Federal Register Vol. 83, No.67,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 67 (April 6, 2018)

Page Range14733-15018
FR Document

83_FR_67
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 15017 - 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.PDF
83 FR 14898 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 14892 - Sunshine Act Meeting: Board of Directors and Its Six CommitteesPDF
83 FR 14906 - Notice of Determination and Request for Public Comment Concerning Proposed Determination of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and InnovationPDF
83 FR 14836 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Section 4(d) Rule for Louisiana PinesnakePDF
83 FR 14958 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Louisiana PinesnakePDF
83 FR 14881 - Request for Feedback on BOEM's Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental ShelfPDF
83 FR 14861 - Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 14889 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change of a Currently Approved Collection; Federal Explosives License/Permit (FEL) Renewal Application-ATF Form 5400.14/5400.15 Part IIIPDF
83 FR 14955 - Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration BondsPDF
83 FR 14893 - Notice of Permit Modification Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
83 FR 14887 - Tin- and Chromium-Coated Steel Sheet From Japan; Revised Schedule for Full Five-Year ReviewPDF
83 FR 14888 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 14887 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
83 FR 14890 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; Firearms Disabilities for Nonimmigrant AliensPDF
83 FR 14745 - Establishment of the Cape May Peninsula Viticultural AreaPDF
83 FR 14791 - Proposed Expansion of the Arroyo Seco Viticultural AreaPDF
83 FR 14762 - Approval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans, Operating Permits Program, and 112(l) Program; Revision to Nebraska Administrative CodePDF
83 FR 14787 - Proposed Expansion of the Monticello Viticultural AreaPDF
83 FR 14795 - Proposed Establishment of the Van Duzer Corridor Viticultural Area and Clarification of the Eola-Amity Hills Viticultural Area Boundary DescriptionPDF
83 FR 14846 - Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
83 FR 14751 - Special Local Regulation; California Half Ironman Triathlon, Oceanside, CAPDF
83 FR 14875 - Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) RecertificationPDF
83 FR 14804 - Definition of Domiciliary CarePDF
83 FR 14752 - Safety Zone; Pathfinder Bank Fireworks Display; Oswego River, Oswego, NYPDF
83 FR 14878 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Alaska Guide Service EvaluationPDF
83 FR 14803 - VA Compensation and Pension Regulation Rewrite ProjectPDF
83 FR 14891 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under The Clean Water ActPDF
83 FR 14733 - Importation of Lemons From Chile Into the Continental United StatesPDF
83 FR 14877 - Foreign Endangered Species; Issuance of PermitsPDF
83 FR 14843 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Statement by Ultimate Consignee and PurchaserPDF
83 FR 14741 - Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 14891 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Safe Drinking Water ActPDF
83 FR 14870 - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office Request for Letters of Intent for Inaugural Investigator Award ProgramPDF
83 FR 14843 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 41-Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Authorization of Production Activity; AFE, Inc. (Monitors/Displays/Televisions), Mount Pleasant, WisconsinPDF
83 FR 14853 - Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 14876 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Trusted Traveler Programs and U.S. APEC Business Travel CardPDF
83 FR 14848 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PaducahPDF
83 FR 14847 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho Cleanup ProjectPDF
83 FR 14848 - Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee; Notice of a MeetingPDF
83 FR 14869 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 14869 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 14867 - Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods; Notice of Public Meeting; Request for Public InputPDF
83 FR 14749 - Privacy Act of 1974; ImplementationPDF
83 FR 14854 - Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 14859 - Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 14855 - Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)PDF
83 FR 14854 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH)PDF
83 FR 14855 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).PDF
83 FR 14879 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Control and Management of Resident Canada GeesePDF
83 FR 14893 - Request for Comments on Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM)PDF
83 FR 14781 - Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices, and Corporate GovernancePDF
83 FR 14842 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 14845 - South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
83 FR 14846 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
83 FR 14843 - Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Collect InformationPDF
83 FR 14906 - Notice of Determinations; Additional Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” ExhibitionPDF
83 FR 14873 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0013PDF
83 FR 14875 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0034PDF
83 FR 14872 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0032PDF
83 FR 14893 - Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1PDF
83 FR 14898 - Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1PDF
83 FR 14874 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0097PDF
83 FR 14861 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations for Finished PharmaceuticalsPDF
83 FR 14859 - Exposure-Response Analysis in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision Making; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for CommentsPDF
83 FR 14801 - Security Zone, Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week Moving Vessels, Puget Sound, WAPDF
83 FR 14852 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
83 FR 14871 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 14849 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 14851 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 14902 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Modify That the Validea Market Legends ETF Will Be Passively-Managed Rather Than Actively-ManagedPDF
83 FR 14856 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 14857 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
83 FR 14905 - Surrender of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
83 FR 14954 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionPDF
83 FR 14903 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amendments to the Futures & Options Guaranty Fund PolicyPDF
83 FR 14901 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amendments to the ICE Clear Europe CDS Clearing Stress Testing PolicyPDF
83 FR 14852 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
83 FR 14865 - Advisory Commission on Childhood VaccinesPDF
83 FR 14897 - Holtec International HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility ProjectPDF
83 FR 14866 - Solicitation of Nominations for Membership To Serve on the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and ChildrenPDF
83 FR 14884 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Prospecting for Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur on the Outer Continental Shelf and Authorizations of Noncommercial Geological and Geophysical ActivitiesPDF
83 FR 14844 - Certain Uncoated Paper From Portugal: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017PDF
83 FR 14853 - Agency For Healthcare Research And Quality; Notice Of MeetingPDF
83 FR 14892 - Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; Native American Employment and Training CouncilPDF
83 FR 14745 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Massena, NYPDF
83 FR 14785 - Proposed Amendment of Class D Airspace; Tulsa, OKPDF
83 FR 14759 - Findings of Failure To Submit State Implementation Plan Submissions for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)PDF
83 FR 14766 - Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2018-2019 Marketing YearPDF
83 FR 14771 - Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order; Amendment To Include Frozen MangosPDF
83 FR 14736 - Subpart Nomenclature Change; Technical AmendmentPDF
83 FR 14807 - Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Colorado; Attainment Demonstration for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard for the Denver Metro/North Front Range Nonattainment Area, and Approval of Related RevisionsPDF
83 FR 14757 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Colorado; Revisions to the Transportation Conformity Consultation ProcessPDF
83 FR 14743 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
83 FR 14754 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
83 FR 14741 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
83 FR 14984 - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production Residual Risk and Technology ReviewPDF
83 FR 14833 - Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation-Parts 844 and 845PDF
83 FR 14826 - Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation-Parts 831 and 833PDF

Issue

83 67 Friday, April 6, 2018 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Meetings: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program, 14853 2018-07064 Special Emphasis Panel, 14853 2018-07001 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Subpart Nomenclature Change; Technical Amendment, 14736-14741 2018-06882 PROPOSED RULES Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order: Amendment to Include Frozen Mangos, 14771-14781 2018-06968 Marketing Orders: Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2018-2019 Marketing Year, 14766-14771 2018-06973 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

National Agricultural Library

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 14842 2018-07043
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau RULES Viticultural Areas: Establishment of the Cape May Peninsula Viticultural Area, 14745-14749 2018-07094 PROPOSED RULES Viticultural Areas: Establishment of the Van Duzer Corridor Viticultural Area and Clarification of the Eola-Amity Hills Viticultural Area Boundary Description, 14795-14801 2018-07089 Expansion of the Arroyo Seco Viticultural Area, 14791-14795 2018-07093 Expansion of the Monticello Viticultural Area, 14787-14791 2018-07090 Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Explosives License/Permit Renewal Application, 14889-14890 2018-07104 Firearms Disabilities for Nonimmigrant Aliens, 14890-14891 2018-07095 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service RULES Imports: Lemons from Chile into the Continental United States, 14733-14736 2018-07073 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 14856-14859 2018-07016 2018-07017 Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 14854-14855 2018-07049 Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 14854, 14859 2018-07051 2018-07052 2018-07053 2018-07054 Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 14855 2018-07050 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 14855-14856 2018-07048 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Pathfinder Bank Fireworks Display; Oswego River, Oswego, NY, 14752-14754 2018-07080 Special Local Regulations: California Half Ironman Triathlon, Oceanside, CA, 14751-14752 2018-07086 PROPOSED RULES Security Zones: Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week Moving Vessels, Puget Sound, WA, 14801-14803 2018-07026 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 14872-14876 2018-07032 2018-07035 2018-07036 2018-07037 Recertifications: Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council, 14875 2018-07085 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Meetings: Native American Employment and Training Council, 14892 2018-07000 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee, 14848 2018-07060 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho Cleanup Project, 14847-14848 2018-07061 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah, 14848-14849 2018-07062
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Air Plan Revisions, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, 14754-14756 2018-06795 Colorado; Revisions to the Transportation Conformity Consultation Process, 14757-14759 2018-06846 Findings of Failure to Submit State Implementation Plan Submissions for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 14759-14762 2018-06989 Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans, Operating Permits Program, and 112(l) Program; Revision to Nebraska Administrative Code, 14762-14765 2018-07091 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Colorado; Attainment Demonstration for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard for the Denver Metro/North Front Range Nonattainment Area, and Approval of Related Revisions, 14807-14826 2018-06847 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production Residual Risk and Technology Review, 14984-15014 2018-06541 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 14852 2018-07022 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 14743-14745 2018-06822 General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 14741-14743 2018-06738 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Massena, NY, 14745 2018-06997 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class D Airspace: Tulsa, OK, 14785-14787 2018-06995 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 14849-14852 2018-07019 2018-07020 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency PROPOSED RULES Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices, and Corporate Governance, 14781-14785 2018-07044 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 14852-14853 2018-07009 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Louisiana Pinesnake; Threatened Species Status, 14958-14982 2018-07107 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Louisiana Pinesnake; Section 4(d) Rule, 14836-14841 2018-07108 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Alaska Guide Service Evaluation, 14878-14879 2018-07079 Control and Management of Resident Canada Geese, 14879-14881 2018-07046 Permits: Foreign Endangered Species, 14877-14878 2018-07070 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations for Finished Pharmaceuticals, 14861-14865 2018-07031 Exposure-Response Analysis in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision Making, 14859-14861 2018-07028 Meetings: Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee, 14861 2018-07105 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 14954-14955 2018-07012 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities; Authorizations: AFE, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 41, Milwaukee, WI, 14843 2018-07065 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, 14866-14867 2018-07005
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, 14865-14866 2018-07007 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, 14843-14844 2018-07069 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Uncoated Paper from Portugal, 14844-14845 2018-07003 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Methods of Producing the Same, 14888-14889 2018-07097 Certain Portable Gaming Console Systems with Attachable Handheld Controllers and Components Thereof, 14887-14888 2018-07096 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Tin- and Chromium-Coated Steel Sheet from Japan, 14887 2018-07098 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

RULES Privacy Act; Implementation, 14749-14751 2018-07056 NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees: Clean Water Act, 14891-14892 2018-07077 Safe Drinking Water Act, 14891 2018-07067
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 14892 2018-07162 Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES Requests for Comments: Identity, Credential, and Access Management, 14893 2018-07045 National Agricultural National Agricultural Library NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 14843 2018-07039 National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions; Correction, 14741 2018-07068 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods, 14867-14869 2018-07057 National Cancer Institute, 14869-14870 2018-07058 National Institute on Aging, 14869 2018-07059 Requests for Nominations: Inaugural Investigator Award Program, 14870-14871 2018-07066 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Exempted Fishing Permit; Applications, 14846-14847 2018-07088 Meetings: New England Fishery Management Council, 14846 2018-07040 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 14845-14846 2018-07041 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Antarctic Conservation Act Permits, 14893 2018-07099 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Holtec International HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility Project, 14897-14898 2018-07006 Exemptions: Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1, 14893-14901 2018-07033 2018-07034 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 14898 2018-07246 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Prospecting for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur on the Outer Continental Shelf and Authorizations of Noncommercial Geological and Geophysical Activities, 14884-14887 2018-07004 Requests for Comments: Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, 14881-14884 2018-07106 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Proc. 9720), 15015-15018 2018-07253 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Europe Ltd., 14901-14905 2018-07010 2018-07011 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, 14902-14903 2018-07018 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Small Business Investment Companies License Surrenders: BCA Mezzanine Fund, L.P., 14905-14906 2018-07014 Falcon Private Equity, L.P., 14905 2018-07015 Surrender of Licenses of Small Business Investment Companies: Ares Venture Finance, L.P., 14905 2018-07013 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination Exhibition, 14906 2018-07038 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 14871-14872 2018-07021 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation, 14906-14954 2018-07119 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

NOTICES Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration Bonds, 14955 2018-07101
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Trusted Traveler Programs and U.S. APEC Business Travel Card, 14876-14877 2018-07063 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Compensation and Pension Regulation Rewrite Project; Withdrawal, 14803-14804 2018-07078 Definition of Domiciliary Care, 14804-14807 2018-07082 Revise and Streamline Acquisition Regulation, 14826-14836 2018-04003 2018-04004 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 14958-14982 2018-07107 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, 14984-15014 2018-06541 Part IV Presidential Documents, 15015-15018 2018-07253 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 67 Friday, April 6, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0051] RIN 0579-AE20 Importation of Lemons From Chile Into the Continental United States AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the fruits and vegetables regulations to list lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.) from Chile as eligible for importation into the continental United States subject to a systems approach. Under this systems approach, the fruit will have to be grown in a place of production that is registered with the Government of Chile and certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis. The fruit will have to undergo pre-harvest sampling at the registered production site under the direction of Chile's national plant protection organization. Following post-harvest processing, the fruit will have to be inspected in Chile at an APHIS-approved inspection site. Each consignment of fruit will have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the fruit had been found free of B. chilensis based on field and packinghouse inspections. This final rule will allow for the safe importation of lemons from Chile using mitigation measures other than fumigation with methyl bromide.

DATES:

Effective May 7, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Dorothy Wayson, Senior Regulatory Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2036.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under the regulations in “Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-82, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being introduced into and spread within the United States.

The regulations in § 319.56-4(a) provide that fruits and vegetables that can be safely imported using one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures in § 319.56-4(b) will be listed, along with the applicable requirements for their importation, on the internet. This list may be found in the Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR) database at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_import/sa_permits/sa_plant_plant_products/sa_fruits_vegetables/ct_favir/. Currently, lemons from Chile (Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.) are listed in the FAVIR database as enterable subject to treatment with methyl bromide for the pest Brevipalpus chilensis, the Chilean false red mite, applied either as a condition of entry treatment or in Chile under an APHIS preclearance program. These conditions have been in place since 1982.

The regulations in § 319.56-4(a) also provide that commodities that require phytosanitary measures other than those found in § 319.56-4(b) may only be imported in accordance with applicable requirements in § 319.56-3 and commodity-specific requirements contained elsewhere in the subpart. The conditions applicable to the importation of citrus from Chile are listed in § 319.56-38. At present, clementines (Citrus reticulata Blanco var. Clementine), mandarins (Citrus reticulata Blanco), and tangerines (Citrus reticulata Blanco) may be imported into the United States from Chile, and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfad.) and sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) may be imported into the continental United States from Chile under a systems approach.

On April 4, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 19063-19066, Docket No. APHIS-2015-0051) a proposal 1 to amend § 319.56-38 by including lemons that are currently enterable into the United States subject to treatment, thereby making the lemons eligible for importation under the same systems approach as other citrus from Chile. We also prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) in support of the proposed rule. The CIED was made available for public review and comment with the proposed rule.

1 To view the proposed rule, the supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0051.

We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending June 3, 2016. During that time, a commenter noted that APHIS prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) in response to this market request in 2012, but while we made it available to stakeholders, we did not publish a notice in the Federal Register making the PRA available for public review and comment. In response, we made the 2012 PRA publicly available and reopened and extended the deadline for comments until September 26, 2016, in a document published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2016 (81 FR 58873, Docket No. APHIS-2015-0051). We received 38 comments by that date. They were from producers, importers, exporters, port operators, representatives of State and foreign governments, and private citizens. Twenty-eight of the commenters were supportive of the proposed rule. The other commenters raised a number of questions and concerns about the proposed rule. The comments are discussed below, by topic.

One commenter was opposed to the proposed rule because of potential economic impacts on lemon producers in the United States.

APHIS notes that the United States is already a net importer of lemons. We also note that this final rule will not change the number of lemons produced by Chile for export to the United States, but will provide an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation. We have thoroughly analyzed the economic effects of the rule, as described below.

Two commenters stated that they were opposed to the proposed rule because there would be an increased pest risk associated with lemons produced under a systems approach.

APHIS notes that this systems approach has been used successfully with other commodities, such as grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines, to prevent the introduction of pests associated with citrus from Chile. We are making no changes in response to this comment.

One commenter stated that the detection methodology used to qualify for the systems approach will only detect adult mites as a 200 mesh sieve (0.074 mm) but will not collect immature mites. The commenter stated that a refinement of this methodology by using a mesh size of 0.044 mm is needed to detect all life stages.

The commenter is correct that the sieve will collect adult mites. Only the adults can be identified reliably through microscopic examination of the filtrate from the sieve. However, in a given population, multiple life stages (egg to adult) of the mite are concurrent, and since APHIS will require a number of samples, the likelihood of only eggs or nymphs being present in all of the samples is very low. For this reason APHIS can use the sieve sampling method to reliably detect populations of mites at production sites.

Three commenters noted that if mites are detected, lemons would not qualify for the systems approach but could still be shipped to the United States if a methyl bromide treatment is conducted at either the point of origin or at destination. The commenters stated that the treatment of lemons using methyl bromide in Florida is unacceptable as this will allow for the possibility of mites to have a pathway into Florida and possibly endanger Florida's citrus and grape industries. One of the commenters stated that all shipments of fresh lemons that do not qualify for shipment under the systems approach should either have the methyl bromide treatment conducted in Chile or have the shipments sent north of the 39th parallel.

The commenters are correct that lemons that do not qualify for the systems approach could still be shipped to the United States if they are treated with methyl bromide. However, APHIS disagrees that treatment of lemons in Florida will provide a pathway for B. chilensis into Florida. We have determined, for the reasons described in the CIED that accompanied the proposed rule, that the measures specified in the systems approach will effectively mitigate the risk associated with the importation of lemons from Chile. The commenter did not provide any evidence suggesting that the mitigations are not effective. Therefore, we are not taking the action requested by the commenter.

One commenter suggested substituting phosphine (sold under the trade names Phostoxin and Magtoxin) or a phosphine/carbon dioxide combination in place of methyl bromide fumigation.

APHIS notes that we do not have an approved phosphine treatment for B. chilensis. Moreover, Chile did not ask APHIS to approve a phosphine treatment. They requested that we approve a systems approach, which can substitute for a methyl bromide treatment, eliminating the need for fumigation.

One commenter stated that the rule provides that the production centers where lemons are grown must be registered with the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Chile including in this record the number of plants/hectares/species. The commenter suggested that this be replaced by the area in hectares/species/variety, which is the information that we currently manage in our records for the other citrus species under a systems approach.

APHIS disagrees. Under the regulations, production site registration requires: Production site name, grower, municipality, province, region, area planted to each species, number of plants/hectares/species, and approximate date of harvest. The information required in this rulemaking is consistent with current recordkeeping for other citrus from Chile under a systems approach.

In the proposed rule and the accompanying CIED, we referred to commercially grown shipments from registered production sites that use good agricultural practices to reduce or eliminate pests. One commenter asked what good agricultural practices entail.

In this context, the phrase good agricultural practices means that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored to reduce or eliminate pest risk by growing healthy crops that are less vulnerable to pest and diseases, and by protecting the fruit from exposure to pests and diseases after harvest. Good agricultural practices can effectively suppress or eliminate pests from fields or prevent infestation in harvested crops.

One commenter stated that the requirement for good agricultural practices should be required for pre-harvest as well as post-harvest protocols. The commenter suggested adding the words “Production sites must follow pre-harvest good agricultural practices to be registered” to § 319.56-38(d)(1).

APHIS notes that following pre-harvest good agricultural practices is not currently required for other Chilean citrus using the systems approach. Furthermore, the systems approach will disqualify production sites that, upon inspection, are found to have mites. It is up to the Chilean growers to reduce their mite populations or they will not qualify to export under the systems approach.

One commenter asked if APHIS will have any role in pre-harvest oversight activities, such as reviewing the records for the registrations on an annual basis. The commenter also asked if APHIS personnel will participate in the pre-harvest tests that are done to determine the existence of the mite.

Yes. At Chile's request, APHIS conducts activities in Chile under a pre-clearance program that covers all fruits and vegetables exported to the United States, so all of the pre-harvest tests and sampling are subject to APHIS oversight. More information about APHIS pre-clearance activities can be found on the APHIS website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_preclearance/ct_preclearance_activities.

One commenter asked how large registered production sites would be. The commenter stated that the size of the random sample should be proportionate to the size of the registered site. The commenter also asked if there would be a maximum size for each registered production site.

APHIS does not place limits on the size of production sites. The samples for determining freedom from mites are to be taken at random from production sites. Random sampling obviates any reason to increase sample size with the size of the production site. The current sample size is sufficient to detect mite populations of 2 percent with 95 percent probability regardless of the size of production sites.

One commenter stated that requiring the NPPO of Chile to present a list of certified production sites to APHIS annually is insufficient because the pest situation in a given area is always evolving.

Production site surveillance is not the only method used to detect pests. Packinghouse inspection, which takes place throughout the harvest season, backs up production site surveillance. These overlapping measures are part of the same systems approach that has been successfully used with other commodities, such as grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines from Chile, to prevent pest introductions into the United States.

Two commenters stated that in the 2012 PRA, B. chilensis was rated as medium risk. The commenters stated that the pest should be considered high risk.

APHIS disagrees that the pest should be rated as high risk. Furthermore, a high risk rating would not have changed our mitigations for the pest. Under APHIS policy, both medium risk and high risk pests are subject to pest-specific mitigations beyond port of entry inspection, and the mitigations we prescribed to address B. chilensis are based on the possibility that it may follow the pathway, rather than the risk rating ascribed to the pests.

One commenter stated that random sampling may not be the appropriate way to determine its prevalence in a given growing area. Instead, surveys of surrounding areas may be needed because if there are populations of the mite in the vicinity of the production site and given the ability of the mite to travel on the wind, the mites could move into neighboring orchards given the right wind conditions.

B. chilensis tend to aggregate, move downwind slowly, and do not balloon—that is, they do not produce streamers of silk and travel with wind currents for longer distances.2 If B. chilensis mites move from a neighboring orchard into a registered production site, they should be readily detected through routine place of production inspections and the biometric sampling protocol.

2 Childers, C.C. and J.C.V. Rodrigues. 2011. An overview of Brevipalpus mites (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) and the plant viruses they transmit. Zoosymposia 6:180-192.

One commenter stated that the 2012 PRA should have addressed citrus fruit borer (Gymnandrosoma aurantianum), which is present in Argentina, Peru, and Brazil.

The PRA addressed pests of lemons that are present in Chile. The Crop Protection Compendium 3 maintained by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International does not list the citrus fruit borer as present in Chile, and a search of the scientific literature for Tortricidae references did not find it to be present in Chile.

3 The Crop Protection Compendium can be viewed online at http://www.cabi.org/cpc/.

One commenter stated that APHIS should provide data that demonstrates that the pre-harvest sieving is effective. The commenter stated that relying on the lack of interceptions of the mite is not sufficient.

As we explained above, this systems approach, including pre-harvest sieving, has been used successfully with other commodities, such as clementines, mandarins, tangerines, grapefruits, and sweet oranges from Chile. APHIS considers that this approach has been extensively tested and found to work.

Two commenters stated that the wash survey proposed in the systems approach does not appear to have been evaluated in scientific literature. The commenters stated that surveys capable of detecting immature mites should be scientifically evaluated before being considered as a component of a systems approach.

APHIS disagrees. Mites and other small organisms have been studied by collecting them from their habitat through sieves that concentrate them. In their classic textbook Ecological Methods, Southwood and Henderson devote chapters to this method of sampling. (Southwood, T.R.E., & Henderson, P.A. (2009). Ecological Methods. John Wiley & Sons.)

This method of sampling has been used since the 18th century; use of Berlese funnels and sieves is ubiquitous in sampling mites and other small organisms in various habitats. The agricultural quarantine and inspection data that APHIS collects routinely suggests that the specific method described in the regulations, which has been used for almost 20 years, has been very effective in detecting B. chilensis mites on fruit from Chile.

One commenter noted that under the systems approach, a biometric sample of each consignment will be inspected in Chile under the direction of APHIS inspectors. The commenter asked how the term biometric sample is defined and if the biometric sample will be made proportional to the size of the consignment. The commenter also asked how large each consignment would be and if there was a limit on the size of each consignment.

With a hypergeometric probability distribution (biometric sample), once a certain consignment size is reached (about 4,000 fruit, which would be a very small commercial shipment), a fixed sample size of 150 gives the same probability of finding the pest (95 percent confidence of finding a 2 percent pest infestation) independent of the increasing consignment size no matter how large the consignment size is. The size of a consignment is determined by agreement between the importer and the exporter. APHIS does not limit the size of consignments.

One commenter stated that the number of samples inspected for the determination of production site freedom from mites as part of the systems approach should be 600 for at least the first 3 years of the program, since this is consistent with what other countries require of U.S. growers. The commenter stated that this requirement is appropriate given that this is the first time this program has been applied to lemons and unanticipated issues could arise.

