements for delayed repairs in 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa. Ten commenters 19 supported a stay and/or suggested specific changes to the regulation to address repairs during unplanned and emergency vent blowdowns, while two commenters 20 opposed any changes to the requirement for delayed repairs.

    19 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12417, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12421, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12422, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12424, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12430, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12436, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12447, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12454, and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12456.

    20 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12444, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12451 (part 1 of comments), and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12452 (part 2 of comments).

    The commenters that supported changes reiterated comments contained in their petitions for reconsideration following the promulgation of the 2016 Rule. The commenters stated that by requiring repairs during unplanned or emergency events, the actual emissions could be higher than the emissions of the delayed repair for that component. For instance, requiring repairs during unplanned or emergency events may require venting of equipment that is not being repaired and that would not otherwise be vented during that shutdown, potentially resulting in emissions much larger than those of the leak itself. Further, the commenters asserted that prolonged shutdowns may be encountered while repairs are made, which would affect both upstream and downstream users. Specifically, these repairs could result in the need to vent or flare gas upstream at a production facility if the midstream compressor station has to remain offline. Further, gas supply could be limited for downstream users, causing critical issues with the provision of power or heat to end users reliance on natural gas.

    One commenter 21 provided specific data regarding components monitored under the fugitive program in 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa. The commenter references an evaluation performed on 22 of their compressor stations. This evaluation showed that 95-percent of all leaks (345 of 362 leaks) occurring at these stations between 2015 and 2017 were repaired within 30 days, leaving only 5-percent to be placed on a delayed repair. When repair was delayed, most repairs were completed within 90 days of leak detection. Two commenters 22 suggested specific edits to the regulation. Specifically, these edits remove reference to the requirement for repairs to be completed during unscheduled, planned, or emergency vent blowdowns and limits repairs at compressor stations to scheduled shutdowns for maintenance. Further, these commenters suggested additional language to require additional justification for delaying repairs beyond a shutdown, requiring Administrator approval on a case-by-case basis. Additional comments and information are discussed in section IV of this preamble.

    21 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12430.

    22 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12421 and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12447.

    In contrast, the two commenters that opposed changes to the delayed repair requirements cited a lack of information to support either a stay or compliance deadline extension. One commenter 23 suggests that since the leaks for which repairs are delayed were found prior to any shutdown (whether planned or not), the company had time to make arrangements to obtain replacement parts; thus, allowing repair during that next shutdown event. Further, the commenter asserted that the EPA has provided no data to demonstrate why a stay is necessary for the entire fugitive program to accommodate such a small set of leaks given that the data the EPA does have suggests the majority of leaks are repaired at the time of the monitoring survey. Another commenter 24 asserted that the requirement for delayed repairs is more accommodating than it needs to be when compared to the requirements found in California's rule. The commenter explained, “California's regulation requires leaks to be repaired within 14 calendar days, except for leaks involving critical components, which must be repaired by the end of the next process shutdown or within 12 months, whichever is sooner.”

    23 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12451 (part 1 of comments) and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12452 (part 2 of comments).

    24 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12444.

    Response: The EPA is amending the requirements for delayed repair in this final action. Specifically, the EPA is removing the terms “unplanned” and “emergency,” used in reference to vent blowdowns and added the term “scheduled” before the list of scenarios when delayed repair must be completed. As several commenters noted and as discussed in section IV.A of this preamble, completion of repair during an unscheduled or emergency event could require a blowdown of equipment that was not otherwise necessary in order to repair components on delayed repair. Due to the potential for increasing emissions, the current requirements for delayed repair do not reflect the BSER for addressing fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations. In addition, as discussed in section IV.A of this preamble, not requiring delayed repair during unscheduled vent blowdowns would avoid the potential of service disruption. As mentioned in section IV.A of this preamble, we note that under CARB's leak repair requirements,25 delayed repair is permitted if gas service is critical to public gas system operation; thereby, highlighting the importance of not disrupting gas service. According to the data received, only around 5-percent of leaks are placed on delay for repair. Further, unscheduled or emergency vent blowdowns are but one of many scenarios where delayed repair must be completed. Owners or operators are still required to complete repairs on components during the next scheduled compressor station shutdown, well shutdown, well shut-in, after a planned vent blowdown, or within 2 years, whichever is earlier. Accordingly, the requirement for delayed repair, as amended, still requires that repairs occur as soon as possible while reducing the potential for unintended emissions releases and service disruptions.

    25 Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities, section 95669, California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Division 3, Chapter 1, Subchapter 10 Climate Change, Article 4, Subarticle 13. Effective date October 1, 2017.

    As discussed earlier, this issue must be addressed immediately to avoid potentially increasing emissions and/or disrupting gas supply. The EPA acknowledges that there are other comments concerning other aspects of the requirements for delayed repair in the fugitive emissions requirements, and that the EPA continues to evaluate these comments. Should any of these comments warrant additional changes to the fugitive requirements, the EPA intends to address them separately.

    C. Alaskan North Slope

    Comment: Three commenters 26 provided comments related to compliance with the fugitive emissions monitoring requirements in extreme cold weather conditions. These comments related to the limitations of the monitoring technologies and worker safety concerns. The commenters stated that the EPA should exempt well sites and compressor stations located on the Alaskan North Slope from the fugitive emissions monitoring requirements. At a minimum, two commenters stated that the EPA should stay or extend the compliance deadline for initial monitoring at these well sites. Additionally, two commenters stated that extreme cold weather conditions can occur outside of the Alaskan North Slope and these commenters requested similar stays or extensions of the compliance deadlines for any location experiencing these conditions. The commenters reiterated comments submitted in the 2015 proposal and subsequent petitions for reconsideration. Specifically, the commenters stated the technological limitations and worker safety considerations in the Arctic environment warrant an exemption from monitoring.

    26 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12434, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12436, and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446.

    One commenter provided manufacturer specifications for three of the commonly used monitoring instruments (OGI camera, toxic vapor analyzer (TVA), and multi gas monitors).27 The commenter noted that the specifications indicate the lowest operating temperature for any of the instruments is 4 °F.28 This commenter further provided average hourly temperature by month for the years 2012 through 2014. This data indicated that average hourly temperatures on the Alaskan North Slope were below 4 °F for approximately 5 months (December through April). Three commenters stated that while there is a waiver from quarterly monitoring at compressor stations when average temperatures are below 0 °F for 2 consecutive months, there is no similar waiver for semiannual monitoring well sites, nor a waiver from initial monitoring at either well sites or compressor stations. The commenters, therefore, stated the combination of average hourly temperatures on the Alaskan North Slope and the operating limitations of the monitoring instruments pose immediate compliance implications.

    27 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12434.

    28 See FLIR Systems, Inc. Product specifications for GF300/320 model OGI cameras at http://www.flir.com/ogi/display/?id=55671.

    Finally, two of the commenters stated that the EPA should exempt well sites and compressor stations located on the Alaskan North Slope from fugitive emissions monitoring similar to the exemptions from leak detection and repair at natural gas processing plants provided in NSPS OOOO and OOOOa.29 These commenters stated the reasons for applying an exemption to the natural gas processing plants are also valid for well sites and compressor stations.

    29 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12434 and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446.

    Response: The EPA agrees with the commenters that available monitoring technologies (OGI and, for EPA Method 21, TVA and multi gas meters) are not designed to operate below 4 °F or +14 °F, respectively.30 In addition to the information provided by the commenters, information from the NOAA demonstrate average temperatures on the Alaskan North Slope make it technically infeasible to perform monitoring during a nearly 6-month period.31 As we are already well within this period, the EPA must act immediately to avoid requiring fugitive emissions monitoring at well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope when the average temperature there is below the operating temperature of any of the available monitoring instruments. Therefore, the EPA is amending 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa, to extend the initial monitoring deadline and allow annual fugitive emissions monitoring at well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope. The EPA is not amending 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa, fugitive emissions monitoring requirements for compressor stations located on the Alaskan North Slope because the commenters have stated there are no compressor stations currently subject to 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa; therefore, there is no immediate compliance concern to address for these requirements at this time.32

    30 See FLIR Systems, Inc. product specifications for GF300/320 model OGI cameras at http://www.flir.com/ogi/display/?id=55671 and Thermo Fisher Scientific product specification for TVA-2020 at https://assets.thermofisher.com/TFS-Assets/LSG/Specification-Sheets/EPM-TVA2020.pdf.

    31 See information on average hourly temperatures from January 2010 to January 2018 at the weather station located at Deadhorse Alpine Airstrip, Alaska. Obtained from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information and summarized in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505.

    32 See “Discussion of Comment Submitted on the NODA with ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.” located at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505.

    As the commenters noted, the issues with conducting fugitive emissions monitoring at well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope were raised in the comments on the proposed 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa. In the EPA's responses to public comments on this issue, the EPA stated that specific flexibilities were added to the fugitive emissions monitoring program to avoid potential compliance concerns on the Alaskan North Slope. Specifically, the repair deadline was extended from 15 to 30 days, with an additional 30 days to complete the resurvey after repair; semiannual monitoring at well sites is allowed every 4 to 6 months; when average temperatures are below 0 °F for 2 consecutive months, quarterly monitoring is waived at compressor stations, and Method 21 was added as an alternative method for leak detection and resurvey.33 As one commenter noted, the EPA recognized the challenges with monitoring instrument operation at low temperatures for compressor stations, but did not extend a similar waiver from monitoring for well sites.34 Further, it is not clear that the flexibilities identified above assure that monitoring would not be required when the temperature on the Alaskan North Slope is below the operating temperature of the monitoring instrument. The commenters reiterated this concern in the comments on the proposed stay and NODA.

    33 See “EPA's Responses to Public Comments,” Chapter 4, pages 4-267, 4-268, 4-273, and 4-276. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7632.

    34 See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-12446.

    We revisited the issue and reviewed both the relevant record for the 2016 Rule as well as additional information received subsequent to the rulemaking. Based on this evaluation, we recognized that a separate initial monitoring requirement was necessary for well sites that startup production during the months when it may be technically infeasible to meet the 60-day initial monitoring requirement.

    For instance, we examined the scenario of a new well starting production in September. Under the current requirements, the initial monitoring survey would be required within 60 days of the startup of production. This would put the deadline in October or November, depending on when the well started producing in September.35 The EPA recognized from the data provided that these 2 months may have issues with the feasibility of completing monitoring due to changing weather conditions moving into winter. If we set a deadline for initial monitoring 6 months from startup of production, then monitoring would be required by March, when temperatures are still not warm enough for instrument operation. While the average temperatures may be sufficiently warm starting in the middle of spring, information discussed in the Response to Comments document raised concerns with melting snow, flooding, and transportation issues during this time.36 Additionally, we are concerned with potentially constraining affected sources' ability to schedule and acquire requisite personnel and equipment if we were to require all well sites that start production between September and March to conduct initial monitoring in April or May. These well sites would forever be locked into performing both initial and all subsequent monitoring at the same time each year. We do not believe that it is appropriate to place such constraint on the well site's ability to schedule monitoring events. Based on average temperatures, we are confident that monitoring can occur during the summer months. Therefore, we have amended the 2016 Rule to require that, for each new or modified well site located on the Alaskan North Slope that starts production between September and March, the owner or operator has 6 months, or until June 30, whichever is later, to complete initial monitoring of the fugitive emissions components. The amendments, which provide both a time frame and specific date, would require monitoring as soon as feasible while avoiding the concerns described above. For each new or modified well site located on the Alaskan North Slope that starts production between September and March, the owner or operator has 6 months, or until June 30, whichever is later to complete initial monitoring of the fugitive emissions components.

    35 Similar issues are realized by well sites starting up between October and March, such as extreme low temperatures, concerns with snow melt and flooding, and logistical issues associated with schedule flexibility.

    36 See “EPA's Responses to Public Comments,” Chapter 4, page 4-268. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7632.

    The EPA agrees with the commenters that there are immediate compliance concerns due to the operating limitations of monitoring instruments. Therefore, we are finalizing an amendment to the timeframe for the fugitive emission monitoring program for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope. Specifically, owners or operators must meet the initial compliance deadline of 60 days from the startup of production, unless the well site starts production between September and March. Those well sites that startup production between September and March must complete initial monitoring within 6 months of startup of production or by June 30, whichever is later. Additionally, owners or operators must perform annual monitoring for fugitive emissions, following the initial monitoring survey at all affected well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope, regardless of the startup date. Subsequent monitoring surveys must occur at least every 12 months, with consecutive monitoring surveys conducted at least 9 months apart. The requirements for repair, recordkeeping, and reporting remain the same as those in the 2016 Rule. Recognizing there are several months in which temperatures are within the operating temperature range for the monitoring instruments, the EPA concludes owners or operators have enough flexibility to complete monitoring surveys in this timeframe. Any further amendments for the Alaskan North Slope will be addressed separately. This amendment only applies at well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope. All other well sites must continue to comply with the initial, semiannual, or quarterly monitoring requirements, as appropriate.

    With respect to comments on exempting facilities located on the Alaskan North Slope from fugitive monitoring requirements, changes to low temperature waivers, or any other concerns raised by the commenters related to cold weather, addressing them will likely require additional information and analysis. The EPA will continue evaluating these comments.

    VI. Impacts of the Final Amendments

    Although there will be cost savings related to not requiring delayed repairs during unscheduled or emergency events, as well as forgone benefits related to the reductions of fugitive emissions that might have occurred following these repairs, the EPA does not have cost or economic data related to this provision because of the unplanned nature of these events. Therefore, we are unable to determine the cost savings or forgone benefits of amending the requirements for delayed repair requirement related to unscheduled or emergency events.

    In order to determine the impacts of the amendments to the fugitive emissions requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope, we used the same assumptions and methods used to estimate impacts of the 2016 Rule. Specifically, we used the number of affected sources located on the Alaskan North Slope, and the cost and emission reductions estimated for well sites at semiannual and annual fugitive monitoring frequencies that were assumed in the 2016 Rule. The cost savings and emission reductions estimated as a result of these amendments are presented in Tables 2 and 3, respectively. For more information on the assumptions used in this analysis, as well as the costs and emission reductions for fugitive emissions requirements at well sites, see the Background Technical Support Document for the Final New Source Performance Standards 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa (TSD) located at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7631. Note that the costs in the TSD are in 2012 dollar years, and the cost savings presented here are in 2016 dollar years. The amended fugitive monitoring requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope will save approximately $24,000 per year in compliance costs, after accounting for forgone natural gas recovery. This amendment will also result in approximately 34 short tons of forgone methane emission reductions, or 772 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2E).

    Table 2—Estimated Cost Savings of the Amended Fugitive Monitoring Requirements on the Alaskan North Slope Compliance cost savings Capital cost
  • savings
  • Annual
  • operating
  • cost savings
  • Forgone
  • product
  • recovery
  • Total annualized cost savings
  • (3%)
  • W/o
  • product
  • recovery
  • W/Product
  • recovery
  • Total annualized cost savings
  • (7%)
  • W/o product
  • recovery
  • W/Product
  • recovery
  • NG Well Pads $1,300 $29,000 $6,700 $29,000 $22,000 $29,000 $22,000 Oil Well Pads 110 2,400 210 2,400 2,200 2,400 2,200 Total 1,400 31,000 6,900 31,000 24,000 31,000 24,000
    Table 3—Estimated Forgone Emission Reductions of the Amended Fugitive Monitoring Requirements on the Alaskan North Slope Affected
  • source count
  • Forgone emission reductions Methane
  • (short tpy 1)
  • VOC
  • (tpy)
  • HAP
  • (tpy)
  • CO2E
  • (tpy)
  • Forgone
  • natural gas
  • savings
  • (Mcf 2)
  • NG Well Pads 30 33 9 0 748 1,911 Oil Well Pads 3 1 0 0 24 61 Total 33 34 9 0 772 1,972 1 tons per year. 2 thousand cubic feet.
    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

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

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

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

    This action is considered an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. This final rule provides meaningful burden reduction by amending the requirement that components on a delayed repair must conduct repairs during unscheduled or emergency vent blowdowns, and adding flexibilities for the monitoring survey requirements for well sites located on the Alaskan North Slope.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA. The information collection requirements in the final 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa have been submitted for approval to the OMB under the PRA. The Information Collection Request (ICR) document prepared by the EPA has been assigned EPA ICR 2523.01. This action does not result in changes to the submitted ICR for 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOOa, so the information collection estimates of project cost and hour burdens have not been revised.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An Agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden, or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This action finalizes amendments for two specific requirements in the 2016 Rule. This action will not increase the burden on small entities subject to this rule. The EPA prepared a final RFA analysis for the 2016 Rule, which is available as part of the Regulatory Impact Analysis in the docket at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505-7630. We have, therefore, concluded that this action will have no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. This action finalizes amendments for two specific requirements in the 2016 Rule. Any impacts on children's health caused by the amendments in the rule will be limited, because the scope of the amendments is limited. The Agency, therefore, concludes it is more appropriate to determine the impact on children's health in the context of any substantive changes potentially proposed in the future as part of the reconsideration of the 2016 Rule (as granted on April 18, 2017).

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

    This action is not a “significant energy action” because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The basis for this determination can be found in the 2016 Rule (81 FR 35894).

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    This action finalizes amendments for two specific requirements in the 2016 Rule. Any impacts on minority populations and low-income populations caused by the amendments in the rule will be limited, because the scope of the amendments is limited. The Agency, therefore, concludes it is more appropriate to determine the impact on minority populations and low-income populations in the context of any substantive changes potentially proposed in the future as part of the reconsideration of the 2016 Rule (as granted on April 18, 2017).

    L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 60

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Reporting and recordkeeping.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.

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

    PART 60—STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE FOR NEW STATIONARY SOURCES 1. The authority citation for part 60 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart OOOOa—Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities for Which Construction, Modification or Reconstruction Commenced After September 18, 2015 2. Section 60.5397a is amended by revising paragraphs (f)(1), (g)(1) and (2), and (h)(2) to read as follows:
    § 60.5397a What fugitive emissions GHG and VOC standards apply to the affected facility which is the collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site and the affected facility which is the collection of fugitive emissions components at a compressor station?

    (f) (1) You must conduct an initial monitoring survey within 60 days of the startup of production, as defined in § 60.5430a, for each collection of fugitive emissions components at a new well site or by June 3, 2017, whichever is later. For a modified collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site, the initial monitoring survey must be conducted within 60 days of the first day of production for each collection of fugitive emission components after the modification or by June 3, 2017, whichever is later. Notwithstanding the preceding deadlines, for each collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site located on the Alaskan North Slope, as defined in § 60.5430a, that starts up production between September and March, you must conduct an initial monitoring survey within 6 months of the startup of production for a new well site, within 6 months of the first day of production after a modification of the collection of fugitive emission components, or by the following June 30, whichever is later.

    (g) * * *

    (1) Except as provided herein, a monitoring survey of each collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site within a company-defined area must be conducted at least semiannually after the initial survey. Consecutive semiannual monitoring surveys must be conducted at least 4 months apart. A monitoring survey of each collection of fugitive emissions components at a well site located on the Alaskan North Slope must be conducted at least annually. Consecutive annual monitoring surveys must be conducted at least 9 months apart.

    (2) A monitoring survey of the collection of fugitive emissions components at a compressor station within a company-defined area must be conducted at least quarterly after the initial survey. Consecutive quarterly monitoring surveys must be conducted at least 60 days apart.

    (h) * * *

    (2) If the repair or replacement is technically infeasible, would require a vent blowdown, a compressor station shutdown, a well shutdown or well shut-in, or would be unsafe to repair during operation of the unit, the repair or replacement must be completed during the next scheduled compressor station shutdown, well shutdown, well shut-in, after a planned vent blowdown or within 2 years, whichever is earlier.

    [FR Doc. 2018-04431 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2018-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8521] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule identifies communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within this rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receives documentation that the community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in this rule, the suspension will not occur and a notice of this will be provided by publication in the Federal Register on a subsequent date.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book (CSB).The CSB is available at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

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

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

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community
  • No.
  • Effective date authorization/cancellation
  • of sale of flood insurance in community
  • Current effective
  • map date
  • Date certain
  • federal
  • assistance
  • no longer
  • available
  • in SFHAs
  • Region VI Louisiana: Hornbeck, Town of, Vernon Parish. 220332 May 8, 2001, Emerg; June 1, 2005, Reg; March 20, 2018, Susp. March 20, 2018 March 20, 2018. Leesville, City of, Vernon Parish. 220229 October 17, 1974, Emerg; January 17, 1986, Reg; March 20, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. New Llano, Town of, Vernon Parish. 220340 May 12, 1983, Emerg; July 18, 1985, Reg; March 20, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Vernon Parish, Unincorporated Areas. 220228 July 20, 1984, Emerg; March 1, 1987, Reg; March 20, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Region VII Iowa: Kossuth County, Unincorporated Areas. 190884 October 1, 1991, Emerg; May 1, 1992, Reg; March 20, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. Titonka, City of, Kossuth County. 190840 April 30, 1975, Emerg; September 1, 1987, Reg; March 20, 2018, Susp. ......do   Do. -do- = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg.—Emergency; Reg.—Regular; Susp.—Suspension.
    Dated: February 20, 2018. Michael M. Grimm, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04783 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 15 and 74 [GN Docket No. 14-166, ET Docket No. 14-165, GN Docket No. 12-268: DA 17-709] Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collection associated with the Commission's Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations, Order (Order)'s Consumer Disclosure and Labeling rules, adopted in 2017. This document is consistent with the Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those rules.

    DATES:

    The amendments to 47 CFR 15.37(k) and 74.851(l) published at 80 FR 71702, November 17, 2015, are effective April 11, 2018. OMB approved the information collection requirements for §§ 15.37(k), 74.851(k), and 74.851(l) on January 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Murray, Office of Engineering and Technology Bureau, at (202) 418-0688, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on January 18, 2018, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the information collection requirements relating to the consumer disclosure and labeling rules contained in the Commission's Wireless Microphones Report and Order (R&O), FCC 15-100 (80 FR 71702, November 17, 2015) (as revised in the Wireless Microphones Order on Reconsideration, FCC 17-95 (82 FR 41549, September 1, 2017)) and the Commission's Order, DA 17-709, adopted on July 24, 2017, and published elsewhere is this issue of the Federal Register. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1250. The Commission publishes this document as an announcement of the effective date of the specific Consumer Alert language in the consumer disclosure rules. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Nicole Ongele, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-A620, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-1250, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via email at [email protected]

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received final OMB approval on January 18, 2018, for the information collection requirements contained in the modifications to the Commission's rules in 47 CFR parts 15 and 74.

    Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1250.

    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1250.

    OMB Approval Date: January 18, 2018.

    OMB Expiration Date: January 31, 2021.

    Title: Sections 15.37(k), 74.851(k), and 74.851(l), Consumer Disclosure and Labeling.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, and Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 5,100 respondents; 127,500 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .25 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Third party disclosure requirement (disclosure and labeling requirement).

    Obligation to Respond: Required to provide at time of sale, lease, or distribution. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 301, 302a, 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r).

    Total Annual Burden: 31,875 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $1,625,000.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: No information is requested that would require assurance of confidentiality.

