Federal Register Vol. 83, No.51,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 51 (March 15, 2018)

Page Range11395-11632
FR Document

83_FR_51
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 11631 - Regarding the Proposed Takeover of Qualcomm Incorporated by Broadcom LimitedPDF
83 FR 11625 - Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United StatesPDF
83 FR 11619 - Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United StatesPDF
83 FR 11565 - Sunshine Act Meetings; Notice of a Matter To Be Added to the Agenda for Consideration at an Agency MeetingPDF
83 FR 11562 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 11413 - Vinyl ChloridePDF
83 FR 11580 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Qualified Lessee Construction Allowances for Short-Term LeasesPDF
83 FR 11581 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Rules Relating to RegistrationPDF
83 FR 11557 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Closeout Instruction for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) ProgramPDF
83 FR 11556 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan & Annual Performance ReportPDF
83 FR 11554 - 60 Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Urban County Qualification/New York Towns Qualification/Requalification ProcessesPDF
83 FR 11532 - Final Revised Vaccine Information Materials for MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) and MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella) VaccinesPDF
83 FR 11536 - Final Revised Vaccine Information Materials for Varicella VaccinePDF
83 FR 11415 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJPDF
83 FR 11538 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 11570 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Relating to the ICC Rules, ICC Risk Management Model Description Document, ICC Risk Management Framework, ICC Stress Testing Framework, and ICC Liquidity Risk Management FrameworkPDF
83 FR 11416 - Approval and Promulgation of State Air Quality Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; City of Philadelphia; Control of Emissions From Existing Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerator UnitsPDF
83 FR 11418 - Approval and Promulgation of State Air Quality Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; City of Philadelphia; Control of Emissions From Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration UnitsPDF
83 FR 11513 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for Pyroxasulfone New UsesPDF
83 FR 11448 - Receipt of a Pesticide Petition Filed for Residues of Pyroxasulfone in or on Various CommoditiesPDF
83 FR 11514 - Access to Confidential Business Information by Accelera Solutions, IncPDF
83 FR 11580 - Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway Corp.-Trackage Rights Renewal Exemption-Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, Inc.PDF
83 FR 11428 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2018 River Herring and Shad Catch Cap Reached for Midwater Trawl Vessels in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap AreaPDF
83 FR 11514 - Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 11516 - Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlement Regarding the Universal Oil Products Superfund Site, East Rutherford, New JerseyPDF
83 FR 11420 - Trinexapac-ethyl; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
83 FR 11515 - FY2018 Supplemental Funding for Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) GranteesPDF
83 FR 11563 - Steel Wire Garment Hangers From Taiwan and Vietnam; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year ReviewsPDF
83 FR 11489 - Privacy Act of 1974; New System of RecordsPDF
83 FR 11542 - Health Center ProgramPDF
83 FR 11543 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant BacteriaPDF
83 FR 11535 - Decision To Evaluate a Petition To Designate a Class of Employees From the De Soto Avenue Facility in Los Angeles County, California, To Be Included in the Special Exposure CohortPDF
83 FR 11538 - Final Effect of Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure CohortPDF
83 FR 11569 - Proposal Review Panel for International Science and Engineering; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 11564 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 11559 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and a Possible Land Use Plan Amendment for the Proposed Crescent Peak Wind Project, West of Searchlight in Clark County, Nevada; and a Notice of Public Lands SegregationPDF
83 FR 11507 - Market Risk Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 11493 - Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Program; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 11493 - National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory CouncilPDF
83 FR 11562 - Honey From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 11395 - Importation of Campanula spp. Plants for Planting in Approved Growing Media From Denmark Into the United StatesPDF
83 FR 11520 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 11501 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 52-Suffolk County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Advanced Optowave Corporation; (Diode Pumped Solid State Laser Systems); Ronkonkoma, New YorkPDF
83 FR 11501 - Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, Rescission of Review, in Part, and Intent To Rescind, in Part; 2016PDF
83 FR 11492 - Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Control of Chronic Wasting DiseasePDF
83 FR 11567 - Request for Recommendations for Membership on Directorate and Office Advisory CommitteesPDF
83 FR 11567 - Committee Management; RenewalsPDF
83 FR 11566 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 11568 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 11510 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Impact Evaluation of Departmentalized Instruction in Elementary SchoolsPDF
83 FR 11505 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous FishPDF
83 FR 11537 - Draft-National Occupational Research Agenda for Respiratory HealthPDF
83 FR 11521 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
83 FR 11519 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 11529 - Oregon Lithoprint, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
83 FR 11527 - Air Medical Group Holdings, Inc., KKR North America Fund XI (AMG) LLC, and AMR Holdco, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
83 FR 11488 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 11523 - Granting of Requests for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification RulesPDF
83 FR 11525 - Granting of Requests for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification RulesPDF
83 FR 11564 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
83 FR 11509 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project With Installation of a Terminal Groin Structure at the Eastern End of Holden Beach, Extending Into the Atlantic Ocean, West of Lockwoods Folly Inlet (Brunswick County, NC)PDF
83 FR 11532 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 11535 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
83 FR 11579 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for the Territory of American SamoaPDF
83 FR 11561 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Requirements for Permits for Special Categories of MiningPDF
83 FR 11561 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Requirements for Coal ExplorationPDF
83 FR 11539 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Health Care Professional Survey of Professional Prescription Drug PromotionPDF
83 FR 11499 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 11512 - Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of Petition for Partial WaiverPDF
83 FR 11511 - Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
83 FR 11511 - Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act; Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
83 FR 11512 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 11569 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 11570 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 11544 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 11545 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 11544 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 11546 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 11545 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 11547 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 11500 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Maryland Advisory CommitteePDF
83 FR 11548 - Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and Safety GrantsPDF
83 FR 11499 - Notice of 109th Commission MeetingPDF
83 FR 11578 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 11429 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
83 FR 11573 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE American LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 915PDF
83 FR 11576 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 5.3-OPDF
83 FR 11508 - Notice of Availability: Guidance on the Application of Human Factors to Consumer ProductsPDF
83 FR 11546 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 11553 - Extension of Employment Authorization for Syrian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of Civil Unrest in Syria Since March 2011PDF
83 FR 11415 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Narrow Bay, Suffolk County, NYPDF
83 FR 11517 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
83 FR 11518 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
83 FR 11452 - Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
83 FR 11422 - Modernization of Payphone Compensation RulesPDF
83 FR 11494 - Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding LevelsPDF
83 FR 11413 - Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying BenefitsPDF
83 FR 11445 - Proposed Amendment of Class D Airspace; Appleton, WIPDF
83 FR 11474 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management PlanPDF
83 FR 11558 - Notice of Availability; Florida Trustee Implementation Group Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Phase V.2 Restoration Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment; Florida Coastal Access ProjectPDF
83 FR 11453 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule To List Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley Spineflower)PDF
83 FR 11446 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Altoona, PAPDF
83 FR 11409 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Twin Falls, IDPDF
83 FR 11411 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Lewiston, IDPDF
83 FR 11408 - Establishment of Class E Airspace, Yuma, COPDF
83 FR 11407 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Massena, NYPDF
83 FR 11443 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Mesquite, NVPDF
83 FR 11449 - Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting SystemPDF
83 FR 11450 - Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting SystemPDF
83 FR 11404 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., AirplanesPDF
83 FR 11399 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
83 FR 11397 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
83 FR 11584 - Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Amendments to the National Minimum Criteria (Phase One); Proposed RulePDF
83 FR 11488 - Notice of Public Information Collection Requirements Submitted to OMB for ReviewPDF
83 FR 11565 - Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request, Proposed Collection: IMLS Collections Assessment for Preservation ProgramPDF
83 FR 11580 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at the Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 11431 - Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks and Funds Transfers Through FedwirePDF

Issue

83 51 Thursday, March 15, 2018 Contents Agency Agency for International Development NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11488 2018-04879 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11488-11489 2018-05250 Privacy Act; New System of Records, 11489-11492 2018-05280
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service RULES Imports: Campanula spp. Plants for Planting in Approved Growing Media from Denmark into the United States, 11395-11397 2018-05267 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Control of Chronic Wasting Disease, 11492-11493 2018-05263 Meetings: Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Program, 11493 2018-05270 Arctic Arctic Research Commission NOTICES Meetings: 109th Commission Meeting, 11499 2018-05213 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11532-11536 2018-05242 2018-05243 Decision to Evaluate a Petition to Designate a Class of Employees from the De Soto Avenue Facility in Los Angeles County, CA, to be included in the Special Exposure Cohort, 11535 2018-05277 Draft National Occupational Research Agenda: Respiratory Health, 11537-11538 2018-05256 Final Effect of Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure Cohort, 11538 2018-05276 Vaccine Information Materials: MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) and MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella) Vaccines, 11532 2018-05299 Varicella Vaccine, 11536-11537 2018-05298 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11538-11539 2018-05296 Children Children and Families Administration PROPOSED RULES Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 11449-11452 2018-05038 2018-05042 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Alaska Advisory Committee, 11499-11500 2018-05234 Maryland Advisory Committee, 11500 2018-05215 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Narrow Bay, Suffolk County, NY, 11415 2018-05205 New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJ, 11415-11416 2018-05297 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Market Risk Advisory Committee, 11507-11508 2018-05271 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Guidance: Application of Human Factors to Consumer Products, 11508-11509 2018-05208 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Impact Evaluation of Departmentalized Instruction in Elementary Schools, 11510-11511 2018-05258 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project with Installation of a Terminal Groin Structure at the Eastern End of Holden Beach, Extending into the Atlantic Ocean, west of Lockwoods Folly Inlet (Brunswick County, NC), 11509-11510 2018-05244 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Plan for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; Approvals and Promulgations: City of Philadelphia; Control of Emissions from Existing Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerator Units, 11416-11418 2018-05294 City of Philadelphia; Control of Emissions from Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units, 11418-11420 2018-05293 Pesticide Tolerances: Trinexapac-ethyl, 11420-11422 2018-05284 PROPOSED RULES Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities; Amendments to the National Minimum Criteria (Phase One), 11584-11616 2018-04941 Pesticide Petitions: Residues of Pyroxasulfone in or on Various Commodities, 11448-11449 2018-05291 NOTICES Access to Confidential Business Information by Accelera Solutions, Inc., 11514-11515 2018-05290 CERCLA Administrative Cost Recovery Settlements: Universal Oil Products Superfund Site, East Rutherford, NJ, 11516-11517 2018-05285 Funding Availability: FY2018 Supplemental Funding for Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grantees, 11515-11516 2018-05283 Meetings: Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, 11514 2018-05287 Pesticide Product Registration; Applications: Pyroxasulfone New Uses, 11513-11514 2018-05292 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 11399-11404 2018-05018 Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes, 11404-11407 2018-05021 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 11397-11399 2018-05015 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace: Lewiston, ID, 11411-11413 2018-05049 Twin Falls, ID, 11409-11411 2018-05050 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Massena, NY, 11407-11408 2018-05045 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Yuma, CO, 11408-11409 2018-05047 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class D Airspace: Appleton, WI, 11445-11446 2018-05194 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Altoona, PA, 11446-11448 2018-05052 Mesquite, NV, 11443-11445 2018-05043 NOTICES Airport Property Releases: Northeast Philadelphia Airport, Philadelphia, PA; Correction, 11580 2018-04581 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Modernization of Payphone Compensation Rules, 11422-11428 2018-05201 PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, 11452-11453 2018-05202 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11517-11519 2018-05203 2018-05204 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program: Fire Prevention and Safety Grants, 11548-11553 2018-05214 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 11512-11513 2018-05225 Meetings: Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act; Technical Conference, 11511-11512 2018-05231 Petitions for Partial Waivers: Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., 11512 2018-05233 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Colorado Interstate Gas Co., LLC, 11511 2018-05232 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks and Funds Transfers through Fedwire, 11431-11443 2018-04486 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11519-11523 2018-05254 2018-05255 2018-05266 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Early Termination of the Waiting Period under Premerger Notification Rules; Approvals, 11523-11527 2018-05248 2018-05249 Proposed Consent Agreements: Air Medical Group Holdings, Inc., KKR North America Fund XI (AMG) LLC, and AMR Holdco, Inc., 11527-11529 2018-05251 Oregon Lithoprint, Inc., 11529-11532 2018-05252 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule to List Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley Spineflower), 11453-11474 2018-05081 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Health Care Professional Survey of Professional Prescription Drug Promotion, 11539-11542 2018-05235 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Foreign-Trade Zone 52, Suffolk County, NY, 11501 2018-05265 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, 11493-11494 2018-05269 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 11543-11544 2018-05278
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Health Center Program, 11542-11543 2018-05279 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

NOTICES Extension of Employment Authorization for Syrian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of Civil Unrest in Syria Since March 2011, 11553-11554 2018-05206
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Closeout Instruction for Community Development Block Grant Program, 11557-11558 2018-05303 Community Development Block Grant Urban County Qualification/ New York Towns Qualification/ Requalification Processes, 11554-11556 2018-05301 Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan and Annual Performance Report, 11556 2018-05302 Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Institute of Museum and Library Services Collections Assessment for Preservation Program, 11565-11566 2018-04717 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Florida Trustee Implementation Group Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Phase V.2 Restoration Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment; Florida Coastal Access Project, 11558-11559 2018-05137
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Qualified Lessee Construction Allowances for Short-Term Leases, 11580-11581 2018-05305 Rules relating to registration under section 4101, 11581-11582 2018-05304 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China, 11501-11505 2018-05264 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Honey from China, 11562-11563 2018-05268 Steel Wire Garment Hangers from Taiwan and Vietnam, 11563-11564 2018-05281 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 11562 2018-05341 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees: Clean Air Act, 11564 2018-05246 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Crescent Peak Wind Project, West of Searchlight in Clark County, Nevada; and a Notice of Public Lands Segregation, 11559-11561 2018-05273 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11564-11565 2018-05274 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 11565 2018-05353 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 11545-11548 2018-05207 2018-05216 2018-05217 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 11546 2018-05218 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 11544-11545 2018-05219 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 11544-11545 2018-05220 2018-05221 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in Gulf of Alaska, 11429-11430 2018-05211 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2018 River Herring and Shad Catch Cap Reached for Midwater Trawl Vessels in Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area, 11428-11429 2018-05288 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, 11474-11487 2018-05155 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Take of Anadromous Fish, 11505-11507 2018-05257 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Charter Renewals: Committee Management, 11567 2018-05261 Meetings: Proposal Review Panel for International Science and Engineering, 11569 2018-05275 Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research, 11566-11569 2018-05260 2018-05259 Requests for Nominations: Directorate and Office Advisory Committees, 11567-11568 2018-05262 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration RULES Vinyl Chloride; CFR Correction, 11413 2018-05312 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans: Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying Benefits, 11413-11415 2018-05197 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 11570 2018-05223 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 11569-11570 2018-05222 2018-05224 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels, 11494-11499 2018-05200 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11578-11579 2018-05212 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Credit LLC, 11570-11573 2018-05295 NYSE American LLC, 11573-11576 2018-05210 NYSE Arca, Inc., 11576-11578 2018-05209 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: American Samoa, 11579-11580 2018-05241 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Requirements for Coal Exploration, 11561 2018-05236 Requirements for Permits for Special Categories of Mining, 11561-11562 2018-05237 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Trackage Rights Exemptions: Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway Corp.; Tazewell and Peoria Railroad, Inc., 11580 2018-05289 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 11584-11616 2018-04941 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 51 Thursday, March 15, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0051] RIN 0579-AE31 Importation of Campanula spp. Plants for Planting in Approved Growing Media From Denmark Into the United States AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the regulations governing the importation of plants for planting by authorizing the importation of Campanula spp. plants for planting from Denmark in approved growing media into the United States, subject to a systems approach. The systems approach will include measures that are currently specified in the regulations as generally applicable to all plants for planting authorized importation into the United States in approved growing media. This action will allow for the importation of Campanula spp. plants for planting from Denmark in approved growing media, while providing protection against the introduction of plant pests.

DATES:

Effective April 16, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Narasimha Samboju, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Plants for Planting Policy, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-2038.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in 7 CFR part 319 prohibit or restrict the importation of certain plants and plant products into the United States to prevent the introduction of quarantine plant pests. The regulations contained in “Subpart—Plants for Planting,” §§ 319.37 through 319.37-14 (referred to below as the regulations), prohibit or restrict, among other things, the importation of living plants, plant parts, and seeds for propagation or planting.

The regulations differentiate between prohibited articles and restricted articles. Prohibited articles are plants for planting whose importation into the United States is not authorized due to the risk the articles present of introducing or disseminating plant pests. Restricted articles are articles that may be imported into the United States, provided that the articles are subject to measures to address the associated risks.

Conditions for the importation into the United States of restricted articles in growing media are found in § 319.37-8. In § 319.37-8, the introductory text in paragraph (e) lists taxa of restricted articles that may be imported into the United States in approved growing media, subject to the provisions of a systems approach. Paragraph (e)(1) lists the approved growing media, while paragraph (e)(2) contains the provisions of the systems approach. Within paragraph (e)(2), paragraphs (i) through (viii) contain provisions that are generally applicable to all the taxa listed in the introductory text of paragraph (e), while paragraphs (ix) through (xiii) contain additional, taxon-specific provisions.

In response to a request from the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Denmark, we prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) in order to analyze the plant pest risks associated with the importation of Campanula spp. plants for planting in approved growing media from Denmark into the United States. The PRA identified 10 quarantine pests that could be introduced into the United States through the importation of Campanula spp. plants for planting from Denmark in approved growing media. Based on the findings of the PRA, we prepared a risk management document (RMD) to determine whether phytosanitary measures exist that would address the quarantine plant pest risk. The RMD found that the mitigations currently specified in § 319.37-8, paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (viii), that are generally applicable to the importation of all restricted articles authorized importation into the United States in approved growing media will mitigate the risk associated with the importation of Campanula spp. plants for planting in approved growing media from Denmark into the United States.

Accordingly, on June 20, 2017, we published in the Federal Register (82 FR 28015-28017, Docket No. APHIS-2016-0051) a proposal 1 to amend the regulations by adding Campanula spp. plants for planting from Denmark to the list of taxa authorized importation into the United States in approved growing media in accordance with the requirements of § 319.37-8(e).

1 To view the proposed rule, supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2016-0051.

We solicited comment concerning our proposal for 60 days ending August 21, 2017. We received two comments by that date. They were from a private citizen and a State department of agriculture. One commenter was generally opposed to the importation of Campanula spp. from Denmark, but did not offer any specific concerns or objections to be addressed.

One commenter stated that, although the approved growing media effectively mitigates the movement of arthropods occurring with the soil, it does not address the potential movement of the other quarantine plants pests identified in the PRA: The leafminers, Liriomyza buhri Hering, L. strigata (Meigen) and Phytomyza campanulae Hendel; the whitefly, Aleyrodes lonicerae; the aphids, Aphis psammophila Szelegiewicz, Uroleucon campanulae (Kaltenbach), U. nigrocampanulae (Theobald), and U. rapunculoidis (Börner); the thrips, Thrips major Uzel; and the mollusk, Arianta arbustorum (L.). The commenter suggested that a systems approach would not be enough to mitigate the risks associated with these plant pests as some have the potential to evade detection during inspection, and that an introduction of any of these pests would result in major eradication efforts that would have severe economic impacts on Florida's agricultural industry. Because of this, the commenter recommended that shipments of Campanula spp. plants from Denmark not be allowed into Florida.

As explained in the RMD (Appendix 1), the pests specifically referenced by the commenter will be mitigated by the systems approach. Inspections will be conducted in concert with required greenhouse operating procedures that will include specific sanitary measures and pest exclusionary mechanisms that have proven to effectively mitigate the risks associated with these plant pests. The commenter did not provide any evidence suggesting that the mitigations are not effective. Therefore, we are not taking the action suggested by the comment.

Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without change.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13771 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. Further, because this rule is not significant, it is not a regulatory action under Executive Order 13771. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604, we have performed a final regulatory flexibility analysis, which is summarized below, regarding the economic effects of this rule on small entities. Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov website (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the regulations in 7 CFR 319.37-8 to allow the importation of Campanula spp. plants in growing media. Such plants are generally imported bare-rooted into the United States, and are rooted and potted for sale by U.S. nurseries. The final rule will expand potted Campanula spp. imports from Denmark by eliminating the requirement that growing media be removed.

In 2014, U.S. production of potted Campanula spp. plants was valued at $683,000. The Small Business Administration (SBA) small-entity standard for entities involved in floriculture production is $750,000 or less in annual receipts. It is probable that most domestic producers of potted Campanula spp. plants are small entities by the SBA standard.

The NPPO of Denmark estimates that shipments of Campanula spp. plants in growing media to the United States may total $5-10 million annually, that is, the volume could reach a level higher than domestic U.S. production. However, we do not have information on existing U.S. import levels that would give this comparison appropriate perspective.

Although the rule could theoretically enable Denmark-based exporters to bypass U.S. growers altogether and provide finished plants directly to retailers, it is less likely because flowering potted plants tend to be more sensitive to shipping conditions. Consequently, it is more likely that the Danish growers will continue to export immature plants to U.S. growers who will then grow them out for sale as finished plants, but with a higher success rate and shorter market delay than under current regulations. U.S. growers who import Campanula spp. plants from Denmark may benefit directly from the rule, if the resulting finished plants have a higher market value.

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

An environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact have been prepared for this final rule. The environmental assessment provides a basis for the conclusion that the importation of Campanula spp. plants for planting in approved growing media from Denmark under the conditions specified in this rule will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Based on the finding of no significant impact, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.

The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact were prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact may be viewed on the Regulations.gov website (see footnote 1). Copies of the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact are also available for public inspection at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to inspect copies are requested to call ahead on (202) 799-7039 to facilitate entry into the reading room. In addition, copies may be obtained by writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection requirements included in this final rule, which were filed under 0579-0463, have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). When OMB notifies us of its decision, if approval is denied, we will publish a document in the Federal Register providing notice of what action we plan to take.

E-Government Act Compliance

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to compliance with the EGovernment Act to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act compliance related to this rule, please contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319—FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES 1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 450 and 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

2. Section 319.37-8 is amended as follows: a. In paragraph (e) introductory text, by adding, in alphabetical order, an entry for “Campanula spp. from Denmark”; and b. By revising the OMB citation at the end of the section.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 319.37-8 Growing media. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 0579-0190, 0579-0439, 0579-0454, 0579-0458, and 0579-0463)
Done in Washington, DC, this 9th day of March 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-05267 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0778; Product Identifier 2017-NM-038-AD; Amendment 39-19228; AD 2018-06-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the side panel-to-frame attachments and frames of the aft cargo compartment are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires an inspection of the side panel-to-frame attachments and frames to verify that certain modifications have been done, and applicable on-condition actions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective April 19, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 19, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0778.

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-2017-0778; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peter Jarzomb, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5234; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2017 (82 FR 40508). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the side panel-to-frame attachments and frames of the aft cargo compartment are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection of the side panel-to-frame attachments and frames to verify that certain modifications have been done, and applicable on-condition actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking at the attachment points of the side panel-to-frame attachments of the aft cargo compartment, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the body frames, and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

Comments

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

Support for the NPRM

Boeing and United Airlines agreed with the content of the NPRM.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01518SE does not affect the actions specified in the NPRM.

We concur with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) of this AD and added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01518SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01518SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

Request To Provide Instructions for Previously Repaired Areas

FedEx Express asked that instructions to address previously repaired areas on which the modification has not been incorporated be added to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017, before issuing the proposed AD.

We do not agree with the commenter's request. To wait for Boeing to update the service bulletin, as requested, would delay the issuance of the final rule. However, to delay this action would be inappropriate since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that the actions required by this AD must be done to ensure continued safety. If a previously repaired area does not incorporate the modification required by this AD, and the modification cannot be done on the previously repaired area, operators must request an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) using the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD. We have made no change to this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017. The service information describes procedures for a general visual inspection of the side panel-to-frame attachments and frames to verify that certain modifications have been done. The service information also describes procedures for on-condition actions, which include repetitive inspections for cracking, repairs, and modifications. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 13 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    General visual inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $1,105

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that are required. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions.

    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions * Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Up to 45 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $3,825 Unavailable Up to $3,825. * The costs in the table do not include the cost estimate for on-condition repairs. We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this AD. Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-06-08 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19228; Docket No. FAA-2017-0778; Product Identifier 2017-NM-038-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 19, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017.

    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01518SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/312bc296830a925c86257c85006d1b1f/$FILE/ST01518SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01518SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the side panel-to-frame attachments and frames of the aft cargo compartment are subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking at the attachment points of the side panel-to-frame attachments of the aft cargo compartment, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the body frames, and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) One-Time General Visual Inspection and Corrective Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017, uses the phrase “the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017, specifies contacting Boeing, and specifies that action as RC: This AD requires repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (i) Terminating Action for Inspections

    Accomplishment of a modification in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017, terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the modified location only.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Peter Jarzomb, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5234; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0012, Revision 1, dated January 25, 2017.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 2, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05015 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0695; Product Identifier 2016-NM-173-AD; Amendment 39-19223; AD 2018-06-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009-18-16, which applied to certain Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. AD 2009-18-16 required an inspection for cracking of certain fastener holes on certain frames, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; and modification of certain fastener holes. This new AD reduces the compliance times. This AD was prompted by the identification of a structural modification that falls within the scope of the work related to the extension of the service life of the affected airplanes and widespread fatigue damage evaluations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective April 19, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0695.

    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-2017-0695; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 206-231-3225.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2009-18-16, Amendment 39-16012 (74 FR 46342, September 9, 2009) (“AD 2009-18-16”). AD 2009-18-16 applied to certain Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2017 (82 FR 32503). We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the frame foot run-outs, which could lead to rupture of the frame foot and cracking in adjacent frames and skin, and which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0197, dated October 5, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), for all Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. EASA AD 2016-0197 supersedes EASA AD 2008-0212, dated December 4, 2008. EASA AD 2008-0212 was the MCAI referred to in FAA AD 2009-18-16. The new MCAI states:

    Within the scope of work related to the extension of the service life of A310 design and widespread fatigue damage evaluations, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD F-2005-078 (EASA approval 2005-3957) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2006-02-06, Amendment 39-14458 (71 FR 3214, January 20, 2006)] to require a structural modification, as defined in Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A310-53-2124 (Airbus modification 13023), to increase the service life of junctions of center box upper frame bases to upper fuselage arches.

    The threshold timescales for accomplishment of the tasks as defined in SB A310-53-2124 were refined and reduced. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2007-0238 to require compliance with Revision 01 of SB A310-53-2124 at the reduced compliance times, superseding (the requirements of) DGAC France AD F-2005-078. Subsequently, Airbus identified reference material that was erroneously introduced into Airbus SB A310-53-2124 Revision 01. As a result, the SB instructions could not be accomplished properly. Operators that tried to apply SB A310-53-2124 at Revision 01 had to contact Airbus; see also Airbus SBIT [service bulletin information telex] ref. 914.0135/08, dated 03 March 2008.

    Consequently, [EASA] AD 2007-0238 was revised to exclude reference to Airbus SB A310-53-2124 Revision 01 and to require accomplishment of the task(s) as described in the original SB A310-53-2124 instead, although retaining the reduced compliance times introduced by [EASA] AD 2007-0238 at original issue.

    EASA AD 2008-0212, superseding [EASA] AD 2007-0238R1, was published to refer to Airbus SB A310 53-2124 Revision 02, the corrected version that was used to meet the requirements of this [EASA] AD.

    Since [EASA] AD 2008-0212 was issued, new investigations in the frame of the Widespread Fatigue Damage campaign induced thresholds reduction, and Airbus issued SB A310-53-2124 Revision 03.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2008-0212, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of modification(s) within reduced compliance time, as published in Airbus SB A310-53-2124 Revision 03.

    Required actions include a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) rotating probe inspection for cracking of certain fastener holes on certain frames, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; and modification of certain fastener holes. Related investigative actions include an additional HFEC rotating probe inspection for cracking of fastener holes and a check to determine the edge distance of certain holes. Corrective actions include ream out of cracks and repair.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0695.

    Comments

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

    Request To Revise the Costs of Compliance

    FedEx stated that repairs would cost an additional $10,000 per airplane. The commenter noted that 66% of its past accomplishments required additional efforts to incorporate the modification with supplementary repair activities. The commenter suggested that the average cost of compliance would approach $30,000 per airplane. We infer that the commenter is requesting a revision to the costs of compliance in the NPRM. We agree with commenter's request to revise the costs of compliance in this final rule. We have revised the Costs of Compliance section in this final rule accordingly.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the change described previously, and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 03, dated December 22, 2014. This service information describes procedures for a rotating probe inspection for cracking between frame (FR) 43 through FR 46 on the center box, and the cold expansion (modification) of the most fatigue sensitive fastener holes. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

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

    We estimate that it will take about 41 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $20,180 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $189,320, or $23,665 per product.

    Although we have received no definitive data that will enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions (i.e., additional inspection and modification for certain airplanes) specified in this AD, we have determined that the total repair costs could be up to $10,000 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these repairs.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009-18-16, Amendment 39-16012 (74 FR 46342, September 9, 2009), and adding the following new AD: 2018-06-03 Airbus: Amendment 39-19223; Docket No. FAA-2017-0695; Product Identifier 2016-NM-173-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 19, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2009-18-16, Amendment 39-16012 (74 FR 46342, September 9, 2009) (“AD 2009-18-16”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324 and -325 airplanes; certificated in any category; all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the junctions of center box upper frame bases to the upper fuselage arches are subject to widespread fatigue damage and that the compliance threshold for the modification in AD 2009-18-16 should be reduced. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the frame foot run-outs, which could lead to rupture of the frame foot and cracking in adjacent frames and skin, and which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections and Modification of Fastener Holes

    Except for airplanes modified before the effective date of this AD using the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124: At the times specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD but no later than the times specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) rotating probe inspection for cracking of fastener holes H1 through H29 on frames 43 through 46, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 03, dated December 22, 2014, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. If no cracking is found and the edge distance of the fastener hole is equal to or greater than the distance specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 03, dated December 22, 2014, before further flight, do the modification (cold expansion) of the affected fastener holes, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 03, dated December 22, 2014. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (1) Inspect at the applicable time specified in table 1 to paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, or within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. To establish the average flight time (AFT), take the accumulated flight time (counted from the take-off up to the landing) and divide by the number of accumulated flight cycles. This gives the AFT per flight cycle. Although the thresholds for Model A310-304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes are optimized to airplane utilization, an operator can choose to use the thresholds for the other AFT.

    ER15MR18.002

    (2) Inspect at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (g)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) At the applicable time indicated in table 2 to paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD. Airbus Model A310-304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes with an AFT equal to or less than 3.16 flight hours are short range airplanes. Airbus Model A310-304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes with an AFT exceeding 3.16 flight hours are long range airplanes. For this paragraph, to establish the average flight time, take the accumulated flight time (counted from the take-off up to the landing) and divide by the number of accumulated flight cycles. This gives the AFT per flight cycle.

    ER15MR18.003

    (ii) Within 500 flight cycles or 800 flight hours after October 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-18-16), whichever occurs first.

    (h) Service Information Exception

    Where Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 03, dated December 22, 2014, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (required for compliance): Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Airplanes Modified per Revision 01 of the Service Information

    For airplanes modified before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 01, dated May 3, 2007: Unless already accomplished, before further flight, do applicable corrective actions using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (j) Additional Inspection and Modification

    Except as provided by paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD, as applicable: At the applicable thresholds specified in table 3 to the introductory text of paragraph (j) of this AD, contact the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA for additional inspection and modification instructions. Accomplish those instructions within the compliance times approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    ER15MR18.004

    (1) For Model A310-203, -204, -221, and -222 airplanes: No additional inspection is required if the inspection and modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124 was done after the accumulation of 29,500 flight cycles and 70,900 flight hours since the first flight of the airplane.

    (2) For Model A310-304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes: No additional inspection is required if the inspection and modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124 was done after the accumulation of 22,600 flight cycles and 69,400 flight hours since the first flight of the airplane.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, dated April 4, 2005; or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 02, dated May 22, 2008.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0197, dated October 5, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0695.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone: 206-231-3225.

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

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2124, Revision 03, dated December 22, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.airbus.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 2, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05018 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0626; Product Identifier 2016-NM-210-AD; Amendment 39-19226; AD 2018-06-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of in-flight uncommanded rudder movements on airplanes with an installation similar to the installation on certain Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes. This AD requires modification of the wiring harness for the yaw damper control system. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective April 19, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of April 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0626.

    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-2017-0626; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2017 (82 FR 29014) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of in-flight uncommanded rudder movements on airplanes with an installation similar to the installation on certain Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require modification of the wiring for the yaw damper control system. We are issuing this AD to prevent in-flight uncommanded rudder movements, which could lead to structural failure and subsequent loss of the airplane.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-38, effective December 12, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The [Canadian] AD CF-2013-22 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-16-06, Amendment 39-17930 (79 FR 48972, August 19, 2014)] was issued on 12 August 2013 to mandate the introduction of an emergency procedure to the Aeroplane Flight Manual to address the uncommanded rudder movement.

    Since the original issue of [Canadian] AD CF-2013-22, Bombardier Aerospace has developed a wiring modification for the yaw damper control system to prevent uncommanded movement of the rudder.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the incorporation of Service Bulletins (SB) 604-22-007 and 605-22-002 * * * *.

    This AD requires modification of the wiring for the yaw damper control system. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0626.

    Comments

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

    Request To Clarify Airplane Model That Experienced In-Flight Uncommanded Rudder Movement

    Bombardier, Inc., requested that the Reason section (paragraph (e) of the proposed AD) be revised to clarify that the in-flight uncommanded rudder movements occurred on airplanes with an installation similar to the installation on certain Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes and did not occur on Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes. Bombardier, Inc., stated that it is not aware of any in-flight uncommanded rudder movements that were experienced by operators of Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes, but as written, the Reason section of the NPRM implied that these events occurred on Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes.

    For the reason provided by the commenter, we agree to revise the SUMMARY and Discussion sections of this final rule and paragraph (e) of this AD to clarify that the in-flight uncommanded rudder movements occurred on airplanes with an installation similar to the installation on certain Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes. We have issued AD 2013-14-11, Amendment 39-17516 (78 FR 44871, July 25, 2013) to address the same unsafe condition for Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) airplanes, and Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc., issued Service Bulletin 604-22-007, Revision 01, dated July 25, 2016; and Service Bulletin 605-22-002, Revision 01, dated July 25, 2016. This service information describes procedures for modifying the wiring harness for the yaw damper control system. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane configurations. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 120 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Modification 50 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,250 Up to $478 Up to $4,728 Up to $567,360.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2018-06-06 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-19226; Docket No. FAA-2017-0626; Product Identifier 2016-NM-210-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 19, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers (S/Ns) 5301 through 5665 inclusive, 5701 through 5911 inclusive, 5913, and 5914.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 22, Autopilot System.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of in-flight uncommanded rudder movements on airplanes with an installation similar to the installation on certain Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes. We are issuing this AD to prevent in-flight uncommanded rudder movements, which could lead to structural failure and subsequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification

    Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the wiring harness for the yaw damper control system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) For airplanes having serial numbers (S/Ns) 5301 through 5665 inclusive: Bombardier Service Bulletin 604-22-007, Revision 01, dated July 25, 2016.

    (2) For airplanes having S/Ns 5701 through 5911 inclusive, 5913, and 5914: Bombardier Service Bulletin 605-22-002, Revision 01, dated July 25, 2016.

    (h) Part Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane a yaw damper actuator having part number 622-9968-002, unless the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD has been accomplished.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if the modification was performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 604-22-007, dated June 23, 2015.

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 605-22-002, dated June 23, 2015.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian AD CF-2016-38, effective December 12, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0626.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier, Inc., Service Bulletin 604-22-007, Revision 01, dated July 25, 2016.

    (ii) Bombardier, Inc., Service Bulletin 605-22-002, Revision 01, dated July 25, 2016.

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

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

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

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on March 6, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05021 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0953; Airspace Docket No. 17-AEA-15] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Massena, NY AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Massena, NY, as the Massena collocated VHF omnidirectional range tactical air navigation system (VORTAC) has been decommissioned, requiring airspace reconfiguration at Massena International-Richards Field Airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of this airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, May 24, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 7400.11A at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://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:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    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 amends Class E airspace at Massena International-Richards Field Airport., Massena, NY, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for Docket No. FAA-2017-0953 (82 FR 57888, December 8, 2017), proposing to amend Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Massena International-Richards Field Airport., Massena, NY.

    Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 6002 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    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 Rule

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Massena International-Richards Field Airport, Massena, NY. The segment within 1.8 miles each side of the Massena VORTAC 286° radial extending from the 4-mile radius to the VORTAC is removed in Class E surface airspace; and the segment within 2.7 miles each side of the Massena VORTAC 106° radial extending from the 7.4-mile radius to 7 miles east of the VORTAC is removed in Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, due to the decommissioning of the Massena VORTAC, and cancelation of associated approaches. This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    The geographic coordinates of the airport are adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database

    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. Therefore, this regulation: (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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 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 Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Area Airspace. AEA NY E2 Massena, NY [Amended] Massena International-Richards Field Airport, NY (Lat. 44°56′11″ N, long. 74°50′42″ W)

    Within a 4-mile radius of the Massena International-Richards Field Airport, excluding the airspace within Canada.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AEA NY E5 Massena, NY [Amended] Massena International-Richards Field Airport, NY (Lat. 44°56′11″ N, long. 74°50′42″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.4-mile radius of Massena International-Richards Field Airport, excluding the airspace within Canada.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on March 6, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05045 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1064; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-32] Establishment of Class E Airspace, Yuma, CO AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Yuma Municipal Airport, Yuma, CO, to accommodate new area navigation (RNAV) procedures at the airport. This action is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, May 24, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://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:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S. 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone (206) 231-2253.

    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 establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the earth at Yuma Municipal Airport, Yuma, CO, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (82 FR 58144; December 11, 2017) for Docket No. FAA-2017-1064 to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Yuma Municipal Airport, Yuma, CO. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    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.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends 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 Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Yuma Municipal Airport, Yuma, CO. This airspace is necessary to accommodate the development of RNAV (IFR) operations in standard instrument approach and departure procedures at the airport.

    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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 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. ANM CO E5 Yuma, CO [New] Yuma Municipal Airport, CO (Lat. 40°06′21″ N, long. 102°42′52″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Yuma Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on March 5, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05047 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0969; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-18] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Twin Falls, ID AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class E airspace designated as an extension, and modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, Twin Falls, ID. Also, the part-time Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) status is removed from Class E airspace designated as an extension. Additionally, an editorial change is made to the Class D airspace, Class E surface airspace, and Class E extension airspace legal descriptions replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement.” Also, this action removes the words “Twin Falls” from the airport name in the airspace designations for Class D and E airspace. These actions are necessary to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, May 24, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://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:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S. 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone (206) 231-2253.

    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 modifies Class D and E airspace at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, Twin Falls, ID, in support of IFR operations at the airport.

    History

    The FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 57556; December 6, 2017) for Docket FAA-2017-0969, a notice of proposed rulemaking to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace designated as an extension, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, Twin Falls, ID. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, 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 D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends 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 Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D or Class E surface area, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, Twin Falls, ID.

    Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D or Class E surface area is reduced to a 5-mile wide segment (from 8.6-miles wide) extending to 7 miles (from 9.2 miles) east, and a 5-mile wide segment (from 8.6 miles wide) extending to 7.1 miles (from 9.2 miles) west of the airport. Also, the part-time Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) status is removed from Class E airspace designated as an extension, as this airspace is continuous.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is reduced to a 12-mile wide segment (from a 16.5-mile segment) extending to 21.9 miles (from 26.1 miles) east, and 16 miles (from 20 miles) west of the airport. Also, the small extension to 8.2 miles southeast of the airport is removed.

    Finally, this action replaces the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement” in the Class D, and Class E surface airspace legal descriptions, and removes the words “Twin Falls” from the airport name in the airspace designations for Class D and E airspace noted in this action.

    These modifications are necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 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: ANM ID D Twin Falls, ID [Amended] Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, ID (Lat. 42°28′55″ N, long. 114°29′16″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 6,700 feet MSL within a 4.3-mile radius of Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as Surface Areas. ANM ID E2 Twin Falls, ID [Amended] Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, ID (Lat. 42°28′55″ N, long. 114°29′16″ W)

    That airspace within a 4.3-mile radius of Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. ANM ID E4 Twin Falls, ID [Amended] Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, ID (Lat. 42°28′55″ N, long. 114°29′16″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within 2.5 miles each side of the 087° bearing from Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport extending from the 4.3 mile radius of the airport to 7 miles east of the airport, and within 2.5 miles each side of the airport 274° bearing extending from the airport 4.3-mile radius to 7.1 miles west of the airport.

    ANM ID E5 Twin Falls, ID [Amended] Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport, ID (Lat. 42°28′55″ N, long. 114°29′16″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within 4.3 miles south and 8 miles north of the 091° bearing from Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport extending from the airport to 22 miles east of the airport, and within 4.3 miles south and 8 miles north of the airport 275° bearing extending from the airport to 16 miles west of the airport. That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface bounded by a line beginning at lat. 43°22′00″ N, long. 115°08′00″ W; to lat. 43°09′00″ N, long. 114°03′00″ W; to lat. 42°33′00″ N, long. 114°03′00″ W; to lat. 42°18′00″ N, long. 114°06′00″ W; to lat. 41°48′00″ N, long. 115°00′00″ W; to lat. 43°01′00″ N, long. 115°20′00″ W, thence to the point of beginning.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on March 6, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05050 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0986; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-16] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Lewiston, ID AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This actions amends controlled airspace at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, Lewiston, ID, by enlarging Class D airspace, and Class E surface airspace, and reducing Class E airspace designated as an extension, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface. Also, this action removes the part-time Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) status from Class E airspace designated as an extension. Additionally, an editorial change is made to the legal descriptions replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement”. This action enhances safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, May 24, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://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:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S. 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone (206) 231-2253.

    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 modifies Class D and E airspace at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, Lewiston, ID, in support of IFR operations at the airport.

    History

    The FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 57558; December 6, 2017) for Docket FAA-2017-0986, a notice of proposed rulemaking to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace designated as an extension, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, Lewiston, ID. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received.

    Discussion of Comments

    The commenter objected to the expansion of Class D airspace based on a belief that the FAA erred in calculating the Class D area radius as described in FAA Order 7400.2K, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, Chapter 17, Figure 17-2-1, specifically by enlarging the Class D area from a 4.1-mile radius to a 4.3-mile radius. After a second review, the FAA agrees a 4.1-mile radius for some areas of the Class D is sufficient. The proposed enlargement of Class D airspace to a 4.3-mile radius was not based on Figure 17-2-1, but instead was intended to contain all IFR circling aircraft utilizing an expanded circling approach maneuvering airspace radius. After a second review the FAA has determined the proposed Class D airspace east, southeast, and west would adequately contain the circling aircraft. The FAA will therefore preserve Class D airspace within a 4.1-mile radius of the airport where additional airspace is not required.

    The commenter also objected to the proposed expansion of Class D airspace greater than 2 miles beyond the 4.1-mile radius based on FAA Order 7400.2K paragraph 17-2-7 (d) ARRIVAL EXTENSIONS, stating all extensions should be Class E. The FAA does not agree. The proposed expansion areas of Class D airspace east, southeast, and west are not arrival extensions, but are designed to contain the specific departure procedures for the airport in accordance with paragraph 17-2-6 DEPARTURES. The expanded areas are therefore a part of the Class D and should not be Class E extensions.

    The commenter also states that “Class D should be a basic round circle”. The FAA does not agree. Paragraph 17-2-1 CONFIGURATION states that the Class D size and shape may vary to allow for safe and efficient handling of operations, and must be sized to contain the intended operations. Use of a basic circle of Class D airspace would result in an excessive degree of airspace restriction. The shape of the proposed Class D airspace area is designed to contain the existing IFR operations at the airport with a minimum of airspace restriction, thereby protecting the public's right to freedom of transit.

    Lastly, the commenter suggests the FAA has not complied with paragraph 17-1-2, REGIONAL/SERVICE AREA OFFICE EVALUATION, by failing to follow the policies and procedures within FAA Order 7400.2L. The FAA does not agree. The proposed airspace modifications were designed based on the requirements contained within FAA Order 7400.2L. This action by its very nature is intended to ensure the airspace configuration at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, Lewiston, ID is in compliance with FAA policies and guidelines.

    Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, 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 D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends 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 Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class D airspace, Class E airspace designated as a surface area, Class E airspace designated as an extension, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, Lewiston, ID. This airspace redesign is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules operations at the airport.

    Class D and Class E surface area airspace are amended to within a 4.1-mile radius of the airport (no change) from the airport 290° bearing clockwise to the airport 066° bearing; and within a 5.1-mile radius of the airport (from the 4.1-mile radius) from the airport 066° bearing clockwise to the airport 115° bearing; and within a 6.6-mile radius of the airport (from the 4.1-mile radius) from the airport 115° bearing clockwise to the airport 164° bearing; and within a 4.3-mile radius of the airport (from the 4.1-mile radius) from the airport 164° bearing clockwise to the airport 230° bearing; and within a 6.6-mile radius of the airport (from the 4.1-mile radius) from the airport 230° bearing clockwise to the airport 290° bearing. Also, the class D airspace extending upward from the surface is reduced to up to and including 2,700 feet MSL (from 3,900 feet).

    Class E airspace designated as an extension is modified to within 1.0 mile each side of the 100° bearing from the airport extending from the 5.1-mile radius of the airport to 7.9 miles east of the airport (from 2.7 miles each side of the Lewiston-Nez Perce ILS localizer course extending from the 4.1-mile radius of the airport to 14 miles east), and within 1.0 mile each side of the 313° bearing from the airport extending from the airport 4.1-mile radius to 6.1 miles northwest of the airport (from 3.5 miles each side of the Nez Perce VOR/DME 266° radial extending from the 4.1-mile radius of the airport to 13.1 miles west of the airport). Also, the part-time Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) status is removed.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is modified to within a 6.3-mile radius of the airport, and within 8.5 miles north and 4.3 miles south of the airport 099° and 279° bearings extending to 27.8 miles east and 22.5 miles west of the airport (from an irregularly shaped polygon generally extending to 19 miles northeast, 24 miles east, 19 miles southeast, and 25 miles west).

    Additionally, this action replaces the term “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement” in the Class D and Class E surface airspace.

    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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 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 5000 Class D Airspace. ANM ID D Lewiston, ID [Amended] Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, ID (Lat. 46°22′28″ N, long. 117°00′55″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet MSL within a 4.1-mile radius from Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport clockwise from the airport 290° bearing to the 066° bearing, and within a 5.1-mile radius of the airport from the 066° bearing to the airport 115° bearing and within a 6.6-mile radius of the airport from the 115° bearing to the airport 164° bearing, and within a 4.1-mile radius of the airport from the airport 164° bearing to the airport 230° bearing, and within a 6.6-mile radius of the airport from the 230° bearing to the airport 290° bearing. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas ANM ID E2 Lewiston, ID [Amended] Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, ID (Lat. 46°22′28″ N, long. 117°00′55″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4.1-mile radius from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport clockwise from the airport 290° bearing to the 066° bearing, and within a 5.1-mile radius of the airport from the 066° bearing to the airport 115° bearing and within a 6.6-mile radius of the airport from the 115° bearing to the airport 164° bearing, and within a 4.1-mile radius of the airport from the airport 164° bearing to the airport 230° bearing, and within a 6.6-mile radius of the airport from the 230° bearing to the airport 290° bearing. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area ANM ID E4 Lewiston, ID [Amended] Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, ID (Lat. 46°22′28″ N, long. 117°00′55″ W)

    That airspace within one mile each side of the 100° bearing from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport extending from the airport 5.1-mile radius to 7.9 miles east of the airport, and within 1.0 mile each side of the 313° bearing from the airport extending from the airport 4.1-mile radius to 6.1 miles northwest of the airport.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth ANM ID E5 Lewiston, ID [Amended] Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, ID (Lat. 46°22′28″ N, long. 117°00′55″ W)

    That airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, and within 8.5 miles north and 4.3 miles south of the airport 099° and 279° bearings extending to 27.8 miles east and 22.5 miles west of the airport; that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 62-mile radius of the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, and within 24 miles each side of the 056° bearing from the airport extending from the 62-mile radius to 92 miles northeast of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on March 5, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05049 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1910 Vinyl Chloride CFR Correction In Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910.1000 to End, revised as of July 1, 2017, on page 81, in § 1910.1017, paragraph (n) is reinstated to read as follows:
    § 1910.1017 Vinyl chloride.

    (n) The employer must, within 15 working days after the receipt of the results of any monitoring performed under this section, notify each affected employee of these results and the steps being taken to reduce exposures within the permissible exposure limit either individually in writing or by posting the results in an appropriate location that is accessible to affected employees.

    [FR Doc. 2018-05312 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Parts 4022 and 4044 Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying Benefits AGENCY:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulations on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans and Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation for valuation dates in April 2018 and interest assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for valuation dates in the second quarter of 2018. The interest assumptions are used for valuing and paying benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by the pension insurance system administered by PBGC.

    DATES:

    Effective April 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hilary Duke ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4400, ext. 3839. (TTY users may call the Federal relay service toll free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4400, ext. 3839.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    PBGC's regulations on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) and Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4022) prescribe actuarial assumptions—including interest assumptions—for valuing and paying plan benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The interest assumptions in the regulations are also published on PBGC's website (http://www.pbgc.gov).

    The interest assumptions in appendix B to part 4044 are used to value benefits for allocation purposes under ERISA section 4044. PBGC uses the interest assumptions in appendix B to part 4022 to determine whether a benefit is payable as a lump sum and to determine the amount to pay. Appendix C to part 4022 contains interest assumptions for private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if they wish to use lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's historical methodology. Currently, the rates in appendices B and C of the benefit payment regulation are the same.

    The interest assumptions are intended to reflect current conditions in the financial and annuity markets. Assumptions under the asset allocation regulation are updated quarterly; assumptions under the benefit payments regulation are updated monthly. This final rule updates the benefit payments interest assumptions for April 2018 and updates the asset allocation interest assumptions for the second quarter (April through June) of 2018.

    The second quarter 2018 interest assumptions under the allocation regulation will be 2.27 percent for the first 20 years following the valuation date and 2.59 percent thereafter. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for the first quarter of 2018, these interest assumptions represent no change in the select period (the period during which the select rate (the initial rate) applies), a decrease of 0.12 percent in the select rate, and a decrease of 0.01 percent in the ultimate rate (the final rate).

    The April 2018 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 1.00 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for March 2018, these interest assumptions represent a 0.25 percent increase in the immediate rate and no changes in i1, i2, or i3.

    PBGC has determined that notice and public comment on this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This finding is based on the need to determine and issue new interest assumptions promptly so that the assumptions can reflect current market conditions as accurately as possible.

    Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the valuation and payment of benefits under plans with valuation dates during April 2018, PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication. PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

    Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

    List of Subjects 29 CFR Part 4022

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    29 CFR Part 4044

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR parts 4022 and 4044 are amended as follows:

    PART 4022—BENEFITS PAYABLE IN TERMINATED SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4022 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1302, 1322, 1322b, 1341(c)(3)(D), and 1344.

    2. In appendix B to part 4022, Rate Set 294 is added at the end of the table to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for PBGC Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate
  • annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 294 4-1-18 5-1-18 1.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    3. In appendix C to part 4022, Rate Set 294 is added at the end of the table to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for Private-Sector Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate
  • annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 294 4-1-18 5-1-18 1.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    PART 4044—ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 4. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.

    5. In appendix B to part 4044, an entry for “April-June 2018” is added at the end of the table to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 4044—Interest Rates Used To Value Benefits For valuation dates occurring in the month— The values of i t are: i t for t = i t for t = i t for t = *         *         *         *         *         *         * April-June 2018 0.0227 1-20 0.0259 >20 N/A N/A

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Deborah Chase Murphy, Assistant General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05197 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0108] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Narrow Bay, Suffolk County, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Smith Point Bridge across Narrow Bay, mile 6.1, at Suffolk County, New York. This deviation is necessary in order to facilitate a Triathlon Event and allows the bridge to remain in the closed position for two hours.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2018-0108, is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Stephanie Lopez, Bridge Management Specialist, First District Bridge Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 212-514-4335, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Event Power requested and the bridge owner, Suffolk County DPW, concurred with this temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate a Triathlon Event.

    The Smith Point Bridge across Narrow Bay, mile 6.1, has a vertical clearance of 18 feet at mean high water and 19 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing drawbridge operating regulation is listed at 33 CFR 117.799(d).

    The temporary deviation will allow the Smith Point Bridge to remain closed from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on August 5, 2018. Narrow Bay is transited by seasonal recreational vessels. Coordination with Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound has indicated no mariner objections to the proposed short-term closure of the draw.

    Vessels that can pass under the bridge without an opening may do so at all times. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies. There is no alternate route for vessels to pass.

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

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

    Dated: March 6, 2018. Christopher J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05205 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0033] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation; modification.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has modified a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Margate Boulevard/Margate Bridge, which carries Margate Boulevard across the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, mile 74.0, at Margate City, NJ. This modified deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge maintenance. This modified deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This modified deviation is effective without actual notice from March 15, 2018 through 7 p.m. on March 26, 2018. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 7:01 p.m. on March 12, 2018 until March 15, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2018-0033] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 1, 2018, the Coast Guard published a temporary deviation entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, Margate City, NJ” in the Federal Register (83 FR 4585). That document resulted from Ole Hansen and Sons, Inc.'s, request for a temporary deviation, occurring from 7 a.m. on February 26, 2018, through 7 p.m. on March 12, 2018, from normal operation of the drawbridge to facilitate bridge maintenance. Subsequent to the approval of that request, Ole Hansen & Sons Inc. requested a modification, extending the temporary deviation from 7:01 p.m. on March 12, 2018, through 7 p.m. on March 26, 2018, to allow more time to perform and complete bridge maintenance unable to be performed due to extreme inclement weather events during the previous temporary deviation. Therefore, the Coast Guard modifies the dates of the previously approved temporary deviation to allow the Margate Boulevard/Margate Bridge that carries Margate Boulevard across the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Beach Thorofare, mile 74.0, at Margate City, NJ, to remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 7:01 p.m. on March 12, 2018, through 7 p.m., on March 26, 2018. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 14 feet above mean high water in the close position and unlimited clearance in the open position. The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.5.

    The Beach Thorofare is used by a variety of vessels including recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with waterway users in publishing this temporary deviation.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternative route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transit to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: March 12, 2018. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05297 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 62 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0453; FRL-9975-33-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of State Air Quality Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; City of Philadelphia; Control of Emissions From Existing Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerator Units AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is taking final action to reaffirm and reapprove a negative declaration for existing hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerator (HMIWI) units within the City of Philadelphia. This negative declaration certifies that existing HMIWI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) do not exist within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Philadelphia Air Management Service (AMS). EPA is accepting the negative declaration in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0453. 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:

    Mike Gordon, (215) 814-2039, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA require states to submit plans to control certain pollutants (designated pollutants) at existing solid waste combustor facilities (designated facilities) whenever standards of performance have been established under section 111(b) for new sources of the same type, and EPA has established emission guidelines (EG) for such existing sources. CAA section 129 directs EPA to establish standards of performance for new sources and emissions guidelines for existing sources for each category of solid waste incineration unit. CAA section 129(a) and (b). EPA also must specify numerical emissions limitations for particulate matter (total and fine), opacity (as appropriate), sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium, mercury, and dioxins and dibenzofurans. CAA section 129(a)(4).

    On September 15, 1997 (62 FR 48348), EPA first promulgated HMIWI unit new source performance standards, 40 CFR part 60, subpart Ec, and emission guidelines for existing facilities, subpart Ce. These regulations were then amended on October 6, 2009 (74 FR 51368) and on April 4, 2011 (76 FR 18407).

    The designated facilities to which the EG apply are existing HMIWI units that: (1) Commenced construction on or before June 20, 1996, or for which modification was commenced on or before March 16, 1998; or (2) commenced construction after June 20, 1996 but no later than December 1, 2008, or for which modification commenced after March 16, 1998 but no later than April 6, 2010, with limited exceptions as provided in paragraphs 40 CFR 60.32e(b) through (h).

    Subpart B and Ce of 40 CFR part 60 establish procedures to be followed and requirements to be met in the development and submission of state plans for controlling designated pollutants from existing HMIWI facilities. Also, 40 CFR part 62 provides the procedural framework for the submission of these plans. When existing designated facilities are located in a state, the state must then develop and submit a plan for the control of the designated pollutant. However, 40 CFR 60.23(b) and 62.06 provide that if there are no existing sources of the designated pollutant in the state, the state may submit a letter of certification to that effect (i.e., negative declaration) in lieu of a plan. The negative declaration exempts the state from the requirements of subpart B that require the submittal of a section 111(d)/129(b) plan.

    On October 12, 2017 (82 FR 47398 and 82 FR 47421), EPA simultaneously published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) and a direct final rule (DFR) for the City of Philadelphia approving a negative declaration from Philadelphia AMS that there are no existing HMIWI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA in its respective air pollution control jurisdiction. EPA explained that if it did not receive an adverse comment on the NPR, the DFR would take effect with no further administrative action. EPA received an adverse comment on the NPR and attempted to withdraw the DFR prior to its effective date of December 11, 2017. However, EPA inadvertently did not withdraw the DFR prior to that date and the rule prematurely became effective on December 11, 2017, revising 40 CFR part 62 to reflect the approval of the negative declaration. In the NPR, EPA had proposed to approve the negative declaration. In this final rulemaking, EPA is responding to the comment submitted on the proposed approval of the negative declaration and approving the negative declaration. This action supersedes the prior DFR which went in to effect prematurely and had an effective date of December 11, 2017.

    II. State Submittal and EPA Analysis

    Philadelphia AMS has determined that there are no existing HMIWI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA in its respective air pollution control jurisdiction. Accordingly, Philadelphia AMS submitted a negative declaration letter to EPA certifying this fact on August 2, 2011. The negative declaration letter and EPA's technical support document for this action are available in the docket for this rulemaking and online at www.regulations.gov.

    III. Public Comment and EPA Response

    EPA received one adverse comment on the proposed approval of the negative declaration for existing HMIWI units submitted by Philadelphia AMS.

    Comment: The commenter stated that EPA must ensure that no additional HMIWI units have been constructed since the time of Philadelphia's certification letter. The commenter also asserted that since so much time has passed since the submittal of the negative declaration, EPA cannot rely on such an outdated form of information to ensure no units have been built.

    Response: EPA does not agree with the commenter's assertion that EPA must ensure that no additional HMIWI units have been constructed since Philadelphia AMS submitted the negative declaration on August 2, 2011 in order to finalize this action. As stated in the technical support document for the NPR and the emission guidelines for existing HMIWI units (40 CFR 60 subpart Ce), the designated facilities to which the EG apply are existing HMIWI units that: (1) Commenced construction on or before June 20, 1996, or for which modification was commenced on or before March 16, 1998; or (2) commenced construction after June 20, 1996 but no later than December 1, 2008, or for which modification commenced after March 16, 1998 but no later than April 6, 2010, with limited exceptions as provided in paragraphs 40 CFR 60.32e(b) through (h). 40 CFR 60.32e(a). Thus, to obtain EPA approval of Philadelphia's negative declaration regarding existing HMIWI units, Philadelphia only needed to assert no HMIWI units exist that commenced construction before December 1, 2008 or commenced modification before April 6, 2010. Because Philadelphia's August 2, 2011 submittal meets that criterion, Philadelphia's negative declaration did not need to address whether any new units have been constructed since the time of Philadelphia's certification letter on August 2, 2011. EPA's acceptance of Philadelphia's negative declaration therefore is appropriate.

    HMIWI units constructed in Philadelphia after the above cited dates would be considered “new,” as opposed to “existing,” and therefore would be subject to a separate rule—40 CFR 60 subpart Ec, “Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources: Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators.” EPA is not aware of any new HMIWI units within the jurisdictional boundaries of Philadelphia AMS. If EPA became aware of a new HMIWI unit in Philadelphia, it would have no bearing on the approvability of this HMIWI negative declaration because it only pertains to existing sources.