APHIS disagrees that the number of samples inspected should be 600. One hundred samples is consistent with the protocol used for other Chilean citrus fruits, including clementines, mandarins, tangerines, grapefruits, and sweet oranges, and has been effective at preventing infested fruit from being shipped. Inspecting an additional 500 fruit per sample does not substantially impact the probability of finding an infestation, and would be significantly more resource-intensive.

Miscellaneous

In § 319.56-38, paragraph (d)(4) provides the phytosanitary inspection procedures that apply to citrus fruit imported from Chile under the section. When we added sweet oranges and grapefruit to the section in 2009, we failed to add them specifically to that paragraph with the already-listed clementines, mandarins, and tangerines. We similarly neglected to propose adding lemons to the listed fruit in our proposed rule. Therefore, in this final rule, we have added sweet oranges, grapefruit, and lemons to the fruit listed in paragraph (d)(4).

Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the change discussed in this document.

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 final rule is not significant, it is not a regulatory action under Executive Order 13771.

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available on the Regulations.gov website (see footnote 1 in this document for a link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

This rule will allow fresh lemon imported from Chile into the United States to be treated using a systems approach as an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation, to mitigate the risk of introduction of the Chilean false red mite.

The United States is a net importer of fresh lemons. Over the last five seasons, U.S. annual imports of fresh lemons averaged 497,000 metric tons (MT), an amount equal to about 60 percent of U.S. fresh lemon production and almost four times the quantity exported (129,000 MT per year).

More than 90 percent of U.S. fresh lemon imports come from Mexico, with only 4 percent supplied by Chile. Chile's Ministry of Agriculture estimates that approximately 60 percent of that country's lemon exports to the United States will be qualified for importation using the systems approach rather than fumigated. This amount represents less than 3 percent of U.S. lemon imports, and less than 2 percent of U.S. fresh lemon consumption. This rule is not expected to result in significant cost savings for Chile's lemon exporters or a substantial change in their competitiveness.

Although the majority of entities that may be affected by this rule (lemon importers, producers, and wholesalers) are small, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

This final rule allows lemon fruit to be imported into the continental United States from Chile subject to a systems approach. State and local laws and regulations regarding lemon fruit imported under this rule will be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh fruits are generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the consuming public, and remain in foreign commerce until sold to the ultimate consumer. The question of when foreign commerce ceases in other cases must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. No retroactive effect will be given to this rule, and this rule will not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the burden requirements included in this final rule, which were filed under 0579-0446, 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 E-Government 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 319.56-38 is amended as follows: a. In the introductory text, by adding the words “, lemons (Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.),” between the words “(Citrus paradisi Macfad.)” and “and sweet oranges”; b. In paragraph (d)(4) introductory text, by adding the words “grapefruit, lemons,” between the words “Clementines,” and “mandarins,” and by adding the words “sweet oranges,” between the words “mandarins,” and “or tangerines”; c. In paragraphs (e) and (f), by adding the word “lemons,” between the words “grapefruit,” and “mandarins,”; and d. By revising the OMB citation at the end of the section.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 319.56-38 Citrus from Chile.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 0579-0242 and 0579-0446)

Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of April 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-07073 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Parts 900, 915, 917, 923, 925, 932, 946, 948, 953, 955, 956, 958, 981, 984, 987, and 993 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-17-0083; SC18-915-l FR] Subpart Nomenclature Change; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

This document makes nomenclature changes to subpart headings in the Agricultural Marketing Service's regulations to bring the language into conformance with the Office of the Federal Register requirements.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 7, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melissa Schmaedick, Senior Marketing Specialist, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, Post Office Box 952, Moab, UT 84532; Telephone: (202) 557-4783, Fax: (435) 259-1502, or Julie Santoboni, Rulemaking Branch Chief, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Small businesses may request information on this proceeding by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This action, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, amends regulations issued to carry out a marketing order as defined in 7 CFR 900.2(j). This rule is issued under the General regulations (part 900) and the marketing orders in numerous other parts of title 7, that regulate the handling of fruits, vegetables and nuts (parts 915, 917, 923, 925, 932, 946, 948, 953, 955, 956, 958, 981, 984, 987, and 993). These parts (referred to as “Order” or “Orders”), are effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

This rule falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

Preliminary Statement

This document makes nomenclature changes to subpart headings in part 900 and Orders 915, 917, 923, 925, 932, 946, 948, 953, 955, 956, 958, 981, 984, 987, and 993 to bring the language into conformance with the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) requirements. These changes will ensure that all subpart headings in part 900 and the Orders are consistent with OFR nomenclature and formatting used throughout the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

A. What does this technical amendment do?

This technical amendment redesignates and revises the heading of each subpart within part 900 and each of the Orders so that it is consistent with OFR requirements. These subparts were improperly incorporated into the Orders without an assigned subpart letter. Further, some subpart headings were titled “Rules and Regulations,” which is inconsistent with approved subpart headings, as each Order, defined as a part under chapter IX, volume 8, title 7 of the CFR, “AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,” represents a body of regulations. For example, part 915, encompasses regulations of the Order for avocados grown in south Florida. The first subpart of this part is correctly titled “Order Regulating Handling,” but lacks the correct designation as “subpart A.” This rule amends that subpart by redesignating it as “Subpart A-Order Regulating Handling.” The second subpart of part 915 is both undesignated and erroneously titled, “Subpart-Rules and Regulations.” This title is considered redundant by the OFR in that it denotes regulations within a body of regulation. This rule amends that subpart by redesignating it as “subpart B” and revising the heading to read, “Subpart B-Administrative Requirements.” This document makes similar amendments to redesignate and revise headings of all subparts of the listed Orders to bring them into compliance with OFR requirements. Not all marketing orders are addressed in this rule as some marketing orders do not contain subpart headings that require corrections.

B. Why is this technical amendment issued as a final rule?

Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), provides that, when an agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure are impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest, the agency may issue a rule without providing notice and an opportunity for public comment. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has determined that there is good cause for making this technical amendment final without prior proposal and opportunity for comment because the redesignations and revised headings will have no impact on the regulations of the affected parts. AMS has determined that public comment on such ministerial changes is unnecessary and that therefore there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) for proceeding with a final rule.

Further, because a notice of proposed rulemaking and opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under the APA or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. Accordingly, this rule is issued in final form. Although there is no formal comment period, public comments on this rule are welcome on a continuing basis. Comments should be submitted to the address or email under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 900

Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 915

Avocados, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 917

Marketing agreements, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 923

Cherries, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 925

Grapes, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 932

Marketing agreements, Olives, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 946

Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 948

Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 953

Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 955

Marketing agreements, Onions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 956

Marketing agreements, Onions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 958

Marketing agreements, Onions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 981

Marketing agreements, Nuts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 984

Marketing agreements, Nuts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 987

Dates, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 993

Marketing agreements, Plums, Prunes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, AMS amends 7 CFR parts 900, 915, 917, 923, 925, 932, 946, 948, 953, 955, 956, 958, 981, 984, 987 and 993 as follows:

PART 900—GENERAL REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 900 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 601-674; 7 U.S.C. 7401; 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; and 44 U.S.C. Ch. 35.

[Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 2. Redesignate “Subpart-Rules of Practice and Procedure Governing Proceedings to Formulate Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders” as “Subpart A-Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings to Formulate Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B] 3. Redesignate “Subpart—Supplemental Rules of Practice Governing Proceedings to Amend Federal Milk Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders” as “Subpart B—Supplemental Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings to Amend Federal Milk Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 4. Redesignate “Subpart—Supplemental Rules of Practice Governing Proceedings to Amend Fruit, Vegetable and Nut Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders” as “Subpart C—Supplemental Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings to Amend Fruit, Vegetable and Nut Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart D] 5. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules of Practice Governing Proceedings on Petitions To Modify or To Be Exempted From Marketing Orders” as “Subpart D—Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings on Petitions To Modify or To Be Exempted From Marketing Orders”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart E] 6. Redesignate “Subpart—Supplemental Rules of Practice for Marketing Orders, Marketing Agreements, and Requirements Issued Pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 608b(b) and 7 U.S.C. 608e Covering Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts” as “Subpart E—Supplemental Procedural Requirements for Marketing Orders, Marketing Agreements, and Requirements Covering Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart F] 7. Redesignate “Subpart—Procedure Governing Meetings To Arbitrate and Mediate Disputes Relating to Sales of Milk or Its Products” to “Subpart F—Procedure Governing Meetings To Arbitrate and Mediate Disputes Relating to Sales of Milk or Its Products”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart G and Amended] 8. Redesignate “Subpart—Miscellaneous Regulations” as subpart G and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart G—Miscellaneous Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart H] 9. Redesignate “Subpart—Procedure for Conduct of Referenda To Determine Producer Approval of Milk Marketing Orders To Be Made Effective Pursuant to Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended” as “Subpart H—Procedure for Conduct of Referenda To Determine Producer Approval of Milk Marketing Orders To Be Made Effective Pursuant to Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart I] 10. Redesignate “Subpart—Procedure for Determining the Qualification of Cooperative Milk Marketing Associations” as “Subpart I—Procedure for Determining the Qualification of Cooperative Milk Marketing Associations”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart J] 11. Redesignate “Subpart—Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended” as “Subpart J—Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart K] 12. Redesignate “Subpart—Public Information” as “Subpart K—Public Information”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart L] 13. Redesignate “Subpart—Information Collection” as “Subpart L—Information Collection”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart M] 14. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment of Exemptions” as “Subpart M—Assessment of Exemptions”. PART 915—AVOCADOS GROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA PART 917—FRESH PEARS AND PEACHES GROWN IN CALIFORNIA PART 923—SWEET CHERRIES GROWN IN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN WASHINGTON PART 925—GRAPES GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA PART 932—OLIVES GROWN IN CALIFORNIA PART 946—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN WASHINGTON PART 948—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN COLORADO PART 953—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN SOUTHEASTERN STATES PART 955—VIDALIA ONIONS GROWN IN GEORGIA PART 956—SWEET ONIONS GROWN IN THE WALLA WALLA VALLEY OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHEAST OREGON PART 958—ONIONS GROWN IN CERTAIN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN IDAHO, AND MALHEUR COUNTY, OREGON PART 981—ALMONDS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA PART 984—WALNUTS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA PART 987—DOMESTIC DATES PRODUCED OR PACKED IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA PART 993—DRIED PRUNES PRODUCED IN CALIFORNIA 15. The authority citation for 7 CFR parts 915, 917, 923, 925, 932, 946, 948, 953, 955, 956, 958, 981, 984, 987 and 993 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 601-674.

PART 915—AVOCADOS GROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 16. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 17. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 18. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart C—Assessment Rates”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart D and Amended] 19. Redesignate “Subpart—Container and Pack Regulations” as subpart D and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart D—Container and Pack Requirements PART 917—FRESH PEARS AND PEACHES GROWN IN CALIFORNIA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 20. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 21. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C and Amended] 22. Redesignate “Subpart—Grade and Size Regulation” as subpart C and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart C—Grade and Size Requirements PART 923—SWEET CHERRIES GROWN IN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN WASHINGTON [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 23. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. PART 925—GRAPES GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA
§§ 925.1 through 925.69 [Designated as Subpart A]
24. Designate §§ 925.1 through 925.69 as subpart A and add a heading for subpart A to read as follows: Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 25. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 26. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart C—Assessment Rates”. PART 932—OLIVES GROWN IN CALIFORNIA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 27. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 28. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements PART 946—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN WASHINGTON [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 29. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 30. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C and Amended] 31. Redesignate “Subpart—Handling Regulations” as subpart C and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart C—Handling Requirements PART 948—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN COLORADO [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 32. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 33. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 34. Redesignate “Subpart—Accounting and Collections” as “Subpart C—Accounting and Collections”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart D and Amended] 35. Redesignate “Subpart—Handling Regulations” as subpart D and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart D—Handling Requirements PART 953—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN SOUTHEASTERN STATES [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 36. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 37. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 38. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart C—Assessment Rates”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart D and Amended] 39. Redesignate “Subpart—Handling Regulations” as subpart D and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart D—Handling Requirements PART 955—VIDALIA ONIONS GROWN IN GEORGIA
§§ 955.1 through 955.92 [Designated as Subpart A]
40. Designate §§ 955.1 through 955.92 as subpart A and add a heading for subpart A to read as follows: Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 41. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements PART 956—SWEET ONIONS GROWN IN THE WALLA WALLA VALLEY OF SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON AND NORTHEAST OREGON
§§ 956.1 through 956.96 [Designated as Subpart A]
42. Designate §§ 956.1 through 956.96 as subpart A and add a heading for subpart A to read as follows: Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 43. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements PART 958—ONIONS GROWN IN CERTAIN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN IDAHO, AND MALHEUR COUNTY, OREGON [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 44. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 45. Redesignate “Subpart—Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C and Amended] 46. Redesignate “Subpart—Handling Regulations” as subpart C and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart C—Handling Requirements PART 981—ALMONDS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 47. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B] 48. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart B—Assessment Rates”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C and Amended] 49. Redesignate “Subpart—Administrative Rules and Regulations” as subpart C and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart C—Administrative Requirements PART 984—WALNUTS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 50. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B] 51. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart B—Assessment Rates”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C and Amended] 52. Redesignate “Subpart—Administrative Rules and Regulations” as subpart C and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart C—Administrative Requirements PART 987—DOMESTIC DATES PRODUCED OR PACKED IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 53. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 54. Redesignate “Subpart—Administrative Rules” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 55. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart C—Assessment Rates”. PART 993—DRIED PRUNES PRODUCED IN CALIFORNIA [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart A] 56. Redesignate “Subpart—Order Regulating Handling” as “Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart B and Amended] 57. Redesignate “Subpart—Administrative Rules and Regulations” as subpart B and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart B—Administrative Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart C] 58. Redesignate “Subpart—Assessment Rates” as “Subpart C—Assessment Rates”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart D and Amended] 59. Redesignate “Subpart—Undersized Prune Regulation” as subpart D and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart D—Undersized Prune Requirements [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart E] 60. Redesignate “Subpart—Pack Specification as to Size” as “Subpart E—Pack Specification as to Size”. [Subpart Redesignated as Subpart F and Amended] 61. Redesignate “Subpart—Grade Regulations” as subpart F and revise the heading to read as follows: Subpart F—Grade Requirements Dated: March 30, 2018. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-06882 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 741 RIN 3133-AE77 Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions; Correction AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule; correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

On February 23, 2018, the NCUA Board (Board) published a final rule adopting amendments to its share insurance requirements rule to provide stakeholders with greater transparency regarding the calculation of each eligible financial institution's pro rata share of a declared equity distribution from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). A clerical error appeared that resulted in an incorrect amendatory instruction. This document corrects that error.

DATES:

This correction is effective April 6, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin M. Litchfield, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, the National Credit Union Administration, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428, or by telephone at (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On February 23, 2018, at 83 FR 7954, the Board published a final rule adopting amendments to 12 CFR part 741. Amendatory instruction 2.a.iv. called for revising the definition of “equity ratio” in § 741.4. However, the final rule did not set out regulatory text for the revised definition of “equity ratio.” This was an inadvertent drafting error. This document corrects that error by amending the final rule to supply a revised definition for “equity ratio.”

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 741

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

By the National Credit Union Administration Board on April 2, 2018. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

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

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

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

2. Amend § 741.4 in paragraph (b), by revising the definition of “equity ratio” to read as follows:
§ 741.4 Insurance premium and one percent deposit.

(b) * * *

Equity ratio means the ratio of:

(i) The amount determined by subtracting—

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

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

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

[FR Doc. 2018-07068 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0668; Product Identifier 2017-NE-17-AD; Amendment 39-19236; AD 2018-07-05] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80A, -80A1, -80A2, and -80A3 turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by high cycle fatigue (HCF) cracking of the low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage 3 nozzles. This AD requires replacement of the LPT stage 3 nozzles, part numbers (P/Ns) 9290M52P05 and 9290M52P06, installed. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective May 11, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; fax: 513-552-3329; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0668.

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-2017-0668; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7147; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all GE CF6-80A, -80A1, -80A2, and -80A3 turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2017 (82 FR 42752) and an NPRM correction published on September 21, 2017 (82 FR 44127). The NPRM was prompted by an LPT uncontainment on a GE CF6-80A2 engine. An investigation determined the uncontainment was the result of HCF cracking of the LPT stage 3 nozzles. The NPRM proposed to require replacement of the LPT stage 3 nozzles. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

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.

Request To Change the Parts Eligible for Installation

The Boeing Company (Boeing) requested that we reference GE CF6-80A Service Bulletin (SB) 72-0749, Revision 2, dated August 31, 2016, for parts that are eligible for installation. They justified this is necessary to ensure that the correct parts are used.

We disagree. It is possible to have parts that are eligible for installation that are not listed in GE SB 72-0749. Listing eligible parts in an AD is not necessary to address the unsafe condition. We did not change this AD.

Request To Change Compliance Time

Atlas Air requested we change the compliance time to the engine's next shop visit instead of a calendar driven date requirement. Atlas Air stated that HCF cracking of the LPT stage 3 nozzles is not environmentally induced. Therefore, a calendar driven date compliance time requirement is not needed to maintain a safe condition for the engine and airplane.

We agree. We adjusted the compliance time in the AD to allow for compliance at the engine's next shop visit or within the next 36 months, after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

Supportive Comments

The Air Line Pilots Association International expressed support for this AD.

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

We reviewed GE CF6-80A SB 72-0749, Revision 2, dated August 31, 2016. The SB describes procedures for replacement of the LPT stage 3 nozzles.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects seven engines installed on 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
  • Replacement of LPT stage 3 nozzles 0 work-hours × $85 per hour = $0 $368,260 $368,260 $2,577,820
    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) 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 engines, propellers, and associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation 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): 2018-07-05 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-19236; Docket No. FAA-2017-0668; Product Identifier 2017-NE-17-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective May 11, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to General Electric (GE) CF6-80A, -80A1, -80A2, and -80A3 turbofan engines with low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage 3 nozzles, part numbers (P/Ns) 9290M52P05 and 9290M52P06, installed.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7250, Turbine Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by high cycle fatigue (HCF) cracking of the LPT stage 3 nozzles resulting in LPT uncontainment. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the LPT stage 3 nozzles. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in LPT uncontainment, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Within 36 months or during the next engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace LPT stage 3 nozzles, P/Ns 9290M52P05 and 9290M52P06, with a part eligible for installation.

    (h) Definition

    (1) For the purpose of this AD, an engine shop visit is defined as the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of any major mating engine flanges. The separation of engine flanges is not considered an engine shop visit for the following purposes:

    (i) Transportation of an engine not attached to an aircraft without subsequent engine maintenance.

    (ii) Removing the turbine rear frame (TRF) for repair of TRF cracking.

    (iii) Removing the top or bottom high-pressure compressor (HPC) case for HPC airfoil maintenance.

    (iv) Removing only the accessory gearbox and/or transfer gearbox.

    (2) Reserved.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, ECO 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 ECO Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. You may email your request 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.

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7147; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on March 29, 2018. Robert Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06738 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0268; Product Identifier 2017-NM-096-AD; Amendment 39-19242; AD 2018-07-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. This AD was prompted by interference between certain passenger service unit (PSU) panels, when in the deployed/open position, and the nearby emergency exit door cover. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective April 23, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by May 21, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0268; or in person at the Docket Operations office 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 Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0113, dated June 28, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A report was received of an occurrence involving interference between certain Passenger Service Unit (PSU) panels, Part Number (P/N) A546011-501 and P/N A546011-503, when in the deployed/open position, and the nearby emergency exit door cover.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could prevent a complete opening of the overwing emergency exit door, possibly obstructing the evacuation of occupants in case of an emergency landing.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Fokker Services published Service Bulletin (SB) SBF100-25-131 (hereafter referred to as `the SB' in this AD) to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time inspection to verify that the overwing emergency exit doors can be fully operated with the PSU-panels in the deployed/opened position and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). This [EASA] AD also requires the reporting of findings.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0268.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reasons stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0268; Product Identifier 2017-NM-096-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

    We 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): 2018-07-11 Fokker Services B.V.: Amendment 39-19242; Docket No. FAA-2018-0268; Product Identifier 2017-NM-096-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective April 23, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 11359, 11361, 11367, 11397, 11404, 11446, 11456, 11460, 11468, 11483, 11490, 11499, 11502, 11515 and 11520.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of interference between certain passenger service unit (PSU) panels, when in the deployed/open position, and the nearby emergency exit door cover. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct interference between certain PSU panels and the nearby emergency exit door cover, which could prevent a complete opening of the overwing emergency exit door, and possibly obstruct the evacuation of occupants in case of an emergency landing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the actions at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2017-0113, dated June 28, 2017.

    (h) 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 (i)(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.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2017-0113, dated June 28, 2017, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0268.

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

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on March 22, 2018. Michael Kaszicki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06822 Filed 4-5-18; 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, withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    This action withdraws the final rule published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2018. In that action, the FAA amended Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Massena, NY. The FAA has determined that withdrawal of the final rule is warranted since there has been a change in the date for the decommissioning of the Massena collocated VHF omnidirectional range tactical air navigation (VORTAC).

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, April 6, 2018.

    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: History

    The FAA published a final rule in the Federal Register for Docket No. FAA-2017-0953 (83 FR 11407, March 15, 2018) amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amending Class E Airspace at Massena International-Richards Field Airport, Massena, NY. The FAA found that the Massena collocated VORTAC navigation aid will not be decommissioned at this time. As a result, the final rule is being withdrawn.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Withdrawal In consideration of the foregoing, the final rule for Docket No. FAA-2017-0953 (83 FR 11407, March 15, 2018), FR Doc. 2018-05045, is hereby withdrawn. 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.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on March 29, 2018. Geoff Lelliott, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06997 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2016-0007; T.D. TTB-150; Ref: Notice No. 161] RIN 1513-AC26 Establishment of the Cape May Peninsula Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; Treasury decision.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) establishes the approximately 126,635-acre “Cape May Peninsula” viticultural area in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, New Jersey. The viticultural area lies entirely within the established Outer Coastal Plain viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective May 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kate M. Bresnahan, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone (202) 453-1039, ext. 151.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013 (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these laws.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes the establishment of definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission to TTB of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed AVA;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Cape May Peninsula Petition

    TTB received a petition from Alfred Natali, owner of Natali Vineyards, LLC, on behalf of the ad hoc Cape May Wine Growers Association, proposing the establishment of the “Cape May Peninsula” AVA in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, New Jersey. The proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA is located entirely within the established Outer Coastal Plain AVA (27 CFR 9.207) and covers approximately 126,635 acres. There are 6 commercially-producing vineyards covering a total of approximately 115 acres distributed throughout the proposed AVA, and an additional 147 acres planned within the proposed AVA in the next few years.

    The petition states that the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA is bordered entirely by water and the New Jersey Pinelands (hereafter referred to as “the Pinelands”). Most of the proposed AVA is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and coastal communities that are less suitable for viticulture due to urban development and marshy conditions to the east, the Delaware Bay to the south and west, and smaller marshes, creeks, and streams in certain areas to the north and west. The remaining area to the immediate northwest of the proposed AVA is a section of the Pinelands that acts as a large transition zone between the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA and the rest of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA are its temperature and soils, with temperature being the most important distinguishing feature. The petition included information on growing degree days (GDD) from inside and outside of the proposed AVA. The petition states that the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA is a Winkler Region III (3,001 to 3,500 GDDs), and the area northwest of the proposed AVA is a Winkler Region IV (3,501 to 4,000 GDDs). The petition also notes that the proposed AVA and its surrounding areas differ in terms of their extreme temperatures. The petition states that the average summertime high temperature in the proposed AVA is lower than that of the area to its northwest. The average wintertime low temperatures in the proposed AVA are higher than the wintertime low temperatures northwest of the proposed AVA. Another indicator of the climate difference between the proposed AVA and the area to its northwest is the number of frost-free days. The petition provides data showing that the proposed AVA has more frost-free days, and thus a longer growing season, than the area northwest of the proposed AVA.

    With regard to the soils, according to the petition, well-drained soils within the proposed AVA include Downer, Evesboro, Sassafras, Fort Mott, Hooksan, Swainton, and Aura. All of these soils are present in the proposed AVA and in the surrounding areas; however, the surrounding areas also contain additional soils not found in the proposed AVA, including Hammonton, Waterford, Galetown, and Metapeake.

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received

    TTB published Notice No. 161 in the Federal Register on September 8, 2016 (81 FR 62047), proposing to establish the Cape May Peninsula AVA. In the notice, TTB summarized the evidence from the petition regarding the name, boundary, and distinguishing features for the proposed AVA. The notice also compared the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA to the surrounding areas. For a detailed description of the evidence relating to the name, boundary, and distinguishing features of the proposed AVA, and for a detailed comparison of the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA to the surrounding areas, see Notice No. 161.

    In Notice No. 161, TTB solicited comments on the accuracy of the name, boundary, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA's location within the existing Outer Coastal Plain AVA, TTB solicited comments on whether the evidence submitted in the petition regarding the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA sufficiently differentiates it from the existing Outer Coastal Plain AVA. Finally, TTB requested comments on whether the geographic features of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the surrounding Outer Coastal Plain AVA that the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA should no longer be part of the established AVA. The comment period closed November 7, 2016.