    Privacy Act: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: On July 24, 2017, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology of the Federal Communications Commission released an Order, Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations, Amendment of part 15 of the Commission's Rules for Unlicensed Operations in the Television Bands, Repurposed 600 MHz Band, 600 MHz Guard Bands and Duplex Gap, and Channel 37, and, Amendment of part 74 of the Commission's Rules for Low Power Auxiliary Stations in the Repurposed 600 MHz Band and 600 MHz Duplex Gap, Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Order, GN Docket No. 14-166, ET Docket No. 14-165, and GN Docket No. 12-268. In this Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology provided the specific Consumer Alert language that must be used in the consumer disclosure required by the Commission in its 2015 Wireless Microphones Report and Order, as set forth in Sections 15.37(k) and 74.851(l) of the Commission's rules. As the Order explains, the consumer disclosure requirement is applicable to persons who manufacture, sell, lease, or offer for sale or lease, wireless microphone or video assist devices to the extent that these devices are capable of operating on the specific frequencies associated with the 600 MHz service band (617-652 MHz/663-698 MHz). This disclosure also informs consumers that, consistent with the Commission's decision in the 2015 Wireless Microphones Report and Order, wireless microphone users must cease any wireless microphone operations in the 600 MHz service band no later than July 13, 2020, and that in many instances they may be required to cease use of these devices earlier if their use has the potential to cause harmful interference to 600 MHz service licensees' wireless operations in the band.

    Federal Communications Commission. Julius P. Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04875 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 15 and 74 [GN Docket No. 14-166, ET Docket No. 14-165, GN Docket No. 12-268: DA 17-709] Consumer Disclosure and Labeling; Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology of the Federal Communications Commission adopt specific language for the consumer disclosures which the Commission adopted in 2015 and which concern the operation of wireless microphone (licensed or unlicensed) or video assist devices capable of operating in the 600 MHz service frequency band. With the close of the incentive auction on April 13, 2017, the 600 MHz service band has been reallocated for new wireless services, and wireless microphones and video assist devices must cease operations in this band no later than July 13, 2020 to avoid harmful interference to new wireless services. This disclosure requirement, including the specific Consumer Alert language, applies to persons who manufacture, sell, lease, or offer for sale or lease, wireless microphones or video assist devices authorized pursuant to and informs consumers of the changes that will affect their use of these devices in the newly established 600 MHz service band.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 11, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Murray, Office of Engineering and Technology, 202-418-0688, [email protected] For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission will not send a CRA for this document because it only constitutes specific language to the consumer disclosure rules that were adopted by the Commission in 2015 in the Wireless Microphones R&O, 80 FR 71702, November 17, 2015, as revised in 2017 in the Wireless Microphones Order on Reconsideration, 82 FR 41549, September 1, 2017. The Commission submitted the Wireless Microphones R&O, which included the rule provisions adopting the consumer disclosure requirements, to Congress, GAO, etc. This document revises the Commission's rules to provide the specific language consumer disclosure text associated with the previously adopted rules, which the Commission had directed in 2015 that the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau provide once the incentive auction closed. The document implements what the Commission had directed in 2015.

    This document contains the specific Consumer Alert text associated with new information collection requirements that are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. This language was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in November 2017 for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA, and on January 18, 2018, OMB approved this information collection, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. In addition, we note that, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. In this present document, we have assessed the effects of the requirement that entities provide this specified consumer disclosure text with regard to the manufacture, sale, lease, or offer for sale or lease, of wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz service band, and find that by allowing such entities—including businesses with fewer than 25 employees—several ways to comply with the consumer disclosure requirement to display this specified text (e.g., providing a label or sticker on a product box, or prominently displaying the text next to the device in a catalogue or electronic sales material), the Commission has effectively minimized the burden of compliance.

    This is a summary of the Order adopted by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology, GN Docket No. 14-166, ET Docket NO. 14-165, GN Docket No. 12-268, DA 17-709, adopted July 24, 2017 and released July 24, 2017. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0724/DA-17-709A1.pdf. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    Synopsis

    1. In this Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology provide the specific language that must be used in the consumer disclosure required by the Commission in 2015 in §§ 15.37(k) and 74.851(l) of the Commission's rules. It is applicable to persons who manufacture, sell, lease, or offer for sale or lease, wireless microphone or video assist devices—either (a) wireless microphones or other low power auxiliary stations (“wireless microphones”) or video assist devices, authorized pursuant to part 74, Subpart H of the Commission's rules, or (b) unlicensed wireless microphones authorized pursuant to § 15.236—to the extent that these devices are capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band (617-652 MHz/663-698 MHz). This specific Consumer Alert text in the consumer disclosure rules informs consumers of the specific frequencies associated with the 600 MHz service band and also informs them that wireless microphone users must cease any wireless microphone operations in the 600 MHz service band no later than July 13, 2020. In addition, in many instances the text informs consumers that they may be required to cease use of these devices earlier if their use has the potential to cause harmful interference to 600 MHz service licensees' wireless operations in the band.

    2. On August 5, 2015, the Commission adopted the Wireless Microphones R&O, 80 FR 71702, November 17, 2015, which established various rules applicable to wireless microphones (and other low power auxiliary stations) that operate in the TV bands (which at that time included TV channels 2-51 except channel 37). Anticipating the repurposing of a portion of the TV bands for new 600 MHz wireless services after the close of the broadcast television incentive auction, the Commission took several actions to ensure that the use of wireless microphones does not cause harmful interference to new 600 MHz service licensees' wireless operations. Among other actions, the Commission adopted the consumer disclosure requirement set forth in §§ 15.37(k) and 74.851(l). The rules require that anyone selling, leasing, or offering for sale or lease, wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz service band must display the specific text of the consumer disclosure at the point of sale in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. The Commission required that the consumer disclosure be displayed on the website of the manufacturer (even if the manufacturer does not sell wireless microphones directly to the public) and of dealers, distributors, retailers, and anyone else selling or leasing the devices.

    3. In the Wireless Microphones R&O, the Commission delegated authority to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, working with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Office of Engineering and Technology, to prepare the specific language of the required consumer disclosure following the close of the broadcast television incentive auction and issuance of the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice, which established the frequencies that are associated with the 600 MHz service band; the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice was released on April 13, 2017. As directed by the Commission, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology adopted the text provided in this order as the specific language to be included in the consumer disclosure rules. This text will be included in §§ 15.37(k) and 74.851(l) of the Commission's rules.

    4. It is ordered that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and 302 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and 302a, and §§ 0.131, 0.141, 0.331, and 0.361 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 0.131, 0.141, 0.331, and 0.361, the Consumer Disclosure text in this ORDER is hereby adopted.

    5. It is further ordered that the rules adopted herein, which contain new information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the PRA, will become effective after the Commission publishes a document in the Federal Register announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.

    The information requirements were approved by OMB as of January 18, 2018, as published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, so this document satisfies that notice and publication requirement.

    List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 15

    Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    47 CFR Part 74

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Federal Communications Commission. Julius P. Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 parts 15 and 74 as follows:

    PART 15—RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 304, 307, 336, 554a, and 549.

    2. Section 15.37 is amended by revising paragraph (k)(4) to read as follows:
    § 15.37 Transition provisions for compliance with the rules.

    (k) * * *

    (4) The consumer disclosure text described in paragraph (k)(1) of this section is set forth in Figure 1 to this paragraph.

    ER12MR18.004
    PART 74—EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER PROGRAM DISTRIBUTIONAL SERVICES 3. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 310, 336, and 554.

    4. Section 74.851 is amended by revising paragraph (l)(4) to read as follows:
    § 74.851 Certification of equipment, prohibition on manufacture, import, sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, or shipment of devices that operate in the 700 MHz or the 600 MHz Band; labeling for 700 MHz or 600 MHz band equipment destined for non-U.S. markets; disclosures.

    (l) * * *

    (4) The consumer disclosure text described in paragraph (l)(1) of this section is set forth as Figure 1 to this paragraph.

    ER12MR18.005
    [FR Doc. 2018-04876 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 48 CFR Parts 816, 828, and 852 RIN 2900-AP82 Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation To Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles (VAAR Case 2014-V002); Correction AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is correcting a final rule regarding Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles. This correction addresses minor technical errors in the final rule.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective March 23, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ricky Clark, Senior Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services (003A2A), 425 I Street NW, Washington DC 20001, (202) 632-5276. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    VA is correcting its final rule, “Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation to Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles (VAAR Case 2014-V002)” that published February 21, 2018, in the Federal Register at 83 FR 7401.

    In FR Doc. 2018-03164, appearing on page 7401 in the Federal Register of February 21, 2018, the following corrections are made:

    Corrections

    1. On page 7404, in the second column, redesignate amendatory instructions 7 through 22 as amendatory instructions 8 through 23 and add new amendatory instruction 7 to read as follows:

    Subpart 816.70—[Removed and Reserved] 7. Subpart 816.70 is removed and reserved. Approved: March 7, 2018. Consuela Benjamin, Regulations Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04883 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    83 48 Monday, March 12, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0100; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASW-3] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Duncan, OK AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Halliburton Field, Duncan, OK. The FAA is proposing this action as a result of an airspace review caused by the decommissioning of the Duncan VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) navigation aid as part of the VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) Program and the cancellation of the associated instrument procedures. The geographic coordinates of the airport would also be updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database, as well as an editorial change removing the city associated with the airport name in the airspace designation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or (800) 647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2018-0100; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASW-3, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. 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. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Halliburton Field, Duncan, OK, to support instrument flight rules operations.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2018-0100; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASW-3.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.6-mile radius (decreased from a 6.7-mile radius) at Halliburton Field, Duncan, OK, and removing the extension to the north of the airport associated with the Halliburton Field Localizer. This proposal would add an extension within 4 miles each side of the 359° bearing from the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 11.6 miles north of the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport would also be updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database, and the name of the city associated with the airport in the airspace description would be removed to comply with a change to FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters.

    This action is necessary due to an airspace review caused by the decommissioning of the Duncan VOR as part of the VOR MON Program and cancellation of the associated instrument procedures.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (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); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet Or More Above The Surface of The Earth. ASW OK E5 Duncan, OK [Amended] Halliburton Field, OK (Lat. 34°28′17″ N, long. 97°57′36″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Halliburton Field, and within 4.0 miles each side of the 359° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 11.6 miles north of the airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 5, 2018. Christopher L. Southerland, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04925 Filed 3-9-18; 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-2014-F-0469] Excentials B.V.; Withdrawal of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use) AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification; withdrawal of petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the withdrawal, without prejudice to a future filing, of a food additive petition (animal use) proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of L-selenomethionine as a dietary source of selenium in feed for poultry, swine, and ruminants.

    DATES:

    The food additive petition was withdrawn on November 10, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For access to the docket, 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, HFV-224, Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-6729, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a document published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2014 (79 FR 22602), FDA announced that a food additive petition (FAP 2278) had been filed by Excentials B.V., Vierlinghstraat 51, 4251 LC Werkendam, The Netherlands. The petition proposed to amend part 573 of title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals, to provide for the safe use of L-selenomethionine as a dietary source of selenium in feed for poultry, swine, and ruminants. Excentials B.V. has now withdrawn the petition without prejudice to a future filing in accordance with 21 CFR 571.7.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04775 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 904 [SATS No. AR-040-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2012-0017; S1D1SSS08011000 SX064A000 189S180110; S2D2SSS08011000 SX064A000 18XS501520] Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing the withdrawal of a proposed rule pertaining to an amendment to the Arkansas regulatory program (Arkansas program) and the Arkansas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AMLR) Plan (hereinafter, the plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Arkansas submitted the amendment to revise substantial portions of its regulatory program and AMLR Plan to be no less effective than the counterpart Federal regulations, as well as to clarify ambiguities, improve operational efficiency, correct grammar and punctuation, revise dates, and delete and add citations and subsections.

    DATES:

    The proposed rule published September 10, 2012, at 77 FR 55430, is withdrawn March 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William L. Joseph, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128. Telephone: (918) 581-6430. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Arkansas Program and AMLR Plan II. Submission of the Withdrawal I. Background on the Arkansas Program and AMLR Plan

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its program includes, among other things, state laws and regulations that govern surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the Act and consistent with the Federal regulations. See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) conditionally approved the Arkansas program effective November 21, 1980. You can find background information on the Arkansas program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Arkansas program, in the November 21, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 77003). You can find later actions on the Arkansas program at 30 CFR 904.10, 904.12, and 904.15.

    The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program was established by Title IV of the Act in response to concerns over extensive environmental damage caused by past coal mining activities. The program is funded by a reclamation fee collected on each ton of coal that is produced. The money collected is used to finance the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and for other authorized activities. Section 405 of the Act allows States and Tribes to assume exclusive responsibility for reclamation activity within the State or on Indian lands if they develop and submit to the Secretary for approval, a program (often referred to as a plan) for the reclamation of abandoned coal mines. On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary approved the Arkansas Plan effective May 2, 1983. You can find background information on the Arkansas Plan, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the approval of the plan in the May 2, 1983, Federal Register (48 FR 19710). You can find later actions concerning the Arkansas Plan at 30 CFR 904.25 and 904.26.

    II. Submission of the Withdrawal

    By letter dated June 25, 2012 (Administrative Record No. AR-572), Arkansas submitted a proposed amendment to its program and plan pursuant to SMCRA. Arkansas submitted the amendment in response to a September 30, 2009, letter (Administrative Record No. AR-571) from OSMRE in accordance with 30 CFR 732.17 (c), concerning multiple changes to ownership and control requirements. Arkansas also proposed substantive and nonsubstantive revisions to other sections of its regulatory program and its abandoned mine land reclamation plan at its own initiative.

    We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the September 10, 2012, Federal Register (77 FR 55430). In the same document, we opened the public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public hearing or meeting on the adequacy of the amendment. We did not hold a public hearing or meeting because neither was requested. The public comment period ended on October 10, 2012. We did not receive any public comments.

    OSMRE reviewed the proposed amendment, and in a letter dated January 3, 2013 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.03), requested clarifications and suggested revisions to some provisions. Arkansas responded with minor revisions to their submittal by a letter dated January 11, 2013 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.04). OSMRE requested additional clarifications from Arkansas by email on February 28, 2013 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.05), and on March 5, 2013 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.06). Arkansas responded by email on March 5, 2013 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.07). On April 24, 2013 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.10), OSMRE notified Arkansas that our technical review was complete. On April 25, 2013, Arkansas submitted a revised version of the proposed amendment reflecting all clarifications and edits made during the technical review period (Administrative Record No. AR-572.09). On March 6, 2014, Arkansas submitted a revised amendment that withdrew the proposed changes to Reg.20.817.57 (Administrative Record No. AR-572.11). On July 1, 2014, Arkansas submitted a final version of the proposed amendment with minor corrections regarding page numbering and typographical errors (Administrative Record No. AR-572.12). On July 11, 2014, Arkansas requested the withdrawal of sections related to its Abandoned Mine Land and Administrative sections from its original amendment request (Administrative Record No. AR 572.14).

    The Office of the Solicitor, upon their review of the proposed amendment, found additional inconsistencies with the Federal rule. In a letter dated August 7, 2017, Arkansas notified us that they were withdrawing the proposed amendment at this time (Administrative Record No. AR-572.15). Arkansas stated in the letter that they would submit a new proposed amendment after working with OSMRE informally to address the deficiencies.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 904

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 1, 2017. Alfred L. Clayborne, Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region. Editorial Note:

    The Office of the Federal Register received this document on March 7, 2018.

    [FR Doc. 2018-04910 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 938 [PA-166-FOR, Docket ID: OSM-2017-0008; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 189A180110 S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 18XS501520] Pennsylvania Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Through this proposed amendment, Pennsylvania seeks to revise its Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conversation Act to include language clarifying the circumstances where a finding of presumptive evidence of pollution is warranted under the Commonwealth's Clean Streams Law.

    This document gives the locations and times where the Pennsylvania program documents and this proposed amendment to that program are available for your inspection, establishes the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and describes the procedures we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (e.s.t.), April 11, 2018. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on April 6, 2018. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on March 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. PA-166-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2017-0008 by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: In addition to obtaining copies of documents at www.regulations.gov, you may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Pittsburgh Field Division. To access the docket to review copies of the Pennsylvania program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you may visit the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

    Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, Email: [email protected].

    Thomas Callaghan, P. G., Director, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, Telephone: (717) 787-5015, E-Mail: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220; Telephone: (412) 937-2827; Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its State program includes, among other things, State laws and regulations that govern surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the Act and consistent with the Federal regulations. See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Pennsylvania program, effective July 31, 1982.

    You can find additional background information on the Pennsylvania program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval in the July 30, 1982, Federal Register, at 47 FR 33050. You can also find later actions concerning Pennsylvania's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 938.13, 938.15 and 938.16.

    II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated August 4, 2017 (Administrative Record No. PA 899.00), Pennsylvania sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). The Pennsylvania General Assembly recently amended the BMSLCA to include language clarifying the circumstances where a finding of presumptive evidence of pollution is warranted under the Commonwealth's Clean Streams Law.

    A. By way of State Bill 624, Pennsylvania proposes additional language to the BMSLCA, Section 5 (i) that states:

    In a permit application to conduct bituminous coal mining operations, subject to this act, planned subsidence in a predictable and controlled manner which is not predicted to result in the permanent disruption of premining existing or designated uses of surface waters of the Commonwealth shall not be considered presumptive evidence that the proposed bituminous coal mining operations have the potential to cause pollution as defined in section 1 of the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L. 1987, No. 394), known as `The Clean Streams Law.

    B. Further, Pennsylvania proposes additional language to BMSLCA, Section 5 (j) as follows:

    The provisions of subsection (i) shall only apply if: (1) A person submits an application to conduct bituminous mining operations subject to this act to the department that provides for the restoration of the premining range of flows and restoration of premining biological communities in any waters of this Commonwealth predicted to be adversely affected by subsidence. The restoration shall be consistent with the premining existing and designated uses of the waters of this Commonwealth; and (2) the application is approved by the department.

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State program.

    Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule during the 30-day comment period, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    Public Availability of Comments

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

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on March 27, 2018. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak, and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

    Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.

    IV. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    Pursuant to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance dated October 12, 1993, the approval of state program amendments is exempted from OMB review under Executive Order 12866.

    Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a program amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h) require us to publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment, its text or a summary of its terms, and an opportunity for public comment. We conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 938

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 15, 2017. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04911 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0695] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chambers Bay, Steilacoom, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the Chambers Bay railroad lift bridge (Chambers Bay Bridge) across Chambers Bay, mile 0.01, near Steilacoom in Pierce County, WA. The modified schedule would remove the stationed bridge operator at the subject drawbridge during the evening hours due to minimal usage between these hours.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0695 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 proposed rule, call or email Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District Bridge Program Office, telephone 206-220-7282; 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 BNSF Burlington Northern Santa Fe § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    The Coast Guard proposes to add a new operating schedule that governs the Chambers Bay Bridge. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) owns and operates the vertical lift Chambers Bay Bridge, mile 0.01, near Steilacoom in Pierce County, WA, and has requested a change to the operating schedule based on minimum usage between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. over the past 6 years. The subject bridge operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5 which is the draw shall open on demand. This proposed rule will be a specific operating rule in Subpart B for the subject bridge. We propose a new rule that will not require the subject bridge to station an operator from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., but the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours of notice is given. The draw will be required to open as soon as possible, no later than one hour after notification, for vessels engaged in emergency response.

    Chambers Bay Bridge has a vertical clearance of 10ft in the closed-to-navigation position, and 50ft of vertical clearance in the open-to-navigation position (reference MHW elevation of 12.2 feet). We published a test deviation on July 20, 2017, in the Federal Register (82 FR 33448) titled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chambers Creek, Steilacoom, WA. No comments have been received for the test deviation. During the test deviation, we have not received any complaints on the operation of the Chambers Bay Bridge with no operator stationed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and openings with an hour's notice to test emergency response have been conducted successfully.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters passing under, through or near the Chambers Bay Bridge. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Chambers Bay provides no alternate routes to pass around the Chambers Bay Bridge. This new rule would allow BNSF to better balance the needs of marine and rail traffic. In the last 6 years, only 2% of the subject bridge lifts have occurred between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., which equates to approximately 5 openings a year. Between February 2009 to June 2015, 1,932 total openings were conducted, and of those, 40 occurred between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analysis based on 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 ability for mariners to transit under the bridge from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. with no operator present if a four hour notice is given. The drawbridge will also be required to open as soon as possible, but no later than one hour after notification, for vessels engaged in emergency response.

    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 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 under the bridge 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. Navigation traffic within Chambers Bay consists primarily of the tenants of Chambers Bay marina (recreational users) that are members of the Chambers Bay Boating Association. The boating association has been involved with this operating schedule change, and we have communicated with them requesting for their participation by submitting public comments. No comments have been received.

    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, above. 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 call 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 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 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 proposed rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed 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 preliminary 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 proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of the Instruction.

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 117.1029 to read as follows:
    § 117.1029 Chambers Bay.

    The draw of the Chambers Bay railroad lift bridge, mile 0.01, at Chambers Bay, shall open on signal except between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The draw shall open on signal from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. when at least four hours of notice has been given via the phone number posted on the bridge, and as soon as possible, no later than 1 hour after notification, for vessels engaged in emergency response.

    Dated: February 16, 2018. Brendan C. McPherson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04912 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0739; FRL-9975-34-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Emissions Statement Requirement for the 2008 Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0739 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On March 27, 2008, EPA strengthened the ozone standard from 0.08 to 0.075 parts per million (ppm). 73 FR 16436. On May 21, 2012, EPA designated areas as nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, which include the following counties in Pennsylvania: Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, Lancaster, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, Westmoreland, and Berks counties. See 40 CFR 81.339.

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

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

    In summary, because Pennsylvania is located in the OTR, Pennsylvania sources that are located in ozone attainment areas and emit above 50 tpy of VOC or 100 tpy of NOX are considered major sources and subject to the requirements of major stationary sources in moderate (or worse) nonattainment area, such as an emissions statement submission required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). See CAA sections 182(f) and 184(b)(2). Pennsylvania sources that are located in designated marginal (or worse) nonattainment areas must also submit an emissions statement as required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). As stated previously, states may waive reporting requirements for sources that emit under the 25 tpy NOX and VOC threshold if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182. 1 See section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii).

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

    On November 3, 2017, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) submitted a SIP revision to satisfy the emissions statement requirement of section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. In the submittal, PADEP also submitted a certification for its nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program, which will be addressed in a separate rulemaking action.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    On January 12, 1995 (60 FR 2881), EPA approved Pennsylvania's SIP submittal which included Pennsylvania regulations that satisfy the emission reporting requirements in CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). Pennsylvania's emissions reporting requirements are codified in the Pennsylvania Code at 25 Pa. Code 135.21 “Emissions Statements.”