    At the time of Philadelphia's submission, EPA worked with Philadelphia AMS and reviewed Philadelphia's inventory of sources to ensure no existing HMIWI units existed within Philadelphia, and the commenter has not provided any information to the contrary that would cause EPA to reconsider the assessment of Philadelphia AMS's negative declaration. EPA is therefore finalizing the negative declaration for existing HMIWI units in this action.

    IV. Final Action

    In this final action, EPA is reaffirming and reapproving the previous amendment to part 62 to reflect receipt of the negative declaration letter from Philadelphia AMS. EPA is accepting the negative declaration in accordance with the requirements of the CAA and 40 CFR 60.23(b) and 62.06.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action merely notifies the public of EPA receipt of a negative declaration from an air pollution control agency without any existing HMIWI units in their jurisdiction. This action imposes no requirements. Accordingly, EPA certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it 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). This action also does not have tribal implications because it will 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, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does 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, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action merely approves the negative declaration for existing HMIWI units from the Philadelphia AMS and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

    With regard to negative declarations for designated facilities received by EPA from states, EPA's role is to notify the public of the receipt of such negative declarations and revise 40 CFR part 62 accordingly. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to approve or disapprove a CAA section 111(d)/129 plan negative declaration submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a CAA section 111(d)/129 negative declaration, to use VCS in place of a section 111(d)/129 negative declaration that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    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 14, 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 approving the negative declaration for existing HMIWI units within the City of Philadelphia may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 62

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waste treatment and disposal.

    Dated: February 23, 2018. Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05294 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 62 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0509; FRL-9975-38-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of State Air Quality Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; City of Philadelphia; Control of Emissions From Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is taking final action to notify the public that it has received a negative declaration for sewage sludge incineration (SSI) units within the City of Philadelphia. This negative declaration certifies that SSI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) do not exist in Pennsylvania within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Philadelphia Air Management Service (AMS). EPA is accepting the negative declaration in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0509. 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:

    Mike Gordon, (215) 814-2039, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA require states to submit plans to control certain pollutants (designated pollutants) at existing solid waste combustor facilities (designated facilities) whenever standards of performance have been established under section 111(b) for new sources of the same type, and EPA has established emission guidelines (EG) for such existing sources. CAA section 129 directs EPA to establish standards of performance for new sources and emissions guidelines for existing sources for each category of solid waste incineration unit. CAA section 129(a) and (b). EPA also must specify numerical emissions limitations for particulate matter (total and fine), opacity (as appropriate), sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium, mercury, and dioxins and dibenzofurans. CAA section 129(a)(4).

    On March 21, 2011 (76 FR 15372), EPA promulgated SSI unit new source performance standards, 40 CFR part 60, subpart LLL, and EG at 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM. The designated facilities to which the EG apply are existing SSI units that: (1) Commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010; (2) meet the definition of a SSI unit as defined in 40 CFR 60.5250; and (3) are not exempt under 40 CFR 60.5065.

    Subpart B of 40 CFR part 60 establishes procedures to be followed and requirements to be met in the development and submission of state plans for controlling designated pollutants. Also, 40 CFR part 62 provides the procedural framework for the submission of these plans. When designated facilities are located in a state, the state must then develop and submit a plan for the control of the designated pollutant. However, 40 CFR 60.23(b) and 62.06 provide that if there are no existing sources of the designated pollutant in the state, the state may submit a letter of certification to that effect (i.e., negative declaration) in lieu of a plan. The negative declaration exempts the state from the requirements of subpart B that require the submittal of a CAA section 111(d)/129 plan.

    On October 26, 2017 (82 FR 49563 and 82 FR 49511), EPA simultaneously published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) and a direct final rule (DFR) for the City of Philadelphia approving a negative declaration from Philadelphia AMS that there are no existing SSI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA in its respective air pollution control jurisdiction. EPA received an adverse comment on the rulemaking and withdrew the DFR prior to the effective date on December 26, 2017 (82 FR 60872). In this final rulemaking, EPA is responding to the comment submitted on the proposed approval of the negative declaration and is approving the negative declaration.

    II. State Submittal and EPA Analysis

    Philadelphia AMS has determined that there are no existing SSI units subject to the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA in its respective air pollution control jurisdiction. Accordingly, Philadelphia AMS submitted a negative declaration letter to EPA certifying this fact on March 28, 2012. The negative declaration letter and EPA's technical support document for this action are available in the docket for this rulemaking and are available online at www.regulations.gov.

    III. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    EPA received one adverse comment on the proposed approval of the negative declaration for SSI units submitted by Philadelphia AMS. All other comments received were either supportive of or not specific to this action and thus are not addressed here.

    Comment: The commenter stated that EPA must confirm that no additional SSI units exist or have been constructed since the time of Philadelphia's certification letter, citing the amount of time between receipt of the negative declaration and the proposed approval.

    Response: EPA does not agree with the commenter's assertion that EPA must ensure that no additional SSI units have been constructed since Philadelphia AMS submitted the negative declaration in order to finalize this action. As stated in the technical support document for the NPR and in the EG for existing SSI units (40 CFR 60, subpart MMMM), the designated facilities to which the EG apply are SSI units that: (1) Commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010; (2) meet the definition of a SSI unit as defined in 40 CFR 60.5250; and (3) are not exempt under 40 CFR 60.5065. Thus, for EPA approval of Philadelphia AMS' negative declaration regarding existing SSI, Philadelphia only needed to assert no SSI units exist that commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010. Because Philadelphia's negative declaration was submitted on March 28, 2012—after the October 14, 2010 deadline to be considered an existing SSI unit—there is no need to revisit the initial determination of Philadelphia AMS that no existing SSI units exist within the jurisdictional boundaries of the local air pollution control agency. Prior to Philadelphia's submission, EPA worked with Philadelphia AMS and reviewed Philadelphia's inventory of sources to ensure no existing SSI units existed within Philadelphia, and the commenter has not provided any information to the contrary that would cause EPA to reconsider the assessment of Philadelphia AMS's negative declaration. EPA's acceptance of Philadelphia's negative declaration therefore is appropriate. SSI units constructed after the above cited date (i.e., October 14, 2010) would be considered “new,” as opposed to “existing,” and therefore would be subject to a separate rule—40 CFR 60 subpart LLL, “Standards of Performance for new Sewage Sludge Incineration Units.” EPA is therefore finalizing the negative declaration for existing SSI units in this action.

    IV. Final Action

    In this final action, EPA is amending 40 CFR part 62 to reflect receipt of the negative declaration letter from Philadelphia AMS. EPA is accepting the negative declaration in accordance with the requirements of the CAA and 40 CFR 60.23(b) and 62.06.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action merely notifies the public of EPA receipt of a negative declaration from an air pollution control agency without any existing SSI units in their jurisdiction. This action imposes no requirements. Accordingly, EPA certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it 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). This action also does not have tribal implications because it will 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, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does 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, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action merely approves the negative declaration for existing SSI units from the Philadelphia AMS and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

    With regard to negative declarations for designated facilities received by EPA from states, EPA's role is to notify the public of the receipt of such negative declarations and revise 40 CFR part 62 accordingly. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to approve or disapprove a CAA section 111(d)/129 plan negative declaration submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a CAA section 111(d)/129 negative declaration, to use VCS in place of a section 111(d)/129 negative declaration that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    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 14, 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 approving the negative declaration for SSI units within the City of Philadelphia may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 62

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waste treatment and disposal.

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

    40 CFR part 62 is amended as follows:

    PART 62—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF STATE PLANS FOR DESIGNATED FACILITIES AND POLLUTANTS 1. The authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart NN—Pennsylvania 2. Subpart NN is amended by adding a new undesignated centerheading and § 62.9665 to read as follows: Emissions From Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units
    § 62.9665 Identification of plan—negative declaration.

    Letter from the City of Philadelphia, Department of Public Health, submitted March 28, 2012, certifying that there are no existing sewage sludge incineration units within the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that are subject to 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM.

    [FR Doc. 2018-05293 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0365; FRL-9973-20] Trinexapac-ethyl; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes a tolerance for residues of trinexapac-ethyl in or on poppy, seed. Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC requested this tolerance under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) in order to cover residues of trinexapac-ethyl in imported poppy seed commodities.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective March 15, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before May 14, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0365, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0365 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before May 14, 2018. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0365, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of November 30, 2016 (81 FR 86312) (FRL-9954-06), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 6E8462) by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC., P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419.The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing a tolerance for residues of the herbicide trinexapac-ethyl, ethyl 4-(cyclopropylhydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylate expressed as its primary metabolite trinexpac, 4-(cyclopropylhydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid, in or on poppy, seed at 8 parts per million (ppm). That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    In the Federal Register of May 20, 2015 (80 FR 28843) (FRL-9926-62), EPA amended tolerances for herbicide trinexapac-ethyl, ethyl 4-(cyclopropylhydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylate expressed as its primary metabolite trinexpac, 4-(cyclopropylhydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid in or on several commodities. Because the majority of the Agency's conclusions remain the same, EPA is incorporating the discussions from the May 20, 2015, Federal Register document into this document and relying on the same supporting documents. The only difference is the potential to impact dietary exposure; because the use on poppy seeds is not approved in the United States, there is no impact on drinking water exposures or residential exposures.

    The Agency has determined that a new dietary exposure assessment is not needed because poppy seed is not a significant part of the diet, and residues of trinexapac-ethyl do not concentrate in poppy seed oil. Therefore, residues in poppy seed oil are not expected to have an impact on the EPA's previous findings. Therefore, EPA relies upon the findings made in the May 20, 2015, Federal Register document, as well as the review of the poppy seed data in support of this rule. EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to trinexapac-ethyl residues.

    For a detailed discussion of the aggregate risk assessments and determination of safety for these tolerances please refer to the May 20, 2015, Federal Register document and its supporting documents, available at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Trinexapac-ethyl; Pesticide Tolerances” (80 FR 28843, May 20, 2015) in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0340; FRL-9926-62. Further information about EPA's determination that an updated risk assessment was not necessary may be found in the document “Trinexapac-ethyl. Section 3 Registration Request for New Uses on Imported Poppy Seeds. Summary of Analytical Chemistry and Residue Data” in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0365.

    International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. The Codex has not established a MRL for trinexapac-ethyl.

    IV. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of trinexapac-ethyl, ethyl 4-(cyclopropylhydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylate expressed as its primary metabolite trinexpac, 4-(cyclopropylhydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid, in or on poppy, seed at 8 ppm.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VI. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: March 7, 2018. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.662 adding alphabetically the entry for “Poppy, seed imported” and footnote 1 to the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.662 Trinexapac-ethyl; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    1 There are no U.S. registrations for Poppy, seed as of March 15, 2018.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    *     Poppy, seed imported 1 8 *    *    *    *    *    
    [FR Doc. 2018-05284 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 64 [WC Docket No. 17-141, CC Docket No. 96-128, WC Docket No. 16-132; FCC 18-21] Modernization of Payphone Compensation Rules AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, a Report and Order takes a number of actions aimed at modernizing the Commission's payphone compensation procedure rules by eliminating costly requirements that are no longer necessary in light of technological and marketplace changes. These actions further the Commission's goal of regularly examining and updating its rules to keep pace with technology and the changing communications landscape, and to eliminate requirements that are no longer necessary, thereby reducing the costs and burdens of rules that have outlived their purpose. These have no impact on Completing Carriers' continuing obligations under the Commission's rules to maintain accurate call tracking systems and to fully compensate payphone service providers for the calls covered by these rules.

    DATES:

    Effective April 16, 2018, except for the amendment to 47 CFR 64.1310(a)(3), which contains information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Michele Berlove, at (202) 418-1477, [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:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order in WC Docket No. 17-141, FCC 18-21, adopted and released February 22, 2018. The full text of this document is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. It is available on the Commission's website at https://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2018/db0222/FCC-18-21A1.pdf.

    Synopsis I. Introduction

    1. In this Report and Order, we continue our efforts to modernize our rules by eliminating costly requirements that are no longer necessary in light of technological and marketplace changes. Based on the substantial decline in payphone use and corresponding payphone compensation, we eliminate rules that are no longer needed to ensure that payphone service providers (PSPs) receive the compensation to which they are entitled. Specifically, first, we eliminate all payphone call tracking system audit and associated reporting requirements. Second, we revise our rules to permit a company official other than the chief financial officer (CFO) to certify that a Completing Carrier's quarterly compensation payments to PSPs are accurate and complete. A Completing Carrier is “a long distance carrier or switch-based long distance reseller that completes a coinless access code or subscriber toll-free payphone call or a local exchange carrier that completes a local, coinless access code or subscriber toll-free payphone call.” Our rules require that “a Completing Carrier that completes a coinless access code or subscriber toll-free payphone call from a switch that the Completing Carrier either owns or leases shall compensate the payphone service provider for that call at a rate agreed upon by the parties by contract.” Finally, we eliminate expired interim and intermediate per-payphone compensation rules that no longer apply to any entity. The actions we take today further our goal of regularly examining and updating our rules to keep pace with technology and the changing communications landscape, and to eliminate requirements that are no longer necessary, thereby reducing the costs and burdens of rules that have outlived their purpose.

    II. Background

    2. Section 276 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, directs the Commission to ensure that PSPs are fairly compensated for all completed calls using their payphones. In 2003, the Commission revised its rules to require Completing Carriers to establish effective call tracking systems, undergo initial and annual audits verifying the accuracy of those tracking systems, and file associated audit reports with the Commission.

    3. On June 22, 2017, the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (NPRM) proposing and seeking comment on reforms to its payphone compensation procedures. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on July 10, 2017 (82 FR 31743). Specifically, the NPRM proposed eliminating or revising the annual audit and associated reporting requirements. It also sought comment on other potential reforms, including eliminating the initial audit and associated requirements, and revising the quarterly CFO certification requirement to allow certification by some other company official. The Commission received nine comments in response to its NPRM, all of which support revising the Commission's payphone compensation procedures. The Commission initiated this proceeding in response to waiver petitions and to comments filed in the 2016 Biennial Review.

    III. Modernizing Payphone Compensation Regulatory Obligations A. Eliminating Audits and Associated Requirements

    4. Today, we eliminate both the initial and annual audit and all associated requirements contained in our payphone compensation compliance rules. The record strongly supports these actions, and no commenter opposes them.

    5. We identify several reasons why the audit requirements are no longer necessary. First, the steady and steep decline over more than a decade of the number of payphones in service demonstrates that they no longer play as critical a role in society's communications as they once did, as would-be users rely instead on mobile subscriptions. At the peak of payphone usage in 1999, over 2.1 million payphones were in service across the United States. By 2013, due to the rapid growth of mobile service subscribership, that number had dropped by more than 90 percent, and subsequently dropped again by almost half over the following three years, with fewer than 100,000 payphones remaining in service at the end of 2016. In contrast, mobile voice subscriptions have consistently grown each year since 1999, when approximately 79.1 million mobile voice subscriptions were reported, to approximately 310.7 million in 2013, and approximately 341 million mobile voice subscriptions in the United States as of the end of 2016. Until 2005, however, carriers with under 10,000 subscribers in a state were not required to report Form 477 data, so not all mobile voice subscriptions were reflected in reported data. Moreover, the data show that, as of November 2016, over 90 percent of households and between 92 percent and 95 percent of adults in the United States own a mobile phone. The Pew Center's demographic findings regarding mobile phone ownership indicate that 100% of adults ages 18-29, 99% of adults ages 30-49, and 97% of adults ages 50-64 own mobile phones.

    6. The decline in the number of payphones reflects a concomitant decline in the number of payphone calls completed, and together these trends have led to a massive decrease in the amount of compensation paid by Completing Carriers to PSPs. CenturyLink and Verizon each maintain that the amount of payphone compensation paid each year has declined by over 90 percent in the last 10 years and 98.5 percent in the last 12 years, respectively. And Sprint asserts that since its peak in 2005, the amount of payphone compensation it pays each year has declined by 99.3 percent. In light of the foregoing data, we agree with commenters that there is no reason to expect the declining trend of payphone use to change.

    7. Additionally, the record indicates that audit requirements are no longer needed as safeguards to ensure that PSPs receive the compensation they are due. No commenter refutes this fact. No formal or informal payphone compensation-related complaints have been filed with the Commission in recent years, and there is no evidence of looming disputes likely to lead to such complaints in the near future. Many Completing Carriers use clearinghouse vendors to calculate and distribute the compensation due to PSPs. These clearinghouses act as intermediaries between PSPs and Completing Carriers, and they have dispute resolution procedures in place in the event a disagreement regarding the accuracy of compensation should arise. According to National Payphone Clearinghouse, its services include: (1) “electronically accept[ing] claims of payphone ownership from Payphone Service Providers (PSPs) and ownership verification data from the Local Exchange Carriers (LECs)”; (2) “validat[ing] the PSP claims against the LEC reported data to ensure that the correct payphone ownership has been established”; (3) us[ing] direct deposit to make quarterly compensation payments to the industry on behalf of the IXCs”; (4) serv[ing] its Clients as a control point to facilitate communication with all PSPs and Aggregators”; (5) “utiliz[ing] a 3rd party auditor to audit all processes in an effort to aide their Clients with the FCC Audit/Attestation requirements”; (6) “provid[ing] a central site for the sharing of CFO certifications and audit/attestation reports to the industry”; and (7) “produc[ing] valuable and detailed End of Quarter reports to the NPC Clients and to the industry to aid in compensation reconciliation.” And, the Commission retains the authority to investigate any payphone compensation compliance issues of which it becomes aware, as today's actions have no impact on Completing Carriers' continuing obligations under our rules to maintain an accurate call tracking system and to fully compensate PSPs for the calls covered by these rules. The requirement that Completing Carriers compensate PSPs for 100 percent of all completed calls originating from the PSPs' payphones remains in place, as does the requirement that Completing Carriers maintain call tracking systems that “accurately track[] coinless access code or subscriber toll-free payphone calls to completion.” There have been no formal or informal complaints filed with the Commission in recent years.

    8. Annual Audit Requirement. We eliminate a Completing Carrier's obligation to annually certify that there have been no material changes to its payphone call tracking system, an obligation that required an annual audit by the Completing Carrier. In light of the changed payphone marketplace dynamics since this requirement was adopted and the unanimous record reflecting that the costs of this requirement far exceed any remaining benefit, we find that the annual audit and associated reporting requirements are no longer necessary. While the number of payphones and associated compensation have dramatically declined, the costs of complying with the annual audit requirement have either remained steady or increased, dwarfing the compensation paid out. For example, Puerto Rico Telephone's audit cost is now 18 times the amount of payphone compensation it pays. And according to Cincinnati Bell, the cost of its audit on a per-call basis increased 900%, from $0.10 per call in 2007 to over $1.00 per call in 2016. And while Sprint paid $226,920.88 in compensation for fiscal year 2016, an audit, absent the Commission's waiver earlier this year, would have cost Sprint $46,500. Likewise, as noted above, Verizon stated that its compensation payments decreased by 98.5 percent from 2004 to 2016. By comparison, Completing Carriers must pay PSPs $0.494 per compensable call.

    9. Moreover, the record confirms that the only option under the rules to avoid an annual audit, i.e., to enter into alternative compensation agreements with PSPs, is not an economically feasible alternative. We agree with commenters that the transaction costs of negotiating, implementing, and managing alternative compensation agreements with numerous individual PSPs would significantly outweigh the amount of compensation paid. In addition, unless a Completing Carrier entered into an alternative compensation arrangement with every PSP to which it owed compensation, an annual audit would still be required.

    10. We thus conclude that the benefits, if any, of the annual audit, which were expressly adopted “[t]o ensure the accuracy” of Completing Carriers' call tracking systems, no longer outweigh the burden imposed on Completing Carriers, and eliminating these requirements will avoid unnecessary regulatory costs while not harming PSPs. For these same reasons, we see no need to adopt a new annual self-certification obligation in lieu of the annual audit as Sprint and Cincinnati Bell proposed in their waiver petitions.

    11. Initial Audit Requirement. We likewise eliminate the initial audit and associated requirements. The drastically changed communications landscape that precipitated the decline in payphones today has similarly made it unlikely that many, if any, new carriers will become Completing Carriers. Moreover, we agree with commenters that the industry has successfully developed systems that work to ensure accurate PSP call tracking. Any new Completing Carrier has the benefit of this development in establishing its own accurate payphone call tracking and compensation system, obviating the need to expend significant costs associated with a burdensome initial audit requirement. This is particularly true in light of the rules that remain in place to ensure that PSPs receive the compensation to which they are entitled.

    12. Other Audit-Related Requirements. Finally, because this Order eliminates both the initial and annual payphone call tracking system audit requirements, the remaining requirements associated with these audit requirements no longer serve any purpose. Consequently, we eliminate § 64.1320 in its entirety. As a result, Completing Carriers no longer must file statements with the Commission, PSPs, or other carriers identifying and updating contact information for persons responsible for handling the Completing Carrier's payphone compensation. While one commenter suggests that the Commission may wish to retain this requirement to help protect PSPs' rights to full compensation, our rules already require that Completing Carriers provide this same information to PSPs on a quarterly basis, and that requirement remains in effect. We see no added benefit to retaining a redundant provision. Similarly, because Completing Carriers will no longer be required to conduct audits and file audit reports, we eliminate the requirement that Completing Carriers make underlying audit documents available upon request. Aside from the fact that there will be no associated underlying audit documents for PSPs to request, the record suggests PSPs may not have relied on this provision, as one Completing Carrier commenter states it never received a request from a PSP for this information. Completing Carriers must continue to retain call verification data for 27 months after submitting their quarterly compensation payments and reports to PSPs and provide such data to PSPs upon request.

    B. Quarterly Sworn Statement

    13. We also revise the requirement that a Completing Carrier provide a sworn statement from its chief financial officer (CFO) certifying to the accuracy and completeness of its quarterly payphone compensation to PSPs. Under our revised rule, any company official with knowledge of and responsibility for the accuracy of payphone compensation by the carrier may provide the requisite sworn statement. We agree with commenters that requiring this certification only from a senior level corporate executive such as the CFO, who necessarily must rely on assurances from company personnel responsible for payphone compensation, consumes unnecessary time and resources. We note that no commenter opposed eliminating the CFO certification. Some Completing Carrier commenters do not object to retaining the CFO sworn statement obligation.

    14. We decline to eliminate the quarterly sworn statement altogether, as some commenters request. Since PSPs have no contractual relationships with Completing Carriers, the quarterly sworn statement accompanying Completing Carriers' required quarterly compensation payments remains the only assurance PSPs now have that they are being appropriately compensated for the use of their payphones. Implicit in a certification that the quarterly compensation payment “is accurate and is based on 100% of all completed calls that originated from that payphone service provider's payphones,” as required under our rules, is the fact that the carrier's payphone call tracking system is necessarily operating effectively. And though we recognize such quarterly sworn statements impose some burden on carriers, our action today eliminating the CFO requirement reduces that burden substantially. But because “most completing carriers . . . have contracted with vendors to calculate their payphone compensation,” they presumably already require and receive assurances from those vendors upon which they can rely in making their sworn statements. We also decline the suggestion that we replace the quarterly sworn statement with an annual sworn statement to the PSPs because it was raised for the first time in response to the NPRM and the record is accordingly spare.

    C. Expired Interim and Intermediate Per-Payphone Compensation Rules

    15. Finally, we eliminate interim and intermediate per-payphone compensation rules that, by their own terms, expired 18 and 20 years ago. Sections 64.1301(a)-(d) were adopted as interim and intermediate compensation measures to ensure that PSPs remained compensated while carriers established effective call-tracking systems. Sections 64.1301(a)-(c), which established interim default compensation for certain types of payphone calls, by its express terms applied for the period “beginning November 7, 1996, and ending October 6, 1997.” Similarly, § 64.1301(d), also applicable to certain payphone calls, established default compensation for an intermediate period “beginning October 7, 1997, and ending April 20, 1999.” No commenters opposed elimination of these rules, nor did they bring any similarly expired provisions warranting elimination to our attention.

    IV. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    16. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the NPRM for the payphone compensation proceeding. The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the Notice, including comment on the IRFA. The Commission received no comments on the IRFA. Because the Commission amends its rules in this Order, the Commission has included this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA). This present FRFA conforms to the RFA.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Rules

    17. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed to eliminate the audit and associated reporting requirements, easing the burden on carriers responsible for completing coinless access and subscriber toll-free calls originating from payphones (Completing Carriers). The Commission also proposed to revise its rules to allow a company official capable of binding the carrier, as opposed to requiring a carrier's chief financial officer (CFO), to provide quarterly sworn statements that compensation to Payphone Service Providers (PSPs) is accurate. Additionally, the Commission proposed to eliminate the interim and intermediate per-phone compensation rules. In so doing, the Commission sought to modernize its rules to reflect the changing communications landscape based on the substantial decline in payphone use and eliminate interim and intermediate expired rules.

    18. Pursuant to these objectives, this Order adopts changes to Commission rules regarding payphone audit and associated reporting requirements and interim and intermediate rules. The Order adopts changes to the payphone rules that: (1) Eliminate the payphone call tracking system initial and annual audits, (2) eliminate the associated audit reporting requirements, (3) modify the quarterly sworn statements, allowing a company official responsible for payphone compensation for the Completing Carrier to provide quarterly sworn statements, and (4) eliminate the interim and intermediate per-phone compensation rules. The modifications to our payphone rules, which reflect the changing communications landscape, advance our goals of reducing regulatory burdens and abolishing unnecessary rule provisions.

    B. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    19. The Commission did not receive comments specifically addressing the rules and policies proposed in the IRFA.

    C. Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

    20. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which amended the RFA, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments.

    21. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to this proceeding.

    D. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    22. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules and by the rule revisions on which the NPRM seeks comment, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small-business concern” under the Small Business Act. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.” A “small-business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    23. The majority of our changes will affect obligations on carriers who complete calls originating from payphones, including incumbent LECs and, in some cases, competitive LECs.

    24. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our actions, over time, may affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive small entity size standards that could be directly affected herein. First, while there are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of Advocacy, in general a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all businesses in the United States which translates to 28.8 million businesses.

    25. Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of Aug 2016, there were approximately 356,494 small organizations based on registration and tax data filed by nonprofits with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Data from the Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) reporting on nonprofit organizations registered with the IRS was used to estimate the number of small organizations. Reports generated using the NCCS online database indicated that as of August 2016 there were 356,494 registered nonprofits with total revenues of less than $100,000. Of this number, 326,897 entities filed tax returns with 65,113 registered nonprofits reporting total revenues of $50,000 or less on the IRS Form 990-N for Small Exempt Organizations and 261,784 nonprofits reporting total revenues of $100,000 or less on some other version of the IRS Form 990 within 24 months of the August 2016 data release date.

    26. Finally, the small entity described as a “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2012 Census of Governments indicates that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions consisting of general purpose governments and special purpose governments in the United States. The Census of Government is conducted every five (5) years compiling data for years ending with “2” and “7.” Of this number there were 37,132 General purpose governments (county, municipal and town or township) with populations of less than 50,000 and 12,184 Special purpose governments (independent school districts and special districts) with populations of less than 50,000. There were 2,114 county governments with populations less than 50,000. There were 18,811 municipal and 16,207 town and township governments with populations less than 50,000. There were 12,184 independent school districts with enrollment populations less than 50,000. The 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data for most types of governments in the local government category shows that the majority of these governments have populations of less than 50,000. While U.S. Census Bureau data did not provide a population breakout for special district governments, if the population of less than 50,000 for this category of local government is consistent with the other types of local governments the majority of the 38,266 special district governments have populations of less than 50,000. Based on this data we estimate that at least 49,316 local government jurisdictions fall in the category of “small governmental jurisdictions.”

    27. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as “establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    28. Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 27 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. The Commission therefore estimates that most providers of local exchange carrier service are small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted.

    29. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (incumbent LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 27 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 3,117 firms operated in that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted. One thousand three hundred and seven (1,307) Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers. Of this total, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees.

    30. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (competitive LECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The appropriate NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 27 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicate that 3,117 firms operated during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Based on this data, the Commission concludes that the majority of Competitive LECs, CAPs, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities. According to Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or competitive access provider services. Of these 1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers. Of this total, 70 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities that may be affected by the adopted rules.

    31. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition for Interexchange Carriers. The closest NAICS Code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 27 of this FRFA. The applicable size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of interexchange services. Of this total, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 42 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted.

    32. Operator Service Providers (OSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for operator service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 33 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of operator services. Of these, an estimated 31 have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of OSPs are small entities that may be affected by the adopted rules.

    33. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to Other Toll Carriers. This category includes toll carriers that do not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service carriers, or toll resellers. The closest applicable NAICS Code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 27 of this FRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of Other Toll Carriers can be considered small. According to Commission data, 284 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage. Of these, an estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most Other Toll Carriers that may be affected by our rules are small.

    34. Payphone Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition of small entities specifically applicable to payphone service providers (PSPs). The closest applicable definition under the SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that SBA definition, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to the Commission's Form 499 Filer Database, 1,100 PSPs reported that they were engaged in the provision of payphone services. The Commission does not have data regarding how many of these 1,100 companies have 1,500 or fewer employees. The Commission does not have data specifying the number of these payphone service providers that are not independently owned and operated, and thus is unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of PSPs that would qualify as small business concerns under the SBA's definition. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are 1,100 or fewer PSPs that may be affected by the rules.

    35. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. The SBA has developed a definition for small businesses within the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that SBA definition, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to the Commission's Form 499 Filer Database, 500 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards. The Commission does not have data regarding how many of these 500 companies have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are 500 or fewer prepaid calling card providers that may be affected by the rules.

    36. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, Census data for 2012 show that there were 967 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 955 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities. Similarly, according to internally developed Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) services. Of this total, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half of these firms can be considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    37. All Other Telecommunications. “All Other Telecommunications” is defined as follows: “This U.S. industry is comprised of establishments that are primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing internet services or voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services via client supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “All Other Telecommunications,” which consists of all such firms with gross annual receipts of $32.5 million or less. For this category, Census Bureau data for 2012 show that there were 1,442 firms that operated for the entire year. Of those firms, a total of 1,400 had annual receipts less than $25 million. Consequently, we conclude that the majority of All Other Telecommunications firms can be considered small.

    E. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    38. Completing Carriers. The Order finds that eliminating the Commission's payphone call tracking system audit and associated reporting requirements reflects changes to the current communications landscape. The Order determines that due to the substantial decline in payphone use, Completing Carriers, and the corresponding decline in payphone compensation, removing the costly audits and associated requirements outweigh any benefits to PSPs and will ease the burden on small carriers. The Order also determines that it is reasonable to allow a company official responsible for payphone compensation for the carrier, as opposed to requiring a carrier's CFO, to provide quarterly sworn statements that compensation to PSPs is accurate in § 64.1310(a)(3). Additionally, the Order finds it appropriate to eliminate §§ 64.1301(a)-(d), the interim and intermediate per-phone compensation rules, as they expired and no longer apply to any entity.

    F. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

    39. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in developing its approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): “(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for such small entities.”

    40. In this Order, the Commission modifies its payphone rules to reduce costs for Completing Carriers, reform quarterly sworn statements procedures, and eliminate expired interim and intermediate rules. Overall, we believe the actions in this document will reduce burdens on small carriers.

    G. Report to Congress

    41. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.

    V. Procedural Matters A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    42. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) relating to this Report and Order. The FRFA is contained in section IV above.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    43. The Order contains modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to comment on the modified information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. 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.

    44. In this document, we have assessed the effects of revising or eliminating certain payphone compensation procedural requirements, and find that doing so will serve the public interest and is unlikely to directly affect businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

    C. Congressional Review Act

    45. The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order, including a copy of the Final Regulatory Flexibility Certification, in a report to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    In addition, the Report and Order and this final certification will be sent to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and will be published in the Federal Register.

    D. Contact Person

    46. For further information about this proceeding, please contact Michele Levy Berlove, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Room 5-C313, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-1477, [email protected]

    VI. Ordering Clauses

    47. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1-4, 11, and 276 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 161, 276, this Report and Order is adopted.

    48. It is further ordered that part 64 of the Commission's rules is amended as set forth in Appendix A, and that any such rule amendments that contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act shall be effective after announcement in the Federal Register of Office of Management and Budget approval of the rules, and on the effective date announced therein.

    49. It is further ordered that this Report and Order shall be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, except for 47 CFR 64.1310(a)(3), which contains information collection requirements previously approved by OMB and which provision shall become effective as set forth in the preceding paragraph.

    50. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    51. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64

    Common carriers, Communications, Telecommunications, Telephone.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 64 as follows:

    PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS 1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 202, 225, 251(e), 254(k), 403(b)(2)(B), (c), 616, 620, Pub. L. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 202, 218, 222, 225, 226, 227, 228, 254(k), 276, 616, 620, and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 64.1301 is revised to read as follows:
    § 64.1301 Per-payphone compensation.

    In the absence of a negotiated agreement to pay a different amount, each entity listed in Appendix C of the Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Order on Remand in CC Docket No. 96-128, FCC 02-292, must pay default compensation to payphone service providers for access code calls and payphone subscriber 800 calls for the period beginning April 21, 1999, in the amount listed in Appendix C for any payphone for any month during which per-call compensation for that payphone for that month was or is not paid by the listed entity. A complete copy of Appendix C is available at www.fcc.gov.

    3. Section 64.1310 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 64.1310 Payphone compensation procedures.

    (a) * * *

    (3) When payphone compensation is tendered for a quarter, a company official with the authority to bind the Completing Carrier shall submit to each payphone service provider to which compensation is tendered a sworn statement that the payment amount for that quarter is accurate and is based on 100% of all completed calls that originated from that payphone service provider's payphones. Instead of transmitting individualized statements to each payphone service provider, a Completing Carrier may provide a single, blanket sworn statement addressed to all payphone service providers to which compensation is tendered for that quarter and may notify the payphone service providers of the sworn statement through any electronic method, including transmitting the sworn statement with the § 64.1310(a)(4) quarterly report, or posting the sworn statement on the Completing Carrier or clearinghouse website. If a Completing Carrier chooses to post the sworn statement on its website, the Completing Carrier shall state in its § 64.1310(a)(4) quarterly report the web address of the sworn statement.

    § 64.1320 [Removed]
    4. Remove § 64.1320.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05201 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151215999-6960-02] RIN 0648-XG087 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Herring Fishery; 2018 River Herring and Shad Catch Cap Reached for Midwater Trawl Vessels in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reducing the Atlantic herring possession limit for federally permitted vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Closure Area, based on a projection that the threshold catch for the corresponding catch cap area has been reached. This action is necessary to comply with the regulations implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and is intended to limit the harvest of river herring and shad in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area.

    DATES:

    Effective 00:01 hr local time, March 14, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Luers, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 282-8457.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the Atlantic herring fishery can be found at 50 CFR part 648, including requirements for setting annual catch cap allocations for river herring and shad. NMFS set the 2018 catch cap in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area at 129.6 mt. NMFS established this value in the 2016 through 2018 herring specifications (81 FR 75731, November 1, 2016).

    The NMFS Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region (Regional Administrator) monitors the herring fishery in each of the catch cap areas based on vessel and dealer reports, state data, and other available information. The regulations at § 648.201 require that when the Regional Administrator projects that river herring and shad catch will reach 95 percent of a catch cap for vessels fishing with a specified gear type in a specified catch cap area, NMFS must prohibit, through notification in the Federal Register, federally permitted herring vessels fishing with that gear type from fishing for, possessing, catching, transferring, or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip or calendar day in or from that specified catch cap closure area for the remainder of the fishing year.

    The Regional Administrator has determined, based on available information, that the herring midwater trawl vessels will have caught 95 percent of the river herring and shad catch cap allocated to the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area by March 14, 2018. Therefore, effective 00:01 hr local time, March 14, 2018, federally permitted vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear may not fish for, catch, possess, transfer, or land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip or calendar day, in or from the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Closure Area through December 31, 2018. Midwater trawl vessels that have entered port before 00:01 hr local time, March 14, 2018, may land and sell more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring from the Cap Closure Area from that trip. Midwater trawl vessels may transit through the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Closure Area with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, provided all herring in excess of 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) was caught outside of this area and all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined by § 648.2.

    Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    NMFS finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest and impracticable. This action restricts the catch of herring in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Closure Area for the remainder of the fishing year. Data have only recently become available indicating that herring midwater trawl vessels will have caught 95 percent of the river herring and shad catch cap allocated to that gear type in the Catch Cap Area. Once NMFS projects that river herring and shad catch will reach 95 percent of the cap for the Catch Cap Area, NMFS is required by Federal regulation to implement a 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) herring trip and calendar day possession limit for Cap Closure Area through December 31, 2018. The regulations at § 648.201(a)(4)(ii) require such action to ensure that herring vessels do not exceed the river herring and shad catch cap allocated to midwater trawl vessels in the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area. If implementation of this closure is delayed to solicit prior public comment, the midwater trawl catch cap for the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Catch Cap Area for this fishing year will be exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. For the reasons stated above, NMFS further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 12, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05288 Filed 3-12-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170816769-8162-02] RIN 0648-XG076 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 12, 2018, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., May 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The B season allowance of the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 1,317 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the B season allowance of the 2018 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 1,217 mt and is setting aside the remaining 100 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA.

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

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 8, 2018.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 9, 2018. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05211 Filed 3-12-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 51 Thursday, March 15, 2018 Proposed Rules FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 210 [Regulation J; Docket No. R-1599] RIN 7100 AE 98 Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks and Funds Transfers Through Fedwire AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule and comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is publishing for comment proposed amendments to Regulation J. The proposed amendments are intended to clarify and simplify certain provisions of Subpart A of Regulation J, remove obsolete provisions, and align the rights and obligations of sending banks, paying banks, and Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) with the Board's recent amendments to Regulation CC, Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks, to reflect the virtually all-electronic check collection and return environment. The proposed rule would also amend subpart B of Regulation J to clarify that terms used in financial messaging standards, such as ISO 20022, do not confer legal status or responsibilities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. R-1599 and RIN 7100-AE98, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx

    Email: [email protected] Include docket and RIN numbers in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann E. Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    Instructions: All public comments will be made available on the Board's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street NW (between 18th and 19th Streets NW), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. For security reasons, the Board requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 452-3684. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and to submit to security screening in order to inspect and photocopy comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Clinton N. Chen, Senior Attorney (202/452-3952), Legal Division; or Ian C.B. Spear, Manager (202-452-3959), Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems; for users of Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact 202-263-4869; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Subpart A of Regulation J governs the collection of checks and other items by the Reserve Banks. This subpart includes the warranties and indemnities that are given to the Reserve Banks by parties that send items to the Reserve Banks for collection and return, as well as the warranties and indemnities for which the Reserve Banks are responsible in connection with the items they handle. Subpart A also describes the methods by which the Reserve Banks may recover for losses associated with their collection of items. Subpart A authorizes the Reserve Banks to issue operating circulars governing the details of the collection of checks and other items and provides that such operating circulars have binding effect on all parties interested in an item handled by a Reserve Bank. The Reserve Banks' Operating Circular No. 3, “Collection of Cash Items and Returned Checks” (OC 3),1 is the operating circular that is most relevant to the Reserve Banks' check collection activities. Subpart B of Regulation J provides rules to govern funds transfers through the Reserve Banks' Fedwire Funds Service. This service is also governed by the Reserve Banks' Operating Circular No. 6, “Funds Transfers through the Fedwire Funds Service” (OC 6).2

    1See, https://www.frbservices.org/assets/resources/rules-regulations/072315-operating-circular-3.pdf.

    2See, https://www.frbservices.org/assets/resources/rules-regulations/operating-circular-6-102917.pdf.

    II. Overview of Proposed Amendments A. Alignment With Regulation CC Amendments Addressing Electronic Checks

    In 2004, the Board amended Regulation J to cover electronic check processing options that the Reserve Banks offered after the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21 Act) took effect in October 2004.3 The Board's amendments to Regulation J at the time included provisions to address the rights and obligations of banks and Reserve Banks relating to electronic items handled by Reserve Banks.4

    3 The Board's Regulation CC implements the Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987 (EFA Act), 12 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; and the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act of 2003 (Check 21 Act), 12 U.S.C. 5001 et seq. The Check 21 Act facilitated electronic collection and return of checks by permitting banks to create a paper “substitute check” from an electronic image and electronic information derived from a paper check. The Check 21 Act authorized banks to provide substitute checks to a bank or a customer that had not agreed to electronic exchange. The Board implemented the Check 21 Act primarily in subpart D of Regulation CC.

    4 At the time, the Board's Regulation CC presumed that banks generally handled checks in paper form, and the Uniform Commercial Code did not explicitly address electronic checks other than to say the terms of electronic presentment may be governed by agreement (U.C.C. 4-110).

    As a result of the 2004 amendments, Regulation J defines an “electronic item” as an electronic image of, and information describing, an item that a Reserve Bank agrees to handle pursuant to an operating circular.5 Regulation J also sets forth certain warranties provided to the Reserve Banks by the sender of an electronic item and certain warranties provided by the Reserve Banks when sending or presenting an electronic item.6 Specifically, Regulation J provides that for electronic items, the sender and the Reserve Banks make warranties (1) as set forth in the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C) and Regulation CC as if the electronic item were subject to their terms; and (2) similar to those made for substitute checks under the Check 21 Act (“Check-21-like warranties”).7 Regulation J also currently provides similar provisions related to checks that are returned as electronic items.8

    5 12 CFR 210.2(i).

    6 12 CFR 210.5(a)(3)-(4) sets forth warranties provided by the sender of an electronic item; 12 CFR 210.6(b)(2)-(3) sets forth warranties provided by the Reserve Banks related to electronic items.

    7 That is, warranties that a bank will not be asked to pay an item twice and that the electronic image and electronic information are sufficient to create a substitute check.

    8 12 CFR 210.12(c)(3)-(4) sets forth warranties provided by the sender of a returned check that is an electronic item; 12 CFR 210.12(e)(1)(ii)-(iii) sets forth warranties provided by the Reserve Banks related to a returned check that is an electronic item.

    In 2017, the Board published a final rule amending Regulation CC to reflect the virtually all-electronic check collection and return environment.9 Among other things, the amendments created a regulatory framework for the collection and return of electronic items (i.e., electronic images and electronic information derived from a paper item) by defining the terms “electronic check” and “electronic returned check,” creating Check-21-like warranties for electronic checks and electronic returned checks, and applying existing paper-check warranties to electronic checks and electronic returned checks.

    9 82 FR 27552 (June 15, 2017).

    Accordingly, the Board is proposing amendments to align subpart A of Regulation J with the Board's 2017 amendments to Regulation CC and incorporate certain provisions by reference, thereby reducing the need for duplication and improving consistency between the regulations. Under the Board's proposal, the term “electronic item” would be removed from Regulation J and “check” and “returned check” would be defined to include an electronic check and electronic returned check as defined in § 229.2 of Regulation CC. The term “item” would also be defined to include an electronic check as defined in Regulation CC. The Board also proposes to eliminate duplicative provisions by removing the Check-21-like warranties currently provided under Regulation J by the sender and the Reserve Banks. Instead, Regulation J would provide that the sender of an item (including an electronic check) and the Reserve Banks would (as applicable and unless otherwise provided) make all the warranties and indemnities set forth in and subject to the terms of subparts C and D in Regulation CC. The Board proposes similar amendments to the provisions of Regulation J that currently address returning checks as electronic items.

    B. Electronically Created Items

    In the 2017 amendments to Regulation CC, the Board included certain indemnities with respect to electronically-created items (ECIs), which are check-like items created in electronic form that never existed in paper form. ECIs can be difficult to distinguish from electronic images of paper checks. As a practical matter, a bank receiving an ECI often handles it as if it were derived from a paper check. However, because there was no original paper check corresponding to the ECI, the warranties, indemnities, and other provisions of Regulation CC would not apply to those items. As the Board explained in the 2017 Regulation CC amendments, the payee and the depositary bank are best positioned to know whether an item is electronically created and to prevent the item from entering the check-collection system. Therefore, to protect banks that receive ECIs during the check collection process, the Board's Regulation CC amendments provided indemnities that ultimately shift liability for losses to the depositary bank because either the ECI (1) is not derived from a paper check, (2) was unauthorized, or (3) was transferred or presented for payment more than once.10 The proposed amendments to incorporate Regulation CC's warranties and indemnities into Regulation J by reference would include these ECI indemnities.

    10 12 CFR 229.34(g) provides that “each bank that transfers or presents an electronically-created item and receives a settlement or other consideration for it shall indemnify, as set forth in § 229.34(i), each transferee bank, any subsequent collecting bank, the paying bank, and any subsequent returning bank against losses that result from the fact that—(1) The electronic image or electronic information is not derived from a paper check; (2) The person on whose account the electronically-created item is drawn did not authorize the issuance of the item in the amount stated on the item or to the payee stated on the item (for purposes of this paragraph (g)(2), “account” includes an account as defined in section 229.2(a) as well as a credit or other arrangement that allows a person to draw checks that are payable by, through, or at a bank); or (3) A person receives a transfer, presentment, or return of, or otherwise is charged for an electronically-created item such that the person is asked to make payment based on an item or check it has already paid.”

    Currently, neither Regulation CC nor Regulation J explicitly address the sending of ECIs to the Reserve Banks. However, the definition of item in Regulation J as currently drafted does not encompass ECIs and therefore does not allow for the handling of ECIs by the Reserve Banks. Regulation J defines an item, in part, as “an instrument or a promise or order to pay money, whether negotiable or not” that meets several other requirements.11 The terms “instrument,” “promise,” and “order” are defined under the U.C.C. as requiring a writing.12 Because they never existed in tangible form and therefore do not qualify as writings, ECIs are not “items” as currently defined in Regulation J. To provide greater clarity, the Board proposes to amend the definition of “item” in subpart A of Regulation J to explicitly state that the term does not include an ECI as defined Regulation CC.

    11 12 CFR 210.2(i).

    12 Terms not otherwise defined in Regulation J or Regulation CC have the meanings set forth in the U.C.C. Under the U.C.C., “instrument” means a “negotiable instrument” which is defined in part as “unconditional promise or order to pay a fixed amount of money.” U.C.C. 3-104. “Promise” is defined as “a written undertaking to pay money signed by the person undertaking to pay.” U.C.C. 3-103. “Order” is defined as “a written instruction to pay money signed by the person giving the instruction.” U.C.C. 3-103. “Writing” and “written” are defined as including “printing, typewriting, or any other intentional reduction to tangible form.” U.C.C. 1-201.

    Furthermore, because Regulation J is intended to provide rules for the collection and return of items by the Reserve Banks, the Board is proposing amendments to Regulation J that would allow the Reserve Banks to require senders to provide warranties and indemnities that only “items” and any “noncash items” the Reserve Banks have agreed to handle will be provided to the Reserve Banks. The Board's proposed amendments would also permit the Reserve Banks to provide a subsequent collecting bank and a paying bank the warranties and indemnities provided by the sender. As with the amendments to Regulation CC, the Board believes the proposed amendments will help to shift liability to parties better positioned to know whether an item is electronically created and to prevent the item from entering the check-collection system.

    The Board recognizes that the proposed amendments may affect the creation and acceptance of ECIs. However, the Board's proposed amendments would not prevent parties that desire to exchange ECIs from doing so by agreement using direct exchange relationships or other methods not involving the Reserve Banks. The Board believes such arrangements are more appropriate to ensure all parties knowingly accept any corresponding risks arising from the fact that the ECI never existed in paper form and therefore does not carry with it the warranties, indemnities, and other provisions associated with a check. The Board requests comment on possible implications that this clarification and change related to ECIs in Regulation J may have on financial institutions or the industry more broadly. The Board also requests comment on whether, and to what extent, the Board should consider amending Regulation J as part of a future rulemaking to permit the Reserve Banks to accept ECIs.

    C. Settlement and Payment

    Regulation J currently provides that settlement with a Reserve Bank for cash items “shall be made by debit to an account on the Reserve Bank's books, cash, or other form of settlement” to which the Reserve Bank has agreed.13 With respect to noncash items, Regulation J provides that a Reserve Bank may require settlement by cash, by a debit to an account on a Reserve Bank's books or “by any of the following that is in a form acceptable to the collecting Reserve Bank: Bank draft, transfer of funds or bank credit, or any other form of payment authorized by State law.” 14 Regulation J also currently provides that a Reserve Bank may require a nonbank payor to settle for items by cash, or by “any of the following that is in a form acceptable to the Reserve Bank: Cashier's check, certified check, or other bank draft or obligation.” 15 In order to facilitate the efficient collection of items, the Reserve Banks' current practice is generally to settle for items by debit to an account on the Reserve Bank's books. The use of cash is rare, typically only done in emergency situations, and could be covered by a provision allowing “other form of settlement to which the Reserve Bank agrees.” The Board therefore proposes to revise certain settlement provisions of Regulation J to remove references to cash and other specified forms of settlement (e.g., cashier's checks or certified checks) and instead state that the Reserve Banks may settle by a debit to an account on the Reserve Bank's books, or another form of settlement acceptable to the Reserve Banks. The Board requests comment on possible implications that the proposed changes may have on financial institutions with which the Reserve Banks settle for the presentment of items.

    13 12 CFR 210.9(b)(5).

    14 12 CFR 210.9(c).

    15 12 CFR 210.9(d).

    D. Legal Status of Terms Used in Financial Messaging Standards

    Financial messaging standards provide a common format that allows different financial institutions to communicate. Federal Reserve Banks plan to migrate to the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard for the Fedwire Funds Service. ISO 20022 is an international standard that employs terminology that differs in key respects from that used in U.S. funds-transfer law, including Regulation J. The Board proposes an amendment to subpart B of Regulation J that would clarify that terms used in financial messaging standards, such as ISO 20022, do not confer or connote legal status or responsibilities.

    E. Additional Aspects of the Proposal

    The Board also proposes several other amendments to Regulation J, which include removal of obsolete material and corrections to include certain provisions that were unintentionally omitted by previous amendatory instructions to Regulation J.

    F. Effective Date

    The Board proposes an effective date of July 1, 2018, to align with the effective date of the Board's amendments to subpart C of Regulation CC.

    III. Section-by-Section Analysis

    The paragraph citations in this section are to the paragraphs of the proposed rule unless otherwise stated. The Board requests comment on all aspects of the proposed rule.

    Subpart A—Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks Section 210.2 Definitions 1. Section 210.2(h)—Check

    Regulation J currently includes the term “check” (a draft as defined in the U.C.C. drawn on a bank and payable on demand). The Board proposes to revise the definition of “check” to mean a “check” and an “electronic check” as those terms are defined in Regulation CC. This amendment will align the terminology in the two regulations.

    Regulation J also includes the term “check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k)” (the Regulation CC definition of “check”). This term is used in Regulation J in those provisions that require specific references to the Regulation CC definition of “check.” (See §§ 210.2(m), 210.7(b)(2), and § 210.12(a)(2).) The Board proposes to delete the definition of “check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k)” because it is no longer needed in light of the proposed revision of the Regulation J definition of “check” to cross-reference the Regulation CC definition. The Board proposes to revise the three provisions where it is used by deleting the reference to “check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k),” as described in more detail in the corresponding section-by-section analysis.

    2. Section 210.2(i)—Item

    Regulation J uses the term “item” to refer to the instruments and electronic images that the Reserve Banks handle. Regulation J uses the term “electronic item” to refer to an electronic image of an item, and information describing that item, that a Reserve Bank agrees to handle as an item pursuant to an operating circular. To align the terminology of Regulation J with Regulation CC, the Board proposes to delete the definition of “electronic item” and revise the definition of “item” in § 210.2(i) to include a check, which, under the proposed amendment discussed above would include both a check and an electronic check as defined in Regulation CC. The Board also proposes to add a clarifying statement that the term “item” does not include an electronically-created item as defined in § 229.2 of Regulation CC (as discussed in detail above).

    3. Section 210.2(m)—Returned Check

    Current § 210.2(m) defines a “returned check” as “a cash item or a check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k) returned by a paying bank.” To align the definition of “returned check” with “check,” the Board proposes to delete the reference to “check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k)” and instead refer to the definition of “electronic returned check” in Regulation CC.

    4. Section 210.2(n)—Sender

    Current § 210.2(n) defines sender by providing a set of entities that sends an item to a Reserve Bank for forward collection. The Board proposes to add “member bank, as defined in section 1 of the Federal Reserve Act” in § 210.2(n)(2) to include a bank or trust company that is a member of one of the Federal Reserve Banks to ensure inclusion of any member bank that does not fall under the existing definition. The Board proposes to redesignate current §§ 210.2(n)(2)-(6) to §§ 210.2(n)(3)-(7) to accommodate the insertion.

    5. Section 210.2(q)—Fedwire

    Current § 210.2(q) defines “Fedwire” as having the same meaning set forth in § 210.26(e). The Board proposes to amend this definition to refer to both “Fedwire Funds Service and Fedwire” to conform to the proposed amendment to § 210.26(e).

    Section 210.3 General Provisions

    Section 210.3(a) provides general provisions concerning the obligations of Reserve Banks and the role of operating circulars. For reasons described above in connection with electronically-created items, the Board proposes to add a sentence stating that the operating circulars may require a sender to provide warranties and indemnities that only items and any noncash items the Reserve Banks have agreed to handle will be sent to the Reserve Banks. Additionally, in order to allow the Reserve Banks to pass any such warranties and indemnities forward, the Board proposes to authorize the Reserve Banks to provide to a subsequent collecting bank and to the paying bank any warranties and indemnities provided by the sender pursuant to this paragraph.

    Section 210.4 Sending Items to Reserve Banks

    Section 210.4(a) sets forth the rule for determining the Reserve Bank to which an item should be sent. The Board proposes to clarify this paragraph to provide that a sender's Administrate Reserve Bank may direct a sender (other than a Reserve Bank) to send any item to a specified Reserve Bank, whether or not the item is payable in the Reserve Bank's district. This amendment reflects current practice in the Reserve Banks' check service and is not expected or intended to have a substantive affect. The Board is also proposing to capitalize the term “Administrative Reserve Bank” wherever it appears to conform to the defined term in § 210.2(c).

    Section 210.5 Sender's Agreement; Recovery by Reserve Bank 1. Section 210.5(a)—Sender's Agreement

    Current § 210.5(a) lists the warranties, authorizations, and agreements made by a sender. The first two paragraphs (current §§ 210.5(a)(1) and (2)) apply to all items and require the sender to authorize the Reserve Banks to handle the item sent and warrant that the sender is entitled to enforce the item, that the item has not been altered, and that the item bears the indorsements applied by all prior parties. The Board is not proposing to revise these paragraphs. Current §§ 210.5(a)(3) and (4) set out warranties for electronic items and electronic items that are not representations of substitute checks, respectively. These warranties are now specified in Regulation CC, and the Board proposes to revise Regulation J accordingly. Proposed § 210.5(a)(3) would require the sender to make all applicable warranties and indemnities set forth in Regulation CC and the U.C.C. The proposal would retain the existing requirement that the sender make all warranties set forth in and subject to the terms of U.C.C. 4-207 for an electronic check as if it were an item subject to the U.C.C. These proposed changes would streamline Regulation J, align § 210.5(a) with the Regulation CC provisions that set out warranties and indemnities for electronic checks, and ensure a seamless chain of warranties for the items handled by the Reserve Banks.

    The Board also proposes to require a sender to make any warranties or indemnities regarding the sending of items that the Reserve Banks include in an operating circular issued in accordance with § 210.3(a) to ensure that only items and any noncash items the Reserve Banks have agreed to handle will be sent to the Reserve Banks (proposed § 210.5(a)(4)). Finally, the Board proposes to add a reference to “indemnities” to the introductory text of § 210.5(a) to reflect that the sender would provide indemnities pursuant to proposed §§ 210.5(a)(3) and (4).

    2. Section 210.5(a)(5)—Sender's Liability to Reserve Bank

    Current § 210.5(a)(5) sets out the sender's liability to Reserve Banks. The Board proposes to make a number of amendments to this subsection that align this paragraph to changes elsewhere in the proposed rule.

    Current § 210.5(a)(5)(i)(C) states that the sender agrees to indemnify the Reserve Bank for any loss or expense resulting from “[a]ny warranty or indemnity made by the Reserve Bank under § 210.6(b), part 229 of this chapter, or the U.C.C.” The Board proposes to amend this provision to provide that the sender will also indemnify a Reserve Bank for any loss or expense sustained resulting from any warranties and indemnities regarding the sending of “items” required by the Reserve Bank in an operating circular issued pursuant to proposed § 210.3(a).

    Current § 210.5(a)(5)(ii) specifies conditions and limitations to a sender's liability for warranties and indemnities that a Reserve Bank makes for a substitute check, a paper or electronic representation thereof, or any other electronic item. The Board proposes to delete the term “electronic item” in current § 210.5(a)(5)(ii) and replace it with “electronic check.”

    Current § 210.5(a)(5)(ii)(A) provides that a sender of an original check is not liable for any amount that the Reserve Bank pays under subpart D of Regulation CC for a subsequently created substitute check or under § 210.6(b)(3) for an electronic item, absent the sender's agreement to the contrary. The Board proposes to delete the reference to current § 210.6(b)(3), which lists warranties and an indemnity for an electronic item that is not a representation of a substitute check, and replace it with a reference to § 229.34 of this chapter with respect to an electronic check, consistent with other proposed amendments to § 210.6(b) described below.

    Current § 210.5(a)(5)(ii)(B) provides that nothing in Regulation J alters the liability structure that applies to substitute checks and paper or electronic representations of substitute checks under subpart D of Regulation CC. The Board proposes to add that this subpart also does not alter the liability of a sender of an electronic check under § 229.34, consistent with the other proposed revisions to Regulation J.

    Current § 210.5(a)(5)(ii)(C) provides that a sender of an electronic item that is not a representations of a substitute check is not liable for any related warranties or indemnities that a Reserve Bank pays that are attributable to the Reserve Bank's own lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care. The Board proposes to broaden this provision by applying the limitation on liability to all senders for any amount that the Reserve Bank pays that is attributable to the Reserve Bank's own lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care under Regulation J or Regulation CC. The Board proposes to redesignate this section as § 210.5(a)(5)(iii) and make conforming changes to cross-references.

    3. Section 210.5(c) & (d)—Recovery by Reserve Bank and Methods of Recovery

    Section 210.5(c) sets out the procedures by which a Reserve Bank may recover against a sender if certain actions or proceedings related to the sender's actions are brought against (or defense is tendered to) a Reserve Bank. A portion of this section was inadvertently dropped from the Code of Federal Regulations. The Board proposes to reinstate the dropped language, which provides that, upon entry of a final judgment or decree, a Reserve Bank may recover from the sender the amount of attorneys' fees and other expenses of litigation incurred, as well as any amount the Reserve Bank is required to pay because of the judgment or decree or the tender of defense, with interest. In addition, the Board proposes to correct cross-references to this provision in § 210.5(d).

    4. Section 210.5(e)—Security Interest

    Current § 210.5(e) provides that when a sender sends an item to a Reserve Bank, the sender and any prior collecting bank grant to the sender's Administrative Reserve Bank a security interest in all of their respective assets in the possession of, or held for the account of, any Reserve Bank to secure their respective obligations due or to become due to the Administrative Reserve Bank under this subpart or subpart C of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC). The Board proposes to amend this subsection to reference subpart D of Regulation CC in addition to subpart C, as senders may have obligations to Reserve Banks under that subpart as well.

    Section 210.6 Status, Warranties, and Liability of Reserve Bank 1. Section 210.6(a)(2)—Limitations on Reserve Bank Liability

    Section 210.6(a)(2) limits a Reserve Bank's liability with respect to an item to three instances: (1) The Reserve Bank's own lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care, (2) as provided in this section of Regulation J, and (3) as provided in subparts C and D of Regulation CC. The Board proposes to expand this list to provide that a Reserve Bank may be liable under any warranties and indemnities provided in an operating circular issued in accordance with § 210.3(a) regarding the sending of items.