    Comment Received

    In response to Notice No. 161, TTB received one comment. Jim Quarella, President, Board of Directors, Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association (OCPVA) submitted the comment on behalf of the OCPVA. The OCPVA comment supported the establishment of the Cape May Peninsula AVA, noting that, as stated in the petition for the Cape May Peninsula AVA, climate is the main distinguishing feature of the proposed AVA. According to OCPVA, this is largely the result of the maritime effects of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Specifically, the comment states that, while the Outer Coastal Plain AVA benefits from the effects of these bodies of water in moderating temperature, these largely beneficial effects are even greater in the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA, as it is closer to both bodies of water than the rest of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    While the OCPVA comment was submitted in support, it did identify several statements in the Cape May Peninsula AVA petition regarding the climate and soil of the Outer Coastal Plain that the OCPVA believes are inaccurate. TTB notes that the OCPVA comment did not recommend any changes to the proposed Cape May Peninsula boundary, nor did it suggest that the proposed AVA is so distinct that it should no longer be a part of the established AVA.

    The OCPVA comment is summarized as follows:

    Crop-Growing in the New Jersey Pinelands

    According to the OCPVA comment, the Cape May Peninsula AVA petition incorrectly states that acid-loving blueberries and cranberries are the only serious commercial crops in the Pinelands due to the acidity of the soils. The OCPVA comment states that more than a dozen vineyards in the Pinelands produce wine grapes commercially within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The OCPVA also points out that the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA contains areas unsuitable for growing wine grapes, such as the cranberry bogs along the northwestern edge of the proposed AVA.

    TTB recognizes that there are regions of the Pinelands where the soils are less acidic, more fertile, and more suitable for viticulture. In fact, the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA petition notes that the soils within the Pinelands generally become more fertile and less acidic as one moves from east to west through the region. TTB believes that soil acidity is still a relevant means of drawing a general distinction between the proposed AVA and the Pinelands region of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    Vitis Vinifera in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA

    According to the OCPVA comment, the Cape May Peninsula AVA petition is incorrect in stating that, while 90 percent of the grapes grown in the proposed AVA are Vitis vinifera, hybrid and native grapes are grown in the rest of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The OCPVA comment states that some vineyards in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, but outside of the proposed AVA, produce Vitis vinifera, and that all vineyards within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA could produce 100 percent Vitis vinifera if they chose to do so. The OCPVA comment added that a more accurate statement would be that “there may be some specific varieties of [Vitis] vinifera that the [proposed AVA] may be able to grow more sustainably than other regions of the Outer Coastal Plain.”

    TTB does not disagree with the commenter's point that the Outer Coastal Plain AVA vineyard owners may be planting hybrid and native grape varietals rather than Vitis vinifera as a matter of choice. TTB also agrees that some specific varietals of grapes may be more suitable for growing in the proposed AVA than in other regions of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. However, TTB notes that it appears that vineyard owners within the proposed AVA are making different planting choices than vineyard owners in other regions of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, and that the different growing conditions in the proposed AVA are likely influencing those choices. These points do not undermine the basis for the proposed boundaries of the Cape May Peninsula AVA.

    Temperature

    With respect to the Cape May Peninsula petition's climate discussion, the OCVPA comment first questions the petition's reliance on climate data from a single location in the town of Millville to represent the entirety of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA that is outside of the proposed AVA. Noting that the Winkler climate region system was designed for use in California, the comment also asserts that the petition's use of Winkler regions to describe the climate of grape-growing regions in New Jersey is not as useful as using growing degree days (GDDs) or average growing season temperatures. The comment then generally asserts that the climates of both the proposed AVA and the remainder of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA are not as uniform as the petition claims. Specifically, the OCVPA comment states that portions of the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA and portions of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA outside the proposed AVA are in the same Winkler region, have similar growing season lengths as determined by the number of frost-free days, and have similarly high extreme low temperatures.

    While TTB recognizes that information from a single location cannot be understood to represent all of the area of an AVA, TTB also believes that data from regions in close proximity to proposed AVA borders can be informative. The town of Millville is located within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA just outside the boundary of the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA. TTB believes that using climate data from Millville is appropriate to distinguish the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA from the region of the Outer Coastal Plain that is immediately outside the proposed AVA's boundaries. TTB also notes that although the Winkler regions system was created for use in California,1 the system is based on GDDs and is a useful method for comparing the general climates of grape-growing regions.2 Furthermore, TTB notes that in addition to the Winkler region data, the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA petition included GDD and average summer temperature data for both the proposed AVA and the portion of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA outside the proposed AVA.

    1 A.J. Winkler et al., General Viticulture 60-71 (2nd. Ed. 1974).

    2 A.J. Winkler et al., General Viticulture 60-61 (2nd. Ed. 1974).

    While TTB notes it is not inconsistent with the requirements of part 9 of its regulations for an AVA to have some variations in its climate, the data provided in the OCPVA comment does suggest that the climate in the remainder of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA may not be as uniformly cooler than portions within the proposed AVA as the petition claimed. However, TTB believes that the data in the petition and in the OCPVA comment demonstrate that the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA has a climate that is moderated by its proximity to large bodies of water to a greater extent than the overall Outer Coastal Plain AVA and is thus distinguishable from the overall climate of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    Soils

    The OCPVA comment raises issues with the petition's description of the soils in the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA and the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The comment states that the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA and the rest of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA both have areas of loamy sand and sandy loam soils and, in some places, even share some of the same soil types, including Sassafras sandy loam. The comment adds that the difference between loamy sands and sandy loams does not mean that one soil type is well-drained and the other is not. Finally, the OCPVA notes that over two-thirds of the area within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA has been identified by a Rutgers University study as moderately suitable or most suitable for grape growing based on soil drainage and arable soil.

    TTB notes that while the Outer Coastal Plain AVA and the proposed Cape May Peninsula AVA may contain similar soils in places, the petition for the proposed AVA also states that the Outer Coastal Plain AVA contains soils not found in the proposed AVA. Therefore, TTB believes that soils sufficiently distinguish the proposed AVA from the remainder of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    TTB Determination

    After careful review of the petition and the comment received in response to Notice No. 161, TTB finds that the evidence provided by the petitioner supports the establishment of the Cape May Peninsula AVA. Accordingly, under the authority of the FAA Act, section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and parts 4 and 9 of the TTB regulations, TTB establishes the “Cape May Peninsula” AVA in Cape May and Cumberland counties, New Jersey, effective 30 days from the publication date of this document.

    TTB has also determined that the Cape May Peninsula AVA will remain part of the established Outer Coastal Plain AVA. As discussed in Notice No. 161, the surface layers of the Cape May Peninsula AVA and Outer Coastal Plain AVA are composed of sand, gravel, clay-based silt, and peat. Additionally, both the Outer Coastal Plain AVA and the Cape May Peninsula AVA have low elevations, soils with low amounts of fine silt, and longer growing seasons than the region of the State that is outside the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. However, due to its smaller size, the Cape May Peninsula AVA generally has less variability in soil types and climate than the larger AVA. The climate of the Cape May Peninsula AVA also benefits from being located in closer proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay than the remainder of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. Specifically, the Cape May Peninsula AVA generally has higher growing degree day totals, a smaller range of frost-free days, and extreme high and low temperatures that are higher than the extreme temperatures of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. While the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA and the Outer Coastal Plain AVA differ somewhat due to the marine influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, the two AVAs are still similar enough that the Cape May Peninsula AVA should remain within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    The establishment of the Cape May Peninsula AVA within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA is not an endorsement from TTB of the Cape May Peninsula AVA, nor is it an endorsement of the quality of the grapes or wine from the Cape May Peninsula AVA. TTB establishes AVAs within AVAs to show that the grape-growing conditions within larger AVAs can vary due to sometimes slight differences in temperature, precipitation, marine influence, soils, or other distinguishing features. The establishment of an AVA within a larger AVA allows vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the Cape May Peninsula AVA in the regulatory text published at the end of this final rule.

    Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name or with a brand name that includes an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(3). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

    With the establishment of this AVA, its name, “Cape May Peninsula,” will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under § 4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name “Cape May Peninsula” in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, will have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin. TTB is not designating “Cape May,” standing alone, as a term of viticultural significance due to the current use of “Cape May,” standing alone, as a brand name on a wine label.

    The establishment of the Cape May Peninsula AVA will not affect any existing AVA, and any bottlers using “Outer Coastal Plain” as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA will not be affected by the establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the Cape May Peninsula AVA will allow vintners to use “Cape May Peninsula” and “Outer Coastal Plain” as appellations of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown within the Cape May Peninsula AVA if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Kate M. Bresnahan of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this final rule.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    The Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB amends title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.262 to read as follows:
    § 9.262 Cape May Peninsula.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Cape May Peninsula”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Cape May Peninsula” is a term of viticultural significance.

    (b) Approved maps. The 11 United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Cape May Peninsula viticultural area are titled:

    (1) Ocean City, New Jersey, 1989;

    (2) Marmora, New Jersey, 1989;

    (3) Sea Isle City, New Jersey, 1952; photorevised, 1972;

    (4) Woodbine, New Jersey, 1958; photorevised, 1972;

    (5) Stone Harbor, New Jersey, 1955; photorevised, 1972;

    (6) Wildwood, New Jersey, 1955; photorevised, 1972;

    (7) Cape May, New Jersey, 1954; photorevised, 1972;

    (8) Rio Grande, New Jersey, 1956; photorevised, 1972;

    (9) Heislerville, New Jersey, 1957; photorevised, 1972;

    (10) Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1956; photorevised, 1972; and

    (11) Tuckahoe, New Jersey, 1956; photorevised, 1972.

    (c) Boundary. The Cape May Peninsula viticultural area is located in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, New Jersey. The boundary of the Cape May Peninsula viticultural area is as described below:

    (1) The beginning point is on the Ocean City quadrangle at the intersection of the 10-foot elevation contour and the Garden State Parkway, on the southern shore of Great Egg Harbor, northwest of Golders Point. Proceed southeast, then generally southwest along the meandering 10-foot elevation contour, crossing onto the Marmora quadrangle, then onto the Sea Isle City quadrangle, to the intersection of the 10-foot elevation contour with an unnamed road known locally as Sea Isle Boulevard; then

    (2) Proceed northwesterly along Sea Isle Boulevard to the intersection of the road with U.S. Highway 9; then

    (3) Proceed southwesterly along U.S. Highway 9 to the intersection of the highway with the 10-foot elevation contour south of Magnolia Lake; then

    (4) Proceed generally southwesterly along the meandering 10-foot elevation contour, crossing onto the Woodbine quadrangle, then briefly back onto the Sea Isle City quadrangle, then back onto the Woodbine quadrangle, to the intersection of the 10-foot elevation contour with the western span of the Garden State Parkway east of Clermont; then

    (5) Proceed southwest along the Garden State Parkway to the intersection of the road with Uncle Aarons Creek; then

    (6) Proceed westerly (upstream) along Uncle Aarons Creek to the intersection of the creek with the 10-foot elevation contour near the headwaters of the creek; then

    (7) Proceed easterly, then southwesterly along the 10-foot elevation contour, crossing onto the Stone Harbor quadrangle, then onto the northwesternmost corner of the Wildwood quadrangle, then onto Cape May quadrangle, to the intersection of the 10-foot elevation contour with State Route 109 and Benchmark (BM) 8, east of Cold Spring; then

    (8) Proceed southeast, then south, along State Route 109 to the intersection of the road with the north bank of the Cape May Canal; then

    (9) Proceed northwest along the north bank of the Cape May Canal to the intersection of the canal with the railroad tracks (Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines); then

    (10) Proceed south along the railroad tracks, crossing the canal, to the intersection of the railroad tracks with the south bank of the Cape May Canal; then

    (11) Proceed east along the canal bank to the intersection of the canal with Cape Island Creek; then

    (12) Proceed south, then northwest along the creek to the intersection of the creek with a tributary running north-south west of an unnamed road known locally as 1st Avenue; then

    (13) Proceed north along the tributary to its intersection with Sunset Boulevard; then

    (14) Proceed northwest along Sunset Boulevard to the intersection of the road with Benchmark (BM) 6; then

    (15) Proceed south in a straight line to the shoreline; then

    (16) Proceed west, then northwest, then northeast along the shoreline, rounding Cape May Point, and continuing northeasterly along the shoreline, crossing onto the Rio Grande quadrangle, then onto the Heislerville quadrangle, to the intersection of the shoreline with West Creek; then

    (17) Proceed generally north along the meandering West Creek, passing through Pickle Factory Pond and Hands Millpond, and continuing along West Creek, crossing onto the Port Elizabeth quadrangle, and continuing along West Creek to the fork in the creek north of Wrights Crossway Road; then

    (18) Proceed along the eastern fork of West Creek to the cranberry bog; then

    (19) Proceed through the cranberry bog and continue northeasterly along the branch of West Creek that exits the cranberry bog to the creek's terminus south of an unnamed road known locally as Joe Mason Road; then

    (20) Proceed northeast in a straight line to Tarkiln Brook Tributary; then

    (21) Proceed easterly along Tarkiln Brook Tributary, passing through the cranberry bog, crossing onto the Tuckahoe quadrangle, and continuing along Tarkiln Brook tributary to its intersection with the Tuckahoe River and the Atlantic-Cape May County line; then

    (22) Proceed easterly along the Atlantic-Cape May County line, crossing onto the Marmora and Cape May quadrangles, to the intersection of the Atlantic-Cape May County line with the Garden State Parkway on the Cape May quadrangle; then

    (23) Proceed south along the Garden State Parkway, returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: October 30, 2017. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: March 30, 2018 Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-07094 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 16 [CPCLO Order No. 001-2018] Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation AGENCY:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a component of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ or Department), is finalizing without change its Privacy Act exemption regulations for the system of records titled, “FBI Online Collaboration Systems,” JUSTICE/FBI-004, which were published as Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on December 4, 2017. Specifically, the FBI exempts the records maintained in JUSTICE/FBI-004 from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act. The exemptions are necessary to avoid interference with the FBI's law enforcement and national security functions and responsibilities. The Department received only one substantive comment on the proposed rule.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective May 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine M. Bond, Assistant General Counsel, Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit, Office of the General Counsel, FBI, Washington DC, telephone 202-324-3000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 4, 2017, the FBI published in the Federal Register a System of Records Notice (SORN) for an FBI system of records titled, “FBI Online Collaboration Systems,” JUSTICE/FBI-004, 82 FR 57291. On the same day, the FBI published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to exempt records maintained in JUSTICE/FBI-004 from certain provisions of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k), and inviting public comment on the proposed exemptions. 82 FR 57181. The comment period was open through January 3, 2018. DOJ received only one substantive comment responsive to the proposed exemptions. That comment supported the proposed exemptions in order to protect the safety of law enforcement officers and better enable them to conduct their investigations. After consideration of this public comment, exemptions necessary to protect the ability of the FBI properly to engage in its law enforcement and national security functions have been codified in this final rule as proposed in the NPRM.

    Response to Public Comments

    In its Online Collaboration Systems NPRM and SORN, both published on December 4, 2017, the Department invited public comment. The comment periods for both documents closed January 3, 2018. The Department received six total comments, only one of which contained any substance related to the SORN or NPRM. The one responsive comment received stated that the submitter agreed the exemptions proposed in the NPRM are needed for effective law enforcement. The FBI has considered, and agrees with, this comment. Because no other responsive comments were submitted, and because the FBI continues to assert the rationales in support of the exemptions as stated in the NPRM, the FBI adopts in this final rule the exemptions and rationales proposed in the NPRM.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563—Regulatory Review

    This regulation has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” section 1(b), Principles of Regulation, and Executive Order 13563 “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” section 1(b), General Principles of Regulation.

    The Department of Justice has determined that this rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), and accordingly this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will only impact Privacy Act-protected records, which are personal and generally do not apply to an individual's entrepreneurial capacity, subject to limited exceptions. Accordingly, the Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and by approving it certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

    This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction..

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule will have no implications for Indian Tribal governments. More specifically, it does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes. Therefore, the consultation requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000, as adjusted for inflation, or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Congressional Review Act

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 of the Congressional Review Act.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule imposes no information collection or recordkeeping requirements.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 16

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of information, Privacy Act.

    Pursuant to the authority vested in the Attorney General by 5 U.S.C. 552a and delegated to me by Attorney General Order 2940-2008, 28 CFR part 16 is amended as follows:

    PART 16—PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 16 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 553; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 534; 31 U.S.C. 3717.

    Subpart E—Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act 2. Amend § 16.96 by adding paragraphs (x) and (y) to read as follows:
    § 16.96 Exemption of Federal Bureau of Investigation Systems-limited access.

    (x) The following system of records is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4); (e)(1), (2), (3), (4)(G), (H), and (I), (5), and (8); (f); and (g):

    (1) The FBI Online Collaboration Systems (JUSTICE/FBI-004).

    (2) These exemptions apply only to the extent that information in this system is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or (k). Where the FBI determines compliance with an exempted provision would not appear to interfere with or adversely affect interests of the United States or other system stakeholders, the FBI in its sole discretion may waive an exemption in whole or in part; exercise of this discretionary waiver prerogative in a particular matter shall not create any entitlement to or expectation of waiver in that matter or any other matter. As a condition of discretionary waiver, the FBI in its sole discretion may impose any restrictions deemed advisable by the FBI (including, but not limited to, restrictions on the location, manner, or scope of notice, access or amendment).

    (y) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

    (1) From subsection (c)(3), the requirement that an accounting be made available to the named subject of a record, because this system is exempt from the access provisions of subsection (d). Also, because making available to a record subject the accounting of disclosures from records concerning him/her would specifically reveal any law enforcement or national security investigative interest in the individual by the FBI or agencies that are recipients of the disclosures. Revealing this information could compromise ongoing, authorized law enforcement and intelligence efforts, particularly efforts to identify and defuse any potential acts of terrorism or other potential violations of criminal law. Revealing this information could also permit the record subject to obtain valuable insight concerning the information obtained during any investigation and to take measures to circumvent the investigation (e.g. destroy evidence or flee the area to avoid investigation).

    (2) From subsection (c)(4) notification requirements because this system is exempt from the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d) as well as the accounting disclosures provision of subsection (c)(3). The FBI takes seriously its obligation to maintain accurate records despite its assertion of this exemption, and to the extent it, in its sole discretion, agrees to permit amendment or correction of FBI records, it will share that information in appropriate cases.

    (3) From subsections (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4); (e)(4)(G) and (H); (e)(8); (f); and (g) because these provisions concern individual access to and amendment of law enforcement and intelligence records and compliance with such provisions could alert the subject of an authorized law enforcement or intelligence activity about that particular activity and the investigative interest of the FBI and/or other law enforcement or intelligence agencies. Providing access rights could compromise sensitive law enforcement information, disclose information that could constitute an unwarranted invasion of another's personal privacy; reveal a sensitive investigative or intelligence technique; provide information that would allow a subject to avoid detection or apprehension; or constitute a potential danger to the health or safety of law enforcement personnel, confidential sources, and witnesses. The FBI takes seriously its obligation to maintain accurate records despite its assertion of this exemption, and to the extent it, in its sole discretion, agrees to permit amendment or correction of FBI records, it will share that information in appropriate cases with subjects of the information.

    (4) From subsection (e)(1) because it is not always possible to know in advance what information is relevant and necessary for law enforcement and intelligence purposes. Relevance and necessity are questions of judgment and timing. For example, what appears relevant and necessary when collected ultimately may be deemed unnecessary. It is only after information has been fully assessed that its relevancy and necessity in a specific investigative activity can be determined.

    (5) From subsections (e)(2) and (3) because application of these provisions requiring collection directly from the subject individuals and informing individuals regarding information to be collected about them could present a serious impediment to efforts to solve crimes and improve national security. Application of these provisions could put the subject of an investigation on notice of the existence of the investigation and allow the subject an opportunity to engage in conduct intended to obstruct or otherwise impede that activity or take steps to avoid apprehension.

    (6) From subsection (e)(4)(I), to the extent that this subsection is interpreted to require more detail regarding the record sources in this system than has already been published in the Federal Register through the SORN documentation. Should the subsection be so interpreted, exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the sources of law enforcement and intelligence information and to protect the privacy and safety of witnesses and informants and others who provide information to the FBI.

    (7) From subsection (e)(5) because in the collection of information for authorized law enforcement and intelligence purposes it is often impossible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete. With time, additional facts, or analysis, information may acquire new significance. The restrictions imposed by subsection (e)(5) would thus limit the ability of trained investigators and intelligence analysts to exercise their judgment in reporting on investigations and impede the development of criminal intelligence necessary for effective law enforcement. Although the FBI has claimed this exemption, it continuously works with its federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners to maintain the accuracy of records to the greatest extent practicable. The FBI does so with established policies and practices. The criminal justice and national security communities have a strong operational interest in using up-to-date and accurate records and will apply their own procedures and foster relationships with their partners to further this interest.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. Peter A. Winn, Acting Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07056 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0156] Special Local Regulation; California Half Ironman Triathlon, Oceanside, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations on the waters offshore Oceanside and within Oceanside Harbor, California during the California Half Ironman Triathlon from 6:30 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. on April 7, 2018. These special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, crew, spectators, sponsor vessels of the triathlon, and general users of the waterway. During the enforcement period, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations for the marine event listed in 33 CFR 100.1101, Table 1, Item 2, will be enforced from 6:30 a.m. through 8:40 a.m. on April 7, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this publication of enforcement, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Briana Biagas, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, CA; telephone (619) 278-7656, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.1101 from 6:30 a.m. through 8:40 a.m. on April 7, 2018 for the California Half Ironman Triathlon in Oceanside, CA. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the triathlon. Our regulation for recurring marine events in the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone, § 100.1101, specifies the location of the regulated area for this 2 KM loop open water swim is located offshore Oceanside and in Oceanside Harbor. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.1101, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552 (a) and 33 CFR 100.1101. In addition to this document in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and local advertising by the event sponsor.

    If the Captain of the Port Sector San Diego or his designated representative determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated on this document, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners or other communications coordinated with the event sponsor to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: March 20, 2018. J.R. Buzzella, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Diego.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07086 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0263] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Pathfinder Bank Fireworks Display; Oswego River, Oswego, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 210-foot radius of the launch site located at 77-79 West First Street, Oswego, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of the Oswego River during Pathfinder Bank fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 5:15 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. on April 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0263 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Michael Collet, Chief Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 716-843-9322, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest by inhibiting the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with a fireworks display.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels in vicinity of the fireworks display.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Buffalo (COTP) has determined that a fireworks display presents significant risks to the public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, dangerous projectiles, and falling or burning debris. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone on April 7, 2018, from 5:15 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Oswego River; Oswego, NY contained within 210-foot radius of: 43°27′34.10″ N, 076°30′39.50″ W.

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the conclusion that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. We anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule establishes a temporary safety zone. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T09-0263 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0263 Safety Zone; Pathfinder Bank Fireworks Display; Oswego River, Oswego, NY.

    (a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Oswego River; Oswego, NY contained within a 210-foot radius of: 43°27′34.10″ N, 076°30′39.50″ W.

    (b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced from 5:15 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. on April 7, 2018.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

    (2) This safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

    (3) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port Buffalo is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Buffalo to act on his behalf.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Buffalo, or his on-scene representative.

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Kenneth E. Blair, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07080 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2008-0612; FRL-9976-06-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve a revision to the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD or “District”) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns the District's demonstration regarding Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The EPA is also taking final action to approve YSAQMD's negative declarations into the SIP for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. We are approving local SIP revisions under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective on May 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2008-0612. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through https://www.regulations.gov/, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stanley Tong, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4122, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments III. EPA Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On January 8, 2018 (83 FR 764), the EPA proposed to approve the following documents submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) into the California SIP.

    1 On December 22, 2017, CARB transmitted YSAQMD's public draft version of negative declarations for four Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) documents along with a request for parallel processing. Under the EPA's parallel processing procedure, the EPA proposes rulemaking action concurrently with the state's proposed rulemaking. If the state's proposed rule is changed, the EPA will evaluate that subsequent change and may publish another notice of proposed rulemaking. If no significant change is made, the EPA will publish a final rulemaking on the rule after responding to any submitted comments. Final rulemaking action by the EPA will occur only after the rule has been fully adopted by California and submitted formally to the EPA for incorporation into the SIP. See 40 CFR part 51, appendix V. The YSAQMD's Governing Board adopted the four negative declarations on January 10, 2018.

    Local agency Document Adopted Submitted YSAQMD Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) State Implementation Plan (SIP) (“2006 RACT SIP”) 9/13/2006 1/31/2007 YSAQMD Adoption of Four Negative Declarations: EPA 450/2-78-029—Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Manufacture of Synthesized Pharmaceutical Products; 1 1/10/2018 2/22/2018 EPA 453/R-96-007—Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations; EPA 450/3-84-015—Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Air Oxidation Processes in Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry; and EPA450/4-91-031—Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Reactor Processes and Distillation Operations in Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry

    We had previously proposed to disapprove YSAQMD's 2006 RACT SIP,2 but withdrew that proposal 3 because we found that the District has addressed the identified deficiencies by adopting approvable rules that implement RACT and by adopting negative declarations where the District concluded it had no sources subject to RACT recommendations in certain Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) categories.

    2See 73 FR 48166 (August 18, 2008).

    3See 83 FR 764 (January 8, 2018).

    Our proposed rule also stated that we would not take final action until CARB submitted the four adopted negative declarations to the EPA as a SIP revision. On January 10, 2018, the YSAQMD held a public hearing and approved the four negative declarations and transmitted the approval package to CARB for adoption and submittal to the EPA. On February 22, 2018, the CARB Executive Officer adopted and submitted to the EPA for approval YSAQMD's negative declarations as a revision to the California SIP, thereby satisfying the prerequisite 4 for final EPA action.