    25 Pa. Code 135.21 requires that stationary sources or facilities that emit NOX or VOC and are located in an area designated by the CAA as a marginal, moderate, serious, severe or extreme ozone nonattainment area or stationary sources or facilities that are located in the OTR (and not in an area designated as a marginal or worse nonattainment area) and emit or have the potential to emit 100 tons or more of NOX or 50 tons or more of VOC per year, submit an annual emissions statement. Because Pennsylvania is located in the OTR, sources that are located in attainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and emit above 50 tpy of VOC and 100 tpy of NOX are considered major sources and subject to the requirements of major stationary sources in moderate (or worse) nonattainment area, such as an emissions statement submission as required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). See CAA sections 182(f) and 184(b)(2). This statement must show, in a form as PADEP may prescribe, for classes or categories of sources: The actual emissions of NOX or VOC from that source for each reporting period, a description of the method used to calculate the emissions, and the time period over which the calculation is based. The statement must be submitted by a company officer or plant manager who can verify the source's actual emissions.

    Under 25 Pa. Code 135.21(d), sources that emit less than 25 tons of NOX or VOC per year are not required to submit the mandatory emissions statement per 25 Pa. Code 135.21(a) if PADEP provides EPA with an inventory of emissions from the class or category of sources based on the use of the emission factors established by the Administrator. As previously mentioned, per CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii), states may waive reporting requirements for sources under 25 tpy of NOX and VOC if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182.

    In the November 3, 2017 SIP submittal, Pennsylvania states that, upon review, the Commonwealth certifies that the existing emissions statement program continues to comply with the 2008 ozone NAAQS requirements. See 60 FR 2881 (January 12, 1995). EPA finds that 25 Pa. Code 135.21 continues to satisfy section 182(a)(3)(B) because the existing rule is applicable to the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and requires stationary sources that emit NOX or VOC (at required thresholds above 25 tpy in designated ozone nonattainment areas and above 50 tpy VOC or 100 tpy NOX in ozone attainment areas in the OTR) to submit an emissions statement to the Commonwealth detailing the sources' emissions. As previously mentioned, per CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii), states may waive sources that emit less than 25 tpy of NOX or VOC if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA section 172 and 182. Pennsylvania does provide emissions inventories for ozone nonattainment areas as required by CAA section 172(c)(3).2 EPA finds Pennsylvania's emissions' thresholds for sources that are required to submit an emissions statement meet CAA requirements in sections 182 (plan submissions and requirements for ozone nonattainment areas) and 184 (OTR requirements). See also “Guidance on the Implementation of an Emission Statement Program (July 1992).” Therefore, EPA has determined that 25 Pa. Code 135.21, which is currently in the Pennsylvania SIP, is appropriate to address the emissions statement requirement in section 182(a)(3)(B) and is proposing to approve this SIP revision. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    2See “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Lancaster, Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley, and Reading Areas, and the Pennsylvania Portion of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City Area,” 81 FR 24492 (April 26, 2016).

    III. Proposed Action

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

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04813 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0738; FRL-9975-35-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Emissions Statement Rule Certification for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision formally submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia). Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), states' SIPs must require stationary sources in ozone nonattainment areas classified as marginal or above to report annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). This emissions statement requirement also applies to stationary sources located in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) that emit or have the potential to emit at least 50 tons per year (tpy) of VOC or 100 tpy of NOX. The SIP revision provides Virginia's certification that its existing emissions statement program satisfies the emissions statement requirements of the CAA for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is proposing to approve Virginia's emissions statement program certification for the 2008 ozone NAAQS as a SIP revision in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0738 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Calcinore, (215) 814-2043, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Under the CAA, EPA establishes NAAQS for criteria pollutants in order to protect human health and the environment. In response to scientific evidence linking ozone exposure to adverse health effects, EPA promulgated the first ozone NAAQS, the 0.12 part per million (ppm) 1-hour ozone NAAQS, in 1979. See 44 FR 8202 (February 8, 1979). The CAA requires EPA to review and reevaluate the NAAQS every 5 years in order to consider updated information regarding the effects of the criteria pollutants on human health and the environment. On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated a revised ozone NAAQS, referred to as the 1997 ozone NAAQS, of 0.08 ppm averaged over eight hours. 62 FR 38855. This 8-hour ozone NAAQS was determined to be more protective of public health than the previous 19791-hour ozone NAAQS. In 2008, EPA strengthened the 8-hour ozone NAAQS from 0.08 to 0.075 ppm. The 0.075 ppm standard is referred to as the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008).

    On May 21, 2012 and June 11, 2012, EPA designated nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. 77 FR 30088 and 77 FR 34221. Effective July 20, 2012, the Washington, DC-MD-VA area was designated as marginal nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The Washington, DC-MD-VA nonattainment area is comprised of Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City. See 40 CFR 81.347.

    Section 182 of the CAA identifies additional plan submissions and requirements for ozone nonattainment areas. Specifically, section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA requires that states develop and submit, as a revision to their SIP, rules which establish annual reporting requirements for certain stationary sources. Sources that are within marginal or above ozone nonattainment areas must annually report the actual emissions of NOX and VOC to the state. However, states may waive sources that emit under 25 tpy of NOX and VOC if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182. See CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii).

    Additionally, portions of Virginia are included in the ozone transport region (OTR) established by Congress in section 184 of the CAA. The OTR is comprised of the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area that includes the District of Columbia and portions of Virginia. The areas designated as in the Virginia portion of the OTR are as follows: Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Stafford County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City.1

    1See, e.g. “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; NSR in the Ozone Transport Region”, 71 FR 39570 (July 13, 2006) and 71 FR 890 (January 6, 2006).

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

    In summary, sources located within the portions of Virginia included in the OTR, including areas designated as attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, that emit more than 50 tpy of VOC or 100 tpy of NOX are considered major sources and are subject to the same requirements as major stationary sources located in moderate or above nonattainment areas. These requirements include the emissions statement requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). See CAA section 182(f) and 184(b)(2). Sources located in designated marginal or above nonattainment areas must also submit an emissions statement as required by CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). As stated previously, states may waive sources that emit less than the 25 tpy of NOX and 25 tpy of VOC threshold if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182. See CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii). States are required by section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA to submit, for approval into the state's SIP, rules requiring the sources described above to provide annual statements showing their actual emissions of NOX and VOC to the state.

    The EPA published guidance on source emissions statements in a July 1992 memorandum titled, “Guidance on the Implementation of an Emission Statement Program” and in a March 14, 2006 memorandum titled, “Emission Statement Requirements Under 8-hour Ozone NAAQS Implementation” (2006 memorandum). In addition, on March 6, 2015, EPA issued a final rule addressing a range of nonattainment area SIP requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, including the emissions statement requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) (2015 final rule). 80 FR 12264. The 2006 memorandum clarified that the source emissions statement requirement of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) was applicable to all areas designated nonattainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and classified as marginal or above under subpart 2, part D, title I of the CAA. Per EPA's 2015 final rule, the source emissions statement requirement also applies to all areas designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    According to EPA's 2015 final rule, most areas that are required to have an emissions statement program for the 2008 ozone NAAQS already have one in place due to a nonattainment designation for an earlier ozone NAAQS. EPA's 2015 final rule states that, “If an area has a previously approved emissions statement rule in force for the 1997 ozone NAAQS or the 1-hour ozone NAAQS that covers all portions of the nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, such rule should be sufficient for purposes of the emissions statement requirement for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.” In cases where an existing emissions statement rule is still adequate to meet the emissions statement requirement under the 2008 ozone NAAQS, states may provide the rationale for that determination to EPA in a written statement for approval in the SIP to meet the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). In this statement, states should identify how the emissions statement requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) are met by their existing emissions statement rule.

    In summary, the Commonwealth of Virginia is required to submit, as a formal revision to its SIP, a statement certifying that Virginia's existing emissions statement program satisfies the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) and covers the Washington, DC-MD-VA nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.2

    2 EPA did not require Virginia or other states to certify that its existing SIP approved emissions statement program continued to satisfy CAA requirements for areas in the OTR to have an emissions statement program.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    On August 1, 2017, the Commonwealth of Virginia, through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), submitted, as a formal revision to its SIP, a statement certifying that Virginia's existing SIP-approved emissions statement program covers the Virginia portion of the Washington, DC-MD-VA nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and is at least as stringent as the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). In its submittal, Virginia states that the emissions statement requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) are contained under 9VAC5-20-160 (Registration) of the Virginia Administrative Code and are SIP-approved under 40 CFR 52.2420(c). According to Virginia, these provisions mandate that facilities emitting more than 25 tpy of NOX or VOC must submit emission statements to Virginia while those emitting less than 25 tpy must comply with inventory requirements.

    The provisions under 9VAC5-20-160 that implement Virginia's emissions statement program were approved into the Virginia SIP on May 2, 1995 (60 FR 21451).3 These provisions require the owner of any stationary source that emits 25 tpy or more of VOC or NOX and is located in an emissions control area designated under 9VAC5-20-206 (Volatile Organic Compound and Nitrogen Oxides Emissions Control Areas) to submit an emissions statement to the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board by April 15 of each year for the emissions discharged during the previous calendar year.4 Emissions statements are required to be prepared and submitted in accordance with 9VAC5-20-121 (Air Quality Program Policies and Procedures), which references Virginia's January 1, 1993 document AQP-8 titled, “Procedures for Preparing and Submitting Emission Statements for Stationary Sources.” The provisions under 9VAC5-20-121 were also approved into the Virginia SIP on May 2, 1995 (60 FR 21451).

    3 The provisions under 9VAC5-20-160 were derived from VR120-02-31. EPA's May 2, 1995 direct final rulemaking (DFR) approved a SIP revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia requesting the addition of provisions under VR120-02-31 paragraph B, which established Virginia's emissions statement program, and Appendix S (Air Quality Program Policies and Procedures), which described the procedure for preparing and submitting emissions statements for stationary sources, to the Virginia SIP. See 60 FR 21451. On March 6, 1992, the Virginia State Assembly enacted Chapter 216—an act to amend Section 9-77.7, Code of Virginia, which authorized reorganization of the Virginia Administrative Code, including reorganization of the air pollution control regulations, effective July 1, 1992. Beginning April 17, 1995, Virginia began publication of its air quality control regulations in the new format. On April 21, 2000, EPA approved a SIP revision from Virginia requesting the reorganization and renumbering of the Virginia SIP to match the recodification of Virginia's air pollution control regulations under the Virginia Administrative Code. See 65 FR 21315. As a result, the SIP approved provisions under VR120-02-31 and Appendix S are now under 9VAC5-20-160 and 9VAC5-20-121, respectively.

    4 The emissions control areas defined under 9VAC5-20-206 include the Northern Virginia Emissions Control Area, the Fredericksburg Emissions Control Area, the Richmond Emissions Control Area, the Hampton Roads Emissions Control Area, and the Western Virginia Emissions Control Area. The Northern Virginia Emissions Control Area consists of the localities of Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Stafford County, Alexandra City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City.

    EPA's review of the Commonwealth of Virginia's submittal finds that Virginia's existing, SIP-approved emissions statement program under 9VAC5-20-160 satisfies the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) for emission statements for sources located in marginal or above nonattainment areas including such sources in the Virginia portion of the Washington, DC-MD-VA nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA notes 9VAC5-20-160 also requires sources located in portions of Virginia included in the OTR to submit required emission statements in accordance with CAA section 184 (OTR requirements) and 182 (plan submissions and requirements for ozone nonattainment areas). Pursuant to CAA sections 182 and 184, Virginia is required to have an emissions statement program for sources located in marginal or above nonattainment areas and the portions of Virginia included in the OTR. EPA finds the provisions under 9VAC5-20-160 satisfy these requirements of CAA sections 182 and 184 because they apply to the Northern Virginia Emissions Control Area, which includes the Virginia localities within the Virginia portion of the Washington, DC-MD-VA nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (i.e., Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City), and the portions of Virginia included in the OTR (i.e., Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Stafford County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City). EPA also finds Virginia's emissions thresholds for sources that are required to submit an emissions statement meet the requirements of CAA sections 182 and 184. As stated above, 9VAC5-20-160 requires the owner of any stationary source located in an emissions control area that emits 25 tpy or more of VOC or NOX to annually submit an emissions statement. This 25 tpy threshold is equivalent to the threshold required by CAA section 182. As previously mentioned, per CAA section 182(a)(3)(B)(ii), states may waive sources that emit less than 25 tpy of NOX or VOC if the state provides an inventory of emissions from such class or category of sources as required by CAA sections 172 and 182. Virginia does provide emissions inventories for nonattainment areas as required by CAA section 172(c)(3).5 Therefore, EPA has determined that 9VAC5-20-160, which is currently in the Virginia SIP, is appropriate to address the emissions statement requirements in section 182(a)(3)(B) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA is proposing to approve, as a SIP revision, the Commonwealth of Virginia's August 1, 2017 emissions statement program certification for the 2008 ozone NAAQS as approvable under CAA section 182(a)(3)(B). EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    5See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia; 2011 Base Year Emissions Inventories for the Washington, DC-MD-VA Nonattainment Area for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard,” 80 FR 27255 (May 13, 2015).

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the Commonwealth of Virginia's SIP revision submitted on August 1, 2017, which certifies that Virginia's existing SIP-approved emissions statement program under 9VAC5-20-160 satisfies the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    IV. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the Commonwealth of Virginia

    In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information that: (1) Are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) are required by law.

    On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their federal counterparts. . . .” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

    Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

    Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its program consistent with the federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This SIP revision consisting of Virginia's certification that its existing SIP-approved emissions statement program under 9VAC5-20-160 satisfies the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(3)(B) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151 or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 26, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04812 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 48 Monday, March 12, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 6, 2018.

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

    Comments regarding this information collection received by April 11, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

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

    Office of Procurement and Property Management

    Title: Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement.

    OMB Control Number: 0503-0011.

    Summary of Collection: Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008, and the Agricultural Act of 2014 [7 U.S.C. 8102] provides for a preferred procurement program under which Federal agencies are required to purchase biobased products, with certain exceptions. Product categories (which are generic groupings of products) are designated by rulemaking for preferred procurement. To qualify product categories for procurement under this program, the statute requires that the Secretary of Agriculture consider information on the availability of biobased products, the economic and technological feasibility of using such products and the costs of using such products. In addition, the Secretary is required to provide information on designated product categories to Federal agencies about the availability, price, performance, and environmental and public health benefits of such product categories, and where appropriate shall recommend the level of biobased material to be contained in the procured product.

    Need and Use of the Information: The Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM) and its contractors will interact with manufacturers and vendors to gather such information and material for testing, as may be required for designation of products categories for preferred procurement by Federal agencies. The information collected will continue to be gathered using a variety of methods, including face to face visits with a manufacturer or vendor, submission by manufacturers and vendors of information electronically to OPPM, and survey instruments filled out by manufacturers and vendors and submitted to OPPM.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 220.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (once).

    Total Burden Hours: 8,800.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04833 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-TX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: 2018 Survey of Compact of Free Association (COFA) Migrants.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-XXXX.

    Form Number(s): COFA-I (2018); COFA-RI (2018); COFA-FAQ (2018); COFA-NOV (2018); COFA-RL (2018); COFA-ARC (2018).

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Number of Respondents: 7100.

    Average Hours per Response: 0.333.

    Burden Hours: 2,449.

    Needs and Uses: The Compact of Free Association (COFA) is a joint congressional-executive agreement that states that the United States will provide funds to Guam, CNMI, Hawaii, and American Samoa for a range of development programs and other benefits that are necessary due to the in-migration of citizens from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. The COFA Amendments Act of 2003 stipulates that $30,000,000 will be made available annually for grants to help defray the costs to jurisdictions whose health, educational, social, or public safety services are affected by the increase in COFA migrants from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. The COFA Amendments Act of 2003 requires that an enumeration of COFA migrants be conducted no less frequently than every five years in Guam, CNMI, Hawaii, and American Samoa to assist in the distribution of the funds.

    The proposed survey will collect data on place of birth, age, date of birth, sex, marital status, and year of entry for COFA migrants residing in Guam and CNMI. Only questions pertaining to the needs of the legislation will be asked. The questionnaire content and data collection procedures will generally follow the American Community Survey (ACS) and Census 2010 procedures. Since data can be obtained for Hawaii from the ACS, it is not cost-effective to include Hawaii in the 2018 Survey of Compact of Free Association (COFA) Migrants. Because it would be cost prohibitive to design a survey resulting in reliable estimates of the small number of COFA migrants in American Samoa, the estimate for this area will be derived from existing Census 2010 data.

    Affected Public: Residents of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Section 8(b) and Public Law 108-188, The Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003.

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

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

    Sheleen Dumas, PRA Department Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04928 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-44-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 98—Birmingham, Alabama; Application for Subzone; Brose Tuscaloosa, Inc.; Vance, Alabama

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the City of Birmingham, grantee of FTZ 98, requesting subzone status for the facility of Brose Tuscaloosa, Inc., located in Vance, Alabama. 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 Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on March 6, 2018.

    The proposed subzone (21.1 acres) is located at 10100 Brose Drive, Vance, Alabama (Tuscaloosa County). No additional authorization for production activity has been requested at this time. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 98.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Qahira El-Amin 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 Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 23, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to May 7, 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 Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Qahira El-Amin at [email protected] or (202) 482-5928.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04905 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-17-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 21—Charleston, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; AGRU America Charleston, LLC; (High Density Polyethylene Pipe); North Charleston, South Carolina

    AGRU America Charleston, LLC (AGRU America) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on March 5, 2018.

    AGRU America already has authority to produce high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe within Site 5 of FTZ 21. The current request would add four foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt AGRU America from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, AGRU America would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to HDPE pipe. AGRU America would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Plastic pipe fittings; steel flanges; threaded steel bolts of more than six mm diameter; and, vulcanized rubber gaskets, washers, and seals (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 5.5%).

    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 23, 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 Juanita Chen at [email protected] or 202-482-1378.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04906 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-69-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 52—Suffolk County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Estee Lauder Inc.; (Hair Straightening Styling Balm); Melville, New York

    On November 2, 2017, Estee Lauder Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility within FTZ 52 in Melville, New York.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (82 FR 54320, November 17, 2017). On March 2, 2018, the applicant was notified of the FTZ Board's decision that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification was authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04907 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-43-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 61—San Juan, Puerto Rico; Application for Subzone; Manuel Freije Arce, Inc.; Cataño, Puerto Rico

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company, grantee of FTZ 61, requesting subzone status for the facility of Manuel Freije Arce, Inc., located in Cataño, Puerto Rico. 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 Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on March 6, 2018.

    The proposed subzone (6.07 acres) is located at Marginal Street, Highway #165 Km 3.2, Palmas Ward, Cataño, Puerto Rico. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 61. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Camille Evans 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 Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 23, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to May 7, 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 Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04908 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-929] Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that Fushun Jinly Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (Fushun Jinly), a producer and exporter of small diameter graphite electrodes from the People's Republic of China (China), did not make sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value (NV) during the period of review (POR) February 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. In addition, Commerce preliminarily determines that the Fangda Group and Xuzhou Jianglong Carbon Products Co., Ltd. made no shipments of the subject merchandise during the POR.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dennis McClure or John Anwesen, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5973 or (202) 482-0131, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is small diameter graphite electrodes. The products are currently classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 8545.11.0010, 3801.10, and 8545.11.0020. Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order remains dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1See “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China; 2016-2017,” from James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on an analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information, and no shipment certifications submitted by the Fangda Group 2 and Xuzhou Jianglong Carbon Products Co., Ltd., Commerce preliminary determines that these companies had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR. For additional information regarding this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2 The Fangda Group consists of Beijing Fangda Carbon Tech Co., Ltd., Chengdu Rongguang Carbon Co., Ltd., Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd., Fushun Carbon Co., Ltd., and Hefei Carbon Co., Ltd. We refer to the Fangda Group as a single entity pursuant to 19 CFR 351.401(f)(1). See Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 73 FR 49408, 49411-12 (August 21, 2008) (where we collapsed the following individual members of the Fangda Group: Beijing Fangda Carbon Tech Co., Ltd., Chengdu Rongguang Carbon Co., Ltd., Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd., Fushun Carbon Co., Ltd., and Hefei Carbon Co., Ltd.), unchanged in Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China, 74 FR 2049 (January 14, 2009).

    Consistent with our practice in non-market economy (NME) cases, Commerce is not rescinding this review, in part, but intends to complete the review with respect to these companies, for which it has preliminarily found no shipments, and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.3

    3See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For the mandatory respondent, Fushun Jinly, export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because China is a non-market economy (NME) within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV has been calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now March 5, 2018.4

    4See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    Commerce preliminarily determines that Fushun Jinly is eligible to receive a separate rate in this review.5 As Fushun Jinly has established its eligibility for a separate rate, Commerce preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for the POR from February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017:

    5See Preliminary Decision Memorandum for more details.

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin (percent)
  • Fushun Jinly Petrochemical Carbon Co., Ltd 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce intends to disclose calculations performed for these preliminary results to the parties within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.6 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.7 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the case briefs are filed.8

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.9 Hearing requests should contain (1) the party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised by the parties in their written comments, within 120 days of the publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1), unless this deadline is extended.

    9See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuing the final results of review, Commerce will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.10 If the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Specifically, Commerce will apply the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Final Modification for Reviews. 11 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.12

    10See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    11See Antidumping Proceeding: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8103 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    12See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    Pursuant to Commerce's assessment practice in NME cases, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by the exporter individually examined during this review, but that entered under the case number of that exporter (i.e., at the individually-examined exporter's cash deposit rate), Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the China-wide rate. In addition, for any exporter under review which Commerce determines had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the China-wide rate.13 Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    13 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for shipments of the subject merchandise from China entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For subject merchandise exported by the company listed above that has a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (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; and (4) for all non-Chinese exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to Chinese exporter that supplied that non-Chinese exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary 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 POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in Commerce's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of the Methodology A. Preliminary Finding of No Shipments B. Non-Market Economy Country C. Separate Rates D. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Data E. Date of Sale F. Comparisons to Normal Value G. Bona Fides of U.S. Sales H. U.S. Price I. Normal Value J. Currency Conversion V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-04895 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-552-813] Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on steel wire garment hangers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the levels indicated in the Final Results of Review section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Conniff, Office III, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1009.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Order on steel wire garment hangers from Vietnam was published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2013.1 On November 6, 2017, Commerce initiated this sunset review of the order on steel wire garment hangers from Vietnam pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On November 6, 2017, Commerce received a notice of intent to participate from M&B Metal Products Company, Inc. (M&B), hereinafter referred to as the petitioner, within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i).3 The petitioner claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act as a domestic producer of steel wire garment hangers in the United States. On November 30, 2017, Commerce received an adequate substantive response from the petitioner within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). Commerce did not receive a substantive response from the Government of Vietnam (GOV) or a respondent interested party to this proceeding. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), Commerce conducted an expedited review of the Order.

    1See Certain Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Countervailing Duty Order, 78 FR 8,107 (February 5, 2013) (Order).

    2See Notice Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 82 FR 50,61 (November 1, 2017).

    3See Letter from the petitioner regarding First Sunset Reviews of Steel Wire Garment Hangers from Taiwan and Vietnam—Notice of Intent to Participate (November 6, 2017).