    2. Section 210.6(b)—Warranties and Liability

    Section 210.6(b) sets forth the warranties and indemnities made by a Reserve Bank when it presents or sends an item. In alignment with the Board's proposed amendments to the sender's warranties in § 210.5(a), the Board proposes to replace current §§ 210.6(b)(2) and (3), which provide warranties and indemnities for electronic items and electronic items that are not representations of substitute checks, respectively. Those warranties are now covered by Regulation CC. The Board also proposes to make a conforming amendment to § 210.6(b)(1)(iii) to eliminate the unnecessary reference to “paper or electronic form.”

    The Board proposes a new § 210.6(b)(2) to provide that a Reserve Bank would make any warranties or indemnities regarding the sending of items as set forth in an operating circular issued pursuant to proposed § 210.3(a). This language corresponds to the similar proposed provision for sender liability in § 210.5(a)(4).

    The Board proposes a new § 210.6(b)(3) to provide that the Reserve Bank makes to a subsequent collecting bank and to the paying bank all the warranties and indemnities set forth in subparts C and D for Regulation CC. Proposed § 210.6(b)(3) would retain the existing application of U.C.C. 4-207 warranties to electronic items (now called electronic checks).

    In § 210.6(b)(4), the Board proposes to retain the existing Reserve Bank indemnity for substitute checks created from electronic checks, which is in current § 210.6(b)(3)(ii). This provision provides an indemnity chain for substitute check indemnity claims under Regulation CC, enabling receiving banks (and, in turn, Reserve Banks) to pass the loss on such claims to the bank whose choice to handle an item electronically necessitated the later creation of a substitute check.

    3. Section 210.6(c)—Limitation on Liability

    The limitations on Reserve Bank liability are set forth in proposed (and current) § 210.6(a)(2). The Board is proposing to delete this subsection as it is redundant and to redesignate current subsection (d) as subsection (c).

    Section 210.7 Presenting Items for Payment

    Section 210.7(b) provides the places of presentment for a Reserve Bank or subsequent collecting bank. Current § 210.7(b)(2) states “In the case of a check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k), in accordance with 12 CFR 229.36.” In alignment with the Board's proposed deletion of the defined term “check as defined in 12 CFR 229.2(k),” the Board proposes to delete the use of that term in § 210.7(b)(2), as it is no longer needed, and make other minor edits. As a result, proposed § 210.7(b)(2) would state “In accordance with § 229.36 of this chapter (Regulation CC).”

    Section 210.9 Settlement and Payment 1. Section 210.9(b)(5), (c), & (d)—Manner of Settlement, Noncash Items, & Nonbank Payor

    Current § 210.9(b)(5) requires that settlement for cash items with a Reserve Bank be made by debit to an account on the Reserve Bank's books, cash, or other form of settlement to which the Reserve Bank agrees. As discussed in the overview section, the use of cash as a means of settlement is quite rare and generally used only in emergencies. Accordingly, the Board proposes to amend this provision by removing the reference to cash as a means of settlement. A Reserve Bank could continue to accept cash or other forms of settlement by agreement in special situations. The Board also proposes to make conforming amendments to §§ 210.9(c) and (d), as well as to remove the references to other rarely-used forms of settlement (cashier's checks, certified checks, or other bank drafts or obligations). The Board is also proposing to correct cross-references and to capitalize the term “Administrative Reserve Bank” wherever it appears to conform to the defined term in § 210.2(c).

    2. Section 210.9(e)—Handling of Payment

    Current § 210.9(e) states that a Reserve Bank may handle a bank draft or other form of payment it receives in payment of a cash item as a cash item and that a Reserve Bank may handle a bank draft or other form of payment it receives in payment of a noncash item as either a cash item or a noncash item. The Board proposes to delete this section as it is now obsolete.

    3. Section 210.9(f)—Liability of Reserve Bank

    Current § 210.9(f) states that a Reserve Bank that acts in good faith and exercises ordinary care shall not be liable for the nonpayment of, or failure to realize upon, any bank draft or other form of payment that it accepts pursuant to § 210.9(b)-(d). The Board proposes to renumber this subsection as § 210.9(e) and to replace the reference to “bank draft or other form of payment” with “any non-cash form of payment” to conform to the proposed changes to the other provisions of this section.

    Section 210.10 Time Schedule and Availability of Credits for Cash Items and Returned Checks

    Section 210.10(a) states that each Reserve Bank shall “include in its operating circulars” its time schedules for availability of cash items and returned checks and, correspondingly, when credits can be counted toward reserve balance requirements for purposes of Regulation D (12 CFR part 204). The Reserve Banks' practice is to publish the time schedules on the Federal Reserve website for financial services. Accordingly, the Board proposes to amend this section to delete the requirement that time schedules be included in the operating circulars and, instead, require only that the time schedules be published.

    Section 210.11 Availability of Proceeds of Noncash Items; Time Schedule 1. Section 210.11(b)—Time Schedule

    Section 210.11(b) states that a Reserve Bank may give credit for the proceeds of a noncash item subject to payment in actually and finally collected funds in accordance with a time schedule included in its operating circulars. To conform to amendments made in proposed § 210.10, the Board proposes to delete the reference to operating circulars and require only that the time schedule be published.

    2. Section 210.11(c)—Handling of Payment

    Current § 210.11(c) prohibits a Reserve Bank from providing credit for a bank draft or other form of payment for a noncash item until it receives payment in actually and finally collected funds. The Board proposes to delete this subsection, as actually and finally collected funds are already required by § 210.11(a).

    Section 210.12 Return of Cash Items and Handling of Returned Checks

    Section 210.12 sets out the provisions governing the handling of returned checks. It is the counterpart to §§ 210.5 and 210.6, which govern the handling of items for forward collection.

    1. Section 210.12(a)—Return of Items

    Current § 210.12(a)(2) sets out the procedures by which a paying bank may return checks not handled by Reserve Banks and references “check as defined in § 229.2(k) of this chapter (Regulation CC).” In alignment with the Board's proposal to delete the defined term “check as defined in § 229.2(k)” in § 210.2(h), the Board proposes to delete the use of this term in this section, as it is no longer needed, and to use the term “check” instead.

    2. Section 210.12(c)—Paying Bank's and Returning Bank's Agreement

    Current § 210.12(c) provides the warranties, authorizations, and agreements related to returned checks made by paying banks and returning banks. The Board proposes amendments to this section that are parallel to the proposed amendments for forward-collection items with respect to the liability of the sender (§ 210.5(a)(3)) and the Reserve Banks (§ 210.6(b)(2)). Specifically, the Board proposes to replace current §§ 210.12(c)(3) and (4), which provide warranties for all returned checks that are electronic items and warranties for returned checks that are electronic items that are not representations of substitute checks, respectively, with a provision that requires the paying bank or returning bank to make all the warranties and indemnities as set forth in Regulation CC, as applicable (proposed § 210.12(c)(3)).

    Current § 210.12(c)(5) sets out the conditions under which a paying bank or returning bank is liable to a Reserve Bank. The Board proposes to redesignate this paragraph as § 210.12(c)(4) and amend the paragraph to correspond with the proposed amendments to the section on sender's liability to a Reserve Bank (§ 210.5(a)(4)). These proposed amendments are intended to create consistent liability provisions for senders, paying banks, and returning banks.

    3. Section 210.12(d)—Liability Under Other Law

    Current § 210.12(d) is titled “Preservation of other warranties and indemnities.” The Board proposes to change the title of this section to “Returning bank's or paying bank's liability under other law” to mirror the heading for the corresponding section for senders (§ 210.5(b)).

    4. Section 210.12(e)—Warranties by and Liability of Reserve Bank

    Current § 210.12(e) sets forth a Reserve Bank's liability when it handles a returned check, including warranties and liabilities. The Board proposes to amend this section to correspond to the amendments proposed in § 210.6(b) related to the warranties and liabilities that are made by Reserve Banks when presenting or sending an item.

    5. Section 210.12(f) & (g)—Recovery by Reserve Bank & Method of Recovery

    Section 210.12(f) parallels § 210.5(c) and sets out the procedures by which a Reserve Bank may recover against a paying bank or returning bank if certain actions or proceedings related to the paying bank's or returning bank's actions are brought against (or defense is tendered to) a Reserve Bank. A portion of this section was inadvertently dropped from the Code of Federal Regulations. The Board proposes to reinstate the dropped language, which provides that, upon entry of a final judgment or decree, a Reserve Bank may recover from the paying bank or returning bank the amount of attorneys' fees and other expenses of litigation incurred, as well as any amount the Reserve Bank is required to pay because of the judgment or decree or the tender of defense, with interest. In addition, the Board proposes to correct cross-references and make organizational changes in § 210.12(g).

    Subpart B—Funds Transfers Through Fedwire Section 210.25 Authority, Purpose, and Scope

    Section 210.25 sets out the authority, purpose, and scope for subpart B of Regulation J, which governs Fedwire funds transfers. The Board proposes to add a new § 210.25(e) to clarify that financial messaging standards (e.g., ISO 20022), including the financial messaging components, elements, technical documentation, tags, and terminology used to implement those standards, do not confer or connote legal status or responsibilities. The proposed amendment would specify that Regulation J, Article 4A of the U.C.C., and the operating circulars of the Reserve Banks govern the rights and obligations of parties to the Fedwire Funds Service and supersede any inconsistency between a financial messaging standard adopted by the Fedwire Funds Service. Additionally, the Board proposes to add in the commentary examples of inconsistent terminology between the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard and U.S. funds transfer law.

    Section 210.26 Definitions

    Section 210.2(e) defines the term “Fedwire” to mean the funds-transfer system owned and operated by the Federal Reserve Banks that is used primarily for the transmission and settlement of payment orders governed by Subpart B. The Board is proposing to amend this definition so that it applies to the official title of the service, “Fedwire Funds Service,” as well as the shorthand term “Fedwire.” The Board also proposes to change references to “Fedwire” to “Fedwire Funds Service” in §§ 210.9(b)(4)(i), 210.25(a) and (b)(3), and 210.29(b).

    Section 210.32 Federal Reserve Bank Liability; Payment of Interest

    Current § 210.32 sets out provisions that govern Federal Reserve Bank liability and payment of interest. Section 210.32(b) provides that compensation that is paid by Federal Reserve Banks in the form of interest shall be calculated in accordance with section 4A-506 of Article 4A. Under section 4A-506(a), the amount of interest may be determined by agreement between the sender and receiving bank or by funds-transfer system rule. If there is no such agreement, under section 4A-506(b), the amount of interest is based on the federal funds rate. The current commentary to § 210.32(b) states that “Interest would be calculated in accordance with the procedures specified in section 4A-506(b).” The Board proposes to delete this statement and rearrange the commentary to clarify that interest can be calculated in accordance with both section 4A-506(a) and (b).

    IV. Competitive Impact Analysis

    The Board conducts a competitive impact analysis when it considers an operational or legal change, if that change would have a direct and material adverse effect on the ability of other service providers to compete with the Federal Reserve in providing similar services due to legal differences or due to the Federal Reserve's dominant market position deriving from such legal differences. All operational or legal changes having a substantial effect on payments-system participants will be subject to a competitive-impact analysis, even if competitive effects are not apparent on the face of the proposal. If such legal differences exist, the Board will assess whether the same objectives could be achieved by a modified proposal with lesser competitive impact or, if not, whether the benefits of the proposal (such as contributing to payments-system efficiency or integrity or other Board objectives) outweigh the materially adverse effect on competition.16

    16 Federal Reserve Regulatory Service, 7-145.2.

    The Board does not believe that the amendments to Regulation J will have a direct and material adverse effect on the ability of other service providers to compete effectively with the Reserve Banks in providing similar services due to legal differences. The amendments would align the provisions in Regulation J governing Reserve Bank services to the generally applicable provisions in Regulation CC. The proposed amendment would not affect the competitive position of private-sector presenting banks vis-à-vis the Reserve Banks.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR part 1320 Appendix A.1), the Board may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The Board reviewed the proposed rule under the authority delegated to the Board by the OMB and determined that it contains no collections of information under the PRA.17 Accordingly, there is no paperwork burden associated with the rule.

    17See 44 U.S.C. 3502(3).

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the “RFA”) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires agencies either to provide an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with a proposed rule or to certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In accordance with section 3(a) of the RFA, the Board has reviewed the proposed regulation. In this case, the proposed rule would apply to all depository institutions. This Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has been prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603 in order for the Board to solicit comment on the effect of the proposal on small entities. The Board will, if necessary, conduct a final regulatory flexibility analysis after consideration of comments received during the public comment period.

    1. Statement of the Need for, Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, the Proposed Rule

    The Board is proposing the foregoing amendments to Regulation J pursuant to its authority under the Federal Reserve Act, the EFA Act; the Check 21 Act, and other laws. The proposal clarifies and simplifies certain provisions of Subpart A of Regulation J, removes obsolete provisions, and aligns the rights and obligations of sending banks, paying banks, and Reserve Banks with the Board's recent amendments to Regulation CC to reflect the virtually all-electronic check collection and return environment. The proposed rule would also amend subpart B of Regulation J to clarify the legal status of terms in financial messaging standards.

    2. Small Entities Affected by the Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule would apply to all depository institutions regardless of their size.18 Pursuant to regulations issued by the Small Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201), a “small banking organization” includes a depository institution with $550 million or less in total assets. Based on call report data as of June 2017, there are approximately 9,918 of depository institutions that have total domestic assets of $550 million or less and thus are considered small entities for purposes of the RFA.

    18 The proposed rule would not impose costs on any small entities other than depository institutions.

    3. Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    The Board's proposed rule generally does not have any projected reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements, as the proposed amendments to Regulation J align the rights and obligations of sending banks, paying banks, and Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) with the Board's recent amendments to Regulation CC. The proposed warranties and indemnities are similar to the warranties and indemnities that apply to paper and electronic checks under existing Regulation J and other law. The proposed amendments do not require any bank to change the form in which it submits checks, nor do they require any bank to submit reports, maintain records, or provide notices or disclosures.

    With respect to ECIs, the Board recognizes that the proposed amendments that would allow the Reserve Banks to require senders to provide certain warranties and indemnities may affect the creation and acceptance of ECIs by small entities. However, the Board's proposed amendments would not prevent small entities that desire to exchange ECIs from doing so by agreement using direct exchange relationships or other methods not involving the Reserve Banks. The Board believes the proposed amendments will help to shift liability to parties better positioned to know whether an item is electronically created and that can either prevent the item from entering the check-collection system or assume the risk of sending it forward.

    Furthermore, the Board does not expect the Board's proposed amendments to remove references to cash and other specified forms of settlement to burden small entities, as the use of cash as settlement is rare and typically only done in emergency situations. The Board's proposed amendment would allow use of cash as settlement in emergency situations by continuing to permit other forms of settlement to which the Reserve Banks agree.

    4. Identification of Duplicative, Overlapping, or Conflicting Federal Rules

    The Board notes that subparts C and D of Regulation CC overlap with the proposed rule with respect to checks collected or returned through the Reserve Banks. The Board's intent in proposing the amendments is, in part, to align Regulation J with Regulation CC and incorporate certain provisions by reference, thereby reducing the need for duplication and improving consistency between the regulations. The provisions of Regulation J would supersede any inconsistent provisions of Regulation CC, but only to the extent of the inconsistency.19 The Board knows of no other duplicative, overlapping, to conflicting Federal rules related to this proposal.

    19 See 12 CFR 210.3(f).

    5. Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Rule

    The Board welcomes comment on the impact of the proposed rule on small entities and any approaches, other than the proposed amendments, that would reduce the burden on all entities.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 210

    Banks, Banking, Federal Reserve System.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board proposes to amend 12 CFR part 210 as follows:

    PART 210—COLLECTION OF CHECKS AND OTHER ITEMS BY FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS AND FUNDS TRANSFERS THROUGH FEDWIRE (REGULATION J)—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 210 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 248 (i), (j), and (o); 12 U.S.C. 342; 12 U.S.C. 360; 12 U.S.C. 464; 12 U.S.C. 4001-4010; 12 U.S.C. 5001-5018.

    PART 210—[AMENDED] 2. In part 210, revise all references to “article 4A” to read “Article 4A”. Subpart A—Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks 3. In § 210.2, revise paragraphs (h), (i), (m), (n), (q), and (s)(1) to read as follows:
    § 210.2 Definitions.

    (h) Check means a check or an electronic check, as those terms are defined in § 229.2 of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (i) Item.

    (1) Item means—

    (i) An instrument or a promise or order to pay money, whether negotiable or not, that is—

    (A) Payable in a Federal Reserve District 1 (District);

    1 For purposes of this subpart, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are deemed to be in the Second District, and Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Twelfth District.

    (B) Sent by a sender to a Reserve Bank for handling under this subpart; and

    (C) Collectible in funds acceptable to the Reserve Bank of the District in which the instrument is payable; or

    (ii) A check.

    (2) Unless otherwise indicated, item includes both a cash and a noncash item, and includes a returned check sent by a paying or returning bank. Item does not include a check that cannot be collected at par, or a payment order as defined in § 210.26(i) and handled under subpart B of this part. The term also does not include an electronically-created item as defined in § 229.2 of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (m) Returned check means a cash item returned by a paying bank, including an electronic returned check as defined in § 229.2 of this chapter (Regulation CC) and a notice of nonpayment in lieu of a returned check, whether or not a Reserve Bank handled the check for collection.

    (n) Sender means any of the following entities that sends an item to a Reserve Bank for forward collection—

    (1) A depository institution, as defined in section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 461(b));

    (2) A member bank, as defined in section 1 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 221);

    (3) A clearing institution, defined as—

    (i) An institution that is not a depository institution but that maintains with a Reserve Bank the balance referred to in the first paragraph of section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 342); or

    (ii) A corporation that maintains an account with a Reserve Bank in conformity with § 211.4 of this chapter (Regulation K);

    (4) Another Reserve Bank;

    (5) An international organization for which a Reserve Bank is empowered to act as depositary or fiscal agent and maintains an account;

    (6) A foreign correspondent, defined as any of the following entities for which a Reserve Bank maintains an account: A foreign bank or banker, a foreign state as defined in section 25(b) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 632), or a foreign correspondent or agency referred to in section 14(e) of that act (12 U.S.C. 358); or

    (7) A branch or agency of a foreign bank maintaining reserves under section 7 of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 347d, 3105).

    (q) Fedwire Funds Service and Fedwire have the same meaning as that set forth in § 210.26(e).

    (s) * * *

    (1) The terms not defined herein have the meanings set forth in § 229.2 of this chapter applicable to subpart C or subpart D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC), as appropriate; and

    4. In § 210.3, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 210.3 General provisions.

    (a) General. Each Reserve Bank shall receive and handle items in accordance with this subpart, and shall issue operating circulars governing the details of its handling of items and other matters deemed appropriate by the Reserve Bank. The circulars may, among other things, classify cash items and noncash items, require separate sorts and letters, provide different closing times for the receipt of different classes or types of items, provide for instructions by an Administrative Reserve Bank to other Reserve Banks, set forth terms of services, and establish procedures for adjustments on a Reserve Bank's books, including amounts, waiver of expenses, and payment of compensation. As deemed appropriate by the Reserve Bank, the circulars may also require the sender to provide warranties and indemnities that only items and any noncash items the Reserve Banks have agreed to handle will be sent to the Reserve Banks. The Reserve Banks may provide to a subsequent collecting bank and to the paying bank any warranties and indemnities provided by the sender pursuant to this paragraph.

    5. In § 210.4, revise paragraphs (a), (b)(1)(ii), (b)(1)(iii), and (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 210.4 Sending items to Reserve Banks.

    (a) Sending of items. A sender's Administrative Reserve Bank may direct a sender other than a Reserve Bank to send any item to a specified Reserve Bank, whether or not the item is payable in the Reserve Bank's district.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) The initial sender's Administrative Reserve Bank (which is deemed to have accepted deposit of the item from the initial sender);

    (iii) The Reserve Bank that receives the item from the initial sender (if different from the initial sender's Administrative Reserve Bank); and

    (3) The identity and order of the parties under paragraph (b)(1) of this section determine the relationships and the rights and liabilities of the parties under this subpart, part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC), section 13(1) and section 16(13) of the Federal Reserve Act, and the Uniform Commercial Code. An initial sender's Administrative Reserve Bank that is deemed to accept an item for deposit or handle an item is also deemed to be a sender with respect to that item. The Reserve Banks that are deemed to handle an item are deemed to be agents or subagents of the owner of the item, as provided in § 210.6(a).

    6. In § 210.5, revise paragraphs (a), (c), (d), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 210.5 Sender's agreement; recovery by Reserve Bank.

    (a) Sender's agreement. The warranties, indemnities, authorizations, and agreements made pursuant to this paragraph may not be disclaimed and are made whether or not the item bears an indorsement of the sender. By sending an item to a Reserve Bank, the sender does all of the following.

    (1) Authorization to handle item. The sender authorizes the sender's Administrative Reserve Bank and any other Reserve Bank or collecting bank to which the item is sent to handle the item (and authorizes any Reserve Bank that handles settlement for the item to make accounting entries), subject to this subpart and to the Reserve Banks' operating circulars, and warrants its authority to give this authorization.

    (2) Warranties for all items. The sender warrants to each Reserve Bank handling the item that—

    (i) The sender is a person entitled to enforce the item or authorized to obtain payment of the item on behalf of a person entitled to enforce the item;

    (ii) The item has not been altered; and

    (iii) The item bears all indorsements applied by parties that previously handled the item for forward collection or return.

    (3) Warranties and indemnities as set forth in Regulation CC and U.C.C. As applicable and unless otherwise provided, the sender of an item makes to each Reserve Bank that handles the item all the warranties and indemnities set forth in and subject to the terms of subparts C and D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC) and Article 4 of the U.C.C. The sender makes all the warranties set forth in and subject to the terms of 4-207 of the U.C.C. for an electronic check as if it were an item subject to the U.C.C.

    (4) Warranties and indemnities as set forth in Reserve Bank Operating Circulars. The sender makes any warranties and indemnities regarding the sending of items as set forth in an operating circular issued in accordance with § 210.3(a).

    (5) Sender's liability to Reserve Bank.

    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) and (iii) of this section, the sender agrees to indemnify each Reserve Bank for any loss or expense sustained (including attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation) resulting from—

    (A) The sender's lack of authority to make the warranty in paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

    (B) Any action taken by the Reserve Bank within the scope of its authority in handling the item; or

    (C) Any warranty or indemnity made by the Reserve Bank under § 210.6(b), part 229 of this chapter, the U.C.C., or, regarding the sending of items, an operating circular issued in accordance with § 210.3(a).

    (ii) A sender's liability for warranties and indemnities that the Reserve Bank makes for a substitute check, a paper or electronic representation thereof, or for an electronic check is subject to the following conditions and limitations—

    (A) A sender of an original check shall not be liable under paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section for any amount that the Reserve Bank pays under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter, or under § 229.34 of this chapter with respect to an electronic check, absent the sender's agreement to the contrary; and

    (B) Nothing in this subpart alters the liability of a sender of a substitute check or paper or electronic representation of a substitute check under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter, or a sender of an electronic check under § 229.34 of this chapter.

    (iii) A sender shall not be liable for any amount that the Reserve Bank pays under this subpart or part 229 of this chapter that is attributable to the Reserve Bank's own lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care.

    (c) Recovery by Reserve Bank.

    (1) A Reserve Bank that has handled an item may recover as provided in paragraph (c)(2) if an action or proceeding is brought against (or if defense is tendered to) the Reserve Bank based on—

    (i) The alleged failure of the sender to have the authority to make the warranty and agreement in paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

    (ii) Any action by the Reserve Bank within the scope of its authority in handling the item; or

    (iii) Any warranty or indemnity made by the Reserve Bank under § 210.6(b), part 229 of this chapter, or the U.C.C.

    (2) Upon entry of a final judgment or decree in an action or proceeding described in paragraph (c)(1), a Reserve Bank may recover from the sender the amount of attorneys' fees and other expenses of litigation incurred, as well as any amount the Reserve Bank is required to pay because of the judgment or decree or the tender of defense, together with interest thereon.

    (d) Methods of recovery.

    (1) The Reserve Bank may recover the amount stated in paragraph (c) of this section by charging any account on its books that is maintained or used by the sender (or by charging a Reserve Bank sender), if—

    (i) The Reserve Bank made seasonable written demand on the sender to assume defense of the action or proceeding; and

    (ii) The sender has not made any other arrangement for payment that is acceptable to the Reserve Bank.

    (2) The Reserve Bank is not responsible for defending the action or proceeding before using this method of recovery. A Reserve Bank that has been charged under this paragraph (d) may recover from its sender in the manner and under the circumstances set forth in this paragraph (d).

    (3) A Reserve Bank's failure to avail itself of the remedy provided in this paragraph (d) does not prejudice its enforcement in any other manner of the indemnity agreement referred to in paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

    (e) Security interest. When a sender sends an item to a Reserve Bank, the sender and any prior collecting bank grant to the sender's Administrative Reserve Bank a security interest in all of their respective assets in the possession of, or held for the account of, any Reserve Bank to secure their respective obligations due or to become due to the Administrative Reserve Bank under this subpart or subpart C or D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC). The security interest attaches when a warranty is breached or any other obligation to the Reserve Bank is incurred. If the Reserve Bank, in its sole discretion, deems itself insecure and gives notice thereof to the sender or prior collecting bank, or if the sender or prior collecting bank suspends payments or is closed, the Reserve Bank may take any action authorized by law to recover the amount of an obligation, including, but not limited to, the exercise of rights of set off, the realization on any available collateral, and any other rights it may have as a creditor under applicable law.

    7. Amend § 210.6 by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(2)(iii), (b), and (c); b. Adding paragraph (a)(2)(iv); and c. Removing paragraph (d).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 210.6 Status, warranties, and liability of Reserve Bank.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) As provided in an operating circular issued in accordance with § 210.3(a) regarding the sending of items; and

    (iv) As provided in subparts C and D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (b) Warranties and liability. The following provisions apply when a Reserve Bank presents or sends an item.

    (1) Warranties for all items. The Reserve Bank warrants to a subsequent collecting bank and to the paying bank and any other payor that—

    (i) The Reserve Bank is a person entitled to enforce the item (or is authorized to obtain payment of the item on behalf of a person that is either entitled to enforce the item or authorized to obtain payment on behalf of a person entitled to enforce the item);

    (ii) The item has not been altered; and

    (iii) The item bears all indorsements applied by parties that previously handled the item for forward collection or return.

    (2) Warranties and indemnities as set forth in Reserve Bank Operating Circulars. The Reserve makes any warranties and indemnities regarding the sending of items as set forth in an operating circular issued in accordance with § 210.3(a).

    (3) Warranties and indemnities as set forth in Regulation CC and U.C.C. As applicable and unless otherwise provided, the Reserve Bank makes to a subsequent collecting bank and to the paying bank all the warranties and indemnities set forth in and subject to the terms of subparts C and D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC) and Article 4 of the U.C.C. The Reserve Bank makes all the warranties set forth in and subject to the terms of 4-207 of the U.C.C. for an electronic check as if it were an item subject to the U.C.C.

    (4) Indemnity for substitute check created from an electronic check.

    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section, the Reserve Bank shall indemnify the bank to which it transfers or presents an electronic check (the recipient bank) for the amount of any losses that the recipient bank incurs under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC) for an indemnity that the recipient bank was required to make under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter in connection with a substitute check later created from the electronic check.

    (ii) The Reserve Bank shall not be liable under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section for any amount that the recipient bank pays under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter that is attributable to the lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care of the recipient bank or a person that handled the item, in any form, after the recipient bank.

    (c) Time for commencing action against Reserve Bank.

    (1) A claim against a Reserve Bank for lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care shall be barred unless the action on the claim is commenced within two years after the claim accrues. Such a claim accrues on the date when a Reserve Bank's alleged failure to exercise ordinary care or to act in good faith first results in damages to the claimant.

    (2) A claim that arises under paragraph (b)(3) of this section shall be barred unless the action on the claim is commenced within one year after the claim accrues. Such a claim accrues as of the date on which the claimant first learns, or by which the claimant reasonably should have learned, of the facts and circumstances giving rise to the claim.

    (3) This paragraph (d) does not alter the time limit for claims under § 229.38(g) of this chapter (which include claims for breach of warranty under § 229.34 of this chapter) or subpart D of part 229 of this chapter.

    8. In § 210.7, revise paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 210.7 Presenting items for payment.

    (a) * * *

    (1) A Reserve Bank or a subsequent collecting bank may present an item for payment or send the item for presentment and payment; and

    (b) * * *

    (2) In accordance with § 229.36 of this chapter (Regulation CC);

    9. Amend § 210.9 by: a. Revising paragraphs (b)(2)(i), (b)(3)(i)(A), (b)(3)(i)(B), (b)(4) through (b)(6), paragraphs (c) through (e); and b. Removing paragraph (f).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 210.9 Settlement and payment.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) On the day a paying bank receives a cash item from a Reserve Bank, it shall settle for the item so that the proceeds of the settlement are available to its Administrative Reserve Bank, or return the item, by the latest of—

    (A) The next clock hour or clock half-hour that is at least one half-hour after the paying bank receives the item;

    (B) 8:30 a.m. eastern time; or

    (C) Such later time as provided in the Reserve Banks' operating circulars.

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) On that day, settle for the item so that the proceeds of the settlement are available to its Administrative Reserve Bank, or return the item, by the latest of the next clock hour or clock half-hour that is at least one half-hour after it ordinarily would have received the item, 8:30 a.m. eastern time, or such later time as provided in the Reserve Banks' operating circulars; or

    (B) On the next day that is a banking day for both the paying bank and the Reserve Bank, settle for the item so that the proceeds of the settlement are available to its Administrative Reserve Bank by 8:30 a.m. eastern time on that day or such later time as provided in the Reserve Banks' operating circulars; and compensate the Reserve Bank for the value of the float associated with the item in accordance with procedures provided in the Reserve Bank's operating circular.

    (4) Reserve Bank closed. If a paying bank receives a cash item from a Reserve Bank on a banking day that is not a banking day for the Reserve Bank, the paying bank shall—

    (i) Settle for the item so that the proceeds of the settlement are available to its Administrative Reserve Bank by the close of Fedwire on the Reserve Bank's next banking day, or return the item by midnight of the day it receives the item (if the paying bank fails to settle for or return a cash item in accordance with this paragraph (b)(4)(i), it shall become accountable for the amount of the item as of the close of its banking day on the day it receives the item); and

    (ii) Settle for the item so that the proceeds of the settlement are available to its Administrative Reserve Bank by 8:30 a.m. eastern time on the Reserve Bank's next banking day or such later time as provided in the Reserve Bank's operating circular, or return the item by midnight of the day it receives the item. If the paying bank fails to settle for or return a cash item in accordance with this paragraph (b)(4)(ii), it shall be subject to any applicable overdraft charges. Settlement under this paragraph (b)(4)(ii) satisfies the settlement requirements of paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section.

    (5) Manner of settlement. Settlement with a Reserve Bank under paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section shall be made by debit to an account on the Reserve Bank's books or other form of settlement to which the Reserve Bank agrees, except that the Reserve Bank may, in its discretion, obtain settlement by charging the paying bank's account. A paying bank may not set off against the amount of a settlement under this section the amount of a claim with respect to another cash item, cash letter, or other claim under § 229.34 of this chapter (Regulation CC) or other law.

    (6) Notice in lieu of return. If a cash item is unavailable for return, the paying bank may send a notice in lieu of return as provided in § 229.31(f) of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (c) Noncash items. A Reserve Bank may require the paying or collecting bank to which it has presented or sent a noncash item to pay for the item by a debit to an account maintained or used by the paying or collecting bank on the Reserve Bank's books or by any other form of settlement acceptable to the Reserve Bank.

    (d) Nonbank payor. A Reserve Bank may require a nonbank payor to which it has presented an item to pay for it by debit to an account on the Reserve Bank's books or other form of settlement acceptable to the Reserve Bank.

    (e) Liability of Reserve Bank. Except as set forth in 12 CFR 229.35(b), a Reserve Bank shall not be liable for the failure of a collecting bank, paying bank, or nonbank payor to pay for an item, or for any loss resulting from the Reserve Bank's acceptance of any form of payment other than cash authorized in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. A Reserve Bank that acts in good faith and exercises ordinary care shall not be liable for the nonpayment of, or failure to realize upon, any non-cash form of payment that it accepts under paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section.

    10. In § 210.10, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 210.10 Time schedule and availability of credits for cash items and returned checks.

    (a) Each Reserve Bank shall publish a time schedule indicating when the amount of any cash item or returned check received by it is counted toward the balance maintained to satisfy a reserve balance requirement for purposes of part 204 of this chapter (Regulation D) and becomes available for use by the sender or paying or returning bank. The Reserve Bank that holds the settlement account shall give either immediate or deferred credit to a sender, a paying bank, or a returning bank (other than a foreign correspondent) in accordance with the time schedule of the receiving Reserve Bank. A Reserve Bank ordinarily gives credit to a foreign correspondent only when the Reserve Bank receives payment of the item in actually and finally collected funds, but, in its discretion, a Reserve Bank may give immediate or deferred credit in accordance with its time schedule.

    11. Amend § 210.11 by: a. Revising paragraph (b) and; b. Removing paragraph (c).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 210.11 Availability of proceeds of noncash items; time schedule.

    (b) Time schedule. A Reserve Bank may give credit for the proceeds of a noncash item subject to payment in actually and finally collected funds in accordance with a published time schedule. The time schedule shall indicate when the proceeds of the noncash item will be counted toward the balance maintained to satisfy a reserve balance requirement for purposes of part 204 of this chapter (Regulation D) and become available for use by the sender. A Reserve Bank may, however, refuse at any time to permit the use of credit given by it for a noncash item for which the Reserve Bank has not yet received payment in actually and finally collected funds.

    12. In § 210.12, revise paragraphs (a) and (c) through (g) to read as follows:
    § 210.12 Return of cash items and handling of returned checks.

    (a) Return of items

    (1) Return of cash items handled by Reserve Banks. A paying bank that receives a cash item from a Reserve Bank, other than for immediate payment over the counter, and that settles for the item as provided in § 210.9(b), may, before it has finally paid the item, return the item to any Reserve Bank (unless its Administrative Reserve Bank directs it to return the item to a specific Reserve Bank) in accordance with subpart C of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC), the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Reserve Banks' operating circulars. A paying bank that receives a cash item from a Reserve Bank also may return the item prior to settlement, in accordance with § 210.9(b) of this subpart and the Reserve Banks' operating circulars. The rules or practices of a clearinghouse through which the item was presented, or a special collection agreement under which the item was presented, may not extend these return times, but may provide for a shorter return time.

    (2) Return of checks not handled by Reserve Banks. A paying bank that receives a check, other than from a Reserve Bank, and that determines not to pay the check, may send the returned check to any Reserve Bank (unless its Administrative Reserve Bank directs it to send the returned check to a specific Reserve Bank) in accordance with subpart C of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC), the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Reserve Banks' operating circulars. A returning bank may send a returned check to any Reserve Bank (unless its Administrative Reserve Bank directs it to send the returned check to a specific Reserve Bank) in accordance with subpart C of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC), the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Reserve Banks' operating circulars.

    (c) Paying bank's and returning bank's agreement. The warranties, indemnities, authorizations, and agreements made pursuant to this paragraph may not be disclaimed and are made whether or not the returned check bears an indorsement of the paying bank or returning bank. By sending a returned check to a Reserve Bank, the paying bank or returning bank does all of the following.

    (1) Authorization to handled returned check. The paying bank or returning bank authorizes the paying bank's or returning bank's Administrative Reserve Bank, and any other Reserve Bank or returning bank to which the returned check is sent, to handle the returned check (and authorizes any Reserve Bank that handles settlement for the returned check to make accounting entries) subject to this subpart and to the Reserve Banks' operating circulars.

    (2) Warranties for all returned checks. The paying bank or returning bank warrants to each Reserve Bank handling a returned check that the returned check bears all indorsements applied by parties that previously handled the returned check for forward collection or return.

    (3) Warranties and indemnities as set forth in Regulation CC. As applicable and unless otherwise provided, a paying bank or returning bank makes to each Reserve Bank that handles the returned check all the warranties and indemnities set forth in and subject to the terms of subparts C and D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (4) Paying bank or returning bank's liability to Reserve Bank.

    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(4)(ii) and (iii) of this section, a paying bank or returning bank agrees to indemnify each Reserve Bank for any loss or expense (including attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation) resulting from—

    (A) The paying or returning bank's lack of authority to give the authorization in paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

    (B) Any action taken by a Reserve Bank within the scope of its authority in handling the returned check; or

    (C) Any warranty or indemnity made by the Reserve Bank under paragraph (e) of this section or part 229 of this chapter.

    (ii) A paying bank's or returning bank's liability for warranties and indemnities that a Reserve Bank makes for a returned check that is a substitute check, a paper or electronic representation thereof, or an electronic returned check is subject to the following conditions and limitations—

    (A) A paying bank or returning bank that sent an original returned check shall not be liable for any amount that a Reserve Bank pays under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter, or under § 229.34 of this chapter with respect to an electronic returned check, absent the paying bank's or returning bank's agreement to the contrary;

    (B) Nothing in this subpart alters the liability under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter of a paying bank or returning bank that sent a substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check or under § 229.34 of this chapter of a paying bank or returning bank that sent an electronic returned check; and

    (iii) A paying bank or returning bank shall not be liable for any amount that the Reserve Bank pays under this subpart or part 229 of this chapter that is attributable to the Reserve Bank's own lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care.

    (d) Paying bank or returning bank's liability under other law. Nothing in paragraph (c) of this section limits any warranty or indemnity by a returning bank or paying bank (or a person that handled an item prior to that bank) arising under state law or regulation (such as the U.C.C.), other federal law or regulation (such as part 229 of this chapter), or an agreement with a Reserve Bank.

    (e) Warranties by and liability of Reserve Bank.

    (1) The following provisions apply when a Reserve Bank handles a returned check under this subpart.

    (i) Warranties for all items. The Reserve Bank warrants to the bank to which it sends the returned check that the returned check bears all indorsements applied by parties that previously handled the returned check for forward collection or return.

    (ii) Warranties and indemnities as set forth in Regulation CC. As applicable and unless otherwise provided, the Reserve Bank makes to the bank to which it sends the returned check all the warranties and indemnities set forth in and subject to the terms of subparts C and D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (2) Indemnity for substitute check created from electronic returned check.

    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, the Reserve Bank shall indemnify the bank to which it transfers or presents and electronic returned check (the recipient bank) for the amount of any losses that the recipient bank incurs under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC) for an indemnity that the recipient bank was required to make under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter in connection with a substitute check later created from the electronic returned check.

    (ii) The Reserve Bank shall not be liable under paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section for any amount that the recipient bank pays under subpart D of part 229 of this chapter that is attributable to the lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care of the recipient bank or a person that handled the item, in any form, after the recipient bank.

    (3) A Reserve Bank shall not have or assume any other liability to any person except—

    (i) For the Reserve Bank's own lack of good faith or failure to exercise ordinary care;

    (ii) As provided in this paragraph (e); and

    (iii) As provided in subparts C and D of part 229 of this chapter (Regulation CC).

    (f) Recovery by Reserve Bank.

    (1) A Reserve Bank that has handled a returned check may recover as provided in paragraph (f)(2) if an action or proceeding is brought against (or if defense is tendered to) the Reserve Bank based on—

    (i) The alleged failure of the paying bank or returning bank to have the authority to give the authorization in paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

    (ii) Any action by the Reserve Bank within the scope of its authority in handling the returned check; or

    (iii) Any warranty or indemnity made by the Reserve Bank under paragraph (e) of this section or part 229 of this chapter,

    (2) Upon entry of a final judgment or decree in an action or proceeding described in paragraph (f)(1), a Reserve Bank may recover from the paying bank or returning bank the amount of attorneys' fees and other expenses of litigation incurred, as well as any amount the Reserve Bank is required to pay because of the judgment or decree or the tender of defense, together with interest thereon.

    (g) Methods of recovery.

    (1) The Reserve Bank may recover the amount stated in paragraph (f) of this section by charging any account on its books that is maintained or used by the paying bank or returning bank (or by charging another returning Reserve Bank), if—

    (i) The Reserve Bank made seasonable written demand on the paying bank or returning bank to assume defense of the action or proceeding; and

    (ii) The paying bank or returning bank has not made any other arrangement for payment that is acceptable to the Reserve Bank.

    (2) The Reserve Bank is not responsible for defending the action or proceeding before using this method of recovery. A Reserve Bank that has been charged under this paragraph (g) may recover from the paying or returning bank in the manner and under the circumstances set forth in this paragraph (g).

    (3) A Reserve Bank's failure to avail itself of the remedy provided in this paragraph (g) does not prejudice its enforcement in any other manner of the indemnity agreement referred to in paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

    13. Amend § 210.25 by: a. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (b)(2); and b. Adding paragraph (e).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    Subpart B—Funds Transfers Through Fedwire
    § 210.25 Authority, purpose, and scope.

    (b) * * *

    (2) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section, including Article 4A as incorporated herein, and operating circulars of the Reserve Banks issued in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, this subpart governs the rights and obligations of:

    (e) Financial Messaging Standards. Financial messaging standards (e.g., ISO 20022), including the financial messaging components, elements, technical documentation, tags, and terminology used to implement those standards, do not confer or connote legal status or responsibilities. This subpart, including Article 4A as incorporated herein, and the operating circulars of the Reserve Banks issued in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section govern the rights and obligations of parties to funds transfers sent through the Fedwire Funds Service as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. To the extent there is any inconsistency between a financial messaging standard adopted by the Fedwire Funds Service and this subpart, this subpart shall prevail.

    14. In § 210.26, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 210.26 Definitions.

    (e) Fedwire Funds Service and Fedwire means the funds-transfer system owned and operated by the Federal Reserve Banks that is used primarily for the transmission and settlement of payment orders governed by this subpart. Fedwire does not include the system for making automated clearing house transfers.

    §§ 210.9, 210.25, and 210.29 [Amended]
    15. In addition to the amendments set forth above, in 12 CFR part 210, remove the words “Fedwire” and add, in their place, the words “the Fedwire Funds Service” in the following places:

    (a) Section 210.9(b)(4)(i)(A);

    (b) Sections 210.25(a), (b)(3); and

    (c) Section 210.29(b).

    Appendix A to subpart B of part 210 [Amended]

    16. In Appendix A to subpart B of part 210:

    (a) Under “Section 210.25—Authority, Purpose, and Scope”, add paragraph (e).

    (b) Under “Section 210.32—Federal Reserve Bank Liability; Payment of Interest”, revise paragraph (b).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 210—Commentary

    Section 210.25—Authority, Purpose, and Scope

    (e) Financial messaging standards. This paragraph makes clear that financial messaging standards, including the financial messaging components, elements, technical documentation, tags, and terminology used to implement those standards, do not confer or connote legal status or responsibilities. Instead, subpart B of Regulation J and Federal Reserve Bank operating circulars govern the rights and obligations of parties to funds transfers sent through the Fedwire Funds Service as provided in section 210.25(b). Thus, to the extent there is any inconsistency between a financial messaging standard adopted by the Fedwire Funds Service and subpart B of Regulation J, subpart B of Regulation J, including Article 4A as adopted in its appendix, will prevail. In the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard, for example, the term agent is used to refer to a variety of bank parties to a funds transfer (e.g., debtor agent, creditor agent, intermediary agent). Notwithstanding use of that term in the standard and in message tags, such banks are not the agents of any party to a funds transfer and owe no duty to any other party to such a funds transfer except as provided in subpart B of Regulation J (including Article 4A) or by express agreement. The ISO 20022 financial messaging standard also permits information to be carried in a funds-transfer message regarding persons that are not parties to that funds transfer (e.g., ultimate debtor, ultimate creditor, initiating party) for regulatory, compliance, remittance, or other purposes. An “ultimate debtor” is not an “originator” as defined in Article 4A. The relationship between the ultimate debtor and the originator (what the ISO 20022 standard calls the “debtor”) is determined by law other than Article 4A.

    Section 210.32—Federal Reserve Bank Liability; Payment of Interest

    (b) Payment of interest. (1) Under article 4A, a Federal Reserve Bank may be required to pay compensation in the form of interest to another party in connection with its handling of a funds transfer. For example, payment of compensation in the form of interest is required in certain situations pursuant to sections 4A-204 (relating to refund of payment and duty of customer to report with respect to unauthorized payment order), 4A-209 (relating to acceptance of payment order), 4A-210 (relating to rejection of payment order), 4A-304 (relating to duty of sender to report erroneously executed payment order), 4A-305 (relating to liability for late or improper execution or failure to execute a payment order), 4A-402 (relating to obligation of sender to pay receiving bank), and 4A-404 (relating to obligation of beneficiary's bank to pay and give notice to beneficiary).

    (2) Section 210.32(b) requires Federal Reserve Banks to provide compensation through an explicit interest payment. Under section 4A-506(a), the amount of such interest may be determined by agreement between the sender and receiving bank or by funds-transfer system rule. If there is no such agreement, under section 4A-506(b), the amount of interest is based on the federal funds rate.

    Similarly, compensation in the form of explicit interest will be paid to government senders, receiving banks, or beneficiaries described in § 210.25(d) if they are entitled to interest under this subpart. A Federal Reserve Bank may also, in its discretion, pay explicit interest directly to a remote party to a Fedwire funds transfer that is entitled to interest, rather than providing compensation to its direct sender or receiving bank.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 28, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-04486 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-007; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-18] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Mesquite, NV AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Mesquite Airport, Mesquite, NV, by enlarging the area southwest of the airport and updating the airport's geographic coordinates to match the FAA's aeronautical database. These changes are necessary to accommodate new area navigation (RNAV) procedures at this airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2018-007; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-18, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    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 https://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:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198-6547; telephone (206) 231-2253.

    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 at Mesquite Airport, Mesquite, NV to support IFR operations at the airport.

    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. Persons 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-2018-007; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-18”. 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 Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198-6547.

    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 modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Mesquite Airport, Mesquite, NV, to within 2.5 miles northwest and 5.5 miles southeast (from 1.8 miles each side) of the airport 233° bearing (from the Mormon Mesa VORTAC 068° bearing) extending to 10 miles southwest of the airport. This proposed airspace redesign is necessary to accommodate new RNAV procedures for this airport.

    Additionally, this action would update the geographic coordinates of the airport to match the FAA's aeronautical database.. 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. AWP NV E5 Mesquite, NV [Amended] Mesquite Airport, NV (Lat. 36°49′59″ N, long. 114°03′21″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Mesquite Airport and within 2.5 miles northwest and 5.5 miles southeast of the airport 233° bearing extending from the airport to 10 miles southwest of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on March 5, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05043 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0006; Airspace Docket No. 18-AGL-1] Proposed Amendment of Class D Airspace; Appleton, WI AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class D airspace at Appleton International Airport (formerly Outagamie County Airport), Appleton, WI. The FAA is proposing this action due to the decommissioning of the GAMIE locator outer marker (LOM) and collocated outer marker (OM) which provided navigation guidance to the airport. This action would enhance the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport. Also, the airport name and geographic coordinates would be adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. Additionally, this action would replace the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement” in the legal description, remove the city associated with the airport name in the airspace designation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 30, 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-2018-0006; Airspace Docket No. 18-AGL-1 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 https://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:

    Walter Tweedy, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5900.

    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 D airspace, at Appleton International Airport, Appleton, WI, to support instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    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-2018-0006/Airspace Docket No. 18-AGL-1.” 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 modifying Class D airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,400 feet MSL within a 4.2-mile radius (decreased from a 4.4-mile radius) of Appleton International Airport (formerly Outagamie County Airport), Appleton, WI. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the GAMIE LOM/OM.

    This proposal also would update the airport name and geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    Additionally, this action would make an editorial change to the Class D airspace legal description replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement”.

    Finally, an editorial change would be made removing the name of the city associated with the airport name in the airspace designation to comply with a recent change to FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Actions, dated October 12, 2017.

    Class D airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1

    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 5000 Class D Airspace. AGL WI D Appleton, WI [Amended] Appleton International Airport, WI (Lat. 44°15′29″ N, long 88°31′09″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,400 feet MSL within a 4.2-mile radius of Appleton International Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 8, 2018. Christopher L. Southerland, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05194 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0129; Airspace Docket No. 18-AEA-4] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Altoona, PA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Altoona-Blair County Airport, Altoona, PA. This action would accommodate airspace reconfiguration due to the decommissioning of Altoona VHF omnidirectional range navigation system (VOR) and cancellation of the VOR approaches. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA-2018-0129; Airspace Docket No. 18-AEA-4, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line 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 https://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:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    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 at Altoona-Blair County Airport, Altoona, PA, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on 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 (Docket No. FAA-2018-0129 and Airspace Docket No. 18-AEA-4) and be submitted in triplicate to DOT Docket Operations (see ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number.) You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2018-0129; Airspace Docket No. 18-AEA-4.” 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 document may be changed in light of the comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the comment closing date. 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 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 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337.

    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 considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface due to the decommissioning of the Altoona VOR and cancelation of associated approaches at Altoona-Blair County Airport, Altoona, PA.

    The Class E surface area airspace would be amended to within a 4.7-mile (from a 4-mile) radius of the airport, with a segment 1.0-mile each side of the 026° bearing from the airport to 8.7 miles northeast. The segment extending from the Altoona VOR to 7.4 miles northeast of the VOR would be removed.

    The Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be amended to within an 11.2-mile (from a 6.5-mile) radius of the airport. The segment extending from the Altoona VOR to 16 miles northeast of the VOR would be removed. These changes would enhance the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraphs 6002 and 6005, respectively 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 designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. 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 proposed rule, when promulgated, will 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.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, 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 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 Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Airspace. AEA PA E2 Altoona, PA [Amended] Altoona-Blair County Airport, PA (Lat. 40°17′47″ N, long. 78°19′12″ W)

    Within a 4.7-mile radius of Altoona-Blair County Airport and within 1 mile each side of the 026° bearing from the airport to 8.7 miles northeast of the airport.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AEA PA E5 Altoona, PA [Amended] Altoona-Blair County Airport, PA (Lat. 40°17′47″ N, long. 78°19′12 W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 11.2-mile radius of Altoona-Blair County Airport

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on March 6, 2018. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05052 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0787; FRL-9974-72] Receipt of a Pesticide Petition Filed for Residues of Pyroxasulfone in or on Various Commodities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notification of filing of petition and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the Agency's receipt of an initial filing of a pesticide petition requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0787, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Goodis, Registration Division (RD) (7505P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    The mailing address for each contact person is: Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. As part of the mailing address, include the contact person's name, division, and mail code. The division to contact is listed at the end of each application summary.

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low-income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is announcing receipt of a pesticide petition filed under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, requesting the establishment or modification of regulations in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various food commodities. The Agency is taking public comment on the request before responding to the petitioner. EPA is not proposing any particular action at this time. EPA has determined that the pesticide petition described in this document contains data or information prescribed in FFDCA section 408(d)(2), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(2); however, EPA has not fully evaluated the sufficiency of the submitted data at this time or whether the data supports granting of the pesticide petition. After considering the public comments, EPA intends to evaluate whether and what action may be warranted. Additional data may be needed before EPA can make a final determination on this pesticide petition.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 180.7(f), a summary of the petition that is the subject of this document, prepared by the petitioner, is included in a docket EPA has created for this rulemaking. The docket for this petition is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

    As specified in FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), EPA is publishing notice of the petition so that the public has an opportunity to comment on this request for the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticides in or on food commodities. Further information on the petition may be obtained through the petition summary referenced in this unit.

    PP 6F8521. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0787). K-I Chemical USA, Inc., 11 Martine Ave., Suite 970, White Plains, NY 10606, requests to establish tolerances in 40 CFR 180.659 for residues of the herbicide, pyroxasulfone (3-[(5-(difluoromethoxy)-1-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl) pyrazole-4-ylmethylsulfonyl]-4,5-dihydro-5,5-dimethyl-1,2-oxazole), and its metabolites in or on Crop Subgroup 1C, tuberous and corm vegetables (except granular/flakes and chips) at 0.05 part per million (ppm); Crop Subgroup 3-07, bulb vegetables at 0.15 ppm; potatoes, granular/flakes at 0.3 ppm and potato chips at 0.06 ppm. The high performance liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) methods has been proposed to enforce the tolerance expression for pyroxasulfone. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 346a.

    Dated: February 28, 2018. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05291 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families 45 CFR Part 1355 RIN 0970-AC72 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System AGENCY:

    Children's Bureau (CB), Administration on Children Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    ACF is seeking public suggestions, in particular from state and tribal title IV-E agencies and Indian tribes and tribal consortiums and other stakeholders, for streamlining the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data elements and removing any undue burden related to reporting AFCARS.

    DATES:

    Comments on this advance notice of proposed rulemaking must be received by June 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by [docket number and/or RIN number], by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include [docket number and/or RIN number] in subject line of the message.

    Mail: Written comments may be submitted to Kathleen McHugh, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Director, Policy Division, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20024. Please be aware that mail sent in response to this ANPRM may take an additional 3 to 4 days to process due to security screening of mail.

    Instructions: When commenting, please identify the topic, data element, or issue to which your comment pertains. All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathleen McHugh, Division of Policy, Children's Bureau at (202) 401-5789.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) has two sections: Background that describes the authority on which the ANPRM is based and establishes the rationale for its issuance, and Questions for Comment wherein we solicit comment on the AFCARS regulations.

    I. Background

    Section 479 of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires HHS to regulate a data collection system for national adoption and foster care data that provides comprehensive national information on the following:

    • Demographic characteristics of adopted and foster children and their biological and adoptive or foster parents;

    • Status and characteristics of the foster care population;

    • Number and characteristics of children entering and exiting foster care, children adopted or for whom adoptions have been terminated, and children placed in foster care outside of the state which has placement and care responsibility for them;

    • Extent and nature of assistance provided by government programs for foster care and adoption and the characteristics of the children that receive the assistance; and

    • Number of foster children identified as sex trafficking victims before entering and while in foster care.

    Section 474(f) of the Act requires HHS to impose penalties for non-compliant AFCARS data. Section 1102 of the Act instructs the Secretary to promulgate regulations necessary for the effective administration of the functions for which HHS is responsible under the Act.

    We published a final rule to revise the AFCARS regulations on December 14, 2016 (81 FR 90524) and required title IV-E agencies to continue to report AFCARS data in accordance with § 1355.40 and the appendix to part 1355 until September 30, 2019 and provided two fiscal years for title IV-E agencies to comply with §§ 1355.41 through 1355.47 of the final rule. In a notice of proposed rulemaking published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we propose to delay the compliance dates in regulations and the effective date of revisions to the AFCARS regulations made in the final rule from October 1, 2019, to October 1, 2021.

    The final rule was a culmination of two notices of proposed rulemaking (issued January 11, 2008 (73 FR 2082) and February 9, 2015 (80 FR 7132)) and a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (issued April 7, 2016 (81 FR 20283)). The final rule updated the AFCARS regulations to include child welfare legislative changes that occurred since 1993, included data elements related to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), and implemented fiscal penalties for noncompliant AFCARS data.

    On February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda to lower regulatory burdens on the American people. In response to the President's direction that federal agencies establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to review existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, we have identified the AFCARS regulation as one in which the reporting burden may impose costs that exceed benefits. We are specifically soliciting comments on the data elements and their associated burden through this ANPRM.

    Public comments to this ANPRM will allow us to assess whether and how we can potentially reduce burden on title IV-E agencies to report AFCARS data while still adhering to the requirements of section 479 of the Act and collecting useful data that will inform efforts to improve the child welfare system. We encourage state and tribal title IV-E agencies that did not previously comment to do so now. Some state title IV-E agencies provided in their previous comments specific information on compliance cost and burden estimates; however, we received too few estimates to reference for calculating the cost and burden associated with this final rule. We encourage agencies to be as specific as possible when commenting on this ANPRM. We will take comments and estimates into consideration in revising the regulation.

    For a full picture of the AFCARS regulation, we invite commenters to review the AFCARS regulation and accompanying information that CB issued on our website, which can be found here: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/laws-policies/whats-new.

    II. Questions for Comment

    1. Identify the data elements, non-ICWA-related, that are overly burdensome for state and tribal title IV-E agencies and explain why. Please be specific in identifying the data elements and provide a rationale for why collecting and reporting this information is overly burdensome. If possible, provide specific cost and burden estimates related to the following areas:

    a. Recordkeeping hours spent annually:

    i. Searching data sources, gathering information, and entering the information into the electronic case management system,

    ii. Developing or modifying procedures and systems to collect, validate, and verify the information and adjusting existing procedures to comply with AFCARS requirements, and

    iii. Training and administrative tasks associated with training personnel on the AFCARS requirements (e.g., reviewing instructions, developing the training and manuals).

    b. Reporting hours spent annually extracting the information for AFCARS reporting and transmitting the information to ACF.

    2. Previously, we received comments regarding burden and the system changes needed to report the ICWA-related data elements of the 2016 SNPRM. We would like to receive more detailed comments on the specific limitations we should be aware of that states will encounter in reporting the ICWA-related data elements in the final rule. Please be specific in identifying the data elements and provide a rationale for why this information is overly burdensome. If possible, provide specific cost and burden estimates related to the following areas:

    a. The number of children in foster care who are considered Indian children as defined in ICWA.

    b. Recordkeeping hours spent annually:

    i. Searching data sources, gathering information, and entering the information into the electronic case management system,

    ii. Developing or modifying procedures and systems to collect, validate, and verify the information and adjusting existing ways to comply with AFCARS requirements, and

    iii. Training and administrative tasks associated with training personnel on the AFCARS requirements (e.g., reviewing instructions, developing the training and manuals).

    c. Reporting hours spent annually extracting the information for AFCARS reporting and transmitting the information to ACF.

    3. Previously, we received comments that particular data elements did not lend themselves to national statistics and were best assessed with qualitative methods such as case review. Please provide specific recommendations on which data elements in the regulation to retain that are important to understanding and assessing the foster care population at the national level. Also, provide a rationale for your suggestion that may include its relevance to monitor compliance with the title IV-B and IV-E programs or another strong justification for using the data at the national level.

    4. Previously we received comments noting concerns with variability in some of the data elements across states and within jurisdictions. Please provide specific suggestions to simplify data elements to facilitate the consistent collection and reporting of AFCARS data. Also, provide a rationale for each suggestion and how the simplification would still yield pertinent data.

    5. Previously we received comments questioning the utility, reliability, and purpose of certain data elements at the national level. Provide specific recommendations on which data elements in the regulation to remove because they would not yield reliable national information about children involved with the child welfare system or are not needed for monitoring the title IV-B and IV-E programs. Please be specific in identifying the data elements and provide a rationale for why this information would not be reliable or is not necessary.

    Dated: February 27, 2018. Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Approved: March 8, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05042 Filed 3-13-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families 45 CFR Part 1355 RIN 0970-AC47 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System AGENCY:

    Children's Bureau (CB); Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF); Administration for Children and Families (ACF); Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; delay of compliance and effective dates.

    SUMMARY:

    The Children's Bureau proposes to delay the compliance and effective dates in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) 2016 final rule for title IV-E agencies to comply with agency rules for an additional two fiscal years. We propose to delay the compliance and effective dates at the same time we seek public comment through an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, on suggestions to streamline the AFCARS data elements and remove any undue burden related to reporting AFCARS.

    DATES:

    In order to be considered, we must receive written comments on this NPRM on or before April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by [docket number and/or RIN number], by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include [docket number and/or RIN number] in subject line of the message.

    Mail: Written comments may be submitted to Kathleen McHugh, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Director, Policy Division, 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20024. Please be aware that mail sent in response to this NPRM may take an additional 3 to 4 days to process due to security screening of mail.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathleen McHugh, Division of Policy, Children's Bureau at (202) 401-5789.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the AFCARS final rule issued on December 14, 2016 (81 FR 90524), ACF provided an implementation timeframe of two fiscal years for title IV-E agencies to comply with 45 CFR 1355.41 through 1355.47 (81 FR 90529). On February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. In response to the President's direction that federal agencies establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to review existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, the HHS Task Force identified the AFCARS regulation as one where there may be areas for reducing reporting burden.