    4 As explained in our January 8, 2018 proposed rulemaking, the EPA is following established procedures for parallel processing that allows us to approve a state provision so long as it was adopted as proposed with no significant changes. YSAQMD adopted the four negative declarations, as proposed in its parallel processing request to the EPA, with no changes.

    On March 7, 2018, we found the negative declaration submittal met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 52, appendix V. Today, we take final action to approve the 2006 RACT SIP submitted on January 31, 2007, and the four negative declarations submitted on February 22, 2018.

    For more background information on the 2006 RACT SIP, four negative declarations and our evaluation of them for compliance with CAA requirements, please see our proposed rule and related technical support documents (TSDs).

    II. Public Comments

    The EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period, we received two anonymous comments.5 The commenters raised issues that are outside of the scope of this rulemaking, including wildfire suppression, high-hazard potential dams, maintenance of dams to reduce chances of dam failure, and climate change. The EPA is required to approve a state submittal if the submittal meets all applicable requirements. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k)(3). The commenters did not raise any specific issues germane to the approvability of the YSAQMD's RACT SIP and negative declarations.

    5 Between 2008-2009, YSAQMD submitted three supplemental documents to partially address issues raised in the EPA's August 18, 2008 proposed action (73 FR 48166). These supplemental documents are filed under “comments” in the docket at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-R09-OAR-2008-0612. Only two comments were received during the January-February 2018 public comment period.

    III. EPA Action

    No comments were submitted that change our assessment of the SIP submittals as described in our January 8, 2018 proposed action. Therefore, as authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is fully approving YSAQMD's 2006 RACT SIP submitted on January 31, 2007, and four negative declarations submitted on February 22, 2018.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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. The 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).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by June 5, 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 may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: March 16, 2018. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(358)(ii)(B) and (c)(501) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan—in part.

    (c) * * *

    (358) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.

    (1) Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) State Implementation Plan (SIP), adopted on September 13, 2006.

    (501) The following plan revision was submitted on February 22, 2018 by the Governor's designee.

    (i) [Reserved]

    (ii) Additional materials. (A) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.

    (1) Adoption of Four Negative Declarations; Resolution No. 18-01 adopted January 10, 2018.

    3. Section 52.222 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(14) to read as follows:
    § 52.222 Negative declarations.

    (a) * * *

    (14) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.

    (i) The following negative declarations are for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    CTG source category Negative declaration CTG
  • reference document
  • Submitted
  • 1/31/07,
  • adopted
  • 9/13/06
  • Submitted
  • 2/22/18,
  • adopted
  • 1/10/18
  • Aerospace EPA-453/R-97-004 Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Operations X Ships 61 FR 44050 Shipbuilding and Ship Repair X Metal Coil Container and Closure EPA-450/2-77-008 Surface Coating of Cans, Coils, Paper, Fabrics, Automobiles, and Light-Duty Trucks X Magnetic Wire EPA-450/2-77-033 Surface Coating of Insulation of Magnet Wire X Natural Gas/Gasoline Processing Plants, Equipment Leaks EPA-450/2-83-007 Equipment Leaks from Natural Gas/Gasoline Processing Plants X Refineries EPA-450/2-77-025 Refinery Vacuum Producing Systems, Wastewater Separators, and Process Unit Turnarounds X EPA-450/2-78-036 VOC Leaks from Petroleum Refinery Equipment X Paper and Fabric EPA-450/2-77-008 Surface Coating of Cans, Coils, Paper, Fabrics, Automobiles, and Light-Duty Trucks X Dry Cleaning EPA-450/3-82-009 Large Petroleum Dry Cleaners X Rubber Tires EPA-450/2-78-030 Manufacture of Pneumatic Rubber Tires X Large Appliances, Surface Coating EPA-450/2-77-034 Surface Coating of Large Appliances X Wood Coating EPA-450/2-78-032 Factory Surface of Flat Wood Paneling X Polyester Resin EPA-450/3-83-006 Fugitive Emissions from Synthetic Organic Chemical Polymer and Resin Manufacturing Equipment X EPA-450/3-83-008 Manufacture of High-Density Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polystyrene Resins X Pharmaceutical Products EPA-450/2-78-029—Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Manufacture of Synthesized Pharmaceutical Products X Wood Furniture Coating EPA-453/R-96-007—Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations X Synthetic Organic Chemical EPA-450/3-84-015—Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Air Oxidation Processes in Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry X EPA-450/4-91-031—Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Reactor Processes and Distillation Operations in Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry X

    (ii) [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2018-06795 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-0AR-2017-0753; FRL-9976-02—Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Colorado; Revisions to the Transportation Conformity Consultation Process AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by Colorado on May 16, 2017. The May 16, 2017 SIP revision addresses minor changes and typographical corrections to the transportation conformity requirements of Colorado's Regulation Number 10 “Criteria for Analysis of Conformity.” These actions are being taken under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective May 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0753. 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:

    Tim Russ, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6479, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In this action, the EPA is approving minor revisions to Colorado's Regulation Number 10 which is entitled “Criteria for Analysis of Conformity” (hereafter, “Regulation No. 10”). We note the factual background for this action and our evaluation of the State's May 16, 2017 Regulation No. 10 SIP submittal are discussed in detail in our February 1, 2018 proposed rule (83 FR 4614); therefore, they will not be restated here.

    In summary, the purpose of Regulation No. 10 is to address the transportation conformity SIP requirements of section 176(c) of the CAA and 40 CFR 51.390(b). In addition, Regulation No. 10 also addresses the following transportation conformity SIP element requirements: 40 CFR 93.105, which formalizes the consultation procedures; 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii), which addresses written commitments to control measures that are not included in a Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPOs) transportation plan and transportation improvement program that must be obtained prior to a conformity determination; and 40 CFR 93.125(c), which addresses written commitments to mitigation measures that must be obtained prior to a project-level conformity determination.1 We note the most recent prior SIP revisions to Regulation No. 10, that we approved, occurred on March 4, 2014 (79 FR 12079).

    1 A conformity SIP includes a state's specific criteria and procedures for certain aspects of the transportation conformity process consistent with the federal conformity rule. A conformity SIP does not contain motor vehicle emissions budgets, emissions inventories, air quality demonstrations, or control measures. See EPA's Guidance for Developing Transportation Conformity State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for further background: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/P1002W5B.PDF?Dockey=P1002W5B.PDF.

    II. What was the State's process to submit a SIP revision to the EPA?

    Section 110(k) of the CAA addresses our actions on submissions of revisions to a SIP. The CAA requires states to observe certain procedural requirements in developing SIP revisions for submittal to the EPA. Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA requires that each SIP revision be adopted after reasonable notice and public hearing. This must occur prior to the revision being submitted by a state.

    For the May 16, 2017 revisions to Regulation No. 10, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) held a public hearing for those revisions on February 18, 2016. There were no public comments. The AQCC adopted the revisions to Regulation No. 10 directly after the hearing. This SIP revision became State effective on March 30, 2016, and was submitted by Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and on behalf of the Governor, to the EPA on May 16, 2017.

    We evaluated the State's May 16, 2017 submittal for Regulation No. 10 and determined that the State met the requirements for reasonable notice and public hearing under section 110(a)(2) of the CAA. By operation of law under section 110(k)(1)(B) of the CAA, the State's May 16, 2017 submittal was deemed complete by the EPA on November 25, 2017.

    III. Response to Comments

    The EPA received one anonymous public comment on our February 1, 2018 proposed rule (83 FR 4614). After reviewing the comment, the EPA has determined that the comment is outside the scope of our proposed rule and fails to identify any material issue necessitating a response. Accordingly, the EPA will not provide a specific response to the comment. We note that the public comment received on this rulemaking action is available for review by the public and may be viewed by following the instructions for access to docket materials as outlined in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble.

    IV. Final Action

    For the reasons described in our February 1, 2018 proposed rule (83 FR 4614), and under CAA section 110(k)(3), the EPA is approving the submitted revisions to Regulation No. 10, Section II, the definition of Routine Conformity Determination. In addition, we are also approving the typographic corrections to the Regulation No. 10 title, to Section II and to the Section III subsections III.A.2, III.A.3, III.B.1.a, III.C.1.b.(2), III.C.1.g and III.F.3.

    The EPA notes that revisions were also made to Colorado's Regulation No. 10, section VI “Statements of Basis, Specific Statutory Authority, and Purpose”; however, the EPA is not taking any action on the revisions to this section. The revisions to section VI are only informational in nature for the State and do not require federal approval into the SIP.

    V. Consideration of Section 110(1) of the Clean Air Act

    Under section 110(l) of the CAA, the EPA cannot approve a SIP revision if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and Reasonable Further Progress toward attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. The EPA has determined that the portions of Regulation No. 10 that we are acting on are consistent with the applicable requirements of the CAA. Furthermore, these portions do not relax any previously approved SIP provision; thus, they do not otherwise interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. In addition, section 110(l) of the CAA requires that each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a state shall be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and opportunity for public hearing. On February 18, 2016, the AQCC held a public hearing and the AQCC adopted the revisions to Regulation No. 10 directly after the hearing. This SIP revision became state effective on March 30, 2016. Therefore, the CAA section 110(l) requirements are satisfied.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the revision to Regulation No. 10, Section II, the definition of Routine Conformity Determination effective March 30, 2016. In addition, we are also incorporating by reference the typographic corrections to the Regulation No. 10 title, to Section II and to the Section III subsections III.A.2, III.A.3, III.B.1.a, III.C.1.b.(2), III.C.1.g and III.F.3 all effective March 30, 2016. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 8 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by the EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of the EPA's approval, and will be included in the next update to the SIP compilation.2

    2 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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. The 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).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by June 5, 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 may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 29, 2018. Douglas H. Benevento, Regional Administrator, Region 8.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart G—Colorado 2. Section 52.320(c) is amended: a. By revising the centered heading for “5 CCR 1001-12”; and b. By revising, under the centered heading “5 CCR 1001-12,” the table entries for “II. Definitions” and “III. Interagency Consultation.”

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 52.320 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • effective
  • date
  • Final rule citation/date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5 CCR 1001-12, Regulation Number 10, Criteria for Analysis of Transportation Conformity *         *         *         *         *         *         * II. Definitions 3/30/2016 5/7/2018 [Insert Federal Register citation], 4/6/2018 III. Interagency Consultation 3/30/2016 5/7/2018 [Insert Federal Register citation], 4/6/2018 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2018-06846 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0135; FRL-9976-35-OAR] Findings of Failure To Submit State Implementation Plan Submissions for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to find that three states have failed to submit timely revisions to their state implementation plans (SIPs) as required to satisfy certain requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for implementation of the annual 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (2012 PM2.5 NAAQS). These findings of failure to submit apply to states with overdue SIP revisions (or attainment plans) for certain areas initially designated as nonattainment and classified as Moderate for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS on April 15, 2015. The SIP revisions to address all applicable Moderate area attainment plan requirements for these areas were due on October 15, 2016. If a state does not make the required complete SIP submission within 18 months of the effective date of these findings, the CAA requires the imposition of sanctions for the affected area(s). In addition, EPA is obligated to promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) to address any outstanding SIP requirements, if a state does not submit, and EPA does not approve, a state's submission within 24 months of the effective date of these findings.

    DATES:

    The effective date of this action is May 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0135. All documents in the docket are listed and publicly available at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue 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 Office of Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566-1742.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Patrick Lessard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Policy Division, Mail Code: C539-01, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; by telephone (919) 541-5383; or by email at lessard.patrick[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Notice and Comment Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    Section 553 of the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(e)(B), provides that, when an agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedures are impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest, the agency may issue a rule without providing notice and an opportunity for public comment. EPA has determined that there is good cause for making this final agency action without prior proposal and opportunity for comment because no significant EPA judgment is involved in making findings of failure to submit SIPs, or elements of SIPs. Rather, the findings are required by the CAA where states have made no submissions to meet the SIP requirements, or where EPA has separately determined that they made incomplete submissions. Thus, notice and public comment procedures are unnecessary. EPA finds that this constitutes good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this action will be posted at https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/implementation-national-ambient-air-quality-standards-naaqs-fine-particulate-matter.

    C. Where do I go if I have a specific state question?

    For questions related to specific states mentioned in this notice, please contact the appropriate EPA Regional office:

    Regional offices States Susan Spielberger, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, (215) 814-5356 or Gerallyn Duke, Acting Associate Director, Office of Permits and State Programs, Mailcode 3AP10, Region 3, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-2084 Pennsylvania. Doris Lo, Chief, Rulemaking Office, Mailcode AIR-4, (415) 972-3959 or Laura Lawrence, Acting Chief, Planning Office, Mailcode AIR-4, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3407 California. Gina Bonifacino, Acting Unit Manager, Air Planning Unit, Mailcode AWT-50, Office of Air and Waste, 1200 6th Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 553-2970 Idaho. D. How is the preamble organized? Table of Contents I. General Information A. Notice and Comment Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information? C. Where do I go if I have a specific state question? D. How is the preamble organized? II. Background III. Consequences of Findings of Failure To Submit IV. Findings of Failure to Submit for States that Failed To Make a Moderate Nonattainment Area SIP Submission V. Environmental Justice Considerations VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks I. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations L. Congressional Review Act (CRA) M. Judicial Review II. Background

    Airborne particulate matter (PM) can be composed of a complex mixture of particles in both solid and liquid form. Particulate matter can be of different sizes, commonly referred to as “coarse” and “fine” particles. Fine particles, in general terms, are PM with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 2.5 micrometers (µm). For this reason, particles of this size are referred to as PM2.5.

    EPA first promulgated annual and 24-hour NAAQS for PM2.5 in July 1997 1 and then revised the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in October 2006.2 Most recently, on December 14, 2012, EPA revised the primary annual PM2.5 standard by lowering the level from 15.0 to 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) to provide increased protection against health effects associated with long- and short-term PM2.5 exposures. EPA did not revise the secondary annual PM2.5 standard, which remains at 15.0 µg/m3.3 In addition, EPA retained the level and form of the primary and secondary 24-hour PM2.5 standards to continue to provide supplemental protection against health and welfare effects associated with short-term PM2.5 exposures.

    1 62 FR 38652 (July 18, 1997).

    2 71 FR 61143 (October 17, 2006).

    3 78 FR 3086 (January 15, 2013).

    Promulgation of a revised NAAQS triggers a requirement for EPA to designate areas of the country as nonattainment, attainment, or unclassifiable for the standards. As prescribed by CAA section 188(a), areas designated as nonattainment for a PM2.5 NAAQS are initially classified as Moderate. Designations and initial classifications for 14 areas in six states as Moderate nonattainment for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS became effective on April 15, 2015.4

    4 80 FR 2206 (January 15, 2015).

    Nonattainment areas for PM2.5 are subject to the general nonattainment area planning requirements of CAA section 172 and to the PM-specific planning requirements of CAA sections 188-189. On August 24, 2016, EPA established a final implementation rule (PM2.5 SIP Requirements Rule) 5 outlining the attainment planning and control requirements for current and future PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly to that rule, Moderate area PM2.5 SIP submissions shall include base year emissions inventory requirements, an attainment projected emissions inventory, a control strategy including reasonably available control measures and reasonably available control technology (RACM/RACT), an attainment demonstration with air quality modeling, a reasonable further progress (RFP) demonstration, quantitative milestones, contingency measures, and a nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program.6 The PM2.5 SIP Requirements Rule also established the due date for Moderate area PM2.5 SIP submissions as no later than 18 months from the effective date of area designations.7 Accordingly, the areas designated as nonattainment for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS (with an effective date of April 15, 2015) were required to submit Moderate area attainment plans to EPA no later than October 15, 2016.

    5 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards: State Implementation Plan Requirements; final rule; 81 FR 58009 (August 24, 2016).

    6 40 CFR 51.1003(a)(2).

    7 40 CFR 51.1003(a)(1).

    III. Consequences of Findings of Failure To Submit

    For plan requirements under part D, title I of the CAA, such as those for PM2.5 nonattainment areas, if EPA finds that a state has failed to make the required complete SIP submission, then CAA section 179 establishes specific consequences, including the eventual imposition of mandatory sanctions for the affected area(s). Additionally, such a finding triggers an obligation under CAA section 110(c) for EPA to promulgate a FIP no later than 2 years from the effective date of the finding, if the affected state has not submitted, and EPA has not approved, the required SIP submission.

    If EPA has not affirmatively determined that a state has submitted a complete SIP addressing the deficiency that is the basis for these findings within 18 months of the effective date of this rulemaking, or the submission has not become complete by operation of law 6 months after submission, then, pursuant to CAA section 179(a) and (b) and 40 CFR 52.31, the emissions offset sanction identified in CAA section 179(b)(2) will apply in the affected nonattainment area. If EPA has not affirmatively determined that the state has submitted a complete SIP addressing the deficiencies that are the basis for these findings within 6 months after the offset sanction is imposed, or the submission has not become complete by operation of law 6 months after submission, then the highway funding sanction will apply in the affected nonattainment area, in accordance with CAA section 179(b)(1) and 40 CFR 52.31. The state must make the required SIP submission and EPA must take final action to approve the submission within 2 years of the effective date of these findings; otherwise, EPA is required to promulgate a FIP to address the relevant requirements. This is required pursuant to CAA section 110(c) for the affected nonattainment area.

    IV. Findings of Failure To Submit for States That Failed To Make a Moderate Nonattainment Area SIP Submission

    In this action, EPA is finding that the states listed in Table 1 have failed to submit specific Moderate area SIP elements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS required under subpart 4 of part D of title I of the CAA.

    Table 1—Findings of Failure To Submit Certain Required SIP Elements for 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Moderate Nonattainment Areas Region State Area name Required SIP elements 3 PA Allegheny County • Emissions inventory;
  • • Control strategy, including RACM/RACT;
  • • Attainment demonstration;
  • • RFP;
  • • Quantitative milestones; and
  • • Contingency measures;
  • • NNSR program.
  • 3 PA Delaware County • NNSR program. 3 PA Lebanon County • NNSR program. 9 CA Imperial County • Emissions inventory;
  • • Control strategy, including RACM/RACT;
  • • Attainment demonstration;
  • • RFP;
  • • Quantitative milestones; and
  • • Contingency measures.
  • 10 ID West Silver Valley • Control strategy, including RACM/RACT;
  • • Attainment demonstration;
  • • RFP;
  • • Quantitative milestones; and
  • • Contingency measures.
  • V. Environmental Justice Considerations

    EPA believes that the human health or environmental risks addressed by this action will not have disproportionately high or adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income, or indigenous populations. This is because it does not directly affect the level of protection provided to human health or environment under the PM2.5 NAAQS. The purpose of this rule is to make findings that three states have failed to provide EPA with the identified SIP submissions, which are required by the CAA for purposes of implementing the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. As such, this action does not directly affect the level of protection provided for human health or the environment. Moreover, it is intended that the actions and deadlines resulting from this notice will lead to greater protection for United States citizens, including minority, low-income, or indigenous populations by ensuring that states meet their statutory obligation to develop and submit SIPs to ensure that areas make progress toward attaining the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

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

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

    This action is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this action is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the PRA. This final rule does not establish any new information collection requirement apart from what is already required by law. This rule relates to the requirement in the CAA for states to submit SIPs under CAA sections 172, 188 and 189 which address the statutory requirements that apply to areas designated as Moderate nonattainment for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. The rule is a finding that the named states have not submitted the necessary SIP revisions.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA)

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

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This rule finds that three states have failed to submit SIP revisions that satisfy the nonattainment area planning requirements under sections 172, 188 and 189 of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. No tribe is subject to the requirement to submit an implementation plan under section 172, or under subpart 4 of part D of Title I of the CAA. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is a finding that three states have failed to submit SIP revisions that satisfy the Moderate nonattainment area planning requirements under sections 172, 188 and 189 of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS and does not directly or disproportionately affect children.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income, or indigenous populations. In finding that three states have failed to submit SIP revisions that satisfy the Moderate nonattainment area planning requirements under sections 172, 188 and 189 of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, this action does not directly affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. The results of this evaluation are contained in Section V of this preamble titled “Environmental Justice Considerations.”

    L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

    M. Judicial Review

    Section 307(b)(l) of the CAA indicates which Federal Courts of Appeal have venue for petitions of review of final agency actions by EPA under the CAA. This section provides, in part, that petitions for review must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, (i) when the agency action consists of “nationally applicable regulations promulgated, or final actions taken, by the Administrator,” or (ii) when such action is locally or regionally applicable, if “such action is based on a determination of nationwide scope or effect and if in taking such action the Administrator finds and publishes that such action is based on such a determination.”

    EPA has determined that this final rule consisting of findings of failure to submit certain of the required SIP revisions is “nationally applicable” within the meaning of section 307(b)(1) of the CAA. This final agency action affects three states with Moderate nonattainment areas located in three of the ten EPA Regional offices, and in two different U.S. Federal Circuit Courts (3rd Circuit for Pennsylvania and 9th Circuit for California and Idaho).

    In addition, EPA has determined that this rule has nationwide scope or effect because it addresses a common core of knowledge and analysis involved in formulating the decision and a common interpretation of the requirements of 40 CFR part 51 appendix V applied to determining the completeness of SIPs in states across the country. This determination is appropriate because, in the 1977 CAA Amendments that revised CAA section 307(b)(l), Congress noted that the Administrator's determination that an action is of “nationwide scope or effect” would be appropriate for any action that has “scope or effect beyond a single judicial circuit.” H.R. Rep. No. 95-294 at 323-324, reprinted in 1977 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1402-03. Here, the scope and effect of this action extends to the two judicial circuits that include the states across the country affected by this action. In these circumstances, CAA section 307(b)(1) and its legislative history authorize the Administrator to find the rule to be of “nationwide scope or effect” and, thus, to indicate that venue for challenges lies in the District of Columbia Circuit. Accordingly, EPA is determining that this rule is of nationwide scope or effect.

    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 District of Columbia Circuit within 60 days from the date this final action is published in the Federal Register. Filing a petition for review by the Administrator of this final action does not affect the finality of the action for the purposes of judicial review, nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review must be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Approval and promulgation of implementation plans, Administrative practice and procedures, Incorporation by reference, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, and Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 26, 2018. William L. Wehrum, Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06989 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0485; FRL-9976-52-Region 7] Approval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans, Operating Permits Program, and 112(l) Program; Revision to Nebraska Administrative Code AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP), Operating Permits Program, and 112(l) Program submitted on July 14, 2014, by the State of Nebraska. This action amends the SIP to revise two chapters, “Definitions” and “Operating Permit Modifications; Reopening for Cause”. Specifically, these revisions incorporate by reference the list of organic compounds exempt from the definition of volatile organic compound (VOC) found in the Code of Federal Regulations; notification requirements for the operating permit program are being amended to be consistent with the Federal operating permit program requirements; the definition of “solid waste” is being revised by the state, however, because the state's definition is inconsistent with the Federal definition, EPA is not approving this definition into the SIP. Finally, the state is extending the process of “off-permit changes” to Class I operating permits. Additional grammatical and editorial changes are being made in this revision. Approval of these revisions will not impact air quality, ensures consistency between the state and Federally-approved rules, and ensures Federal enforceability of the state's rules.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on May 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0485. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., 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 https://www.regulations.gov or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Gregory Crable, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7391, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

    I. Background II. What is being addressed in this document? III. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? IV. EPA's Response to Comments V. What action is EPA taking? VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On October 5, 2017, EPA proposed to approve revisions to the SIP, Operating Permits Program, and 112(l) Program for the State of Nebraska. See 82 FR 46453. In conjunction with the October 5, 2017 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR), EPA issued a direct final rule (DFR) approving the revisions to the SIP, Operating Permits Program, and the 112(l) Program. See 82 FR 46420. In the DFR, EPA stated that if adverse comments were submitted to EPA by November 6, 2017, the action would be withdrawn and not take effect. EPA received one adverse comment prior to the close of the comment period. EPA withdrew the DFR on November 28, 2017. See 82 FR 56173. This action is a final rule based on the NPR.

    II. What is being addressed in this document?

    Nebraska's July 14, 2014, submission requested revisions to seven chapters of “Title 129-Nebraska Air Quality Regulations”. This action will amend the SIP to include revisions to two of those chapters, title 129 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, chapter 1 “Definitions”, and chapter 15 “Operating Permit Modifications; Reopening for Cause”. Of the remaining five chapters, EPA previously approved revisions to two of the chapters in separate direct final rulemakings published in the Federal Register. Chapter 4, “Ambient Air Quality Standards” was approved on October 11, 2016, and chapter 34 “Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring” was approved on October 7, 2016. EPA will take action separately on two other chapters, chapter 20 “Particulate Emissions; Limits and Standards” and chapter 18 “New Performance Standards”. The final chapter, chapter 28 “Hazardous Air Pollutants; Emissions Standards”, submitted as part of the July 14, 2014, SIP submission, is not approved in the Nebraska SIP and therefore EPA will take no further action for this chapter.