    Commerce has exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the final results of this expedited sunset review is now March 5, 2018.4

    4See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the Order is steel wire garment hangers, fabricated from carbon steel wire, whether or not galvanized or painted, whether or not coated with latex or epoxy or similar gripping materials, and/or whether or not fashioned with paper covers or capes (with or without printing) and/or nonslip features such as saddles or tubes. These products may also be referred to by a commercial designation, such as shirt, suit, strut, caped, or latex (industrial) hangers.

    Specifically excluded from the scope of the Order are (a) wooden, plastic, and other garment hangers that are not made of steel wire; (b) steel wire garment hangers with swivel hooks; (c) steel wire garment hangers with clips permanently affixed; and (d) chrome-plated steel wire garment hangers with a diameter of 3.4 mm or greater.

    The products subject to the Order are currently classified under U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS) subheadings 7326.20.0020 and 7323.99.9080. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is dated concurrently with and adopted by this notice.5 The issues discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy and the net countervailable subsidy likely to prevail if the Order were revoked. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this expedited sunset review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum, which is on file electronically via the Enforcement and Compliance Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    5See Memorandum from James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and countervailing Duty Operations, to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. regarding: “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” dated concurrently with and adopted by this Notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Final Results of Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(b)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the Order on steel wire garment hangers from Vietnam would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a net countervailable subsidy at the rates listed below: 6

    6Id.

    Manufacturers/producers/exporters Net
  • countervailable
  • subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • South East Asia Hamico Export Joint Stock Company (SEA Hamico), Nam A Hamico Export Joint Stock Company (Nam A), and Linh Sa Hamico Company Limited (Linh Sa) (collectively, the Hamico Companies) 31.58 Infinite Industrial Hanger Limited (Infinite) and Supreme Hanger Company Limited (Supreme) (collectively, the Infinite Companies) 90.42 All-Others 31.58
    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of return/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 sanctionable violation.

    Commerce is issuing and publishing these final results and this notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(b), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04900 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-580-837] Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; and Rescission of Review, in Part; Calendar Year 2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) determines that Hyundai Steel Co. (Hyundai Steel) and Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd. (DSM), exporters/producers of certain cut-to-length plate from the Republic of Korea, received countervailable subsidies during the period of review (POR) January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016. However, the countervailable subsidies received by DSM were de minimis.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Conniff (for Hyundai Steel) or Jolanta Lawska (for DSM), AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-1009 and (202) 482-8362, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government on January 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the final results of this review is now March 5, 2018.1

    1See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Intent To Partially Rescind the Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(l), Commerce will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party or parties that requested a review withdraws the request within 90 days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Commerce initiated a review of 14 companies in this administrative review.2 The petitioner 3 timely withdrew its request for an administrative review of Bookuk Steel, Daewoo International Corp., Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd., Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co., Ltd., Hyuosung Corporation, Samsung C&T Corporation, Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction Group, Samsung C&T Trading Investment Group, Samsung Heavy Industries, SK Networks, Steel N People Co Ltd., and Sung Jin Steel Co., Ltd. Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(l), we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to these companies.

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 17188, April 10, 2017.

    3 The petitioner is Nucor Corporation (Nucor), a domestic producer of cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate and a domestic interested party.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of the order, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.4

    4See “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that confers a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.5 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    5See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4)(i), we calculated an individual subsidy rate for DSM and Hyundai Steel. For the period January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, we preliminarily determine that the following net subsidy rates for the producers/exporters under review to be as follows:

    Company Subsidy rate
  • ad valorem
  • Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd 0.21% (de minimis). Hyundai Steel Company 0.54%.
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce intends to disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.6 Interested parties may submit written arguments (case briefs) within 30 days of publication of the preliminary results and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing the case briefs.7 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2), rebuttal briefs may respond only to issues raised in the case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) Statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    6See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii); 351.309(d)(1); and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.8 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing, which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.9 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing.

    8See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    9See 19 CFR 351.310.

    Parties are reminded that briefs and hearing requests are to be filed electronically using ACCESS and that electronically filed documents must be received successfully in their entirety by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, Commerce will issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by parties in their comments, within 120 days after issuance of these preliminary results.

    Assessment Rates and Cash Deposit Requirements

    Upon completion of the administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, Commerce also intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties in the amounts indicated above for each company listed on shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    This administrative review and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Rescission of Administrative Review, In Part IV. Scope of the Order V. Subsidies Valuation Information A. Allocation Period B. Attribution of Subsidies C. Benchmarks for Long-Term Loans and Discount Rates D. Denominators VI. Analysis of Programs A. Programs Preliminarily Determined to be Countervailable B. Programs Preliminarily Determined Not to Confer a Measurable Benefit C. Programs Preliminarily Determined to Not be Not Used VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-04899 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-979] Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of this first sunset review, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the People's Republic of China (China) would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping, at the level indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Review” section of this notice, infra.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Magd Zalok or Howard Smith, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4162 or (202) 482-5193, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 7, 2012, Commerce published in the Federal Register the antidumping duty order on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (CSPV cells) from China.1 On November 1, 2017, Commerce published the notice of initiation of this sunset review of the Order, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On November 13, 2017, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1), Commerce received a timely and complete notice of intent to participate in the sunset review from SolarWorld Americas, Inc. (SolarWorld), in which SolarWorld claimed interested party status, as a domestic producer of CSPV cells, under section 771(9)(C) of the Act.3 This notice was filed within the time period specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i).4 On December 1, 2017, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i), SolarWorld filed a timely and adequate substantive response.5 Commerce did not receive a substantive response from any respondent interested party. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), Commerce conducted an expedited (120-day) first sunset review of the Order. Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the final results is now March 5, 2018.6

    1See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 73018 (December 7, 2012) (Order).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Review, 82 FR 50612 (November 1, 2017).

    3See Letter from SolarWorld to Commerce re, “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Intent to Participate in Sunset Review,” dated November 13, 2017.

    4See Id.

    5See Letter from SolarWorld to Commerce re, “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation of Sunset Review,” dated December 1, 2017 (SolarWorld Substantive Response).

    6See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials. Merchandise covered by this order is classifiable under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).7

    7 For a complete description of the scope of the Order, see Commerce's Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China (Issues and Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    A complete discussion of all issues raised in this sunset review, specifically the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail if the Order were to be revoked, is provided in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.8 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    8Id.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 751(c)(1), 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, Commerce determines that revocation of the Order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping, and that the magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail would be weighted-average dumping margins up to 249.96 percent.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

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

    We are issuing and publishing the results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04897 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-836] Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube From Mexico: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) determines that sales of light-walled rectangular pipe and tube (LWRPT) from Mexico by Productos Laminados de Monterrey S.A. de C.V (Productos Laminados) and affiliated reseller, Aceros Cuatro Caminos S.A. de C.V. (A4C) (collectively, Prolamsa) were not made at prices below normal value during the period of review of August 1, 2015, through July 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madeline Heeren, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-9179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 6, 2017, Commerce published the Preliminary Results.1 Commerce has exercised its discretion to toll deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the final results of this review is now March 8, 2018.2 A summary of the events that occurred since Commerce published these results, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.3

    1See Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Mexico: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 42076 (September 6, 2017) (Preliminary Results).

    2See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    3See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Mexico; 2015-2016,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the scope of the order are certain light-walled rectangular pipe and tube from Mexico. For a complete description of the scope, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties to this administrative review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised by parties is attached to this notice as Appendix. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    No changes were made as a result of our review of the record and comments received from interested parties. For a discussion, see the “Discussion of the Issues” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Results of the Review

    The final weighted-average dumping margin is as follows:

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Productos Laminados de Monterrey S.A. de C.V./Aceros Cuatro Caminos S.A. de C.V. 0.00.
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Duty Assessment

    Commerce shall determine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries.4 Because the weighted-average dumping margin of the sole respondent covered by this administrative review is zero, we will instruct CBP to liquidate entries covered by this review period without regarding to antidumping duties.

    4 In these final results, Commerce applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    We intend to issue assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of this notice for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication of these final results, as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for respondents noted above will be the rate established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of the subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 3.76 percent, the all-others rate established in the antidumping investigation.5 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    5See Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from Mexico, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Orders; Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 73 FR 45403 (August 5, 2008).

    Notification to Importers Regarding the Reimbursement of Duties

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

    Administrative Protective Order

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

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Final Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. List of Issues III. Background IV. Scope of the Order V. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Revision of Control Numbers (CONNUMs) Comment 2: Theoretical Weight VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-04896 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-840] Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain frozen warmwater shrimp (shrimp) from India is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manuel Rey or Brittany Bauer, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5518 or (202) 482-3860, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on shrimp from India. The review covers 231 producers and/or exporters of the subject merchandise. Commerce selected two mandatory respondents for individual examination: Devi Fisheries Limited/Satya Seafoods Private Limited/Usha Seafoods/Devi Aquatech Private Limited (collectively, Devi); and Devi Marine Food Exports Private Ltd./Kader Exports Private Limited/Kader Investment and Trading Company Private Limited/Liberty Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd./Liberty Oil Mills Ltd./Premier Marine Products Private Limited/Universal Cold Storage Private Limited (collectively, Liberty Group). The POR is February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    We preliminarily determine that sales to the United States have been made below normal value and, therefore, are subject to antidumping duties. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. We invite all interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.1

    1 Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now March 5, 2018. See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by three days.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is certain frozen warmwater shrimp.2 The product is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers: 0306.17.00.03, 0306.17.00.06, 0306.17.00.09, 0306.17.00.12, 0306.17.00.15, 0306.17.00.18, 0306.17.00.21, 0306.17.00.24, 0306.17.00.27, 0306.17.00.40, 1605.21.10.30, and 1605.29.10.10. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive.

    2 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2016-2017 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from India,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

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

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that weighted-average dumping margins exist for the respondents for the period February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017, as follows:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Devi Fisheries Limited/Satya Seafoods Private Limited/Usha Seafoods/Devi Aquatech Private Limited 2.34 Devi Marine Food Exports Private Ltd./Kader Exports Private Limited/Kader Investment and Trading Company Private Limited/Liberty Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd./Liberty Oil Mills Ltd./Premier Marine Products Private Limited/Universal Cold Storage Private Limited 0.00

    Review-Specific Average Rate Applicable to the Following Companies: 3

    3 This rate is based on the rates for the respondents that were selected for individual review, excluding rates that are zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts available. See section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Abad Fisheries 2.34 Akshay Food Impex Private Limited 2.34 Alashore Marine Exports (P) Ltd 2.34 Alpha Marine 2.34 Allana Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Allanasons Ltd 2.34 AMI Enterprises 2.34 Amulya Seafoods 2.34 Amarsagar Seafoods Private Limited 2.34 Ananda Aqua Applications/Ananda Aqua Exports (P) Limited/Ananda Foods 2.34 Ananda Enterprises (India) Private Limited 2.34 Angelique Intl 2.34 Anjaneya Seafoods 2.34 Apex Frozen Foods Private Limited 2.34 Aquatica Frozen Foods Global Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Arya Sea Foods Private Limited 2.34 Asvini Exports 2.34 Avanti Feeds Limited/Avanti Frozen Foods Private Limited 2.34 Asvini Fisheries Ltd/Asvini Fisheries Private Limited 2.34 Ayshwarya Seafood Private Limited 2.34 B-One Business House Pvt. Ltd 2.34 B R Traders 2.34 Baby Marine Exports 2.34 Baby Marine International 2.34 Baby Marine Sarass 2.34 Baby Marine Ventures 2.34 Balasore Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 Bay Seafoods 2.34 Bhatsons Aquatic Products 2.34 Bhavani Seafoods 2.34 Bijaya Marine Products 2.34 Blue Fin Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Blue Water Foods & Exports P. Ltd 2.34 Bluepark Seafoods Private Ltd 2.34 BMR Exports 2.34 BMR Industries Private Limited 2.34 Britto Exports 2.34 C P Aquaculture (India) Ltd 2.34 Calcutta Seafoods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Canaan Marine Products 2.34 Capithan Exporting Co 2.34 Cargomar Private Limited 2.34 Castlerock Fisheries Ltd 2.34 Chakri Fisheries Private Limited 2.34 Chemmeens (Regd) 2.34 Cherukattu Industries (Marine Div.) 2.34 Choice Trading Corporation Private Limited 2.34 Coastal Aqua 2.34 Coastal Corporation Ltd 2.34 Cochin Frozen Food Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Coreline Exports 2.34 Corlim Marine Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Crystal Sea Foods Private Limited 2.34 D2 D Logistics Private Limited 2.34 Damco India Private Limited 2.34 Delsea Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Devi Sea Foods Limited 4 2.34 Diamond Seafoods Exports/Edhayam Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd./Kadalkanny Frozen Foods/Theva & Company 2.34 Esmario Export Enterprises 2.34 Exporter Coreline Exports 2.34 Falcon Marine Exports Limited/K.R. Enterprises 2.34 Febin Marine Foods 2.34 Five Star Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 Forstar Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Frontline Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 G A Randerian Ltd 2.34 Gadre Marine Exports 2.34 Galaxy Maritech Exports P. Ltd 2.34 Geo Aquatic Products (P) Ltd 2.34 Geo Seafoods 2.34 Goodwill Enterprises 2.34 Grandtrust Overseas (P) Ltd 2.34 Growel Processors Private Limited 2.34 GVR Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Haripriya Marine Export Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Harmony Spices Pvt. Ltd 2.34 HIC ABF Special Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Hiravata Ice & Cold Storage 2.34 Hiravati Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Hiravati International Pvt. Ltd. (located at APM—Mafco Yard, Sector—18, Vashi, Navi, Mumbai—400 705, India) 2.34 Hiravati International Pvt. Ltd. (located at Jawar Naka, Porbandar, Gujarat, 360 575, India) 2.34 HN Indigos Private Limited 2.34 Hyson Logistics and Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 IFB Agro Industries Ltd 2.34 Indian Aquatic Products 2.34 Indo Aquatics 2.34 Indo Fisheries 2.34 Indo French Shellfish Company Private Limited 2.34 Innovative Foods Limited 2.34 International Freezefish Exports 2.34 Interseas 2.34 ITC Limited, International Business 2.34 ITC Ltd 2.34 Jagadeesh Marine Exports 2.34 Jayalakshmi Sea Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Jinny Marine Traders 2.34 Jiya Packagings 2.34 K V Marine Exports 2.34 Kalyan Aqua & Marine Exp. India Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Kalyanee Marine 2.34 Kanch Ghar 2.34 Karunya Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 Kay Kay Exports 2.34 Kings Marine Products 2.34 KNC Agro Limited 2.34 Koluthara Exports Ltd 2.34 Landauer Ltd 2.34 Libran Cold Storages (P) Ltd 2.34 Magnum Estates Limited 2.34 Magnum Export 2.34 Magnum Sea Foods Limited 2.34 Malabar Arabian Fisheries 2.34 Malnad Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Mangala Marine Exim India Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Mangala Sea Foods 2.34 Mangala Sea Products 2.34 Marine Harvest India 2.34 Meenaxi Fisheries Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Milesh Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 Monsun Foods Pvt Ltd 2.34 MTR Foods 2.34 Munnangi Sea Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 N.C. John & Sons (P) Ltd 2.34 Naga Hanuman Fish Packers 2.34 Naik Frozen Foods Private Limited 2.34 Naik Seafoods Ltd 2.34 Naik Oceanic Exports Pvt. Ltd/Rafiq Naik Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Neeli Aqua Private Limited 2.34 Nekkanti Sea Foods Limited 2.34 Nezami Rekha Sea Foods Private Limited 2.34 NGR Aqua International 2.34 Nila Sea Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Nine Up Frozen Foods 2.34 Nutrient Marine Foods Ltd 2.34 Oceanic Edibles International Limited 2.34 Paragon Sea Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Paramount Seafoods 2.34 Parayil Food Products Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Pasupati Aquatics Private Limited 2.34 Penver Products Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Pesca Marine Products Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Pijikay International Exports P Ltd 2.34 Pisces Seafood International 2.34 Pravesh Seafood Private Limited 2.34 Premier Exports International 2.34 Premier Marine Foods 2.34 Premier Seafoods Exim (P) Ltd 2.34 R V R Marine Products Limited 2.34 Raa Systems Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Raju Exports 2.34 Ram's Assorted Cold Storage Ltd 2.34 Raunaq Ice & Cold Storage 2.34 Raysons Aquatics Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Razban Seafoods Ltd 2.34 RBT Exports 2.34 RDR Exports 2.34 RF Exports 2.34 Riviera Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Rohi Marine Private Ltd 2.34 Royal Marine Impex Private Limited 2.34 Royale Marine Impex Pvt. Ltd 2.34 RSA Marines 2.34 S & S Seafoods 2.34 S Chanchala Combines 2.34 S. A. Exports 2.34 Safa Enterprises 2.34 Sagar Foods 2.34 Sagar Grandhi Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Sagar Samrat Seafoods 2.34 Sagarvihar Fisheries Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Sai Marine Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Sai Sea Foods 2.34 Salvam Exports (P) Ltd 2.34 Sanchita Marine Products Private Limited 2.34 Sandhya Aqua Exports 2.34 Sandhya Aqua Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Sandhya Marines Limited 2.34 Santhi Fisheries & Exports Ltd 2.34 Sarveshwari Exports 2.34 Sea Foods Private Limited 2.34 Seagold Overseas Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Selvam Exports Private Limited 2.34 Sharat Industries Ltd 2.34 Sharma Industries 2.34 Shimpo Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Shimpo Seafoods Private Limited 2.34 Shiva Frozen Food Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Shree Datt Aquaculture Farms Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Shroff Processed Food & Cold Storage P Ltd 2.34 Silver Seafood 2.34 Sita Marine Exports 2.34 Southern Tropical Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Sowmya Agri Marine Exports 2.34 Sprint Exports Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Sri Sakkthi Cold Storage 2.34 Sri Venkata Padmavathi Marine Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34 Srikanth International 2.34 Star Agro Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 Star Organic Foods Incorporated 2.34 Star Organic Foods Private Limited 2.34 Sterling Foods 2.34 Sun-Bio Technology Ltd 2.34 Sunrise Aqua Food Exports 2.34 Supran Exim Private Limited 2.34 Suryamitra Exim (P) Ltd 2.34 Suvarna Rekha Exports Private Limited 2.34 Suvarna Rekha Marines P Ltd 2.34 TBR Exports Pvt Ltd 2.34 Teekay Marine P. Ltd 2.34 The Waterbase Limited 2.34 Triveni Fisheries P Ltd 2.34 U & Company Marine Exports 2.34 Ulka Sea Foods Private Limited 2.34 Uniroyal Marine Exports Ltd 2.34 Unitriveni Overseas 2.34 V V Marine Products 2.34 V.S. Exim Pvt Ltd 2.34 Vasai Frozen Food Co 2.34 Vasista Marine 2.34 Veejay Impex 2.34 Veerabhadra Exports Private Limited 2.34 Veronica Marine Exports Private Limited 2.34 Victoria Marine & Agro Exports Ltd 2.34 Vinner Marine 2.34 Vitality Aquaculture Pvt., Ltd 2.34 Wellcome Fisheries Limited 2.34 West Coast Fine Foods (India) Private Limited 2.34 West Coast Frozen Foods Private Limited 2.34 Z A Sea Foods Pvt. Ltd 2.34
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce intends to disclose the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results to interested parties within five days after the date of publication of this notice.5 Interested parties may submit case briefs to Commerce no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.7 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.8 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.9

    4 Shrimp produced and exported by Devi Sea Foods was excluded from the antidumping duty order effective February 1, 2009. See Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Partial Rescission of Review, and Notice of Revocation of Order in Part, 75 FR 41813, 41814 (July 19, 2010). Accordingly, we are conducting this administrative review with respect to Devi Sea Foods only for shrimp produced in India where Devi Sea Foods acted as either the manufacturer or exporter (but not both).

    5See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(d)

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    9See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.10 Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.11

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    11Id.

    Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the publication date of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the administrative review, Commerce shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), because Devi and the Liberty Group reported the entered value for of their all their U.S. sales, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales to the total entered value of the sales for which entered value was reported. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c), or an importer-specific rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    For the companies which were not selected for individual review, we will assign an assessment rate based on the average 12 of the cash deposit rates calculated for the companies selected for mandatory review (i.e., Devi and the Liberty Group), excluding any which are de minimis or determined entirely on adverse facts available. The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.13

    12 This rate will be calculated as discussed in the “Preliminary Results of the Review” section, above.

    13See section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for each specific company listed above will be that established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is less than 0.50 percent and, therefore, de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not participating in this review, the cash deposit will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, or the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent segment for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 10.17 percent, the all-others rate made effective by the LTFV investigation.14 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    14See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sale at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from India, 70 FR 5147 (February 1, 2005).

    Notification to Importers

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

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Affiliation and Collapsing a. Legal Framework b. Affiliation and Single Entity Analysis 5. Determination Not To Select Falcon As a Voluntary Respondent 6. Discussion of the Methodology 7. Normal Value Comparisons a. Determination of Comparison Method b. Results of Differential Pricing Analysis c. Product Comparisons d. Export Price e. Normal Value i. Home Market Viability and Comparison Market ii. Level of Trade iii. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of Cost of Production 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test iv. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices v. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value 8. Currency Conversion 9. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-04894 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-836] Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that producers and/or exporters subject to this administrative review made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results of review.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yang Jin Chun or Thomas Schauer, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5760 or (202) 482-0410, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Commerce initiated the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate products (CTL plate) from the Republic of Korea (Korea).1 The period of review is February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 17188, 17194 (April 10, 2017).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the antidumping duty order are certain CTL plate. Imports of CTL plate are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7225.40.3050, 7225.40.7000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.91.5000, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0000. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2

    2See the Memorandum, “Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from the Republic of Korea: Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price and constructed export price are calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of the topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included in the Appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in Commerce's Central Records Unit, located at room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html.

    Preliminary Results of the Administrative Review

    We preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the respondents for the period February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd 0.90 Hyundai Steel Company 11.64
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed for these preliminary results to the parties within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.3 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.4

    3See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.5 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    5See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis in the final results of this review, we will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for each importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).6 If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews. 7 The final results of this administrative review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise under review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    6 In these preliminary results, Commerce applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    7See Final Modification for Reviews, 77 FR at 8103. See also 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For entries of subject merchandise during the period of review produced by Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd. or Hyundai Steel Company for which they did not know their merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements for estimated antidumping duties will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of this review for all shipments of CTL plate from Korea entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for companies subject to this review will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margins established in the final results of the review; (2) for merchandise exported by companies not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment for the producer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 0.98 percent,8 the all-others rate established in the less-than-fair-value investigation, adjusted for the export-subsidy rate in the companion countervailing duty investigation.

    8See, e.g., Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 42075, 42076 (September 6, 2017).