    Therefore, we are engaging in two regulatory actions to adhere to our obligations under the EO. Through this NPRM, ACF proposes to revise § 1355.40 to provide an additional two fiscal years to comply with §§ 1355.41 through 1355.47. ACF also proposes to delay the effective dates of instructions 3 and 5 in the rule published December 14, 2016 (81 FR 90524), from October 1, 2019, to October 1, 2021. If this rule is finalized, the implementation timeframe would be delayed for title IV-E agencies to make revisions to their systems to comply with §§ 1355.41 through 1355.47. This NPRM is open for a 30-day comment period. Per Executive Order 12866, the typical comment period is 60 days. However, the reasons for the shorter comment period for this NPRM is that any delay in issuing a final rulemaking might lead to title IV-E agencies diverting resources to unnecessary changes to their systems to comply with the December 2016 AFCARS final rule. Furthermore, this rule does not establish additional regulatory obligations or impose any additional burden on regulated entities. ACF believes that a 30-day comment period on this non-substantive rulemaking is a sufficient amount of time for the public to comment and ACF does not believe that a 30-day comment period will hamper public comment. ACF is publishing an ANPRM elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register to seek suggestions on streamlining the data elements and potentially reducing burden to title IV-E agencies to report AFCARS data.

    Section-by-Section Discussion Section 1355.40 Foster Care and Adoption Data Collection

    We propose to revise the compliance date in the regulation to provide an additional two fiscal years to comply with §§ 1355.41 through 1355.47. State and tribal title IV-E agencies must continue to report AFCARS data in the same manner they do currently, per § 1355.40 and appendices A through E of part 1355 until September 30, 2021. We propose that as of October 1, 2021, state and tribal title IV-E agencies must comply with §§ 1355.41 through 1355.47.

    In assessing the AFCARS regulation in response to E.O. 13777, we identified the following issues:

    • In the December 2016 final rule, there are 272 individual data points, of which 153 data points are new items added to AFCARS. Of the 153 data points, 65 are new items related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

    • State commenters expressed concerns with data points that could not be easily reported to AFCARS because they are qualitative data points of which nuances about the circumstances of the child cannot be reported to AFCARS a quantitative data system, they are of a sensitive nature, or could not be aggregated easily at the national level for national statistics. These points included child, adoptive parent, guardian, and foster parent sexual orientation, health assessments, educational information, adoption and guardianship subsidy amounts, and information on legal guardians.

    • The scope and complexity of data elements related to ICWA was also a concern. We note that most of the ICWA-related data elements in the December 2016 AFCARS final rule are not tied to statutory reporting requirements in title IV-E or IV-B. Rather, they were finalized to be consistent with the Department of Interior's (DOI) final rule on ICWA (published on June 14, 2016, 81 FR 38778) which is directed to state courts. Furthermore, the majority of the ICWA-related data elements related to activities undertaken by the court are not routinely collected in child welfare electronic databases. The court findings and other activity taking place before the court represent a shift away from a child welfare agency reporting on its own activity to reporting on the activity of an independent third party. This raises questions of efficiency, reliability and consistency, which section 479(c)(1) and 479(c)(2) of the Social Security Act require for the AFCARS data collection.

    • We also anticipate states having many questions about how to report the ICWA-related data elements. HHS has no expertise in ICWA compliance, statute, and regulations and is not the cognizant authority over it, yet the December 2016 final rule places HHS in the position of interpreting various ICWA requirements when providing technical assistance to state title IV-E agencies on how to report on those data elements. How states report the data ultimately impacts practice, potentially introducing inconsistency with DOJ and DOI's interpretation of ICWA.

    • Costs for system changes, training to consistently collect and report ICWA-related data and time to gather/enter data (sometimes manually) into the case management system.

    The Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that added the ICWA compliance data elements to the AFCARS was only open for comment for 30 days. This was an insufficient amount of time for states to fairly analyze unfamiliar data elements, accurately calculate burden associated with these elements, and move any comments through their chain of command for submission to HHS for consideration. The ANPRM, on the other hand, will be open for comment for 90 days. It asks title IV-E agencies and the public to comment on the data elements of the December 2016 final rule.

    Therefore, in order to get additional feedback on these and other issues we are issuing a proposed rule to delay implementation of the December 2016 AFCARS final rule. As States must go to the expense to revise their data collection systems in response to the December 2016 final rule, we do not want states to incur these costs unnecessarily as we further assess burden under the rule. This is an opportunity for commenters to provide HHS with specific feedback on the data elements and how HHS can revise AFCARS to balance updating requirements, the need for better data, and the burden on title IV-E agencies. Through the aforementioned ANPRM commenters will have the opportunity to tie ICWA related data elements to HHS functions/provisions thus adequately justifying their inclusion in the AFCARS collection.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. ACF consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this rule does meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866. Thus, it was subject to OMB review. ACF determined that the costs to title IV-E agencies as a result of this rule will not be significant as defined in Executive Order 12866 (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). Because the rule is not economically significant as defined in E.O. 12866, no cost-benefit analysis needs to be included in this NPRM. This proposed rule, if finalized as proposed, would be considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action.

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Secretary certifies, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), as enacted by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354), that this proposed rule will not result in a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule does not affect small entities because it is applicable only to state and tribal title IV-E agencies.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before proposing any rule that may result in an annual expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation). That threshold level is currently approximately $146 million. This proposed rule does not impose any mandates on state, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector that will result in an annual expenditure of $146 million or more.

    Congressional Review

    This regulation is not a major rule as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8.

    Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-58) requires federal agencies to determine whether a policy or regulation may affect family well-being. If the agency's determination is affirmative, then the agency must prepare an impact assessment addressing seven criteria specified in the law. This proposed rule will not have an impact on family well-being as defined in the law.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 35, as amended) (PRA), all Departments are required to submit to OMB for review and approval any reporting or recordkeeping requirements inherent in a proposed or final rule. PRA rules require that ACF estimate the total burden created by this proposed rule regardless of what information is available. ACF provides burden and cost estimates using the best available information. Information collection for AFCARS is currently authorized under OMB number 0970-0422. This notice of proposed rulemaking does not make changes to the AFCARS requirements for title IV-E agencies; it delays the effective date and provides title IV-E agencies with additional time to comply with sections 1355.41 through 1355.47. Thus, the annual burden hours for recordkeeping and reporting does not change from those currently authorized under OMB number 0970-0422. Therefore, we are not seeking comments on any information collection requirements through this NPRM.

    List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 1355

    Adoption and foster care, Child welfare, Computer technology, Grant programs—social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 93.658, Foster Care Maintenance; 93.659, Adoption Assistance; 93.645, Child Welfare Services—State Grants). Dated: February 27, 2018. Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Approved: March 8, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, we propose to amend 45 CFR part 1355 as follows:

    PART 1355—GENERAL 1. The authority citation for part 1355 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 620 et seq., 42 U.S.C. 670 et seq., 42 U.S.C. 1302.

    2. Amend § 1355.40 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    §  1355.40 Foster care and adoption data collection.

    (a) Scope. State and tribal title IV-E agencies must follow the requirements of this section and appendices A through E of this part until September 30, 2021. As of October 1, 2021, state and tribal title IV-E agencies must comply with §§ 1355.41 through 1355.47.

    [FR Doc. 2018-05038 Filed 3-13-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-25-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 17-287, 11-42, and 09-197; Report No. 3087] Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petitions for Reconsideration; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) published a document in the Federal Register of March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8962), regarding Petitions for Reconsideration filed in the Commission's rulemaking proceeding. The document contained the incorrect deadline for filing replies to an opposition to the Petitions. This document corrects the deadline for replies to an opposition to the Petitions.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed on or before March 19, 2018. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before March 29, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of March 2, 2018, in FR Doc. 2018-04359, on page 8962, in the third column, correct the DATES section to read:

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed on or before March 19, 2018. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before March 29, 2018.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05202 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB64 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Withdrawal of the Proposed Rule To List Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley Spineflower) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), withdraw our September 15, 2016, proposed rule to list Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley spineflower), a plant from southern California, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This withdrawal is based on our conclusion that the threats to this plant, as identified in the proposed rule, are no longer as significant as we believed them to be when we issued the proposed rule. We base this conclusion on our analysis of current and future threats and conservation efforts. We find the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that the threats to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat have been reduced below the level where this plant would meet the statutory definition of threatened or endangered. Therefore, we are withdrawing our proposal to list C. parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species.

    DATES:

    The proposed rule that published on September 15, 2016 (81 FR 63454), to list Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species under the Act, is withdrawn on March 15, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    This document, comments on our proposed rule, and supplementary documents are available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078. Comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation used in the preparation of this withdrawal, are also available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93001; telephone 805-644-1766.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003; telephone 805-644-1766. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish this document. Under the Endangered Species Act, a species may warrant protection through listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Listing a species as an endangered or threatened species can only be completed by issuing a rule. We issued a proposed rule to list Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina in 2016. This document withdraws that proposed rule because, based on our evaluation of the best scientific and commercial information available at this time, we have determined that threats have been reduced such that listing is no longer necessary for this plant.

    The basis for our action. Under the Endangered Species Act, we can determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that threats have been reduced such that listing is no longer necessary for this plant.

    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from independent specialists to ensure that our analysis was based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We invited these peer reviewers to comment on the information we relied upon in making our listing proposal, including the Species Report for the San Fernando Valley Spineflower (Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina) (Service 2016). We also considered all comments and information we received during the comment periods.

    Previous Federal Actions

    On September 15, 2016, we published a proposed rule (81 FR 63454) to list Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Please refer to this proposed rule for information on Federal actions prior to September 15, 2016.

    Under section 4(b)(6) of the Act, the Service is required to make a final listing determination within 1 year from the publication of the proposed rule, by publishing either a final listing rule or a withdrawal of the proposed rule, or extending the final determination by not more than 6 months under certain circumstances specified in the Act. On July 19, 2017, the Service published a 6-month extension of the final determination on the proposed threatened status for C. parryi var. fernandina and reopened the comment period on the proposal for an additional 30 days (82 FR 33035).

    After publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, the Service and the Newhall Land and Farming Company (Newhall Land) developed a candidate conservation agreement (2017 CCA) for C. parryi var. fernandina to implement conservation measures to improve the status of the plant. On November 13, 2017 (82 FR 52262), the Service reopened the comment period on the proposed rule to list C. parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species for an additional 30 days so that interested parties and the public could review and comment on the additional conservation measures provided by the 2017 CCA.

    During all three comment periods on the September 15, 2016, proposed rule, the Service requested additional information on the status of C. parryi var. fernandina or its habitat so that we could analyze this additional information as part of the final listing process. As part of our analysis, we also evaluated the certainty of effectiveness and certainty of implementation of the additional conservation measures that the 2017 CCA signatories have committed to implement.

    Background

    A thorough review of information that we relied on in making this determination—including information on taxonomy, life history, ecology, population distribution and abundance, land ownership, and potential threats—is presented in the Species Report for the San Fernando Valley Spineflower (Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina) (Species Report; Service 2016), available on the internet at http://regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078. A summary of this analysis is included in the September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454) and appears below. We used data specific to C. parryi var. fernandina when available.

    EP15MR18.000 Current Abundance and Distribution

    Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina currently occupies up to a total of 35-40 acres (ac) (14-16 hectares (ha)) from two populations in Southern California that are 17 miles (mi) (27 kilometers (km)) apart (see Figure 1, above). The Laskey Mesa population is in Ventura County, California, within the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve on land owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) and the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority (MRCA) (SMMC 2015). The Santa Clarita population is in Los Angeles County on land owned by Newhall Land (Dudek 2010, pp. 16-17). The Laskey Mesa population currently occupies approximately 15-20 ac (6.1-8.1 ha) (GLA 2000, p. 6; Sapphos 2001, p. 5-2; Sapphos 2003a, p. 3; Cooper 2015, pp. 8-10); the Santa Clarita population currently has a cumulative occupied area of approximately 20 ac (8.2 ha) (Dudek 2010, p. 63).

    Comparing annual numbers of C. parryi var. fernandina individuals over time is complicated because: (1) Different methodologies and levels of effort have been used to estimate population numbers across both extant populations during survey efforts since 1999; and (2) as is typical of many annual plants, C. parryi var. fernandina shows inter-annual variation in abundance by several orders of magnitude, ranging from hundreds to millions of individuals. Therefore, occupied area or distribution of the populations is an appropriate surrogate measure for plant population size. The Santa Clarita population has roughly the same occupied acreage as Laskey Mesa but is more widely distributed across the landscape, scattered over a range of 4 mi (6.4 km) from east to west, and 4 mi (6.4 km) north to south.

    Summary of Basis for Withdrawal

    Based upon our review of the public comments, comments from other Federal and State and County agencies, partner and peer review comments (see Summary of Comments and Recommendations, below) and any new relevant information that may have become available since the September 15, 2016, publication of the proposed rule, we reevaluated our proposal. That reevaluation is reflected in this document as follows:

    (1) Based on our analyses, the Service has determined that Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina should not be listed as a threatened species. This document withdraws the proposed rule published on September 15, 2016 (81 FR 63454).

    (2) This document summarizes and evaluates the 2017 CCA and provides an analysis using the Service's Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE) (68 FR 15100; March 28, 2003). See Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts, below.

    (3) This document summarizes and evaluates the effects of the December 5, 2017, Rye Fire to Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina at Newhall Ranch (Santa Clarita population). See Summary of Biological Status and Factors Affecting the Species, below.

    Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts

    Below, we summarize conservation efforts that provide benefits to C. parryi var. fernandina that are already occurring or are expected to occur in the future. We have also completed an analysis of the newly initiated efforts in the 2017 CCA pursuant to PECE. The full PECE analysis can be found at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078.

    Planned Conservation Measures

    For the Santa Clarita population, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) approved the 2010 Newhall Ranch Spineflower Conservation Plan (SCP) and issued an incidental take permit (permit no. 2081-2008-012-05, the ITP) under the California Endangered Species Act, California Fish and Game Code section 2050-2085 (CESA) in 2010, for the SCP and proposed Newhall Land development within the SCP area that would result in the partial removal of C. parryi var. fernandina. The SCP serves as the mitigation and conservation plan for the purposes of the State ITP (CDFG 2010, p. 2). Through the SCP, the CDFW has required Newhall Land to provide for the perpetual conservation and management of seven spineflower preserves within the Santa Clarita population, totaling 228 ac (92 ha), located within the SCP enrolled lands on Newhall Land property. The SCP spineflower preserves contain approximately three-quarters of the cumulative occupied spineflower habitat on Newhall Land property, totaling approximately 15 ac (6 ha). Newhall Land has granted conservation easements to the CDFW over all of the SCP spineflower preserves. The SCP conservation measures include habitat enhancement and creation for spineflower, and experimental introduction of spineflower in areas outside of existing occupied habitat. The SCP also includes management actions within the preserves to reduce indirect effects of the proposed development (including those from nonnative, invasive grasses and Argentine ants). Newhall Land is implementing an adaptive management program for impacts under the SCP (Dudek 2010a, p. 141) and the Argentine Ant Control Plan (Dudek 2014c, p. 22). Permanent conservation easements for the preserves have been established. Newhall Land has already provided endowments to fund management and monitoring of the SCP spineflower preserves, and will provide more funding in SCP endowments as required by the ITP. The SCP is available at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078.

    Newhall Land has also deposited funds with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for management of C. parryi var. fernandina at the Laskey Mesa population. The August 2014 PAR and September 2014 memorandum prepared by Dudek identify the management activities for C. parryi var. fernandina at Laskey Mesa as part of the SCP (Newhall Land and Dudek 2014, entire). The funding is to be used for on-the-ground management activities that include research studies, fencing, weeding, surveys, annual reporting, and other activities. When this funding becomes accessible, we anticipate that the MRCA will implement the identified management activities.

    The rest of the SCP, including construction monitoring, habitat restoration, fencing and signing, and water control at the Santa Clarita population, has not yet been implemented. The implementation will occur in phases associated with the Newall Ranch development project.

    Even with the conservation measures in the SCP, the proposed rule identified several threats that were still negatively acting on C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. Threats identified in the proposed rule included: (1) Historical and future loss of habitat and individuals from development (Santa Clarita); (2) having small, isolated populations (Santa Clarita and Laskey Mesa); (3) presence of invasive, nonnative plants (Santa Clarita and Laskey Mesa); (4) proliferation of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) (Santa Clarita); (5) the potential effects of climate change (Santa Clarita and Laskey Mesa); and (6) synergistic effects of the individual factors listed above (Santa Clarita and Laskey Mesa) (81 FR 63454; September 15, 2016).

    The 2017 CCA outlines several new conservation actions that will be enacted to address the current and future threats that we identified in our September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454). Additional conservation measures of the 2017 CCA are discussed below. We have also formally evaluated all 2017 CCA conservation measures pursuant to PECE, thereby taking all formalized conservation measures into consideration before making our final determination of the status of the plant. The Service's detailed PECE analysis, as well as the 2017 CCA and exhibits, are available for review at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078.

    The 2017 CCA provides for Newhall Land to voluntarily implement additional conservation measures described in the introduction plan with the goal of enhancing the status of C. parryi var. fernandina. The introduction plan provides for Newhall Land to voluntarily establish new, protected C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences within the plant's historical range that are expected to increase the resiliency of the existing populations and expand the redundancy and representation of the spineflower. Newhall Land will voluntarily conserve an additional 1,498 ac (606 ha) of its property for the benefit of C. parryi var. fernandina and carry out additional conservation activities for the plant within portions of those 1,498 ac (606 ha) and within an approximately 7-ac (2.8-ha) portion of the existing CDFW Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank (see Figure 2, below) collectively called the additional conservation areas associated with the CCA. C. parryi var. fernandina introduction will occur on a total of at least 10 ac (4 ha) within the additional conservation areas.

    The additional conservation areas in the introduction plan are intended to further increase the distribution of C. parryi var. fernandina within its historic range and include approximately 1,505 ac (609 ha), as follows: (1) Three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP (all of which would be considered part of the Santa Clarita population, Areas 1-3 in Figure 2, below); (2) an additional conservation area of 357 ac (144 ha) is located in the Simi Valley watershed on the southern boundary of Newhall Land property in Ventura County (Area 5 in Figure 2); (3) an additional conservation area of approximately 316 ac (128 ha) is located on Newhall Land property in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location (Area 4 in Figure 2); and (4) an additional conservation area is located in a 7-ac (2.8-ha) portion of the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake, also near a known extirpated population location (Area 6 in Figure 2). C. parryi var. fernandina introduction will occur on a total of at least 10 ac (4 ha) within the additional conservation areas.

    EP15MR18.001

    In carrying out the additional conservation measures described in the introduction plan, Newhall Land will introduce C. parryi var. fernandina within portions of the additional conservation areas with the goal of establishing at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences, at least one of which will be in a different ecoregion from the existing populations. Newhall Land will put each of the additional conservation areas into permanent conservation to ensure that habitat values of the spineflower are maintained. Newhall Land has funded an endowment for all initial habitat enhancement and C. parryi var. fernandina introduction activities within the additional conservation areas, and will fund one or more endowments to provide perpetual management and monitoring within the additional conservation areas, based on a PAR.

    Newhall Land began implementation of the introduction plan in 2016, by commencing site investigations to identify the additional conservation areas and suitable C. parryi var. fernandina introduction sites within the additional conservation areas, and by commencing seeding trials within the San Martinez Grande Preserve Expansion—Los Angeles County and Potrero Preserve Expansion Additional Conservation Areas. Newhall Land will continue to conduct seeding trials within each of the additional conservation areas in accordance with the introduction plan.

    The first step for each introduction site is the establishment of seeding trials. A series of initial seeding trials will be implemented at the proposed introduction areas prior to widespread introductions. The seeding trials are expected to take a minimum of 2 years to implement and obtain meaningful results. The seeding trials will be followed by more widespread introductions. The locations for widespread introductions will be based on where seeding trials demonstrate a reasonable probability of success and will occur on a minimum of 10 ac (4 ha) within the additional conservation areas. Following the initial 10-year implementation period for an additional conservation area under the introduction plan, and a determination made in consultation with the Spineflower Adaptive Management Working Group that newly occupied C. parryi var. fernandina habitat within the additional conservation area contains one or more self-sustaining occurrences, Newhall Land or its designee will conduct long-term management (including adaptive management), monitoring, and annual reporting of the newly occupied habitat within the additional conservation areas in perpetuity.

    Enhancement activities in areas surrounding introduction sites will be implemented prior to or concurrently with C. parryi var. fernandina introduction. Anticipated enhancement activities include passive and active revegetation of native vegetation communities, including weed control to ameliorate the threat of invasive, nonnative grasses. Enhancement activities will occur with an adaptive management approach that will continue beyond the 10-year maintenance and monitoring period and into the long-term management period. Targeted areas for habitat enhancement correspond to the sites identified for introduction and an approximately 50-ft (15-meter (m)) area surrounding introduction sites.

    All C. parryi var. fernandina introduction sites will be closed to public access. Existing dirt access roads and utility easement access roads within the additional conservation areas will function as the intended access points to the introduction sites for the project biologist, landscape contractor, utility personnel, and emergency services vehicles (e.g., police, fire, and medical). Signs identifying restricted land and discouraging unauthorized access/entry into the introduction sites will be posted on all gates providing access to introduction sites, adjacent to any roads that border introduction sites, and along any introduction site fencing. The signs will indicate that enhancement activities are in progress and that the areas are to be protected.

    The introduction plan describes in detail the biological monitoring of the introduction sites that will be conducted to determine the status of introduced C. parryi var. fernandina through monitoring and collection of qualitative and quantitative data. Monitoring will occur in the winter and spring of each year while the plants are actively growing and in bloom/seed. Additional monitoring at the sites will occur periodically throughout the year to determine the need for maintenance measures related to protecting the introduction sites from weed invasion or other disturbances. Reference sites will be established within both the Santa Clarita population and Laskey Mesa population to ensure that the reference sites encompass the range of conditions currently supporting C. parryi var. fernandina. A sufficient number of sampling plots will be established to capture site variability so that, collectively, the reference sites are representative of the range of conditions of occupied habitat. Annual monitoring of the introduction sites will include at least three quantitative biological assessments each year, to be timed with the peak of the growing season before plants have begun to desiccate, during the flowering period of C. parryi var. fernandina, and during seed set (approximately February, May, and June). The quantitative monitoring methods are established for the purpose of collecting adequate data to be able to analyze the relative success or failure of the introduction program in terms of achieving the project goals. Quantitative monitoring will begin in the first year after establishing seeding trials and will include monitoring of density, seed production, seed viability, population size, recruitment, and aerial extent. The monitoring period will commence upon initiation of seeding trials and continue for a period of 10 years.

    Summary of PECE Analysis

    The purpose of PECE is to ensure consistent and adequate evaluation of recently formalized conservation efforts when making listing decisions. The policy provides guidance on how to evaluate conservation efforts that have not yet been implemented or have not yet demonstrated effectiveness. The evaluation focuses on the certainty that the conservation efforts will be implemented and effective. The policy presents nine criteria for evaluating the certainty of implementation and six criteria for evaluating the certainty of effectiveness for conservation efforts. These criteria are not considered comprehensive evaluation criteria. The certainty of implementation and the effectiveness of a formalized conservation effort may also depend on species-specific, habitat-specific, location-specific, and effort-specific factors. We consider all appropriate factors in evaluating formalized conservation efforts. The specific circumstances will also determine the amount of information necessary to satisfy these criteria.

    To consider that a formalized conservation effort contributes to forming a basis for not listing a species, or listing a species as threatened rather than endangered, we must find that the conservation effort is sufficiently certain to be (1) implemented, and (2) effective, so as to have contributed to the elimination or adequate reduction of one or more threats to the species identified through the section 4(a)(1) analysis. The elimination or adequate reduction of section 4(a)(1) threats may lead to a determination that the species does not meet the definition of endangered or threatened, or is threatened rather than endangered.

    An agreement or plan may contain numerous conservation efforts, not all of which are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective. Those conservation efforts that are not sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective cannot contribute to a determination that listing is unnecessary, or a determination to list as threatened rather than endangered. Regardless of the adoption of a conservation agreement or plan, however, if the best available scientific and commercial data indicate that the species meets the definition of “endangered species” or “threatened species” on the day of the listing decision, then we must proceed with appropriate rulemaking activity under section 4 of the Act. Further, it is important to note that a conservation plan is not required to have absolute certainty of implementation and effectiveness in order to contribute to a listing determination. Rather, we need to be certain that the conservation efforts will be implemented and effective such that the threats to the species are reduced or eliminated.

    Using the criteria in PECE (68 FR 15100, March 28, 2003), we evaluated the certainty of implementation (for those measures not already implemented) and effectiveness of conservation measures pertaining to Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina. The Service's detailed PECE analysis is available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078. As summarized below, we have determined that there is sufficient certainty that the conservation efforts outlined in the 2017 CCA will be implemented and effective, and significantly reduce the identified threats and their impacts to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat.

    Summary: Certainty That Conservation Efforts Will Be Implemented

    We have certainty that the conservation efforts will be implemented because the implementation of the 2017 CCA has already begun and funding has been secured, providing certainty that funding will continue to be available to implement the conservation efforts. The seeding trails began in 2016, restrictive covenants have been placed over the CCA additional conservation areas on Newhall Property, consent has been obtained to perform C. parryi var. fernandina introduction within the Peterson Mitigation Bank, and the endowment for the initial phases of implementing the CCA has been established. In addition, the parties to the CCA have the legal and regulatory authority to implement the agreement, which includes an implementation schedule (including incremental completion dates) for the conservation efforts.

    Summary: Certainty That Conservation Efforts Will Be Effective

    We have certainty that the conservation efforts will be effective because the nature and extent of threats is adequately addressed in the 2017 CCA, including improving resiliency of the Santa Clarita population, increasing the number of ecoregions in which the plant is represented, and adding to the overall redundancy of the species. In addition, the combined factors of documented success with other Chorizanthe introductions, the introduction site selection based on scientific analysis of occupied sites, positive results of 2016 spineflower seeding trials, and the accompanying enhancement program to aid establishment and persistence provide the rationale and optimism for effectiveness of the introduction program. Further, explicit objectives for the conservation efforts are defined and the associated dates for achieving them are stated. Quantifiable, scientifically valid parameters are identified that will help demonstrate achievement of the objectives. Finally, Newhall Land has funded an endowment for the initial implementation of the 2017 CCA. For ongoing (in-perpetuity) management and monitoring associated with the CCA, Newhall Land has committed to fund additional endowments. Input from the Spineflower Adaptive Management Working Group, which is already in place, will be sought to guide the management, monitoring, and planning activities of the adaptive management program of the conservation efforts.

    In conclusion, we have a high level of certainty that the conservation measures in the 2017 CCA will be implemented (for those measures not already begun) and effective, and thus they can be considered as part of the basis for our final listing determination for Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina.

    Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule published on September 15, 2016 (81 FR 63454), we requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the proposal by November 14, 2016. We also contacted appropriate Federal and State agencies, Tribes, scientific experts and organizations, and other interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. On July 19, 2017, we published a 6-month extension of the final determination on the proposed threatened status for C. parryi var. fernandina (82 FR 33035) and reopened the comment period on the proposal for an additional 30 days, ending August 18, 2017. On November 13, 2017, we published a document (82 FR 52262) that again reopened the comment period on the September 15, 2016, proposed rule for an additional 30 days, ending December 13, 2017, so that interested parties and the public could review and comment on the additional conservation measures provided by the 2017 CCA. During all three comment periods, which totaled 120 days, the Service requested any additional information on the status of C. parryi var. fernandina or its habitat so that we could analyze this additional information as part of the final listing process. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing.

    During the three comment periods on the proposed rule, we received six peer-review comment letters and four public comment letters on the proposed rule, one public comment letter on the 6-month extension, and five public comment letters on the reopening of the comment period for the 2017 CCA directly addressing the proposed listing of Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina. Submitted comments were both for and against listing the species. We also received comments that were not related to the proposed listing of Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina. All substantive information provided during the comment periods has either been incorporated directly into this withdrawal or is addressed below.

    Peer Review

    The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our analysis of the information and assumptions used for listing determination is scientifically sound. In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion from six independent specialists with scientific expertise in the biology of Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina biology, habitat, physical or biological factors, or threats. We received responses from all six peer reviewers. We reviewed the comments we received from the peer reviewers for substantive issues and new information regarding the listing of C. parryi var. fernandina. Peer reviewer comments are addressed in the following summary and incorporated into this withdrawal document as appropriate.

    Comment (1): Three peer reviewers stated that Argentine ants are likely to impact C. parryi var. fernandina pollinators at Newhall Ranch, which could result in a species-level threat to the reproductive potential of the plant. Given potential ant control methods in existence, the peer reviewers recommended that qualified pest control professionals and conservation managers be allowed to review and approve any control or mitigation plan. They stated that, for such a plan to be effective, it will require constant vigilance and a substantial financial investment.

    Response: In our proposed rule (81 FR 63454; September 15, 2016), we determined that loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects (i.e., proliferation of Argentine ants) at the Santa Clarita population are likely to decrease habitat quality, reducing resiliency at this population. The additional conservation areas that will be established as part of the CCA, including the three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero spineflower preserves established under the SCP (all of which would be considered part of the Santa Clarita population), are intended to buffer the Santa Clarita population from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects, including Argentine ant invasion.

    As of February 2016, Argentine ants were present within two preserves at the Santa Clarita population, Entrada and Potrero (Dudek 2016, pp. 17, 20). Therefore, the additional conservation area adjacent to the existing Potrero preserve is at risk of invasion by Argentine ants. However, the two additional conservation areas adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande preserve are farther from existing or proposed development (see Figure 2, below). None of the adjacent land uses near San Martinez Grande poses a heightened threat of Argentine ant invasion (Dudek 2016, p. 6); therefore, these additional conservation areas are not expected to be at risk of invasion of Argentine ants and should contribute to C. parryi var. fernandina numbers and recruitment at the Santa Clarita population.

    The 2017 CCA requires that annual Argentine ant monitoring be conducted as part of the ongoing habitat maintenance and describes appropriate control measures consistent with the Argentine Ant Control Plan for Newhall Ranch (Dudek 2014, entire). If Argentine ants invade, Newhall Land proposes control methods as part of an integrated pest management plan, which will be both to remove Argentine ants and mitigate for the absence of native pollinators within the preserves (Dudek 2014c, pp. 25-42). Qualified pest control professionals and conservation managers will review and approve any control or mitigation plan. The endowment associated with long-term management and monitoring of the additional conservation areas would provide the substantial financial investment needed to implement this plan.

    Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina introduction sites in the 2017 CCA outside of the Santa Clarita population include an additional conservation area of 357 ac (114 ha) located in the Simi Valley watershed on the southern boundary of Newhall Land property in Ventura County; an additional conservation area of approximately 316 ac (128 ha) located on Newhall Land property in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location; and an additional conservation area located in a 7-ac (2.8-ha) portion of the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake, also near a known extirpated population location. Argentine ants are not considered to be a significant long-term risk to C. parryi var. fernandina at these introduction sites because the sites are all well separated from areas supporting potential source populations of Argentine ants, such as urban development areas.

    Comment (2): Two peer reviewers questioned the available data on C. parryi var. fernandina pollinators and suggested that experiments should be done to determine: (a) If C. parryi var. fernandina can effectively self-pollinate, (b) if the plants make seeds when pollinators are excluded, (c) whether seeds produced by self-pollination suffer inbreeding depression compared to seeds produced by out-crossing, and (d) how much nectar or other rewards the flowers offer to pollinators.

    Response: A wide range of arthropods have been observed visiting flowers in the vicinity of C. parryi var. fernandina plants in the field. Jones et al. (2009) conducted a series of dawn-to-dusk surveys at Laskey Mesa in 2001, and at Santa Clarita in 2004. During these surveys, more visits were made to plants by the pyramid ant (Dorymyrmex insanus) than any other ant taxon; the southern fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) visited in much smaller numbers; and little red ant (Forelius mccooki) was an important visitor at the Santa Clarita populations (Jones et al. 2010, p. 165).

    Jones et al. (2010) examined the effects the pyramid ant on spineflower seed production at Ahmanson Ranch with an exclusion study. They found that fruit set was 57 percent higher in flowers exposed to ant visitation, compared to 27 percent in control flowers where ants were excluded. Data indicate that 27 percent of seed set occurred where all potential pollinators were excluded, suggesting that SFVS is not productive at self-pollination (Jones et al. 2010, p. 166). This would seem to indicate that the viability of seeds produced by self-pollination is much lower than those produced by the cross-pollinating actions of ants and other insect pollinators, and may reflect inbreeding depression in self-produced seeds.

    Comment (3): One peer reviewer stated that C. parryi var. fernandina seeds are not likely prompted to germinate by smoke or other features of fire, but that this needs to be studied more specifically. Also, studies should be done to determine how long seeds last and what proportion of seeds germinate under various conditions. This information is needed to successfully introduce or reintroduce C. parryi var. fernandina into additional sites near existing or historical sites.

    Response: C. parryi var. fernandina is typical of many winter-spring native annuals that occur in the Mediterranean climate of California. Germination occurs following the onset of sufficient late-fall and winter rains and typically represents different cohorts from the seed bank. Because C. parryi var. fernandina is sensitive to annual levels of rainfall, germination of resident seed banks may be low or nonexistent in unfavorable years, with little or no visible aboveground expression of the plant, but a seedbank would be present.

    The direct effects of fire on C. parryi var. fernandina are not known. We stated in the Species Report that seed germination of a related taxa, Parry's spineflower (C. parryi var. parryi), appears to be inhibited by fire (Ellstrand 1994 and Ogden 1999, in CBI 2000, pp. 4, 13), but despite the inhibitory effect of direct scorching, fire may prove beneficial to C. parryi var. fernandina by creating openings in ground cover and temporarily reducing competition (CBI 2000, p. 13). We agree that additional research on the C. parryi var. fernandina seed bank would be useful to inform future efforts to expand existing populations and reintroduce plants to historical sites.

    Comment (4): One peer reviewer asked if there is evidence that ants secrete a substance that causes pollen grains to burst.

    Response: Some ants have chemical secretions from the metapleural gland that reduce pollen viability and germination (Beattie et al 1984). However, from data presented by Jones et al. (2010), it appears to not be a problem for C. parryi var. fernandina. As noted above, seed production and the seed germination rate were much higher in the presence of ants, indicating that the presence of ant pollinators actually increases the viability of the seeds. Further, Jones et al. (2010) suggest that ant pollination may be more prevalent in drier climates and that ant production of inhibitory substances may not be a severe limitation to their function as pollinators.

    Comment (5): One peer reviewer asked if there is adequate management of the State of California's conserved site (Laskey Mesa), and what specific management at this site benefits the spineflower.

    Response: In 2010, CDFW issued an ITP under CESA to Newhall Land. The ITP requires Newhall Land to provide guaranteed long-term funding for the management of the C. parryi var. fernandina population at Laskey Mesa (CESA ITP# 2081-2008-012-05) (CDFG 2010, p. 17; Newhall Land and Dudek 2014, entire). On September 25, 2014, Newhall Land made the required deposit for the endowment at Laskey Mesa (K. Drewe 2016b, pers. comm.). Newhall Land cannot withdraw the funding for this account, and there is nothing in the ITP that would allow the funding to be returned to Newhall Land (K. Drewe 2016a, b, pers. comm.).

    The CDFW, SMMC, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will execute the agreement that requires the endowment be spent for the conservation and management of C. parryi var. fernandina at Laskey Mesa (K. Drewe 2016a, b, pers. comm.; Newhall Land and Dudek 2014, entire). The August 2014 PAR and September 2014 memorandum completed by Dudek (Newhall Land and Dudek 2014, entire) contains the management activities for C. parryi var. fernandina at Laskey Mesa (CDFW, in litt. 2016). The endowment is to be used for on-the-ground activities that include research studies, fencing, weeding, surveys, annual reports, and other activities that will benefit the plant. The agreement between CDFW and SMMC that would allow SMMC access to the endowment funds is currently undergoing internal review within CDFW.

    Comment (6): One peer reviewer pointed out that while the SCP provides for a number of preserves to be established, some of the preserves do not afford great protection for the spineflower. For example, the proposed preserve area at Entrada shows that a large portion of the spineflower patches are located within a utility easement. Plants could easily be destroyed by large equipment activity in the easement.

    Response: The Entrada preserve is connected to open space via an existing and frequently-maintained utility corridor. There may be risk to these plants from large equipment. This is one reason why it is important to establish additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population, including three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves. These areas are intended to expand the area of protected conservation land for C. parryi var. fernandina and increase the extent of protected occurrence locations within the Santa Clarita population.

    Comment (7): One peer reviewer suggested that we might have conducted our assessment of the current impact level of development on C. parryi var. fernandina over a wider geographic area, to encompass its former geographic range. The peer reviewer emphasized that it is clear that habitat loss and other factors associated with development (agricultural and urban) are the reasons C. parryi var. fernandina now occurs in just two localities at the edge of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Moreover, all of the stressors discussed in the proposed listing document have strong links to development.

    Response: C. parryi var. fernandina is currently known from only two populations in southern California that are 17 mi (27 km) apart, one in Ventura County (Laskey Mesa population) and one in Los Angeles County (Santa Clarita population). Historically, the plant was known from no fewer than 10 additional locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. However, the scope of our stressor analysis was only the two extant populations because there is limited value in evaluating the potential for stressors in areas where the species is no longer considered extant. We presented our analysis of threats to the existing populations in our Species Report. Currently, there is no threat of development and there will be no development in the future at Laskey Mesa because the property is owned and managed by the SMMC and the MRCA.

    Development was considered a future threat to the Santa Clarita population. However, the additional conservation areas proposed in the CCA are intended to further increase the number and extent of C. parryi var. fernandina within its historical range, which will reduce the threat of development at this population. We considered whether there are any known threats or potential stressors to the spineflower on these additional conservation areas, and determined them to be suitable for C. parryi var. fernandina. All of these will be in permanent conservation where development will be precluded.

    Comment (8): One peer reviewer stated that the open structure of the vegetation in which C. parryi var. fernandina occurs suggests that external effects are likely to penetrate deeply into patches. The very small stature of C. parryi var. fernandina plants makes them likely to be especially vulnerable to disturbances such as trampling and erosion. Therefore, it seems likely that recreational impacts on the species will increase, particularly in Santa Clarita, where the proximity to high densities of humans will increase in the proposed developments.

    Response: We recognize edge effects of increased trampling and soil compaction from recreation. Recreation has minimal direct effects on C. parryi var. fernandina habitat because recreation does not occur in the same areas where C. parryi var. fernandina occurs. Even though the plant is small in stature and may grow in open areas, such as old roads, making it vulnerable to trampling, there are currently no trails that overlap the plant's occurrences, and we do not expect trails to overlap the plant's occurrences in the future. Additionally, all additional conservation areas provided for in the 2017 CCA will be closed to the public.

    Comment (9): One peer reviewer questioned our assessment that the impact of invasive, nonnative plants on C. parryi var. fernandina will decrease with time from moderate today to low in the future, as a result of ecological restoration plans at the Santa Clarita population.

    Response: Nonnative, invasive plants are abundant at Laskey Mesa and Santa Clarita, and reduce available habitat. They compete with C. parryi var. fernandina for light, water, and soil nutrients; increase potential for wildfire; and alter pollinator communities. The August 2014 PAR and September 2014 memorandum outline the management activities to be undertaken at Laskey Mesa for C. parryi var. fernandina. The funding for these actions is set aside in the form of a non-wasting endowment. The endowment will fund on-the-ground activities, such as weeding and other methods to control the impacts of nonnative invasive plants. We anticipate that MRCA will address the abundance of nonnative vegetation at Laskey Mesa once they implement the management activities for C. parryi var. fernandina at that site.

    At the Santa Clarita site, development of Newhall Ranch would remove ground coverage of nonnative plants. However, part of this development will create urban edges that would border some of the preserves. Nonnative weedy species are often edge species and become more prevalent or increase in abundance to the detriment of native species. Therefore, Newhall Land has proposed to restore C. parryi var. fernandina habitat and implement measures as part of the development of Newhall Ranch to reduce the abundance and impact of nonnative vegetation at this site. Overall, nonnative, invasive plants currently act as a moderate-level stressor to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. The management activities at Laskey Mesa and the conservation measures at Santa Clarita are likely to reduce the direct impact of nonnative, invasive plants to a low-level stressor. The enhancement areas surrounding the 2017 CCA introduction sites are intended to help minimize invasion of nonnative plant species, which could degrade the quality of the habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina occupation in the additional conservation areas.

    Comment (10): One peer reviewer questioned our prediction that future fire effects will be low. The proposed plan for development in Santa Clarita will put Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina within the urban-wildland interface and thereby should increase the potential for fire to affect population patches.

    Response: We anticipate that wildfire will occur in the future, based on the historical fires that have occurred in these areas and because wildfire is a natural phenomenon in southern California. Additionally, both populations are surrounded by residential and commercial developments, and fire frequency tends to increase at the urban-wildland interface (Dudek 2010a, p. 136). Furthermore, due to climate change, drier conditions may result (PRBO Conservation Science 2011, pp. 41-42). However, because the fire intervals at these two populations have been relatively short in recent history, we do not anticipate an increased fire frequency at Laskey Mesa or Santa Clarita.

    At Santa Clarita, proposed development in the area will break up large expanses of potential fuels and may reduce the risk of wildfire, but human-caused ignition may increase with increasing human presence and traffic. However, fire protection in the surrounding areas is also expected to increase because of the need to avoid loss of life and property; therefore, it is anticipated that any fires in the SCP preserves will be lighter rather than heavier in intensity (Dudek 2010a, p. 136). In addition, if fire-control lines or other forms of bulldozer damage occur within the preserves, Newhall Land proposed to repair and revegetate these areas to pre-burn conditions (Dudek 2010a, pp. 135-137). In our assessment of climate change, we analyze that drier conditions in the future may result in increased fire frequency, making the ecosystems in which a species currently grows more vulnerable to threats of nonnative plant invasion.

    The December 2017 Rye Fire burned four out of seven of the SCP preserves on Newhall Ranch. The intensity of the fire was diagnosed as being light (Watershed Emergency Response Team 2018, pp. 18-20). Numerous previous wildfire events have occurred on Newhall Ranch since 1913, including at least 12 since 1983 (excluding the 2017 Rye Fire), and several of these fires have affected extensive areas of habitat occupied by the spineflower (Dudek 2017, p. 10). Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina monitoring began on Newhall Ranch in 2002. Two fires have affected the Santa Clarita population since then. The 2003 Verdale Fire burned the Homestead North Project Site, including almost the entire San Martinez Grande preserve. The 2007 Magic Fire burned portions of the Grapevine Mesa and Entrada preserves. Both the 2003 Verdale Fire and the 2007 Magic Fire occurred in October, after spineflower surveys had been conducted for that year. The biggest concern is that fire may promote the invasion and spread of nonnative, invasive grasses that outcompete small native annuals like C. parryi var. fernandina.

    Monitoring conducted under the SCP will continue to evaluate the performance of C. parryi var. fernandina within the SCP preserves, and if the monitoring shows that management is needed to address direct or indirect effects of the fire, such as an increase in nonnative, invasive grasses, measures will be incorporated into annual work plans as required by the SCP and reviewed by the Spineflower Adaptive Management Working Group. The primary management activities we anticipate to occur post-fire in the SCP preserves involves monitoring and controlling weeds that may invade burned areas following a fire event, specifically if weeds exceed 30 percent relative cover (Dudek 2017, p. 7).

    Comment (11): One peer reviewer noted that because the historical range of C. parryi var. fernandina has been reduced, and now the plant has only two isolated populations, the plant's heterozygosity (having a varied genetic makeup) may be considerably reduced.

    Response: While we agree that C. parryi var. fernandina likely has reduced heterozygosity due to a reduced range as compared to the historical distribution, the genetic characteristics have not been investigated. Dr. Deborah Rodgers is currently conducting research into genetic structure of C. parryi var. fernandina and potential degree of inbreeding depression (Dudek 2015, p. 2; Dudek 2016c, p. 9).

    Comment (12): One peer reviewer pointed out that nitrogen deposition associated with fossil fuel combustion is a potential stressor to C. parryi var. fernandina, and this was not discussed in the Species Report. Several recent studies have shown that nitrogen can have important consequences to native and nonnative plant species in southern California although there is no information available about how nitrogen deposition has affected C. parryi var. fernandina and its ecosystem.

    Response: Because there is no information available about how nitrogen deposition has affected C. parryi var. fernandina and the ecosystem it occupies, we did not analyze it in our stressor analysis.

    Comment (13): One peer reviewer stated that Newhall Land may have destroyed C. parryi var. fernandina subpopulations on Newhall Ranch lands in the past, and investigations were purported to be initiated by CDFW into possible violation. This resulted in an agreement by Newhall to actively manage and restore C. parryi var. fernandina habitat. However, the reviewer did not believe any of these restoration and management activities have been initiated.

    Response: There was a 2003 settlement agreement executed between Newhall Land and CDFW following an onsite investigation that occurred in 2002. This resulted in establishing two permanent conservation easements, one at Airport Mesa and one at Grapevine Mesa, totaling approximately 64 ac (26 ha). The settlement agreement required that a management plan for the plant be prepared, funded, and implemented in those two areas as mitigation for impacts affiliated with that investigation.

    Comment (14): One peer reviewer stated that creating small rare plant preserves under the SCP has the potential to reduce long-term success to maintain a viable population into the future, as this eliminates connectivity to adjacent habitats to which populations might have migrated, beyond the borders of the preserve boundaries.

    Response: The 2017 CCA establishes additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population, including three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. This will allow C. parryi var. fernandina populations to expand into the area of protected conservation land, and increase the extent of protected spineflower occurrence locations within the Santa Clarita population.

    Comment (15): One peer reviewer stated that there are six other species in the genus Chorizanthe in California that have been listed under the Act as endangered species, all of which have larger populations than C. parryi var. fernandina. The Service's listing of these other plants as endangered has established a precedent for endangered plants of this genus.

    Response: The Service evaluates each species individually, using the best available scientific and commercial information on that species, in making a listing determination. There are many factors and reasons why a determination for one species may be different than that for another species. The fact that a species has been determined to be endangered under the Act does not mean that other species within the same genus also automatically meet the Act's definition of endangered.

    Comment (16): One peer reviewer stated that the introduction plan provided for by the 2017 CCA is more appropriately addressed under a C. parryi var. fernandina recovery plan than as part of the proposed listing rule. The success or failure of the proposed plan will likely require decades to determine. The use of positive outcomes can only occur after a measured success. Since the effectiveness of proposed conservation measures cannot be evaluated for many years, it is premature to rely on potential future success of these measures when determining the vulnerability of C. parryi var. fernandina.

    Response: We stated in the proposed rule (81 FR 63454, September 15, 2016, see p. 63458) that we will formally evaluate all measures included in Newhall Land's conservation strategy using PECE before making our final determination of the status of the plant. In determining whether a formalized conservation effort contributes to forming a basis for not listing a species, or for listing a species as threatened rather than endangered, we must evaluate whether proposed conservation efforts improve the status of the species under the Act. Two factors are key in that evaluation: (1) For those efforts yet to be implemented, the certainty that the conservation effort will be implemented; and (2) for those efforts that have not yet demonstrated effectiveness, the certainty that the conservation effort will be effective. In our PECE analysis of the 2017 CCA for the spineflower, we found that there is a high degree of certainty that the conservation measures under the plan will be implemented, and a high degree of certainty that the conservation measures will be effective. Please see the full PECE analysis at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078.

    Public Comments

    Comment (17): One commenter stated that McGraw (2012) found a strong positive correlation between percentage of the mapped cumulative footprint supporting C. parryi var. fernandina in a given year and total annual rainfall. However, the data of acres occupied annually by C. parryi var. fernandina demonstrate that there is no apparent overall increase or decreasing trend over the last 17 years; therefore, there is no reason to expect a trend change in the next 25 years based on the best available information.

    Response: Interannual variability in total annual rainfall is a major driver of the variability in C. parryi var. fernandina's distribution, but additional factors, including temperature, timing of precipitation in fall or winter, and drought, may also play a role (McGraw 2012, p. A-6). The proposed development of Newhall Ranch would directly remove 25 percent of the C. parryi var. fernandina population at Santa Clarita, and the vast majority of the remaining 75 percent of this population would be surrounded and bordered by residential and commercial development. While the data may not show a trend over the survey period, reducing the population by 25 percent and fragmenting the remaining populations introduces new stressors into the population that will affect the persistence of the plant over the next 25 years at this population.

    The 2017 CCA establishes additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population, including three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. These areas are intended to expand the area of protected conservation land for C. parryi var. fernandina and increase the extent of protected occurrence locations within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from the detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects, which should increase persistence of the plant over the next 25 years at this population.

    Comment (18): One commenter stated that the Species Report overstates the extent to which habitat fragmentation will affect C. parryi var. fernandina. The commenter stated that C. parryi var. fernandina preserves and large, connected open spaces within and around the Newhall Land property development areas will preserve connectivity for mobile pollinators such as honeybees and potential seed dispersers, maintaining opportunities for genetic exchange between preserves. C. parryi var. fernandina preserve management, including habitat restoration and enhancement, will maintain and enhance floral and other habitat resources in the preserves for pollinators and seed dispersers.

    Response: Development of Newhall Ranch will remove some occurrences that connect, or are intermittent between, the larger concentrations of C. parryi var. fernandina in the designated preserves. Removing some of the smaller scattered populations outside the preserves will likely make the distances between remaining concentrations of C. parryi var. fernandina larger and make the habitat that supports the plant more isolated. However, the implementation of the 2017 CCA will establish additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population, including three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. These expansion areas will aid connectivity of populations, as well as establish new populations.

    Comment (19): Future habitat conditions in C. parryi var. fernandina preserves will generally be resistant to permanent Argentine ant invasions. Consequently, there is little risk of long-term infestation by Argentine ants in numbers sufficient to permanently displace arthropods that provide pollinator and seed dispersal services.

    Response: Our analyses in the Species Report indicate that if Argentine ants invade an area, they are likely to permanently displace arthropods that provide pollinator and seed dispersal services (Service 2016, pp. 44-62). Argentine ants are present on Newhall Ranch in at least two SCP preserves (Entrada and Potrero), and within the open space that acts as a corridor between the SCP preserves, the Santa Clara River (Dudek 2016b, pp. 17, 20). It is therefore reasonable to assume that conditions are currently suitable for Argentine ants within at least two preserves. Argentine ants are assumed to be present throughout the development and are expected to be present in the open areas adjacent to the preserves in the future post-development (Dudek 2010a, p. 130). Also, Dudek (2016b, pp. 5-18) states that five out of the seven SCP preserves (82 percent of the total preserve area) have a “high potential for serious encroachment or invasion of Argentine ants” given current and proposed adjacent land uses.

    The 2017 CCA states that annual Argentine ant monitoring will be conducted as part of the ongoing habitat maintenance, and appropriate control measures consistent with the Argentine Ant Control Plan for Newhall Ranch (Dudek 2014, entire) will be implemented in the event that invasion occurs. If Argentine ants invade, Newhall Land proposes control methods as part of an integrated pest management plan to remove Argentine ants and mitigate for the absence of native pollinators within the preserves (Dudek 2014c, pp. 25-42). Qualified pest control professionals and conservation managers will review and approve any control or mitigation plan. Argentine ants are not considered to be a significant long-term risk to C. parryi var. fernandina at the introduction sites outside the Santa Clarita population because they are all well separated from areas supporting potential source populations, such as urban development areas.

    Comment (20): One commenter stated that in the proposed rule (81 FR 63454; September 15, 2016), the Service's conclusion that there may not be sufficient redundancy to sustain C. parryi var. fernandina over the long term is overstated, because evidence indicates the long-term threats to redundancy can be effectively managed through habitat restoration in the preserves, management of Argentine ants, and introduction of C. parryi var. fernandina into non-preserve areas.

    Response: Redundancy does not just refer to the population at Santa Clarita but refers to the ability of a species to compensate for fluctuations in or loss of populations across the species' range such that the loss of a single population has little or no lasting effect on the structure and functioning of the species as a whole. Multiple interacting populations across a broad geographic area provide insurance against the risk of extinction caused by catastrophic events. Because historically there were no fewer than 10 additional populations across Los Angeles and Orange Counties in Southern California, and currently there are 2 populations, redundancy is decreased for C. parryi var. fernandina. If either of the two extant populations were permanently lost, the redundancy would be further lowered, thereby decreasing the plant's chance of survival in the face of potential environmental or demographic stochastic factors and catastrophic events (e.g., wildfire, extreme drought).

    The additional conservation areas proposed in the 2017 CCA are intended to increase the number and extent of C. parryi var. fernandina populations within its historical range and increase redundancy. The CCA provides for Newhall Land to introduce C. parryi var. fernandina within portions of the additional conservation areas with the goal of establishing at least two new self-sustaining, persistent occurrences to increase the redundancy of the species.

    Comment (21): One commenter stated that the seven C. parryi var. fernandina preserves will help maintain the existing representation of the plant on Newhall property. Likewise, the endowment for management of the Laskey Mesa population will also contribute to continued representation of that population.

    Response: Representation refers to a species' ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, which is a species' adaptive capacity. Representation is characterized by the breadth of genetic and environmental diversity within and among populations; this can be related to the distribution of populations within the variation in a species' ecological settings. Historically, there were no fewer than 10 C. parryi var. fernandina populations across southern California, representing at least five ecoregions of the conterminous United States. Ecoregions denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems through analysis of patterns of biotic and abiotic phenomena, including geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. Currently, there are only two C. parryi var. fernandina populations, 17 mi (27 km) apart, representing only one ecoregion.

    The goal of the 2017 CCA is to establish at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences, at least one of which will be in a different ecoregion from the existing populations to increase the number of ecoregions in which the plant is represented. The two existing C. parryi var. fernandina populations are located in the Venturan-Angeleno Coastal Hills ecoregion. The additional conservation area in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location, is within the Southern California Lower Montane Shrubland Woodland ecoregion. The additional conservation area located in the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake near a known extirpated population location is within the Arid Montane Slopes ecoregion. Establishing at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences where at least one is in a different ecoregion from the existing populations may improve the ability of the plant to adapt to changing environmental conditions into the future.

    Comment (22): One commenter stated that long-term establishment of C. parryi var. fernandina is feasible. Efforts to do so will require a commitment to significant planning, resources, ongoing scientific observation and study, adaptive management, and incorporation of most current plant and environmental science. Constraints to establishment of new populations of C. parryi var. fernandina include: (a) Availability of seed source due to physical and morphological reasons; (b) availability of land in the historical range of the plant that is not already developed or threatened by encroachment of nonnative and invasive species; (c) presence of appropriate climatic and hydrologic conditions (hot and dry with seasonal drought conditions and no irrigation); (d) presence of specific soil types and geomorphological conditions (including specific substrate, elevation, and aspect); (e) minimal environmental threats; and (f) availability of arthropods that can facilitate pollination to ensure higher achene (seed head) set and ensure genetic diversity.

    Response: The 2017 CCA includes a commitment to significant planning, resources, ongoing scientific observation and study, adaptive management, and incorporation of most current plant and environmental science. Newhall Land will cause permanent conservation instruments to be recorded over each of the additional conservation areas in which C. parryi var. fernandina is established to ensure that the habitat values for the species are maintained, minimizing environmental threats. Newhall Land will fund all initial habitat enhancement and C. parryi var. fernandina introduction activities within the additional conservation areas, and will fund one or more endowments to provide perpetual management and monitoring within the additional conservation areas.

    To address availability of seed source, it is anticipated that there will be opportunities for topsoil salvage from C. parryi var. fernandina occupied areas within the proposed developments on Newhall Land property at the Santa Clarita population. In addition, a phased approach will provide lead time to conduct wild seed collections (and to grow these seeds in a controlled nursery setting to bulk seed, if necessary) to acquire the necessary seed resources to implement C. parryi var. fernandina introduction in the various areas.

    To address the need for appropriate climatic and hydrologic conditions and the presence of specific soil types and geomorphological conditions, the additional conservation areas were selected based on proximity to extant C. parryi var. fernandina populations, proximity to extirpated historical locations, availability of undeveloped open space, surrounding land uses, and land ownership. Some other areas were considered, but rejected due to lack of conserved open space, unsuitable conditions, or untenable land ownership situations. Once potential sites were identified, the sites that best met the identified parameters that appear to favor occupation by C. parryi var. fernandina were chosen. Site selection relied heavily on the results of a habitat characterization study, which compared occupied and unoccupied areas within coastal scrub and annual grassland, to identify characteristics of occupied C. parryi var. fernandina habitat. In addition to selecting what appeared to be the most suitable sites, the approach in the 2017 CCA is to assist C. parryi var. fernandina during the early establishment period in order to help the introduced population develop a foothold through habitat enhancement, ultimately resulting in at least two new self-sustaining, persistent populations.

    Comment (23): One commenter stated that Newhall Land appears to have begun vegetation clearing on the project site where Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina is located. The commenter does not believe that such actions comply with the rules and regulations of the Act.

    Response: Section 7 of the Act provides a mechanism for identifying and resolving potential conflicts between a proposed action and a species proposed for listing at an early planning stage. While consultations for listed species are required when the proposed action may affect listed species, a conference is required only when the proposed action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing.

    The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Newhall Ranch Resource Management and Development Project included detailed analysis of the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the proposed discharges of fill material in waters of the United States and associated upland development activities on C. parryi var. fernandina and included mitigation measures to avoid, minimize, and compensate for impacts to the plant. Subsequent to the Final EIS/EIR, Newhall Land agreed to implement additional measures to further compensate for unavoidable impacts to C. parryi var. fernandina as documented in the 2017 CCA. In consideration of the additional conservation areas and C. parryi var. fernandina introduction sites required as part of the CCA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made a final determination that permit no. SPL-2003-01264 would not jeopardize the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina and is not required to complete a conference opinion to comply with the requirements of the Act.

    Comment (24): One commenter stated that the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita, which began on December 5, 2017, has apparently burned at least five of the proposed seven conservation areas for C. parryi var. fernandina and possibly all those located on the Mission Village project. The commenter stated that it is important to determine whether native pollinator arthropods survived the fire. The commenter urged a delay and extension of the comment period so that the effect of this fire on C. parryi var. fernandina could be investigated.

    Response: The December 2017 Rye Fire burned four out of seven of the SCP preserves on Newhall Ranch. Based on prior research, we expect relatively minor effects from the Rye Fire on arthropods that could be spineflower pollinators. Jones et al. (2004) conducted pollinator studies on spineflower populations on Newhall Ranch and Ahmanson Ranch, and found that one of the dominant floral visitors on Newhall Ranch was little red ant and the dominant floral visitors at the Ahmanson Ranch were two species of ants: The pyramid ant and the southern fire ant. Matsuda et al. (2011, entire) investigated the effect of broad-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants within southern California. They found a net negative effect of fire on the overall diversity of ground foraging ants likely because of changes in community structure rather than the loss of species richness. Although they found a negative effect of fire on ant diversity, the increases in overall species diversity in both the fire-impacted and reference plots suggest that ground-foraging ants may be relatively resilient to fire because only about 2 percent of an ant colony is active on the surface, thus limiting direct mortality. They also suggest that unburned patches within a burn area can provide refuge for ants and source populations for recolonization of burned areas.

    The intensity of the Rye Fire on Newhall Ranch was diagnosed as light (Watershed Emergency Response Team 2018, pp. 18-20). Based on field testing, the California Geological Survey found that within the mapped fire perimeter, 64 percent of the area was classified as very low/unburned, 34 percent as low, and 2 percent as moderate; no area was classified as high (Watershed Emergency Response Team 2018, pp. 18-20). The severity of the Rye Fire was similar to or generally less than the most recent fires on Newhall Ranch in C. parryi var. fernandina habitat, the 2003 Verdale Fire and 2007 Magic Fire. Severity in burn areas was generally low in the Magic Fire and very low to moderate in the Verdale Fire (Dudek 2017, p. 10). We were able to investigate the effect of the fire on the plant and its pollinators within the allotted timeframe, and therefore we do not need to extend the comment period on the proposal.