    EPA is approving revisions to the Nebraska SIP and Operating Permits Program in title 129, chapter 1 “Definitions”. The definition of VOC contained in section 160 of chapter 1 “Definitions” is being revised. Specifically, section 160 of chapter 1 contains a definition of VOC that provides exceptions to the definition based upon a list of organic compounds, which have been determined to have negligible photochemical reactivity. Because it is difficult to stay current in regard to the list of compounds, the revision EPA is approving removes the list at section 160, and references the list contained in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) and (5). In addition, revisions to chapter 1, section 139, are being made to the SIP and the Operating Permits Program to change the notification requirements for “section 502(b)(10) changes” to require facilities to provide written notification at least 7 days in advance, rather than 30 days. This revision makes the notification requirements consistent with the Federal operating permit program requirements. In addition, Nebraska requested revisions to the definition of “solid waste” at chapter 1, section 144, to make it consistent with the definition of “solid waste” included in the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act and other applicable regulations in Nebraska.1 Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-1502(26). The definition as proposed by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) is not consistent with the definition of “solid waste” in Federal law and regulations. Therefore, EPA is not approving Nebraska's proposed revision to the definition of “solid waste” into the State Implementation Plan or Operating Permits Program. Finally, other grammatical and numerical edits are being made in this chapter.

    1 The definition of “solid waste” in the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act was updated in 2013 as a result of Legislative Bill 203 to exclude “slag” from the definition. This revision further clarifies that “slag” is a by-product of value and therefore is excluded from the definition of “solid waste.”

    EPA is approving revisions to the Nebraska SIP, Operating Permits Program and 112(l) Program for chapter 15 “Operating Permit Modifications; Reopening for Cause”, which extends “off-permit changes” to Class I and II operating permits as allowed under the Federal program. Section 007 of chapter 15 is being revised and updated allowing changes within a permitted facility without a permit revision if the change meets certain specified criteria. The revised process allows certain minor revisions to be made without requiring all applicable administrative procedures for full permit issuance. These changes ensure that chapter 15 conforms to applicable Federal regulations. Finally, revisions to chapter 15 amend the minimum number of days to submit a written notification of a change from thirty days to seven days under certain circumstances when changing Class I and II operating permits, and makes various grammatical revisions for clarity and consistency purposes.

    III. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

    The state submission has met the public notice requirements for SIP submissions in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The submission also satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V. The revised chapters were placed on public notice and a public hearing was held by the state on January 6, 2014, where no comments were received. In addition, as explained in this preamble, the revision meets the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

    IV. EPA's Response to Comments

    The public comment period on EPA's proposed rule opened October 5, 2017, the date of its publication in the Federal Register, and closed on November 6, 2017. During this period, EPA received a comment from one commenter.

    Comment 1: The commenter stated that EPA must act on the state's submitted request to change the definition of solid waste, and that EPA does not have the discretionary authority to not act on state's submission. The commenter stated that EPA is required to act on the state's submission within a maximum of 18 months from the state's submission and stated that the state's requested revisions to the definition of solid waste was submitted in 2014, greater than 36 months prior to the October 5, 2017, Federal Register notice. The commenter further stated that EPA must disapprove the state's submittal regarding the definition of solid waste as it is inconsistent with the Federal rules as EPA outlined in its October 5, 2017, Federal Register notice.

    Response 1: Section 110(k)of the CAA authorizes EPA to approve a SIP submission in full, disapprove it in full, or approve it in part and disapprove it in part, or conditionally approve it in full or in part, depending on the extent to which such plan meets the requirements of the CAA. This authority to approve state SIP submissions in separable parts was included in the 1990 Amendments to the CAA to overrule a decision in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that EPA could not approve individual measures in a SIP submission without either approving or disapproving the plan as a whole. See S. Rep. No. 101-228, at 22, 1990 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3385, 3408 (discussing the express overruling of Abramowitz v. EPA, 832 F.2d 1071 (9th Cir. 1987)).

    EPA interprets its authority under section 110(k) of the CAA as affording the Agency the discretion to approve, disapprove, or conditionally approve, individual portions of Nebraska's SIP revision. EPA views the SIP revisions to the definition of solid waste, as severable from other portions of the SIP revision and interprets section 110(k) as allowing it to act on individual severable portions in a SIP submission. In short, EPA believes it has the discretion under section 110(k) of the CAA to act upon the various individual portions of the state's SIP revision, separately or together, as appropriate. This discretion exists even when the deadline to act on the SIP submission as a whole has passed. EPA will address the definition of solid waste in a separate rulemaking action.

    V. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is taking final action to amend the Nebraska SIP to approve revisions to title 129, chapters 1 and 15. EPA is not approving Nebraska's revised definition of “solid waste” in title 129, chapter 1.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Nebraska Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 7 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State Implementation Plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully Federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.2

    2 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by June 5, 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 may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 70

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Operating permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 27, 2018. Karen A. Flournoy, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR parts 52 and 70 as set forth below:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart CC—Nebraska 2. In § 52.1420, revise the section heading and in the table in paragraph (c) the entries “129-1” and “129-15” to read as follows:
    § 52.1420 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA—Approved Nebraska Regulations Nebraska citation Title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    STATE OF NEBRASKA Department of Environmental Quality Title 129—Nebraska Air Quality Regulations 129-1 Definitions 5/13/14 4/6/18, [insert Federal Register citation] The proposed definition of “solid waste” is not approved into the SIP. The second sentence beginning at “Solid waste” and ending at “discarded material”, is not approved into the SIP. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-15 Operating Permit Modifications; Reopening for Cause 5/13/14 4/6/18, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 70—STATE OPERATING PERMIT PROGRAMS 3. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    4. In appendix A to part 70 add paragraph (o) under “Nebraska; City of Omaha; Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department” to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 70—Approval Status of State and Local Operating Permits Programs Nebraska; City of Omaha; Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department

    (o) The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality submitted revisions to the Nebraska Administrative Code, title 129, chapter 1, “Definitions” and chapter 15, “Operating Permit Modifications; Reopening for Cause” on July 14, 2014. The state effective date is May 13, 2014. This revision is effective June 5, 2018.

    [FR Doc. 2018-07091 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    83 67 Friday, April 6, 2018 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 985 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-17-0073; SC18-985-1 PR] Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2018-2019 Marketing Year AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Far West Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) to establish salable quantities and producer allotments of Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil produced in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah (the Far West) for the 2018-2019 marketing year. Salable quantities and allotment percentages help maintain stability in the Far West spearmint oil market. This proposed rule would also remove references to past volume regulation no longer in effect.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or internet: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours or can be viewed at: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments submitted in response to this proposal will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet at the address provided above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry Broadbent, Marketing Specialist, or Gary Olson, Regional Director, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This action, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, proposes an amendment to regulations issued to carry out a marketing order as defined in 7 CFR 900.2(j). This proposal is issued under Marketing Order No. 985, as amended (7 CFR part 985), regulating the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West. Part 985 (referred to as the “Order”) is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.” The Committee locally administers the Order and is comprised of spearmint oil producers operating within the area of production, and a public member.

    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this proposal does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This proposal is not intended to have retroactive effect. Under the Order now in effect, salable quantities and producer allotment percentages may be established for classes of spearmint oil produced in the Far West. This proposed rule would establish quantities and percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2018.

    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

    Pursuant to §§ 985.50, 985.51, and 985.52, the Order requires the Committee to meet each year to consider supply and demand of spearmint oil and a marketing policy for the ensuing marketing year. When such considerations indicate a need to establish or maintain stable market conditions through volume regulation, the Committee recommends salable quantity limitations and producer allotments to regulate the quantity of Far West spearmint oil available to the market.

    According to § 985.12, “salable quantity” is the total quantity of each class of oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during a given marketing year. The total industry allotment base is the aggregate of all allotment bases held individually by producers as prescribed under § 985.53(d)(1). The total allotment base is generally revised each year on June 1 due to producer base being lost because of the bona fide effort production provision of § 985.53(e). The allotment percentage for each class of spearmint oil is derived by dividing the salable quantity by the total industry allotment base for that same class of oil. The allotment percentage is the percentage used to calculate each producer's prorated share of the salable quantity or their “annual allotment,” as defined in § 985.13.

    The Committee met on October 25, 2017, to consider its marketing policy for the 2018-2019 marketing year. At that meeting, the Committee determined that, based on overall market and supply conditions, volume regulation for Classes 1 and 3 (Scotch and Native, respectively) spearmint oil would be necessary. With a unanimous vote, the Committee recommended the establishment of a salable quantity and allotment percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 760,660 pounds and 35 percent, and 1,307,947 pounds and 53 percent, respectively. The Committee also unanimously set its 2018-2019 marketing year trade demand estimate for Far West Scotch spearmint oil at 850,000 pounds, and for Far West Native spearmint oil at 1,306,605 pounds. Salable quantities and allotment percentages have been placed into effect each season since the Order's inception in 1980.

    Class 1 (Scotch) Spearmint Oil

    The Committee's recommended 2018-2019 marketing year salable quantity and allotment percentage for Far West Scotch spearmint oil represent a decrease from the previous year's volume restrictions. The proposed 2018-2019 salable quantity of 760,660 pounds is 13,985 pounds less than the 2017-2018 salable quantity of 774,645 pounds. The producer allotment, recommended at 35 percent for the 2018-2019 marketing year, is slightly less than the 36 percent in effect the previous year. The total estimated allotment base for the coming marketing year is estimated at 2,173,315 pounds. This figure represents a one-percent increase over the 2017-2018 total allotment base of 2,151,797.

    The Committee considered several factors in making its recommendation, including the current and projected supply, estimated future demand, production costs, and producer prices. The Committee's recommendations also account for declining acreage of Far West Scotch spearmint oil, decreasing consumer demand, existing carry-in and reserve pool volume, and increasing production in competing markets.

    According to the Committee, as costs of production have increased, many producers have forgone new plantings. This has resulted in a significant decline in production of Far West Scotch spearmint oil over past years. Production has decreased from 1,229,258 pounds produced in 2015, to 1,113,346 pounds produced in 2016 and, finally, to an estimated 817,857 pounds for 2017.

    Industry reports also indicate that the relatively low trade demand for Far West spearmint oil is the result of decreased consumer demand for spearmint-flavored products, especially chewing gum in China and India. Far West Scotch spearmint oil sales have averaged 941,140 pounds per year over the last three years and 966,875 pounds over the last five years. For the 2017-2018 crop, the Committee estimated trade demand at 800,000 pounds.

    In addition, increasing production of spearmint oil in competing markets, most notably Canada and the U.S. Midwest, has also put downward pressure on the Far West Scotch market.

    Given the general decline in demand and anticipated market conditions for the coming year, the Committee decided it was prudent to anticipate 2018-2019 trade demand at 850,000 pounds. Should the proposed volume regulation levels prove insufficient to adequately supply the market, the Committee has the authority to recommend intra-seasonal increases, as in previous marketing years.

    The Committee calculated the minimum salable quantity of Far West Scotch spearmint oil that would be required during the 2018-2019 marketing year by subtracting the estimated salable carry-in on June 1, 2018, (215,757) from the estimated trade demand (850,000), resulting in 634,243 pounds. This salable quantity represents the minimum amount of Scotch spearmint oil that may be needed to satisfy estimated demand for the coming year. The Committee then factored in a projected 2019-2020 carry-in of 126,417 pounds to arrive at a recommended 2018-2019 salable quantity of 760,660 pounds.

    The recommended salable quantity of 760,660 pounds combined with an estimated 215,757 pounds of salable quantity (salable carry-in) from the previous year would yield a total available supply of 976,417 pounds Far West Scotch spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year. The recommended amount would adequately supply the Committee's estimated market demand of 850,000 pounds for the 2018-2019 marketing year and would result in a desired 2019-2020 carry-in of 126,417 pounds.

    Salable carry-in is the primary measure of excess spearmint oil supply under the Order, as it represents overproduction in prior years that is currently available to the market without restriction. Under volume regulation, spearmint oil that is designated as salable continues to be available to the market until it is sold and may be marketed at any time at the discretion of the owner. Salable quantities established under volume regulation over the last three seasons have exceeded sales, leading to a gradual build of Far West Scotch spearmint oil salable carry-in.

    The Committee estimates that there will be 215,757 pounds of salable carry-in of Scotch spearmint oil on June 1, 2018. If current market conditions are maintained and the Committee's projections are correct, salable carry-in will decrease to 126,417 pounds at the beginning of the 2019-2020 marketing year. This level would be slightly below the quantity that the Committee considers favorable (generally 150,000 pounds). However, the Committee believes that this lower salable carry-in will be manageable given the expected production level of Far West Scotch spearmint oil in the current marketing year and the quantity of oil held in the reserve pool.

    Spearmint oil held in reserve is oil that has been produced in excess of a producer's marketing year allotment. Oil held in the reserve pool is a less reliable indicator of excess supply as it is not available to the market in the current marketing year without an increase in the salable quantity and allotment percentage.

    Far West Scotch spearmint oil held in the reserve pool, which was completely depleted at the beginning of the 2014-2015 marketing year, has also been gradually increasing over the past four years. The Committee reported that there were 71,088 pounds of Far West Scotch spearmint oil held in the reserve pool as of May 31, 2017. The Committee estimates the reserve pool will increase to 114,274 pounds by May 31, 2018. This quantity of reserve pool oil should be an adequate buffer to supply the market, if necessary, if the industry experiences an unexpected increase in demand.

    The Committee recommends a producer allotment percentage of 35 percent for the 2018-2019 marketing year. During its October 25, 2017, meeting, the Committee calculated an initial producer allotment percentage by dividing the minimum required salable quantity (634,243 pounds) by the total estimated allotment base (2,173,315 pounds), resulting in 29.2 percent. However, producers and handlers at the meeting indicated that the computed percentage (29.2 percent) might not adequately supply the potential 2018-2019 Scotch spearmint oil market demand or may result in inadequate carry-in for the subsequent marketing year. After deliberation, the Committee increased the targeted producer allotment percentage to 35 percent. The total estimated allotment base (2,173,315 pounds) for the 2018-2019 marketing year multiplied by the recommended salable allotment percentage (35 percent) yields 760,660 pounds, which is also the recommended salable quantity for the 2018-2019 marketing year.

    The 2018-2019 marketing year computational data for the Committee's recommendations is further outlined below.

    (A) Estimated carry-in of Scotch spearmint oil on June 1, 2018: 215,757 pounds. This figure is the difference between the 2017-2018 marketing year total available supply of 1,015,757 pounds and the 2017-2018 marketing year estimated trade demand of 800,000 pounds.

    (B) Estimated trade demand of Far West Scotch spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 850,000 pounds. This figure was established at the Committee meeting held on October 25, 2017.

    (C) Salable quantity of Scotch spearmint oil required from the 2018-2019 marketing year production: 634,243 pounds. This figure is the difference between the estimated 2018-2019 marketing year trade demand (850,000 pounds) and the estimated carry-in on June 1, 2018 (215,757 pounds). This salable quantity represents the minimum amount of Scotch spearmint oil production that may be needed to satisfy estimated demand for the coming year.

    (D) Total estimated allotment base of Scotch spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 2,173,315 pounds. This figure represents a one-percent increase over the 2017-2018 total actual allotment base of 2,151,797 pounds as prescribed in § 985.53(d)(1). The one-percent increase equals 21,518 pounds of Scotch spearmint oil. This total estimated allotment base is generally revised each year on June 1 in accordance with § 985.53(e).

    (E) Computed Scotch spearmint oil allotment percentage for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 29.2 percent. This percentage is computed by dividing the minimum required salable quantity (634,243 pounds) by the total estimated allotment base (2,173,315 pounds).

    (F) Recommended Scotch spearmint oil allotment percentage for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 35 percent. This is the Committee's recommendation and is based on the computed allotment percentage (29.2 percent) and input from producers and handlers at the October 25, 2017, meeting. The recommended 35 percent allotment percentage reflects the Committee's belief that the computed percentage (29.2 percent) may not adequately supply anticipated 2018-2019 Scotch spearmint oil market demand.

    (G) Recommended Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 760,660 pounds. This figure is the product of the recommended salable allotment percentage (35 percent) and the total estimated allotment base (2,173,315 pounds) for the 2018-2019 marketing year.

    (H) Estimated total available supply of Scotch spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 976,417 pounds. This figure is the sum of the 2018-2019 recommended salable quantity (760,660 pounds) and the estimated carry-in on June 1, 2018 (215,757 pounds).

    For the reasons stated above, the Committee believes that the recommended salable quantity would adequately meet demand, would result in a reasonable carry-in for the following year, and would contribute to orderly marketing conditions as intended under the Order.

    Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil

    The Committee recommended a Native spearmint oil salable quantity of 1,307,947 pounds and an allotment percentage of 53 percent for the 2018-2019 marketing year. These figures are, respectively, 206,955 pounds and 9 percentage points less than the final levels established for the 2017-2018 marketing year after an intra-seasonal increase.

    The Committee utilized handlers' anticipated sales estimates of Far West Native spearmint oil for the coming year, historical and current Native spearmint oil production, inventory statistics, and international market data obtained from consultants for the spearmint oil industry to arrive at these recommendations.

    The Committee anticipates that 2017 production will total 1,462,976 pounds, down from 1,694,684 pounds in 2016. Committee figures show that declining production is the result of a 1,107-acre year-over-year reduction in total Native spearmint acres, and an average yield per acre drop from 166.2 pounds per acre in 2016 to 160.9 pounds per acre in 2017. Conversely, sales of Native spearmint oil have been increasing at about a 4 percent rate from the 2015-2016 season through the 2017-2018 marketing year.

    The Committee expects that 57,968 pounds of salable Native spearmint oil from prior years will be carried into the 2018-2019 marketing year. This amount is down from the estimated 143,011 pounds of salable Native spearmint oil carried into the 2017-2018 marketing year, and 142,657 pounds carried into the 2016-2017 marketing year.

    Further, the Committee estimates that there will be 1,237,237 pounds of Native spearmint oil in the reserve pool at the beginning of the 2018-2019 marketing year. This figure is 142,578 pounds higher than the quantity of reserve pool oil held by producers the previous year and is in line with the gradual increase in reserves over the past three marketing years.

    Exports of Far West Native spearmint oil, as of July 2017, are above their five-year average. Canada, India, and China are the largest destination markets for Far West Native spearmint oil exports. As a common practice, large end users often buy spearmint oil to build reserve stocks when prices are low as a hedge against future price increases. End users of Native spearmint oil are expected to continue to rely on Far West production as their main source of high quality Native spearmint oil, but demand may be at lower quantities moving forward in response to long-term market factors. A sharp spike in demand for Far West Native spearmint oil was experienced by handlers late in the 2017-2018 marketing year, spurred by the popularity of a new product in the market. This sharp spike in demand caused the remaining available 2017-2018 salable quantity of Native oil to be depleted.

    The Committee estimates the 2018-2019 marketing year Native spearmint oil trade demand to be 1,306,605 pounds. This figure is based on input provided by producers at six Native spearmint oil production area meetings held in mid-October 2017, as well as estimates provided by handlers and other meeting participants at the October 25, 2017, meeting. This figure represents an increase of 56,605 pounds from the previous year's initial estimate. The average estimated trade demand for Native spearmint oil from the six production area grower's meetings was 1,349,379 pounds, whereas the handlers' estimates ranged from 1,350,000 to 1,500,000 pounds. The average of Far West Native spearmint oil sales over the last three years is also 1,305,605 pounds. However, the quantity marketed over the most recent full marketing year, 2016-2017, was 1,287,691 pounds. The Committee chose to be slightly conservative in the establishment of its trade demand estimate for the 2018-2019 marketing year to avoid oversupplying the market.

    The estimated 2018-2019 carry-in of 57,968 pounds of Native spearmint oil plus the recommended salable quantity of 1,307,947 pounds would result in an estimated total available supply of 1,365,915 pounds of Native spearmint oil during the 2018-2019 marketing year. With the corresponding estimated trade demand of 1,306,605 pounds, the Committee projects that 59,310 pounds of Native spearmint oil will be carried into the 2019-2020 marketing year, resulting in a slight increase of 1,342 pounds year-over-year. The Committee estimates that there will be 1,237,237 pounds of Native spearmint oil held in the reserve pool at the beginning of the 2018-2019 marketing year. Should the industry experience an unexpected increase in trade demand, Native spearmint oil in the reserve pool could be released to satisfy that demand.

    The Committee recommends a producer allotment percentage of 53 percent for the 2018-2019 marketing year. During its October 25, 2017, meeting, the Committee calculated an initial producer allotment percentage by dividing the minimum required salable quantity (1,248,637 pounds) by the total estimated allotment base (2,467,825 pounds), resulting in 50.6 percent. However, producers and handlers at the meeting expressed that the computed percentage (50.6 percent) may not adequately supply the potential 2018-2019 Native spearmint oil market demand or result in adequate carry-in for the subsequent marketing year. After deliberation, the Committee increased the targeted producer allotment percentage to a recommended 53 percent. The total estimated allotment base (2,467,825 pounds) for the 2018-2019 marketing year multiplied by the recommended salable allotment percentage (53 percent) yields 1,307,947 pounds, which is also the recommended salable quantity for that year.

    The 2018-2019 marketing year computational data for the Committee's recommendations is further outlined below.

    (A) Estimated carry-in of Native spearmint oil on June 1, 2018: 57,968 pounds. This figure is the difference between the revised 2017-2018 marketing year total available supply of 1,657,968 pounds and the revised 2017-2018 marketing year estimated trade demand of 1,600,000 pounds.

    (B) Estimated trade demand of Native spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 1,306,605 pounds. This estimate was established by the Committee at the October 25, 2017, meeting.

    (C) Salable quantity of Native spearmint oil required from the 2018-2019 marketing year production: 1,248,637 pounds. This figure is the difference between the estimated 2018-2019 marketing year estimated trade demand (1,306,605 pounds) and the estimated carry-in on June 1, 2018 (57,968 pounds). This is the minimum amount of Native spearmint oil that the Committee believes would be required to meet the anticipated 2018-2019 marketing year trade demand.

    (D) Total estimated allotment base of Native spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 2,467,825 pounds. This figure represents a one-percent increase over the 2017-2018 total actual allotment base of 2,443,391 pounds as prescribed in § 985.53(d)(1). The one-percent increase equals 24,434 pounds of Native spearmint oil. This estimate is generally revised each year on June 1, due to producer base being lost because of the bona fide effort production provisions of § 985.53(e).

    (E) Computed Native spearmint oil allotment percentage for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 50.6 percent. This percentage is calculated by dividing the required salable quantity (1,248,637 pounds) by the total estimated allotment base (2,467,825 pounds) for the 2018-2019 marketing year.

    (F) Recommended Native spearmint oil allotment percentage for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 53 percent. This is the Committee's recommendation based on the computed allotment percentage (50.6 percent) and input from producers and handlers at the October 25, 2017, meeting. The recommended 53 percent allotment percentage is also based on the Committee's belief that the computed percentage (50.6 percent) may not adequately supply the potential market for Native spearmint oil in the 2018-2019 marketing year.

    (G) Recommended Native spearmint oil 2018-2019 marketing year salable quantity: 1,307,947 pounds. This figure is the product of the recommended allotment percentage (53 percent) and the total estimated allotment base (2,467,825 pounds). After completely depleting the remaining salable quantity for the 2017-2018 marketing year, to prevent this from happening again, the Committee recommended that the 2018-2019 salable quantity be set at a level slightly higher than the estimated trade demand for the same year (1,306,605 pounds).

    (H) Estimated available supply of Native spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 marketing year: 1,365,915 pounds. This figure is the sum of the 2018-2019 recommended salable quantity (1,307,947 pounds) and the estimated carry-in on June 1, 2018 (57,968 pounds).

    The Committee's recommended Scotch and Native spearmint oil salable quantities and allotment percentages of 760,660 pounds and 35 percent, and 1,307,947 pounds and 53 percent, respectively, would match the available supply of each class of spearmint oil to the estimated demand of each, thus avoiding extreme fluctuations in inventories and prices. This proposal, if adopted, would be similar to regulations issued in prior seasons.

    The salable quantities in this proposal are not expected to cause a shortage of spearmint oil supplies. Any unanticipated or additional market demand for spearmint oil which may develop during the marketing year could be satisfied by an intra-seasonal increase in the salable quantity. The Order contains a provision in § 985.51 for intra-seasonal increases to allow the Committee the flexibility to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

    Under volume regulation, producers who produce more than their annual allotments during the marketing year may transfer such excess spearmint oil to producers who have produced less than their annual allotment. In addition, on December 1 of each year, producers who have not transferred their excess spearmint oil to other producers must place their excess spearmint oil production into the reserve pool to be released in the future in accordance with market needs and under the Committee's direction.

    In conjunction with the issuance of this proposed rule, USDA has reviewed the Committee's marketing policy statement for the 2018-2019 marketing year. The Committee's marketing policy statement, a requirement whenever the Committee recommends volume regulation, meets the requirements of §§ 985.50 and 985.51.

    The establishment of the proposed salable quantities and allotment percentages would allow for anticipated market needs. In determining anticipated market needs, the Committee considered historical sales, as well as changes and trends in production and demand. This proposal would also provide producers with information on the amount of spearmint oil that should be produced for the 2018-2019 season to meet anticipated market demand.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

    There are approximately 43 producers and 94 producers of Scotch and Native spearmint oil, respectively, in the regulated production area and approximately seven spearmint oil handlers subject to regulation under the Order. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

    The Committee reported that recent producer prices for spearmint oil range from $15.50 to $18.00 per pound. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported that the 2016 U.S. season average spearmint oil grower price per pound was $17.40. Multiplying $17.40 per pound by 2016-17 spearmint oil utilization of 2,168,257 million pounds yields a crop value estimate of about $37.7 million. Total 2016-17 spearmint oil utilization, reported by the Committee, is 958,711 pounds and 1,209,546 pounds for Scotch and Native spearmint oil, respectively.