    These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary 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 period of review. 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.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Commerce is issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of the Methodology A. Comparisons to Normal Value 1. Determination of Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis B. Product Comparisons C. Date of Sale D. Level of Trade/CEP Offset E. Affiliated Service Providers F. Export Price and Constructed Export Price 1. DSM 2. Hyundai Steel G. Normal Value 1. Overrun Sales 2. Selection of Comparison Market 3. Affiliated Parties 4. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test 5. Cost of Production 6. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices V. Currency Conversion VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-04679 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-817, C-533-818, A-560-805, C-560-806, A-580-836, C-580-837] Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea; Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of determinations by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) that revocation of the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate (CTL plate) from India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea (Korea) would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States, Commerce is publishing notice of the continuation of the AD and CVD orders.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terre Keaton Stefanova, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, or John Conniff, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1280 and (202) 482-1009, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 1, 2016, Commerce published the notice of initiation of the sunset reviews of the AD and CVD orders 1 on CTL plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On December 1, 2016, the ITC instituted its review of the orders.3

    1See Notice of Amendment of Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, 65 FR 6585 (February 10, 2000); see also Notice of Amended Final Determinations: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From India and the Republic of Korea; and Notice of Countervailing Duty Orders: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From France, India, Indonesia, Italy, and the Republic of Korea, 65 FR 6587 (February 10, 2000) (collectively, orders).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 81 FR 86697 (December 1, 2016) (Notice of Initiation).

    3See Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea; Institution of a Five-Year Reviews, 81 FR 86725 (December 1, 2016).

    As a result of these sunset reviews, Commerce found that revocation of the AD orders on CTL plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping.4 Commerce also found that revocation of the CVD orders on CTL plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies.5 Commerce, therefore, notified the ITC of the magnitude of the dumping margins and countervailable subsidy rates likely to prevail should the AD and CVD orders, respectively, be revoked.

    4See Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders, 82 FR 18895 (April 24, 2017).

    5See Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Expedited Third Sunset Reviews of Countervailing Duty Orders, 82 FR 16790 (April 6, 2017).

    On March 2, 2018, pursuant to sections 751(c) and 752(a) of the Act, the ITC published its determination that revocation of the AD and CVD orders on CTL plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.6

    6See Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea; Determinations, 83 FR 9027 (March 2, 2018).

    Scope of the Orders

    The merchandise covered by the orders are certain hot-rolled carbon-quality steel: (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a nominal or actual thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are cut-to length (not in coils) and without patterns in relief), of iron or non-alloy quality steel; and (2) flat-rolled products, hot-rolled, of a nominal or actual thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are cut-to-length (not in coils). Steel products included in the scope of the order are of rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and of rectangular or non-rectangular cross section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process (i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling”)—for example, products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges. Steel products that meet the noted physical characteristics that are painted, varnished, or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances are included within the scope. Also, specifically included in the scope of the orders are high strength, low alloy (HSLA) steels. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Steel products included in the scope, regardless of Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions, are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements, (2) the carbon content is two percent or less, by weight, and (3) none of the elements listed below is equal to or exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated: 1.80 percent of manganese, or 1.50 percent of silicon, or 1.00 percent of copper, or 0.50 percent of aluminum, or 1.25 percent of chromium, or 0.30 percent of cobalt, or 0.40 percent of lead, or 1.25 percent of nickel, or 0.30 percent of tungsten, or 0.10 percent of molybdenum, or 0.10 percent of niobium, or 0.41 percent of titanium, or 0.15 percent of vanadium, or 0.15 percent zirconium. All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not equal or exceed any one of the levels listed above, are within the scope of the orders unless otherwise specifically excluded.

    The following products are specifically excluded from the orders: (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances; (2) SAE grades (formerly AISI grades) of series 2300 and above; (3) products made to ASTM A710 and A736 or their proprietary equivalents; (4) abrasion-resistant steels (i.e., USS AR 400, USS AR 500); (5) products made to ASTM A202, A225, A514 grade S, A517 grade S, or their proprietary equivalents; (6) ball bearing steels; (7) tool steels; and (8) silicon manganese steel or silicon electric steel.

    Imports of steel plate are currently classified in the HTSUS under subheadings 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7225.40.3050, 7225.40.7000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.91.5000, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0000. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the merchandise covered by the orders is dispositive.

    Continuation of the Orders

    As a result of the determinations by Commerce and the ITC that revocation of the AD and CVD orders would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(a), Commerce hereby orders the continuation of the AD and CVD orders on CTL plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect AD and CVD cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise. The effective date of continuation of these orders will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, Commerce intends to initiate the next five-year reviews of these orders not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation.

    These five-year (sunset) reviews and this notice are in accordance with sections 751(c) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4).

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04846 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-552-802] Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain frozen warmwater shrimp (shrimp) from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than normal value during the period of review (POR) February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Gorelik, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6905.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now March 5, 2018.1

    1See Memorandum for the Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the Order is certain frozen warmwater shrimp. The product is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers: 0306.17.00.03, 0306.17.00.06, 0306.17.00.09, 0306.17.00.12, 0306.17.00.15, 0306.17.00.18, 0306.17.00.21, 0306.17.00.24, 0306.17.00.27, 0306.17.00.40, 1605.21.10.30, and 1605.29.10.10. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written product description, available in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, remains dispositive.2

    2 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from James Maeder, Senior Director for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, titled “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; 2016-2017,” dated concurrently with, and adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export prices were calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because Vietnam is a non-market economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via the Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on our analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information and information provided by a number of companies, we preliminarily determine that 11 companies 3 under active review did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR. In addition, Commerce finds, consistent with its refinement to its assessment practice in non-market economy cases, that it is appropriate not to rescind the review in part in these circumstances, but to complete the review with respect to these 11 companies and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.4 For additional information regarding this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    3 These 11 companies are: (1) Au Vung One Seafood Processing Import & Export Joint Stock Company; (2) Bien Dong Seafood Co., Ltd.; (3) BIM Seafood Joint Stock Company; (4) Cafatex Corporation and its claimed aka names (a) Taydo Seafood Enterprise and (b) Xi Nghiep Che Bien Thuy Sue San Xuat Cantho; (5) Cam Ranh Seafoods; (6) Ngo Bros, also initiated as, Ngo Bros Seaproducts Import-Export One Member Company Limited, and NGO BROS Seaproducts Import- Export One Member Company Limited; (7) Quang Minh Seafood Co., Ltd., also initiated as Quang Minh Seafood Co LTD; (8) Tacvan Frozen Seafood Processing Export Company, also initiated as Tacvan Seafoods Company, Tacvan Seafoods Company (“TACVAN”), and Tacvan Seafoods Company (TACVAN); (9) Thong Thuan Seafood Company Limited; (10) Trong Nhan Seafood Company Limited, also initiated as Trong Nhan Seafood Co., Ltd. (“Trong Nhan”); and (11) Vinh Hoan Corp.

    4See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) (Assessment Notice); see also “Assessment Rates” section below.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    Commerce finds that 30 companies for which a review was requested have not established eligibility for a separate rate and are considered to be part of the Vietnam-wide entity for these preliminary results.5 Commerce's change in policy regarding conditional review of the Vietnam-wide entity applies to this administrative review.6 Under this policy, the Vietnam-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or Commerce self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the Vietnam-wide entity, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change. For companies for which a review was requested and that have established eligibility for a separate rate, Commerce preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    5See Appendix II for a full list of the 30 companies (accounting for duplicate names initiated upon); see also Preliminary Decision Memorandum, at 13.

    6See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    Exporter 7 Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Fimex VN 25.39 Au Vung Two Seafood Processing Import & Export Joint Stock Company, aka AU VUNG TWO SEAFOOD 25.39 Bac Lieu Fisheries Joint Stock Company 25.39 Bentre Forestry and Aquaproduct Import-Export Joint Stock Company, aka FAQUIMEX, aka Bentre Forestry and Aquaproduct Import-Export Joint Stock Company (FAQUIMEX) 25.39 C.P. Vietnam Corporation 25.39 Cadovimex Seafood Import-Export and Processing Joint Stock Company 25.39 Camau Frozen Seafood Processing Import Export Corporation, aka Camimex 25.39 Camau Seafood Processing and Service Joint Stock Corporation, aka Camau Seafood Processing and Service Joint-Stock Corporation, aka CASES 25.39 Can Tho Import Export Fishery Limited Company, aka CAFISH 25.39 Cuulong Seaproducts Company, aka Cuulong Seapro 25.39 Fine Foods Co, aka Fine Foods Co (FFC) 25.39 Green Farms Seafood Joint Stock Company 25.39 Hai Viet Corporation, aka HAVICO 25.39 Investment Commerce Fisheries Corporation 25.39 Khanh Sung Company, Ltd 25.39 Kim Anh Company Limited 25.39 Minh Hai Export Frozen Seafood Processing Joint-Stock Company, aka Minh Hai Jostoco 25.39 Sea Minh Hai, aka Seaprodex Minh Hai 25.39 Ngoc Tri Seafood Joint Stock Company 25.39 Nha Trang Seaproduct Company, aka NT Seafoods Corporation, aka Nha Trang Seafoods—F89 Joint Stock Company, aka NTSF Seafoods Joint Stock Company 25.39 Phuong Nam Foodstuff Corp. 25.39 Seaprimexco Vietnam, aka Seaprimexco 25.39 Taika Seafood Corporation 25.39 Tan Phong Phu Seafood Co., Ltd 25.39 Thanh Doan Sea Products Import & Export Processing Joint-Stock Company, aka THADIMEXCO 25.39 Thong Thuan—Cam Ranh Seafood Joint Stock Company 25.39 Thong Thuan Company Limited 25.39 Thuan Phuoc Seafoods and Trading Corporation 25.39 Trung Son Seafood Processing Joint Stock Company, aka Trung Son Seafood Processing JSC 25.39 UTXI Aquatic Products Processing Corporation 25.39 Viet Foods Co., Ltd 25.39 Vietnam Fish One Co., Ltd 25.39 Vietnam Clean Seafood Corporation, aka Vina Cleanfood, aka Viet Nam Clean Seafood Corporation 25.39
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Commerce will disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice. Commerce intends to verify the information upon which we will rely for the final results. As such, Commerce will establish the briefing schedule at a later time, and will notify parties of the schedule in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309. Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.8 Rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs.9

    7 Due to the issues Commerce had had in previous segments with variations of exporter names related to this Order, we remind exporters that the names listed in the rate box are the exact names, including spelling and punctuation which Commerce will provide to CBP and which CBP will use to assess POR entries and collect cash deposits. Any names with punctuation variations, such as all capitalizations, dashes, periods, or commas can be confirmed by Commerce in the event CBP inquires about such variations.

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c) and (d).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues parties intend to discuss. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.10 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised in the written comments, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless this deadline extended.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.11 Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. For any individually examined respondent whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., is 0.50 percent or more) in the final results of this review, Commerce will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).12 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    11See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    12 In these preliminary results, Commerce applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    For the respondents that were not selected for individual examination in this administrative review but qualified for a separate rate, the assessment rate will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin assigned to Fimex VN in the final results of this review.13

    13See Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments: 2014-2015, 81 FR 29528 (May 12, 2016), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 10-11; unchanged in Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; Final Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015, 81 FR 54042 (August 15, 2016).

    For entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales database submitted by Fimex VN during this review, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the Vietnam-wide rate. In addition, if we continue to find no shipments for the companies identified in the “Preliminary Determination of No Shipments” section above, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate any suspended entries of subject merchandise from those companies at the Vietnam-wide rate.14

    14 For a full discussion of this practice, see NME AD Assessment.

    For the final results, if we continue to treat the 30 companies identified in Appendix II as part of the Vietnam-wide entity, we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 25.76 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by those companies.

    The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for shipments of the subject merchandise from Vietnam entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the companies listed above, which have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed Vietnam and non-Vietnam 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 Vietnam exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the existing rate for the Vietnam-wide entity of 25.76 percent; and (4) for all non-Vietnam exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the Vietnam exporter that supplied that non-Vietnam exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary 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.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: March 5, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of the Methodology A. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments B. Non-Market Economy Country 1. Separate Rates 2. Vietnam-Wide Entity C. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Values 1. Economic Comparability 2. Significant Producers of Comparable Merchandise 3. Data Availability D. Date of Sale E. Fair Value Comparisons 1. Determination of the Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis F. Export Price G. Normal Value H. Factor Valuation Methodology V. Currency Conversion VI. Conclusion Appendix II—Companies Subject to Review Determined To Be Part of the Vietnam-Wide Entity 1. Amanda Seafood Co., Ltd. 2. Asia Food Stuffs Import Export Co., Ltd. 3. Binh Thuan Import—Export Joint Stock Company (THAIMEX) 4. B.O.P. Limited Co. 5. Coastal Fisheries Development Corporation (“COFIDEC”) 6. CJ Freshway (FIDES Food System Co., Ltd.) 7. Dong Hai Seafood Limited Company 8. Duc Cuong Seafood Trading Co., Ltd. 9. Frozen Seafoods Factory No. 32 (Tho Quang Seafood Processing and Export Company) 10. Gallant Dachan Seafood Co., Ltd. 11. Gallant Ocean (Vietnam) Co. Ltd., also initiated under Gallant Ocean (Viet Nam) Co., Ltd. (“Gallant Ocean Vietnam”) 12. Hanh An Trading Service Co., Ltd. 13. Hoang Phuong Seafood Factory 14. Huynh Huong Seafood Processing 15. JK Fish Co., Ltd. 16. Khai Minh Trading Investment Corporation 17. Long Toan Frozen Aquatic Products Joint Stock Company 18. Minh Cuong Seafood Import-Export Processing (“MC Seafood”) 19. Minh Phu Seafood Corporation (only as producer or exporter) 15

    15 Minh Phu Seafood Corporation is part of the Vietnam-Wide entity only in the event that it is identified on U.S. entry documentation or commercial documents as either producer or exporter. In the event that Minh Phu Seafood Corporation is identified on U.S. entry documentation and commercial documents as both producer and exporter, its entries are not subject to the AD Order and should not be suspended. See Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Notice of Implementation of Determination Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act and Partial Revocation of the Antidumping Duty Order, 81 FR 47756, 47757 (Minh Phu Revocation) (July 22, 2016), where we stated that we “will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to liquidate, without regard to antidumping duties, entries of certain frozen warmwater shrimp, produced and exported by the Minh Phu Group.” Because Minh Phu Seafood Corporation is one of the trade names included in the Minh Phu Revocation, any entries of subject merchandise produced and exported by Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, or any other trade name combination of the companies within the group which was revoked from the AD Order, are not subject to the AD Order.

    20. Nam Hai Foodstuff and Export Company Ltd 21. New Wind Seafood Co., Ltd. 22. Nha Trang Fisheries Joint Stock Company (“Nha Trang Fisco”), also initiated under Nha Trang Fisheries Joint Stock Company 23. Nhat Duc Co., Ltd. 24. Phu Cuong Jostoco Seafood Corporation 25. Quoc Ai Seafood Processing Import Export Co., Ltd. 26. Saigon Food Joint Stock Company 27. Tan Thanh Loi Frozen Food Co., Ltd. 28. Thinh Hung Co., Ltd. 29. Trang Khan Seafood Co., Ltd. 30. Xi Nghiep Che Bien Thuy Suc San Xuat Kau Cantho
    [FR Doc. 2018-04901 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-864] Pure Magnesium in Granular Form From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of determinations by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) that revocation of the antidumping duty (AD) order on pure magnesium in granular form from the People's Republic of China (China) would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, Commerce is publishing this notice of continuation of the AD order.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Degreenia, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 432-6430

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 19, 2001, Commerce published the AD order on pure magnesium in granular form from China.1 On September 6, 2017, Commerce published the notice of initiation of the third sunset review of the Order, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 As a result of its review, Commerce determined that revocation of the Order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping.3 Commerce, therefore, notified the ITC of the magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail should the Order be revoked. On March 5, 2018, the ITC published its determination that revocation of the Order would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act.4

    1See Antidumping Duty Order: Pure Magnesium in Granular Form from the People's Republic of China, 66 FR 57936 (November 19, 2001) (Order).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 82 FR 42073 (September 6, 2017).

    3See Pure Magnesium in Granular Form from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Third Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order, 83 FR 1017 (January 9, 2018), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    4See Pure Granular Magnesium from China; Determination, 83 FR 9337 (March 5, 2018).

    Scope of the Order

    There is an existing AD order on pure magnesium from China.5 The scope of this Order excludes pure magnesium that is already covered by the existing Order on pure magnesium in ingot form, and currently classifiable under item numbers 8104.11.00 and 8104.19.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

    5See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Pure Magnesium from the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation and Ukraine; Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Antidumping Duty Investigation of Pure Magnesium From the Russian Federation, 60 FR 25691 (May 12, 1995).

    The scope of this order includes imports of pure magnesium products, regardless of chemistry, including, without limitation, raspings, granules, turnings, chips, powder, and briquettes, except as noted above.

    Pure magnesium includes: (1) Products that contain at least 99.95 percent primary magnesium, by weight (generally referred to as “ultra pure” magnesium); (2) products that contain less than 99.95 percent but not less than 99.8 percent primary magnesium, by weight (generally referred to as “pure” magnesium); (3) chemical combinations of pure magnesium and other material(s) in which the pure magnesium content is 50 percent or greater, but less than 99.8 percent, by weight, that do not conform to an “ASTM Specification for Magnesium Alloy” 6 (generally referred to as “off specification pure” magnesium); and (4) physical mixtures of pure magnesium and other material(s) in which the pure magnesium content is 50 percent or greater, but less than 99.8 percent, by weight. Excluded from this Order are mixtures containing 90 percent or less pure magnesium by weight and one or more of certain non-magnesium granular materials to make magnesium-based reagent mixtures. The non-magnesium granular materials of which Commerce is aware used to make such excluded reagents are: Lime, calcium metal, calcium silicon, calcium carbide, calcium carbonate, carbon, slag coagulants, fluorspar, nephaline syenite, feldspar, aluminum, alumina (Al2O3), calcium aluminate, soda ash, hydrocarbons, graphite, coke, silicon, rare earth metals/mischmetal, cryolite, silica/fly ash, magnesium oxide, periclase, ferroalloys, dolomitic lime, and colemanite. A party importing a magnesium-based reagent which includes one or more materials not on this list is required to seek a scope clarification from Commerce before such a mixture may be imported free of antidumping duties. The merchandise subject to this Order is currently classifiable under item 8104.30.00 of the HTSUS. Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this Order is dispositive.

    6 The meaning of this term is the same as that used by the American Society for Testing and Materials in its Annual Book of ASTM Standards: Volume 01.02 Aluminum and Magnesium Alloys.

    Continuation of the Order

    As a result of the determinations by Commerce and the ITC that revocation of the Order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(a), Commerce hereby orders the continuation of the AD order on pure magnesium in granular form from China. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect AD cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise.

    The effective date of continuation of the Order will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, Commerce intends to initiate the next five-year review of the Order not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation.

    This five-year (sunset) review and this notice are in accordance with sections 751(c) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4).

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05023 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-076] Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Applicable March 12, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maliha Khan at (202) 482-0895, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On January 16, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of certain plastic decorative ribbon (plastic decorative ribbon) from the People's Republic of China.1 Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than March 26, 2018.2

    1See Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 83 FR 3114 (January 23, 2018).

    2 Commerce has exercised its discretion to toll deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. See Memorandum, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018 (Tolling Memorandum). Accordingly, all deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by three days.

    Postponement of the Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires Commerce to issue the preliminary determination in a CVD investigation within 65 days after the date on which Commerce initiated the investigation. However, section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act permits Commerce to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which Commerce initiated the investigation if a petitioner makes a timely request for a postponement. Under 19 CFR 351.205(e), a petitioner must submit a request for postponement 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination and must state the reason for the request. Commerce will grant the request unless it finds compelling reasons to deny the request.3

    3See 19 CFR 351.205(e).

    On February 27, 2018, Berwick Offray, LLC (the petitioner) submitted a timely request pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e) to postpone fully the preliminary determination. The petitioner stated that the purpose of its request was to provide Commerce with adequate time to solicit information from the respondents and to allow Commerce sufficient time to analyze respondents' questionnaire responses.4

    4See Letter from the petitioner to Commerce, “Certain Plastic Decorative Ribbon from the People's Republic of China: Request to Fully Extend Preliminary Determination,” dated February 27, 2018.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(e), the reason for requesting a postponement of the preliminary determination and the record does not present any compelling reasons to deny the request. Therefore, in accordance with section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, and in light of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018, Commerce is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination to May 29, 2018.5 Pursuant to section 705(a)(l) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determination will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless postponed at a later date.

    5 Note that the revised deadline reflect a full postponement to 130 days after the date on which this investigation was initiated, in addition to a three-day extension due to closure of the Federal Government.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(l).

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04898 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG083 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting via webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council's is convening an ad-hoc sub-panel of its Scientific and Statistical Committee to peer review two reports.

    DATES:

    This webinar will be held on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Webinar registration URL information: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7860925786623688961. Call in information: +1 (951) 384-3421, Attendee Access Code: 937-123-775.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is convening an ad-hoc sub-panel of its Scientific and Statistical Committee to peer review two reports. These reports are:

    • Powell, Eric N., Kelsey Kuykendall, and Paula Moreno. Analysis of ancillary survey data and surfclam fishery tow data for the Georges Shoals Habitat Management Area on Georges Bank and the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area. Science Center for Marine Fisheries, August 2016. 29p.

    • Powell, Eric N., Roger Mann, Kelsey M. Kuykendall, M. Chase Long, and Jeremy Timbs. The “East of Nantucket” Survey. Science Center for Marine Fisheries, February 2018. 33p.

    The Council plans to use the results of these studies to support decision making in a fishery management plan framework adjustment. The Council is seeking advice from peer reviewers about how the data and conclusions from the two studies might be used to support development and evaluation of alternatives to consider possible exemption areas for hydraulic clam dredge gear within the newly designated Great South Channel habitat management area. This 748 nm2 management area overlaps Nantucket Shoals, and is located approximately 12 nm southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and 6 nm east of Nantucket Island. The reports summarize hydraulic dredge survey information for the habitat management area, including catches of clams and clam shells as well as other components of the seafloor substrate. Other business will be discussed as needed.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained on the agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council 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. The public also should be aware that the meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request.

    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.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04865 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0649-XG065 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a two day meeting of its Standing, Reef Fish, Shrimp, and Socioeconomics Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene on Monday, March 26, 2018, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon, EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's Conference Room, 2203 N Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Atran, Senior Fishery Biologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; [email protected], telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Day 1—Monday, March 26, 2018; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. I. Introductions and Adoption of Agenda II. Approval of Minutes a. January 9-10, 2018 Standing, Coral, Socioeconomic, and Reef Fish SSC summary b. March 27-29, 2017 Standing, Shrimp, Reef Fish, and Socioeconomic SSC summary III. Selection of SSC Representative at April 16-20, 2018 Council Meeting in Gulfport, MS Standing, Socioeconomic, and Shrimp SSC Session IV. Stock Status Review— a. Brown shrimp b. Pink shrimp c. White shrimp V. Update on the Economic Analysis Requested by Council a. Letter sent to Dr. Ponwith—log stamp 6631 b. NMFS response—log stamp 6660 Standing and Socioeconomic SSC Session VI. Grouper/Tilefish IFQ Program 5-year Review Standing and Reef Fish SSC Session VII. 5-year Review on Inclusion/Exclusion of Species and Species Groupings in Fishery Management Plans Day 2—Tuesday, March 27, 2018; 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. VIII. Further Development of a Stock Assessment Prioritization Spreadsheet IX. Update on MRIP Fishing Effort Survey and Status of Certification of State Data Collection Programs X. Habitat Mapping and Characterization on the West Florida Shelf XI. Tentative 2018 SSC Meeting Dates XII. Other Business

    You may register for the SSC Meeting: Standing, Reef Fish, Shrimp, and Socioeconomic on March 26-27, 2018 at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3268270115077294082.