    Comment (25): One commenter stated that throughout the 2017 CCA there are definitive statements that the proposed actions will result in the establishment of new populations and reduce or eliminate threats to C. parryi var. fernandina. The commenter states that the plan will attempt to establish populations and hopefully provide protective measures, but that the proposed conservation efforts cannot be considered as guarantees. The commenter concluded that the 2017 CCA should not be used to determine the current status of C. parryi var. fernandina.

    Response: PECE (68 FR 15100, March 28, 2003) ensures consistent and adequate evaluation of recently formalized, but not yet implemented conservation efforts when making listing decisions. The policy provides guidance on how to evaluate conservation efforts that have not yet been implemented or have not yet demonstrated effectiveness. The evaluation focuses on the certainty that the conservation actions will be implemented and effective.

    Using the criteria specified in PECE, we evaluated the certainty of future implementation and certainty of effectiveness of the 2017 CCA. Based on our evaluation, we have a high level of certainty that the conservation actions will be effectively implemented and, therefore, should be considered as part of the basis for our final listing determination for C. parryi var. fernandina. Please see the full PECE analysis at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078.

    Comment (26): One commenter noted that after the proposed rule was published, an activity occurred at the Laskey Mesa population that threatens the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina. This activity was permitted by the managing agency.

    Response: We assume that the recent activity to which the commenter refers is a fashion show that occurred on May 11, 2017. Our understanding is that MRCA permitted approximately 2.5 ac (1 ha) at Laskey Mesa be utilized for the show, but resulting impacts were about 1 ac (.4 ha) larger than planned, and that several aspects of the event were not covered under the permitted activities. The MRCA permit required that there be no disturbance of terrain or indigenous plants. As a result, CDFW sent a letter to the State Wildlife Conservation Board expressing concern over consistency between the funding provided for the purchase of Laskey Mesa and the intended conservation purpose of that funding. There was a follow-up meeting with representatives of CDFW, the State Wildlife Conservation Board, MRCA, and SMMC, in which the same concerns were shared. As a result of the meeting, the State Wildlife Conservation Board, MRCA, and CDFW agreed to develop a strategy so that concerns regarding the conservation of sensitive species are given a more prominent part in the permitting of activities on Laskey Mesa (e.g., sensitive species surveys prior to filming activities). The CDFW is currently working with its partners in developing the strategy. This strategy should be effective in preventing further variances from permitted activities that might affect C. parryi var. fernandina.

    Summary of Biological Status and Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424) set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species due to one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in combination. Stressors that currently act, or may act, on C. parryi var. fernandina in the foreseeable future include development (Factors A and E); nonnative, invasive plants (Factors A and E); Argentine ants (Factor E); grazing and agriculture (Factor A); utility line easements and maintenance (Factor A); miscellaneous land use (Factor A); recreation (Factor E); wildfire (Factor E); and climate change (Factors A and E). The effects of these stressors are magnified by virtue of the plant having small population sizes (Factor E). For the purposes of this analysis, we define the “foreseeable future” time period to be 25 years. The basis for this timeframe is that it includes cycles of variation in climate, the potential impacts of the completion of the proposed development of Newhall Ranch, and planned conservation measures for the Laskey Mesa and Santa Clarita populations.

    All of these potential stressors are evaluated and presented in our Species Report (Service 2016, pp. 20-78). The best available data indicate that grazing and agriculture, utility line easements and maintenance, miscellaneous land use, and recreation are not resulting in population or rangewide impacts currently or in the future such that they rise to the level of threats to the continued existence of the species. We conclude this because these activities have been or will be removed from most areas that overlap C. parryi var. fernandina. The remaining stressors—development; nonnative, invasive plants; Argentine ants; wildfire; and potentially climate change—acting on the small isolated populations are described below. We address the remaining stressors below because we determined in our September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454) that population or rangewide impacts may contribute to, or are likely to contribute to, considerable loss of individuals or habitat currently or in the future. Please refer to the Potential Stressors section in the Species Report (Service 2016, pp. 20-78) for a more detailed discussion of our evaluation of the biological status of the plant and the factors that may affect its continued existence.

    Development (Factors A and E)

    Development consists of converting the landscape into residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational features, with associated infrastructure such as roads. Currently, development does not impact C. parryi var. fernandina at either population. In the future, no development is anticipated at the Laskey Mesa site because the property is owned and managed by the SMMC and MRCA, and preserved as permanent parkland. At the Santa Clarita site, the population is within the footprint of the proposed Newhall Ranch development project.

    At the time we issued the proposed rule (81 FR 63454, September 15, 2016), available information indicated that the future development of the proposed Newhall Ranch would directly remove 24 percent of the C. parryi var. fernandina population and occupied habitat at the Santa Clarita site, reducing the population from approximately 20 ac (8 ha) to 15 ac (6 ha) of cumulative occupied area (Dudek 2010a, Table 12, p. 67). In addition to habitat removal, the proposed development would also create indirect effects by fragmenting the remaining habitat between the occurrences of C. parryi var. fernandina. The impacts of fragmented habitat include: (1) Edge effects around remaining populations, such as increasing the risk of invasion of nonnative, invasive plants and animals; and (2) further separation of occurrences relative to current conditions because much of the area between the remaining occurrences would be residential and commercial development (Dudek 2010a, pp. 48-117), potentially affecting pollination and dispersal of the plant (Steffan-Dewenter and Tscharntke 1999, p. 437; Menges 1991, pp. 158-164; Jennerston 1988, pp. 359-366; Cunningham 2000, pp. 1149-1152). These indirect effects of the proposed development would remain into the future post-construction.

    Under the 2010 SCP, Newhall Land Company designated seven spineflower preserves containing approximately 15 ac (6 ha) of C. parryi var. fernandina occupied area, which is the remaining 76 percent of the Santa Clarita population. Easements and an endowment to manage and monitor the preserves have been put in place. In addition to the preserves designated under the SCP, the 2017 CCA establishes additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population (Areas 1-3 in Figure 2, above), reducing the overall threat to this population from development. The additional conservation areas at the Santa Clarita population total approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. These areas are intended to expand the area of protected conservation land for the plant and increase the extent of protected occurrence locations within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects. All of the conservation areas (i.e., preserves under the SCP and occurrences under the 2017 CCA) will be in permanent conservation and will not be directly threatened by development.

    Overall, we projected in our September 15, 2016, proposed rule that development at one of the two C. parryi var. fernandina populations would result in the loss of 24 percent of the Santa Clarita population in the future and that edge effects to the remaining Santa Clarita population were expected. Edge effects around the remaining occurrences put these patches at risk and separate them more than they are under current conditions. However, under the 2017 CCA, abundance and distribution of the plant within the Santa Clarita population will be increased to buffer the population from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects of the development. When we issued the proposed rule, we concluded that development was a future population-level threat to the plant, as it would result in loss of habitat and individuals, and further reduce the range of the plant, which was already vulnerable due to its small size and isolated populations (Factor E). Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and signed, and is being implemented. The 2017 CCA provides support for C. parryi var. fernandina by further protecting, increasing, and expanding existing and future populations and habitat.

    As discussed above, we have determined that the conservation actions outlined in the 2017 CCA are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective such that they should be considered in our assessment of status. These conservation actions significantly reduce the identified threats, including effects of historical and future loss of habitat from development (Factor A and E), and their impacts to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. Thus, the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that the effects associated with development are not a threat to the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina now nor will they be in the foreseeable future.

    Small, Isolated Populations (Factors E)

    The effects of small, isolated populations include increased risk of extinction from random, naturally occurring events, and potentially reduced genetic variation, which can affect the ability of a species to sustain itself into the future in the face of environmental fluctuations. There are two known populations of C. parryi var. fernandina, 17 mi (27 km) apart, one at Laskey Mesa and one at Santa Clarita, each comprising approximately 15 to 20 ac (6 to 8 ha) of occupied area. Historically, the plant was known from no less than 10 additional locations across southern California (see Figure 1).

    When we issued the proposed rule (81 FR 63454, September 15, 2016), we concluded that having only two small, isolated populations decreased the ability of C. parryi var. fernandina to sustain itself into the future in the face of environmental fluctuations and random, naturally occurring events. At that time, we determined that this stressor would continue to affect C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat at both sites into the future.

    Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was completed, which provides for additional conservation areas that are intended to increase the number and extent of spineflower occurrences within the plant's historic range. The additional conservation areas at the Santa Clarita population, which total approximately 825 ac (334 ha), are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. These areas are intended to expand the area of protected conservation land for C. parryi var. fernandina and increase the extent of protected occurrence locations within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects, including Argentine ant invasion.

    Introduction sites outside of the Santa Clarita population include an additional conservation area of 357 ac (144 ha) located in the Simi Valley watershed on the southern boundary of Newhall Land property in Ventura County; an additional conservation area of approximately 316 ac (128 ha) located on Newhall Land property in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location; and an additional conservation area located in a 7-ac (2.8-ha) portion of the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake, also near a known extirpated population location.

    Introduction of C. parryi var. fernandina at historically occupied but currently extirpated sites and at new sites decreases the risk of having small, isolated populations for C. parryi var. fernandina into the future. When we issued the proposed rule, we concluded that having small, isolated populations was a current and future population-level threat to the plant (Factor E). Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and is being implemented to increase future populations and habitats for C. parryi var. fernandina.

    At this time, under PECE, we have determined that the conservation actions outlined in the 2017 CCA are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective such that they should be considered in our assessment of status. These conservation actions significantly reduce the identified threats, including having small, isolated populations (Factor E), and their impacts to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. Thus, the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that the adverse effects of small, isolated populations to the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina is not a threat to the continued existence of the plant now nor will it be in the foreseeable future.

    Nonnative, Invasive Plants (Factors A and E)

    Nonnative, invasive plants include nonnative vegetation that occurs within or adjacent to habitat that supports C. parryi var. fernandina. In particular, we focused on the impacts of nonnative grasses and other fast-invading, nonnative annual plants because they are abundant at both sites and are efficient at displacing native vegetation.

    When we issued the proposed rule (81 FR 63454, September 15, 2016), we determined that this stressor would likely affect C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat at both sites into the future, but at a decreased severity. Newhall Land provided funding for the management of the Laskey Mesa population, including control of nonnative, invasive vegetation. At the Santa Clarita population, the proposed development of Newhall Ranch would convert areas that currently contain nonnative vegetation to urban areas, thereby reducing the total acreage of nonnative vegetation at this site, but this ground disturbance would also create additional opportunities for nonnative plants to invade urban edges of C. parryi var. fernandina preserves and natural open space. In general, nonnative weedy species are often edge species and become more prevalent or increase in abundance, while rare and sensitive species and species that were once widespread tend to decline (Hilty et al. 2006, pp. 42-45).

    The 2017 CCA provides for Newhall Land to voluntarily implement conservation measures described in the introduction plan with the goal of establishing new, protected C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences within the plant's historical range. Weed control is an important component of the introduction plan and will be implemented at all additional conservation areas. The first year of the seeding trials demonstrated successful plant establishment from both broadcast seeding and salvaged topsoil and documented positive effects from weeding. Confirmation that the weed control method used in the seeding trials is effective in improving performance of the plant has important positive implications both for the introduction plan and for management of occupied habitat within the SCP preserves.

    In our September 15, 2016, proposed rule, we concluded that nonnative, invasive plants are abundant at both Laskey Mesa and Santa Clarita populations, reduce available habitat quality, compete with C. parryi var. fernandina for resources, and increase potential for wildfire. We also concluded that this stressor historically affected Laskey Mesa and Santa Clarita populations and will continue to affect C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat at both sites into the future, but at a lower level than historically. Management actions will reduce the presence and impact of nonnative, invasive grasses that would be implemented in the near future and would be effective in reducing this stressor. When we issued the proposed rule, we concluded that nonnative, invasive plants are a population-level threat to C. parryi var. fernandina (loss of individuals) and its habitat (Factors A and E). Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and signed that now provides additional protected habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina by increasing future populations and habitats where weeds will be controlled. At this time, under PECE, we have determined that the conservation actions outlined in the 2017 CCA are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective such that they should be considered in our assessment of the status. These conservation actions significantly reduce the identified threats, including historical and future loss of habitat from nonnative, invasive plants (Factors A and E), and their impacts to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. Thus, the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that the stressor of invasive, nonnative plants is not a threat to the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina now nor will it be in the foreseeable future.

    Argentine Ants (Factor E)

    Argentine ants may impact pollination and seed dispersal vectors of C. parryi var. fernandina. Based on the best available information, Argentine ants have not historically impacted the Laskey Mesa or Santa Clarita populations of C. parryi var. fernandina. Currently, at Laskey Mesa, Argentine ants are present in close proximity, but they were not encountered in areas occupied by C. parryi var. fernandina because, presumably, the conditions are too dry and thus unsuitable (Sapphos 2000, pp. 6-8). At Santa Clarita, as of February 2016, Argentine ants were present within two SCP preserves, Entrada and Potrero (Dudek, 2016b, pp. 17, 20), in the Santa Clara River corridor (Dudek 2016b, entire), at Middle Canyon Spring (Dudek 2010a, p. 130), and in the existing utility corridor that runs along the southern portion of the property and through the Entrada Preserve (Dudek 2016b, p. 17).

    At Laskey Mesa, we do not expect Argentine ants will impact C. parryi var. fernandina in the future as there is no anticipated change in land use. At Santa Clarita, Argentine ants already occur, and we would expect them to occur within development areas and open areas adjacent to the preserves in the future after development of the proposed Newhall Ranch (Dudek 2010a, p. 130; Dudek 2016b, pp. 4-20).

    In our September 15, 2016, proposed rule, we determined that loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects including proliferation of Argentine ants at the Santa Clarita population are likely to decrease habitat quality, reducing resiliency at this population. The 2017 CCA includes establishing additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population, including three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. These additional conservation areas are intended to increase the extent of protected C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects, including Argentine ant invasion.

    The additional conservation area adjacent to the existing Potrero preserve is at risk of invasion by Argentine ants. The two additional conservation areas adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande preserve are farther from existing or proposed development (see Figure 2, above). None of the adjacent land uses near San Martinez Grande poses a heightened threat of Argentine ant invasion (Dudek 2016, p. 6). These additional conservation areas are not expected to be at risk of invasion from Argentine ants and should contribute to C. parryi var. fernandina numbers and recruitment at the Santa Clarita population. Pollination and seed dispersal vectors are therefore expected to remain healthy at these sites. Argentine ants are not considered to be a significant long-term risk to C. parryi var. fernandina at the introduction sites outside of the Santa Clarita population because they are all well separated from areas supporting potential source populations of Argentine ants, such as urban development areas.

    The 2017 CCA describes that annual Argentine ant monitoring will be conducted as part of the ongoing habitat maintenance and appropriate control measures consistent with the Argentine Ant Control Plan for Newhall Ranch (Dudek 2014, entire) in the event that invasion occurs. If Argentine ants invade, Newhall Land proposes control methods as part of an integrated pest management plan to remove Argentine ants and mitigate for the absence of native pollinators within the preserves (Dudek 2014c, pp. 25-42). Qualified pest control professionals and conservation managers will review and approve any control or mitigation plan.

    When we issued the proposed rule, we concluded that Argentine ants are a current and future population-level threat to C. parryi var. fernandina (loss of individuals) (Factor E). Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and signed, which will expand the area of protected conservation land for C. parryi var. fernandina and increase the extent of protected occurrences within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from detrimental effects of Argentine ant invasion. Argentine ants may still affect some portion of the Santa Clarita population, but by increasing the overall resiliency of the population to those effects by increasing numbers and area for the spineflower, the effects of Argentine ants, including loss of pollinators and seed dispersers, are not expected to result in meaningful impacts at the population scale. At this time, under PECE, we have determined that the conservation actions outlined in the 2017 CCA are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective such that they should be considered in our assessment of status. These conservation actions significantly reduce the identified threats, including Argentine ants (Factor E), and their impacts to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. Thus, the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that Argentine ants are not a threat to the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina now nor will they be in the foreseeable future.

    Climate Change (Factors A and E)

    The term “climate” refers to the mean and variability of different types of weather conditions over time, with 30 years being a typical period for such measurements, although shorter or longer periods also may be used (IPCC 2014, p. 119). The term “climate change” thus refers to a change in the mean or variability of one or more measures of climate (for example, temperature or precipitation) that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer, whether the change is due to natural variability, human activity, or both (IPCC 2014, p. 120). A recent synthesis report of climate change and its effects is available from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (IPCC 2014, entire).

    There is no way to measure past impacts at either population associated with climate change. Compared to historical or baseline temperature and precipitation measurements, projections of climate change in the south coast region of California indicate that precipitation will decrease slightly and temperature will increase slightly by mid-century. The response of C. parryi var. fernandina may be similar to other plant species with a similar life history. A growing body of literature discusses the specific mechanisms by which climate change could affect the abundance, distribution, and long-term viability of plant species, as well as current habitat configuration over time, including, but not limited to, Root et al. (2003), Parmesan and Yohe (2003), and Visser and Both (2005). Some of the responses by plants to climate change presented by these studies and others include the following:

    1. Drier conditions may result in less suitable habitat, or a lower germination success and smaller population sizes;

    2. Higher temperatures may inhibit germination, dry out soil, or affect pollinator services;

    3. The timing of pollinator life cycles may become out-of-sync with timing of flowering;

    4. A shift in the timing and nature of annual precipitation may favor expansion in abundance and distribution of nonnative species; and

    5. Drier conditions may result in increased fire frequency, making the ecosystems in which a species currently grows more vulnerable to threats of nonnative plant invasion.

    Overall, although many climate models generally agree about potential future changes in temperature and precipitation, their consequent effects on vegetation are more uncertain, as is the rate at which any such changes might be realized. It is not clear how or when changes in vegetation type or plant species composition will affect the distribution of C. parryi var. fernandina. Therefore, uncertainty exists when determining the level of impact climate change may have on C. parryi var. fernandina or its habitat. At the time of the proposed listing, based on the analysis in the Species Report (Service 2016, pp. 73-78) and summarized above, the best available information did not allow us to reliably project responses of C. parryi var. fernandina to indicate that climate change is a threat to the continued existence of the plant or its habitat now or in the future, although we continue to seek additional information concerning how climate change may affect the plant and its habitat (Factors A and E).

    Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and signed. The actions in the 2017 CCA will result in at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences and will increase the number of ecoregions in which C. parryi var. fernandina is represented. Increasing the number of ecoregions in which the plant is represented is intended to improve the ability of the plant to adapt to changing environmental conditions into the future. Ecoregions denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems through analysis of patterns of biotic and abiotic phenomena, including geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology; level IV is the finest ecoregion level developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (Environmental Protection Agency 2016). Currently, there are only two C. parryi var. fernandina populations, 17 mi (27 km) apart, representing only one level IV ecoregion. Increasing the number of ecoregions in which the species occurs may increase the ability of the plant to adapt to a changing environment, which may decrease the risk of future extirpation of the plant under climate change. The two existing C. parryi var. fernandina populations are located in the Venturan-Angeleno Coastal Hills ecoregion. The additional conservation area in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location, is within the Southern California Lower Montane Shrubland Woodland ecoregion. The additional conservation area located in the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake near a known extirpated population location is within the Arid Montane Slopes ecoregion.

    In our September 15, 2016, proposed rule, based on the analysis in the Species Report (Service 2016, pp. 73-78), we determined that we did not have reliable information to indicate that climate change is a threat to C. parryi var. fernandina or its habitat now or in the future (Factors A and E). Uncertainty about the effects of climate change on the plant remains. Therefore, we do not have reliable information to indicate that climate change is a threat to C. parryi var. fernandina habitat now or in the future (Factors A and E).

    Wildfire (Factor E)

    In our Species Report, we concluded that wildfire directly impacts C. parryi var. fernandina where they co-occur, but that this impact is temporary until vegetation reestablishes post fire (Service 2016, pp.73-76). The extent of direct impacts may depend on the severity of the fire, which is a function of its intensity (heat output) and duration. A high-intensity (i.e., hotter) and/or long duration fire would be more likely to incinerate seeds than a fire that is lower intensity (i.e., cooler) and/or has a shorter duration (i.e., is faster moving) (McGraw 2017, p. 4). Seed germination of related taxa, Parry's spineflower, appears to be inhibited by fire (Ellstrand 1994 and Ogden 1999, in CBI 2000, pp. 4, 13). A study on the effects of fire on Ben Lomond spineflower (Chorizanthe pungens var. hartwegiana) found that fire directly reduced seed germination during the first year after the fire (McGraw 2017, p. 5).

    Despite the effect of direct scorching, fire may prove beneficial to C. parryi var. fernandina by creating openings in ground cover and temporarily reducing competition (CBI 2000, p. 13). The Ben Lomond spineflower study found that fire indirectly facilitated Ben Lomond spineflower by removing accumulative leaf litter and creating openings for seedlings (McGraw 2017, p. 5). However, by creating such open areas, wildfire expands the footprint of invasive annual plants that are more likely to ignite and carry fire than much of the native flora, thereby creating a feedback mechanism.

    The Rye Fire on Newhall Ranch began on December 5, 2017, and burned approximately 2,845 ac (1,150 ha) of land within the boundaries of the SCP area. Of the seven SCP preserves, four were burned (Grapevine Mesa, Airport Mesa, Spring, and Potrero). The westernmost portion of the Airport Mesa preserve burned while the entirety of the Spring, Grapevine, and Potrero preserves burned. Of the 20-ac (8-ha) cumulative C. parryi var. fernandina occupied area within the SCP, approximately 13 ac (5 ha) were affected by the Rye Fire (approximately 66 percent of total cumulative occupied area since 2002), including 4 ac (1.6 ha) in the Grapevine Mesa preserve, 5 ac (2 ha) in Airport Mesa preserve, less than 1 ac (0.4 ha) in the Spring preserve, and 1 ac (0.4 ha) in the Potrero preserve (Dudek 2017, pp. 14-15). Approximately 3 ac (1.2 ha) of C. parryi var. fernandina habitat outside the SCP preserves were affected by the fire; of that area, approximately 1 ac (0.4 ha) was no longer occupied at the time of the fire, because this area lies within the Mission Village Project Site, and Newhall Land had previously conducted soil salvage in the C. parryi var. fernandina occupied area as an SCP conservation measure (Dudek 2017, pp. 14-15). This soil was stored off site at the time of the fire and was not burned.

    The intensity of the Rye Fire on Newhall Ranch was characterized as light (Watershed Emergency Response Team 2018, pp. 18-20). Based on field testing, the California Geological Survey found that within the mapped fire perimeter, 64 percent of the area was classified as very low/unburned, 34 percent as low, and 2 percent as moderate; no area was classified as high (Watershed Emergency Response Team 2018, pp. 18-20). The severity of the Rye Fire was similar to or generally less than the most recent fires on Newhall Ranch in C. parryi var. fernandina habitat, the 2003 Verdale Fire and 2007 Magic Fire. Severity in burn areas was generally low in the Magic Fire and very low to moderate in the Verdale Fire (Dudek 2017, p. 10). At the Laskey Mesa population, the Devonshire-Parker Fire (1967) burned a portion of the C. parryi var. fernandina; the Clampett Fire (1970) burned most of the plants; and the Dayton Fire (1982) and Topanga Fire (2005) burned all C. parryi var. fernandina plants onsite. These fires had relatively short intervals between burn events, between 2 and 18 years.

    If the Rye Fire promotes the invasion and spread of exotic plants, it will degrade habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina. In the 2016 Species Report, we found that small native annuals like C. parryi var. fernandina cannot compete with fast-growing nonnative plants (i.e., grasses) for light, water, and soil nutrients (Service 2016, pp. 39-44). Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina's size, density, and biomass were all found to be negatively correlated with exotic plant cover during the observational studies conducted as part of habitat characterization (McGraw 2017, p. 20). In addition, by manipulating the cover of exotic plants through weed whacking, the 2016 seeding trials demonstrated that exotic plants reduce population growth rate by significantly reducing C. parryi var. fernandina seedling establishment, survivorship, flower production, and seed set through competition (McGraw and Thomson 2017, p. 14).

    Numerous previous wildfire events have occurred on Newhall Ranch since 1913, including at least 12 since 1983 (excluding the 2017 Rye Fire), and several of these fires have affected extensive areas of spineflower-occupied habitat (Dudek 2017, p. 10). Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina monitoring began on Newhall Ranch in 2002. Two fires have affected the Santa Clarita population since then. The 2003 Verdale Fire burned almost the entire San Martinez Grande preserve area. The 2007 Magic Fire burned portions of the Grapevine Mesa and Entrada preserve areas. Both the 2003 Verdale Fire and the 2007 Magic Fire occurred in October, after C. parryi var. fernandina surveys had been conducted for that year.

    Large year-to-year fluctuations in population numbers make it difficult to discern pre- and post-burn trends in C. parryi var. fernandina. As an annual plant that exhibits large fluctuations in aboveground population size, abundance appears to track to annual climatic variability, particularly amount of rainfall (Dudek 2010a, pp. 18-20; Dudek 2012, p. 12; McGraw 2012, entire). Surveys conducted following the fires that occurred on Newhall Ranch in 2003 and 2007 show that year-to-year fluctuations in C. parryi var. fernandina occupied area and population numbers within burned areas have generally been consistent with fluctuations in unburned areas (Dudek 2017, p. 11). In addition, no significant patterns relating historical fire frequency to C. parryi var. fernandina cover, density, survival to flower, or size were observed in 2014 (McGraw 2017, p. 3). However, C. parryi var. fernandina cover, density, and size were all generally negatively correlated with the cover of shrubs, which increases with time after fire, suggesting that C. parryi var. fernandina may do better in terms of density and size in more recently burned areas (McGraw 2017, p. 3).

    We expect relatively minor effects from the Rye Fire on arthropods that could be C. parryi var. fernandina pollinators. Jones et al. (2004) conducted pollinator studies on C. parryi var. fernandina populations on Newhall Ranch and Ahmanson Ranch, and found that one of the dominant floral visitors on Newhall Ranch was little red ant and the dominant floral visitors at the Ahmanson Ranch were two species of ants: The pyramid ant and the southern fire ant. Matsuda et al. (2011, entire) investigated the effect of broad-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants within southern California. They found a net negative effect of fire on the overall diversity of ground foraging ants likely because of changes in community structure rather than the loss of species richness. Although they found a negative effect of fire on ant diversity, the increases in overall species diversity in both the fire-impacted and reference plots suggest that ground-foraging ants may be relatively resilient to fire because only about 2 percent of an ant colony is active on the surface, thus limiting direct mortality. They also suggest that unburned patches within a burn area can provide refuge for ants and source populations for recolonization of burned areas.

    Fire suppression activities may impact C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat, including clearing vegetation for fire and fuel breaks or spreading retardant. Fire retardant is known to act as a fertilizer that enhances the growth of nonnative grasses (Avery 2001, pp. 17-18). During the Rye Fire, Airport Mesa was the only SCP preserve where Phos-Chek (i.e., aerial applied fire retardant) was dropped. It covered approximately 5 ac (2 ha) of the preserve and less than 1 ac (0.4 ha) of the cumulative spineflower area in that preserve. Also in the Airport Mesa Preserve, an existing road and a portion of undisturbed lands were used by vehicles during the fire (Dudek 2017, p. 15).

    In 2011, the Service issued a biological and conference opinion based on our review of the continued aerial application of fire retardants, including Phos-Chek, on National Forest System Lands and its effects on 75 species listed as endangered or threatened, or proposed for listing, and on designated critical habitat in accordance with section 7 of the Act (Service 2011, entire). This opinion did not directly address effects to C. parryi var. fernandina. However, it addressed effects to the slender-horned spineflower (Dodecahema leptoceras) (Service 2011, pp. 411-414). Our analyses found that fire retardant applications could impact the plant via short-term (1 to 2 growing seasons) phytotoxic effects, including leaf burning, shoot die-back, a decrease in germination, and plant death. However, the more likely effects to the species would be that nonnative plants could be enhanced by fire retardant application and impact population. Fire retardants contain nitrogen and phosphorus that could act as nutrients. While fire retardant could enhance nonnative plants, it could also enhance slender-horned spineflower growth.

    The effects of Phos-Check were also examined as part of the Ben Lomond spineflower study (McGraw 2017, pp. 5-6). There were no biologically meaningful increases in the cover or richness of exotic plants within the Phos-Chek treated areas. This may reflect the dense shrub and tree cover in these areas, which limits the ability of light-limited exotic plants to establish, or the Phos-Chek nutrients might have been readily taken up by native plants, or readily flushed from the sandy-soil system.

    Monitoring of C. parryi var. fernandina on Newhall Ranch within the SCP preserves will continue to evaluate the performance of the Santa Clarita population post-Rye Fire. If the monitoring shows that management is needed to address direct or indirect effects of the fire, measures will be incorporated into annual work plans as required by the SCP and reviewed by the Spineflower Adaptive Management Working Group. The primary anticipated post-fire preserve management activity involves monitoring and controlling weeds that may invade burned areas following the fire event, particularly if they exceed 30 percent relative cover (Dudek 2017, p. 7).

    Additional information about the effects of the fire on C. parryi var. fernandina will be obtained through the second year of monitoring of the 2016 seeding trial study plots. The Rye Fire burned 7 of the 10 experimental blocks (groups of treatment plots) into which spineflower seed was sown and topsoil was placed to evaluate the effects of seeding methods and habitat treatment (weeding, irrigation, and soil compaction) on spineflower establishment (McGraw 2017, pp. 7-8). During monitoring of the plots in the 2018 growing season, rates of seedling establishment, survivorship, growth, and reproduction can be compared across plots that burned and those that did not burn.

    Given the large C. parryi var. fernandina occupied area and potentially suitable habitat affected by the Rye Fire (approximately 13 ac (5 ha) or 66 percent of the cumulative occupied area of the Santa Clarita population), the fire has the potential to affect the distribution and performance of the population both directly and indirectly, with these effects having the potential to result in positive or negative outcomes. Overall, the Rye Fire falls within the historical range of fires on Newhall Ranch in terms of size and severity (i.e., generally light burning and little evidence of deep soil charring), and we expect that the plant will be affected by this fire similarly to past fires, where year-to-year fluctuations in C. parryi var. fernandina occupied area and population numbers within burned areas were generally consistent with fluctuations in unburned areas (Dudek 2017, p. 11). The biggest concern is that fire may promote the invasion and spread of nonnative, invasive grasses that out-compete small native annuals like C. parryi var. fernandina. The effects of the Rye Fire on C. parryi var. fernandina may depend on the climate in the ensuing years. Monitoring conducted under the SCP will continue to evaluate the performance of the population, in terms of cover, density, and size of plants, within the SCP preserves, and if the monitoring shows that management is needed to address direct or indirect effects of the fire, such as an increase in nonnative, invasive grasses, measures will be incorporated into annual work plans and implemented (Dudek 2017, p. 7). Therefore, the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that the stressor of wildlife is not a threat to the continued existence of C. parryi var. fernandina now nor will it likely be in the foreseeable future.

    Synergistic Effects

    When stressors occur together, one stressor may exacerbate the effects of another stressor, causing effects not accounted for when stressors are analyzed individually. Synergistic effects may be observed in a short amount of time or may not be noticeable for years into the future, and could affect the long-term viability of C. parryi var. fernandina. Stressors that could act synergistically on C. parryi var. fernandina include development; having small, isolated populations; nonnative, invasive plants; Argentine ants; wildfire; and potentially climate change. At the Laskey Mesa site, the presence of nonnative, invasive grasses increases the frequency of wildfire, which in turn creates more open area for nonnative, invasive plants to grow that are more likely to ignite and carry fire than native vegetation (Keeley et al. 2005, p. 2123). At the Santa Clarita site, the future development of Newhall Ranch would directly remove 24 percent of the C. parryi var. fernandina population, fragmenting the habitat between the occurrences of C. parryi var. fernandina, which will create edge effects around remaining occurrences within C. parryi var. fernandina preserves, and increase the risk of invasion of Argentine ants and nonnative, invasive plants. When we issued our September 15, 2016, proposed rule, we determined that when considered together, the impact of these stressors has the potential to be high. Even though the impact of each of these stressors may be low to moderate under current conditions, the proposed development of Newhall Ranch, which would occur over the next 25 years, will likely exacerbate the impact of the stressors while confining the C. parryi var. fernandina population at this site to small patches of suitable habitat adjacent to and bordered by urban development. At the time of the proposed listing, we also determined that long-term future impacts may increase synergistic effects, and it is unknown if C. parryi var. fernandina will be able to adapt to the potential synergistic effect of stressors. Since the publication of the proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and signed, and is being implemented; the 2017 CCA now provides additional populations and protected habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina.

    At the Laskey Mesa site, we anticipate that management actions will be undertaken to manage the proliferation of nonnative, invasive grasses. At the Santa Clarita site, the 2017 CCA conservation efforts will expand the area of protected conservation land for the plant and will increase the extent of protected locations within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from detrimental effects. Argentine ants may still affect some portion of the Santa Clarita population, but by increasing the overall resiliency of the population to those effects by increasing numbers and area for the spineflower, the effects of Argentine ants, including some loss of pollinators and seed dispersers, is not expected to have significant impacts at the population scale. Weeding will decrease the impacts of nonnative, invasive plants. Additional conservation areas associated with the 2017 CCA outside the Santa Clarita population are not at risk from Argentine ant invasion; weeding will also take place. Increasing the overall redundancy of C. parryi var. fernandina with additional populations and distributing those populations across different ecoregions improves the ability of the plant to withstand small-scale stressors, as well as catastrophic events. At this time, under PECE, we have determined that the conservation actions outlined in the 2017 CCA are sufficiently certain to be implemented and effective such that the actions will significantly reduce the identified threats, including their synergistic effects, to C. parryi var. fernandina and its habitat. Thus, the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that synergistic effects acting on C. parryi var. fernandina or its habitat are not a threat to the continued existence of the plant now nor will they be in the foreseeable future.

    Resiliency, Redundancy, and Representation

    We use the principles of resiliency, redundancy, and representation as a lens to evaluate current and future effects to C. parryi var. fernandina. Resiliency describes the ability of a species to withstand stochastic disturbance. Resiliency is positively related to population size and growth rate, and may be influenced by connectivity among populations. Generally speaking, populations need abundant individuals within habitat patches of adequate area and quality to maintain survival and reproduction in spite of disturbance.

    Redundancy describes the ability of a species to withstand catastrophic events. It is about spreading risk among multiple populations to minimize the potential loss of the species from catastrophic events. Redundancy is characterized by having multiple, resilient populations distributed within the species' ecological settings and across the species' range. It can be measured by population number, resiliency, special extent, and degree of connectivity.

    Representation describes the ability of a species to adapt to changing environmental conditions overtime. It is characterized by the breadth of genetic and environmental diversity within and among populations. Measures may include the number of varied niches occupied, the gene diversity, and heterozygosity of alleles per locus.

    In our September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454) to list Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species, we concluded that, overall, redundancy and representation are currently reduced and resiliency is likely to decrease in the future, bringing into question whether C. parryi var. fernandina can sustain itself in the face of environmental fluctuations and random, naturally occurring events.

    Resiliency

    In our proposed rule, we determined that loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects (i.e., proliferation of invasive, nonnative plants and Argentine ants) at the Santa Clarita population are likely to decrease habitat quality, reducing resiliency at this population and increasing the overall risk to the plant from random, naturally occurring events. The portions of the 2017 CCA that intend to establish additional C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences at the Santa Clarita population (Areas 1-3 in Figure 2, above) include three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) that are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP. These areas are intended to expand the area of protected conservation land for C. parryi var. fernandina and increase the extent of protected occurrences within the Santa Clarita population to buffer it from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects.

    Given that invasion by invasive, nonnative plants and Argentine ants could occur, all additional conservation areas will be monitored and managed for these stressors. The enhancement areas surrounding introduction sites will help minimize invasion of nonnative plant species, which could threaten the quality of the habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina occupation. The overall maintenance program described in the introduction plan, which will occur throughout the duration of the 10-year maintenance and monitoring period, directs enhancement efforts in the additional conservation areas to focus on: (1) Reducing annual nonnative/exotic plant species cover and competition to help facilitate C. parryi var. fernandina establishment, persistence, and recruitment; (2) increasing native species cover and diversity in disturbed areas, particularly in areas surrounding introduction sites that function as a buffer; and (3) providing regulation and protection of the preserve boundaries from unauthorized human activity and intrusion.

    As of February 2016, Argentine ants were present within two SCP preserves at the Santa Clarita population, Entrada and Potrero (Dudek, 2016, pp. 17, 20). Therefore, the additional conservation area adjacent to the existing Potrero preserve is at risk of invasion by Argentine ants. The two additional conservation areas adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande preserve are farther from existing or proposed development (see Figure 2, above). None of the adjacent land uses near San Martinez Grande poses a heightened threat of Argentine ant invasion (Dudek 2016, p. 6); therefore, these additional conservation areas are not expected to be at risk of invasion Argentine ants and should contribute to C. parryi var. fernandina numbers and recruitment at the Santa Clarita population. Section 2.4 of the introduction plan describes that annual Argentine ant monitoring will be conducted as part of the ongoing habitat maintenance and appropriate control measures consistent with the Argentine Ant Control Plan for Newhall Ranch (Dudek 2014, entire) will be implemented in the event that invasion occurs. If Argentine ants invade, Newhall Land proposes control methods as part of an integrated pest management plan to remove Argentine ants and mitigate for the absence of native pollinators within the preserves (Dudek 2014c, pp. 25-42). Qualified pest control professionals and conservation managers will review and approve any control or mitigation plan.

    Overall, increasing the number and health of the plants at the Santa Clarita population with introduction and enhancement is expected to increase the overall resiliency of the population to potential proliferation of invasive, nonnative plants and the effects of Argentine ant invasion. The two additional conservation areas adjacent to the San Martinez Grande preserve are at low risk of invasion by invasive, nonnative plants and Argentine ants, and should contribute to C. parryi var. fernandina numbers and recruitment at the Santa Clarita population in the event that the additional conservation area adjacent to the Potrero preserve becomes invaded by Argentine ants and control measures are unsuccessful.

    The introduction sites outside of the Santa Clarita population include an additional conservation area of 357 ac (144 ha) located in the Simi Valley watershed on the southern boundary of Newhall Land property in Ventura County (Area 5 in Figure 2, above); an additional conservation area of approximately 316 ac (128 ha) located on Newhall Land property in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location (Area 4 in Figure 2); and an additional conservation area located in a 7-ac (2.8-ha) portion of the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake, also near a known extirpated population location (Area 6 in Figure 2). Argentine ants are not considered to be a significant long-term risk to C. parryi var. fernandina at these introduction sites because they are all well separated from areas supporting potential source populations, such as urban development areas. Supplemental watering will be delivered through a water truck rather than a permanent point of connection to a live water line to minimize the potential for the introduction of Argentine ants. The enhancement areas surrounding introduction sites are intended to help minimize invasion of nonnative plant species, which could threaten the quality of the habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina occupation.

    Redundancy

    In our proposed rule, we determined that with only two extant populations, there may not be sufficient redundancy to sustain C. parryi var. fernandina over the long term, given current and future stressors acting upon the populations. The additional conservation areas proposed in the introduction plan are intended to further increase the number and extent of C. parryi var. fernandina within its historic range. The 2017 CCA provides for Newhall Land to introduce C. parryi var. fernandina within portions of the additional conservation areas with the goal of establishing at least two new self-sustaining, persistent occurrences to at least double the redundancy of the spineflower. C. parryi var. fernandina introduction will occur on a total of at least 10 ac (4 ha) within the additional conservation areas: (1) Three additional conservation areas totaling approximately 825 ac (334 ha) are contiguous with or adjacent to the existing San Martinez Grande and Potrero preserves established under the SCP (all of which would be considered part of the Santa Clarita population); (2) an additional conservation area of 357 ac (144 ha) is located in the Simi Valley watershed on the southern boundary of Newhall Land property in Ventura County; (3) an additional conservation area of approximately 316 ac (128 ha) is located on Newhall Land property in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location; and (4) an additional conservation area containing introduction sites is located in a 7-ac (2.8-ha) portion of the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake, also near a known extirpated population location.

    Representation

    In our proposed rule, we determined that the two C. parryi var. fernandina populations represent only one level IV ecoregion (EPA 2016), down from five historically, which theoretically may decrease the ability of the plant to adapt to changing environmental conditions into the future. The goal of the 2017 CCA is to establish at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences, at least one of which will be in a different ecoregion from the existing populations to increase the number of ecoregions in which the species is represented (see Figure 2, above). The two existing populations are located in the Venturan-Angeleno Coastal Hills ecoregion. The additional conservation area in the Castaic Mesa area in northern Los Angeles County, near a known extirpated population location, is within the Southern California Lower Montane Shrubland Woodland ecoregion. The additional conservation area located in the Petersen Ranch Mitigation Bank adjacent to Elizabeth Lake near a known extirpated population location is within the Arid Montane Slopes ecoregion. Establishing at least two new self-sustaining, persistent spineflower occurrences where at least one is in a different ecoregion from the existing populations should improve the ability of the plant to adapt to changing environmental conditions into the future.

    In conclusion, based on our high certainty that these efforts will be implemented and be effective, we conclude that the nature and extent of threats identified in our September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454) are adequately addressed. The threats identified in the proposed rule include reduced resiliency due to habitat fragmentation and associated edge effects (i.e., proliferation of Argentine ants) at the Santa Clarita population, reduced redundancy with only two extant populations, and reduced representation down to one ecoregion from five historically across the range of C. parryi var. fernandina. The 2017 CCA and associated introduction plan have identified the types of threats to the plant and include actions to address these threats, including the establishment of at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences, at least one of which will be in a different ecoregion from the existing populations on a total of at least 10 ac (4 ha) within the additional conservation areas. Permanent conservation instruments will be recorded over each of the additional conservation areas to ensure that the habitat values are maintained and that all initial habitat enhancement and introduction activities and perpetual management and monitoring will be funded.

    Determination of Species Status

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for determining whether a species meets the definition of “endangered species” or “threatened species.” The Act defines an “endangered species” as a species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” and a “threatened species” as a species that is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The Act requires that we determine whether a species meets the definition of “endangered species” or “threatened species” because of any of the following factors:

    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

    (C) Disease or predation;

    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

    Determination of Status Throughout All of Its Range

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to C. parryi var. fernandina including development (Factors A and E); nonnative, invasive plants (Factors A and E), Argentine ants (Factor E); wildfire (Factor E); and potentially climate change (Factors A and E) acting on the small, isolated populations (Factor E) of C. parryi var. fernandina. Our analysis of this information indicates that these stressors are not of sufficient imminence, intensity, or magnitude to indicate that C. parryi var. fernandina is in danger of extinction or likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all of its range.

    Since the publication of the September 15, 2016, proposed rule, the 2017 CCA was developed and signed, and is being implemented; the 2017 CCA provides for additional populations and protected habitat for C. parryi var. fernandina. The additional conservation areas proposed in the C. parryi var. fernandina introduction plan are intended to further increase the number and extent of the spineflower within its historic range. The actions in the 2017 CCA will result in at least two new self-sustaining, persistent C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences and will increase the number of ecoregions in which the plant is represented. This effort is expected to double the number of extant C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences. At the Santa Clarita population, the extent of protected occurrences will be increased to buffer the population from edge effects, such as Argentine ant invasion. At both Santa Clarita and the Laskey Mesa populations, we anticipate that management actions will be undertaken to manage the proliferation of nonnative, invasive grasses. Increasing the overall redundancy of C. parryi var. fernandina with additional populations and distributing those populations across different ecoregions improves the ability of the plant to withstand small-scale stressors, as well as catastrophic events. Increasing the number of ecoregions in which the spineflower is represented is intended to improve the ability of the plant to adapt to changing environmental conditions into the future. Thus, after assessing the best available information, we conclude that C. parryi var. fernandina is not in danger of extinction throughout all of its range nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future.

    Because we determined that C. parryi var. fernandina is not in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range, we will consider whether there are any significant portions of its range in which C. parryi var. fernandina is in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future.

    Determination of Status Throughout a Significant Portion of Its Range

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is an endangered species or a threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Act defines “endangered species” as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” and “threatened species” as any species that is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The term “species” includes “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment [DPS] of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” We published a final policy interpreting the phrase “significant portion of its range” (SPR) (79 FR 37578, July 1, 2014). The final policy states that (1) if a species is found to be an endangered or a threatened species throughout a significant portion of its range, the entire species is listed as an endangered or a threatened species, respectively, and the Act's protections apply to all individuals of the species wherever found; (2) a portion of the range of a species is “significant” if the species is not currently an endangered species or a threatened species throughout all of its range, but the portion's contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range; (3) the range of a species is considered to be the general geographical area within which that species can be found at the time the Service makes any particular status determination; and (4) if a vertebrate species is an endangered species or a threatened species throughout an SPR, and the population in that significant portion is a valid DPS, we will list the DPS rather than the entire taxonomic species or subspecies.

    The SPR policy is applied to all status determinations, including analyses for the purposes of making listing, delisting, and reclassification determinations. The procedure for analyzing whether any portion is an SPR is similar, regardless of the type of status determination we are making. The first step in our analysis of the status of a species is to determine its status throughout all of its range. If we determine that the species is in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range, we list the species as an endangered (or threatened) species and no SPR analysis will be required. If the species is neither an endangered nor a threatened species throughout all of its range, we determine whether the species is an endangered or a threatened species throughout a significant portion of its range. If it is, we list the species as an endangered or a threatened species, respectively; if it is not, we conclude that listing the species is not warranted.

    When we conduct an SPR analysis, we first identify any portions of the species' range that warrant further consideration. The range of a species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite number of ways. However, there is no purpose to analyzing portions of the range that are not reasonably likely to be significant and either an endangered or a threatened species. To identify only those portions that warrant further consideration, we determine whether there is substantial information indicating that (1) the portions may be significant and (2) the species may be in danger of extinction in those portions or likely to become so within the foreseeable future. We emphasize that answering these questions in the affirmative is not a determination that the species is an endangered or a threatened species throughout a significant portion of its range—rather; it is a step in determining whether a more detailed analysis of the issue is required. In practice, a key part of this analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in some way. If the threats to the species are affecting it uniformly throughout its range, no portion is likely to warrant further consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats apply only to portions of the range that clearly do not meet the biologically based definition of “significant” (i.e., the loss of that portion clearly would not be expected to increase the vulnerability to extinction of the entire species); those portions will not warrant further consideration.

    If we identify any portions that may be both (1) significant and (2) endangered or threatened, we engage in a more detailed analysis to determine whether these standards are indeed met. The identification of an SPR does not create a presumption, prejudgment, or other determination as to whether the species in that identified SPR is an endangered or a threatened species. We must go through a separate analysis to determine whether the species is an endangered or a threatened species in the SPR. To determine whether a species is an endangered or a threatened species throughout an SPR, we will use the same standards and methodology that we use to determine if a species is an endangered or a threatened species throughout its range.

    Depending on the biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it may be more efficient to address the “significant” question first, or the status question first. Thus, if we determine that a portion of the range is not “significant,” we do not need to determine whether the species is an endangered or a threatened species there; if we determine that the species is not an endangered or a threatened species in a portion of its range, we do not need to determine if that portion is “significant.”

    Applying the process described above to identify whether any portions warrant further consideration, we determine whether there are any particular portions where (1) the portions may be significant and (2) the species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so within the foreseeable future. To identify portions that may be significant, we consider whether any natural divisions within the range might be of biological or conservation importance. To identify portions where the species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, we consider whether the threats are geographically concentrated in any portion of the species' range.

    We evaluated the range of Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina to determine if any area may be a significant portion of the range. We determine whether a portion is significant by considering the importance of the members in that portion to the conservation of the species. To be significant, a portion must be of such importance to the species that the hypothetical loss of the members in that portion would cause the entire species to be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout the remainder of its range. In this determination, we are not forecasting the outcome of our evaluation of the portion's status; rather, we are only hypothesizing what the status of the species would be if the members of the species in that portion were to be extirpated.

    Because there are only two extant Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina populations (Santa Clarita population and Laskey Mesa population) 17 mi (27 km) apart, we determined that either the Santa Clarita population portion or the Laskey Mesa population portion of the range may be considered significant. At the same time, we also examined whether either portion, the Santa Clarita population or the Laskey Mesa population, might be endangered or threatened as a result of a geographic concentration of threats. We determine the status of the species in a portion of its range the same way we determine the status of a species throughout all of its range. We consider whether threats are reasonably likely to affect the species in that portion to such an extent that the species is in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future in that portion.

    When we issued our September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454), we determined that the Laskey Mesa population was currently affected by nonnative, invasive grasses; effects of small, isolated populations; and potentially climate change. We also determined at the time we issued that proposed rule that the Santa Clarita population was affected by nonnative, invasive grasses; Argentine ants; effects of small, isolated populations; and potentially climate change. The Santa Clarita population would also be affected in the future by the proposed Newhall Ranch development project, which would result in removal of 24 percent of the C. parryi var. fernandina population at this site. Therefore, the Santa Clarita population portion of the C. parryi var. fernandina's range would be affected by a greater concentration of stressors than the Laskey Mesa population portion. At the time of the proposed listing, this greater concentration of the stressors at the Santa Clarita population was considered to be significant, so this population may have met the definition of threatened or endangered in that portion of the range.

    However, in considering whether the geographic concentration of threats in the Santa Clarita portion of the range are such that the species may be threatened or endangered there, we now consider how the implementation of the 2017 CCA have and will continue to ameliorate these threats. With the implementation of the 2017 CCA, as discussed above, we have determined that the Santa Clarita portion of C. parryi var. fernandina's range currently does not meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species.

    As summarized under Ongoing and Future Conservation Efforts and Summary of PECE Analysis above, we have a high degree of certainty that the 2017 CCA will continue to be implemented and will be effective. The CCA provides for Newhall Land to voluntarily implement conservation measures with the goal of establishing new, protected spineflower occurrences within its historical range, such that no future C. parryi var. fernandina population will be one of only two small, isolated populations (Factor E). For the Santa Clarita population, increasing the extent of protected C. parryi var. fernandina occurrences within that population will help buffer it from detrimental effects of loss of habitat and individuals and the associated edge effects, such as invasion of nonnative plants (Factors A and E) and Argentine ants (Factor E), such that these stressors are not having significant impacts in this portion of the range currently or into the future. For the Laskey Mesa population, with additional funding and management forthcoming and no future land use changes anticipated, we conclude that stressors affecting this population, such as invasion of nonnative plants (Factors A and E), are not having significant impacts in this portion of the range.

    We have identified portions (both Santa Clarita and Laskey Mesa) of C. parryi var. fernandina's range that may be significant. We also identified a portion (Santa Clarita population) where the species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, as a result of a greater concentration of threats. However, the best information available does not support a conclusion that the species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future in the Santa Clarita portion of the range given the conservation efforts in the 2017 CCA. Also, while the Laskey Mesa portion of the range may be significant, there is no concentration of threats in that portion that would lead us to conclude that the species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. Therefore, neither portion of C. parryi var. fernandina's range warrants a detailed SPR analysis.

    Determination of Status

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial data available regarding the past, present, and future threats to Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina. We have determined that the conservation efforts have sufficient certainty of implementation and effectiveness such that they can be relied upon in this final listing determination. Further, we conclude that conservation efforts have reduced or eliminated current and future threats to C. parryi var. fernandina to the point that it is not in danger of extinction now throughout all or significant portions of its range, nor is it likely to become so within the foreseeable future throughout all or any significant portion of its range; therefore, C. parryi var. fernandina does not meet the definition of an endangered species or threatened species. As a consequence of this determination, we are withdrawing our proposed rule to list C. parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species.

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this document is available on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078 and upon request from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office.

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: January 26, 2018 James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Exercising the Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05081 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No.: 180202111-8111-01] RIN 0648-BH56 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Framework Adjustment 29 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to approve and implement the measures the portion of Framework Adjustment 29 (Framework 29) to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan that establishes scallop specifications and other measures for fishing years 2018 and 2019. The measures discussed in this proposed rule are in addition to the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) management measures of Framework 29 that were published in a separate proposed rule on February 20, 2018. This action is necessary to prevent overfishing and improve both yield-per-recruit and the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop resource. The intended effect of this rule is to notify the public of these proposed measures and to solicit comment on the potential scallop fishery management changes.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by March 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the proposed measures in Framework 29, other considered alternatives, and analyzes the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives, including NGOM management measures of Framework 29 that were published as a proposed rule on February 20, 2018 (83 FR 7129). The Council submitted a decision draft of Framework 29 to NMFS that includes the draft EA, a description of the Council's preferred alternatives, the Council's rationale for selecting each alternative, and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA). Copies of the draft of Framework 29, the draft EA, the IRFA, and information on the economic impacts of this proposed rulemaking are available upon request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950 and accessible via the internet in documents available at: https://www.nefmc.org/library/framework-29-1.

    With regard to new access areas that will become available to scallop fishing through the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (see proposed rule for the Omnibus Habitat Amendment published on November 6, 2017 (82 FR 51492)), additional documents are available via the internet at: http://www.nefmc.org/library/omnibus-habitat-amendment-2.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2018-0016, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0016, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

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

    On February 20, 2018, NMFS published a separate proposed rule to approve and implement the portion of Framework 29 that address the NGOM measures (83 FR 7129). We informed the Council at the December meeting that we would consider separating out the NGOM measures in Framework 29 to ensure that they were in place prior to April 1, 2018. Additional information on the proposed NGOM measures is provided in the February 20, 2018, proposed rule and is not repeated here. This action addresses only the remaining portions of Framework 29.

    This action proposes to approve and implement the portion of Framework 29 that establishes scallop specifications and other measures for fishing year 2018. This includes default fishing year 2019 measures that would go into place should the next specifications-setting action be delayed beyond the start of fishing year 2019.

    NMFS will implement these measures of Framework 29, if approved, as close as possible to the April 1, 2018, start of fishing year 2018. If NMFS implements these Framework 29 measures after the start of the 2018 fishing year, 2018 default allocation measures will go into place on April 1, 2018. The Council has reviewed the proposed regulations in this rule as drafted by NMFS and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate as specified in section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Specification of Scallop Overfishing Limit (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Annual Catch Limits (ACLs), Annual Catch Targets (ACTs), Annual Projected Landings (APLs) and Set-Asides for the 2018 Fishing Year, and Default Specifications for Fishing Year 2019

    The Council set the proposed OFL based on a fishing mortality rate (F) of 0.48, equivalent to the overfishing F threshold updated through the 2014 assessment. The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee recommended a scallop fishery ABC for 2018 of 132 million lb (59,968 mt) and 128 million lb (58,126 mt) for 2019, after accounting for discards and incidental mortality. The Council reduced these recommended ABCs to the amounts included in this proposed rule: 45,950 mt for the 2018 fishing year, and 45,805 mt for the 2019 fishing year. For each fishing year the ACL is based on the proposed ABC using an F of 0.38, which is the F associated with a 25-percent probability of exceeding the OFL. The Scientific and Statistical Committee will reevaluate the default ABC for 2019 when the Council develops the next framework adjustment in 2018.

    Table 1 outlines the proposed scallop fishery catch limits. After deducting the incidental target total allowable catch (TAC), the research set-aside (RSA), and the observer set-aside, the remaining ACL available to the fishery is allocated according to the following fleet proportions established in Amendment 11 to the FMP (72 FR 20090; April 14, 2008): 94.5 percent is allocated to the limited access scallop fleet (i.e., the larger “trip boat” fleet); 5 percent is allocated to the limited access general category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) fleet (i.e., the smaller “day boat” fleet); and the remaining 0.5 percent is allocated to limited access scallop vessels that also have LAGC IFQ permits. Amendment 15 to the FMP (76 FR 43746; July 21, 2011) specified that no buffers to account for management uncertainty are necessary in setting the LAGC ACLs, meaning that the LAGC ACL would equal the LAGC ACT. For the limited access fleet, the management uncertainty buffer is based on the F associated with a 75-percent probability of remaining below the F associated with ABC/ACL, which, using the updated Fs applied to the ABC/ACL, now results in an F of 0.34.

    Table 1—Scallop Catch Limits (mt) for Fishing Years 2018 and 2019 for the Limited Access and LAGC IFQ Fleets Catch limits 2018
  • (mt)
  • 2019
  • (mt) *
  • Overfishing Limit 72,055 69,633 Acceptable Biological Catch/ACL (discards removed) 45,950 45,805 Incidental Catch 23 23 RSA 567 567 Observer Set-Aside 460 458 ACL for fishery 44,900 44,757 Limited Access ACL 42,431 42,295 LAGC Total ACL 2,470 2,462 LAGC IFQ ACL (5 percent of ACL) 2,245 2,238 Limited Access with LAGC IFQ ACL (0.5 percent of ACL) 225 224 Limited Access ACT 37,964 37,843 Closed Area 1 Carryover 743 n/a APL 25,451 (*) Limited Access Projected Landings (94.5 percent of APL) 24,051 (*) Total IFQ Annual Allocation (5.5 percent of APL) 1,400 **1,050 LAGC IFQ Annual Allocation (5 percent of APL) 1,273 **955 Limited Access with LAGC IFQ Annual Allocation (0.5 percent of APL) 127 **95 *The catch limits for the 2019 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment. This includes the setting of an APL for 2019 that will be based on the 2018 annual scallop surveys. **As a precautionary measure, the 2019 IFQ annual allocations are set at 75 percent of the 2018 IFQ Annual Allocations.

    This action would deduct 1.25 million lb (567 mt) of scallops annually for 2018 and 2019 from the ABC for use as the Scallop RSA to fund scallop research. Participating vessels are compensated through the sale of scallops harvested under RSA projects. Of the 1.25 million lb (567 mt) allocation, NMFS has already allocated 133,037 lb (60.3 mt) to previously-funded multi-year projects as part of the 2017 RSA awards process. NMFS is reviewing proposals submitted for consideration of 2018 RSA awards and will be selecting projects for funding in the near future.

    This action would also deduct 1 percent of the ABC for the industry-funded observer program to help defray the cost to scallop vessels that carry an observer. The observer set-aside is 460 mt for 2018 and 458 mt for 2019. The Council may adjust the 2019 observer set-aside when it develops specific, non-default measures for 2019.

    Open Area Days-at-Sea (DAS) Allocations

    This action would implement vessel-specific DAS allocations for each of the three limited access scallop DAS permit categories (i.e., full-time, part-time, and occasional) for 2018 and 2019 (Table 2). Proposed 2018 DAS allocations are lower than those allocated to the limited access fleet in 2017 (30.55 DAS for full-time, 12.22 DAS for part-time, and 2.44 DAS for occasional vessels). Framework 29 would set 2019 DAS allocations at 75 percent of fishing year 2018 DAS allocations as a precautionary measure. This is to avoid over-allocating DAS to the fleet in the event that the 2019 specifications action is delayed past the start of the 2019 fishing year. The proposed allocations in Table 2 exclude any DAS deductions that are required if the limited access scallop fleet exceeded its 2017 sub-ACL.

    Table 2—Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations for 2018 and 2019 Permit category 2018 2019
  • (Default)
  • Full-Time 24.00 18.00 Part-Time 9.60 7.20 Occasional 2.00 1.5

    If NMFS implements these Framework 29 measures after April 1, 2018, fishing year 2018 default DAS allocations, which were established in Framework Adjustment 28 to the Scallop FMP (82 FR 15155; March 27, 2017), will go into place on April 1, 2018. Full-time vessels will receive 21.75 DAS, Part-time vessels will receive 8.69 DAS, and Occasional vessels will receive 1.91 DAS. The allocations would later be increased in accordance with Framework 29, if approved. NMFS will send a letter to all limited access permit holders providing both default and Framework 29 DAS allocations so that vessel owners know what mid-year adjustments would occur should Framework 29 be approved and implemented after April 1, 2018.