    Given the accounting requirements for the volume regulation provisions of the Order, the Committee maintains accurate records of each producer's production and sales. Using the $17.40 average spearmint oil price, and Committee production data for each producer, the Committee estimates that 38 of the 43 Scotch spearmint oil producers and 88 of the 94 Native spearmint oil producers could be classified as small entities under the SBA definition.

    There is no third party or governmental entity that collects and reports spearmint oil prices received by spearmint oil handlers. However, the Committee estimates an average spearmint oil handling markup at approximately 20 percent of the price received by producers. Multiplying 1.20 by the 2016 producer price of $17.40 yields a handler f.o.b. price per pound estimate of $20.88.

    Multiplying this handler f.o.b price by spearmint oil utilization of 2,168,257 pounds results in an estimated handler-level spearmint oil value of $45.3 million. Dividing this figure by the number of handlers (7) yields estimated average annual handler receipts of about $6.5 million, which is below the SBA threshold for small agricultural service firms.

    Using confidential data on pounds handled by each handler, and the abovementioned handler price per pound, the Committee reported that it is likely that at least two of the seven handlers had 2016-2017 marketing year spearmint oil sales value that exceeded the SBA threshold.

    Therefore, in view of the foregoing, the majority of producers and handlers of spearmint oil may be classified as small entities.

    This proposed rule would establish the quantity of spearmint oil produced in the Far West, by class, which handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2018-2019 marketing year. The Committee recommended this action to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market by matching supply to estimated demand, thereby avoiding extreme fluctuations in supplies and prices. Establishing quantities that may be purchased or handled during the marketing year through volume regulations allows producers to coordinate their spearmint oil production with the expected market demand. Authority for this proposal is provided in §§ 985.50, 985.51, and 985.52.

    The Committee estimated trade demand for the 2018-2019 marketing year for both classes of oil at 2,156,605 pounds and expects that the combined salable carry-in will be 273,725 pounds. The combined required salable quantity is 1,882,880 pounds. Under volume regulation, total sales of spearmint oil by producers for the 2018-2019 marketing year would be held to 2,342,332 pounds (the recommended salable quantity for both classes of spearmint oil of 2,068,607 pounds plus 273,725 pounds of carry-in). This total available supply of 2,342,332 pounds should be more than adequate to supply the 2,156,605 pounds of anticipated total trade demand for spearmint oil. In addition, as of May 31, 2017, the total reserve pool for both classes of spearmint oil stood at 1,067,138 pounds. Furthermore, that quantity is expected to rise over the course of the 2017-2018 marketing year. Should trade demand increase unexpectedly during the 2018-2019 marketing year, reserve pool spearmint oil could be released into the market to supply that increase in demand.

    The recommended allotment percentages, upon which 2018-2019 producer allotments are based, are 35 percent for Scotch spearmint oil and 53 percent for Native spearmint oil. Without volume regulation, producers would not be held to these allotment levels, and could produce and sell unrestricted quantities of spearmint oil. The USDA econometric model estimated that the season average producer price per pound (from both classes of spearmint oil) would decline about $1.90 per pound because of the higher quantities of spearmint oil that would be produced and marketed without volume regulation. The surplus situation for the spearmint oil market that would exist without volume regulation in 2018-2019 also would likely dampen prospects for improved producer prices in future years because of the buildup in stocks.

    The use of volume regulation allows the industry to fully supply spearmint oil markets while avoiding the negative consequences of over-supplying these markets. The use of volume regulation is believed to have little or no effect on consumer prices of products containing spearmint oil and would not result in fewer retail sales of such products.

    The Committee discussed alternatives to the recommendations contained in this rule for both classes of spearmint oil. The Committee discussed and rejected the idea of not regulating any volume for either class of spearmint oil because of the severe, price-depressing effects that would likely occur without volume regulation. The Committee also discussed and considered salable quantities and allotment percentages that were above and below the levels that were ultimately recommended for both classes of spearmint oil. Ultimately, the action taken by the Committee was to decrease the salable quantity and allotment percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil, and to increase the salable quantity and allotment percentage Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil from the 2017-2018 marketing year levels.

    As noted earlier, the Committee's recommendation to establish salable quantities and allotment percentages for both classes of spearmint oil was made after careful consideration of all available information including: (1) The estimated quantity of salable oil of each class held by producers and handlers; (2) the estimated demand for each class of oil; (3) the prospective production of each class of oil; (4) the total of allotment bases of each class of oil for the current marketing year and the estimated total of allotment bases of each class for the ensuing marketing year; (5) the quantity of reserve oil, by class, in storage; (6) producer prices of oil, including prices for each class of oil; and (7) general market conditions for each class of oil, including whether the estimated season average price to producers is likely to exceed parity.

    Based on its review, the Committee believes that the salable quantities and allotment percentages recommended would achieve the objectives sought. The Committee also believes that, should there be no volume regulation in effect for the upcoming marketing year, the Far West spearmint oil industry would return to the pronounced cyclical price patterns that occurred prior to the promulgation of the Order. As previously stated, annual salable quantities and allotment percentages have been issued for both classes of spearmint oil since the Order's inception. The salable quantities and allotment percentages proposed herein are expected to facilitate the goal of maintaining orderly marketing conditions for Far West spearmint oil for the 2018-2019 and future marketing years.

    Costs to producers and handlers, large and small, resulting from this proposal are expected to be offset by the benefits derived from a more stable market and increased returns. The benefits of this rule are expected to be equally available to all producers and handlers regardless of their size.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178, Specialty Crops Program. No changes are necessary in those requirements as a result of this action. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

    This proposed rule would establish the salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil produced in the Far West during the 2018-2019 marketing year. Accordingly, this proposal would not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large spearmint oil producers or handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public-sector agencies.

    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government 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.

    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule.

    In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the spearmint oil industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the October 25, 2017, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses.

    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    A 60-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposal. All written comments timely received will be considered before a final determination is made on this matter.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 985

    Marketing agreements, Oils and fats, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Spearmint oil.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 985 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 985—MARKETING ORDER REGULATING THE HANDLING OF SPEARMINT OIL PRODUCED IN THE FAR WEST 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 985 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    2. Revise § 985.233 to read as follows:
    § 985.233 Salable quantities and allotment percentages.

    The salable quantity and allotment percentage for each class of spearmint oil during the marketing year beginning on June 1, 2018, shall be as follows:

    (a) Class 1 (Scotch) oil—a salable quantity of 760,660 pounds and an allotment percentage of 35 percent.

    (b) Class 3 (Native) oil—a salable quantity of 1,307,947 pounds and an allotment percentage of 53 percent.

    § 985.234 [Removed].
    § 985.235 [Removed].
    3. Remove §§ 985.234 and 985.235. Dated: April 2, 2018 Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06973 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1206 [Document No. AMS-SC-17-0002] Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order; Amendment To Include Frozen Mangos AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule invites comments on amending the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a fresh mango national research and promotion program to include frozen mangos as a covered commodity. Additionally, this proposal announces AMS' intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements necessary to include frozen mangos under the program.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 5, 2018. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the information collection burden that would result from this proposal must be received by June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposal. Comments may be submitted on the internet at: http://www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be sent to the Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-0244; facsimile: (202) 205-2800. All comments submitted should reference the document number and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection, including name and address, if provided, in the above office during regular business hours or it can be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeanette Palmer, Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; telephone: (202) 720-9915; facsimile: (202) 205-2800; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposal affecting 7 CFR part 1206 is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425).

    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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the OMB exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” (February 2, 2017).

    Executive Order 13175

    This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications.

    Executive Order 12988

    This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have a retroactive effect. Section 524 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7423) provides that it shall not affect or preempt any other Federal or State law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural commodity.

    Under section 519 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7418), a person subject to an order may file a written petition with USDA stating that an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, is not established in accordance with the law, and request a modification of an order or an exemption from an order. Any petition filed challenging an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, shall be filed within two years after the effective date of an order, provision, or obligation subject to challenge in the petition. The petitioner will have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. Thereafter, USDA will issue a ruling on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States for any district in which the petitioner resides or conducts business shall have the jurisdiction to review a final ruling on the petition, if the petitioner files a complaint for that purpose not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of USDA's final ruling.

    Background

    This proposal invites comments on amending AMS' regulations regarding a fresh mango national research and promotion program to include frozen mangos as a covered commodity. The program is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. This proposal would add definitions to the regulations for frozen mangos and foreign processor of frozen mangos; expand the Board's membership from 18 to 21 by adding two importers of frozen mangos and one foreign processor of frozen mangos; assess frozen mangos at a rate of $0.01 per pound; exempt from assessment importers who import less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos annually; and make clarifying and conforming changes to other provisions of the program. This action was recommended by the Board in November 2016 and would allow frozen mango stakeholders to participate in a coordinated effort to maintain and expand the market for frozen mangos. This proposal would also update the definition for the term “Board” to reflect current practices. Additionally, this proposal announces AMS' intent to request approval by the OMB of new information collection requirements necessary to include frozen mangos under the program.

    Overview of Current Mango Program

    The fresh mango research and promotion program took effect in November 2004 (69 FR 59120) and assessment collection began in January 2005. Under the current program, assessments are collected from first handlers and importers of 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos annually. Assessments are used by the Board for projects designed to maintain and expand existing markets for fresh mangos in the United States.

    Table 1 below shows the volume, value and price per pound for fresh mango imports into the United States from 2005 through 2016.1 Imports of fresh mangos have increased from about 575 million pounds in 2005 (valued at about $169 million) to almost 985 million pounds in 2016 (valued at $420 million). The price per pound for fresh mango imports has increased from $0.29 in 2005 to $0.43 in 2016. In 2016, about 45 percent of the mangos imported into the United States were from Mexico, 22 percent were from Ecuador, and 18 percent were from Peru.

    1https://apps.fas.usda.gov/gats/default.aspx.

    Table 1—Volume, Value and Price/Pound for Fresh Mango Imports 2005-2016 Year Imports
  • (pounds)
  • Value Price/
  • pound
  • (A) (B) (C) 2016 984,554,112 $420,291,061 $0.43 2015 861,384,226 401,260,865 0.47 2014 827,108,732 372,298,536 0.45 2013 766,477,061 296,953,865 0.39 2012 706,690,535 248,410,276 0.35 2011 810,404,105 284,744,341 0.35 2010 706,690,535 248,410,276 0.35 2009 633,703,998 217,448,516 0.34 2008 655,825,602 210,884,833 0.32 2007 650,918,405 196,062,305 0.30 2006 644,579,545 209,650,045 0.33 2005 575,057,320 169,117,171 0.29 Column C equals Column B divided by Column A.

    Assessment revenue under the fresh mango program increased from $3,293,825 2 in 2007 to $7,374,170 3 in 2016. In 2016, less than one percent of the total assessments were from domestic handlers as the vast majority of assessments were collected from importers. The assessment rate under the current program for fresh mangos is $0.0075 per pound, pursuant to § 1206.42(b).

    2 National Mango Promotion Board, Financial Statements Year Ending December 31, 2007; Cross, Fernandez & Riley, LLP, Accountants and Consultants; April 18, 2008; p. 13.

    3 National Mango Promotion Board, Financial Statements and Supplementary Information Years Ending December 31, 2016 and 2015; BDO USA, LLP; March 15, 2017; p. 17.

    Since 2008, the Board has invested over $34 million of industry funds to help increase mango consumption among U.S. consumers. The Board has funded promotional programs with consumers, retailers and restaurants within the United States. Retail stores of all sizes are promoting mangos all year round, while restaurants all over the country are offering their customers more mango dishes. Consumers are learning more about mangos from multiple media sources and the demand for mangos increased due to the Board's investments in educating consumers about the health benefits of eating mangos.

    There have been two economic studies done since the program's inception in 2004 that assessed the effectiveness of the Board's programs. The studies were conducted by Dr. Ronald Ward at the University of Florida and published in 2011 and 2016 and are titled “Estimating the Impact of the National Mango Board's Programs on the U.S. Demand for Mangos.” The 2016 study built on the 2011 study and found that, for each dollar spent by the Board, approximately 11 to 12 times that was generated in sales. This return on investment indicates the program's success in moving the demand for mangos. The studies are available from USDA or the Board.

    Frozen Mango Data

    Table 2 below shows the volume, value and price per pound for frozen mango imports into the United States from 2005 through 2016.4 Imports of frozen mangos have increased from almost 32 million pounds in 2005 (valued at about $14 million) to almost 118 million pounds in 2016 (valued at $101 million). The price per pound for frozen mango imports has increased from $0.46 in 2005 to $0.86 in 2016. In 2016, over half of the imports of frozen mangos into the United States were from Mexico, 33 percent were from Peru, and 2 percent were from Guatemala.

    4https://apps.fas.usda.gov/gats/default.aspx.

    Table 2—Volume, Value and Price/Pound for Frozen Mango Imports 2005-2016 Year Imports
  • (pounds)
  • Value Price/
  • pound
  • (A) (B) (C) 2016 117,724,239 $101,204,418 $0.86 2015 139,492,136 131,155,555 0.94 2014 116,950,534 82,257,399 0.70 2013 128,109,849 80,929,782 0.63 2012 91,630,515 54,466,961 0.59 2011 88,121,973 49,291,591 0.56 2010 64,688,410 38,581,629 0.60 2009 30,178,419 21,619,646 0.72 2008 51,756,422 32,298,845 0.62 2007 52,832,786 29,982,510 0.57 2006 44,351,020 22,447,677 0.51 2005 31,657,933 14,473,533 0.46 Column C equals Column B divided by Column A.
    Board Recommendation

    Because of the current program's success for the fresh mango market, those who sell frozen mangos have been interested in becoming part of the program. Mango producers often sell their mangos for use by both the fresh and processed markets. Handlers and importers may include all mango product categories in their businesses. However, Board promotion efforts only support mangos for the fresh market.

    Thus, the Board recommended amending part 1206 to include frozen mangos. This would allow frozen mango stakeholders to participate in a coordinated effort to maintain and expand the existing market for frozen mangos. These efforts would be accomplished through Board activities including promotion, research, consumer information, education and industry information. By collaborating within the existing national mango promotion program, frozen mango stakeholders could provide to consumers more information on the various uses and benefits of frozen mangos in order to increase demand for the commodity.

    Accordingly, several changes to part 1206 would be necessary to expand the program to include frozen mangos. These changes are described in the following paragraphs. Authority for the Board to recommend changes to part 1206 is provided in § 1206.36(m).

    Definitions Frozen Mangos

    The term “mangos” is defined in § 1206.11 to mean all fresh fruit of Mangifera indica L. of the family Anacardiaceae. The term would be revised to mean the fruit of Mangifera indica L. of the family Anacardiaceae and would include both fresh and frozen mangos. Separate definitions would be added in new paragraphs (a) and (b) of § 1206.11 for fresh and frozen mangos, respectively. “Fresh mangos” would mean mangos in their fresh form. “Frozen mangos” would mean mangos which are uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, and then frozen, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening agent.

    Foreign Processor of Frozen Mangos

    A definition would be added to part 1206 for “foreign processor of frozen mangos.” Section 1206.8 which currently defines the term “foreign producer” would be redesignated as § 1206.8a, and a new § 1206.8 would define the term “foreign processor of frozen mangos” or “foreign processor” to mean any person: (a) Who is engaged in the preparation of frozen mangos for market to the United States and/or who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such mangos; and (b) who exports frozen mangos to the United States. As described later in this document, a foreign processor would also have a seat on the Board.

    Additionally, §§ 1206.6 and 1206.9 which define the terms “first handler” and “importer,” respectively, to mean entities that handle or import 500,000 pounds or more of mangos annually would be revised to remove the references to volume for the purpose of clarity. There are other sections in part 1206 that apply to all first handlers and importers regardless of the volume of mangos handled or imported (i.e., § 1206.61 regarding books and records and § 1206.62 regarding confidential treatment thereof). Thus, the definition of the terms “first handler” and “importer” would be revised to mean all such entities, regardless of the volume of mangos handled or imported. Other sections of part 1206 where the volume handled or imported is relevant would specify the applicable figure.

    Mango Board Establishment and Membership

    Section 1206.30(a) regarding establishment and membership of the Board specifies that the Board be composed of 18 members—8 importers, 1 first handler, 2 domestic producers and 7 foreign producers. This section would be revised to add three Board seats—two for importers of frozen mangos and one for a foreign processor of frozen mangos.

    The Board's rationale for recommending the addition of three seats representing the frozen mango industry is based on a review of import data. Table 3 below shows fresh and frozen mango import data for 2014-2016.5 Fresh and frozen mango imports account for an average of 88 and 12 percent, respectively, of the total volume of imports for the 3-year period.

    5https://apps.fas.usda.gov/gats/default.aspx.

    Table 3—Fresh and Frozen Mango Import Volumes 2014-2016 Year Fresh mango
  • imports
  • (pounds)
  • Frozen mango
  • imports
  • (pounds)
  • Total fresh
  • and frozen
  • mango imports
  • (pounds)
  • 2016 984,554,112 117,724,239 1,102,278,350 2015 861,384,226 139,492,136 1,000,876,362 2014 827,108,732 116,950,534 944,059,266 3-Year Average 891,015,690 124,722,303 1,015,737,993 Percent of Total 1 88 2 12 1 This figure equals the 3-year average of 891,015,690 for fresh mango imports divided by the total mango import figure of 1,015,737,993, multiplied by 100. 2 This figure equals the 3-year average of 124,722,303 for frozen mango imports divided by the total mango import figure of 1,015,737,993, multiplied by 100.

    Imports of fresh mangos account for over 99 percent of the assessments under the current program. On the current 18-member Board, 15 out of the 18 seats (about 83 percent) are for importers and foreign producers. If three Board seats are added to represent frozen mango imports (two importers and one foreign processor), then 18 of the new 21-member Board (almost 87 percent) would represent foreign mangos. Further, 3 of the 18 foreign-product seats (importers and foreign producers) would represent frozen imported mangos (almost 17 percent) and the remaining 15 seats (over 83 percent) would represent fresh imported mangos. The Board's recommendation regarding frozen mango representation on the Board is reasonable and § 1206.30(a) would be revised accordingly.

    Additionally, a sentence would be added to § 1206.30(a) to specify that first handler Board members must receive 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos annually from producers, and importer Board members must import 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos or 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually. These requirements are part of the current de minimis exemption for the program (see § 1206.43 Exemptions), added to the Establishment and Membership section in § 1206.30 for clarification as to who is covered under the program.

    Section 1206.30(b) defines Customs Districts within the United States that are used for allocating importer Board seats based on the volume of mangos imported into each respective district. This section would be revised to state that the two Board seats for importers of frozen mangos shall be allocated for importers who import into any of the districts (or “at-large”) defined in paragraphs (1) through (4) of § 1206.30(b). The Board recommended that these two seats be at-large to allow nominees from all four districts. This could encourage participation on the Board from this new group regardless of their location.

    Nominations and Appointments

    Section 1206.31 prescribes procedures for nominating and appointing Board members. Board staff solicits nominees for first handler, fresh mango importer, and domestic producer member positions and voting is conducted by mail ballot. Nominees to fill the foreign producer member positions are solicited from foreign producers and from foreign producer organizations. From the nominations, the Secretary of Agriculture then selects the members of the Board.

    This section would be revised to specify procedures for nominating foreign processors and importers of frozen mangos. The procedures would be similar to those in place for first handlers and importers of fresh mangos. Nominees to fill the foreign processor seat would be solicited from foreign mango organizations and from foreign processors. Foreign mango organizations would submit two nominees for each position, and foreign processors could submit their own name or the names of other foreign processors directly to the Board. The nominees would represent the major countries exporting frozen mangos to the United States.

    Nominees to fill the two at-large seats on the Board would be solicited from all known importers of frozen mangos. The members from each district would select the nominees for the two at-large positions on the Board. Two nominees would be submitted for each position. The names of the nominees would be placed on a ballot that would be sent to importers of frozen mangos in each of the four districts for a vote. For each position, the nominee receiving the highest number of votes and the nominee receiving the second highest number of votes would be submitted to USDA as the first and second choice nominees.

    Accordingly, in § 1206.31, paragraph (e) which prescribes nomination procedures for fresh mango importers, would be revised to clarify that the procedures pertain to fresh mango importers. Further, paragraph (h) would be redesignated as paragraph (k), a new paragraph (h) would be added to specify procedures for nominating foreign processors, and a new paragraph (i) would be added to specify procedures for nominating frozen mango importers.

    A new paragraph (j) would be added to § 1206.31 to clarify that first handler nominees for a Board position must receive more than 500,000 pounds of fresh mangos annually from producers, and importers must import 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos annually or 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually.

    Term of Office

    Section 1206.32 specifies that Board members serve for a 3-year term of office. Members may serve a maximum of two consecutive 3-year terms. This section would be revised to include the new positions for importers of frozen mangos and foreign processors. Similar to the other Board members, the term of office for the new positions would be 3 years, and no member could serve on the Board for more than two consecutive 3-year terms.

    Procedure

    Section 1206.34(a) specifies that a quorum for the current 18-member board consists of 10 members. The proposed rule would increase the number of Board seats from 18 to 21, which would necessitate an increase in quorum requirements. Therefore, this section would be revised to specify that it would be considered a quorum at a Board meeting when at least 11 of the 21 Board members were present.

    Assessments

    Section 1206.42(b) specifies that the assessment rate is three quarters of a cent ($0.0075) per pound on all mangos (fresh). Pursuant to paragraph (d) of § 1206.42, import assessments are collected through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs). Pursuant to paragraph (e) of that section, first handlers must submit their assessments to the Board on a monthly basis.

    In its deliberations on the proposed assessment rate for frozen mangos, the Board considered the current assessment rate for fresh mangos of $0.0075 per pound. Board members took into account that it takes 2.5 pounds of fresh mangos to make one pound of frozen mangos.6 If the fresh equivalent assessment rate were applied to frozen mangos, frozen mango importers would pay an assessment of approximately $0.019 per pound, which is 2.5 times the fresh mango assessment rate. Additionally, according to the Board, manufacturing costs are higher for frozen mangos than for fresh mangos because the fruit has been processed.

    6 Kader, Adel A.; Fresh Cut Mangos as a Value-Added Product (Literature Review and Interviews); October 2. 2008; page 20.

    The Board also considered assessment revenue as a percentage of value. Board members refer to this computation as the “Mango Reinvestment Rate” or MRR. To compute this for fresh mangos, assessment revenue is divided by the value of imported fresh product. The 3-year average for 2014-2016 for fresh mangos is 1.71 percent. The computation is shown in Table 4 below.

    Table 4—Assessment Revenue as Percentage of Value for Fresh Mangos Year Assessment
  • revenue
  • Value Revenue as a
  • percent of
  • value
  • (A) (B) (C) 2016 $7,374,170 $101,204,418 1.75 2015 6,785,156 131,155,555 1.69 2014 6,249,918 82,257,399 1.68 3-yr average 1.71 Column (C) is computed by dividing Column A by Column B, and multiplying that figure by 100.

    The 1.71 percent MRR was shared with importers and processors of frozen mangos. A majority of the importers and processors contacted indicated that, while the MRR computation seems equitable, expenses are higher and the profit margins are lower for frozen mangos. The industry members contacted indicated that a MRR between 1.0 and 1.5 percent was more in line with what they saw as equitable for the frozen mango industry.

    Thus, the Board ultimately recommended an assessment rate for frozen mangos of $0.01 per pound. As shown in Table 5 below, this computes to an average MRR of 1.21 percent for 2014-2016. Additionally, only imports of frozen mangos would be assessed at this rate because first handlers in the United States receive only fresh mangos from producers.

    Table 5—Projected Assessment Revenue as Percentage of Value for Frozen Mangos Year Imports
  • (pounds)
  • Value Assessment
  • rate
  • (per pound)
  • Projected
  • assessment
  • revenue
  • Revenue as
  • a percent
  • of value
  • (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) 2016 117,724,239 $101,204,418 $0.01 $1,177,242 1.16 2015 139,492,136 131,155,555 0.01 1,394,921 1.06 2014 116,950,534 82,257,399 0.01 1,169,505 1.42 3-yr average 1.21 Column D is computed by multiplying Column B by Column C. Column E is computed by dividing Column A by Column B, and multiplying that figure by 100.

    Accordingly, in § 1206.42, paragraph (b) would be revised to specify an assessment rate of $0.01 per pound for frozen mangos, and paragraph (d)(2) would be revised to include the numbers for frozen mangos listed in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States and update the HTS numbers for fresh mango imports. Section 517(d) of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7416) provides authority for one or more rates of assessment to be levied under a research and promotion program.

    Exemptions

    Section 1206.43 specifies that first handlers and importers of less than 500,000 pounds of mangos (fresh) may claim an exemption from the assessment obligation. The Board recommended revising the section to specify that importers of less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos be exempt from assessment. This was derived by taking into account the ratio for converting fresh mangos into frozen mangos (2.5 pounds of fresh to make 1 pound of frozen). Multiplying the factor 0.4 (1 pound frozen divided by 2.5 pounds fresh) by the fresh mango exemption of 500,000 pounds computes to 200,000 pounds. Paragraphs (a) and (b) in § 1206.43 would be revised accordingly. (First handlers only receive fresh mangos from domestic producers. Thus, the exemption threshold for frozen mangos would only apply to importers.)