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version along with other meeting materials will be posted on the Council's file server. To access the file server, the URL is https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi, or go to the Council's website and click on the FTP link in the lower left of the Council website (http://www.gulfcouncil.org). The username and password are both “gulfguest”. Click on the “Library Folder”, then scroll down to “SSC meeting—2018-03”.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Scientific and Statistical Committee for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the Scientific and Statistical Committee will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take 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 Kathy Pereira at the Gulf Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04867 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG079 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 Skate 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 Wednesday March 28, 2018 at 1 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 100 Boardman Street, Boston, MA 02128; telephone: (617) 567-6789.

    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 Committee will review draft alternatives to prolong the wing fishery, which may include adjusting the management uncertainty buffer, and changes to the incidental possession limit and its trigger. They will also recommend preferred alternatives for Framework 6 to the Council. Other business will be discussed as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained on this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council 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. This meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request. 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.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04871 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG072 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 59 Data Scoping webinar for South Atlantic Greater Amberjack.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 59 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of Greater Amberjack will consist of a series of webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    A SEDAR 59 Data Scoping webinar will be held on Friday, March 30, 2018, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. The product of the SEDAR webinar series will be a report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses, and describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: Data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion in the Data Scoping webinar are as follows:

    Participants will identify who will be providing updated and/or new datasets.

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

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director,Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04868 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG085 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) is sponsoring a meeting to review a new method proposed to improve catch estimation methods in sparsely sampled mixed stock fisheries. The Catch Estimation Methodology Review meeting is open to the public and may be streamed online as a “listen only” webinar.

    DATES:

    The Catch Estimation Methodology Review meeting will commence at 8:30 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, March 28, 2018 and continue until 5 p.m. or as necessary to complete business for the day. The meeting will reconvene on Thursday, March 29, 2018 starting at 8:30 a.m. PDT and continuing as necessary to complete business for the day.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The Catch Estimation Methodology Review meeting will be held at the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz Laboratory, 110 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060; telephone: (831) 420-3900 on March 28.

    The meeting will be held at the Center for Ocean Health Library, Ocean Health Building, University of California Santa Cruz, 115 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 in Room 201 on March 29. The Center for Ocean Health Library is next door to the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

    Although this meeting will be conducted as an in-person meeting, there may also be a “listen-only” webinar option. To attend the “listen-only” webinar, visit: http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar. Enter the Webinar ID: 942-468-499, and your email address (required).

    This is a “listen only” broadcast, you may use your computer speakers or headset to listen. If you do not have a headset or computer speakers, you may use your telephone to listen to the meeting by dialing this TOLL number +1 (415) 930-5321 (not a toll-free number); enter the phone attendee audio access code: 580-006-830. There will be no technical assistance available for the “listen only” webinar. If there are technical difficulties, the broadcast may end and may not be restarted.

    Council address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384; telephone: (503) 820-2280.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Stacey Miller, NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center; telephone: (541) 867-0535; or Mr. John DeVore, Staff Officer, Pacific Fishery Management Council; telephone: (503) 820-2413.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the Catch Estimation Methodology Review meeting is to review a proposed method for estimating catch of species in sparsely sampled mixed-stock commercial groundfish fisheries. The methodology proponents have developed a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate species compositions with accurate measures of uncertainty of historical catches landed in mixed species assemblages or market categories. Public comments during the meeting will be received from attendees at the discretion of the chair.

    Although non-emergency issues not identified in the meeting agenda may come before the meeting participants for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Formal action at the meeting 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 Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the meeting participants' intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Visitors who are foreign nationals (defined as a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States) will require additional security clearance to access the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Foreign national visitors should contact Ms. Stacey Miller at (541) 867-0535 at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting date to initiate the security clearance process.

    Technical Information and System Requirements

    PC-based attendees: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP operating system required. Mac®-based attendees: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer required. Mobile attendees: iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet required (use GoToMeeting Webinar Apps).

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820-2411 at least 10 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04866 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG073 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 Groundfish 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 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Logan Airport, 100 Boardman Street, Boston, MA 02129; phone: (617) 561-0798.

    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 committee will review the Groundfish Advisory Panel recommendations and provide recommendations to the Council on Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23 specifically the draft alternatives and Plan Development Team (PDT) work related to development of the action. They will also discuss priorities for 2018 and the PDT work to date and make recommendations to the Council. Other business will 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 these meetings. 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 date. This meeting will be recorded. 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: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04869 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG044 General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee; Meeting Announcement AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces a public meeting of the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission on June 28, 2018, and a public meeting of the Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee on June 27, 2018. The meeting topics are described under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    DATES:

    The meeting of the Scientific Advisory Subcommittee (SAS) to the General Advisory Committee (GAC) will be held on June 27, 2018, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT (or until business is concluded). The meeting of the GAC will be held on June 28, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT (or until business is concluded).

    ADDRESSES:

    The GAC and SAS meetings will be held in the Pacific Conference Room (Room 300) at NMFS, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, California 92037-1508. Please notify Taylor Debevec (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) by June 19, 2018, if you plan to attend either or both meetings in person or remotely. The meetings will be accessible by webinar—instructions will be emailed to meeting participants.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Taylor Debevec, West Coast Region, NMFS, at [email protected], or at (562) 980-4066.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Tuna Conventions Act (16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), as amended, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Department of State (the State Department), appoints a General Advisory Committee (GAC) to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and a Scientific Advisory Subcommittee (SAS) that advises the GAC. The U.S. Section consists of the four U.S. Commissioners to the IATTC and representatives of the State Department, NOAA, Department of Commerce, other U.S. Government agencies, and stakeholders. The purpose of the GAC shall be to advise the U.S. Section with respect to U.S. participation in the work of the IATTC, with particular reference to development of U.S. policies, positions, and negotiating tactics. The purpose of the SAS is to advise the GAC on matters of science. NMFS West Coast Region staff provide administrative support for the GAC and SAS. The meetings of the GAC and SAS shall be open to the public, unless in executive session. The time and manner of public comment will be at the discretion of the chairs for the GAC and SAS.

    The 93rd meeting of the IATTC, the 37th Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP), and working group meetings for both the IATTC and AIDCP will be held from August 16 to August 30, 2018 in Guatemala. For more information on these meetings, please visit the IATTC's website: https://www.iattc.org/MeetingsENG.htm.

    GAC and SAS Meeting Topics

    The SAS meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Outcomes of the 2018 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to the IATTC (e.g., stock status updates for tuna, tuna-like species, and other species caught in association with those fisheries in the eastern Pacific Ocean);

    (2) Evaluation of the IATTC staff's recommended conservation measures for 2018;

    (3) Issues related to the impact of fishing on non-target species, such as sharks, seabirds, sea turtles;

    (4) Evaluation of U.S. proposals for the 93rd meeting of the IATTC and proposals from other IATTC members; and

    (5) Other issues as they arise.

    The GAC meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Outcomes of the 2018 meeting of the SAC to the IATTC (e.g., stock status updates for tuna, tuna-like species, and other species caught in association with those fisheries in the eastern Pacific Ocean);

    (2) Recommendations and evaluations by the SAS;

    (3) Issues related to the impact of fishing on non-target species, such as sharks, seabirds, sea turtles;

    (4) Formulation of advice on issues that may arise at the 93rd meeting of the IATTC, including the IATTC staff's recommended conservation measures, U.S. proposals, and proposals from other IATTC members; and

    (5) Other issues as they arise.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting location is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Taylor Debevec (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) by June 12, 2018.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04829 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG081 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Citizen Science Advisory Panel Action Teams.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of the following Citizen Science Advisory Panel Action Teams: Volunteers; Communication/Outreach/Education; Projects/Topics Management; and Data Management via webinar.

    DATES:

    The Volunteers Team meeting will be held on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 1 p.m.; Communication/Outreach/Education Team on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 10 a.m.; Projects/Topics Management Team will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 2 p.m.; and Data Management Team on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 10 a.m. Each meeting is scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. Additional Action Team webinar and plenary webinar dates and times will publish in a subsequent issue in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meetings will be held via webinar and are open to members of the public. Webinar registration is required and registration links will be posted to the Citizen Science program page of the Council's website at www.safmc.net.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Von Harten, Citizen Science Program Manager, SAFMC; phone: (843) 302-8433 or toll free: (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council created a Citizen Science Advisory Panel Pool in June 2017. The Council appointed members of the Citizen Science Advisory Panel Pool to five Action Teams in the areas of Volunteers, Data Management, Projects/Topics Management, Finance, and Communication/Outreach/Education to develop program policies and operations for the Council's Citizen Science Program.

    Each Action Team will meet to continue work on developing recommendations on program policies and operations to be reviewed by the Council's Citizen Science Committee. Public comment will be accepted at the beginning of the meeting.

    Items to be addressed during these meetings:

    1. Discuss work on tasks in the Terms of Reference 2. Other Business Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.

    Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04863 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG082 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Demersal Committee will hold a public meeting via webinar.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 9 a.m. to noon.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar may be accessed at http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/sfsbsb2018fw/. The audio portion of the webinar may also be accessed via phone by dialing 1-800-832-0736 and entering room number 5068871.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331; website: www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Demersal Committee will meet jointly with a subset of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss draft management alternatives for an action which will consider adding the following management options to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan: (1) Conservation equivalency for the recreational black sea bass fishery, (2) Transit provisions for Block Island Sound for recreational fisheries for all three species, and (3) Slot limits for recreational fisheries for all three species. The two groups will also discuss the possibility of evaluating and modifying recreational management measures based on the annual catch limit, rather than the recreational harvest limit.

    A detailed agenda and background documents will be posted to the Council's website (www.mafmc.org) prior to the meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04864 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG033 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of applications for exempted fishing permits; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces the receipt of five applications for exempted fishing permits (EFPs) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). If granted, the EFPs would authorize the applicants, with certain conditions, to set the season(s) for red snapper caught by the private angling component, the Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component, or both, as applicable, and landed in each respective state. The EFPs would do so by exempting persons from the annual closed Federal fishing seasons if they are landing red snapper in the participating states during the states' open seasons as set by those states, as described in more detail below. These annual closed Federal fishing seasons are the seasonal closure for red snapper which is January 1 through May 31 each year, and the closures that occur based on when NMFS projects that the red snapper annual catch targets will be reached. The private angling component includes state-permitted for-hire vessels and any red snapper landings by these for-hire vessel would be counted against the private angling component quota. However, these state-permitted for-hire vessels would not be able to fish in Federal waters. NMFS would set separate Federal seasons for Federally permitted for-hire vessels and private-anglers not covered by any EFP. Red snapper landings would be monitored by the respective states and the state seasons set under the EFPs would close when a state's assigned quota is reached, or projected to be reached. These studies, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), are intended to test the effectiveness of Gulf state management of recreationally caught red snapper.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the application, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2018-0029”, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0029, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Hood, 727-824-5305; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The EFPs are requested under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act)(16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and regulations at 50 CFR 600.745(b) concerning exempted fishing.

    Currently, the recreational harvest of red snapper in the Gulf EEZ is managed, among other measures, through the use of a 2-fish recreational bag limit, 16-inch (40-6 cm), total length (TL) minimum size limit, and separate quotas and annual catch targets (ACTs) for the private angling and Federal for-hire components within the recreational sector. State-permitted for-hire vessels are included in the private angling component, but are not be able to fish in Federal waters. The recreational sector for red snapper in or from Federal waters is closed from January 1 through May 31 each year. Prior to June 1 each year, NMFS determines the respective component Federal season lengths based on the ACTs, taking into account red snapper recreational seasons in state waters. The recreational components were established through Amendment 40 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), which allocated red snapper resources between the private angling and Federal for-hire components; established component-specific accountability measures (AMs) through the use of component ACTs to reduce the likelihood of quota overages, and implemented a 3-year sunset provision for the regulations implemented through Amendment 40 (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015). The sunset provision was subsequently extended for an additional 5 years (through December 31, 2022) by Amendment 45 to the FMP (81 FR 86971, December 2, 2016). The Gulf EEZ recreational quota for red snapper is 6.733 million lb (3.054 million kg), round weight. The current component quotas are 2.848 million lb (1.292 million kg), round weight, for for-hire and 3.885 million lb (1.762 million kg), round weight, for private angling.

    The recreational harvest of red snapper is also constrained by section 407(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This section requires separate quotas for commercial and recreational fishing (which for the purposes of the subsection includes charter fishing), and a prohibition on the retention of fish when each sector quota is reached. Thus, should the total recreational sector quota be reached, recreational fishing in the Gulf EEZ is prohibited.

    The marine resource management agencies of the five Gulf states have submitted EFP applications for the recreational harvest of red snapper for the 2018 and 2019 fishing years. These EFPs would be used to test data collection and quota monitoring efforts for state management of red snapper. Under the proposed EFPs, persons landing red snapper in the participating states would be exempt from current Federal regulations authorizing the annual closed Federal fishing seasons (seasonal closure and ACT closure) and, therefore, could fish for and possess red snapper in the EEZ consistent with the state seasons. The timing of state season openings would be determined by each state. Each Gulf state would monitor its respective recreational landings, and if the landings reach, or are projected to reach, the assigned quota, the state would close its season for the remainder of the fishing year. Private anglers and for-hire operators landing red snapper in the states participating in the EFPs would be required to have the appropriate permits and licenses for the states where they will land the fish and abide by any other relevant Federal regulations, including a recreational bag limit of 2 fish per person per day and a minimum size limit of 16 inches (40.6 cm), TL. The following provides an overview of each state's EFP application. More detailed information is provided in the respective applications and can be viewed at website: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/LOA_and_EFP/2018/RS%20state%20pilot/home.html.

    FWC

    FWC requests an EFP to conduct a pilot study during the 2018 and 2019 fishing years to test data collection and quota monitoring methodologies for the private angling component. The EFP application does not include federally permitted for-hire vessels. FWC requests that 1,305,360 lb (592,101 kg), round weight, of red snapper from the Gulf recreational private angling component quota be made available each year for fish landed in Florida. This requested quota is based on the proportion of red snapper landed in Florida during 2006 through 2015, except for 2010 landings, which are excluded as a result of the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill. The quotas, reduced by a 20 percent buffer to account for management uncertainty, would be the basis for calculating Florida's Special Red Snapper Fishing Season. Private anglers would be required to sign up for the state's Gulf Reef Fish Angler program to land select reef fish species not included in the EFP application and still subject to applicable regulations, as well as red snapper. Red snapper landings would be monitored through the state's Gulf Reef Fish Survey. In addition, anglers would provide landings information through a smartphone/tablet application. For 2018, the projected red snapper fishing season for private anglers would be May 25 through June 17 for the Gulf waters off Florida, based on the requested quota. If recreational landings are less than the assigned quota at the end of this season, and the Federal recreational quota has not been met, fishing could reopen in the fall of 2018 and/or 2019 to land the uncaught portion of the quota. Should the recreational quota be exceeded in 2018, FWC proposes a quota overage adjustment (payback) for the following year.

    ADCNR

    The purpose of the EFP requested by ADCNR is to test an Alabama red snapper management program for the private angling component. The EFP application does not include federally permitted for-hire vessels. ADCNR proposes an annual state private angling component quota of 984,291 lb (446,467 kg), round weight, for 2018 and 2019. ADCNR determined that this quota equals 10 percent of the red snapper biomass estimated by university researchers to occur in waters off Alabama. The red snapper biomass is estimated from fishery-independent biomass estimates over the three most recent years that data are available (the years 2014 through 2016 for the 2018 fishing year). For 2018, ADCNR would allow red snapper to be landed in Alabama on weekends (Friday through Sunday) starting on June 1 and continuing until the assigned quota, less 10 percent used as a buffer to prevent quota overages, is reached or projected to be reached. Currently, ADCNR is projecting a 47-day season from June 1 through July 17. If sufficient quota is available, ADCNR would reopen the season in the fall. The 2019 state private angling recreational season would be determined at a later date. Red snapper landings by anglers fishing from private angler vessels and state-permitted charter vessels would be monitored through a mandatory electronic reporting program. Should the assigned quota be exceeded in 2018, ADCNR proposes a payback of the quota overage for the following year.

    MDMR

    MDMR is requesting an EFP to determine if a state recreational quota for red snapper can be accurately managed through a state management program for the private angling component. In addition, recreational harvest and biological information on this species would be collected and analyzed by the state. The EFP application does not include federally permitted for-hire vessels. The EFP application requests an annual quota of 137,949 lb (62,573 kg), round weight, of red snapper for the private angling component to be landed in Mississippi for 2018 and 2019. This quota is based on 2017 landings reported to MDMR's mandatory Tails n Scales electronic reporting system. Landings in 2018 and 2019 would be tracked by the state through this same electronic reporting system and managed to the quota, reduced by a 10 percent buffer to prevent quota overages, before closing the season. In addition, landings would be validated by MDMR staff through a dockside survey, phone survey, and visual effort survey conducted by MDMR. The red snapper season would begin on May 1 of each year and remain open until the quota is projected to be reached. Should the assigned quota be exceeded in 2018, MDMR proposes a payback of the quota overage for the following year.

    LDWF

    The EFP application from the LDWF proposes to test a state-based management approach for red snapper. The application requests that the state recreational quota be 743,000 lb (337,019 kg), round weight, for the private angling component and 317,000 lb (143,789 kg), round weight, for the Federal for-hire component for the 2018 and 2019 fishing years. LDWF determined these quotas based on the historical landings formula (50 percent * [1986-2005, 2007-2009, 2011-2013 landings in pounds] + 50 percent * [2007-2009, 2011-2013 landings in pounds] applied to Federal for-hire and private angling component allocations from Amendment 40 (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015). LDWF proposes to begin both the private angling and for-hire seasons on May 25 in 2018, and May 24 in 2019 (the Friday before Memorial Day) until the respective quota is reached. The private angling season would consist of 3-day weekends (Friday through Sunday), but also include the Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day holidays each year. The Federal for-hire season would be 7 days per week. Recreational landings would be monitored through LDWF's LA Creel survey; however, private anglers and for-hire operators would be encouraged to also report landings through a state-approved electronic reporting system. Should the overall recreational quota for the state be exceeded in 2018, LDWF proposes a payback of the overage for the 2019 fishing year.

    TPWD

    The purpose of the EFP submitted by TPWD is to test data collection and recreational quota monitoring methodologies during the 2018 and 2019 fishing years for use in managing the recreational harvest of red snapper off Texas. TPWD requests 1,056,495 lb (479,218 kg), round weight, of red snapper to be used by the private angling and Federal for-hire components. The red snapper private angling season in state waters begins January 1 each year. Because offshore weather conditions off Texas are generally unfavorable around the traditional June 1 Federal recreational red snapper season start date, TPWD, working through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, proposes to prohibit red snapper caught in Federal waters from being landed in Texas until sometime after June 1 in 2018. At that time, a season will be established allowing red snapper from Federal waters to be landed. In 2019, the recreational season could start prior to June 1 to take advantage of better weather conditions that occur off Texas in the winter and spring and would be determined by the state at a later date. The red snapper recreational harvest would be monitored using the Texas Marine Sport Harvest Monitoring Program (TMSHMP), NOAA's Southeast Region Headboat Survey, and a self-reported harvest system using the iSnapper application for smartphones and tablets. To ensure timely reporting of private angler and charter vessel landings, intercepts from the TMSHMP creel survey would be sent in daily to TPWD. Additionally, weekly landing reports from NOAA's Southeast Region Headboat Survey would be used to monitor headboat landings. Texas will project total landings by sector based on the number of red snapper observed by samplers during the season. All red snapper landed in Texas will be counted against Texas' assigned recreational quota and the Texas season would be closed when the combined estimated recreational red snapper landings are projected to reach the recreational quota. Should the assigned quota be exceeded in 2018, TPWD proposes to make adjustments in red snapper regulations such as shortening the season for catching fish in the Gulf EEZ, changing the timing of the season, or revising state bag limits to account for the overage.

    Additional Information

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) reviewed the EFP applications at its January 2018 meeting. The Council recommended approval of each state's EFP application as long as the length of the Gulf-wide Federal for-hire component season is not affected by the issuance of these EFPs.

    Because all the state EFP applications include the private angling component, if they are all issued and accepted that component's overall Gulf quota would be divided among the states, as requested, and landings would be regulated through each state's management program covered under the EFP. Federal waters would be closed to red snapper private angling, but the EFP would exempt from the closure those individuals with a license from a state that is open to land red snapper. However, if not all of the EFPs are issued and accepted, NMFS would set a Gulf-wide Federal private angling season to allow those anglers from the non-participating states to fish for red snapper in the EEZ.

    For the Federal for-hire component, only LDWF and TPDW have proposed including this component in their EFPs. Therefore, if EFPs were approved as submitted by the five Gulf states, NMFS would still set a Federal season throughout the entire Gulf EEZ for the Federal for-hire component. Depending on the parameters of any final EFPs, the potential exists for Texas and Louisiana federally permitted for-hire vessels to fish during both the state season covered under an EFP and the Federal for-hire Gulf EEZ season.

    In addition, the quotas requested by Texas and Louisiana are based on higher landings from past years rather than landings in recent years. Because NMFS projects the Federal season based on recent landings, NMFS would have to reduce the length of the Federal for-hire season to account for the additional pounds of fish requested by Texas and Louisiana. This would be inconsistent with the Council's recommendation that NMFS issue the EFPs as long as the length of the Gulf-wide Federal for-hire component season is not affected. Alternatively, NMFS could reduce the quotas requested by Texas and Louisiana to be consistent with recent landings. Regardless of whether both or just one of the components is managed under the state EFPs, should NMFS determine that the Gulf-wide recreational red snapper quota has been meet, the exemption from the closure under the EFP would no longer be valid for that fishing year because the retention of red snapper in Federal waters would be prohibited under the regulations that implement the mandatory provisions of Section 407(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    NMFS finds these applications warrant further consideration. If they are granted, NMFS may include conditions or modifications such as changes to the amount of the quotas assigned to each state and removal of the Federal for-hire component from the EFP. The applications are considered together in this notice because they each would require a portion of the private-angling and Federal for-hire quotas; however, each application is independent and will be considered individually as part of the overall recreational management of Gulf red snapper.