    Limited Access Allocations and Trip Possession Limits for Scallop Access Areas

    For fishing year 2018 and the start of 2019, Framework 29 would keep the Mid-Atlantic Access Area (MAAA) open as an access area and would include what is now the Elephant Trunk Flex Rotational Area as part of the MAAA. In addition, this action would close the northern portion of Nantucket Lightship (NLS-N), but it would allocate trips into the southern portion of Nantucket Lightship in an area referred to as Nantucket Lightship-South (NLS-S). Further, this action would allocate effort into new access areas (Closed Area 1 (CA1) and Nantucket Lightship-West (NLS-W)) that will become available to scallop fishing through the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (Omnibus Habitat Amendment). We published a proposed rule for the Omnibus Habitat Amendment on November 6, 2017 (82 FR 51492). On January 3, 2018, NMFS approved the Omnibus Habitat Amendment, which would open areas that are now contained in CA1 and NLS-W. We intend to publish the final rule implementing the Omnibus Habitat Amendment on or about the same time as the final rule implementing these non-NGOM portions of Framework 29.

    Table 3 provides the proposed limited access full-time allocations for all of the access areas, which could be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as the vessels do not exceed the possession limit (also in Table 3) on each trip.

    Table 3—Proposed Scallop Access Area Full-Time Limited Access Vessel Poundage Allocations and Trip Possession Limits for 2018 and 2019 Rotational access area Scallop possession limit 2018 Scallop allocation 2019 Scallop allocation
  • (default)
  • Closed Area 1 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) per trip 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) 0 lb (0 kg). Nantucket Lightship-South 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) 0 lb (0 kg). Nantucket Lightship-West 36,000 lb (16,329 kg) 0 lb (0 kg). Mid-Atlantic 36,000 lb (16,329 kg) 18,000 lb (8,165 kg). Total 108,000 lb (48,988 kg) 18,000 lb (8,165 kg).

    Table 4 provides the proposed limited access part-time allocations for three of the access areas, which could be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as the vessels do not exceed the possession limit (also in Table 4) on each trip. There is no part-time allocation in NLS-S.

    Table 4—Proposed Scallop Access Area Part-Time Limited Access Vessel Poundage Allocations and Trip Possession Limits for 2018 and 2019 Rotational access area Scallop possession limit 2018 Scallop allocation 2019 Scallop allocation
  • (default)
  • Closed Area 1 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) per trip 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) 0 lb (0 kg). Nantucket Lightship-West 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) 0 lb (0 kg). Mid-Atlantic 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) 14,400 lb (6,532 kg). Total 43,200 lb (19,595 kg) 14,400 lb (6,532 kg).

    For the 2018 fishing year, an occasional limited access vessel would be allocated 9,000 lb (4,082 kg) of scallops with a trip possession limit at 9,000 lb of scallops per trip (4,082 kg per trip). Occasional vessels would be able to harvest 9,000 lb (4,082 kg) allocation from only one of three available access areas (CA1, NLS-W, or MAAA). There is no occasional vessel allocation in NLS-S. For the 2019 fishing year, occasional limited access vessels would be allocated 9,000 lb (4,082 kg) in the MAAA only with a trip possession limit of 9,000 lb per trip (4,082 kg per trip).

    Limited Access Vessels' One-for-One Area Access Allocation Exchanges

    The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may exchange unharvested scallop pounds allocated into one access area for another vessel's unharvested scallop pounds allocated into another access area. These exchanges may only be made for the amount of the current trip possession limit (18,000-lb (8,165-kg)). In addition, these exchanges would be made only between vessels in the same permit category. For example, a full-time vessel may not exchange allocations with a part-time vessel, and vice versa.

    Limited Access Unharvested Closed Area I Allocation From Fishing Years 2012 and 2013

    Towards the end of fishing year 2012 and into fishing year 2013 catch rates in CA1 began to drop below profitable levels for limited access vessels. As a result, many vessels were unable to harvest the pounds associated with their CA1 trips in these two fishing years. Because these trips were not allocated evenly throughout the fleet, Framework Adjustment 25 to the Scallop FMP (79 FR 34251; June 16, 2014) allowed unharvested pounds associated with fishing years 2012 and 2013 CA1 trips to be harvested by those vessels in CA1 when it reopens in the future. Because Framework 29 would be the first action since 2013 to open CA1 to scallop fishing, it would reinstate this unharvested allocation to the limited access fleet in fishing year 2018. 1,638,604 lb (743,258 kg) of CA1 allocation went unharvested from fishing years 2012 and 2013, distributed across 130 permit holders. All amounts of outstanding limited access unharvested CA1 allocation would be made available in addition to fishing year 2018 allocations to that access area. For example, if a full-time limited access vessel has 2,000 lb (907 kg) of unharvested 2012/2013 CA1 allocation, and the CA1 trip limit is 18,000 lbs (8,165 kg), the vessel would be able to land a total of 20,000 lb (9,072 kg) from CA1 in fishing year 2018. Unharvested 2012/2013 CA1 allocation may only be harvested from CA1. There would be no change to specified trip limits through Framework 29, i.e., vessels must still abide by the 18,000-lb (8,165-kg) trip limit. Once allocated for the 2018 fishing year, these allocations would not be eligible to carry over into future years (i.e., available only for fishing year 2018, plus the first 60 days of fishing year 2019). This additional harvest in CA1 would not be included in the fishing year 2018 APL established in Framework 29, because this catch is specific to those vessels that have unharvested 2012/2013 CA1 allocation and is not applicable to the entire fleet. However, the additional scallops harvested from CA1 would not cause the limited access fleet to exceed its ACT, because the APL is far below the ACT.

    Nantucket Lightship Hatchet Scallop Rotational Area

    The Omnibus Habitat Amendment will make available several areas that were previously closed to the scallop fishery. However, these areas remain closed to scallop fishing until they are opened by a scallop action. The bulk of these areas are encompassed in the NLW-W and CA1 Rotational Areas, which Framework 29 intends to open to scallop fishing. Framework 29 does not propose to open the area west and north of NLS-W (Table 5). We are calling this area the Nantucket Lightship Hatchet Scallop Rotational Area, and it would remain closed to help minimize flounder bycatch due to uncertainty about catch rates in the area.

    Table 5—Nantucket Lightship Hatchet Scallop Rotational Area Point Latitude Longitude NLSH1 40°50′ N 69°30′ W NLSH2 40°43.44′ N 69°30′ W NLSH3 40°43.44′ N 70° W NLSH4 40°20′ N 70° W NLSH5 40°20′ N 70°20′ W NLSH6 40°50′ N 70°20′ W NLSH7 40°50′ N 69°30′ W LAGC Measures

    1. ACL and IFQ Allocation for LAGC Vessels with IFQ Permits. For LAGC vessels with IFQ permits, this action would implement a 2,245-mt ACL for 2018 and a default ACL of 2,238 mt for 2019 (see Table 1). These sub-ACLs have no associated regulatory or management requirements, but provide a ceiling on overall landings by the LAGC IFQ fleets. If the fleet were to reach this ceiling any overages would be deducted from the following year's sub-ACL. The annual allocation to the LAGC IFQ-only fleet for fishing years 2018 and 2019 based on APL would be 1,273 mt for 2018 and 955 mt for 2019 (see Table 1). Each vessel's IFQ would be calculated from these allocations based on APL.

    If NMFS implements these Framework 29 measures after April 1, 2018, the default 2018 IFQ allocations would go into place automatically on April 1, 2018. Because this action would implement IFQ allocations greater than the default allocations, NMFS will send a letter to IFQ permit holders providing both default April 1, 2018, IFQ allocations and Framework 29 IFQ allocations so that vessel owners know what mid-year adjustments would occur should Framework 29 be approved.

    2. ACL and IFQ Allocation for Limited Access Scallop Vessels with IFQ Permits. For limited access scallop vessels with IFQ permits, this action would implement a 225-mt ACL for 2018 and a default 224-mt ACL for 2019 (see Table 1). These sub-ACLs have no associated regulatory or management requirements, but provide a ceiling on overall landings by this fleet. If the fleet were to reach this ceiling any overages would be deducted from the following year's sub-ACL. The annual allocation to limited access vessels with IFQ permits for fishing years would be 127 mt for 2018 and 95 mt for 2019 (see Table 1). Each vessel's IFQ would be calculated from these allocations based on APL.

    3. LAGC IFQ Trip Allocations for Scallop Access Areas. Framework 29 would allocate LAGC IFQ vessels a fleetwide number of trips in the CA1, NLS-S, NLS-W, and MAAA for fishing year 2018 trips and default fishing year 2019 trips in the MAAA (see Table 6). The total number of trips for all areas combined (3,426) for fishing year 2018 is equivalent to the 5.5 percent of total catch from access areas.

    Table 6—Fishing Years 2018 and 2019 LAGC IFQ Trip Allocations for Scallop Access Areas Access area 2018 2019
  • (default)
  • CA1 571 NLS-S 571 NLS-W 1,142 MAAA 1,142 571 Total 3,426 571

    4. Scallop Incidental Catch Target TAC. This action proposes a 50,000-lb (22,680-kg) scallop incidental catch target TAC for fishing years 2018 and 2019 to account for mortality from vessels that catch scallops while fishing for other species, and to ensure that F targets are not exceeded. The Council and NMFS may adjust this target TAC in a future action if vessels catch more scallops under the incidental target TAC than predicted.

    RSA Harvest Restrictions

    This action proposes that vessels participating in RSA projects would be able to harvest RSA compensation from all available access areas and the open area. Vessels would be prohibited from fishing for RSA compensation in the NGOM unless the vessel is fishing an RSA compensation trip using NGOM RSA allocation that was awarded to an RSA project, as proposed in the separate rule for the NGOM portions of Framework 29. In addition, Framework 29 would prohibit the harvest of RSA from any access areas under default 2019 measures. At the start of 2019, RSA compensation could only be harvested from open areas. The Council would re-evaluate this measure in the action that would set final 2019 specifications.

    Adjustments to Flatfish Accountability Measures

    This action would adjust the scallop fleet's accountability measures for two different flatfish stocks (Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder and Georges Bank yellowtail flounder) and develop an accountability measure for northern windowpane flounder. The Council wanted to make the flatfish accountability measures more consistent throughout the Scallop FMP. In addition, it had a preference for gear restricted areas as opposed to closed areas, similar to the existing southern windowpane flounder accountability measure already in place. This action would change the existing Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder accountability measures from closed areas to gear restricted areas, and it would develop a gear restricted area accountability measure for northern windowpane flounder.

    For SNE/MA yellowtail flounder this action would adopt the same gear restricted area that is already in place for southern windowpane flounder, i.e., the area west of 71° W. Long.

    For Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder this action would create the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area (Table 7).

    Table 7—Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area Point Latitude Longitude Note GBAM1 41°30′ N 67°20′ W GBAM2 41°30′ N (1) (2) GBAM3 40°30′ N (3) (2) GBAM4 40°30′ N 67°20′ W GBAM1 41°30′ N 67°20′ W 1 The intersection of 41°30′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30′ N lat., 66°34.73′ W long. 2 From Point GBAM2 connected to Point GBAM3 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary. 3 The intersection of 40°30′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately, 65°44.34′ W long.

    When the fleet is subject to any of the flatfish accountability measures in a gear restricted area vessels would be required to fish with scallop dredge gear that conforms to the restrictions already in place for the southern windowpane flounder accountability measure:

    (1) No more than 5 rows of rings in the apron of the dredge;

    (2) A maximum hanging ratio of 1.5 meshes per 1 ring overall; and

    (3) A prohibition on the use of trawl gear.

    For Georges Bank yellowtail flounder this action would change the existing accountability measure to a requirement to use the accountability measure gear in the Georges Bank Gear Restricted Area. The requirement to use this AM gear in the gear restricted area would remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Table 8—Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Accountability Measure Duration Percent overage
  • of sub-ACL
  • Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less November 15 through December 31. Greater than 20 April through March (year round).

    For northern windowpane flounder this action would create an accountability measure that requires the use of the accountability measure gear in the Georges Bank Gear Restricted Area. The requirement to use this AM gear in the gear restricted area would remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the northern windowpane flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Table 9—Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Accountability Measure Duration Percent overage
  • of sub-ACL
  • Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less November 15 through December 31. Greater than 20 April through March (year round).

    For SNE/MA yellowtail flounder this action would change the existing accountability measure to a requirement to use the accountability measure gear in the area west of 71° W. Long. The requirement to use this AM gear in the gear restricted area would remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Table 10—Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Accountability Measure Duration Percent overage
  • of sub-ACL
  • Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less April. Greater than 20 April through May.
    Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority

    This proposed rule includes three revisions to address regulatory text that is unnecessary, outdated, or unclear. These revisions are consistent with section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which provides authority to the Secretary of Commerce to promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that amendments to an FMP are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The first revision, at § 648.10(f)(4), would clarify that scallop vessels no longer need to send in daily catch reports through their vessel monitoring system for trips less than 24 hours because these reports are no longer useful for monitoring purposes. The second revision, at § 648.11(g)(2)(ii), would remove the limitation that a LAGC IFQ could be selected for observer coverage no more than twice in a given week. This revision is necessary because, due to an update to our pre-trip notification system, we will no longer be able to accommodate the limit of two trips per week. Because of the change, vessels may be selected more than twice in given week, but we expect that this would be a very rare occurrence. The final revision, at § 648.14 (i)(4)(ii)(A) and (B), is a correction to the regulations that should have been made as part of Framework Adjustment 28 to the Scallop FMP (82 FR 15155; March 27, 2017). This correction would clarify that owners of IFQ vessels cannot have an ownership interest in vessels that collectively are allocated more than 5 percent of the total IFQ scallop APL, and that they may not have an IFQ allocation on an IFQ scallop vessel of more than 2.5 percent of the total IFQ scallop APL.

    Classification

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This action contains no new collection-of-information, reporting, or recordkeeping requirements.

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

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

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

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

    For RFA purposes, NMFS defines a small business in a shellfish fishery as a firm that is independently owned and operated with receipts of less than $11 million annually (see 50 CFR 200.2). Individually-permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different fishery management plans, even beyond those impacted by this proposed rule. Furthermore, multiple permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities with various personal and business affiliations. For the purposes of this analysis, “ownership entities” are defined as those entities with common ownership as listed on the permit application. Only permits with identical ownership are categorized as an “ownership entity.” For example, if five permits have the same seven persons listed as co-owners on their permit applications, those seven persons would form one “ownership entity,” that holds those five permits. If two of those seven owners also co-own additional vessels, that ownership arrangement would be considered a separate “ownership entity” for the purpose of this analysis. On June 1 of each year, ownership entities are identified based on a list of all permits for the most recent complete calendar year. The current ownership dataset is based on the calendar year 2016 permits and contains average gross sales associated with those permits for calendar years 2014 through 2016. Matching the potentially impacted 2016 fishing year permits described above (limited access permits and LAGC IFQ permits) to calendar year 2016 ownership data results in 161 distinct ownership entities for the limited access fleet and 115 distinct ownership entities for the LAGC IFQ fleet. Of these, based on the Small Business Administration guidelines, 154 of the limited access distinct ownership entities and 113 of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as small. The remaining seven of the limited access and two of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as large entities. The number of distinct small business entities with active NGOM permits were 27 in 2016 permits.

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

    The Council's preferred alternative (Alternative 4, Sub-option 2) would allocate each full-time limited access vessel 24 open area DAS and 6 access area trips, amounting to 108,000 lb (49,988 kg) at a possession limit of 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) for each trip (Table 11). The LAGC IFQ sub-ACL for vessels with IFQ permits only will be 2.8 million pounds (1.3 million kg). This alternative is expected to positively impact profitability of small entities regulated by this action in 2018 because, compared to the status quo (4 trips, 72,000 lb (32,659 kg)), it would allocate more access trips and allocation to access areas, but it would allocate only one DAS less than the status quo (25 DAS). This alternative would also redirect fishery effort away from Closed Area II in 2018 to more productive areas with larger scallops and higher densities (i.e., CA1 and NLS-W). As a result, the preferred alternative would have about 27 percent higher net revenue per entity compared to the status quo levels, translating to higher profits (Table 8).

    Table 11—Framework 29 Alternatives Area scenario FW 29 measures APL after set-asides DAS Number of
  • access area
  • trips
  • 1. (Status Quo) Status Quo (FW 28 measures applied in 2018) 41.7 million lb
  • 18.9 million kg.
  • 25 4
    Alternative 1—(No Action, FW28 default measures) 22.3 million lb
  • 10.1 million kg.
  • 21.75 1
    Alternative 2—Base Runs: Sub-option 1 49.6 million lb
  • 22.5 million kg.
  • 23 5
    Sub-option 2 51.5 million lb
  • 23.4 million kg.
  • 26 5
    2. CA1 & NLS-W open Alternative 3—5 trip option: Sub-option 1 53.8 million lb
  • 24.4 million kg.
  • 28 5
    Sub-option 2 57.6 million lb
  • 26.1 million kg.
  • 31 5
    Alternative 4—6 trips: Sub-option 1 53.9 million lb
  • 24.4 million kg.
  • 21 6
    Sub-option 2
  • (Preferred)
  • 56.1 million lb
  • 25.4 million kg.
  • 24 6
    3. Only NLS opens Alternative 5: Sub-option 1 53.9 million lb
  • 24.4 million kg.
  • 28 5
    Sub-option 2 55.9 million lb
  • 25.4 million kg.
  • 31 5
    4. Only CA1 opens Alternative 6 49.0 million lb
  • 22.2 million kg.
  • 23 5
    Table 12—Net Scallop Revenue per Limited Access Full-Time Vessel and Percent Change From the Status Quo [2018 Fishing year] FW 29 measures Total net
  • scallop revenue
  • ($ million)
  • Net scallop revenue per vessel
  • (average, $)
  • Net scallop revenue per entity
  • (average, $)
  • Percent change in net scallop revenue per
  • vessel and per
  • business entity
  • from status quo
  • Status Quo 488 1,491,863 3,030,057 0 Alternative 1—(No Action, FW28 default measures) 277 849,111 1,724,592 −43 Alternative 2—Base Runs: Sub-option 1 552 1,687,270 3,426,941 13 Sub-option 2 568 1,737,806 3,529,581 16 Alternative 3—5 trip option: Sub-option 1 601 1,837,461 3,731,985 23 Sub-option 2 619 1,893,560 3,845,926 27 Alternative 4—6 trip option: Sub-option 1 601 1,840,462 3,738,081 23 Sub-option 2 (Preferred) 620 1,897,372 3,853,669 27 Alternative 5: Sub-option 1 587 1,794,756 3,645,249 20 Sub-option 2 619 1,893,560 3,845,926 27 Alternative 6 556 1,701,953 3,456,761 14

    Under the preferred alternative, allocation for the LAGC IFQ fishery, excluding the limited access vessels with IFQ permits, will be about 35 percent higher than the allocation under the status quo. As a result, the economic impacts of the preferred alternative on the LAGC IFQ fishery are expected to be positive compared to the impacts of the status quo scenario (Table 13).

    Table 13—Impacts of the LAGC IFQ TAC for 2018 Fishing Year FW 29 measures IFQ TAC for IFQ permits only (million lb/kg) IFQ TAC for LA vessels with IFQ permits (million lb/kg) Total IFQ TAC (million lb/kg) Percent change from status quo (percent) Status Quo (FRM28 measures applied in 2018) 2.08 0.95 0.208 0.95 2.29 1.04 0 Alternative 1—(No Action, FW28 default measures) 1.10 0.50 0.110 0.50 1.21 0.55 −47 Alternative 2—Base Runs: Sub-option 1 2.48 1.13 0.248 0.11 2.73 1.24 19 Sub-option 2 2.57 1.17 0.257 0.12 2.83 1.29 24 Alternative 3—5 trip option: Sub-option 1 2.69 1.22 0.269 0.12 2.96 1.35 29 Sub-option 2 2.80 1.27 0.280 0.13 3.08 1.40 35 Alternative 4—6 trip option: Sub-option 1 2.70 1.23 0.270 0.12 2.97 1.35 30 Sub-option 2 (Preferred) 2.80 1.27 0.280 0.13 3.08 1.40 35 Alternative 5: Sub-option 1 2.70 1.23 0.270 0.12 2.97 1.35 30 Sub-option 2 2.80 1.27 0.280 0.13 3.08 1.40 35 Alternative 6 2.45 1.11 0.245 0.11 2.70 1.23 18

    The economic benefits of all the alternatives, including the proposed alternative, considered in this action would exceed the benefits for the No Action alternative. Alternative 3 would allocate one less access area trip, but more open area DAS: 26 days under the Sub-option 1, and 31 days under the Sub-option 2. The other alternative to the proposed action is Alternative 4, Sub-option 1, which would allocate a lower number of open area DAS (21 days instead of 24) while retaining the same number of access area trips (6 trips), compared to the proposed action. With the exception of Alternative 3, Sub-option 2, these alternatives would result in lower landings (about 54 million lb (24.5 million kg)) and gross fleet revenue (about $601 million), compared to the proposed alternative landing levels (about 56.1 million lb (25.4 million kg) (Table 11)) and gross fleet revenue (about $620 million (Table 8)). Compared to the proposed action, Alternative 3, sub-option 2 would have slightly higher landings (57.6 million lb (26.1 million kg) but slightly lower revenue (about $619 million), because the proposed action would have higher allocations for the more productive areas. Similarly, the proposed action would result in a higher TAC to the LAGC IFQ fishery and would result in higher revenues, compared to all the other alternatives (Tables 8 and 9). Therefore, the proposed alternative would have the highest economic benefit for the small business entities.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: March 9, 2018. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

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

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Subpart A—General Provisions 2. In § 648.11, revise paragraph (g)(2)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 648.11 At-sea sea sampler/observer coverage.

    (g) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) LAGC IFQ vessels. LAGC IFQ vessel owners, operators, or managers must notify the NMFS/NEFOP by telephone by 0001 hr of the Thursday preceding the week (Sunday through Saturday) that they intend to start any open area or access area scallop trip and must include the port of departure, open area or specific Sea Scallop Access Area to be fished, and whether fishing as a scallop dredge, scallop trawl vessel. NMFS/NEFOP must be notified by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of any trip plan changes at least 48 hr prior to vessel departure

    3. In § 648.14: a. Revise paragraphs (i)(1)(vi)(A); (i)(2)(vi)(B) and (C); and (i)(2)(ix); b. Add paragraph (i)(2)(x); and c. Revise paragraphs (i)(3)(v)(E), and (i)(4)(ii)(A) and (B).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (i) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (vi) * * *

    (A) Habitat Management Areas. (1) Fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the Habitat Management Areas specified in § 648.370.

    (2) Transit or enter the Habitat Management Areas specified in § 648.370, except as provided by § 648.61(b).

    (2) * * *

    (vi) * * *

    (B) Transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in § 648.60(d), unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (C) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from an access area in excess of the vessel's remaining specific allocation for that area as specified in § 648.59(b)(3) or the amount permitted to be landed from that area.

    (ix) Fish for scallops west of 71° W. long., outside of the Sea Scallop Access Areas, with gear that does not meet the specifications described in § 648.64 during the period specified in the notice announcing the Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Yellowtail Flounder or the Southern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area described in § 648.64(e) and (g), respectively.

    (x) Fish for scallops in the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area described in § 648.64(b), with gear that does not meet the specifications described in § 648.64(c) during the period specified in the notice announcing the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder or the Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area described in § 648.64(d) and (f), respectively.

    (3) * * *

    (v) * * *

    (E) Transit the Elephant Trunk Flex Scallop Rotational Area, Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area, or the Closed Area II Extension Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in § 648.60(b), (d), and (e), respectively, unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (4) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Have an ownership interest in vessels that collectively are allocated more than 5 percent of the total IFQ scallop APL as specified in § 648.53(a)(8).

    (B) Have an IFQ allocation on an IFQ scallop vessel of more than 2.5 percent of the total IFQ scallop APL as specified in § 648.53(a)(8).

    Subpart D—Management Measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery 4. In § 648.53 revise paragraphs (a)(8), (b)(3), and (c) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 648.53 Overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACL), annual catch targets (ACT), annual projected landings (APL), DAS allocations, and individual fishing quotas (IFQ).

    (a) * * *

    (8) The following catch limits will be effective for the 2018 and 2019 fishing years:

    Scallop Fishery Catch Limits Catch limits 2018
  • (mt)
  • 2019
  • (mt) 1
  • Overfishing Limit 72,055 69,633 Acceptable Biological Catch/ACL (discards removed) 45,950 45,805 Incidental Catch 23 23 Research Set-Aside (RSA) 567 567 Observer Set-Aside 460 458 ACL for fishery 44,900 44,757 Limited Access ACL 42,431 42,295 LAGC Total ACL 2,470 2,462 LAGC IFQ ACL (5 percent of ACL) 2,245 2,238 Limited Access with LAGC IFQ ACL (0.5 percent of ACL) 225 224 Limited Access ACT 37,964 37,843 Closed Area 1 Unharvested Allocation 3 743 n/a APL 25,451 (1) Limited Access Projected Landings (94.5 percent of APL) 24,051 (1) Total IFQ Annual Allocation (5.5 percent of APL) 2 1,400 1,050 LAGC IFQ Annual Allocation (5 percent of APL) 2 1,273 955 Limited Access with LAGC IFQ Annual Allocation (0.5 percent of APL) 2 127 95 1 The catch limits for the 2019 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment. This includes the setting of an APL for 2019 that will be based on the 2018 annual scallop surveys. The 2019 default allocations for the limited access component are defined for DAS in paragraph (b)(3) of this section and for access areas in § 648.59(b)(3)(i)(B). 2 As a precautionary measure, the 2019 IFQ annual allocations are set at 75 percent of the 2018 IFQ Annual Allocations. 3 One-time allocation in 2018 of unharvested Limited Access allocations to Closed Area I from fishing years 2012 and 2013.

    (b) * * *

    (3) The DAS allocations for limited access scallop vessels for fishing years 2018 and 2019 are as follows:

    Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations Permit category 2018 2019 1 Full-Time 24.00 18.00 Part-Time 9.60 7.20 Occasional 2.00 1.5 1 The DAS allocations for the 2019 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment. The 2019 DAS allocations are set at 75 percent of the 2018 allocation as a precautionary measure.

    (c) Accountability measures (AM) for limited access vessels. Unless the limited access AM exception is implemented in accordance with the provision specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, if the limited access sub-ACL defined in paragraph (a)(5) of this section is exceeded for the applicable fishing year, the DAS for each limited access vessel shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amount of landings in excess of the sub-ACL divided by the applicable LPUE for the fishing year in which the AM will apply as projected by the specifications or framework adjustment process specified in § 648.55, then divided by the number of scallop vessels eligible to be issued a full-time limited access scallop permit. For example, assuming a 300,000-lb (136-mt) overage of the limited access fishery's sub-ACL in Year 1, an open area LPUE of 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) per DAS in Year 2, and 313 full-time vessels, each full-time vessel's DAS for Year 2 would be reduced by 0.38 DAS (300,000 lb (136 mt)/2,500 lb (1.13 mt) per DAS = 120 lb (0.05 mt) per DAS/313 vessels = 0.38 DAS per vessel). Deductions in DAS for part-time and occasional scallop vessels shall be 40 percent and 8.33 percent of the full-time DAS deduction, respectively, as calculated pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The AM shall take effect in the fishing year following the fishing year in which the overage occurred. For example, landings in excess of the limited access fishery's sub-ACL in Year 1 would result in the DAS reduction AM in Year 2. If the AM takes effect, and a limited access vessel uses more open area DAS in the fishing year in which the AM is applied, the vessel shall have the DAS used in excess of the allocation after applying the AM deducted from its open area DAS allocation in the subsequent fishing year. For example, a vessel initially allocated 32 DAS in Year 1 uses all 32 DAS prior to application of the AM. If, after application of the AM, the vessel's DAS allocation is reduced to 31 DAS, the vessel's DAS in Year 2 would be reduced by 1 DAS.

    5. In § 648.59: a. Revise paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(2), and (a)(3); (b)(3)(i)(B)(1) through (3); and (b)(3)(ii); b. Remove paragraphs (b)(3)(ii)(A) and (B); c. Revise paragraphs (c), (e); and d. Add paragraph g)(3)(v).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 648.59 Sea Scallop Rotational Area Management Program and Access Area Program requirements.

    (a) The Sea Scallop Rotational Area Management Program consists of Scallop Rotational Areas, as defined in § 648.2. Guidelines for this area rotation program (i.e., when to close an area and reopen it to scallop fishing) are provided in § 648.55(a)(6). Whether a rotational area is open or closed to scallop fishing in a given year, and the appropriate level of access by limited access and LAGC IFQ vessels, are specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55. When a rotational area is open to the scallop fishery, it is called an Access Area and scallop vessels fishing in the area are subject to the Access Area Program Requirements specified in this section. Areas not defined as Scallop Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60, Habitat Management Areas specified in § 648.370, or areas closed to scallop fishing under other FMPs, are governed by other management measures and restrictions in this part and are referred to as Open Areas.

    (2) Transiting a Closed Scallop Rotational Area. No vessel possessing scallops may enter or be in the area(s) specified in this section when those areas are closed, as specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, unless the vessel is transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas without such gear being stowed. A vessel may only transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in § 648.60(d), if there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (3) Transiting a Scallop Access Area. Any sea scallop vessel that has not declared a trip into the Scallop Area Access Program may enter a Scallop Access Area, and possess scallops not caught in the Scallop Access Areas, for transiting purposes only, provided the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2. Any scallop vessel that has declared a trip into the Scallop Area Access Program may not enter or be in another Scallop Access Area on the same trip except such vessel may transit another Scallop Access Area provided its gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas without such gear being stowed. A vessel may only transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in § 648.60(d), if there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (b) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) The following access area allocations and possession limits for limited access vessels shall be effective for the 2018 and 2019 fishing years:

    (1) Full-time vessels—For a full-time limited access vessel, the possession limit and allocations are:

    Rotational access area Scallop possession limit 2018 Scallop allocation 2019 Scallop allocation
  • (default)
  • Closed Area 1 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) per trip 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) 0 lb (0 kg) Nantucket Lightship-South 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) 0 lb (0 kg) Nantucket Lightship-West 36,000 lb (16,329 kg) 0 lb (0 kg) Mid-Atlantic 36,000 lb (16,329 kg) 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) Total 108,000 lb (48,988 kg) 18,000 lb (8,165 kg)

    (2) Part-time vessels—For a part-time limited access vessel, the possession limit and allocations are as follows:

    Rotational access area Scallop possession limit 2018 Scallop allocation 2019 Scallop allocation
  • (default)
  • Closed Area 1 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) per trip 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) 0 lb (0 kg) Nantucket Lightship West 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) 0 lb (0 kg) Mid-Atlantic 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) 14,400 lb (6,532 kg) Total 43,200 lb (19,595 kg) 14,400 lb (6,532 kg)

    (3) Occasional vessels. (i) For the 2018 fishing year only, an occasional limited access vessel is allocated 9,000 lb (4,082 kg) of scallops with a trip possession limit at 9,000 lb of scallops per trip (4,082 kg per trip). Occasional vessels may harvest the 9,000 lb (4,082 kg) allocation from only one available access area (Closed Area 1, Nantucket Lightship-West, Nantucket Lightship-South, or Mid-Atlantic).

    (ii) For the 2019 fishing year, occasional limited access vessels are allocated 9,000 lb (4,082 kg) of scallops in the Mid-Atlantic Access Area only with a trip possession limit of 9,000 lb of scallops per trip (4,082 kg per trip).

    (ii) Limited access vessels' one-for-one area access allocation exchanges. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may exchange unharvested scallop pounds allocated into one access area for another vessel's unharvested scallop pounds allocated into another Scallop Access Area. These exchanges may only be made for the amount of the current trip possession limit, as specified in paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B) of this section. For example, if the access area trip possession limit for full-time vessels is 18,000 lb (8,165 kg), a full-time vessel may exchange no more or less than 18,000 lb (8,165 kg), from one access area for no more or less than 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) allocated to another vessel for another access area. In addition, these exchanges may be made only between vessels with the same permit category: A full-time vessel may not exchange allocations with a part-time vessel, and vice versa. Vessel owners must request these exchanges by submitting a completed Access Area Allocation Exchange Form at least 15 days before the date on which the applicant desires the exchange to be effective. Exchange forms are available from the Regional Administrator upon request. Each vessel owner involved in an exchange is required to submit a completed Access Area Allocation Form. The Regional Administrator shall review the records for each vessel to confirm that each vessel has enough unharvested allocation remaining in a given access area to exchange. The exchange is not effective until the vessel owner(s) receive a confirmation in writing from the Regional Administrator that the allocation exchange has been made effective. A vessel owner may exchange equal allocations up to the current possession limit between two or more vessels under his/her ownership. A vessel owner holding a Confirmation of Permit History is not eligible to exchange allocations between another vessel and the vessel for which a Confirmation of Permit History has been issued.

    (c) Scallop Access Area scallop allocation carryover. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History as described in § 648.4(a)(2)(i)(J) for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, a limited access scallop vessel operator may fish any unharvested Scallop Access Area allocation from a given fishing year within the first 60 days of the subsequent fishing year if the Scallop Access Area is open, unless otherwise specified in this section. For example, if a full-time vessel has 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) remaining in the Mid-Atlantic Access Area at the end of fishing year 2017, that vessel may harvest 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) from its 2018 fishing year scallop access area allocation during the first 60 days that the Mid-Atlantic Access Area is open in fishing year 2018 (April 1, 2018, through May 30, 2018).

    (e) Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Harvest in Scallop Access Areas. Unless otherwise specified, RSA may be harvested in any access area that is open in a given fishing year, as specified through a specifications action or framework adjustment and pursuant to § 648.56. The amount of scallops that can be harvested in each access area by vessels participating in approved RSA projects shall be determined through the RSA application review and approval process. The access areas open for RSA harvest for fishing years 2018 and 2019 are:

    (1) 2018: Closed Area 1, Nantucket Lightship-West, Nantucket Lightship-South, and Mid-Atlantic.

    (2) 2019: No access areas.

    (g) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (v) The following LAGC IFQ access area allocations will be effective for the 2018 and 2019 fishing years:

    Scallop access area 2017 2018 1 Closed Area 1 571 0 Nantucket Lightship-South 571 0 Nantucket Lightship-West 1,142 0 Mid-Atlantic 1,142 571 Total 3,237 571 1 The LAGC IFQ access area trip allocations for the 2019 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment.
    6. In § 648.60: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(1); b. Remove and reserve paragraph (a)(2); c. Revise paragraph (a)(3); d. Remove and reserve paragraph (b); e. Revise paragraphs (c), (e), and (f); and f. Add paragraphs (g) and (h).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 648.60 Sea Scallop Rotational Areas.

    (a) Mid-Atlantic Scallop Rotational Area. (1) The Mid-Atlantic Scallop Rotational Area is comprised of the following scallop access areas: The Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and the Hudson Canyon Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (3) Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area. The Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude ETAA1 38°50′ N 74°20′ W ETAA2 38°10′ N 74°20′ W ETAA3 38°10′ N 73°30′ W ETAA4 38°50′ N 73°30′ W ETAA1 38°50′ N 74°20′ W

    (b) [Reserved]

    (c) Closed Area I Scallop Rotational Area. The Closed Area I Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request), and so that the line connecting points CAIA3 and CAIA4 is the same as the portion of the western boundary line of Closed Area I, defined in § 648.81(a)(1), that lies between points CAIA3 and CAIA4:

    Point Latitude Longitude Note CAIA1 41°30′ N 68°30′ W CAIA2 40°30′ N 68°23′ W CAIA3 40°54.95′ N 68°53.37′ W (1) CAIA4 41°58′ N 69°30′ W (1) CAIA1 41°30′ N 68°30′ W 1 From Point CAIA3 to Point CAIA4 along the western boundary of Closed Area I, defined in § 648.81(a)(1).

    (e) Nantucket Lightship South Scallop Rotational Area. The Nantucket Lightship South Rotational Area is defined by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLSS1 40°20′ N 69°30′ W NLSS2 40°33′ N 69°30′ W NLSS3 40°33′ N 69°00′ W NLSS4 40°20′ N 69°00′ W NLSS1 40°20′ N 69°30′ W

    (f) Nantucket Lightship West Scallop Rotational Area. The Nantucket Lightship West Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLSW1 40°20′ N 70°00′ W NLSW2 40°43.44′ N 70°00′ W NLSW3 40°43.44′ N 69°30′ W NLSW4 40°20′ N 69°30′ W NLSW5 40°20′ N 70°00′ W

    (g) Nantucket Lightship North Scallop Rotational Area. The Nantucket Lightship North Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLSN1 40°50′ N 69°30′ W NLSH2 40°50′ N 69°00′ W NLSN3 40°33′ N 69°00′ W NLSN4 40°33′ N 69°30′ W NLSN1 40°50′ N 69°30′ W

    (h) Nantucket Lightship Hatchet Scallop Rotational Area. The Nantucket Lightship Hatchet Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLSH1 40°50′ N 69°30′ W NLSH2 40°43.44′ N 69°30′ W NLSH3 40°43.44′ N 70° W NLSH4 40°20′ N 70° W NLSH5 40°20′ N 70°20′ W NLSH6 40°50′ N 70°20′ W NLSH7 40°50′ N 69°30′ W
    § 648.61 [Removed and reserved]
    7. Remove and reserve § 648.61. 8. Revise § 648.64 to read as follows:
    § 648.64 Flounder Stock sub-ACLs and AMs for the scallop fishery.

    (a) As specified in § 648.55(d), and pursuant to the biennial framework adjustment process specified in § 648.90, the scallop fishery shall be allocated a sub-ACL for the Georges Bank and Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic stocks of yellowtail flounder and the northern and southern stocks of windowpane flounder. The sub-ACLs for the yellowtail flounder stocks and the windowpane flounder stocks are specified in § 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(C) and § 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(E) of the NE multispecies regulations, respectively.

    (b) Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area. The Georges Bank Accountability Measure Areas is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude Note GBAM1 41°30′ N 67°20′ W GBAM2 41°30′ N (1) (2) GBAM3 40°30′ N (3) (2) GBAM4 40°30′ N 67°20′ W GBAM1 41°30′ N 67°20′ W 1 The intersection of 41°30′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30′ N lat., 66°34.73′ W long. 2 From Point GBAM2 connected to Point GBAM3 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary. 3 The intersection of 40°30′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately, 65°44.34′ W long.

    (c) Gear restriction. When subject to an accountability measure gear restricted area as described in paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section, a vessel must fish with scallop dredge gear that conforms to the following restrictions:

    (1) No more than 5 rows of rings shall be used in the apron of the dredge. The apron is on the top side of the dredge, extends the full width of the dredge, and is the rows of dredge rings that extend from the back edge of the twine top (i.e., farthest from the dredge frame) to the clubstick; and

    (2) The maximum hanging ratio for a net, net material, or any other material on the top of a scallop dredge (twine top) possessed or used by vessels fishing with scallop dredge gear does not exceed 1.5 meshes per 1 ring overall. This means that the twine top is attached to the rings in a pattern of alternating 2 meshes per ring and 1 mesh per ring (counted at the bottom where the twine top connects to the apron), for an overall average of 1.5 meshes per ring for the entire width of the twine top. For example, an apron that is 40 rings wide subtracting 5 rings one each side of the side pieces, yielding 30 rings, would only be able to use a twine top with 45 or fewer meshes so that the overall ratio of meshes to rings did not exceed 1.5 (45 meshes/30 rings = 1.5).

    (3) Vessels may not fish for scallops with trawl gear west of 71° W. Long when the gear restricted area accountability measure is in effect.

    (d) Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv), the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area, described in paragraph (b) of this section, shall be considered the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels fishing in that area for the period of time specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (2) Duration of gear restricted area. The Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Percent overage of sub-ACL Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less November 15 through December 31. Greater than 20 April through March (year round).

    (e) SNE/MA yellowtail flounder accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv), the area west of 71° W. long., shall be considered the SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels participating in the DAS, or LAGC IFQ scallop fishery for the period of time specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section when fishing in open areas. This accountability measure does not apply to scallop vessels fishing in Sea Scallop Access Areas.

    (2) Duration of gear restricted area. The SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Percent overage of sub-ACL Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less April. Greater than 20 April through May.

    (f) Northern windowpane flounder accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the Northern windowpane flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv), the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area, described in (b) of this section, shall be considered the Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels fishing in that area for the period of time specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (2) Duration of gear restricted area. The Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Percent overage of sub-ACL Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less November 15 through December 31. Greater than 20 April through March (year round).

    (g) Southern windowpane accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the southern windowpane flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv), the area west of 71° W. long., shall be considered the Southern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels participating in the DAS, or LAGC IFQ scallop fishery for the period of time specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section when fishing in open areas. This accountability measure does not apply to scallop vessels fishing in Sea Scallop Access Areas.

    (2) Duration of gear restricted area. The SNE/MA Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

    Percent overage of sub-ACL Duration of gear
  • restriction
  • 20 or less February. Greater than 20 March and February.

    (h) Process for implementing the AM—(1) If there is reliable information to make a mid-year determination, that a flounder stock sub-ACL was exceeded, or is projected to be exceeded, the Regional Administrator shall determine, on or about January 15 of each year whether an accountability measure should be triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv). The determination shall include the amount of the overage or projected amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the specific flounder stock. Based on this determination, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in the following fishing year in accordance with the APA and attempt to notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear restricted area and a summary of the catch, overage, and projection that resulted in the gear restricted area.

    (2) If reliable information is not available to make a mid-year determination, after the end of the scallop fishing year the Regional Administrator shall determine whether the flounder stock sub-ACL was exceeded and if an accountability measure was triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv). The determination shall include the amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the specific flounder stock. Based on this determination, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in accordance with the APA in Year 3 (e.g., an accountability measure would be implemented in fishing year 2016 for an overage that occurred in fishing year 2014) and attempt to notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear restricted area and a summary of the flounder stock catch and overage information.

    § 648.65 [Removed and reserved]
    9. Remove and reserve § 648.65.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05155 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 51 Thursday, March 15, 2018 Notices U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Notice of Public Information Collection Requirements Submitted to OMB for Review SUMMARY:

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    Respondents per request: 1.

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    [FR Doc. 2018-04879 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6116-01-M
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 12, 2018.

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

    Comments regarding this information collection received by April 16, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

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

    Forest Service

    Title: Volunteer Application and Agreement for Natural and Cultural Resource Agencies.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0080.

    Summary of Collection: The Volunteer Act of 1972, (Pub. L. 92-300), as amended, authorizes Federal land management agencies to use volunteers and volunteer organizations to plan, develop, maintain and manage, where appropriate, trails and campground facilities, improve wildlife habitat, and perform other useful and important conservation services throughout the Nation. Participating agencies in Department of Agriculture: Forest Service and National Resources Conservation Service; Department of the Interior: National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and U.S. Geological Survey; Department of Defense: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Commerce: National Oceanic and Atmospheric; Administration—Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Agencies will collect information using Common Forms OF 301—Volunteer Service Application; OF 301a Volunteer Service Agreement and OF 301b Volunteer Service Agreement and Sign-up Form for Groups.

    Need and Use of the Information: Agencies will collect the names, addresses, and certain information about individuals who are interested in public service as volunteers. The information is used by the agencies as a position application, to review and determine if a potential volunteer is a good fit for a particular volunteer position. The OF-301a is used to enroll volunteers, collect contact information, parent or guardian approval, describe duties, project locations, schedules and any reimbursements, describe safety requirements and delineate any other terms of service. The OF-301b form is used to record the name and contact information of the volunteer group, and the names and signatures of volunteers participating in a project. If the information is not collected, participating natural resource agencies will be unable to recruit and/or screen volunteer applicants or administer/run volunteer programs that are crucial to assisting these agencies in fulfilling their missions.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 516,134.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Other: One time.

    Total Burden Hours: 77,941.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05250 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0015] Privacy Act of 1974; New System of Records AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a new system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes a new Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) system of records entitled: USDA/FSIS-0004, Public Health Information System (PHIS). PHIS is a Web-based system that collects information generated from FSIS inspection, compliance verification, notification and monitoring activities regarding the slaughter, processing, import and export of meat, and poultry and egg products. Within PHIS, FSIS maintains contact and other identifying information about employees and contractors of USDA, government officials, representatives of regulated establishments, and third parties.

    DATES:

    Applicable date: April 16, 2018. Written comments must be received on or before the above date. The proposed system will be adopted on the above date, without further notice, unless it is modified in response to comments, in which case the notice will be re-published.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to: Docket Clerk, FSIS, Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW, Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700 or fax to (202) 245-4793. Comments may also be posted on: https://www.regulations.gov/. All comments must include the Agency's name and docket number, FSIS-2015-0015, and will be publicly posted, including any personal information submitted, on https://www.regulations.gov. Docket: To obtain a copy of, or to view, the docket, visit FSIS Docket Room, Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW, Room 164-A, Washington, DC 20250-3700, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roberta Wagner, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD), FSIS, Room 350-E, Jamie Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or Neal Westgerdes, PHIS System Owner/Manager, OPPD, FSIS, Room 2925-South, 1400 Independence Ave. SW Washington, DC 20250, (202) 205-4233.

    For Privacy Questions: Marj Leaming, USDA Privacy Officer, Policy, E-Government and Fair Information Practices, Office of the Chief Information Officer, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 450-W, Washington, DC 20250; telephone 202-205-0926.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Privacy Act requires agencies to publish in the Federal Register (FR) a notice of any new or revised system of records. A “system of records” is a group of any records under the control of an agency from which information is retrievable by the name of the individual or by some unique identifier assigned to the individual. USDA is proposing to establish a new system of records, entitled USDA/FSIS-04, Public Health Information System (PHIS). The primary purpose of PHIS is to collect information gathered by USDA Personnel from their inspection, compliance verification and notification activities at regulated establishments, and to assess data entered by Business Personnel. PHIS enhances USDA's ability to predict hazards and vulnerabilities in the food supply and thus prevent or mitigate food safety-related threats to the public health in a timely manner. Additionally, in regard to imports and exports, PHIS provides USDA and other domestic and foreign regulatory authorities with information to monitor the movement of meat, poultry and egg products in advance of a shipment's arrival.

    USDA grants PHIS access to and collect information from the following user groups: (1) Employees and contractors of USDA (“USDA Personnel”); (2) government officials (domestic and foreign) (“Other Government Officials”); and (3) representatives of the regulated establishments and businesses, such as importers and exporters of food products, who require access to PHIS (“Business Personnel”). PHIS collects from all three user groups basic identifying contact information. The system also collects identifying information about individuals who are not PHIS users, but whose names may appear in records entered by a user, for contact purposes.

    PHIS obtains and stores the identifying information for USDA Personnel, including: the user's and supervisor's full names, titles, duty stations, business contact information, assigned PHIS role(s), and USDA eAuthentication numbers. This information is used for contacting personnel, shipping documents and supplies, inspection assignment scheduling and for security and access control purposes. In addition to this basic identifying contact information, the system receives employee profile information for USDA Personnel from the National Finance Center, including, but not limited to: Social security numbers (stored in masked formats); hire dates; organizational level; pay plan; and locality and pay code. This employee profile data are used to verify USDA Personnel employment status.

    For Other Government Officials and Business Personnel, the system collects information including the name and title of the user, business contact information, and PHIS roles and USDA eAuthentication information. From Business Personnel, it collects the user's entity name and associated business or tax identification numbers, as applicable. Only basic contact information is collected about individuals who are not PHIS users, but whose names appear in records entered by a user.

    USDA Personnel enter records in connection with their inspection, compliance verification, and notification activities at regulated establishments. The records entered by Other Government Officials include documents concerning the equivalence of foreign inspection systems, documents concerning State program inspection verification and activities, responses to USDA decisions, and requests for information from USDA. Business Personnel enter records in connection with, or in response to, USDA Personnel's activities and decisions, and requests for services from USDA. Examples include records supporting compliance with FSIS regulations, such as applications for export certificates and Meat and Poultry Export Certificate of Wholesomeness, as well as appeals of USDA compliance decisions regarding regulated establishments and products.

    A Privacy Impact Assessment is posted on https://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=PRIVACY_POLICY_ES.

    No Privacy Act exemption is claimed.

    In accordance with the Privacy Act, as implemented by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-108, USDA has provided a report of this proposed new system of records to the Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate; the Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives; and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB.

    Done in Washington, DC, March 12, 2018. Paul Kiecker, Acting Administrator. SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER

    Public Health Information System (PHIS), USDA/FSIS-04.

    Security Classification:

    Unclassified.

    System Location:

    USDA National Information Technology Center (NITC), 8930 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO, 64114, and NITC, 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63120.

    System Manager:

    PHIS System Owner, Office of Policy and Program Development Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Room 2925-South, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250. (202) 205-4233.

    Authority for Maintenance of the System:

    Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.); Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.); Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 1901-1906); Authority to Operate (ATO), dated 03/23/2017.

    Purpose of the System:

    The primary role of this Web-based electronic system is to assist FSIS in accomplishing its food safety mission of conducting inspections and compliance verification activities at regulated establishments to confirm that meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled, packaged and distributed. Supplementary purposes include the verification of product eligibility for moving in and out of the United States.

    PHIS maintains FSIS inspection, compliance verification and sampling program results and business profile information. PHIS also maintains data about State and foreign food safety programs. PHIS maintains information about individuals: to allow users access to the system; to schedule and assess inspection and compliance verification activities; to track requests for USDA services; and to allow responses to appeal of USDA Personnel's decisions.

    Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

    All individuals granted access to the PHIS are covered: (1) Employees and contractors of USDA (“USDA Personnel”); (2) government officials (domestic and foreign) (“Other Government Officials”); and (3) representatives of the regulated establishments and businesses, such as importers and exporters of food products, who require access to PHIS (“Business Personnel”). All individuals, even if they are not users of the PHIS, who are mentioned or referenced in any documents entered into PHIS by a user are also covered. This group may include, but is not limited to: Plant workers, vendors, agents, and interviewees.

    Categories of Records in the System:

    PHIS obtains and stores identifying information for the three categories of individuals as follows:

    For USDA Personnel, PHIS stores the user's and supervisor's full names, titles, duty stations, business contact information, assigned PHIS role(s) and eAuthentication numbers. This information is used for contacting personnel, shipping documents and supplies, inspection assignment scheduling and for security and access control purposes. In addition to this basic identifying contact information, the system receives employee profile information for USDA Personnel from the National Finance Center, including, but not limited to: Social security numbers (stored in masked formats); hire dates; organizational level; pay plan; and locality and pay code. This employee profile data is used to verify USDA Personnel employment status.

    For Other Government Officials and Business Personnel, the system collects information including the name and title of the user, business contact information, PHIS roles and e-Authentication information. From Business Personnel, it also collects the user's entity name and associated business or tax identification numbers, as applicable. Only basic contact information is collected about individuals who are not PHIS users, but whose names appear in records entered by a user.

    Records Source Categories:

    Basic identifying contact information of all user groups (USDA Personnel, Other Government Officials and Business Personnel) is obtained directly from the user. In addition, employment verification information about USDA Personnel is obtained from the NFC through a secure data feed.

    Records entered by USDA Personnel or Other Government Officials in connection with their official duties are obtained directly from them.

    Business Personnel records, including appeals, requests for services and requests for grants of inspection or updates to their entities' business profiles, are entered into PHIS directly by Business Personnel or are given in paper form to USDA Personnel for input into PHIS on behalf of the Business Personnel. Business records can also be obtained from a foreign country's Central Competent Authority (“CCA”).

    USDA Personnel can also obtain some types of information about the other groups of users from USDA's electronic interface with other Federal agencies involved in tracking cross-border movement of the regulated establishments' products, including but not limited to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Business records from foreign countries are obtained from the respective foreign officials and typically, the CCA assigned the responsibility for maintaining a country's food safety systems reports in PHIS. Information about third parties referenced in the records entered by a user is obtained directly from the user entering or modifying the record.

    Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, all or a portion of the records or information contained in this system may be disclosed outside of USDA as a routine use under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3), as follows:

    1. To the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or other Federal agency conducting litigation or in proceedings before any court, adjudicative or administrative body, when it is necessary for the litigation and one of the following is a party to the litigation or has an interest in the litigation:

    a. USDA or any component thereof;

    b. Any employee of USDA in his/her official capacity;

    c. Any employee of USDA in his/her individual capacity where DOJ or USDA has agreed to represent the employee; or

    d. The United States or any agency thereof and if the USDA determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation and the use of such records is compatible with the purpose for which USDA collected the records.

    2. To a Congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from that Congressional office made at the written request of the individual to whom the record pertains.

    3. To the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or other Federal government agencies pursuant to records management inspections being conducted under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    4. To an agency, organization, or individual for the purpose of performing audit or oversight operations as authorized by law, but only such information as is necessary and relevant to such audit or oversight function. This would include, but not be limited to, the Comptroller General or any of his authorized representatives in the course of the performance of the duties of the Government Accountability Office, or USDA's Office of the Inspector General or any authorized representatives of that office.

    5. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when:

    a. USDA suspects or has confirmed that there has been a breach of the system of records;

    b. USDA has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed breach, there is a risk of harm to individuals, USDA (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security; and

    c. the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with USDA's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed breach or to prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm; and

    6. To contractors and their agents, grantees, experts, consultants, and others performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or other assignment for USDA, when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. Individuals who provided information under this routine use are subject to the same Privacy Act requirements and limitations on disclosure as are applicable to USDA officers and employees.

    7. To an appropriate Federal, State, tribal, local, international, or foreign law enforcement agency or other appropriate authority charged with investigating or prosecuting a violation or enforcing or implementing a law, rule, regulation, or order, where a record, either on its face or in conjunction with other information, indicates a violation or potential violation of law, which includes criminal, civil, or regulatory violations, and such disclosure is proper and consistent with the official duties of the person making the disclosure.

    8. To an appropriate Federal, State, tribal, local, international, or foreign law enforcement agency or appropriate authority responsible for protecting public health, preventing or monitoring disease or illness outbreaks, or ensuring the safety of the food supply. This includes the Department of Health and Human Services and its agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, other Federal agencies, and State, tribal, and local health departments.

    9. To another federal agency or federal entity when USDA determines that information from this system of records is reasonably necessary to assist the recipient agency or entity in (1) responding to a suspected or confirmed breach or (2) preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to individuals, the recipient agency or entity (including its information systems, programs and operations), the federal government or national security, resulting from a suspected or confirmed breach.

    Policies and Practices for Storage of Records:

    The system includes a database, electronic documents and paper records. The storage for the database records is a dedicated virtual server located in the USDA NITC facility in Kansas City, MO. Duplicate records are maintained at the USDA NITC facility in St. Louis, MO. The primary storage for the electronic documents is a records management system managed and hosted by USDA at their Enterprise Data Centers. Paper records are maintained in the USDA offices where they were created. Records backup storage is maintained by NITC Personnel in a virtual tape library at the USDA NITC facility in Kansas City, MO. Copies of the backup records are maintained at the USDA NITC facility in St. Louis, MO. Each USDA laboratory stores data in the local internal storage on each server. Paper records from establishments that do not wish to use the Web-based PHIS, and communication records, such as PHIS-related emails, are stored in a dedicated, secured location at FSIS field offices to which USDA Personnel are assigned.

    Policies and Practices for Retrieval of Records:

    Retrieval is by user profile object information, which is created during the user authorization process and includes the following data elements: User identification, role, permission, organization identification, and assigned place of work. Information can also be retrieved by a unique eAuthentication identification number assigned to all users.

    Policies and Practices for Retention and Disposal of Records:

    A master file backup is created at the end of the calendar year and maintained in St. Louis, MO. The St. Louis offsite storage site is located approximately 250 miles from the primary data facility and is not susceptible to the same hazards.

    Administrative, Technical, and Physical Safeguards:

    Records in this system are safeguarded by restricting accessibility, in accordance with USDA security and access policies. The safeguarding includes: Firewall(s), network protection, and an encrypted password. All users are assigned a level of role-based access, which is strictly controlled and granted through USDA-approved, secure application (Level 2 eAuthentication) after the user successfully completes Government National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI). Controls are in place to preclude anonymous usage and browsing.

    Records Access Procedures:

    Any individual may request a copy of records in PHIS by submitting a written request, with reasonable specificity, to FSIS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office at: 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2168-South, Mail Stop No. 3713, Washington, DC 20250. Under the Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552a, an individual United States citizen or legal permanent resident may seek access to records that are retrieved by his/her own name or other personal identifier, such as social security number or employee identification number. Such records will be made available unless they fall within the exemptions of the PA and the FOIA. Your Privacy Act request for records must be in writing and addressed to the FOIA office. For more information about how to make a FOIA or a Privacy Act request to obtain records, please see: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/footer/policies-and-links/freedom-of-information-act/foia-requests

    An individual United States citizen or legal permanent resident may also seek to correct or to amend his or her own records in PHIS that are retrieved by name or other personal identifier, such as one's social security number (SSN) or employee number. Such Privacy Act requests for correction or amendment will be processed in accordance with applicable legal requirements and exemptions under the governing regulations and statutes such as the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552, the PA, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and 7 CFR part 1, subpart G.

    Contesting Records Procedures:

    See “Records Access Procedures” above.

    Notification Procedures:

    See “Records Access Procedures” above.

    Exemptions Promulgated for the System:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2018-05280 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2018-0009] Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Control of Chronic Wasting Disease ACTION:

    Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the control of chronic wasting disease in farmed or captive cervid herds.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0009.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2018-0009, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0009 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the regulations related to the control of chronic wasting disease in farmed or captive cervid herds, contact Dr. Randy Pritchard, Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response Services, VS, APHIS, 2150 Centre Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80526; (970) 494-7241. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Control of Chronic Wasting Disease.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0189.

    Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized, among other things, to protect the health of the United States' livestock and poultry populations by preventing the introduction and interstate spread of serious diseases and pests of livestock and for eradicating such diseases from the United States when feasible.

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids (elk, deer, and moose) typified by chronic weight loss leading to death. The presence of CWD in cervids causes significant economic and market losses to U.S. producers. In an effort to control and limit the spread of this disease in the United States, APHIS created a cooperative, voluntary Federal-State-private sector CWD Herd Certification Program designed to identify farmed or captive herds infected with CWD and provide for the management of these herds in a way that reduces the risk of spreading CWD. APHIS' Veterinary Services (VS) manages the CWD Herd Certification Program.

    Owners of farmed or captive elk, deer, and moose herds who choose to participate in the CWD Herd Certification Program would need to follow program requirements for animal identification, testing, herd management, and movement of animals into and from herds. The regulations for this program are located in 9 CFR part 55. Part 55 also contains the regulations that authorize the payment of indemnity for the voluntary depopulation of CWD-positive, CWD-exposed, or CWD-suspect captive cervids. APHIS also established requirements in 9 CFR part 81 for the interstate movement of elk, deer, and moose to prevent movement that could pose a risk of spreading CWD.

    The CWD Herd Certification Program and the indemnity program entail the use of information collection activities such as VS appraisal and indemnity claim form; sample collections and laboratory submissions, testing, and reporting; VS State application for CWD Herd Certification Program approval, renewal, or reinstatement; application for enrollment in the CWD Herd Certification Program; memoranda of understanding between APHIS and participating States; herd or premises plans; annual reports; State reviews; epidemiological investigations and reporting of out-of-State traces to affected States; reports of cervid suspects, escapes, disappearances, and deaths; inspections and inventories; a letter to appeal suspension, cancellation, or change in status; farmed, captive, and wild cervid identification; interstate certificates of veterinary inspection; surveillance data; and recordkeeping.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate 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) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2.813 hours per response.

    Respondents: State animal health officials, accredited veterinarians, laboratories, and businesses managing farmed, captive, or wild cervid herds.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 4,532.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 27.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 123,397.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 347,163 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05263 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2018-0013] Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Program; Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    We are notifying stakeholders and interested persons that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is hosting a public meeting to provide information on the Agency's current thinking regarding low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) indemnity, compensation, and controlled marketing. The meeting will include an overview of the concepts we are developing with respect to LPAI indemnity, compensation, and controlled marketing and provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss issues of interest.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on March 27, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the Atlanta Airport Marriott, 4711 Best Road, Atlanta, GA 30337.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Fidelis Hegngi, Avian Health Surveillance Staff, Preparedness, and Response Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 46, Suite 4B-02.27, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3564.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus typically causes little to no clinical signs in infected poultry. It spreads primarily through direct contact between healthy and infected birds or through indirect contact with contaminated equipment and materials. To prevent cases of LPAI, poultry producers must use special preventative measures and precautions on the farm. When LPAI findings do occur, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its State partners work to address them quickly and keep the disease from spreading to new flocks. Because LPAI does not typically kill poultry the way highly pathogenic avian influenza does, there may be additional control options beyond depopulation.