    Subpart B of part 1206 specifies procedures for conducting a referendum. In § 1206.101, paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively, define eligible first handlers and importers of 500,000 pounds or more of mangos (fresh) annually. This section would be revised to specify that importers of 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos would be eligible to vote in referenda.

    Further, this proposal would revise the term “Board” as defined in § 1206.2 from the “National Mango Promotion Board” to “National Mango Board” to reflect current practices. The term as it appears in § 1206.30 and in the undesignated heading preceding § 1206.30 would also be revised to read “National Mango Board.” Finally, this proposal would update the OMB control number specified in § 1206.78 from 0581-0209 to 0581-0093.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS is required to examine the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on such entities.

    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (first handlers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no more than $7.5 million.

    According to the Board, there are five first handlers of fresh mangos. Based on 2016 assessment data, the majority of first handlers handled less than $7.5 million worth of fresh mangos and would thus be considered small entities.

    Based on 2016 Customs data, there are about 275 importers of fresh mangos and 190 importers of frozen mangos. The majority of fresh and frozen mango importers import less than $7.5 million worth of fresh or frozen mangos and would also be considered small entities.

    This proposal invites comments on amending AMS' regulations regarding a fresh mango national research and promotion program to include frozen mangos as a covered commodity. The program is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. This proposal would add definitions for frozen mangos (§ 1206.11) and foreign processor of frozen mangos (§ 1206.8); expand the Board's membership from 18 to 21 by adding two importers of frozen mangos and one foreign processor of frozen mangos (§§ 1206.30 and 1206.31); assess frozen mangos at a rate of $0.01 per pound (§ 1206.42); exempt from assessment importers who import less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos annually (§ 1206.43); and make clarifying and conforming changes to other provisions in part 1206 (revisions would be made to clarify the definitions for first handler (§ 1206.6) and importer (§ 1206.9); quorum requirements would be revised (§ 1206.34); and definitions for importers eligible to vote in referenda would be revised (§ 1206.101)). Authority for amending part 1206 is provided in § 1206.36(m) and in section 514 of the 1996 Act. This proposal would also update the definition of term “Board” to reflect current practices (§ 1206.2, the heading preceding § 1206.30, and § 1206.30). Section 1206.2 provides authority for revising the term “Board.” Finally, this proposal would update one of the OMB numbers (0581-0209) listed in § 1206.78.

    Mango producers are not subject to assessment under the program. Currently, first handlers and importers of less than 500,000 pounds of fresh mangos annually are exempt from assessment. Further, organic mangos and exports of U.S. mangos are also exempt from assessment under the program.

    Regarding the economic impact of this proposed rule on affected entities, importers of 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually would pay an assessment of $0.01 per pound. Based on Customs data, of the 190 importers of frozen mangos, about 60 imported 200,000 pounds or more in 2016 and would pay assessments, and thus 130 importers imported less than 200,000 pounds and would be exempt from paying assessments under the program. Exempt importers would be able to apply to the Board for a refund of assessments funds collected by Customs. Those requirements are detailed in the section of this document titled Paperwork Reduction Act. (The update to the term Board is administrative in nature.)

    Regarding the impact of this proposed action on the industry as a whole, as shown previously in Table 3, imports of frozen mangos averaged about 125 million pounds annually from 2014-2016. At an assessment rate of $0.01 per pound, this would equate to about $1.25 million per year in assessment revenue.

    Further, this action would allow frozen mango stakeholders to participate in a coordinated effort to maintain and expand the existing market for frozen mangos. These efforts would be accomplished through Board activities including promotion, research, consumer information, education and industry information. By collaborating within the existing national mango promotion program, frozen mango stakeholders could provide to consumers more information on the various uses and benefits of frozen mangos in order to increase demand for the commodity.

    With regard to alternatives, the Board contemplated the merits of assessing all processed mangos (i.e., frozen as well as juice and concentrate). The Board's staff attended several process tradeshows, conferences, and other events to garner support for the mango program. After several outreach activities, the frozen mango industry demonstrated the highest response out of the other process categories to include under the mango program.

    As for alternative assessment rates, as previously mentioned, the Board considered the current assessment rate for fresh mangos of $0.0075 per pound. However, if the fresh equivalent assessment rate were applied to frozen mangos, frozen mango importers would pay an assessment of approximately $0.019 per pound, which is 2.5 times the fresh mango assessment rate. (It takes 2.5 pounds of fresh mangos to make one pound of frozen mangos.) Additionally, according to the Board, manufacturing costs are higher for frozen mangos than for fresh mangos because the fruit has been processed.

    The Board also considered assessment revenue as a percentage of value. Board members refer to this computation as the “Mango Reinvestment Rate” or MRR. To compute this for fresh mangos, assessment revenue is divided by the value imported fresh product. The 3-year average for 2014-2016 for fresh mangos is 1.71 percent. The computation was shown previously in Table 4. The 1.71 percent MRR was shared with importers and processors of frozen mangos. A majority of the importers and processors contacted indicated that, while the MRR computation seems equitable, expenses are higher and the profit margins are lower for frozen mangos. Industry members contacted indicated that a MRR between 1.0 and 1.5 percent was more in line with what they saw as equitable for the frozen mango industry. Thus, the Board ultimately recommended an assessment rate for frozen mangos of $0.01 per pound. As shown previously in Table 5, this computes to an average MRR of 1.21 percent for 2014-2016.

    The Board also considered alternative exemption thresholds. When the Board initially contemplated amending the mango regulations, it considered all categories of processed mangos, including juice, concentrate and frozen. Each of these categories has a different conversion ratio, or amount of fresh mangos that it takes to make the respective processed fruit. At that time, the Board considered an exemption threshold of 45,000 pounds. When the Board decided to pursue amending the program to include only frozen mangos, the Board also decided to recommend an exemption threshold of 200,000 pounds. This was based on the industry average ratio of 0.4 for converting fresh mangos into frozen mangos (2.5 pounds of fresh mangos to make one pound of frozen mangos). Multiplying the fresh mango exemption threshold of 500,000 pounds by the 0.4 ratio equals 200,000 pounds. Thus, the Board recommended an exemption threshold of 200,000 pounds for frozen mangos.

    This action would impose additional reporting and recordkeeping requirements upon importers and processors of frozen mangos. Importers and foreign processors of frozen mangos who were eligible and interested in serving on the Board would submit a nomination form to the Board indicating their desire to serve or nominate another industry member to serve on the Board. Importers could cast a ballot and vote for candidates to serve on the Board. Frozen mango importer and foreign processor nominees would have to submit a background form to the Secretary to ensure they are qualified to serve on the Board.

    Additionally, importers of frozen mangos who import less than 200,000 pounds annually could request an exemption from paying assessments. Importers of organic frozen mangos could submit a request to the Board for an exemption from assessment for their organic mango imports. Importers could also request a refund of assessments paid through Customs.

    Finally, frozen mango importers who want to participate in future referenda on the program would have to complete a ballot for submission to the Secretary.

    New forms are required to collect the referenced information. These forms will be submitted to OMB for approval under OMB Control No. 0581-NEW. Specific burdens for the forms are detailed later in this document in the section titled Paperwork Reduction Act. As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. Finally, there are no Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule.

    In regard to outreach efforts, in 2015 the Board commissioned a study to determine industry support for amending part 1206. Processed mango importers responded in favor of amending the program. The survey respondents represented 72 percent of the imported processed mango volume. The Board also hosted a webinar in June 2015 and invited all known importers of processed mangos to participate. Fifteen industry members participated in the webinar. Of the attendees, 95 percent supported amending the program to include processed mangos. Two importers of frozen mangos participated in the Board's meeting in September 2015 where this issue was discussed.

    In 2016, Board representatives attended tradeshows and conferences for processed fruit products in the U.S. and visited several mango producing regions and receiving ports in order to meet with processors and importers to discuss amending the program. Board representatives attended 21 meetings with frozen mango importers of record. The Board subsequently conducted another survey where 74 companies were contacted via electronic mail and telephone calls. For the companies that participated in the survey, 71 percent were in favor of amending the program to include frozen mangos. The Board continues to educate and update the mango industry on its marketing activities.

    AMS has performed this initial RFA regarding the impact of this proposed amendment to part 1206 on small entities and invites comments concerning potential effects of this amendment on small businesses.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), AMS announces its intention to request an approval of new information collection and recordkeeping requirements for the frozen mango industry. Information collection and recordkeeping requirements for the fresh mango program (part 1206) have previously been approved under OMB control nos. 0581-0093 and 0505-0001. Upon approval of this action and associated burden, AMS would submit a Justification for Change to merge this new burden for frozen mangos into the currently approved collection for fresh mangos.

    Title: Frozen mango research, promotion and consumer information program.

    OMB Number: 0581—NEW.

    Type of Request: New information collection for research and promotion programs.

    Abstract: The information collection requirements in the request are essential to carry out the intent of the 1996 Act. The information collection concerns a recommendation received by USDA to amend the fresh mango national research and promotion program (part 1206) to include frozen mangos. The program is currently financed by an assessment on first handlers and importers of 500,000 pounds or more fresh mangos annually. The program is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA.

    In November 2016, the Board recommended amending part 1206 to include frozen mangos. Importers of 200,000 or more frozen mangos annually would pay assessments. The Board would be expanded from 18 to 21 members by adding two importers of frozen mangos and one foreign processor of frozen mangos. This action would allow frozen mango stakeholders to participate in a coordinated effort to maintain and expand the market for frozen mangos.

    In summary, the information collection requirements regarding frozen mangos pertain to Board nominations, the collection of assessments, and referenda. Frozen mango importers and foreign processors interested in serving on the Board would submit a “Nomination Form” to the Board indicating their desire to serve or to nominate another industry member to serve on the Board. They could submit a “Nomination Ballot” to the Board where they would vote for candidates to serve on the Board. Nominees would also have to submit a background information form, “AD-755,” to the Secretary to ensure they are qualified to serve. Frozen mango importers of less than 200,000 pounds annually could submit a request, “Application for Exemption from Assessments,” to the Board and request a refund of any assessments paid using proposed form “Application for Reimbursement of Assessment.” (Import assessments would be collected by Customs and remitted to the Board.) Importers of organic frozen mangos could also apply to the Board for an exemption from assessment. Finally, importers of frozen mangos would have the opportunity to vote in future referenda on the program.

    This new information collection would impose a total burden of 167.37 hours and 287.48 responses for 190 respondents. New information collection requirements that are included in this proposal pertaining to the frozen mango industry include:

    (1) Nomination Form

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hour per response.

    Respondents: Importers of 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually and foreign processors.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 20.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: .33 (1 every 3 years).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1.65 hours.

    (2) Nomination Ballot

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hour per response.

    Respondents: Importers of 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually and foreign processors.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: .33 (1 every 3 years).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2.48 hours.

    (3) Application for Exemption From Assessments

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hour per response. Upon approval, the applicant would receive exemption certification.

    Respondents: Importers of less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 130.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 32.5 hours.

    (4) Application for Reimbursement of Assessment

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hour per response.

    Respondents: Importers of less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 130.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 32.5 hours.

    (5) Organic Exemption Request Form

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hour per response.

    Respondents: Importers of 200,000 pounds or more of organic frozen mangos annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 5.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1.25 hours.

    (6) Referendum Ballot

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hour per response.

    Respondents: Importers of 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 20.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: .20 (1 every 5 years).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1.0 hours.

    (7) Background Information Form AD—755 (OMB Form No. 0505-0001)

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.5 hour per response.

    Respondents: Importers of 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos and foreign processors.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 6.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: .33 (1 every 3 years).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1.0 hour.

    (8) A Requirement To Maintain Records Sufficient To Verify Reports Submitted Under Part 1206

    Estimate of Burden: Public recordkeeping burden for keeping this information is estimated to average 0.5 hour per record keeper maintaining such records.

    Recordkeepers: Importers of frozen mangos.

    Estimated number of recordkeepers: 190 (130 exempt and 60 assessment payers).

    Estimated total recordkeeping hours: 95 hours.

    An estimated 190 respondents would provide information to the Board. The estimated cost of providing the information to the Board by respondents would be $2,870.90. This total has been estimated by multiplying 95 total hours required for reporting and recordkeeping by $30.22, the average mean hourly earnings of importers. Data for computation of this hourly rate was obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.

    The proposed revisions to the fresh mango program have been carefully reviewed, and every effort has been made to minimize any unnecessary recordkeeping costs or requirements, including efforts to utilize information already submitted under other programs administered by USDA and other state programs.

    The proposed forms would require the minimum information necessary to effectively carry out the requirements of the program, and their use is necessary to fulfill the intent of the 1996 Act. Such information can be supplied without data processing equipment or outside technical expertise. In addition, there are no additional training requirements for individuals filling out reports and remitting assessments to the Board. The forms would be simple, easy to understand, and place as small a burden as possible on the person required to file the information.

    The information to be included on these forms is not available from other sources because such information relates specifically to individual importers and processors of frozen mangos who would be subject to the provisions of the 1996 Act. Therefore, there is no practical method for collecting the required information without the use of these forms.

    Request for Public Comment Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the proposed amended program and USDA's oversight of the proposed amended program, including whether the information would have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of USDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) the accuracy of USDA's estimate of the number of importers of frozen mangos that would be covered under the program; (d) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (e) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements contained in this action should reference OMB No. 0581-NEW. In addition, the document number, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register also should be referenced. Comments should be sent to the same addresses referenced in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule.

    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information contained in this proposed rule between 30 and 60 days after publication. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government 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.

    USDA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with and would effectuate the purposes of the 1996 Act.

    A 60-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposal. All written comments received in response to this proposed rule by the date specified would be considered prior to finalizing this action.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1206

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer information, Marketing agreements, Mango promotion, Reporting and recording requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1206 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1206—MANGO RESEARCH, PROMOTION, AND INFORMATION ORDER 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1206 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7411-7425 and 7401.

    2. Revise § 1206.2 to read as follows:
    § 1206.2 Board.

    Board or National Mango Board means the administrative body established pursuant to § 1206.30, or such other name as recommended by the Board and approved by the Department.

    3. Revise § 1206.6 to read as follows:
    § 1206.6 First handler.

    First handler means any person (excluding a common or contract carrier) receiving fresh mangos from producers in a calendar year and who as owner, agent, or otherwise ships or causes mangos to be shipped as specified in this Order. This definition includes those engaged in the business of buying, selling and/or offering for sale; receiving; packing; grading; marketing; or distributing mangos in commercial quantities. The term first handler includes a producer who handles or markets mangos of the producer's own production.

    4. Amend § 1206.8 by revising the section heading, designating the introductory text as paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 1206.8 Foreign producers and foreign processor of frozen mangos or foreign processor.

    (b) Foreign processor of frozen mangos or foreign processor means any person:

    (1) Who is engaged in the preparation of frozen mangos for market to the United States and/or who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such mangos; and

    (2) Who exports frozen mangos to the United States.

    5. Revise § 1206.9 to read as follows:
    § 1206.9 Importer.

    Importer means any person importing mangos into the United States in a calendar year as a principal or as an agent, broker, or consignee of any person who produces or handles mangos outside of the United States for sale in the United States, and who is listed as the importer of record for such mangos.

    6. Revise § 1206.11 to read as follows:
    § 1206.11 Mangos.

    Mangos means the fruit of Mangifera indica L. of the family Anacardiaceae. For purposes of this Order, the term mangos includes:

    (a) Fresh mangos, which means mangos in their fresh form; and

    (b) Frozen mangos, which means mangos that are uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, and then frozen, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening agent.

    7. Revise the undesignated center heading preceding
    § 1206.30 to read “National Mango Board.”
    8. In § 1206.30, revise paragraph (a) and the introductory text of paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 1206.30 Establishment and membership.

    (a) Establishment of the National Mango Board. There is hereby established a National Mango Board composed of eight importers of fresh mangos; one first handler of fresh mangos; two domestic producers of fresh mangos; seven foreign producers of fresh mangos; two importers of frozen mangos; and one foreign processor of frozen mangos. First handler Board members must receive 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos annually from producers, and importer Board members must import 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos or 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually. The chairperson shall reside in the United States and the Board office shall also be located in the United States.

    (b) Importer districts. Board seats for importers of fresh mangos shall be allocated based on the volume of fresh mangos imported into the Customs Districts identified by their name and Code Number as defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. Two seats shall be allocated for District I, three seats for District II, two seats for District III, and one seat for District IV. Two at-large seats shall be allocated for importers of frozen mangos who import into any of the four defined districts.

    9. In § 1206.31, revise paragraph (e), redesignate paragraph (h) as paragraph (k), and add new paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) to read as follows:
    § 1206.31 Nominations and appointments.

    (e) Nominees to fill the fresh mango importer positions on the Board shall be solicited from all known importers of fresh mangos. The members from each district shall select the nominees for two positions on the Board. Two nominees shall be submitted for each position. The nominees shall be placed on a ballot which will be sent to fresh mango importers in the districts for a vote. For each position, the nominee receiving the highest number of votes and the nominee receiving the second highest number of votes shall be submitted to the Department as the fresh importers' first and second choice nominees.

    (h) Nominees to fill the foreign processor of frozen mangos position on the Board shall be solicited from foreign mango organizations and from foreign processors. Foreign mango organizations shall submit two nominees for each position, and foreign processors may submit their name or the names of other foreign processors directly to the Board. The nominees shall represent the major countries exporting frozen mangos to the United States.

    (i) Nominees to fill the at-large positions on the Board shall be solicited from all known importers of frozen mangos. The members from each district shall select the nominees for the two at-large positions on the Board. Two nominees shall be submitted for each position. The nominees shall be placed on a ballot which will be sent to importers of frozen mangos in each of the four districts for a vote. For each position, the nominee receiving the highest number of votes and the nominee receiving the second highest number of votes shall be submitted to the Department as the first and second choice nominees.

    (j) First handler nominees must receive 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos annually from producers, and importer nominees must import 500,000 pounds or more of fresh mangos or 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mangos annually.

    10. Revise § 1206.32 to read as follows:
    § 1206.32 Term of office.

    The term of office for first handler, importer, domestic producer, and foreign producer and foreign processor members of the Board will be three years. Members may serve a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. Each term of office will end on December 31, with new terms of office beginning on January 1.

    11. In § 1206.34, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1206.34 Procedure.

    (a) At a Board meeting, it will be considered a quorum when at least eleven voting members are present.

    12. In § 1206.42, revise paragraphs (b), (d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3) and (d)(4) to read as follows:
    § 1206.42 Assessments.

    (b) The assessment rate on all fresh mangos shall be three quarters of a cent ($0.0075) per pound (or $0.0165 per kg). The assessment rate on all frozen mangos shall be one cent ($0.01) per pound (or $0.022 per kg). The assessment rates will be reviewed periodically and may be modified by the Board with the approval of the Department.

    (d) * * *

    (1) The assessment rate for imported fresh mangos that are identified by the numbers 0804.50.4040 and 0804.50.6040 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States shall be the same or equivalent to the rate for mangos produced in the United States.

    (2) The import assessment shall be uniformly applied to imported frozen mangos that are identified by the numbers 0804.50.4045, 0804.50.4055, 0804.50.6045, 0804.50.6055, and 0811.90.5200 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States shall be the same or equivalent to the rate for mangos produced in the United States.

    (3) In the event that any HTS number subject to assessment is changed and such change is merely a replacement of a previous number and has no impact on the description of fresh mango and frozen mangos, assessments will continue to be collected based on the new numbers.

    (4) The assessments due on imported mangos shall be paid when they enter or are withdrawn for consumption in the United States.

    13. In § 1206.43, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 1206.43 Exemptions.

    (a) Any first handler of less than 500,000 pounds of fresh mangos per calendar year, or importer of less than 500,000 pounds of fresh mangos or less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos per calendar year may claim an exemption from the assessments required under § 1206.42. First handlers who export mangos from the United States may annually claim an exemption from the assessments required under § 1206.42.

    (b) A first handler or importer desiring an exemption shall apply to the Board, on a form provided by the Board, for a certificate of exemption. A first handler must certify that it will receive less than 500,000 pounds of domestic fresh mangos during the fiscal period for which the exemption is claimed. An importer must certify that it will import less than 500,000 pounds of fresh mangos or less than 200,000 pounds of frozen mangos for the fiscal period for which the exemption is claimed.

    14. Revise § 1206.78 to read as follows:
    § 1206.78 OMB control number.

    The control numbers assigned to the information collection requirements of this part by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, are OMB control number 0505-0001 and OMB control number 0581-0093.

    15. In § 1206.101, revise paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 1206.101 Definitions.

    (c) Eligible first handler means any person, (excluding a common or contract carrier), receiving 500,000 or more pounds of fresh mangos from producers in a calendar year and who as owner, agent, or otherwise ships or causes mangos to be shipped as specified in this Order. This definition includes those engaged in the business of buying, selling and/or offering for sale; receiving; packing; grading; marketing; or distributing mangos in commercial quantities. The term first handler includes a producer who handles or markets mangos of the producer's own production.

    (d) Eligible importer means any person importing 500,000 or more pounds of fresh mangos or 200,000 or more pounds of frozen mango into the United States in a calendar year as a principal or as an agent, broker, or consignee of any person who produces or handles mangos outside of the United States for sale in the United States, and who is listed as the importer of record for such mangos that are identified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States by the numbers 0804.50.4045, 0804.50.4055, 0804.50.6045, 0804.50.6055, and 0811.90.5200, during the representative period. Importation occurs when mangos originating outside of the United States are released from custody by Customs and introduced into the stream of commerce in the United States. Included are persons who hold title to foreign-produced mangos immediately upon release by Customs, as well as any persons who act on behalf of others, as agents or brokers, to secure the release of mangos from Customs when such mangos are entered or withdrawn for consumption in the United States.

    (e) Mangos means the fruit of Mangifera indica L. of the family Anacardiaceae. The term mangos includes:

    (1) Fresh mangos, which means in their fresh form; and

    (2) Frozen mangos, which means mangos that are uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, and then frozen, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening agent.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06968 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1239 and 1273 RIN 2590-AA90 Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices, and Corporate Governance AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is proposing to amend its regulation on the Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices, and Corporate Governance for its regulated entities. The proposed rule would amend the existing regulation pertaining to Federal Home Loan Bank strategic business plans so that it would apply as well to the Enterprises, and would make a number of adjustments and conforming changes to the existing regulation. As amended, the regulation would require that the board of directors of each regulated entity have in effect at all times a strategic business plan that describes how the regulated entity's business activities will achieve its statutory purposes. The proposed rule would retain the provision that requires each regulated entity's board of directors to review the strategic business plan at least annually, re-adopt it at least once every three years, and establish reporting requirements for and monitor implementation of the strategic business plan. The proposed rule would add a new provision regarding current and emerging business risks, repeal two outdated provisions of the existing regulation, and make a conforming change to the Office of Finance Board of Directors regulation.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments on the proposed rule, identified by regulatory information number (RIN) 2590-AA90, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Website: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the FHFA. Please include “Comments/RIN 2590-AA90” in the subject line of the submission.

    Courier/Hand Delivery: The hand delivery address is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA90, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW, Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219. Deliver the package to the Seventh Street entrance Guard Desk, First Floor, on business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    U.S. Mail, United Parcel Service, Federal Express, or Other Mail Service: The mailing address for comments is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA90, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW, Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Callis, Principal Risk Analyst, Office of the Chief Accountant, at [email protected] or (202) 649-3448, or Ming-Yuen Meyer-Fong, Office of General Counsel, at [email protected] or (202) 649-3078 (these are not toll-free numbers), Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Request for Comments

    FHFA invites comments on all aspects of this proposed rule. After considering all comments, FHFA intends to issue a final rule. FHFA will post on the FHFA website at http://www.fhfa.gov all public comments it receives without change, including any personal information you provide, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number. In addition, copies of all comments received will be available for examination by the public through the electronic rulemaking docket for this proposed rule also located on the FHFA website.

    II. Background and Summary

    FHFA previously consolidated and relocated the regulations of its predecessor agencies, the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, that pertained to the responsibilities of boards of directors, corporate practices, and corporate governance matters into a new regulation at 12 CFR part 1239. 80 FR 72327 (November 19, 2015). The FHFA regulation is organized such that some parts apply to all of FHFA's regulated entities and other parts, because of differences in their corporate structure or business models, apply only to the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks), or only to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Enterprises).

    The current regulation requires each Bank's board of directors to have in effect at all times a strategic business plan that describes how the business activities of the Bank will achieve the mission of the Bank, consistent with the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (Bank Act), 12 U.S.C. 1421 et seq. The current regulation also requires a Bank's board of directors periodically to review and re-adopt the Bank's strategic business plan, establish management reporting requirements, and monitor implementation of the strategic business plan. 12 CFR 1239.31.

    FHFA proposes to adopt a similar requirement for the Enterprises. Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this direction. The result of this process is the organization's strategy—a guiding vision of what the organization intends to accomplish and key initiatives or action plans for achieving the vision. It is necessarily forward-looking, actionable, and measurable, and it should be updated periodically to reflect, among other things, changing risks, business environments, and corporate direction. A strategic plan is adopted by an organization's board of directors and executed by its senior management on behalf of its stakeholders.