    Final decisions on issuance of the EFPs will depend on a NMFS review of public comments received on the applications, consultations with the affected states, the Council, and the U.S. Coast Guard, and a determination that each is consistent with all applicable laws.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04859 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG038 Endangered Species; File No. 19496-01 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for a permit modification.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Mariana Fuentes, Ph.D., Florida State University, 581 Oakland Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301, has requested a modification to scientific research Permit No. 19496.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before April 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The modification request and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 19496 Mod 1 from the list of available applications. These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected]. Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Markin or Amy Hapeman, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject modification to Permit No. 19496, issued on June 16, 2016 (81 FR 1621), is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    Permit No. 19496 authorizes the permit holder to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for scientific research in the Florida Big Ben Region to identify important foraging and developmental habitats. The permit holder requests authorization to: (1) Add a new location to include the area from St. Lucie Inlet to Jupiter Inlet on the east coast of Florida, and (2) increase the number of green, Kemp's ridley, and loggerhead sea turtles that may be taken under the permit for the new location. Annually an additional 120 green, 48 loggerhead, and 3 Kemp's ridley sea turtles would be approached by vessel and pursued for capture. Additionally, up to 120 green, 48 loggerhead, and 3 Kemp's ridley sea turtles would be captured by hand or using dip, strike, or tangle nets, annually. All captured sea turtles would be tagged (passive integrated transponder and flipper), marked (temporarily), biologically sampled (tissue and blood), measured, weighed, and photographed. Up to 10 green and five loggerhead captured sea turtles also would receive a satellite transmitter (epoxy attachment) and biologically sampled (scute biopsy) prior to release.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04830 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF914 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces the receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from Clean Ocean Initiative, Inc. (Clean Ocean). If granted, the EFP would authorize Clean Ocean to fish for and retain Caribbean prohibited corals collected from 10 decommissioned submarine telecommunication cables being retrieved from U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters in the Caribbean off of Puerto Rico.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received no later than March 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the application by either of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line of the email comment the following document identifier: “CLEAN OCEAN_EFP 2018”.

    Mail: Sarah Stephenson, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    The application and related documents are available for review upon written request to any of the above addresses. All comments received, including all voluntarily submitted personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information, are part of the public record. NMFS will accept anonymous comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Stephenson, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The EFP is requested under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and regulations at 50 CFR 600.745(b) concerning exempted fishing.

    This action involves activity covered by regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (FMP). The proposed application for exempted fishing involves activity that would otherwise be prohibited by regulations at 50 CFR part 622, as they pertain to coral and invertebrate FMP species managed by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). The EFP would exempt this activity from Federal regulations at § 622.472(b) (Caribbean prohibited coral). See 50 CFR 622.2 defining Caribbean prohibited coral and Appendix A to part 622.

    Submarine telecommunication cables have been deployed throughout the U.S. EEZ in the Caribbean for many years and these cables may act as substrate for organisms to use as benthic habitat, such as corals and invertebrates. The applicant requests authorization to collect and retain prohibited coral, excluding Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species, from 10 decommissioned submarine telecommunication cables as they are being retrieved from waters in the U.S. EEZ off Puerto Rico. The applicant has been permitted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Antilles Section, to retrieve these decommissioned submarine cables in territorial and U.S. EEZ off Puerto Rico waters. The EFP would only apply to coral collection and retention activities in Federal waters.

    As part of an overall effort to remove decommissioned submarine cables, Clean Ocean would identify additional submarine cables in the U.S. EEZ off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for possible future removal. If the applicant identifies any additional cables that could be removed, NMFS expects Clean Ocean will submit an additional application for an EFP authorizing coral collection and retention activities similar to those described herein.

    The 10 cables from which the applicant is proposing to collect corals and invertebrates in its EFP application were deployed between 1874 and 1963 and have been inactive since 1986. Cable routes initiate in Puerto Rico and extend across the Caribbean basin, terminating in the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Antigua, or Florida. Activities permitted under the EFP would initiate at the inner boundary of the U.S. EEZ off Puerto Rico and terminate at the outer boundary of the U.S. EEZ, with an estimated minimum starting depth of 1,000 ft (305 m). Total lengths of the cables to be salvaged in territorial and Federal waters range from 41 nautical miles (nmi) to 172 nmi, and the total estimated length to be retrieved from all 10 decommissioned cables is 947 nmi. The portion of the cable retrieved in Federal waters, from which the applicant seeks to collect and retain prohibited corals under an EFP, is unknown, but represents a smaller portion of this total length. As described in the application, the proposed activities would be expected to take up to 18 months and any EFP would be valid for up to 18 months from date of issuance.

    Before cable retrieval activities commence, the applicant is proposing to conduct benthic surveys to identify and record the presence of coral species and other species (sponges, mollusks, anemones, etc.) along each cable corridor. These surveys would be conducted via a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operated from a 115-ft (35 m) survey vessel. The ROV would remove as many organisms as possible from the cable and transplant them to the surrounding area, ensuring adequate distance from the cable so they are not impacted during the cable recovery phase. The ROV would not bring organisms to the surface but would instead relocate those organisms at depth. If there are too many organisms on a particular section of cable to effectively relocate them by ROV, or if the organisms are too large or too small to relocate, the ROV would not remove and transplant them. Instead, for those sections of cable with large organisms or dense aggregations, the ROV would cut the submarine cable on either side of these organisms and that section would remain on the bottom with organisms attached. Sections of cable with organisms that are too small to be removed and transplanted would be retrieved during the cable recovery phase.

    Once the benthic surveys and any organism relocations are complete, the ROV would then locate the cable retrieval start point and prepare the cable for retrieval. The cables would be retrieved through the use of a 275-ft (84-m) pipe lay barge. As each cable is being retrieved, any attached coral and invertebrates remaining on the cable would be removed onboard the barge using a specialized funnel fitted around the cable. Resultant specimens would be deposited into a collection container monitored by Clean Ocean's marine biologist. Species information and measurements of all collected organisms would be recorded, and corals and invertebrates selected for further study would be identified. Those specimens selected for further study would be placed in a controlled aquatic storage area onboard the survey vessel and any remaining specimens would be returned to the water from the barge as soon as possible with as little harm practicable. Retained specimens would be transferred to Clean Ocean's Coral Research Center in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and made available to scientists and graduate students for the study of their taxonomy, growth, behavior, and genetics.

    The EFP would allow Clean Ocean to harvest and possess non-ESA-listed corals from Federal waters for which harvest is otherwise prohibited. The majority of the operations under the EFP would occur at depths where there is little to no light penetration; thus, any corals anticipated to be encountered on the cables would be deep-water species. Cable diameters depend on the type of cable, fiber optic or coaxial, and range from 1.75 to 3 inches (4.4-7.6 cm). Deep-water corals tend to grow at a slow rate, but these submarine cables have been on the bottom for over 50 years, providing adequate time for early settlers to grow to a substantial size. Clean Ocean conducted preliminary benthic surveys of its cable retrieval operations, in territorial waters at depths from 100 to 250 ft (30.5 to 76.2 m), to evaluate organisms and habitats along the cable corridors. Based on those initial results, Clean Ocean expects that most of the cable lengths to be retrieved are submerged under the sand and have few, if any, organisms attached. Moreover, given the operating depths for the activities under the proposed EFP, which occur in deeper Federal waters, it is not expected that the applicant would encounter any ESA-listed corals. Finally, the USACE conditioned the permits for the cable retrieval so that those activities, which start in shallower territorial waters, occur at depths where ESA-listed corals are not expected to occur.

    In addition to non-ESA listed corals, federally managed aquarium trade species, including sponges, anemones, polychaete worms, feather stars, and tunicates, could potentially be collected during the proposed activities. Aquarium trade species are managed in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ under an annual catch limit (ACL) of 8,155 lb (3,699 kg), round weight. The ROV would be expected to remove most organisms from the cable prior to cable retrieval commences, and it is unlikely that the amount of organism fragments remaining attached to the cable, collected onboard the barge, and selected for further study would contribute substantially to the landings quota against which the aquarium trade species ACL is compared. As part of the permit conditions, NMFS intends to limit the amount of aquarium trade species to be retained by Clean Ocean during the proposed activities. Clean Ocean personnel will be trained and prepared to prevent damage to sensitive areas and a marine biologist will be onboard at all times to identify and report any sensitive environmental resources and to stop operations if necessary.

    NMFS finds this application warrants further consideration, based on a preliminary review. In addition to the above, possible conditions the agency may impose on this permit, if it is granted, include but are not limited to, requiring Clean Ocean to submit monthly reports on the amount of coral and aquarium trade species collected, and to announce at least daily the present and following week's anticipated start and stop locations via VHF channel 16 to allow fishers time to relocate their gear and avoid trap-cable interactions.

    A final decision on issuance of the EFP will depend on NMFS' review of public comments received on the application, consultations with the affected state(s), the Council, and the U.S. Coast Guard, and a determination that it is consistent with all applicable laws.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04842 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG074 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 Groundfish 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 Monday, March 26, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Logan Airport, 100 Boardman Street, Boston, MA 02129; phone: (617) 561-0798.

    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 Advisory Panel will provide recommendations to the Groundfish Committee on Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23 specifically the draft alternatives and Plan Development Team (PDT) work related to development of the action. They will also discuss priorities for 2018 and the PDT work to date and make recommendations to the Groundfish Committee. Other business will 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 these meetings. 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. This meeting will be recorded. 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: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04870 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG080 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 Skate 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 28, 2018 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 100 Boardman Street, Boston, MA 02128; telephone: (617) 567-6789.

    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 Advisory Panel will review draft alternatives to prolong the wing fishery, which may include adjusting the management uncertainty buffer, and changes to the incidental possession limit and its trigger. They will also recommend preferred alternatives for Framework 6 to the Committee. Other business will be discussed as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained on this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council 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. This meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request. 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.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04862 Filed 3-9-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF870 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Service Pier Extension Project on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Washington AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to vibratory and impact pile driving associated with proposed construction of the Service Pier Extension (SPE) at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Washington. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than April 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rob Pauline, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The MMPA states that the term “take” means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

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

    National Environmental Policy Act

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

    This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. Accordingly, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the issuance of the proposed IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review.

    We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA process or making a final decision on the IHA request.

    Summary of Request

    On August 9, 2017 NMFS received a request from the Navy for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal associated with proposed construction of the SPE on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Washington. The application was deemed adequate and complete by NMFS on November 15, 2017.

    The Navy's request is for take by Level B harassment of five marine mammal species and Level A harassment of one species. Neither the Navy nor NMFS expect serious injury or immortality to result from this activity and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    Description of Proposed Activity Overview

    The Navy is proposing to extend the service pier to provide additional berthing capacity and improve associated facilities for existing homeported and visiting submarines at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor. The project includes impact and vibratory pile driving and vibratory pile removal. Sounds resulting from pile driving and removal may result in the incidental take of marine mammals by Level A and Level B harassment in the form of auditory injury or behavioral harassment. Naval Base Kitsap Bangor is located on Hood Canal approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Seattle, Washington. The in-water construction period for the proposed action will occur over 12 months.

    Dates and Duration

    The proposed IHA would be effective from October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019 and cover two in-water work windows. Timing restrictions would be complied with to avoid conducting activities when juvenile salmonids are most likely to be present (February-July). To protect Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmonid species, pile driving will only be conducted during the designated in-water work window between July 16 and January 15. A total of 160 days of in-water work will be required during the effective dates of the proposed IHA. Approximately 125 days will be required for installation of steel piles and will use a combination of vibratory (preferred) and impact methods. An estimated 35 days will be required for impact installation of concrete piles. Vibratory pile installation and removal may require a maximum of 5 hours per day while up to 45 minutes of daily impact driving may be required.

    Specific Geographic Region

    Naval Base Kitsap Bangor is located north of the community of Silverdale in Kitsap County on the Hood Canal (Figure 1-1 in application). Hood Canal is a long, narrow, fjord-like basin of western Puget Sound. Throughout its 67 mi (108 km) length, the width of the canal varies from 1 to 2 mi (1.6 to 3.2 km) and exhibits strong depth/elevation gradients. The tides in Hood Canal are mixed semidiurnal, with one flood and one ebb tidal event with a small to moderate range (1 to 6 ft (0.3 to 1.8 m)) and a second flood and second ebb with a larger range (8 to 16 ft (2.4 to 4.9 m)) during a 24-hour and 50-minute tidal day (URS and SAIC, 1994; Morris et al., 2008).

    The proposed location for the SPE is just north of Carlson Spit and south of Keyport/Bangor (KB) Dock (Figure 1-2 in application). Two restricted areas are associated with Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Naval Restricted Areas 1 and 2 (33 CFR 334.1220), which are depicted in Figure 1-2 in the application relative to the project area.

    Detailed Description of Specific Activity

    As part of the proposed action, the Navy proposes to extend the existing Service Pier and construct associated support facilities. This action is needed to accommodate the proposed relocation of two SEAWOLF Class submarines from Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton. The existing Bangor waterfront Service Pier will be extended, and associated support facilities will be constructed, including a Waterfront Support Building, Pier Services and Compressor Building, roadway and utility upgrades, a parking lot, and a laydown area. Construction of upland facilities will not result in harassment of marine mammals; therefore, these activities are not included in the Navy's IHA request and are not discussed further.

    The proposed extension of the Service Pier will be approximately 68 by 520 ft (21 by 158 m) and will require installation of approximately 203 36-inch (90-centimeter (cm)) diameter steel piles and 50 24-inch (60 cm) diameter steel pipe support piles. Approximately 103 18-inch (45 cm) square concrete fender piles will also be installed. In addition, 27 36-inch (90 cm) diameter steel falsework piles will be temporarily installed and subsequently removed. The pier extension will extend to the southwest from the south end of the existing Service Pier and will parallel Carlson Spit in water depths of 30 to 50 ft (9 to 15 m) below mean lower low water (MLLW), such that the berthing areas for the new submarines will be in water depths of approximately 50 to 85 ft (15 to 26 m) below MLLW. A concrete float 150 ft (46 m) long and 15 ft (4.6 m) wide will be attached to the south side of the SPE. The existing Port Security Barrier (PSB) system will be reconfigured slightly to attach to the end of the new pier extension, with approximately 540 ft (165 m) removed. Removal and disposal of existing PSBs will be implemented as described for the Land-Water Interface project (Navy, 2016a). Construction is expected to require one barge with a crane, one supply barge, a tugboat, and work skiffs. Concurrent driving of separate piles will not occur.

    Construction will be preceded by removal of an existing wave screen (including piles) and other existing piles from the Service Pier (Figure 1-4 in application). A total of 36 creosote timber piles (19 18-inch (45 cm) and 17 15-inch (38 cm) piles) will be removed by wrapping the piles with a cable or chain and pulling them or using vibratory extraction; piles will be cut at the mudline if splitting or breakage occurs and they are not able to be pulled. A new wave screen will be installed under the SPE (Figure 1-4). This screen will be approximately 200 ft (60 m) long and 27 ft (8 m) high (below 20 ft (6 m) MLLW to above 7 ft (2 m) MLLW), made of concrete or steel, and attached to steel support piles for the SPE.

    Pile driving for steel piles will use a combination of vibratory and impact driving. Because impact driving of steel piles can produce underwater noise levels that have been known to be harmful to fish and wildlife, including marine mammals, vibratory driving will be the primary method utilized to drive steel piles except when geotechnical conditions require use of an impact hammer. An impact hammer will also be used to “proof” load-bearing piles driven by vibratory methods. Driving of the concrete piles will use impact methods only. For impact driving, there will be a maximum of 1,600 pile strikes per day. All types of in-water work will occur only during the in-water work period.

    Falsework Piles. It is anticipated that 27 36-inch (90 cm) diameter steel piles will be temporarily installed. Falsework piles are used to temporarily support a construction component in place until construction is sufficiently advanced to where the new construction can support itself. All falsework piles will be installed using a vibratory pile driver only and will be extracted with a vibratory pile driver at the conclusion of construction.

    Permanent Piles. As shown in Table 1 permanent piles installed include 203 36-inch (90 cm) diameter steel pipe, 50 24-inch (60 cm) diameter steel fender, and 103 18-inch (45 cm) diameter concrete piles. Driving of the steel support piles will use a combination of vibratory (primary) and impact methods and will require up to 125 days of pile driving. When impact driving steel pipe piles, a bubble curtain or other noise attenuation device would be employed for all pile strikes with the possible exception of short periods when the device is turned off to test the effectiveness of the noise attenuation device. Driving of the concrete piles will use impact methods only, and will require up to 35 days of pile driving and would occur for a maximum of 45 minutes a day. Vibratory pile driving activity in a day will last a maximum of 5 hours, and impact pile driving (if required) will last less than 45 minutes for a total of less than 5 hours and 45 minutes of pile driving activity in a day. All pile driving will be completed in a 12- month period crossing two in-water work periods.

    Table 1—In-Water Pile Driving Methods, Pile Characteristics, and Driving Durations SPE project feature Method Pile size and type Number Maximum activity
  • duration within
  • 24-hour period
  • Maximum days
    Pile Removal from Existing Wave Screen and Pier Vibratory 15-inch (38 cm) to 18-inch (45 cm) creosote- treated timber 36 5 hours 125 days. Temporary Falsework Vibratory installation and removal 36-inch (90 cm) steel 27 5 hours Small Craft Mooring and Dolphins Vibratory, with proofing 24-inch (60 cm) steel 50 5 hours vibratory and up to 45 minutes impact Pier and Wave Screen Attachment Vibratory, with proofing 36-inch (90 cm) steel 203 5 hours vibratory and up to 45 minutes impact Fender Piles Impact 18-inch (45 cm) concrete 103 0.75 hour 35 days (following completion of timber removal and steel pile installation). Key: cm = centimeters; SPE = Service Pier Extension.

    Proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures are described in detail later in this document (please see “Proposed Mitigation” and “Proposed Monitoring and Reporting”).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    Sections 3 and 4 of the application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/) and more general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's website (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/).

    Table 2 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in Hood Canal and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA and potential biological removal (PBR), where known. An expected potential was defined as species with any regular occurrence in Hood Canal since 1995. Note that while not observed on a consistent basis, west coast transient killer whales have been recorded intermittently in Hood Canal with the most recent sightings occurring in 2016 as described below. They have also been recorded remaining in the area for extended periods. As such, they have been listed as one of the species for which authorized take has been requested. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2017). PBR is defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality from anthropogenic sources are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats.

    Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study or survey area. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal SARs (Carretta et al., 2016) or Alaska Marine Mammal SARs (Muto et al., 2016). All values presented in Table 2 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2016 SARs (Carretta et al., 2016, Muto et al., 2016) (available online at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/species.htm).

    Table 2—Species Proposed for Authorized Take Species Scientific name Stock ESA/
  • MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin, most
  • recent abundance
  • survey) 2
  • PBR Annual
  • M/SI 3
  • Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae: Killer whale Orcinus orca West coast transient -; N 243 (n/a; 243, 2009) 4 2.4 0 Family Phocoenidae (porpoises): Harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena vomerina Washington inland waters -; N 11,233 (0.37; 8,308; 2015) 66 ≥7.2 Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions): California sea lion Zalophus californianus U.S. -; N 296,750 (n/a; 153,337; 2011) 9,200 389 Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus monteriensis Eastern U.S. -; N 41,638 (n/a; 41,638; 2015) 2,498 108 Family Phocidae (earless seals): Harbor seal Phoca vitulina richardii Hood Canal -; N 1,088 (0.15; unk; 1999) 4 unk 0.2 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable. 3 These values, found in NMFS's SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value or range. A CV associated with estimated mortality due to commercial fisheries is presented in some cases. 4 Abundance estimates for these stocks are greater than eight years old and are therefore not considered current. PBR is considered undetermined for these stocks, as there is no current minimum abundance estimate for use in calculation. We nevertheless present the most recent abundance estimates, as these represent the best available information for use in this document.

    The following species have been sighted in Hood Canal but are not likely to be found in the activity area and therefore are not analyzed for noise exposure. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have been detected year-round in small numbers in Puget Sound; in Hood Canal, after an absence of sightings for over 15 years, an individual was seen over a 1-week period in early 2012, with additional sightings in 2015 and 2016 (Orca Network, 2016). Because these sightings are exceptions to the normal occurrence of the species in Washington inland waters, the species is not included in the analysis in this application. Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) have been infrequently documented in Hood Canal waters over the past decade. These sightings are an exception to the normal seasonal occurrence of gray whales in Puget Sound feeding areas. Because gray whales are unlikely to be present in Hood Canal, the species is not included in this analysis. The Southern Resident killer whale stock is resident to the inland waters of Washington State and British Columbia; however, it has not been seen in Hood Canal in over 20 years and was therefore excluded from further analysis. Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) has only been documented once in Hood Canal and is not included in the analysis.

    Killer Whale, West Coast Transient Stock

    Among the genetically distinct assemblages of killer whales in the northeastern Pacific, the West Coast Transient stock, which occurs from California to southeastern Alaska, is one of two stocks that may occur in Puget Sound. The other is the Southern Resident killer whale population, which has not been detected in Hood Canal since 1995.

    The geographical range of the West Coast Transient stock of killer whales includes waters from California through southeastern Alaska with a preference for coastal waters of southern Alaska and British Columbia (Krahn et al., 2002). Transient killer whales in the Pacific Northwest spend most of their time along the outer coast of British Columbia and Washington, but visit inland waters in search of harbor seals, sea lions, and other prey. Some studies have shown seasonal trends: Morton (1990) found bimodal peaks in occurrence during the spring (March) and fall (September to November) on the central coast of British Columbia, and Baird and Dill (1995) noted variability in occurrence and behavior seasonally and between pods with an increase in sightings near harbor seal haulouts off southern Vancouver Island during August and September—the peak period for weaning through post-weaning of harbor seal pups. More recently (2004-2010), another bimodal trend was detected with transient killer whales occurring most frequently in Washington inland waters in April-May and August-September (Houghton et al., 2015). However, transient killer whales may occur in inland waters in any month (Orca Network, 2015), with their habitat use from one day to the next being highly unpredictable. These changes in use are likely related to their stealthy predation behaviors and reduce the chances of detection by their various prey species within the inland waters.

    There are few data to describe the transient killer whale habitat use within Hood Canal. Killer whales were historically documented in Hood Canal by sound recordings in 1958 (Ford, 1991), a photograph from 1973, sound recordings in 1995 (Unger, 1997), and also anecdotal accounts of historical use. More recently, there have been sightings data ranging from intermittent observations of one or two animals, to the lengthy stays that were recorded in 2003 of 11 transients that remained for nearly 2 months (59 days), and in 2005 of a group of six that were sighted over a nearly 4-month period. In 2005, transients were documented in the region for a total of 172 days between January and July (London, 2006). There is about a 10-year data gap for Hood Canal transient killer whale use with the sightings reported to the Orca Network in March 2016, when there were sightings over 2 days. Following this, there was a report from 1 day in April 2016 and 8 days in May 2016, with whales in Dabob Bay at least one of the days (Orca Network, 2016). As the sightings in early 2016 were discontinuous, it is likely that the whales were using Hood Canal as part of a larger area moving in and out of Hood Canal. It is not known how large an area these animals were using; it is also unknown if these sightings were all of the same group of transient killer whales, or if animals were using the same areas. However, the temporally discontinuous data suggest a high degree of variability in the habitat use and localized relative abundances of transient killer whales in Hood Canal. It is also likely that longer periods of more continuous sightings are anomalous, and that the usual use of Hood Canal reflects the typical transient killer whale behavior of short-term occupancy for foraging in a small localized area, then dispersing to other parts of their range.