    In order to provide a forum for the discussion of policy issues related to LPAI, APHIS is organizing a public meeting to provide information on our current thinking with respect to LPAI indemnity, compensation, and controlled marketing with poultry stakeholders and partners. This meeting will be held on March 27, 2018, and will begin at 8 a.m., and is scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m. Information regarding the meeting and registration instructions may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    The meeting will open with remarks by Dr. Jack Shere, Deputy Administrator for APHIS' Veterinary Services. An overview of APHIS' current thinking on LPAI indemnity, compensation, and controlled marketing process will follow. APHIS will share the concepts we are developing on the process and take questions in a feedback session, where attendees can seek clarification about specific issues and state their opinions. The meeting will then break for lunch. After lunch, attendees will discuss the challenges of an LPAI incident or outbreak in the Table Egg and Upland Game Bird industries and offer possible solutions. The entire group will then reconvene to receive the highlights of each session, and the meeting will end after a discussion of next steps and closing remarks.

    If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, please call or write the individual under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of March 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05270 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council) will meet via teleconference. The Council is authorized under Section 9 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act (the Act), as amended, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Additional information concerning the Council, can be found by visiting the Council's website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/ucf/nucfac.shtml.

    DATES:

    The teleconference will be held on Tuesday March 20, 2018, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) or until Council business is completed. All meetings are subject to cancellation. For an updated status of the teleconference prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via teleconference. For anyone who would like to attend the teleconference, please visit the website listed in the “Summary” section or contact Nancy Stremple at [email protected] for further details. Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service, Sidney Yates Building., Room 3SC-01C, 201 14th Street SW, Washington DC 20024. Please call ahead at 202-309-7829 to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Stremple, Executive Staff, National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, by cell phone at 202-309-9873, or by email at [email protected], or via facsimile at 202-690-5792. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Report out from Committee work groups;

    2. Provide updates on the 2018 grant proposal review and 2019 Call for Proposals;

    3. Provide Forest Service updates on budget, projects, partnerships and nominations;

    4. Listen to constituents with urban forestry concerns;

    5. Perform administrative tasks;

    6. Annual accomplishments/recommendations report to the Secretary—Status;

    7. Next Meeting, Action items for the week of July 16, 2018.

    The teleconference is open to the public. However, the public is strongly encouraged to RSVP prior to the teleconference to ensure all related documents are shared with public meeting participants. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should submit a request in writing by March 13, 2018, to be scheduled on the agenda. Council discussion is limited to Forest Service staff and Council members, however anyone who would like to bring urban and community forestry matters to the attention of the Council may file written statements with the Council's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Nancy Stemple, Executive Staff, National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, Sidney Yates Building, Room 3SC-01C, 201 14th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024, or by email at [email protected]

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled For Further Information Contact. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Patti Hirami, Associate Deputy Chief, State & Private Forestry.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05269 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA).

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or the Agency, announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. In addition, this NOSA announces the minimum and maximum Community Connect grant amounts, the funding priority, the application submission dates, the agency contact information, and the procedures for submission of paper and electronic applications.

    This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk.

    DATES:

    Submit completed paper or electronic grant applications by the following deadlines:

    Paper submissions: Paper submissions must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than May 14, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.

    Electronic submissions: Electronic submissions must be received no later than May 14, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.

    • If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the FY 2018 Application Guide and materials for the Community Connect Grant Program may be obtained through:

    (1) The Community Connect website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants; and

    (2) The RUS Office of Loan Origination and Approval at 202-720-0800.

    Completed applications may be submitted the following ways:

    (1) Paper: Mail paper applications to the Rural Utilities Service, Telecommunications Program, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Mark address with “Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service.”

    (2) Electronic: Submit electronic applications through Grants.gov. Prospective applicants can access information on submitting electronic applications at any time, regardless of registration status, through the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov. However, in order to use the electronic submission option, applicants must register with Grants.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Telephone: (202) 720-0800.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

    Funding Opportunity Title: Community Connect Grant Program.

    Announcement Type: Initial announcement.

    Funding Opportunity Number: RDRUS-CC-2018.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.863.

    Dates: Applicants must submit the paper or electronic grant applications by the deadlines found in this section and Section D(5).

    A. Program Description

    The purpose of the Community Connect Grant Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all premises in currently unserved, lower-income, and extremely rural areas. RUS will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on the criteria contained herein.

    In addition to providing service to all premises, the program's “community-oriented connectivity” concept will stimulate practical, everyday uses and applications of broadband by cultivating the deployment of new broadband services that improve economic development and provide enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas. Such an approach will also give rural communities the opportunity to benefit from the advanced technologies that are necessary to achieve these goals. The regulation for the Community Connect Program can be found at 7 CFR part 1739.

    As in years past, the FY 2018 Community Connect Grant Application Guide has been updated based on program experience. All applicants should carefully review and prepare their applications according to instructions in the FY 2018 Application Guide and sample materials. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's own risk.

    B. Federal Award Information

    In accordance with 7 CFR 1739.2, the Administrator has established a minimum grant request amount of $100,000 and a maximum grant request amount of $3,000,000 per application for FY 2018.

    The standard grant agreement, which specifies the term of each award, is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CCGrantAgreement.pdf. The Agency will make awards, and successful applicants will be required to execute documents appropriate to the project before the Agency will advance funding.

    While prior Community Connect grants cannot be renewed, existing Community Connect awardees may submit applications for new projects. The Agency will evaluate project proposals from existing awardees as new applications. All grant applications must be submitted during the application window.

    C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants (See 7 CFR 1739.10)

    a. Only entities legally organized as one of the following are eligible for Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance:

    i. An incorporated organization.

    ii. An Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b.

    iii. A state or local unit of government.

    iv. Other legal entity, including a cooperative, private corporation, or limited liability company organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.

    b. Applicants must have the legal capacity and authority to enter into contracts, to comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations, and to own and operate the broadband facilities as proposed in their application.

    c. Applicants must have an active registration with current information in the System for Award Management (SAM) at https://www.sam.gov and have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Further information regarding SAM registration and DUNS number acquisition can be found in Sections D(3) and D(4) of this NOSA.

    2. Ineligible Applicants

    a. The following entities are not eligible for Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance:

    i. Individuals and partnerships

    ii. Corporations that have been convicted of a Federal felony within the past 24 months. Any corporation that has been assessed to have any unpaid federal tax liability, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed and is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance.

    b. In accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Sections 743-4, no funds may be available “for a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with an entity that requires employees or contractors of such entity seeking to report fraud, waste, or abuse to sign internal confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such employees or contractors from lawfully reporting such waste, fraud, or abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative of a Federal department or agency authorized to receive such information.”

    3. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The Community Connect Grant Program requires matching contributions for grants. See 7 CFR 1739.14 and the FY 2018 Application Guide for information on required matching contributions.

    a. Grant applicants must demonstrate matching contributions in cash of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the requested grant amount. Matching contributions must be used solely for the Project and shall not include any financial assistance from federal sources unless there is a federal statutory exception specifically authorizing the federal financial assistance to be considered as such as discussed in 7 CFR 1739.14.

    b. Applications that do not provide sufficient documentation of the required fifteen percent match will be declared ineligible.

    4. Funding Restrictions

    a. Eligible grant purposes.

    Grant funds may be used to finance:

    i. The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, including spectrum, land or buildings to deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all participating Critical Community Facilities and all required facilities needed to offer such service to all residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area;

    ii. The improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a Community Center that furnishes free internet access at the Broadband Grant Speed and provides Computer Access Points. Grant funds provided for such costs shall not exceed the lesser of ten percent (10%) of the grant amount requested or $150,000; and

    iii. The cost of bandwidth to provide service free of charge at the Broadband Grant Speed to Critical Community Facilities for the first two (2) years of operation.

    b. Ineligible grant purposes.

    Grant funds may not be used to finance:

    i. The duplication of any existing Broadband Service provided by another entity.

    ii. Operating expenses other than the cost of providing bandwidth at the Broadband Grant Speed to the Critical Community Facilities for two (2) years.

    iii. Any other operating expenses not specifically permitted in 7 CFR 1739.12.

    c. Other. For more information, see 7 CFR 1739.3 for definitions, 7 CFR 1739.12 for eligible grant purposes, and 7 CFR 1739.13 for ineligible grant purposes.

    5. Other

    Eligible projects must propose to fulfill the following requirements (see 7 CFR 1739.11 for more information):

    a. Minimum Broadband Service. RUS uses this measurement to determine whether a proposed funded service area is served or unserved. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, the minimum rate-of-data transmission that qualifies as Minimum Broadband Service is ten (10) megabits per second downstream and one (1) megabit per second upstream for both fixed and mobile broadband service. RUS will determine that Broadband Service does not exist for areas with no broadband access or whose access is less than 10 Mbps downstream plus 1 Mbps upstream.

    b. Minimum Broadband Grant Speed. The minimum bandwidth that an applicant must propose to deliver to every customer in the proposed funded service area. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, the minimum rate-of-data transmission that qualifies as Minimum Broadband Grant Speed is twenty-five (25) megabits downstream and three (3) megabits upstream for both fixed and mobile service to the customer.

    c. Rural Area. A Rural Area refers to any area, as confirmed by the most recent decennial Census of the United States, which is not located within:

    i. A city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or

    ii. An urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants. For purposes of the definition of Rural Area, an urbanized area means a densely populated territory as defined in the most recent decennial Census.

    d. Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA). Applicants must define a contiguous geographic area within an eligible Rural Area, in which Broadband Service does not currently exist, and where the applicant proposes to offer service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all residential and business customers. A PFSA must not overlap with Service Areas of current RUS borrowers and grantees.

    e. Critical Community Facilities. Applicants must propose to offer service, free of charge to users, at the Broadband Grant Speed to all Critical Community Facilities located within the Proposed Funded Service Area for at least two (2) years.

    f. Community Center. Applicants must propose to provide a Community Center, within the PFSA, with at least two (2) Computer Access Points and wireless access at the Broadband Grant Speed free of charge to users for at least two (2) years.

    D. Application and Submission Information

    The FY 2018 Application Guide provides specific detailed instructions for each item in a complete application. The Agency emphasizes the importance of including every required item and strongly encourages applicants to follow the instructions carefully, using the examples and illustrations in the FY 2018 Application Guide. Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, as long as such requests are made prior to April 30, 2018. Agency contact information can be found in Section G of this NOSA. The Agency will not solicit or consider scoring or eligibility information that is submitted after the application deadline. The Agency reserves the right to contact applicants to seek clarification information on materials contained in the submitted application. See the FY 2018 Application Guide for a full discussion of each required item. For a comprehensive list of all information required in a grant application, refer to 7 CFR 1739.15.

    1. Address To Request Application Package

    The FY 2018 Application Guide, copies of necessary forms and samples, and the Community Connect Grant Program Regulation are available in the following locations:

    a. Community Connect Grant Program web page at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants.

    b. The Office of Loan Origination and Approval in RUS; call 202-720-0800.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    a. Carefully review the Community Connect Application Guide and the 7 CFR part 1739, which detail all necessary forms and worksheets. A table summarizing the necessary components of a complete application can be found in Section D(2)(d).

    b. Submission of Application Items. Given the high volume of program interest, applicants should submit the required application items in the order indicated in the FY 2018 Application Guide. Applications that are not assembled and tabbed in the specified order impede timely determination of eligibility. For applications with inconsistencies among submitted copies, the Agency will base its evaluation on the original signed application received.

    c. Additional Information. The Agency may ask for additional or clarifying information for applications submitted by the deadline which appear to meet the eligibility requirements, but require further review.

    d. Table of Required Information in a Complete Grant Application. This table summarizes and categorizes the items required in a grant application.

    Application item Regulation Comments A. Application for Federal Assistance Form Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. SF-424 Standard Form: A-2 SAM Registration Information Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. A-3 State Director Notification Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. A-4 Equal Opportunity Survey Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. B. Executive Summary of the Project Narrative. C. Scoring Criteria Documentation Narrative & Documentation. D. System Design Narrative & Documentation. Network Diagram Documentation. Environmental Questionnaire 7 CFR part 1970 Narrative & Documentation. E. Service Area Map Provided in RUS web-based Mapping Tool. Service Area Demographics Documentation. F. Scope of Work Narrative & Documentation. Construction Build-out and Project Milestones Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Project Budget Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. G. Community-oriented Connectivity Plan Narrative. H. Financial Information and Sustainability Narrative & Documentation. I. Statement of Experience Narrative. J. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence Documentation. K. Additional Funding Narrative & Documentation. L. Compliance with Other Statutes and Regulations: Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination 7 CFR part 15 (Subpart A) Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 49 CFR part 24 and 7 CFR part 21 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters 7 CFR part 3017 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Lobbying for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements 7 CFR part 3018 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Drug-Free Workplace 7 CFR part 3017 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Architectural Barriers Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Flood Hazard Area Precautions 7 CFR 1970 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Non-Duplication of Services Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Federal Collection Policies for Commercial Debt Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide. Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants Form provided in FY 2018 Application Guide (corporate applicants-only).

    e. Number of copies of submitted applications.

    i. Applications submitted on paper. Submit the original application and two (2) copies to RUS.

    ii. Applications submitted electronically through Grants.gov. Submit the electronic application once. Carefully read the FY 2018 Application Guide for guidance on submitting an electronic application. Applicants should identify and number each page in the same manner as the paper application.

    3. Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number

    The grant applicant must supply a DUNS number as part of the application. The Standard Form 424 (SF-424) contains a field for the DUNS number. The applicant can obtain the DUNS number free of charge by calling Dun and Bradstreet. Go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform for more information on DUNS number acquisition or confirmation.

    4. System for Award Management (SAM)

    Prior to submitting a paper or an electronic application, the applicant must register in SAM at https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1. SAM registration must be active with current data at all times, from the application review throughout the active Federal grant funding period. To maintain active SAM registration, the applicant must review and update the information in the SAM database annually from the date of initial registration or from the date of the last update. The applicant must ensure that the information in the database is current, accurate, and complete.

    5. Submission Dates and Times

    a. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than May 14, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late applications, applications which do not include proof of mailing or shipping, and incomplete applications are not eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day. In the event of an incomplete application, the Agency will notify the applicant in writing, return the application, and terminate all further action.

    i. Address paper applications to the Telecommunications Program, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Applications should be marked, “Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval.”

    ii. Paper applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by the deadline with one of the following:

    A. A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark.

    B. A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the USPS.

    C. A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    iii. Due to screening procedures at the USDA, packages arriving via regular mail through the USPS are irradiated, which can damage the contents and delay delivery to the office. RUS encourages applicants to consider the impact of this procedure when selecting their application delivery method.

    b. Electronic grant applications submitted through Grants.gov must be received no later than May 14, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.

    i. Applications will not be accepted via fax or electronic mail.

    ii. Electronic applications for grants must be submitted through the federal government's Grants.gov initiative at https://www.grants.gov/. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required passwords, credentialing, and software.

    iii. Grants.gov requires some credentialing and online authentication procedures. These procedures may take several business days to complete. Therefore, the applicant should complete the registration, credentialing, and authorization procedures at Grants.gov before submitting an application.

    iv. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). The grant applicant must supply a DUNS number as part of the application. See Section D(3) of this NOSA for more information.

    v. System for Award Management (SAM). Grants.gov requires that the applicant's organization is registered in SAM. Be sure to obtain the organization's SAM listing well in advance of the application deadline. See Section D(4) of this NOSA for more information.

    vi. RUS encourages applicants who wish to apply through Grants.gov to submit their applications in advance of the deadline.

    vii. If system errors or technical difficulties occur, use the customer support resources available at the Grants.gov website.

    E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria

    Grant applications are evaluated for financial and technical feasibility, in accordance with 7 CFR 1739.16. An application that contains flaws that would prevent the successful implementation, operation, or sustainability of the project will not be approved for an award. In addition, grant applications are scored competitively and are subject to the criteria listed below. The maximum number of points possible is 100. See 7 CFR 1739.17 and the FY 2018 Application Guide for more information on the scoring criteria.

    a. Needs Category. The Agency analyzes the challenges related to the following criteria and the ways in which the project proposes to address these issues (up to 50 points):

    i. Economic characteristics.

    ii. Educational challenges.

    iii. Health care needs.

    iv. Public safety issues.

    b. Stakeholder Involvement Category. The Agency analyzes the extent of the project planning, development, and support from local residents, institutions, and Critical Community Facilities (up to 40 points).

    c. Experience Category. The Agency analyzes the management team's level of experience and past success of broadband systems operation (up to 10 points).

    d. In making a final selection among and between applications with comparable rankings and geographic distribution, the Administrator may take into consideration the characteristics of the Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA), as identified in 7 CFR 1739.17(d).

    2. Review and Selection Process

    a. Grant applications are ranked according to their final scores. RUS selects applications based on those rankings, subject to the availability of funds and consistent with 7 CFR 1739.17. It should be noted that an application receiving fewer points can be selected over an application receiving more points in the event that there are insufficient funds available to cover the costs of the higher scoring application, as stated in 7 CFR 1739.16(f).

    b. Applications will be ranked and grants awarded in order until all grant funds are expended.

    c. The Agency reserves the right to offer the applicant a lower amount than the amount proposed in the application, as stated in 7 CFR 1739.16(g).

    F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices

    a. Successful applications. RUS notifies applicants whose projects are selected for awards by mailing or emailing a copy of the award letter. The receipt of an award letter does not authorize the applicant to commence performance under the award.

    b. After sending the award letter, the Agency will send an agreement that contains all the terms and conditions, as referenced in 7 CFR 1739.18 and Section B of this NOSA. A copy of the standard agreement is posted on the RUS website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants. RUS recognizes that each funded project is unique, and therefore may attach additional conditions to individual award documents. An applicant must execute and return the grant agreement with any additional items required by the agreement within the number of days specified in the selection notice letter.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    The items listed in this NOSA, the Community Connect Grant Program regulation, the FY 2018 Application Guide, and accompanying materials implement the appropriate administrative and national policy requirements, which include, but are not limited to:

    a. Executing a Community Connect Grant Agreement.

    b. Using Form SF 270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement,” to request reimbursements (along with the submission of receipts for expenditures, timesheets, and any other documentation to support the request for reimbursement).

    c. Providing annual project performance activity reports until the expiration of the award.

    d. Ensuring that records are maintained to document all activities and expenditures utilizing Community Connect grant funds and matching funds (receipts for expenditures are to be included in this documentation).

    e. Providing a final project performance report.

    f. Complying with policies, guidance, and requirements as described in the following applicable Code of Federal Regulations, and any successor regulations:

    i. 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards).

    ii. 2 CFR part 417 (Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension).

    iii. 2 CFR part 180 (Government-wide Debarment and Suspension).

    g. Signing Form AD-3031 (“Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants”) (for corporate applicants only).

    h. Complying with Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.” For information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to https://www.LEP.gov.

    i. Accountability and Compliance With Civil Rights Laws 7 CFR 1901-E

    1901.201 Purpose. This subpart contains policies and procedures for implementing the regulations of the Department of Agriculture issued pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Executive Order 13166, Executive Order 11246, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, as they relate to the Rural Development (Rural Development). Nothing herein shall be interpreted to prohibit preference to American Indians on Indian Reservations.

    The policies contained in subpart E of part 1901 apply to recipients. As recipients of Federal financial assistance, borrowers are required to comply with the applicable Federal, State and local laws. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Recipients are required to adhere to specific outreach activities. These outreach activities include, contacting community organizations and leaders that include minority leaders, advertising in local newspapers and other media throughout the entire service area, and including the nondiscrimination slogan, “This is an Equal Opportunity Program. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal Law,” in methods that may include, but not be limited to, advertisements, public broadcasts, and printed materials, such as, brochures and pamphlets. All recipients must submit and have on file a valid Form RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement,” and RUS Form 266 or RD Form 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.”

    By signing Form 400-4 or 266, Assurance Agreement recipients affirm that they will operate the program free from discrimination. The recipient will maintain the race and ethnic data on the board members and beneficiaries of the program. The Recipient will provide alternative forms of communication to persons with limited English proficiency. The Agency will conduct Civil Rights Compliance Reviews on recipients to identify the collection of racial and ethnic data on Program beneficiaries. In addition, the Compliance review will ensure that equal access to the Program benefits and activities are provided for persons with disabilities and language barriers.

    3. Reporting

    a. Performance reporting. All recipients of Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance must provide annual performance activity reports to RUS until the project is complete and the funds are expended. A final performance report is also required. This report may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an evaluation of the success of the project in meeting the Community Connect Grant Program objectives. See 7 CFR 1739.19 and 2 CFR 200.328 for additional information on these reporting requirements.

    b. Financial reporting. All recipients of Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance must provide an annual audit, beginning with the first year in which a portion of the financial assistance is expended. Audits are governed by USDA audit regulations. See 7 CFR 1739.20 and 2 CFR part 200 (Subpart F) for a description of the financial reporting requirements.

    c. Recipient and Sub-recipient Reporting. The applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements for first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 in the event the applicant receives funding unless such applicant is exempt from such reporting requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 170.110(b). The reporting requirements under the Transparency Act pursuant to 2 CFR 170 are as follows:

    i. First Tier Sub-Awards of $25,000 or more (unless they are exempt under 2 CFR part 170) must be reported by the Recipient to https://www.fsrs.gov no later than the end of the month following the month the obligation was made. Please note that currently underway is a consolidation of eight federal procurement systems, including the Federal Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS), into one system, the System for Award Management (SAM). As a result, the FSRS will soon be consolidated into and accessed through https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.

    ii. The Total Compensation of the Recipient's Executives (the five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Recipient (if the Recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/ by the end of the month following the month in which the award was made.

    iii. The Total Compensation of the Sub-recipient's Executives (the five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Sub-recipient (if the Sub-recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to the Recipient by the end of the month following the month in which the sub-award was made.

    d. Record Keeping and Accounting. The contract will contain provisions related to record keeping and accounting requirements.

    G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    1. Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants. This site maintains up-to-date resources and contact information for the Community Connect Grant Program;

    2. Telephone: 202-720-0800;

    3. Email: [email protected]; and

    4. Main Point of Contact: Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    H. Other Information 1. USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, familial status, disability, limited English proficiency, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/ad-3027-usda-program-discrimination-complaint-form and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

    To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    a. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410;

    b. Facsimile: (202) 690-7442; or

    c. Email: at [email protected]

    d. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: February 14, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05200 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    ARCTIC RESEARCH COMMISSION Notice of 109th Commission Meeting

    A notice by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission on 03/09/2018.

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 109th meeting in Seattle, WA, on April 21, 2018. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 8:30 a.m. at The Edgewater Hotel, 2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121.

    The Agenda items include:

    (1) Call to order and approval of the agenda (2) Approval of the minutes from the 108th meeting (3) Commissioners and staff reports (4) Discussion and presentations concerning Arctic research activities

    The meeting will focus on reports and updates relating to programs and research projects affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic.

    The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (Title I Pub. L. 98-373) and the Presidential Executive Order on Arctic Research (Executive Order 12501) dated January 28, 1985, established the United States Arctic Research Commission.

    If you plan to attend this meeting, please notify us via the contact information below. Any person planning to attend who requires special accessibility features and/or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters, must inform the Commission of those needs in advance of the meeting.

    Contact person for further information: Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, 703-525-0111 or TDD 703-306-0090.

    Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05213 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Alaska Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 12:00 p.m. (Alaska Time) Thursday, March 15, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to vote on final advisory memorandum on Alaska Native voting rights that will be issued to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. AKT.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-609-5689. Conference ID: 3574845. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-609-5689, conference ID number: 3574845. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at https://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=234. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's website, https://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome II. Vote on Advisory Memorandum III. Public Comment IV. Next Steps V. Adjournment

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, the notice for this meeting is given less than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstance of this Committee doing work on the FY 2018 statutory enforcement report.

    Dated: March 11, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05234 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, April 11, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is to plan its next civil rights project.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT)

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1-888-298-3457 and conference ID: 8259032.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-298-3457 and conference ID: 8259032. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-298-3457 and conference ID: 8259032.

    Members of the public are invited to make statements during the open comment period of the meeting or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376-7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=253, click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address.

    Agenda Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) • Rollcall • Planning Meeting • Other Business • Open Comment • Adjourn Dated: March 9, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05215 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-71-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 52—Suffolk County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Advanced Optowave Corporation; (Diode Pumped Solid State Laser Systems); Ronkonkoma, New York

    On November 8, 2017, Advanced Optowave Corporation submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility within FTZ 52, Site 5, in Ronkonkoma, 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 55578, November 22, 2017). On March 12, 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 12, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05265 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-968] Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, Rescission of Review, in Part, and Intent To Rescind, in Part; 2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies have been provided to producers and exporters of aluminum extrusions from the People's Republic of China (China). The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable March 15, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tyler Weinhold or Tom Bellhouse, 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) 482-1121 or (202) 482-2057, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Commerce published the notice of initiation of this administrative review on July 6, 2017.1 The review was initiated on 219 companies. On October 4, 2017, the Aluminum Extrusions Trade Enforcement Working Group (the petitioner) withdrew its request for review of all but five companies: Liaoning Zhongwang Group Co. Ltd. (Liaoning), Liaoyang Zhongwang Aluminum Profile Co. Ltd. (Liaoyang), Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd., Xin Wei Aluminum Co. Ltd., and Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited.2 On July 20, 2017, Commerce received timely no-shipment certifications from certain companies for which there remain active requests for review: Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd., Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited, and Xin Wei Aluminum Co. Ltd.3 On October 31, 2017, Commerce issued the standard CVD questionnaire to Liaoning and Liaoyang as mandatory respondents.4

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 44260 (July 6, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Letter from the petitioner, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Request for Administrative Review,” dated May 31, 2017; Letter from Regal Ideas Inc., “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Request for Administrative Review,” dated May 31, 2017; and Letter, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated October 4, 2017. See also Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, Rescission of Review, in Part, and Intent to Rescind, in Part; 2016,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) at “Background” and “Partial Rescission of Review.”

    3See Letter, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Certification of No Sales, Shipments, or Entries,” dated July 20, 2017.

    4See Department Letter re: “2016 Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Questionnaire,” dated September 6, 2017 (Initial CVD Questionnaire—Liaoning Zhongwang Group Co., Ltd.) and Department Letter re: “2016 Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Questionnaire,” dated September 6, 2017 (Initial CVD Questionnaire—Liaoyang Zhongwang Aluminum Profile Co., Ltd.). Liaoning Zhongwang Group Co., Ltd. and Liaoyang Zhongwang Aluminum Profile Co. Ltd. were the only companies with outstanding review requests which had not submitted timely certifications of no-shipment. Commerce also issued a countervailing duty questionnaire to Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited, Xin Wei Aluminum Co., Ltd., and Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd., but later determined that Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited, Xin Wei Aluminum Co., Ltd., Xin Wei Aluminum Co., and Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd. had submitted a timely no-shipment certification. See “Preliminary Determination of No Shipments,” below. See also Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    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. On January 24, 2018, and March 1, 2018, Commerce extended the deadline for the preliminary results.5 The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now March 9, 2018.6

    5See Memorandum, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” dated January 24, 2018, and uploaded to ACCESS on January 25, 2018; see also Memorandum, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Second Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” dated March 1, 2018.

    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.

    For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.7 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and 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 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.

    7See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is aluminum extrusions which are shapes and forms, produced by an extrusion process, made from aluminum alloys having metallic elements corresponding to the alloy series designations published by The Aluminum Association commencing with the numbers 1, 3, and 6 (or proprietary equivalents or other certifying body equivalents).

    Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under the following categories of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 6603.90.8100, 7616.99.51, 8479.89.94, 8481.90.9060, 8481.90.9085, 9031.90.9195, 8424.90.9080, 9405.99.4020, 9031.90.90.95, 7616.10.90.90, 7609.00.00, 7610.10.00, 7610.90.00, 7615.10.30, 7615.10.71, 7615.10.91, 7615.19.10, 7615.19.30, 7615.19.50, 7615.19.70, 7615.19.90, 7615.20.00, 7616.99.10, 7616.99.50, 8479.89.98, 8479.90.94, 8513.90.20, 9403.10.00, 9403.20.00, 7604.21.00.00, 7604.29.10.00, 7604.29.30.10, 7604.29.30.50, 7604.29.50.30, 7604.29.50.60, 7608.20.00.30, 7608.20.00.90, 8302.10.30.00, 8302.10.60.30, 8302.10.60.60, 8302.10.60.90, 8302.20.00.00, 8302.30.30.10, 8302.30.30.60, 8302.41.30.00, 8302.41.60.15, 8302.41.60.45, 8302.41.60.50, 8302.41.60.80, 8302.42.30.10, 8302.42.30.15, 8302.42.30.65, 8302.49.60.35, 8302.49.60.45, 8302.49.60.55, 8302.49.60.85, 8302.50.00.00, 8302.60.90.00, 8305.10.00.50, 8306.30.00.00, 8414.59.60.90, 8415.90.80.45, 8418.99.80.05, 8418.99.80.50, 8418.99.80.60, 8419.90.10.00, 8422.90.06.40, 8473.30.20.00, 8473.30.51.00, 8479.90.85.00, 8486.90.00.00, 8487.90.00.80, 8503.00.95.20, 8508.70.00.00, 8515.90.20.00, 8516.90.50.00, 8516.90.80.50, 8517.70.00.00, 8529.90.73.00, 8529.90.97.60, 8536.90.80.85, 8538.10.00.00, 8543.90.88.80, 8708.29.50.60, 8708.80.65.90, 8803.30.00.60, 9013.90.50.00, 9013.90.90.00, 9401.90.50.81, 9403.90.10.40, 9403.90.10.50, 9403.90.10.85, 9403.90.25.40, 9403.90.25.80, 9403.90.40.05, 9403.90.40.10, 9403.90.40.60, 9403.90.50.05, 9403.90.50.10, 9403.90.50.80, 9403.90.60.05, 9403.90.60.10, 9403.90.60.80, 9403.90.70.05, 9403.90.70.10, 9403.90.70.80, 9403.90.80.10, 9403.90.80.15, 9403.90.80.20, 9403.90.80.41, 9403.90.80.51, 9403.90.80.61, 9506.11.40.80, 9506.51.40.00, 9506.51.60.00, 9506.59.40.40, 9506.70.20.90, 9506.91.00.10, 9506.91.00.20, 9506.91.00.30, 9506.99.05.10, 9506.99.05.20, 9506.99.05.30, 9506.99.15.00, 9506.99.20.00, 9506.99.25.80, 9506.99.28.00, 9506.99.55.00, 9506.99.60.80, 9507.30.20.00, 9507.30.40.00, 9507.30.60.00, 9507.90.60.00, and 9603.90.80.50.

    The subject merchandise entered as parts of other aluminum products may be classifiable under the following additional Chapter 76 subheadings: 7610.10, 7610.90, 7615.19, 7615.20, and 7616.99, as well as under other HTSUS chapters. In addition, fin evaporator coils may be classifiable under HTSUS numbers: 8418.99.80.50 and 8418.99.80.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.8

    8See Preliminary Decision Memorandum for a complete description of the scope of the order.

    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 purposes of this review Commerce preliminarily finds that all programs previously countervailed in prior segments of this proceeding, remain countervailable—that is, they provide a financial contribution within the meaning of sections 771(5)(B)(i) and (D) of the Act, confer a benefit within the meaning of section 771(5)(B) of the Act, and are specific within the meaning of 771(5A) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, including our reliance on adverse facts available pursuant to sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. As explained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Commerce relied on adverse facts available because the Government of China and both of the mandatory respondents did not act to the best of their ability in responding to Commerce's requests for information, and consequently, has drawn an adverse inference, where appropriate, in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.9 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    9See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Rescission of Review, in Part

    For those companies named in the Initiation Notice for which all review requests have been timely withdrawn, we are rescinding this administrative review in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1). These 214 companies are listed at Appendix II to this notice.

    Intent To Rescind Administrative Review, in Part

    As explained above, on July 20, 2017, Commerce received timely no-shipment certifications from Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd., Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited, and Xin Wei Aluminum Co. Ltd. Because there is no evidence on the record to indicate that these companies had entries of subject merchandise during the POR,10 pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(3), we preliminarily intend to rescind the review with respect to Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd., Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited, and Xin Wei Aluminum Co. Ltd.11 A final decision regarding whether to rescind the review of this company will be issued with the final results of review.

    10See, e.g., Memorandum, “2016 Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Electronic U.S. Customs and Border Protection Data,” dated July 7, 2017, and accompanying Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

    11See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results

    Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates exist: 12

    12Id., at “Use of Adverse Facts Available” and “Ad Valorem Rate for Non-Cooperative Companies Under Review.”

    Company Ad valorem rate
  • (percent)
  • Liaoning Zhongwang Group Co., Ltd 198.61 Liaoyang Zhongwang Aluminum Profile Co., Ltd 198.61
    Assessment Rates

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4)(i), we preliminarily assigned subsidy rates in the amounts shown above for the producer/exporters shown above. Upon completion of the administrative review, consistent with section 751(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2), 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.

    For the 214 companies for which this review is rescinded, Commerce will instruct CBP to assess countervailing duties on all appropriate entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, during the period January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(l)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, Commerce also intends upon publication of the final results 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. For all non-reviewed firms, we intend to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties at the most recent company-specific or all-others rate applicable to the company, as appropriate. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure

    Normally, Commerce discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with the preliminary results of review within five days of its public announcement, or if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because Commerce preliminarily applied adverse facts available to Liaoning and Liaoyang, pursuant to section 776 of the Act, there are no calculations to disclose.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit written case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of the preliminary determination. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.13 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.14

    13See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date. Issues addressed at the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs.15 All case and rebuttal briefs and hearing requests must be filed electronically and received successfully in their entirety through ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    15See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, we intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their comments, within 120 days after issuance of these preliminary results.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    These preliminary results are issued and published pursuant to sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: March 8, 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. Rescission of Review, in Part IV. Intent To Rescind Administrative Review, in Part V. Scope of the Order VI. Use of Adverse Facts Available VII. Ad Valorem Rate for Non-Cooperative Companies Under Review VIII. Conclusion Appendix II List of Companies for Which We Are Rescinding This Administrative Review 1. Acro Import and Export Co. 2. Activa International Inc. 3. Activa Leisure Inc. 4. Allied Maker Limited 5. Alnan Aluminium Ltd. 6. Alnan Aluminum Co., Ltd. 7. Aluminicaste Fundicion de Mexico 8. AMC Limited 9. AMC Ltd. 10. Anji Chang Hong Chain Manufacturing 11. Aoda Aluminium (Hong Kong) Co., Limited 12. Atlas Integrated Manufacturing Ltd. 13. Belton (Asia) Development Limited 14. Belton (Asia) Development Ltd. 15. Birchwoods (Lin'an) Leisure Products Co., Ltd. 16. Bolnar Hong Kong Ltd. 17. Bracalente Metal Products (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. 18. Changshu Changshen Aluminum Products Co., Ltd. 19. Changshu Changsheng Aluminum Products Co., Ltd. 20. Changzhou Changzhen Evaporator Co., Ltd. 21. Changzhou Changzheng Evaporator Co., Ltd. 22. Changzhou Tenglong Auto Accessories Manufacturing Co. Ltd. 23. Changzhou Tenglong Auto Parts Co., Ltd. 24. China Square 25. China Square Industrial Co. 26. China Square Industrial Ltd. 27. China Zhongwang Holdings, Ltd. 28. Chiping One Stop Industrial & Trade Co., Ltd. 29. Classic & Contemporary Inc. 30. Clear Sky Inc. 31. Cosco (J.M.) Aluminum Co., Ltd. 32. Dalian Huacheng Aquatic Products 33. Dalian Liwang Trade Co., Ltd. 34. Danfoss Micro Channel Heat Exchanger (Jia Xing) Co., Ltd. 35. Daya Hardware Co Ltd. 36. Dongguan Dazhan Metal Co., Ltd. 37. Dongguan Golden Tiger Hardware Industrial Co., Ltd. 38. Dongguang Aoda Aluminum Co., Ltd. 39. Dragonluxe Limited 40. Dynabright International Group (HK) Ltd. 41. Dynamic Technologies China 42. ETLA Technology (Wuxi) Co. Ltd. 43. Ever Extend Ent. Ltd. 44. Fenghua Metal Product Factory 45. First Union Property Limited 46. FookShing Metal & Plastic Co. Ltd. 47. Foreign Trade Co. of Suzhou New & High-Tech Industrial Development Zone. 48. Foshan City Nanhai Hongjia Aluminum Alloy Co., Ltd. 49. Foshan Golden Source Aluminum Products Co., Ltd. 50. Foshan Guangcheng Aluminium Co., Ltd. 51. Foshan Jinlan Aluminum Co. Ltd. 52. Foshan JinLan Aluminum Co., Ltd. 53. Foshan JMA Aluminum Company Limited 54. Foshan Shanshui Fenglu Aluminum Co., Ltd. 55. Foshan Shunde Aoneng Electrical Appliances Co., Ltd. 56. Foshan Yong Li Jian Aluminum Co., Ltd. 57. Fujian Sanchuan Aluminum Co., Ltd. 58. Fuzhou Sunmodo New Energy Equipment 59. Genimex Shanghai, Ltd. 60. Global Hi-Tek Precision Co. Ltd 61. Global PMX Dongguan Co., Ltd. 62. Global Point Technology (Far East) Limited 63. Gold Mountain International Development, Ltd. 64. Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc. 65. Gran Cabrio Capital Pte. Ltd. 66. Gree Electric Appliances 67. GT88 Capital Pte. Ltd. 68. Guang Ya Aluminium Industries Co. Ltd. 69. Guang Ya Aluminium Industries (HK) Ltd. 70. Guang Ya Aluminum Industries Company Ltd. 71. Guangcheng Aluminum Co., Ltd. 72. Guangdong Hao Mei Aluminum Co., Ltd. 73. Guangdong Jianmei Aluminum Profile Company Limited 74. Guangdong JMA Aluminum Profile Factory (Group) Co., Ltd. 75. Guangdong Midea 76. Guangdong Nanhai Foodstuffs Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd. 77. Guangdong Weiye Aluminum Factory Co., Ltd. 78. Guangdong Whirlpool Electrical Appliances Co., Ltd. 79. Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd. 80. Guangdong Yonglijian Aluminum Co., Ltd. 81. Guangdong Zhongya Aluminum Company Ltd. 82. Guangzhou Jangho Curtain Wall System Engineering Co., Ltd. 83. Guangzhou Mingcan Die-Casting Hardware Products Co., Ltd. 84. Hangzhou Xingyi Metal Products Co., Ltd. 85. Hanwood Enterprises Limited 86. Hanyung Alcoba Co., Ltd. 87. Hanyung Alcobis Co., Ltd. 88. Hanyung Metal (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. 89. Hao Mei Aluminum Co., Ltd. 90. Hao Mei Aluminum International Co., Ltd. 91. Hebei Xusen Wire Mesh Products Co., Ltd. 92. Henan New Kelong Electrical Appliances Co., Ltd. 93. Hong Kong Gree Electric Appliances Sales Limited 94. Hong Kong Modern Non-Ferrous Metal 95. Honsense Development Company 96. Hui Mei Gao Aluminum Foshan Co., Ltd. 97. Huixin Aluminum 98. IDEX Dinglee Technology (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. 99. IDEX Health 100. IDEX Technology Suzhou Co., Ltd. 101. Innovative Aluminum (Hong Kong) Limited 102. iSource Asia 103. Jackson Travel Products Co., Ltd. 104. Jangho Curtain Wall Hong Kong Ltd. 105. Jiangmen Jianghai District Foreign Economic Enterprise Corp. Ltd. 106. Jiangmen Jianghai Foreign Ent. Gen. 107. Jiangmen Qunxing Hardware Diecasting Co., Ltd. 108. Jiangsu Changfa Refrigeration Co. 109. Jiangyin Suncitygaylin 110. Jiangyin Trust International Inc. 111. Jiangyin Xinhong Doors and Windows Co., Ltd. 112. Jiaxing Jackson Travel Products Co., Ltd. 113. Jiaxing Taixin Metal Products Co., Ltd. 114. Jiuyan Co., Ltd. 115. JMA (HK) Company Limited 116. Johnson Precision Engineering (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. 117. Justhere Co., Ltd. 118. Kam Kiu Aluminum Products Sdn Bhd 119. Kanal Precision Aluminum Product Co., Ltd. 120. Karlton Aluminum Company Ltd. 121. Kong Ah International Company Limited 122. Kromet International 123. Kromet International Inc. 124. Kromet Intl Inc. 125. Kunshan Giant Light Metal Technology Co., Ltd. 126. Longkou Donghai Trade Co., Ltd. 127. Metaltek Group Co., Ltd. 128. Metaltek Metal Industry Co., Ltd. 129. Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Co., Ltd. 130. Midea International Trading Co., Ltd. 131. Midea International Training Co., Ltd. 132. Miland Luck Limited 133. Nanhai Textiles Import & Export Co., Ltd. 134. New Asia Aluminum & Stainless Steel Product Co., Ltd. 135. New Zhongya Aluminum Factory 136. Nidec Sankyo (Zhejang) Corporation 137. Nidec Sankyo Zhejiang Corporation 138. Nidec Sankyo Singapore Pte. Ltd. 139. Ningbo Coaster International Co., Ltd. 140. Ningbo Hi Tech Reliable Manufacturing Company 141. Ningbo Innopower Tengda Machinery 142. Ningbo Ivy Daily Commodity Co., Ltd. 143. Ningbo Yili Import and Export Co., Ltd. 144. North China Aluminum Co., Ltd. 145. North Fenghua Aluminum Ltd. 146. Northern States Metals 147. PanAsia Aluminum (China) Limited 148. Pengcheng Aluminum Enterprise Inc. 149. Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd. 150. Permasteelisa South China Factory 151. Pingguo Aluminum Company Limited 152. Pingguo Asia Aluminum Co., Ltd. 153. Popular Plastics Company Limited 154. Precision Metal Works Limited 155. Press Metal International Ltd. 156. Samuel, Son & Co., Ltd. 157. Sanchuan Aluminum Co., Ltd. 158. Sanhua (Hangzhou) Micro Channel Heat Exchanger Co., Ltd. 159. Shangdong Huasheng Pesticide Machinery Co. 160. Shangdong Nanshan Aluminum Co., Ltd. 161. Shanghai Automobile Air-Conditioner Accessories Co Ltd. 162. Shanghai Automobile Air Conditioner Accessories Ltd. 163. Shanghai Canghai Aluminum Tube Packaging Co., Ltd. 164. Shanghai Dongsheng Metal 165. Shanghai Shen Hang Imp & Exp Co., Ltd. 166. Shanghai Tongtai Precise Aluminum Alloy Manufacturing Co. Ltd. 167. Shenyang Yuanda Aluminum Industry Engineering Co. Ltd. 168. Shenzhen Hudson Technology Development Co. 169. Shenzhen Jiuyuan Co., Ltd. 170. Sihui Shi Guo Yao Aluminum Co., Ltd. 171. Sincere Profit Limited 172. Skyline Exhibit Systems (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. 173. Southwest Aluminum (Group) Co., Ltd. 174. Summit Heat Sinks Metal Co, Ltd. 175. Suzhou JRP Import & Export Co., Ltd. 176. Suzhou New Hongji Precision Part Co. 177. Tai-Ao Aluminum (Taishan) Co. Ltd. 178. Taishan City Kam Kiu Aluminium Extrusion Co., Ltd. 179. Taizhou Lifeng Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 180. Taizhou Lifeng Manufacturing Corporation, Ltd. 181. Taizhou United Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd. 182. tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. 183. Tianjin Ganglv Nonferrous Metal Materials Co., Ltd. 184. Tianjin Jinmao Import & Export Corp., Ltd. 185. Tianjin Ruxin Electric Heat Transmission Technology Co., Ltd. 186. Tianjin Xiandai Plastic & Aluminum Products Co., Ltd. 187. Tiazhou Lifeng Manufacturing Corporation 188. Top-Wok Metal Co., Ltd. 189. Traffic Brick Network, LLC 190. Union Aluminum (SIP) Co. 191. Union Industry (Asia) Co., Ltd. 192. USA Worldwide Door Components (Pinghu) Co., Ltd. 193. Wenzhou Shengbo Decoration & Hardware 194. Whirlpool (Guangdong) 195. Whirlpool Canada L.P. 196. Whirlpool Microwave Products Development Ltd. 197. WTI Building Products, Ltd. 198. Xin Wei Aluminum Co.16

    16 As explained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, we preliminarily intend to rescind the review with respect to Guangdong Xin Wei Aluminum Products Co., Ltd., Xin Wei Aluminum Co. Ltd., and Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited, which certified that they had no POR shipments. A final decision regarding whether to rescind the review of this company will be issued with the final results of review. However, no outstanding review requests exist for Xin Wei Aluminum Co. Therefore, pursuant to these preliminary results, we are hereby rescinding the review with respect to Xin Wei Aluminum Co.

    199. Xinya Aluminum & Stainless Steel Product Co., Ltd. 200. Yuyao Fanshun Import & Export Co., Ltd. 201. Yuyao Haoshen Import & Export 202. Zahoqing China Square Industry Limited 203. Zhaoqing Asia Aluminum Factory Company Ltd. 204. Zhaoqing China Square Industrial Ltd. 205. Zhaoqing China Square Industry Limited 206. Zhaoqing New Zhongya Aluminum Co., Ltd. 207. Zhejiang Anji Xinxiang Aluminum Co., Ltd. 208. Zhejiang Yongkang Listar Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd. 209. Zhejiang Zhengte Group Co., Ltd. 210. Zhenjiang Xinlong Group Co., Ltd. 211. Zhongshan Daya Hardware Co., Ltd. 212. Zhongshan Gold Mountain Aluminum Factory Ltd. 213. Zhongya Shaped Aluminum (HK) Holding Limited 214. Zhuhai Runxingtai Electrical Equipment Co., Ltd.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05264 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG088 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Applications for five new scientific research permits and seven permit renewals.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received twelve scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, eulachon, and green sturgeon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/preview_open_for_comment.cfm.

    DATES:

    Comments or requests for a public hearing on the applications must be received at the appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific standard time on April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments on the applications should be sent to the Protected Resources Division, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232-1274. Comments may also be sent by email to [email protected] (include the permit number in the subject line of email).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shivonne Nesbit, Portland, OR (ph.: 503-231-6741), email: [email protected]). Permit application instructions are available from the address above, or online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Species Covered in This Notice

    The following listed species are covered in this notice:

    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened California Coastal (CC); endangered Sacramento River winter-run (SRWR); threatened Central Valley spring-run (CVSR).

    Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC); endangered Central California Coast (CCC).

    Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened Northern California (NC); threatened Central California Coast (CCC); threatened California Central Valley (CCV); threatened South-Central California Coast (S-CCC); endangered Southern California (SC).

    North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern distinct population segment (sDPS).

    Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened sDPS.

    Authority

    Scientific research permits are issued in accordance with section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222-226). NMFS issues permits based on findings that such permits: (1) Are applied for in good faith; (2) if granted and exercised, would not operate to the disadvantage of the listed species that are the subject of the permit; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policy of section 2 of the ESA. The authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set forth in the permits.

    Anyone requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS.

    Applications Received Permit 1606-2R

    Zach Larson and Associates is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile SONCC coho in the Smith River, Morrison Creek, Ranch Bar, Saxton Bar Alcove, and Yontocket Slough in Northern California. The research may also cause them to take adult eulachon—a species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The study's purpose is to establish baseline data for the comparability between pre-treatment and post-treatment project sites. Documenting salmonid and non-salmonid species presence and their habitat use in privately owned portions of the Smith River is also needed to identify further habitat enhancement opportunities in the Smith River. This research would benefit the affected species by informing future restoration designs, providing data to support future enhancement projects, and helping managers assess the status of salmonid populations in the sloughs and alcoves in the Smith River estuary. The researchers propose to capture fish using beach seines. Captured fish would be captured, handled, and released. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    15573-3R

    The Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile CVSR chinook, SRWR chinook, CCV steelhead and juvenile green sturgeon in the Sacramento River, California. The study's purpose is to monitor restoration actions and to detect annular and cyclic population changes. The GCID project provides the longest and most complete anadromous fish data set on Sacramento River. As a result, the research would benefit the affected species by informing operational decisions for state and Federal water facilities and supplementing other out-migrant monitoring projects conducted in the Sacramento River Basin. The researchers propose to use a rotary screw trap to capture the targeted fish. They would then be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    15730-2R

    The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take spawned adult carcasses and juvenile CCC coho, CC chinook and CCC steelhead in Lagunitas Creek and tributaries, California. The study's purpose is to provide baseline data on habitat and juvenile and adult salmon abundance throughout the species' range for CCCCoho. The research would benefit the affected species by providing data to inform future research, restoration, and conservation efforts. The researchers propose to use fyke nets to capture juvenile fish and observe adult fish during spawning surveys. Captured fish would be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, PIT tagged, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    15824-2R

    The County of Santa Cruz is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile CCC coho, CCC steelhead, and S-CCC steelhead in the San Lorenzo River and its tributaries, Aptos Creek and its tributaries, Corralitos Creek and its tributaries, and Soquel Creek and its tributaries. The study's purpose is to document habitat conditions and collect data on juvenile salmonid abundance in Santa Cruz County watersheds. The research would benefit the affected species by providing data on salmonid spawning and rearing habitat conditions and thereby help inform habitat restoration and conservation efforts and land and water use decisions. The researchers at Santa Cruz County propose to use backpack electrofishing and beach seines to capture fish and to observe fish during snorkel surveys. Captured fish would be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, PIT tagged, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    16110-2R

    The Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile and adult CCC coho, CCC steelhead, and CC chinook Lagunitas Creek (including two tributaries, San Geronimo Creek and Devil's Gulch) and Walker Creek. The study's purpose is to document trends in coho salmon abundance, determine freshwater and marine survival rates for coho salmon, assess the relationship between population trends and management efforts, and determine which coho life stage has the lowest survival rates. In Lagunitas Creek, this research would benefit the affected species by providing a consistent sampling program as a standardized method to evaluate salmon populations. The renewed monitoring program would maintain Lagunitas Creek as a Coastal Monitoring Program (CMP) life-cycle monitoring station. In Walker Creek, the research would benefit the affected species by providing needed population data for coho and steelhead—data needed to inform future habitat restoration. The MMWD propose to use backpack electrofishing and rotatory screw traps to capture fish and to observe fish during snorkel surveys and spawning surveys. Captured fish would be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, PIT tagged, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    16417-2R

    The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them take of take juvenile and adult CCC steelhead in Guadalupe Creek, Alamitos Creek, Calero Creek, Los Gatos Creek, Guadalupe River, Stevens Creek, Coyote Creek, Upper Penitencia Creek, and Lake Almaden. The study's purpose is to collect baseline data on O. mykiss population status, survival rates and migration patterns. This research would benefit the affected species by filling in data gaps on O. mykiss distribution and habitat use in Santa Clara County. The SCVWD proposes to use backpack and boat electrofishing to capture fish. The researchers would also use Vaki Riverwatchers, underwater infrared fish counters, at existing facilities to document migration. All captured fish would be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, PIT tagged, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    16544

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking a five-year permit to annually take juvenile and adult SC steelhead in Southern California from Topanga Canyon to Santa Maria. The purpose of this project is to monitor the population status, trends, spatial structure, and life history diversity of SC steelhead. This research would benefit the affected species by providing information to manage and recover the species. The CDFW proposes to use backpack electrofishing, hand and/or dipnets, beach seines, hook and line sampling, minnow traps, fyke nets, and weirs to capture fish. Fish would also be observed during snorkel and spawning surveys. Captured fish would be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, PIT tagged, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    17428-3R

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them take juvenile CVSR Chinook, SRWR Chinook, and juvenile and adult CCC steelhead on the America River, CA. The study's purpose is to monitor the abundance of juvenile salmon, infer biological responses to ongoing habitat restoration activities, and generate data for the salmon life cycle models. The research would benefit the affected species by informing future efforts to enhance the juvenile salmonid abundance, production, condition, and survival in the American River. The USFWS propose to use a rotary screw trap to capture fish. Captured fish would be anesthetized, identified to species, measured, PIT tagged, have a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis (fin clip and scales), and allowed to recover in cool, aerated water before being released back to the stream. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    20622

    The Confluence Environmental Company (CEC) is seeking a five-year permit to annually take juvenile CC Chinook, juvenile SONCC coho, juvenile NC steelhead, subadult green sturgeon and adult eulachon—a species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions—in Humbolt Bay. The study's purpose is to compare different fish communities using estuarine habitats with and without oyster aquaculture in Humboldt Bay. The research would benefit the affected species by providing information on the environmental impacts shellfish aquaculture may have on the listed animals. The CEC proposes to use fyke nets to capture fish. Captured fish would be identified to species, and released. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    20792

    FISHBIO is seeking a five-year permit to annually take juvenile and adult CCV steelhead, CVSR chinook, and sDPS green sturgeon in the San Joaquin River and San Joaquin's river south delta. The study's purpose is to characterize the spatial distribution of non-native resident fishes in the San Joaquin River and delta, and to identify areas of relatively elevated predator abundance. That information, in turn, would benefit listed species by increasing our understanding of the potential impacts predators may be having on juvenile salmonids migrating through this region and thus helping inform management decisions. FISHBIO proposes to use boat electrofishing to capture fish and to observe fish during stream surveys. Captured fish would be immediately placed in an aerated livebox until processing (i.e., measuring and recording) is complete, and a partition in the livebox would separate potential predators from prey-sized fish to eliminate harmful interactions. Captured fish would be identified to species, and released. ESA-listed fish would be kept for as little time as possible and released before non-listed species. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    21499

    The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is seeking a five-year permit to annually take juvenile SRWR chinook, CVSR chinook, CCV steelhead and sDPS green sturgeon in the Northern Sacramento River Delta. The purpose of this project is test if the removal or reduction of invasive aquatic vegetation biomass changes the density and composition of the local food web. The research would benefit the affected species by providing information on ways to reduce non-native predator numbers and helping direct habitat restoration for native fish. The DWR proposes to use boat electrofishing to capture fish. Captured fish would be identified to species, and released. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    21547

    The CDFW is seeking a two-year permit to take juvenile SONCC coho, CC chinook, NC steelhead, CCV steelhead, CCC coho, CVSR chinook, SRWR chinook, CCC steelhead, SC steelhead, and sDPS green sturgeon. The study's purpose is to assess the condition of the rivers and streams in California and provide a baseline for future comparisons. CDFW is participating in the USEPA National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA), a probability-based survey designed to assess the condition of the Nation's rivers and streams. NRSA is a keystone program in California that provides data for the National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress (305(b) report) and fulfills the water quality criteria and water quality monitoring requirements of the Clean Water Act. The CDFW proposes to capture fish by boat, raft or backpack electrofishing. Captured fish would be identified and measured. After the captured fish have fully recovered in an aerated live well they would be released at or near the location of capture, away from any future electroshocking activities. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.

    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS will evaluate the applications, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit decisions will not be made until after the end of the 30-day comment period. NMFS will publish notice of its final action in the Federal Register.

    Dated: March 12, 2018. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05257 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Market Risk Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for nominations and topic submissions.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) is requesting nominations for membership on the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC or Committee) and also inviting the submission of potential topics for discussion at future Committee meetings. The MRAC is a discretionary advisory committee established by the Commission in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

    DATES:

    The deadline for the submission of nominations and topics is March 29, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations and topics for discussion at future MRAC meetings should be emailed to [email protected] or sent by hand delivery or courier to Alicia L. Lewis, MRAC Designated Federal Officer and Special Counsel to Commissioner Rostin Behnam, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581. Please use the title “Market Risk Advisory Committee” for any nominations or topics you submit.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alicia L. Lewis, MRAC Designated Federal Officer and Special Counsel to Commissioner Rostin Behnam at (202) 418-5862 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MRAC was established to conduct public meetings and submit reports and recommendations to the Commission on matters of public concern to clearinghouses, exchanges, swap execution facilities, swap data repositories, intermediaries, market makers, service providers, end-users (e.g., consumers) and the Commission regarding (1) systemic issues that threaten the stability of the derivatives markets and other related financial markets, and (2) the impact and implications of the evolving market structure of the derivatives markets and other related financial markets. The duties of the MRAC are solely advisory and include advising the Commission with respect to the effects that developments in the structure of the derivatives markets have on the systemic issues that impact the stability of the derivatives markets and other financial markets. The MRAC also makes recommendations to the Commission on how to improve market structure and mitigate risk to support the Commission's mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives markets and monitoring and managing systemic risk. Determinations of actions to be taken and policy to be expressed with respect to the reports or recommendations of the MRAC are made solely by the Commission.

    MRAC members generally serve as representatives and provide advice reflecting the views of organizations and entities that constitute the structure of the derivatives and financial markets. The MRAC may also include regular government employees when doing so furthers purposes of the MRAC. Historically, the MRAC has had approximately 30 members with the following types of entities with interests in the derivatives markets and systemic risk being represented: (i) Exchanges, (ii) clearinghouses, (iii) swap execution facilities, (iv) swap data repositories, (v) intermediaries, (vi) market makers, (vii) service providers, (viii) end-users, (ix) academia, (x) public interest groups, and (xi) regulators. The MRAC has held approximately 2-4 meetings per year. MRAC members serve at the pleasure of the Commission. In addition, MRAC members do not receive compensation or honoraria for their services, and they are not reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses.

    The Commission seeks members who represent organizations or groups with an interest in the MRAC's mission and function and reflect a wide range of perspectives and interests related to the derivatives markets and other financial markets. To advise the Commission effectively, MRAC members must have a high-level of expertise and experience in the derivatives and financial markets and the Commission's regulation of such markets, including from a historical perspective. To the extent practicable, the Commission will strive to select members reflecting wide ethnic, racial, gender, and age representation. MRAC members should be open to participating in a public forum.

    The Commission invites the submission of nominations for MRAC membership. Each nomination submission should include relevant information about the proposed member, such as the individual's name, title, and organizational affiliation as well as information that supports the individual's qualifications to serve on the MRAC. The submission should also include suggestions for topics for discussion at future MRAC meetings as well as the name and email or mailing address of the person nominating the proposed member.

    Submission of a nomination is not a guarantee of selection as a member of the MRAC. As noted in the MRAC's Membership Balance Plan, the CFTC identifies members for the MRAC based on Commissioners' and Commission staff professional knowledge of the derivatives and other financial markets, consultation with knowledgeable persons outside the CFTC, and requests to be represented received from organizations. The office of the Commissioner primarily responsible for the MRAC plays a primary, but not exclusive, role in this process and makes recommendations regarding membership to the Commission. The Commission, by vote, authorizes members to serve on the MRAC.

    In addition, the Commission invites submissions from the public regarding the topics on which MRAC should focus. In other words, topics that:

    (a) Reflect matters of public concern to clearinghouses, exchanges, swap execution facilities, swap data repositories, intermediaries, market makers, service providers, end-users and the Commission regarding systemic issues that impact the stability of the derivatives markets and other related financial markets; and/or

    (b) Are important to otherwise assist the Commission in identifying and understanding the impact and implications of the evolving market structure of the derivatives markets and other related financial markets.

    Each topic submission should include the commenter's name and email or mailing address.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. App. II.

    Dated: March 12, 2018. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05271 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2018-0004] Notice of Availability: Guidance on the Application of Human Factors to Consumer Products AGENCY:

    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission, or CPSC) is announcing the availability of a draft document titled, “Guidance on the Application of Human Factors to Consumer Products.”