    West Coast Transient killer whales most often travel in small pods of up to four individuals (Baird and Dill, 1996). From 2004-2010 in the Salish Sea, the most frequently observed group size was four whales (Houghton et al., 2015). The most commonly observed group size in Puget Sound through South Puget Sound and north to Skagit Bay from 2004 to 2010 was six whales (mode = 6, mean = 6.88) (Navy, 2017).

    Harbor Porpoise

    NMFS conservatively recognizes two stocks in Washington waters: The Oregon/Washington Coast stock and the Washington Inland Waters stock (Carretta et al., 2013). Individuals from the Washington Inland Waters stock are expected to occur in Puget Sound.

    In Washington Inland waters, harbor porpoise are known to occur in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Island area year-round (Calambokidis and Baird, 1994; Osmek et al., 1996; Carretta et al., 2012). Harbor porpoises were historically one of the most commonly observed marine mammals in Puget Sound (Scheffer and Slipp, 1948); however, there was a significant decline in sightings beginning in the 1940s (Everitt et al., 1979; Calambokidis et al., 1992). Only a few sightings were reported between the 1970s and 1980s (Calambokidis et al., 1992; Osmek et al., 1996; Suryan and Harvey, 1998), and no harbor porpoise sightings were recorded during multiple ship and aerial surveys conducted in Puget Sound (including Hood Canal) in 1991 and 1994 (Calambokidis et al., 1992; Osmek et al., 1996). Incidental sightings of marine mammals during aerial bird surveys conducted as part of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program (PSAMP) detected few harbor porpoises in Puget Sound between 1992 and 1999 (Nysewander et al., 2005). However, these sightings may have been negatively biased due to the low elevation of the plane, which may have caused an avoidance behavior. Since 1999, PSAMP data, stranding data, and aerial surveys conducted from 2013 to 2015 documented increasing numbers of harbor porpoise in Puget Sound (Nysewander, 2005; WDFW, 2008; Jeffries, 2013; Jefferson et al., 2016).

    Sightings in Hood Canal north of the Hood Canal Bridge have increased in recent years (Navy 2017). During line transect vessel surveys conducted in the Hood Canal in 2011 for the TPP near Naval Base Kitsap Bangor and Dabob Bay (HDR Inc., 2012), an average of six harbor porpoises were sighted per day in the deeper waters. Group sizes ranged from 1 to 10 individuals (HDR Inc., 2012). Aerial surveys conducted throughout 2013 to 2015 in Puget Sound indicated density in Puget Sound was 0.91 individuals/square kilometers (km2)) (95% CI = 0.72-1.10, all seasons pooled) and density in Hood Canal was 0.47/km2 (95% CI = 0.29-0.75, all seasons pooled) (Jefferson et al., 2016). Mean group size of harbor porpoises in Puget Sound in the 2013-2015 surveys was 1.7 in Hood Canal.

    Steller Sea Lion

    In the North Pacific, NMFS has designated two Steller sea lion stocks: (1) The western U.S. stock consisting of populations at and west of Cape Suckling, Alaska (144 degrees West longitude); and (2) the Eastern U.S. stock, consisting of populations east of Cape Suckling, Alaska. The western U.S. stock is listed as depleted under the MMPA and endangered under the ESA. Although there is evidence of mixing between the two stocks (Jemison et al., 2013), animals from the western U.S. stock are not present in Puget Sound. Individuals that occur in Puget Sound are of the Eastern Distinct Population Segment (Allen and Angliss, 2013). The Eastern Distinct Population Segment (stock) was removed from listing under the ESA in 2013 because it was stable or increasing throughout the northern portion of its range (Southeast Alaska and British Columbia) and stable or increasing slowly in the central portion of its range (Oregon through northern California) (78 FR 66140; NMFS, 2012a).

    The eastern stock of Steller sea lions is found along the coasts of southeast Alaska to northern California where they occur at rookeries and numerous haulout locations along the coastline (Jeffries et al., 2000; Scordino, 2006). Along the northern Washington coast, up to 25 pups are born annually (Jeffries, 2013). Male Steller sea lions often disperse widely outside of the breeding season from breeding rookeries in northern California (St. George Reef) and southern Oregon (Rogue Reef) (Scordino, 2006; Wright et al., 2010). Based on mark recapture sighting studies, males migrate back into these Oregon and California locations from winter feeding areas in Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska (Scordino, 2006).

    In Washington, Steller sea lions use haulout sites primarily along the outer coast from the Columbia River to Cape Flattery, as well as along the Vancouver Island side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Jeffries et al., 2000). A major winter haulout is located in the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada (Canadian side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca) (Edgell and Demarchi, 2012). Numbers vary seasonally in Washington, with peak numbers present during the fall and winter months and a decline in the summer months that corresponds to the breeding season at coastal rookeries (approximately late May to early June) (Jeffries et al., 2000). In Puget Sound, Jeffries (Navy 2017) identified five winter haulout sites used by adult and subadult (immature or pre-breeding animals) Steller sea lions, ranging from immediately south of Port Townsend (near Admiralty Inlet) to Olympia in southern Puget Sound (Figure 4-1). Numbers of animals observed at these sites ranged from a few to less than 100 (Navy 2017). In addition, Steller sea lions (one to two animals have been observed) opportunistically haul out on various navigational buoys in Admiralty Inlet south through southern Puget Sound near Olympia (Navy 2017).

    Surveys at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor indicate Steller sea lions begin arriving in September and depart by the end of May (Navy, 2016b)

    California Sea Lion

    NMFS has defined one stock for California sea lions (U.S. Stock), with five genetically distinct geographic populations: (1) Pacific Temperate, (2) Pacific Subtropical, (3) Southern Gulf of California, (4) Central Gulf of California, and (5) Northern Gulf of California. The Pacific Temperate population includes rookeries within U.S. waters and the Coronados Islands just south of the U.S./Mexico border. Animals from the Pacific Temperate population range north into Canadian waters, and movement of animals between U.S. waters and Baja California waters has been documented (Carretta et al., 2013).

    During the summer, California sea lions breed on islands from the Gulf of California to the Channel Islands and seldom travel more than about 31 mi (50 km) from the islands. The primary rookeries are located on the California Channel Islands of San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, and San Clemente. Their distribution shifts to the northwest in fall and to the southeast during winter and spring, probably in response to changes in prey availability. In the nonbreeding season, adult and subadult males migrate northward along the coast to central and northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver Island, and return south in the spring. They are occasionally sighted hundreds of miles offshore. Primarily male California sea lions migrate into northwest waters with most adult females with pups remaining in waters near their breeding rookeries off the coasts of California and Mexico. Females and juveniles tend to stay closer to the rookeries. California sea lions also enter bays, harbors, and river mouths and often haul out on man-made structures such as piers, jetties, offshore buoys, and oil platforms.

    Jeffries et al. (2000) and Jeffries (Navy 2017) identified dedicated, regular haulouts used by adult and subadult California sea lions in Washington inland waters (Figure 4-1). Main haulouts occur at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton, and Naval Station (NAVSTA) Everett, as well as in Rich Passage near Manchester, Seattle (Shilshole Bay), south Puget Sound (Commencement Bay, Budd Inlet), and numerous navigation buoys south of Whidbey Island to Olympia in south Puget Sound (Jeffries et al., 2000) (Figure 4-1). Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada (Canadian side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca) has been identified as a major winter haulout for California sea lions (Edgell and Demarchi, 2012).

    California sea lions are typically present most of the year except for mid-June through July in Washington inland waters, with peak abundance numbers between October and May (NMFS, 1997; Jeffries et al., 2000). California sea lions would be expected to forage within the area, following local prey availability. During summer months and associated breeding periods, the inland waters would not be considered a high-use area by California sea lions, as they would be returning to rookeries in California waters. However, California sea lions have been documented during shore-based surveys at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor in Hood Canal since 2008 in all survey months, with as many as 122 individuals observed at one time (November 2013) hauled out on submarines at Delta Pier and on PSB floats (Navy, 2016b, Appendix A). Relatively few individuals (< nine sighted per survey) were present during these surveys from June through August.

    Harbor Seal

    Three harbor seal stocks occur in Washington's inland waters:

    • Hood Canal;

    • Northern Inland Waters; and

    • Southern Puget Sound stocks.

    Based on radiotelemetry results, interchange between inland and coastal stocks is unlikely (Jeffries et al., 2003).

    Harbor seals are a coastal species, rarely found more than 12 mi (19 km) from shore, and frequently occupy bays, estuaries, and inlets (Baird, 2001). Individual seals have been observed several miles upstream in coastal rivers (Baird, 2001). Ideal harbor seal habitat includes haulout sites, shelter during the breeding periods, and sufficient food (Bjørge, 2002). Haulout areas can include intertidal and subtidal rock outcrops, sandbars, sandy beaches, peat banks in salt marshes, and man-made structures such as log booms, docks, and recreational floats (Wilson, 1978; Prescott, 1982; Schneider and Payne, 1983, Gilbert and Guldager, 1998; Jeffries et al., 2000; Lambourn et al., 2010). Harbor seals do not make extensive pelagic migrations, though some long distance movement of tagged animals in Alaska (108 mi (174 km)) and along the U.S. west coast (up to 342 mi (550 km)) have been recorded (Brown and Mate, 1983; Womble and Gende, 2013). Harbor seals have also displayed strong fidelity to haulout sites.

    Harbor seals are the most common, widely distributed marine mammal found in Washington marine waters and are frequently observed in the nearshore marine environment. They occur year-round and breed in Washington. Numerous harbor seal haulouts occur in Washington inland waters. Numbers of individuals at haulouts range from a few to between 100 and 500 individuals (Jeffries et al., 2000).

    Harbor seals are expected to occur year-round at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor. In Hood Canal, where Naval Base Kitsap Bangor is located, known haulouts occur on the west side of Hood Canal at the mouth of the Dosewallips River and on the western and northern shorelines in Dabob Bay, located approximately 8.1 miles away from the Navy's installation (Figure 4-1). Vessel-based surveys conducted from 2007 to 2010 at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor observed harbor seals in every month of surveys (Agness and Tannenbaum, 2009; Tannenbaum et al., 2009, 2011). Harbor seals were routinely seen during marine mammal monitoring for two construction projects, the Test Pile Project and EHW-2 construction projects (HDR Inc., 2012; Hart Crowser, 2013, 2014, 2015). Small numbers of harbor seals have been documented hauling out on the PSB floats, wavescreen at Carderock Pier, buoys, barges, marine vessels, and logs (Agness and Tannenbaum, 2009; Tannenbaum et al., 2009, 2011; Navy, 2016b) and on man-made floating structures near KB Dock and Delta Pier. Incidental surveys by a Navy biologist in August and September 2016 recorded as many as 28 harbor seals hauled out under Marginal Wharf or swimming in adjacent waters. On two occasions, four to six individuals were observed hauled out near Delta Pier. The repeated sightings of harbor seals in this area suggest a high degree of tolerance by these individuals for the anthropogenic activity associated with Naval Base Kitsap Bangor. It is also likely that these are sightings of the same individuals, rather than different animals being observed at the same locations.

    Past IHA applications for Naval Base Kitsap Bangor indicated a few observations of harbor seal births or neonates. In 2014, the Navy's knowledge of harbor seal births increased due to increased pinniped surveys on the waterfront and increased contact with waterfront personnel who have had lengthy careers at Bangor (Navy, 2016b). Known harbor seal births include one on the Carderock wave screen in August 2011; at least one on a small 10 x 10 ft (3 x 3 m) floating dock at EHW-2 in fall 2013, as reported by EHW-2 construction crew; and afterbirth on a float at Magnetic Silencing Facility with an unknown date. In addition, Navy biologists learned that harbor seal pupping has occurred on a section of the Service Pier since approximately 2001, according to the Port Operations vessel crews. Harbor seal mother and pup sets were observed in 2014 hauled out on the Carderock wavescreen and swimming in nearby waters, and swimming in the vicinity of Delta Pier (Navy, 2016b).

    Marine Mammal Hearing

    Hearing is the most important sensory modality for marine mammals underwater, and exposure to anthropogenic sound can have deleterious effects. To appropriately assess the potential effects of exposure to sound, it is necessary to understand the frequency ranges marine mammals are able to hear. Current data indicate that not all marine mammal species have equal hearing capabilities (e.g., Richardson et al., 1995; Wartzok and Ketten, 1999; Au and Hastings, 2008). To reflect this, Southall et al. (2007) recommended that marine mammals be divided into functional hearing groups based on directly measured or estimated hearing ranges on the basis of available behavioral response data, audiograms derived using auditory evoked potential techniques, anatomical modeling, and other data. Note that no direct measurements of hearing ability have been successfully completed for mysticetes (i.e., low-frequency cetaceans). Subsequently, NMFS (2016) described generalized hearing ranges for these marine mammal hearing groups. Generalized hearing ranges were chosen based on the approximately 65 decibel (dB) threshold from the normalized composite audiograms, with the exception for lower limits for low-frequency cetaceans where the lower bound was deemed to be biologically implausible and the lower bound from Southall et al. (2007) retained. The functional groups and the associated frequencies are indicated below (note that these frequency ranges correspond to the range for the composite group, with the entire range not necessarily reflecting the capabilities of every species within that group):

    • Mid-frequency cetaceans (larger toothed whales, beaked whales, and most delphinids): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 hertz (Hz) and 160 kilohertz (kHz);

    • High-frequency cetaceans (porpoises, river dolphins, and members of the genera Kogia and Cephalorhynchus; including two members of the genus Lagenorhynchus, on the basis of recent echolocation data and genetic data): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 275 Hz and 160 kHz;

    • Pinnipeds in water; Phocidae (true seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 50 Hz to 86 kHz; and

    • Pinnipeds in water; Otariidae (eared seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between 60 Hz and 39 kHz.

    The pinniped functional hearing group was modified from Southall et al. (2007) on the basis of data indicating that phocid species have consistently demonstrated an extended frequency range of hearing compared to otariids, especially in the higher frequency range (Hemilä et al., 2006; Kastelein et al., 2009; Reichmuth and Holt, 2013).

    For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016) for a review of available information. Five marine mammal species (two cetacean and three pinniped (two otariid and 1 phocid) species) have the reasonable potential to co-occur with the proposed survey activities. Of the cetacean species that may be present, killer whales are classified as mid-frequency cetaceans and harbor porpoises are classified as high-frequency cetaceans.

    Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document includes a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination” section considers the content of this section, the “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section, and the “Proposed Mitigation” section, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and how those impacts on individuals are likely to impact marine mammal species or stocks.

    Description of Sound Sources

    Sound travels in waves, the basic components of which are frequency, wavelength, velocity, and amplitude. Frequency is the number of pressure waves that pass by a reference point per unit of time and is measured in Hz or cycles per second. Wavelength is the distance between two peaks of a sound wave; lower frequency sounds have longer wavelengths than higher frequency sounds and attenuate (decrease) more rapidly in shallower water. Amplitude is the height of the sound pressure wave or the `loudness' of a sound and is typically measured using the dB scale. A dB is the ratio between a measured pressure (with sound) and a reference pressure (sound at a constant pressure, established by scientific standards). It is a logarithmic unit that accounts for large variations in amplitude; therefore, relatively small changes in dB ratings correspond to large changes in sound pressure. When referring to sound pressure levels (SPLs; the sound force per unit area), sound is referenced in the context of underwater sound pressure to 1 micro pascal (μPa). One pascal is the pressure resulting from a force of one newton exerted over an area of one square meter. The source level (SL) represents the sound level at a distance of 1 m from the source (referenced to 1 μPa). The received level is the sound level at the listener's position. Note that all underwater sound levels in this document are referenced to a pressure of 1 µPa and all airborne sound levels in this document are referenced to a pressure of 20 µPa.

    Root mean square (rms) is the quadratic mean sound pressure over the duration of an impulse. Rms is calculated by squaring all of the sound amplitudes, averaging the squares, and then taking the square root of the average (Urick, 1983). Rms accounts for both positive and negative values; squaring the pressures makes all values positive so that they may be accounted for in the summation of pressure levels (Hastings and Popper 2005). This measurement is often used in the context of discussing behavioral effects, in part because behavioral effects, which often result from auditory cues, may be better expressed through averaged units than by peak pressures.

    When underwater objects vibrate or activity occurs, sound-pressure waves are created. These waves alternately compress and decompress the water as the sound wave travels. Underwater sound waves radiate in all directions away from the source (similar to ripples on the surface of a pond), except in cases where the source is directional. The compressions and decompressions associated with sound waves are detected as changes in pressure by aquatic life and man-made sound receptors such as hydrophones.

    Even in the absence of sound from the specified activity, the underwater environment is typically loud due to ambient sound. Ambient sound is defined as environmental background sound levels lacking a single source or point (Richardson et al.,1995), and the sound level of a region is defined by the total acoustical energy being generated by known and unknown sources. These sources may include physical (e.g., waves, earthquakes, ice, atmospheric sound), biological (e.g., sounds produced by marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates), and anthropogenic sound (e.g., vessels, dredging, aircraft, construction). A number of sources contribute to ambient sound, including the following (Richardson et al., 1995):

    • Wind and waves: The complex interactions between wind and water surface, including processes such as breaking waves and wave-induced bubble oscillations and cavitation, are a main source of naturally occurring ambient noise for frequencies between 200 Hz and 50 kHz (Mitson, 1995). In general, ambient sound levels tend to increase with increasing wind speed and wave height. Surf noise becomes important near shore, with measurements collected at a distance of 8.5 km from shore showing an increase of 10 dB in the 100 to 700 Hz band during heavy surf conditions;

    • Precipitation: Sound from rain and hail impacting the water surface can become an important component of total noise at frequencies above 500 Hz, and possibly down to 100 Hz during quiet times;

    • Biological: Marine mammals can contribute significantly to ambient noise levels, as can some fish and shrimp. The frequency band for biological contributions is from approximately 12 Hz to over 100 kHz; and

    • Anthropogenic: Sources of ambient noise related to human activity include transportation (surface vessels and aircraft), dredging and construction, oil and gas drilling and production, seismic surveys, sonar, explosions, and ocean acoustic studies. Shipping noise typically dominates the total ambient noise for frequencies between 20 and 300 Hz. In general, the frequencies of anthropogenic sounds are below 1 kHz and, if higher frequency sound levels are created, they attenuate rapidly (Richardson et al., 1995). Sound from identifiable anthropogenic sources other than the activity of interest (e.g., a passing vessel) is sometimes termed background sound, as opposed to ambient sound.

    The sum of the various natural and anthropogenic sound sources at any given location and time—which comprise “ambient” or “background” sound—depends not only on the source levels (as determined by current weather conditions and levels of biological and shipping activity) but also on the ability of sound to propagate through the environment. In turn, sound propagation is dependent on the spatially and temporally varying properties of the water column and sea floor, and is frequency-dependent. As a result of the dependence on a large number of varying factors, ambient sound levels can be expected to vary widely over both coarse and fine spatial and temporal scales. Sound levels at a given frequency and location can vary by 10-20 dB from day to day (Richardson et al., 1995). The result is that, depending on the source type and its intensity, sound from the specified activity may be a negligible addition to the local environment or could form a distinctive signal that may affect marine mammals.

    In-water construction activities associated with the project would include impact pile driving, vibratory pile driving and vibratory pile extraction. The sounds produced by these activities fall into one of two general sound types: Pulsed and non-pulsed (defined in the following paragraphs). The distinction between these two sound types is important because they have differing potential to cause physical effects, particularly with regard to hearing (e.g., Ward, 1997 in Southall et al., 2007). Please see Southall et al., (2007) for an in-depth discussion of these concepts.

    Pulsed sound sources (e.g., explosions, gunshots, sonic booms, impact pile driving) produce signals that are brief (typically considered to be less than one second), broadband, atonal transients (ANSI, 1986; Harris, 1998; ISO, 2003) and occur either as isolated events or repeated in some succession. Pulsed sounds are all characterized by a relatively rapid rise from ambient pressure to a maximal pressure value followed by a rapid decay period that may include a period of diminishing, oscillating maximal and minimal pressures, and generally have an increased capacity to induce physical injury as compared with sounds that lack these features.

    Non-pulsed sounds can be tonal, narrowband, or broadband, brief or prolonged, and may be either continuous or non-continuous (ANSI, 1995; NIOSH, 1998). Some of these non-pulsed sounds can be transient signals of short duration but without the essential properties of pulses (e.g., rapid rise time). Examples of non-pulsed sounds include those produced by vessels, aircraft, machinery operations such as drilling, vibratory pile driving, and active sonar systems (such as those used by the U.S. Navy). The duration of such sounds, as received at a distance, can be greatly extended in a highly reverberant environment.

    Impact hammers operate by repeatedly dropping a heavy piston onto a pile to drive the pile into the substrate. Sound generated by impact hammers is characterized by rapid rise times and high peak levels, a potentially injurious combination (Hastings and Popper 2005). Vibratory hammers install piles by vibrating them and allowing the weight of the hammer to push them into the sediment. Vibratory hammers produce significantly less sound than impact hammers. Peak SPLs may be 180 dB or greater, but are generally 10 to 20 dB lower than SPLs generated during impact pile driving of the same-sized pile (Oestman et al., 2009). Rise time is slower, reducing the probability and severity of injury, and sound energy is distributed over a greater amount of time (Nedwell and Edwards 2002).

    Acoustic Impacts

    Please refer to the information given previously (Description of Sound Sources) regarding sound, characteristics of sound types, and metrics used in this document. Anthropogenic sounds cover a broad range of frequencies and sound levels and can have a range of highly variable impacts on marine life, from none or minor to potentially severe responses, depending on received levels, duration of exposure, behavioral context, and various other factors. The potential effects of underwater sound from active acoustic sources can potentially result in one or more of the following: Temporary or permanent hearing impairment, non-auditory physical or physiological effects, behavioral disturbance, stress, and masking (Richardson et al., 1995; Gordon et al., 2004; Nowacek et al., 2007; Southall et al., 2007). The degree of effect is intrinsically related to the signal characteristics, received level, distance from the source, and duration of the sound exposure. In general, sudden, high level sounds can cause hearing loss, as can longer exposures to lower level sounds. Temporary or permanent loss of hearing will occur almost exclusively for noise within an animal's hearing range. In this section, we first describe specific manifestations of acoustic effects before providing discussion specific to the proposed construction activities in the next section.

    Permanent Threshold Shift—Marine mammals exposed to high-intensity sound, or to lower-intensity sound for prolonged periods, can experience hearing threshold shift (TS), which is the loss of hearing sensitivity at certain frequency ranges (Kastak et al., 1999; Schlundt et al., 2000; Finneran et al., 2002, 2005). TS can be permanent (PTS), in which case the loss of hearing sensitivity is not fully recoverable, or temporary (TTS), in which case the animal's hearing threshold would recover over time (Southall et al., 2007). Repeated sound exposure that leads to TTS could cause PTS. In severe cases of PTS, there can be total or partial deafness, while in most cases the animal has an impaired ability to hear sounds in specific frequency ranges (Kryter 1985).

    When PTS occurs, there is physical damage to the sound receptors in the ear (i.e., tissue damage), whereas TTS represents primarily tissue fatigue and is reversible (Southall et al., 2007). In addition, other investigators have suggested that TTS is within the normal bounds of physiological variability and tolerance