    DATES:

    Submit comments by May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2018-0004, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number CPSC-2018-0004, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rana Balci-Sinha, Director, Division of Human Factors, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850-3213; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff 1 and Health Canada's Consumer Product Safety Directorate (Health Canada) have developed the draft guidance document, “Guidance on the Application of Human Factors to Consumer Products,” to help consumer product manufacturers integrate human factors principles into the product development process. The draft guidance document provides recommendations to improve the usability and reduce the use-related hazards associated with consumer products. Many product-related injuries can be prevented by better user-centered design. Providing the consumer product industry with general human factors principles and guidance, and how these principles can be applied to their products, can help reduce product-related incidents and reduce costly compliance and enforcement actions.

    1 This document was prepared under the direction of CPSC staff and has not been reviewed and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission.

    The draft guidance document is intended for industry stakeholders, designers, and manufacturers in the consumer product sector. This draft guidance can be tailored to meet the needs of a particular product, recognizing that not all practices apply to all products.

    The draft guidance document is not a rule and does not establish legally enforceable responsibilities.

    The draft guidance document is available on the Commission's website at: https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/HF-Standard-Practice-Draft-12Feb2018.pdf?CGk4Zs9GabjCnZ5RXQuSlr2toQ1aLPhJ and from the Commission's Office of the Secretary at the location listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    The Commission invites comment on the draft document, “Guidance on the Application of Human Factors to Consumer Products.” Comments should be submitted by May 14, 2018. Information on how to submit comments can be found in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    Alberta E. Mills, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05208 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project With Installation of a Terminal Groin Structure at the Eastern End of Holden Beach, Extending Into the Atlantic Ocean, West of Lockwoods Folly Inlet (Brunswick County, NC) AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Wilmington District, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office has received a request for Department of the Army authorization, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act, from the Town of Holden Beach to install a terminal groin structure on the east end of Holden Beach, extending into the Atlantic Ocean, just west of Lockwoods Folly Inlet.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the FEIS will be received until 7 p.m., April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of comments and questions regarding the FEIS may be submitted to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Wilmington District, Regulatory Division, c/o Mr. Mickey Sugg. ATTN: File Number SAW-2011-01914, 69 Darlington Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions about the proposed action and FEIS can be directed to Mr. Mickey Sugg, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, telephone: (910) 251-4811 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. Project Description. The Town of Holden Beach is seeking Federal and State authorization for construction of a terminal groin, and associated beach fillet with required long-term maintenance, to be located at the eastern end of Holden Beach. The proposed terminal groin and beach fillet is the Town's Applicant Preferred alternative (Alternative 6—Intermediate Terminal Groin and Beach Nourishment) of six alternatives considered in this document. Under the Applicant's preferred alternative, the main stem of the terminal groin would include a 700-foot long segment extending seaward from the toe of the primary dune and a 300-foot anchor segment extending landward from the toe of the primary dune. The groin would also include a 120-ft-long shore-parallel T-Head segment centered on the seaward terminus of the main stem designed to prevent flanking. This is expected to have more of a stabilizing effect on the shoreline and minimize formation of potential offshore rip currents and sand losses during extreme wave conditions.

    The seaward section of the groin would be constructed with loosely placed 4- to 5-ft-diameter granite armor stone to facilitate the movement of sand past the structure, and would have a crest width of ~5 ft and a base width of ~40 ft, while the underlying geo-textile base layer would have a slightly greater width of ~45 ft. The shore anchorage segment would be entirely buried at the completion of groin construction and would remain buried so long as the position of the MHW line remains seaward of the initial post-construction primary dune line. The intermediate groin would be designed to be a relatively low-profile structure to maximize sand overpassing and to minimize impacts to beach recreation and aesthetics.

    The proposed terminal groin is one of four such structures approved by the General Assembly to be constructed in North Carolina following passing of Senate Bill (SB) 110. The USACE determined that there is sufficient information to conclude that the project would result in significant adverse impact on the human environment, and has prepared a FEIS pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to evaluate the environmental effects of the alternatives considering the project's purpose and need. The purpose and need of the proposed Holden Beach East End Shore Protection Project is to provide shoreline protection that would mitigate ongoing chronic erosion on the eastern portion on the Town's oceanfront shoreline so as to preserve the integrity of its public infrastructure, provide protection to existing development, and ensure the continued public use of the oceanfront beach along this area.

    2. Issues. There are several potential environmental and public interest issues that are addressed in the FEIS. Public interest issues include, but are not limited to, the following: public safety, aesthetics, recreation, navigation, infrastructure, economics, and noise pollution. Additional issues may be identified during the public review process. Issues initially identified as potentially significant include:

    a. Potential impacts to marine biological resources (burial of benthic organisms, passageway for fish and other marine life) and Essential Fish Habitat.

    b. Potential impacts to threatened and endangered marine mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, and plants.

    c. Potential for effects/changes to Holden Beach, Oak Island, Lockwoods Folly inlet, and the AIWW respectively.

    d. Potential impacts to navigation.

    e. Potential effects on federal navigation maintenance regimes, including the Federal project.

    f. Potential effects of shoreline protection.

    g. Potential impacts on public health and safety.

    h. Potential impacts to recreational and commercial fishing.

    i. Potential impacts to cultural resources.

    j. Potential impacts to future dredging and nourishment activities.

    3. Alternatives. Six alternatives are being considered for the proposed project. These alternatives, including the No Action alternative, were further formulated and developed during the scoping process and are considered in the FEIS. A summary of alternatives under consideration are provided below:

    a. Alternative 1—No Action (Continue Current Management Practices);

    b. Alternative 2—Abandon and Retreat;

    c. Alternative 3—Beach Nourishment Only;

    d. Alternative 4—Inlet Management and Beach Nourishment;

    e. Alternative 5—Short Terminal Groin with Beach Nourishment;

    f. Alternative 6—Intermediate Terminal Groin with Beach Nourishment/Applicants Preferred Alternative.

    4. Scoping Process. Project Review Team meetings were held to receive comments and assess concerns regarding the appropriate scope and preparation of the FEIS. Federal, state, and local agencies and other interested organizations and persons participated in these Project Review Team meetings.

    The Corps has initiated consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to the Endangered Species Act and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. The Corps has also initiated consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Endangered Species Act. The Corps has coordinated with the State Department of Cultural Resources pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    Potential water quality concerns will be addressed pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act through coordination with the North Carolina Divisions of Coastal Management (DCM) and Water Resources (DWR). This coordination will ensure consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act and project compliance with water quality standards. The Corps has coordinated closely with DCM in the development of the FEIS to ensure the process complies with State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements, as well as the NEPA requirements. The FEIS has been designed to consolidate both NEPA and SEPA processes to eliminate duplications.

    5. Availability of the FEIS. The FEIS has been published and circulated. The FEIS for the proposal can be found at the following link: http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryPermitProgram/MajorProjects under Holden Beach Terminal Groin—Corps ID # SAW-2011-01914.

    Dated: March 8, 2018. Scott McLendon, Chief, Regulatory Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05244 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0001] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Impact Evaluation of Departmentalized Instruction in Elementary Schools AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0001. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Room 216-32, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Thomas Wei, 202-341-0626.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Impact Evaluation of Departmentalized Instruction in Elementary Schools.

    OMB Control Number: 1850—NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 8,531.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 3,202.

    Abstract: This package requests clearance for data collection activities to support an evaluation of departmentalized instruction in elementary schools. This evaluation is authorized by Title VII Section 8601 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended most recently in 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA gives states considerable flexibility in designing systems to hold their schools accountable for improving student achievement. This flexibility extends to the types of strategies that states encourage or require their low-performing schools to adopt. However, many strategies in use have little to no evidence of effectiveness. More research is needed to help states identify strategies that are likely to help their low-performing schools improve.

    One potential strategy that has recently become more popular in upper elementary school grades is to departmentalize instruction, where each teacher specializes in teaching one subject to multiple classes of students instead of teaching all subjects to a single class of students (self-contained instruction). However, virtually no evidence exists on its effectiveness relative to the more traditional self-contained approach. This evaluation will help to fill the gap by examining whether departmentalizing fourth and fifth grade teachers improves teacher and student outcomes. The evaluation will focus on math and reading, with an emphasis on low-performing schools that serve a high percentage of disadvantaged students.

    The evaluation will include implementation and impact analyses. The implementation analysis will describe schools' approaches to departmentalization and benefits and challenges encountered. The analysis will be based on information from schools' study agreement form; meetings to design each school's approach to departmentalization; monitoring and support calls with schools; a principal interview; and a teacher survey. The impact analysis will draw on data from a teacher survey, videos of classroom instruction, a principal interview, and district administrative records to estimate the impact of departmentalized instruction on various outcomes. The outcomes include the quality of instruction and student-teacher relationships, teacher satisfaction and retention, and student achievement and behavior. These various data collection activities will be carried out between spring 2018 and fall 2020, although most of the activities with the exception of the administrative data will take place only once during the first year treatment schools implement departmentalized instruction (2018-2019 school year).

    Dated: March 12, 2018. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05258 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-94-000] Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on February 27, 2018, Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C. (CIG) Post Office Box 1087, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80944, filed in Docket No. CP18-94-000 a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205, 157.208(b), 157.210 and 157.216 of the Commission's regulations under the Natural Gas Act for authorization for the CIG 2018 Line Nos. 5A and 5B Expansion Project, which consists on modifying certain existing compression facilities located at the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Francisco Tarin, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C., P.O. Box 1087, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80944, at (703) 667-7517.

    Specifically, CIG proposes to modify its existing CIG Cheyenne Compressor Station, CIG Cheyenne Jumper Compressor Station, and CIG Front Range Jumper Compressor Station located in Weld County, Colorado to allow for additional transportation service from mainline receipt points along the Colorado Front Range to the Cheyenne Hub Complex. The project will enable CIG to provide an incremental 230 million cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) of northbound capacity along Line Nos. 5A and 5B from points of receipt in the DJ Basin to the Cheyenne Hub. As a result of the project, CIG will increase its mainline northbound capability from 315 MMscf/d to 545 MMscf/d. Additionally, the delivery capability into the high pressure pool at the Cheyenne Hub will increase from 255 MMscf/d to 505 MMscf/d. The estimated cost for the project is approximately $14.5 million.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 57.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Any person may, within 60 days after the issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. Any person filing to intervene or the Commission's staff may, pursuant to section 157.205 of the Commission's Regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (18 CFR 157.205) file a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the time allowed for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests, and interventions via the internet in lieu of paper. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the “e-Filing” link.

    Dated: March 9, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05232 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD18-5-000] Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act; Notice of Technical Conference

    In an order issued on October 8, 2004, the Commission set forth a guideline for Other Federal Agencies (OFAs) to submit their costs related to Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act.1 The Commission required OFAs to submit their costs using the OFA Cost Submission Form. The October 8 Order also announced that a technical conference would be held for the purpose of reviewing the submitted cost forms and detailed supporting documentation.

    1Order On Rehearing Consolidating Administrative Annual Charges Bill Appeals And Modifying Annual Charges Billing Procedures, 109 FERC 61,040 (2004) (October 8 Order).

    The Commission will hold a technical conference for reviewing the submitted OFA costs. The purpose of the conference will be for OFAs and licensees to discuss costs reported in the forms and any other supporting documentation or analyses.

    The technical conference will be held on March 29, 2018, in Conference Room 3M-3 at the Commission's headquarters, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC. The technical conference will begin at 2:00 p.m. (EST).

    The technical conference will also be transcribed. Those interested in obtaining a copy of the transcript immediately for a fee should contact the Ace-Federal Reporters, Inc., at 202-347-3700, or 1-800-336-6646. Two weeks after the post-forum meeting, the transcript will be available for free on the Commission's e-library system. Anyone without access to the Commission's website or who has questions about the technical conference should contact Raven A. Rodriguez at (202) 502-6276 or via email at [email protected]

    FERC conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free (866) 208-3372 (voice), (202) 208-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    Dated: March 9, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05231 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-125-000] Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of Petition for Partial Waiver

    Take notice that on March 9, 2018, pursuant to section 292.402 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules and Regulations,1 18 CFR 292.402 (2018), Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Associated Electric), on behalf of 56 rural electric cooperative member-owners (collectively, the Participating Members),2 request a partial waiver of certain obligations imposed on the Participating Members under sections 292.303(a) and 292.303(b) of the Commission's Regulations 3 implementing section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, all as more fully explained in the petition.

    1 18 CFR 292.402 (2017).

    2 Associated Electric Cooperative, Incorporated's Participating Member-Owners joining in this petition are Central Electric Power Cooperative, Boone Electric Cooperative, Callaway Electric Cooperative, Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Inc., CO-MO Electric Cooperative, Inc., Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, Inc., Howard Electric Cooperative, Inc., Three Rivers Electric Cooperative, KAMO Electric Cooperative, Inc., Barry Electric Cooperative, Inc., Barton County Electric Cooperative, Inc., Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc., East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Inc., Indian Electric Cooperative, Inc., Kiamichi Electric Cooperative, Inc., Lake Region Electric Cooperative, Inc., New-Mac Electric Cooperative, Inc., Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Inc., Osage Valley Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., Ozark Electric Cooperative, Inc., Ozarks Electric Cooperative Corp., Sac Osage Electric Cooperative, Inc., Southwest Electric Cooperative, Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., M&A Electric Power Cooperative, Black River Electric Cooperative, Ozark Border Electric Cooperative, Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative, Inc., SEMO Electric Cooperative, Inc., Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, Access Energy Cooperative, Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Macon Electric Cooperative, Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative, Ralls County Electric Cooperative, Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative, Tri-County Electric Cooperative Association, NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., Atchison-Holt Electric Cooperative, Farmers' Electric Cooperative, Inc., Grundy Electric Cooperative, Inc., North Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Inc., Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc., United Electric Cooperative, Inc., West Central Electric Cooperative, Inc., Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative, Crawford Electric Cooperative, Gascosage Electric Cooperative, Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative, Inc., Intercounty Electric Cooperative Association, Laclede Electric Cooperative, Se-Ma-No Electric Cooperative, and Webster Electric Cooperative.

    3 18 CFR 292.303(a) and (b) (2012).

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

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

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 30, 2018.

    Dated: March 9, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05233 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-65-000.

    Applicants: Franklin Resources, Inc.

    Description: Request for Reauthorization and Extension of Blanket Authorizations Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act. of Franklin Resources, Inc.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-66-000.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action of Florida Power & Light Company.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-67-000.

    Applicants: Elk City II Wind, LLC, Elk City Renewables II, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action of Elk City II Wind, LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3028-003.

    Applicants: Elk Hills Power, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Elk Hills Power, LLC.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2074-001; ER10-2538-008; ER14-1317-007.

    Applicants: Burney Forest Products, A Joint Venture, Panoche Energy Center, LLC, Sunshine Gas Producers, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Burney Forest Products, A Joint Venture, et al.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-980-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Notice of Termination of LGIA Facilities Maintenance Service Agreement No. 580 of PacifiCorp.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-981-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notices of Cancellation of IFA & Distrib Serv Agmt RCWMD to be effective 2/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/8/18.

    Accession Number: 20180308-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/29/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-982-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-03-09 SA 6510 MISO-Cleco Renewal SSR Agreement for Teche Unit No. 3 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180309-5025.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/30/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-983-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: First Revised Transmission Service Agreement 489 between PNM and El Cabo Wind to be effective 2/27/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180309-5035.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/30/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-984-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA, SA No. 4953; Queue No. AC2-074 to be effective 2/21/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180309-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/30/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-985-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Depreciation Rates to be effective 7/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/9/18.

    Accession Number: 20180309-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/30/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 9, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05225 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0787; FRL-9974-71] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for Pyroxasulfone New Uses AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered pyroxasulfone. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the Docket Identification (ID) Number and the File Symbol of interest as show in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected] The mailing address for each contact person is: Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. As part of the mailing address, include the contact person's name, division, and mail code. The division to contact is listed at the end of each application summary.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Applications

    EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing pyroxasulfone a currently registered active ingredients. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications.

    EPA Registration Numbers: 63588-91 and 63588-92. Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0787. Applicant: K-I Chemical USA, Inc., 11 Martine Ave., Suite 970, White Plains, NY 10606. Active Ingredient: Pyroxasulfone. Product Type: Herbicide. Proposed Uses: Crop Subgroup 1C, tuberous and corm vegetables (except granular/flakes and chips); Crop Subgroup 3-07, bulb vegetables; potatoes, granular/flakes and potato chips. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: February 28, 2018. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05292 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0057; FRL-9974-56] Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Pesticide Programs is announcing a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on May 2-3, 2018. This meeting provides advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on issues associated with pesticide regulatory development and reform initiatives, evolving public policy and program implementation issues, and science issues associated with evaluating and reducing risks from use of pesticides.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 9 a.m. to noon.

    Agenda: A draft agenda will be posted on or before April 18, 2018.

    Accommodations requests: To request accommodation of a disability, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATON CONTACT, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    ADDRESSES:

    The PPDC Meeting will be held at 1 Potomac Yard South, 2777 S Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA, in the lobby-level Conference Center.

    EPA's Potomac Yard South Bldg. is approximately 1 mile from the Crystal City Metro Station.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dea Zimmerman, Office of Pesticide Programs (L-17J), Environmental Protection Agency, 77 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604; telephone number: (312) 353-6344; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you work in an agricultural settings or if you are concerned about implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA); and the amendments to both of these major pesticide laws by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996; the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to: Agricultural workers and farmers; pesticide industry and trade associations; environmental, consumer, and farm worker groups; pesticide users and growers; animal rights groups; pest consultants; State, local, and tribal governments; academia; public health organizations; and the public. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0057, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background

    The PPDC is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463. EPA established the PPDC in September 1995 to provide advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on issues associated with pesticide regulatory development and reform initiatives, evolving public policy and program implementation issues, and science issues associated with evaluating and reducing risks from use of pesticides. The following sectors are represented on the current PPDC: Environmental/public interest and animal rights groups; farm worker organizations; pesticide industry and trade associations; pesticide user, grower, and commodity groups; Federal and State/local/tribal governments; the general public; academia; and public health organizations.

    III. How can I request to participate in this meeting?

    PPDC meetings are free, open to the public, and no advance registration is required. Public comments may be made during the public comment session of each meeting or in writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et. seq.

    Dated: February 22, 2018. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05287 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2003-0004; FRL-9975-02] Access to Confidential Business Information by Accelera Solutions, Inc AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has authorized its contractor, Accelera Solutions, Inc. of Fairfax, VA, to access information which has been submitted to EPA under all sections of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Some of the information may be claimed or determined to be Confidential Business Information (CBI).

    DATES:

    Access to the confidential data occurred on or about February 22, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Scott Sherlock, Environmental Assistance Division (7408M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8257; email address: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general. This action may, however, be of interest to all who manufacture, process, or distribute industrial chemicals. Since other entities may also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2003-0004, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    Under EPA contract number (GS-35F-0391P, order number EP-G18H-01472), contractor Accelera of 12150 Monument Drive, Suite 800, Fairfax, VA, is assisting the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) in the operations, maintenance and infrastructure support for the Confidential Business Information Local Area Network (CBI LAN). This includes the existing hardware, associated operating systems, security artifacts and COTS products, currently in use on the OPPT CBI LAN and ADMIN LAN. In addition, the contractor is providing assistance on the virtual desktop solution, which will streamline the process of bilateral use of CBI and business processes, to support headquarters and region offices. Furthermore, they are assisting in establishing expertise in secure virtual environments.

    In accordance with 40 CFR 2.306(j), EPA has determined that under EPA contract number (GS-35F-0391P, order number EP-G18H-01472), Accelera required access to CBI submitted to EPA under all sections of TSCA to perform successfully the duties specified under the contract. Accelera personnel were given access to information submitted to EPA under all sections of TSCA. Some of the information may be claimed or determined to be CBI.

    EPA is issuing this notice to inform all submitters of information under all sections of TSCA that EPA has provided Accelera access to these CBI materials on a need-to-know basis only. All access to TSCA CBI under this contract is taking place at EPA Headquarters in accordance with EPA's TSCA CBI Protection Manual.

    Access to TSCA data, including CBI, will continue until February 13, 2022. If the contract is extended, this access will also continue for the duration of the extended contract without further notice.

    Accelera personnel have signed nondisclosure agreements and were briefed on appropriate security procedures before they were permitted access to TSCA CBI.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: February 28, 2018. Pamela S. Myrick, Director, Information Management Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05290 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9975-27-OLEM] FY2018 Supplemental Funding for Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grantees AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of the availability of funds.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to make available approximately $7 million to provide supplemental funds to Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) capitalization grants previously awarded competitively under section 104(k)(3) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund pilots awarded under section 104(d)(1) of CERCLA that have not transitioned to section 104(k)(3) grants are not eligible to apply for these funds. EPA will consider awarding supplemental funding only to RLF grantees who have demonstrated an ability to deliver programmatic results by making at least one loan or subgrant. The award of these funds is based on the criteria described at CERCLA 104(k)(4)(A)(ii).

    The Agency is now accepting requests for supplemental funding from RLF grantees. Requests for funding must be submitted to the appropriate EPA Regional Brownfields Coordinator (listed below) by April 13, 2018. Funding requests for hazardous substances and/or petroleum funding will be accepted. Specific information on submitting a request for RLF supplemental funding is described below and additional information may be obtained by contacting the EPA Regional Brownfields Coordinator.

    DATES:

    This action is effective March 15, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    A request for supplemental funding must be in the form of a letter addressed to the appropriate Regional Brownfields Coordinator (see listing below) with a copy to Rachel Congdon, [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel Congdon, U.S. EPA, (202) 566-1564 or the appropriate Brownfields Regional Coordinator.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act added section 104(k) to CERCLA to authorize federal financial assistance for brownfields revitalization, including grants for assessment, cleanup and job training. Section 104(k) includes a provision for EPA to, among other things, award grants to eligible entities to capitalize Revolving Loan Funds and to provide loans and subgrants for brownfields cleanup. Section 104(k)(4)(A)(ii) authorizes EPA to make additional grant funds available to RLF grantees for any year after the year for which the initial grant is made (noncompetitive RLF supplemental funding) taking into consideration:

    (I) The number of sites and number of communities that are addressed by the revolving loan fund;

    (II) the demand for funding by eligible entities that have not previously received a grant under this subsection;

    (III) the demonstrated ability of the eligible entity to use the revolving loan fund to enhance remediation and provide funds on a continuing basis; and

    (IV) such other similar factors as the [Agency] considers appropriate to carry out this subsection.

    Eligibility

    In order to be considered for supplemental funding, grantees must demonstrate that they have significantly depleted funds (both EPA grant funding and any available pre- or post-closeout program income) and that they have a clear plan for quickly utilizing requested additional funds. Grantees must demonstrate that they have made at least one loan or subgrant prior to applying for this supplemental funding and have significantly depleted existing available funds. For FY2018, EPA defines “significantly depleted funds” as uncommitted or available funding is 25% or less of total RLF funds awarded under both open and closed grants, and cannot exceed $600,000. For new RLF recipients with an award of $1 million of less, the uncommitted or available funding cannot exceed $300,000. Additionally, the RLF recipient must have demonstrated a need for supplemental funding based on, among other factors, the list of potential projects in the RLF program pipeline; demonstrated the ability to make loans and subgrants for cleanups that can be started and completed and will lead to redevelopment; demonstrated the ability to administer and revolve the capitalization funding in the RLF grant; demonstrated an ability to use the RLF grant to address funding gaps for cleanup; and demonstrated that they have provided a community benefit from past and potential loan(s) and/or subgrant(s). EPA encourages innovative approaches to maximizing revolving and leveraging with other funds, including use of grants funds as a loan loss guarantee, combining with other government or private sector lending resources. Applicants for supplemental funding must contact the appropriate Regional Brownfields Coordinator below to obtain information on the format for supplemental funding applications for their region. When requesting supplemental funding, applicants must specify whether they are seeking funding for sites contaminated by hazardous substances or petroleum. Applicants may request both types of funding.

    Regional Contacts Region States Address/phone number/email EPA Region 1, Joe Ferrari, [email protected] CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3912, Phone (617) 918-1105 Fax (617) 918-0105. EPA Region 2, Lya Theodoratos, [email protected] NJ, NY, PR, VI 290 Broadway, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10007, Phone (212) 637-3260 Fax (212) 637-3083. EPA Region 3, Brett Gilmartin, [email protected] DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV 1650 Arch Street, Mail Code 3HS51, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2029, Phone (215) 814-3405 Fax (215) 814-3015. EPA Region 4, Derek Street, [email protected] AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW, 10TH FL, Atlanta, GA 30303-8960, Phone (404) 562-8574 Fax (404) 562-8761. EPA Region 5, Keary Cragan, [email protected] IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Mail Code SB-5J, Chicago, Illinois 60604-3507, Phone (312) 353-5669 Fax (312) 886-7190. EPA Region 6, Mary Kemp, [email protected] AR, LA, NM, OK, TX 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200 (6SF-PB), Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, Phone (214) 665-8358 Fax (214) 665-6660. EPA Region 7, Susan Klein, [email protected] IA, KS, MO, NE 11201 Renner Blvd, Lenexa, Kansas 66219, Phone (913) 551-7786 Fax (913) 551-8688. EPA Region 8, Daniel Heffernan, [email protected] CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY 1595 Wynkoop Street (EPR-B), Denver, CO 80202-1129, Phone (303) 312-7074 Fax (303) 312-6065. EPA Region 9, Noemi Emeric-Ford, [email protected] AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU 75 Hawthorne Street, WST-8, San Francisco, CA 94105, Phone (213) 244-1821 Fax (415) 972-3364. EPA Region 10, Susan Morales, [email protected] AK, ID, OR, WA 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Mailstop: ECL-112 Seattle, WA 98101, Phone (206) 553-7299 Fax (206) 553-0124. Dated: March 1, 2018. David R. Lloyd, Director, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, Office of Land and Emergency Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05283 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9975-36-Region 2] Proposed CERCLA Cost Recovery Settlement Regarding the Universal Oil Products Superfund Site, East Rutherford, New Jersey AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), notice is hereby given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Region 2, of a proposed cost recovery settlement agreement pursuant to CERCLA between EPA and Honeywell International Inc. (“Settling Party”) regarding the Universal Oil Products Superfund Site, East Rutherford, New Jersey (“Site”). Pursuant to the proposed cost recovery settlement agreement, the Settling Party will pay $161,352.00 to resolve the Settling Party's civil liability under Section 107(a) of CERCLA for certain past response costs.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before April 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The proposed settlement agreement is available for public inspection at EPA's Region 2 offices. To request a copy of the proposed settlement agreement, please contact the EPA employee identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael J. van Itallie, Assistant Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Regional Counsel, Region 2, 290 Broadway—17th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866. Email: [email protected] Telephone: (212) 637-3151.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For 30 days following the date of publication of this notice, EPA will receive written comments concerning the proposed cost recovery settlement agreement. Comments to the proposed settlement agreement should reference the Universal Oil Products Superfund Site, U.S. EPA Index No. CERCLA-02-2018-2002. EPA will consider all comments received during the 30-day public comment period and may modify or withdraw its consent to the settlement agreement if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate that the proposed settlement agreement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate. EPA's response to comments will be available for public inspection at EPA's Region 2 offices located at 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866.

    Dated: February 12, 2018. John Prince, Acting Director, Emergency and Remedial Response Division, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05285 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1046] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before May 14, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1046.

    Title: Part 64, Modernization of Payphone Compensation Rules, et al., WC Docket No. 17-141, et al.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 329 respondents; 2,257 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.50 hours—122 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion, one-time, and quarterly reporting requirements; third party disclosure requirements; and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154 and 276.

    Total Annual Burden: 34,720 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission is not requesting respondents to submit confidential information. Respondents may request confidential treatment of their information that they believe to be confidential pursuant to 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: Section 276 of the Communications Act, as amended (the Act), requires that the Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) establish rules ensuring that payphone service providers or PSPs are “fairly compensated” for each and every completed payphone-originated call. The Commission's Payphone Compensation Rules satisfy section 276 by identifying the party liable for compensation and establishing a mechanism for PSPs to be paid. A 2003 Report and Order (FCC 03-235) established detailed rules (Payphone Compensation Rules) ensuring that payphone service providers or PSPs are “fairly compensated” for each and every completed payphone-originated call pursuant to section 276 of the Communications Act, as amended (the Act). The Payphone Compensation Rules satisfy section 276 by identifying the party liable for compensation and establishing a mechanism for PSPs to be paid. The Payphone Compensation Rules: (1) Place liability to compensate PSPs for payphone-originated calls on the facilities-based long distance carriers or switch-based resellers (SBRs) from whose switches such calls are completed; (2) define these responsible carriers as “Completing Carriers” and require them to develop their own system of tracking calls to completion; (3) require Completing Carriers to file with PSPs a quarterly report and also submit an attestation by the chief financial officer (CFO) that the payment amount for that quarter is accurate and is based on 100% of all completed calls; (4) require quarterly reporting obligations for other facilities-based long distance carriers in the call path, if any, and define these carriers as “Intermediate Carriers;” and (5) give parties flexibility to agree to alternative compensation arrangements (ACA) so that small Completing Carriers may avoid the expense of instituting a tracking system. and undergoing an audit. On February 22, 2018, the Commission adopted a Report and Order, FCC 18-21 (2018 Payphone Order), that: (1) Eliminated the payphone call tracking system audit and associated reporting requirements; (2) permitted a company official, including but no longer limited to, the chief financial officer (CFO), to certify that a Completing Carrier's quarterly compensation payments to PSPs are accurate and complete; and (3) eliminated expired interim and intermediate per-payphone compensation rules that no longer apply to any entity. We believe that the revisions adopted in the 2018 Payphone Order significantly decrease the paperwork burden on carriers.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05204 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1180] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before May 14, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1180.

    Title: Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, state, local, or tribal government and not for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 258 respondents; 258 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 to 2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time and on occasion reporting requirements, twice within 12 years reporting requirement, 6, 10 and 12-years reporting requirements and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for these collections are contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 325(b), 332, 336(f), 338, 339, 340, 399b, 403, 534, 535, 1404, 1452, and 1454 of the Communications Act of 1934.

    Total Annual Burden: 431 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The FCC adopted the Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions Report and Order, FCC 14-50, on May 15, 2014, published at 79 FR 48442 (Aug. 15, 2014). The Commission seeks to extend for a period of three years from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) some of the information collection requirements contained in FCC 14-50. The Commission will use the information to ensure compliance with required filings of notifications, certifications, license renewals, license cancelations, and license modifications. Also, such information will be used to minimize interference and to determine compliance with Commission's rules.

    The following is a description of the information collection requirements approved under this collection:

    Section 27.14(k) requires 600 MHz licensees to demonstrate compliance with performance requirements by filing a construction notification with the Commission, within 15 days of the applicable benchmark.

    Section 27.14(t)(6) requires 600 MHz licensees to make a renewal showing as a condition of each renewal. The showing must include a detailed description of the applicant's provision of service during the entire license period and address: (i) The level and quality of service provided by the applicant (including the population served, the area served, the number of subscribers, the services offered); (ii) the date service commenced, whether service was ever interrupted, and the duration of any interruption or outage; (iii) the extent to which service is provided to rural areas; (iv) the extent to which service is provided to qualifying tribal land as defined in 47 CFR 1.2110(f)(3)(i); and (v) any other factors associated with the level of service to the public.

    Section 27.17(c) requires 600 MHz licensees to notify the Commission within 10 days of discontinuance if they permanently discontinue service by filing FCC Form 601 or 605 and requesting license cancellation.

    Section 27.1321(b) previously designated as 27.19(b) requires 600 MHz licensees with base and fixed stations in the 600 MHz downlink band within 25 kilometers of Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observatories to coordinate with the National Science Foundation (NSF) prior to commencing operations.

    Section 27.1321(c) previously designated as 27.19(c) requires 600 MHz licensees that intend to operate base and fixed stations in the 600 MHz downlink band in locations near the Radio Astronomy Observatory site located in Green Bank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia, or near the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, to comply with the provisions in 47 CFR 1.924.

    Section 74.602(h)(5)(ii) requires 600 MHz licensees to notify the licensee of a studio-transmitter link (TV STL), TV relay station, or TV translator relay station of their intent to commence wireless operations and the likelihood of harmful interference from the TV STL, TV relay station, or TV translator relay station to those operations within the wireless licensee's licensed geographic service area. The notification is to be in the form of a letter, via certified mail, return receipt requested and must be sent not less than 30 days in advance of approximate date of commencement of operations.

    Section 74.602(h)(5)(iii) requires all TV STL, TV relay station and TV translator relay station licensees to modify or cancel their authorizations and vacate the 600 MHz band no later than the end of the post-auction transition period as defined in 47 CFR 27.4.

    These rules which contain information collection requirements are designed to provide for flexible use of this spectrum by allowing licensees to choose their type of service offerings, to encourage innovation and investment in mobile broadband use in this spectrum, and to provide a stable regulatory environment in which broadband deployment would be able to develop through the application of standard terrestrial wireless rules. Without this information, the Commission would not be able to carry out its statutory responsibilities.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05203 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) invites comment on a proposal to extend for three years, with revision, the Holding Company Report of Insured Depository Institutions' Section 23A Transactions with Affiliates (FR Y-8; OMB No. 7100-0126).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by FR Y-8, by any of the following methods:

    Agency website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx .

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB number in the subject line of the message.

    FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann E. Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW) Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, if approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public website at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551, (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to approve and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. In exercising this delegated authority, the Board is directed to take every reasonable step to solicit comment. In determining whether to approve a collection of information, the Board will consider all comments received from the public and other agencies.

    Request for comment on information collection proposal:

    The Board invites public comment on the following information collection, which is being reviewed under authority delegated by the OMB under the PRA. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    d. Ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    e. Estimates of capital or startup costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    At the end of the comment period, the comments and recommendations received will be analyzed to determine the extent to which the Federal Reserve should modify the proposal.

    Proposal to approve under OMB delegated authority the extension for three years, with revision, of the following report:

    Report title: Holding Company Report of Insured Depository Institutions' Section 23A Transactions with Affiliates.

    Agency form number: FR Y-8.

    OMB control number: 7100-0126.

    Frequency: Quarterly.

    Respondents: Certain bank holding companies (BHCs) and savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs).

    Estimated number of respondents: 933.

    Estimated average hours per response: 7.8 hours.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 29,110.

    General description of report: The FR Y-8 collects information on covered transactions between an insured depository institution and its affiliates that are subject to the quantitative limits and requirements of section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act and the Board's Regulation W (12 CFR Pt. 223). The FR Y-8 is filed quarterly by all U.S. top-tier BHCs and SLHCs, and by foreign banking organizations (FBOs) that directly own or control a U.S. subsidiary insured depository institution. If an FBO indirectly controls a U.S. insured depository institution through a U.S. holding company, the U.S. holding company must file the FR Y-8. A respondent must file a separate report for each U.S. insured depository institution it controls. The primary purpose of the data is to enhance the Board's ability to monitor the credit exposure of insured depository institutions to their affiliates and to ensure that insured depository institutions are in compliance with section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation W. Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act limits an insured depository institution's exposure to affiliated entities and helps to protect against the expansion of the federal safety net to uninsured entities.

    Proposed revisions: In order to reduce reporting burden, the Board proposes to eliminate the FR Y-8 declaration page. Currently, respondents that own or control insured depository institutions may, instead of completing the entire form, submit a declaration page each quarter attesting to the fact that the institutions do not have any covered transactions with their affiliates. The Board proposes to revise the instructions to eliminate the declaration page and to clarify that respondents that own or control insured depository institutions that do not have any covered transactions with their affiliates would not have to file the FR Y-8.

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: The FR Y-8 is mandatory for respondents that control an insured depository institution that has engaged in covered transactions with an affiliate during the reporting period. Section 5(c) of the Bank Holding Company Act authorizes the Board to require BHCs to file the FR Y-8 reporting form with the Board. (12 U.S.C. 1844(c)). Section 10(b)(2) of the Home Owners' Loan Act authorizes the Board to require SLHCs to file the FR Y-8 reporting form with the Board. (12 U.S.C. 1467a(b)(2)). The release of data collected on this form includes financial information that is not normally disclosed by respondents, the release of which would likely cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the respondent if made publicly available. The data collected on this form, therefore, would be kept confidential under exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, which protects from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information. (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 12, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05254 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) invites comment on a proposal to extend for three years, without revision, the Survey of Consumer Finances (FR 3059; OMB 7100-0287).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by FR 3059, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx.

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB number in the subject line of the message.

    FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann E. Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW) Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, once approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public website at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to approve of and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. In exercising this delegated authority, the Board is directed to take every reasonable step to solicit comment. In determining whether to approve a collection of information, the Board will consider all comments received from the public and other agencies.

    Request for Comment on Information Collection Proposal

    The Board invites public comment on the following information collection, which is being reviewed under authority delegated by the OMB under the PRA. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    d. Ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    e. Estimates of capital or startup costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    At the end of the comment period, the comments and recommendations received will be analyzed to determine the extent to which the Federal Reserve should modify the proposal prior to giving final approval.

    Proposal To Approve Under OMB Delegated Authority the Extension for Three Years, Without Revision, of the Following Report(s)

    Report title: 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF).

    Agency form number: FR 3059.

    OMB control number: 7100-0287.

    Frequency: One-time survey.

    Respondents: U.S. families.

    Estimated number of respondents: Pretest, 150; and Main survey, 7,000.

    Estimated average hours per response: Pretest, 90 minutes; and Main survey, 90 minutes.

    Estimated annual burden hours: Pretest: 225 hours and Main survey: 10,500 hours.

    General description of report: This would be the thirteenth triennial SCF since 1983, the beginning of the current series. This survey is the only source of representative information on the structure of U.S. families' finances. The survey would collect data on the assets, debts, income, work history, pension rights, use of financial services, and attitudes of a sample of U.S. families. Because the ownership of some assets is relatively concentrated in a small number of families, the survey would make a special effort to ensure proper representation of such assets by systematically oversampling wealthier families.

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: Section 2A of the Federal Reserve Act (FRA) requires that the Board and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates (12 U.S.C. 225a). In addition, under section 12A of the FRA, the FOMC is required to implement regulations relating to the open market operations conducted by Federal Reserve Banks. Those transactions must be governed with a view to accommodating commerce and business and with regard to their bearing upon the general credit situation of the country (12 U.S.C. 263). The Board and the FOMC use the information obtained from the FR 3059 to help fulfill these obligations. The FR 3059 is a voluntary survey. The information collected on the FR 3059 is exempt from disclosure in identifiable form under exemption 6 of the Freedom of Information Act, which protects information that the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of individuals involved (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6)).

    Consultation outside the agency: The final survey questionnaire would be developed jointly by the Board and the contractor. The contractor would conduct the interviews for this survey. The data to support the part of the survey sample selected by the Board would be provided by the Statistics of Income Division (SOI) of the Internal Revenue Service under a contract that allows this use of the data as well as other more limited uses of the data for statistical adjustments to the final data and related purposes. As in past SCFs, the sample selection and survey administration would be managed so that the Board would not be given any names of survey participants; SOI would not be given data to link survey responses with tax records; and the contractor would not be given income data derived from the tax returns.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 12, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05266 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMB AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is adopting a proposal to extend for three years, with revision, the Interagency Notice of Change in Control (FR 2081a; OMB No. 7100-0134), Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Senior Executive Officer (FR 2081b; OMB No. 7100-0134), Interagency Biographical and Financial Report (FR 2081c; OMB 7100-0134), and the Interagency Bank Merger Act Application (FR 2070; OMB No. 7100-0171).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551, (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to approve and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the Paperwork Reduction Act Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instrument(s) are placed into OMB's public docket files. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public website at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer.

    Final Approval Under OMB Delegated Authority of the Extension for Three Years, With Revision, of the Following Reports

    Report title: Interagency Notice of Change in Control.

    Agency form number: FR 2081a.

    OMB control number: 7100-0134.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: An individual (or a group of individuals or company or group of companies that would not be bank holding companies (BHCs) or savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs) after consummation of the proposed transaction) seeking to acquire shares of an insured depository institution, SLHC, or BHC (or group of BHCs or SLHCs).

    Estimated number of respondents: 156.

    Estimated average hours per response: 30.5.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 4,758.

    Report title: Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Senior Executive Officer.

    Agency form number: FR 2081b.

    OMB control number: 7100-0134.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: Insured depository institutions, SLHCs, BHCs, and individuals.

    Estimated number of respondents: 287.

    Estimated average hours per response: 2.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 574.

    Report title: Interagency Biographical and Financial Report.

    Agency form number: FR 2081c.

    OMB control number: 7100-0134.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: Certain shareholders, directors, and executive officers of financial institutions.

    Estimated number of respondents: 1,512.

    Estimated average hours per response: 4.5.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 6,804.

    Report title: Interagency Bank Merger Act Application.

    Agency form number: FR 2070.

    OMB control number: 7100-0171.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: State member banks.

    Estimated number of respondents: Non-affiliate, 54; Affiliate, 10.

    Estimated average hours per response: Non-affiliate, 31; Affiliate, 19.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 1,864.

    General description of reports: The Interagency Notice of Change in Control form is used by an individual (or a group of individuals or a company or group of companies that would not be BHCs or SLHCs after consummation of the proposed transaction) seeking to acquire shares of a state member bank, SLHC or a BHC (or group of BHCs or SLHCs). The notice is submitted to the Board. The notice includes a description of the proposed transaction, the purchase price and funding source, and the personal and financial information of the proposed acquirer(s) and any proposed new management.

    The Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Senior Executive Officer form is used, under certain circumstances, by a state member bank, BHC, SLHC, or the affected individual to notify the Board of a proposed change in the institution's board of directors or senior executive officers. The notice must be filed only if the state member bank, SLHC, or BHC is not in compliance with all minimum capital requirements, is in troubled condition or, is otherwise required by the Board to provide such notice.

    The Interagency Biographical and Financial Report is used by certain shareholders, directors, and executive officers, in connection with different types of applications filed with the agencies. Information requested on this reporting form is subject to verification and, as with all required information, must be complete.

    The Interagency Bank Merger Act Application is an event-generated application and is completed by a state member bank each time the bank requests approval to effect a merger, consolidation, assumption of deposit liabilities, other combining transaction with a nonaffiliated party, or a corporate reorganization with an affiliated party. The form collects information on the basic legal and structural aspects of these transactions.

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: Section 7(j) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) authorizes the Board to require the information under the FR 2081a and FR 2081c. Section 914 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (12 U.S.C. 1831(i)) authorizes the Board to collect the information in the FR 2081b and FR 2081c.

    The notices and reporting forms are public documents. Any organization or individual that submits a form may request that all or a portion of the submitted information be kept confidential. In such cases, the filer must justify the exemption by demonstrating that disclosure would cause substantial competitive harm, result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, or would otherwise qualify for an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The confidentiality status of the information submitted is judged on a case-by-case basis.

    Because information is being collected from individuals, the Board is required to make certain disclosures to the notificant under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(3)). The disclosures made by the Federal Reserve on the FR 2081 meet the requirements of the Privacy Act.

    The Bank Merger Act (BMA), 12 U.S.C. 1828(c), authorizes the Board to collect the information in the FR 2070. The BMA requires, in relevant part, that a state member bank, when it is the acquiring, assuming or resulting bank, obtain prior approval from the Board before merging or consolidating with another insured depository institution, or before acquiring the assets of or assuming liability to deposits made in any other insured depository institution.

    The Interagency Bank Merger Act Application is a public document. However, applicants may request that parts of their applications be kept confidential. In such cases, the filer must justify the exemption by demonstrating that disclosure would cause substantial competitive harm, would result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, or would otherwise qualify for an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The confidentiality status of the information submitted is judged on a case-by-case basis.

    Effective Date: All revisions would become effective upon FDIC and OCC receiving OMB approval of their comparable reports.

    Current actions: On October 2, 2017, the Board published a notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 45847) requesting public comment for 60 days on the extension, with revision, of the Interagency Notice of Change in Control (FR 2081a; OMB No. 7100-0134), Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Senior Executive Officer (FR 2081b; OMB No. 7100-0134), Interagency Biographical and Financial Report (FR 2081c; OMB 7100-0134), and the Interagency Bank Merger Act Application (FR 2070; OMB No. 7100-0171). The Board proposed to revise the FR 2070, 2081a, FR 2081b, and FR 2081c to improve the clarity of the information requests, delete information requests that are not typically useful for the analysis of the proposal, and increase transparency.

    The draft final forms would include certain new information requests. These new requests relate to information that is customarily requested during the application review process but not reflected on the current forms. Requesting this information at the beginning of the review, through the forms, should increase the efficiency of the applications process and improve transparency. For example, the draft final FR 2070 would require a description of any contract deadlines and any filings with other state and federal regulators; the draft final FR 2081a would require a narrative description of the proposal and information regarding the expected timing of the proposal; the draft final FR 2081c would require a description of any liability that is contractually delinquent; and the draft final FR 2081a and FR 2081b would both require a description of whether the submission is being filed after-the-fact and whether any exemptions apply.

    In addition, each of the draft final forms has been revised to remove information that is no longer relevant. For example, the draft final FR 2070 would no longer require a description of goodwill amortization and purchase discount accretion schedules because of accounting rule changes; the draft final FR 2081a would no longer require a description of current book value per share because that information can be calculated using other available information; and the draft final FR 2081c would remove the requirement to provide a fax number.

    The comment period for this notice expired on December 1, 2017. The Board did not receive any comments. The revisions will be implemented as proposed.

    Consultation With the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

    Representatives from the Board worked together with representatives from the FDIC and OCC to draft revisions to the Interagency Notice of Change in Control, Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Senior Executive Officer, Interagency Biographical and Financial Report, Interagency Bank Merger Act because each of the agencies uses the forms for information collection. The agencies collaborated to determine whether the forms should be modified. They reviewed the forms in consideration of current law and applications processing procedures and practices.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 12, 2018. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05255 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Granting of Requests for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification Rules

    Section 7A of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18a, as added by Title II of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, requires persons contemplating certain mergers or acquisitions to give the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General advance notice and to wait designated periods before consummation of such plans. Section 7A(b)(2) of the Act permits the agencies, in individual cases, to terminate this waiting period prior to its expiration and requires that notice of this action be published in the Federal Register.

    The following transactions were granted early termination—on the dates indicated—of the waiting period provided by law and the premerger notification rules. The listing for each transaction includes the transaction number and the parties to the transaction. The grants were made by the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Neither agency intends to take any action with respect to these proposed acquisitions during the applicable waiting period.

    Early Terminations Granted February 1, 2018 thru February 28, 2018 02/01/2018 20180647 G Dominion Energy, Inc.; SCANA Corporation; Dominion Energy, Inc. 02/02/2018 20180107 G Michael S. Dunlap; Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation; Michael S. Dunlap. 20180645 G OCM Big Wave Equity Holdings LLC; Billabong International Ltd.; OCM Big Wave Equity Holdings LLC. 20180650 G Ascension Health Alliance; Presence Health Network; Ascension Health Alliance. 20180676 G KKR European Fund IV L.P.; Unilever N.V.; KKR European Fund IV L.P. 20180677 G Grey Mountain Partners Fund III, L.P.; Brambles Limited; Grey Mountain Partners Fund III, L.P. 20180678 G AXA S.A.; Maestro Health, Inc.; AXA S.A. 20180682 G Alps Electric Co., Ltd.; Alpine Electronics, Inc.; Alps Electric Co., Ltd. 20180685 G Fuad El-Hibri; Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.; Fuad El-Hibri. 02/05/2018 20180730 G Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 02/06/2018 20180611 G Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI, L.P.; Dude Solutions Holdings, Inc.; Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI, L.P. 20180654 G Corvex Select Equity Master Fund LP; Energen Corporation; Corvex Select Equity Master Fund LP. 20180683 G Compass Diversified Holdings; Jeffrey Wayne Palmer; Compass Diversified Holdings. 20180702 G GTCR Fund XII/A LP; AP VIII Duke Holdings, L.P.; GTCR Fund XII/A LP. 02/07/2018 20180662 G Vista Foundation Fund II, L.P.; KKR 2006 Fund L.P.; Vista Foundation Fund II, L.P. 20180704 G SLP BHN Investor, L.L.C.; Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc.; SLP BHN Investor, L.L.C. 02/08/2018 20180534 G W.R. Grace & Co.; Albemarle Corporation; W.R. Grace & Co. 20180623 G ABB Ltd; General Electric Company; ABB Ltd. 02/09/2018 20180693 G Rocher Participations; Natural Products Group, Inc.; Rocher Participations. 20180698 G Michael J. Brown; Euronet Worldwide, Inc.; Michael J. Brown. 20180699 G Bureau Veritas S.A.; Joanne Limoges; Bureau Veritas S.A. 20180700 G USA Compression Partners, LP; Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.; USA Compression Partners, LP. 20180705 G Edgewell Personal Care Company; Jeff and Curran Dandurand; Edgewell Personal Care Company. 20180707 G Archrock, Inc.; Archrock Partners, L.P.; Archrock, Inc. 20180710 G Ardian LBO Fund VI A S.L.P.; Les Derives Resiniques et Terpeniques S.A.; Ardian LBO Fund VI A S.L.P. 20180713 G Royal Dutch Shell plc; Silicon Ranch Corporation; Royal Dutch Shell plc. 20180715 G Wolong Electric Group Co., Ltd.; General Electric Company; Wolong Electric Group Co., Ltd. 20180716 G Green Equity Investors Side VII, L.P.; AEA Investors Fund V LP; Green Equity Investors Side VII, L.P. 20180718 G NGP Natural Resources XI, L.P.; Bill Barrett Corporation; NGP Natural Resources XI, L.P. 20180720 G Lincoln National Corporation; Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc.; Lincoln National Corporation. 02/12/2018 20180681 G Amdocs Limited; Vubiquity Holdings, Inc.; Amdocs Limited. 20180708 G RELX PLC; ThreatMetrix, Inc.; RELX PLC. 20180709 G RELX NV; ThreatMetrix, Inc.; RELX NV. 20180726 G Genstar Capital Partners VI, L.P.; Action Acquisition Holding, Inc.; Genstar Capital Partners VI, L.P. 20180733 G Lithia Motors, Inc.; Deborah Lee (Numrich) Flaherty; Lithia Motors, Inc. 20180734 G Keller Group plc; Moretrench American Corporation; Keller Group plc. 02/13/2018 20180656 G Baxter International Inc.; Mallinckrodt plc; Baxter International Inc. 02/15/2018 20171961 G CoStar Group, Inc.; Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC; CoStar Group, Inc. 20180651 G UnitedHealth Group Incorporated; Reliant Medical Group, Inc.; UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. 20180729 G BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 02/16/2018 20180739 G New Mountain Partners IV, L.P.; Timothy S. O'Donnell; New Mountain Partners IV, L.P. 20180740 G New Mountain Partners IV, L.P.; David F. O'Donnell; New Mountain Partners IV, L.P. 20180741 G Exponent Private Equity Partners III, LP; Gartner, Inc.; Exponent Private Equity Partners III, LP. 20180742 G Internap Corporation; Zak Boca; Internap Corporation. 20180743 G Internap Corporation; Daniel Ushman; Internap Corporation. 20180744 G Greenbriar Equity Fund III, L.P.; Monitor Clipper Equity Partners III, L.P.; Greenbriar Equity Fund III, L.P. 20180746 G The Resolute Fund IV, L.P.; Carlisle Companies Incorporated; The Resolute Fund IV, L.P. 20180747 G The Resolute Fund III, L.P.; Carlisle Companies Incorporated; The Resolute Fund III, L.P. 20180756 G Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund X, L.P.; Caxton Global Investments Limited; Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund X, L.P. 20180757 G Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund X, L.P.; Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P.; Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund X, L.P. 20180759 G Enduring Resources IV, LLC; WPX Energy, Inc.; Enduring Resources IV, LLC. 20180761 G Trident VII, L.P.; Gem Topco, LP; Trident VII, L.P. 20180763 G Shutterfly, Inc.; Lifetouch Inc.; Shutterfly, Inc. 02/20/2018 20180725 G GoDaddy Inc.; Main Street Hub, Inc.; GoDaddy Inc. 20180751 G Cerberus Institutional Partners VI, L.P.; OCM Principal Opportunities Fund IV, L.P.; Cerberus Institutional Partners VI, L.P. 20180762 G TPG Growth III (A), L.P.; Trivest Fund V, L.P.; TPG Growth III (A), L.P. 20180765 G Sinji Yamazaki; Yamazaki Mazak Trading Corporation; Sinji Yamazaki. 20180766 G H.I.G. Middle Market LBO Fund II, L.P.; Centerbridge Capital Partners II, L.P.; H.I.G. Middle Market LBO Fund II, L.P. 02/21/2018 20180692 G Melrose Industries PLC; GKN plc; Melrose Industries PLC. 02/22/2018 20180758 G On Assignment, Inc.; ECS Federal, LLC; On Assignment, Inc. 20180771 G SAP SE; Callidus Software Inc.; SAP SE. 02/23/2018 20180703 G GI Partners Fund V LP; Doxim Inc.; GI Partners Fund V LP. 20180752 G Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.; Mann Packing Co., Inc.; Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. 02/26/2018 20180732 G Motorola Solutions, Inc.; Avigilon Corporation; Motorola Solutions, Inc. 20180738 G Bacardi Limited; John Paul Dejoria; Bacardi Limited. 20180750 G CGFSP III Eagle, L.P.; CFGI Holdings, LLC; CGFSP III Eagle, L.P. 20180772 G Capgemini SE; LiquidHub, Inc.; Capgemini SE. 20180777 G Newco; Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P.; Newco. 20180778 G Mr. Jose Ignacio Vicente Sala Milego, Sr.; Gerdau S.A.; Mr. Jose Ignacio Vicente Sala Milego, Sr. 20180779 G Mr. Juan Carlos Sala Milego; Gerdau S.A.; Mr. Juan Carlos Sala Milego. 20180780 G Sentinel Capital Partners V, L.P.; James Sheffield; Sentinel Capital Partners V, L.P. 20180786 G American International Group, Inc.; Validus Holdings, Ltd.; American International Group, Inc. 20180788 G Ivory Super Holdco, Inc.; Avista Capital Partners III, L.P.; Ivory Super Holdco, Inc. 20180791 G PES Inc.; PES Holdings, LLC; PES Inc. 20180802 G Barry Diller; Expedia Inc.; Barry Diller. 20180808 G CHG PPC Investor LLC; C.H. Guenther & Son, Incorporated; CHG PPC Investor LLC. 02/28/2018 20180735 G Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.; Dubai Holding LLC; Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. 20180754 G LogMeln, Inc.; Jive Communications, Inc.; LogMeln, Inc. 20180789 G American Securities Partners VII, L.P.; PMHC II, Inc.; American Securities Partners VII, L.P. 20180804 G TA XII-A L.P.; Polaris Venture Partners IV, L.P.; TA XII-A L.P. 20180807 G Curtiss-Wright Corporation; Siemens Aktiengesellschaft; Curtiss-Wright Corporation. 20180816 G GIP III Zephyr Acquisition Partners, L.P.; NRG Energy, Inc.; GIP III Zephyr Acquisition Partners, L.P.

    For Further Information Contact: Theresa Kingsberry, Program Support Specialist, Federal Trade Commission Premerger Notification Office, Bureau of Competition, Room CC-5301, Washington, DC 20024, (202) 326-3100.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-05249 Filed 3-14-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Granting of Requests for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification Rules

    Section 7A of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18a, as added by Title II of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, requires persons contemplating certain mergers or acquisitions to give the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General advance notice and to wait designated periods before consummation of such plans. Section 7A(b)(2) of the Act permits the agencies, in individual cases, to terminate this waiting period prior to its expiration and requires that notice of this action be published in the Federal Register.

    The following transactions were granted early termination—on the dates indicated—of the waiting period provided by law and the premerger notification rules. The listing for each transaction includes the transaction number and the parties to the transaction. The grants were made by the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Neither agency intends to take any action with respect to these proposed acquisitions during the applicable waiting period.

    Early Terminations Granted January 1, 2018 thru January 31, 2018 01/03/2018 20180436 G WestRock Company; Paul J. Magnell; WestRock Company. 20180446 G D.E. Shaw Oculus International Fund; EQT Corporation; D.E. Shaw Oculus International Fund. 20180447 G D.E. Shaw Composite Portfolios, L.L.C.; EQT Corporation; D.E. Shaw Composite Portfolios, L.L.C. 20180474 G Colgate-Palmolive Company; Prairie Capital V, L.P.; Colgate-Palmolive Company. 20180487 G Cortec Group Fund VI, L.P.; Harold V. Groome, III; Cortec Group Fund VI, L.P. 20180488 G Cortec Group Fund VI, L.P.; Christopher A. Groome; Cortec Group Fund VI, L.P. 20180490 G Novartis AG; Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.; Novartis AG. 20180493 G Stryker Corporation; Entellus Medical, Inc.; Stryker Corporation. 20180503 G Edward J. Foley, IV; Wayne Bromley and Jane Bromley; Edward J. Foley, IV. 20180508 G KKR Americas Fund XII, L.P.; Sandvik AB; KKR Americas Fund XII, L.P. 20180510 G American Securities Partners VII, L.P.; G. Stuart Yount; American Securities Partners VII, L.P. 20180512 G TCO Holdings Inc.; Windjammer Senior Equity Fund III, L.P.; TCO Holdings Inc. 01/04/2018 20180420 G Caesars Entertainment Corporation; Roderick J. Ratcliff; Caesars Entertainment Corporation. 20180429 G Roark Capital Partners II, L.P.; Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.; Roark Capital Partners II, L.P. 20180457 G Piedmont Healthcare, Inc.; Columbus Regional Healthcare System, Inc.; Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. 20180497 G Kao Corporation; Luxury Brand Partners, LLC; Kao Corporation. 20180498 G GEODynamics B.V.; Oil States International, Inc.; GEODynamics B.V. 20180500 G Oil States International, Inc.; GEODynamics B.V.; Oil States International, Inc. 01/05/2018 20180476 G Sedgwick, Inc.; CL Acquisition Holdings Limited; Sedgwick, Inc. 20180499 G IIF US Holding LP; Southwest Generation Parentco, LLC; IIF US Holding LP. 20180517 G AEA Investors Fund VI AIV LP; KPEX Holdings, Inc.; AEA Investors Fund VI AIV LP. 01/08/2018 20180482 G Cineworld Group plc; Philip F. Anschutz; Cineworld Group plc. 20180496 G Becle, S.A.B de C.V.; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Becle, S.A.B de C.V. 20180513 G Tencent Holdings Limited; Uber Technologies, Inc.; Tencent Holdings Limited. 20180518 G Marathon Petroleum Corporation; MPLX LP; Marathon Petroleum Corporation. 20180525 G SoftBank Vision Fund (AIV M1) L.P.; Urban Compass, Inc.; SoftBank Vision Fund (AIV M1) L.P. 20180543 G Taylor Parent, LLC; Lifetime Brands, Inc.; Taylor Parent, LLC. 20180544 G Lifetime Brands, Inc.; Taylor Parent, LLC; Lifetime Brands, Inc. 01/09/2018 20180469 G Total System Services, Inc.; Parthenon Investors IV, L.P.; Total System Services, Inc. 20180533 G Oak Hill Capital Partners IV (Onshore), L.P.; Sterling Capital Partners III, L.P.; Oak Hill Capital Partners IV (Onshore), L.P. 20180539 G Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund V, L.P.; Convergint Technologies Holdings, LLC; Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund V, L.P. 01/10/2018 20180449 G Royal Dutch Shell plc; SBM Offshore B.V.; Royal Dutch Shell plc. 20180504 G Total S.A.; A.P. Moller Holding A/S; Total S.A. 20180516 G Vinci S.A.; FR XII Charlie AIV, L.P.; Vinci S.A. 20180522 G Andeavor; EnCap Flatrock Midstream Fund II, L.P.; Andeavor. 20180528 G TEGNA Inc.; Elisabeth M. Kimmel; TEGNA Inc. 20180529 G SK Invictus Holdings, L.P.; Israel Chemicals Ltd.; SK Invictus Holdings, L.P. 20180537 G One Rock Capital Partners II, LP; Sun Capital Partners VI, LP.; One Rock Capital Partners II, LP.</