    The proposed rule would replace the existing Bank-only strategic business plan provision currently at 12 CFR 1239.31 with a new provision, to be located at 12 CFR 1239.14. The new provision would adapt the current Bank-only strategic business plan requirements to cover the Enterprises, and make adjustments and conforming changes as needed to reflect the requirements of the Banks and the Enterprises. The most significant change would be to bring the Enterprises within the scope of the strategic business plan requirement currently required only of the board of directors at each Bank. The proposed rule would also include a new requirement for each regulated entity to identify current and emerging risks in its strategic business plan. Apart from that provision, the proposed rule would not impose any new requirements on the Banks' strategic business plans. The proposed rule would also repeal an existing provision relating to quantitative performance goals for Bank products related to multifamily housing and to community financial institution collateral, and a related existing reporting provision.

    III. The Proposed Rule A. Analysis of the Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule would require the board of directors at each regulated entity to adopt and have in effect at all times a strategic business plan for the regulated entity. The regulated entity's strategic business plan adopted by the board of directors must meet certain minimum requirements pertaining to operating goals, credit needs and market opportunities, new activities, supporting analyses, and current and emerging risks. As noted above, all of these requirements, except for the current and emerging risks, already apply to the Banks. The proposed rule would also require the board of directors at each regulated entity to review the regulated entity's strategic business plan at least annually, to re-adopt the strategic business plan for the regulated entity at least every three years, to establish management reporting requirements, and to monitor implementation of the strategic business plan, as set forth in proposed § 1239.14(b).

    The Enterprises are congressionally chartered entities established to advance certain statutory purposes. These statutory purposes include providing stability in the secondary market for residential mortgages, responding appropriately to the private capital market, providing ongoing assistance (by facilitating liquidity and distribution of investment capital) to the secondary market for residential mortgages (including activities relating to mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-income families), and promoting access to mortgage credit throughout the nation. 12 U.S.C. 1716 et seq. (Fannie Mae); 12 U.S.C. 1451 note (Freddie Mac). Their public purposes also include other, more-specific statutory or regulatory obligations including, for example, an Enterprise's obligations to meet its affordable housing goals, and its duty to serve specified underserved markets. See Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act), 12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.

    Similarly, the Banks are entities established under federal law to serve a housing finance and community lending mission. 12 U.S.C. 1430 and 1430b. For example, in addition to advances, Bank core mission activities include debt or equity investments that primarily benefit households having a targeted income level or living in areas targeted for redevelopment, by supporting housing, economic development, community services, permanent jobs, or area revitalization or stabilization. 12 CFR 1265.3(e). Like the Enterprises, the Banks have affordable housing goals, but only to the extent that they purchase mortgages from their members. 12 U.S.C. 1430c.

    Paragraph 1239.14(a)(1)(i) of the proposed rule would replace the requirement to enumerate operating goals and objectives with a requirement to articulate measurable operating goals and objectives. The change is intended to clarify that goals and objectives are to be described, rather than simply listed, in a manner to allow the board of directors to monitor and hold management accountable for successful execution of the strategic business plan. A regulated entity's board could articulate measurable goals and objectives by specifying quantitative requirements or qualitative requirements. The proposed rule does not prescribe the specific ways in which operating goals and objectives must be articulated, so long as such operating goals and objectives are articulated in a measurable manner necessary to support a regulated entity's board of director's review and monitoring responsibilities under proposed § 1239.14(b), and to allow the board of directors to evaluate and hold management accountable for successful implementation of the strategic business plan.

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(1)(i) would require each Bank's strategic business plan to articulate measurable operating goals and objectives for each significant business activity and all authorized new business activities, which must include plans for maximizing activities that further the Bank's housing finance and community lending mission. This provision is much the same as the existing regulation, but includes several proposed changes to coordinate with the Enterprise requirement, including the reference to “significant business activity,” a proposed change from the existing reference to “major business activity.”

    The proposed rule would also require a Bank's strategic business plan to articulate measurable operating goals and objectives for all “authorized new business activities.” FHFA regulations currently provide for agency review and action on a Bank's “new business activity” before a Bank may commence with the new business activity. 12 CFR part 1272. That regulation authorizes a Bank to commence a new business activity absent affirmative approval if FHFA does not take action within the timeframes established under 12 CFR part 1272. The proposed requirement to articulate operating goals and objectives would not apply to new business activities that are denied, are pending FHFA action, or are not yet submitted to FHFA, but only to those new business activities that have been authorized under the new business activities regulation.

    The proposed rule would retain the existing requirement that a Bank's strategic plan “include plans for maximizing activities that further the Bank's housing finance and community lending mission, consistent with part 1265 of this chapter.” Retaining this clause would reiterate the priority the Banks should continue to place on their core mission activities to further their housing finance and community lending mission, consistent with 12 CFR part 1265.

    For the Enterprises, proposed § 1239.14(a)(1)(ii) would similarly require each Enterprise's strategic business plan to “articulate measurable operating goals and objectives for each significant existing activity and all authorized new activities.” The Enterprises do not have a core mission activity regulation comparable to that of the Banks, so, a requirement analogous to that for the Banks described above is not included in the Enterprise provisions. However, proposed § 1239.14(a)(1)(ii) would achieve an outcome for the Enterprises similar to that for the Banks under § 1239.14(a)(1)(i). It does so by generally requiring the strategic business plan to describe “how the [Enterprise's] business activities . . . will achieve [its] mission and public purposes,” consistent with its charter act and the Safety and Soundness Act. It also does so by requiring the Enterprise's strategic business plan to articulate “measurable operating goals and objectives” in achieving the Enterprise's statutory purposes. Describing how the Enterprise's business activities will achieve its mission and public purposes, and articulating measurable goals and objectives for significant existing activities, would help to enable an Enterprise's board of directors to monitor, review, and hold management accountable for successful execution of the strategic business plan.

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(1)(ii) would reference “authorized new activities” in its “measurable operating goals and objectives” requirement. FHFA regulations currently provide for agency review and action on an Enterprise's “new activity” before the Enterprise may commence with the new activity. 12 CFR part 1253. The term “authorized new activities” is used because the current regulation for considering new activities authorizes an Enterprise to engage in a new activity absent affirmative approval. This could occur where FHFA does not take action within 15 days from receipt of a complete new activity notice. 12 CFR 1253.3(d). As a result, § 1239.14(a)(1)(ii) requires articulation of measurable operating goals and objectives for all “authorized new activities,” which could include both new activities that were affirmatively approved by FHFA and those authorized by passage of time. Proposed § 1239.14(a)(1)(ii) would not require a strategic business plan to articulate measurable goals and objectives for new activities that are denied, pending FHFA action, or not yet submitted to FHFA.

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(2) would require each regulated entity's strategic business plan to discuss how the regulated entity will address credit needs and market opportunities identified through ongoing market research and stakeholder consultations. In the case of the Banks, stakeholders would include members, housing associates, and public and private organizations. In the case of the Enterprises, stakeholders would include mortgage market participants and public and private organizations, including those that advocate for access to credit. The purpose of § 1239.14(a)(2) is similar to that currently in effect for the Banks, that is, to require regulated entity board engagement with market research and stakeholder consultations to identify areas of credit needs and market opportunities to further the regulated entity's public purposes.

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(3) would require a regulated entity's strategic business plan to describe “significant activities in which the regulated entity is planning to be engaged,” including any changes to business strategy or approach that the regulated entity is planning to undertake, and discuss how such activities further the regulated entity's public purposes. FHFA considered whether to retain the existing language in 12 CFR 1239.31(a)(4), which requires a regulated entity's strategic business plan to describe any “proposed new business activities or enhancements of existing activities.” However, the language of the existing requirement is unclear as to whether activities in various stages of development are covered.

    Specifically, the existing regulatory language referring to “proposed new business activities or enhancements of existing activities” in § 1239.31(a)(4) may be ambiguous in that it could be interpreted to include those activities that are in the planning or development process within a Bank, but not yet submitted as a new business activity. Alternatively, it could be interpreted to refer to only those new business activities submitted to and pending approval with FHFA. Rather than referring to proposed new business activities and enhancements of existing activities, FHFA proposes to modify the existing language for the Banks and apply the same requirement to the Enterprises.

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(3) would eliminate the need, in the context of the strategic business plan requirement, to determine whether an activity is a new business activity in the case of a Bank, or a new activity in the case of an Enterprise, for purposes of the respective regulation, and whether it has been submitted or approved as such. The focus of the requirement would be on significant activities in which the regulated entity is planning to be engaged and how these planned activities would further the regulated entity's public purposes. To the extent the significant activities described would affect the future financial condition or risk profile of the regulated entity, the strategic business plan should address such risks.

    For the Banks, proposed § 1239.14(a)(3) would clarify the existing regulatory language in 12 CFR 1239.31(a)(4) for each Bank's strategic business plan to describe any “proposed new business activities or enhancements of existing activities.” Instead, the proposed change would require the plan to describe any “significant activities in which the regulated entity is planning to be engaged.”

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(4)(i) would continue to require a Bank strategic business plan to be supported by appropriate and timely research and analysis of relevant market developments and member and housing associate demand for Bank products and services. This is the same as the existing requirement for the Banks. In addition, the existing reference to “associate” would be revised to “housing associate.”

    Similarly, § 1239.14(a)(4)(ii) would require an Enterprise's strategic business plan to be supported by appropriate and timely research and analysis of relevant market developments. This Enterprise requirement is consistent with the existing requirement for the Banks, and does not include the Bank-specific reference to member and housing associate demand for Bank products and services.

    Proposed § 1239.14(a)(5) would require a regulated entity's strategic business plan to identify current and emerging risks, including such current and emerging risks associated with the regulated entity's existing activities or new activities, and discuss how the regulated entity plans to further its public purposes and mission in a safe and sound manner.

    Emerging risks are risks that are potentially significant but which may not be fully known or understood, and could be associated with new or existing activities. This requirement would be a new requirement for the Banks.

    Proposed § 1239.14(b) would require each regulated entity's board of directors to review the strategic business plan at least annually, re-adopt the plan at least every three years, and to establish reporting requirements and monitor implementation of the strategic business plan. The substance of this provision is identical to that of the existing Bank strategic business plan provision.

    B. Provisions to be Repealed

    The proposed rule would repeal the provision from the existing regulation at 12 CFR 1239.31(a)(3) that requires the Banks to include in their strategic business plans quantitative performance goals for Bank products related to multifamily housing and to community financial institution (CFI) collateral. The Finance Board added this requirement to the strategic business plan regulation shortly after Congress first authorized the Banks to accept CFI collateral. When doing so, the Finance Board explained that it wanted to make clear that providing financing for multifamily lending and for advances secured by the newly authorized CFI collateral is a part of the Banks' mission. In the 17 years that have passed since the Finance Board adopted this requirement, FHFA has monitored the Banks' acceptance of CFI collateral and has determined that this is very much a member-driven practice. There is considerable variation among the Banks as to the extent to which the Banks' members pledge CFI collateral, which FHFA believes is driven by the different types of loans made by the members in different Bank districts. Some Banks have significant numbers of members that make loans for small farm, small agribusiness, small business, or community development purposes, while other Banks have fewer members engaged in making those types of loans. Moreover, CFI collateral is no longer new, and decisions about what type of collateral to pledge are ultimately made by the individual members, based on their particular business needs. FHFA does not require Banks to set quantitative goals for the other types of collateral that members may pledge. In light of all of those factors, FHFA believes that there is no longer any need for the strategic business plans to address these categories of collateral. The proposed rule would repeal this provision, as well as a separate provision at 12 CFR 1239.31(c) that requires the Banks to report annually on their progress towards meeting those goals.

    The proposed rule would also make a conforming change to a reference contained in § 1273.8(d)(2) relating to the Office of Finance board of directors' duty to approve a strategic business plan, to reference the proposed new provision at § 1239.14.

    C. Corporate Governance Requirements and Conservatorship

    As FHFA noted when it most recently adopted its corporate governance regulation, the regulation is not intended to address conservatorship matters. 80 FR at 72328. Instead, the corporate governance regulation is intended to address matters of corporate practice and governance at the regulated entities. FHFA, as conservator, currently possesses ultimate authority over all operations of the Enterprises. Pursuant to its conservatorship authority, FHFA has provided for Enterprise boards to exercise the functions of management oversight that exist under applicable law and regulation, including FHFA's corporate governance regulation, while reserving for itself decision making authority to establish conservatorship direction.

    Accordingly, under the proposed rule, as part of their corporate governance requirements, the board of directors at each Enterprise would be required to adopt a strategic business plan. Each Enterprise's strategic business plan should describe, at a minimum, how the business activities of the Enterprise will achieve its public purposes as set forth under its respective statutory charter and the Safety and Soundness Act. Although the Enterprises remain in conservatorship, their boards of directors have been operating under FHFA regulations, including the standards set forth in FHFA's corporate governance regulation at 12 CFR part 1239, that govern board members outside of conservatorship, except as modified by the conservator. Such duties include establishing strategic objectives that incorporate the priorities of the conservator while achieving the Enterprise's statutory purposes in a safe and sound manner.

    D. Consideration of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

    When promulgating regulations that relate to the Banks, section 1313(f) of the Safety and Soundness Act requires FHFA to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises with respect to the Banks': Cooperative ownership structure; mission of providing liquidity to members; affordable housing and community development mission; capital structure; and joint and several liability. 12 U.S.C. 4513(f). In developing the proposed rule, FHFA has considered these areas of differences between the Banks and the Enterprises, and has determined that the proposed rule is unlikely to adversely affect the Banks in these areas of differences. FHFA is requesting public comment on whether differences related to these factors should result in a revision of the proposed rule as it relates to the Banks.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain any collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Therefore, FHFA has not submitted any information to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to analyze a regulation's impact on small entities if the regulation is expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of this proposed rule and the General Counsel of FHFA certifies that the proposed rule, if adopted as a final rule, is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it applies only to the regulated entities and the Office of Finance, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 1239

    Administrative practice and procedure, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1273

    Federal home loan banks, Securities.

    Accordingly, for reasons stated in the Supplementary Information, FHFA hereby proposes to amend 12 CFR parts 1239 and 1273 as follows:

    Subchapter B—Regulated Entities PART 1239—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 1239 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432(a), 1436(a), 1440, 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b), and 4526.

    2. Add new § 1239.14 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 1239.14 Strategic business plan.

    (a) Adoption of strategic business plan. Each board of directors shall adopt and have in effect at all times a strategic business plan for the regulated entity that describes, at a minimum, how the business activities of the regulated entity will achieve its mission and public purposes consistent with its authorizing statute, the Safety and Soundness Act, and, in the case of a Bank, part 1265 of this chapter. Specifically, each regulated entity's strategic business plan shall at a minimum:

    (1)(i) In the case of a Bank, articulate measurable operating goals and objectives for each significant business activity and for all authorized new business activities, which must include plans for maximizing activities that further the Bank's housing finance and community lending mission, consistent with part 1265 of this chapter;

    (ii) In the case of an Enterprise, articulate measurable operating goals and objectives for each significant existing activity and for all authorized new activities;

    (2) Discuss how the regulated entity will address credit needs and market opportunities identified through ongoing market research and stakeholder consultations;

    (3) Describe any significant activities in which the regulated entity is planning to be engaged, including any changes to business strategy or approach that the regulated entity is planning to undertake, and discuss how such activities would further the regulated entity's mission and public purposes;

    (4)(i) In the case of a Bank, be supported by appropriate and timely research and analysis of relevant market developments and member and housing associate demand for Bank products and services;

    (ii) In the case of an Enterprise, be supported by appropriate and timely research and analysis of relevant market developments; and

    (5) Identify current and emerging risks, including those associated with the regulated entity's existing activities or new activities, and discuss how the regulated entity plans to address emerging risks while furthering its public purposes and mission in a safe and sound manner.

    (b) Review and monitoring. Each board of directors shall:

    (1) Review the regulated entity's strategic business plan at least annually;

    (2) Re-adopt the strategic business plan for the regulated entity at least every three years; and

    (3) Establish management reporting requirements and monitor implementation of the strategic business plan and the operating goals and objectives contained therein.

    § 1239.31 [Removed and reserved]
    3. Remove and reserve § 1239.31. Subchapter D—Federal Home Loan Banks PART 1273—[AMENDED] 4. The authority citation for part 1273 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1431, 1440, 4511(b), 4513, 4514(a), 4526(a).

    § 1273.8 [Amended]
    5. Section 1273.8(d)(2) is amended by removing the reference to “§ 1239.31” and adding in its place “§ 1239.14.” Dated: April 2, 2018. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07044 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2018-0094; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASW-4] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Amendment of Class D Airspace; Tulsa, OK AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify the Class D airspace designated as an extension at Tulsa Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport, Tulsa, OK. The FAA is proposing this action as a result of an airspace review caused by the decommissioning of the Glenpool VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) navigational aid as part of the VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) Program and the cancellation of the associated instrument procedures. The geographic coordinates also would be amended, and an editorial change would be made removing the airport name in the airspace designation, and removing the city name from the airport designation. Another editorial change would be made to the legal description replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement”.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 21, 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-2018-0094; Airspace Docket No. 18-ASW-4, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5857

    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 Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport, Tulsa, OK, to support instrument flight rule operations.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2018-0094/Airspace Docket No. 18-ASW-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 notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by amending Class D airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,100 feet MSL within a 4-mile radius of Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport, and within 1.0 miles each side of the 190° radial from the airport RWY 01L-LOC extending from the 4-mile radius to 4.1 miles south of the airport (reduced from 1.3 miles each side of the 350° radial of the Glenpool VOR extending from the 4-mile radius to 4.7 miles south of the airport). This action is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Glenpool VOR as part of the VOR MON Program and cancellation of the associated instrument procedures.

    This action also adjusts the geographic coordinates of the airport to be in concert 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 “Chart Supplement.”

    Also, an editorial change would be made removing the airport name from the airspace designation, and removing the word “Tulsa” from the airport name, to comply with a change to FAA Order 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, 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. The Class D 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 5000 Class D Airspace. ASW OK D Tulsa, OK [Amended] Richard Lloyd Jones Jr., OK (Lat. 36°02′23″ N, long. 95°59′05″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,100 feet MSL within a 4-mile radius of Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport, and within 1.0 miles each side of the 190° bearing from the Richard Lloyd Jones Jr., Airport, RWY 01L-LOC from the 4.0 mile radius to 4.1 miles south of the airport, excluding that airspace within the Tulsa International Airport, OK, Class C airspace area. This Class D airspace 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 28, 2018. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06995 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2018-0004; Notice No. 173] RIN 1513-AC37 Proposed Expansion of the Monticello Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to expand the approximately 1,320-square mile “Monticello” viticultural area in Albemarle, Green, Nelson, and Orange Counties in Virginia, by approximately 166 square miles. The proposal would extend the viticultural area into Fluvanna County, Virginia. The established Monticello viticultural area and the proposed expansion area are not located within any established viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed amendment to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this notice to one of the following addresses:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2018-0004 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. Mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Order 120-01,dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing the establishment of an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Petitioners may use the same procedures to request changes involving existing AVAs. Section 9.12(c) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12(c)) prescribes standards for petitions for modifying established AVAs. Petitions to expand an established AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the region within the proposed expansion area boundary is nationally or locally known by the name of the established AVA;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed expansion area;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed expansion area affecting viticulture, including climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed expansion area similar to the established AVA and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the established AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed expansion area, with the boundary of the proposed expansion area clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed expansion area boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Petition To Expand the Monticello AVA

    TTB received a petition from George Cushnie, co-owner of Thistle Gate Vineyard, submitted on behalf of himself and a second vineyard owner, proposing to expand the established “Monticello” AVA. The Monticello AVA (27 CFR 9.48) was established by T.D. ATF-164, which published in the Federal Register on January 23, 1984 (49 FR 2757). The Monticello AVA covers approximately 1,320 square miles in Albemarle, Green, Nelson, and Orange Counties in Virginia. The Monticello AVA and the proposed expansion area are not located within any other AVA.

    The proposed expansion area is adjacent to the southeastern portion of the established AVA and encompasses approximately 166 square miles of Fluvanna County between the James River and the Rivanna River. There are 2 vineyards covering a total of approximately 15 acres within the proposed expansion area. The petition included a letter from the president of the Jeffersonian Wine Grape Growers Society, an organization of over 30 wineries within the Monticello AVA, supporting the proposed expansion. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed expansion area contained in this document come from the petition and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    The expansion petition provides evidence that the proposed expansion area is historically associated with “Monticello,” the home of Thomas Jefferson, as is the land currently within the Monticello AVA boundaries. For example, the Rivanna River, which forms the northern boundary of the proposed expansion area, was the primary means of transporting agricultural products from Jefferson's lands in the region to the James River, where the goods were then transported to other areas of Virginia. The Rivanna River is frequently referred to as “Mr. Jefferson's river,” due to Thomas' Jefferson's efforts to make the river navigable by building dams, locks, and canals.1 The river was so important to Jefferson and the functioning of Monticello and the surrounding agricultural lands, including agricultural lands in the proposed expansion area, that he listed his improvements to the river as a greater personal achievement than writing the Declaration of Independence.2 Additionally, Jefferson played an active role in the establishment of Fluvanna County, where the proposed expansion area is located, and he drew the map for the proposed new county. The petition states that these pieces of historical evidence demonstrate that the region of the proposed expansion area held special significance for Jefferson and was important to the workings of his plantation at Monticello. As explained in the final rule that first established the Monticello AVA, the name “Monticello” is associated with the region in large part due to the historic connection with Thomas Jefferson, which as discussed above, also applies to the proposed expansion area.

    1 McGehee, Minnie Lee, and Trout, William E. Mr. Jefferson's River, the Rivanna. Fluvanna County Historical Society: Palmyra, VA, 2001.

    2 Ibid.

    The petition also provided evidence that the name “Monticello” is currently associated with the proposed expansion area. A lake in the proposed expansion area is called Lake Monticello. The “Monticelloman Olympic Triathlon” and “Monticelloman Half Triathlon” are annual athletic events held within the proposed expansion area. The Monticello Area Community Action Agency and Head Start-Monticello Area are two community assistance organizations that serve the residents of the proposed expansion area. Businesses within the proposed expansion area that use the name “Monticello” include Monticello Mulch, Monticello Mattress & More, Monticello Country Realtors, and Century 21 Monticello Properties.

    Boundary Evidence

    The established Monticello AVA is a roughly oval shaped region with a northeast-southwest alignment. The James River and the shared Albemarle-Fluvanna County line form the southeastern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The proposed expansion area is adjacent to the eastern boundary of the established AVA and is located entirely within Fluvanna County. No portion of Fluvanna County is currently within the Monticello AVA.

    The proposed expansion area is roughly shaped like a triangle, with its apex pointing east, its base adjacent to the eastern edge of the established AVA, and the Rivanna and James Rivers forming the two sides. The apex of the proposed expansion area is at the confluence of the two rivers, near the town of Columbia. The proposed expansion area's boundary begins at the intersection of the Rivanna River and the Albemarle-Fluvanna County line, along the eastern edge of the established AVA. Instead of continuing to follow the Albemarle-Fluvanna County line south, as the current AVA boundary does, the proposed expansion area continues southeasterly along the Rivanna River to its confluence with the James River. The proposed boundary then follows the James River southwesterly and then northwesterly to the Albemarle-Fluvanna County line, where the proposed expansion area boundary rejoins the current AVA boundary.

    Distinguishing Features

    The petition states that the climate and soils of the proposed expansion area are similar to those of the established Monticello AVA. TTB notes that T.D. ATF-164, which established the Monticello AVA, does not provide a detailed discussion of the distinguishing features of the AVA. However, the original petition to establish the AVA contains more information. A copy of the original Monticello AVA petition was included as part of the proposed expansion petition package and is included in Docket No. TTB-2018-0004.

    Climate

    The original Monticello AVA petition stated that the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west of the AVA, shelter the AVA from cold air flowing from the northwest. However, there are two major gaps in the mountains: one near Front Royal, Virginia, to the north of the Monticello AVA; and another near Roanoke, Virginia, to the south of the AVA. According to the original Monticello AVA petition, these two gaps divide cold air masses into two “rivers of cold air” that bypass the AVA and rejoin farther to the east, in the lower elevations and plains of the Piedmont region. Because the cool air bypasses the Monticello AVA, the petition stated that temperatures within the AVA are typically warmer than temperatures to the west of the AVA in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to the east of the AVA in the Piedmont region.

    A map in the original Monticello AVA petition shows that the average growing season length of the AVA ranges from 220 to 250 days, whereas the region east of the AVA averages between 150 and 175 days. The petition also included a 1979 plant hardiness zone map prepared by the Office of the Virginia State Climatologist that shows the AVA in zone 7, meaning that minimum winter temperature is typically between 5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit (F). By contrast, the same map classifies the areas to the east and west of the AVA as zone 6, which ranges from -5 degrees to 5 degrees F.

    The petition for the proposed expansion area included a current USDA plant hardiness zone map. Although the climate zones for the Monticello AVA, the proposed expansion area, and the surrounding regions have changed according to the new map, the established AVA and the proposed expansion area are still in a warmer zone than the region to the west. The new map places the Monticello AVA into zone 7a, where minimum winter temperatures ranges from 0 to 5 degrees F. The confluence of the Rivanna River and the James River, which is the location of the proposed expansion area, is shown on this map and is also in zone 7a, as is the entire region east of both the AVA and the proposed expansion area, as far east as Richmond. The region west of both the AVA and the proposed expansion area, within the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a cooler zone 6b, with minimum winter temperatures between -5 and 0 degrees F.

    Although the plant hardiness zone map indicates that the zone for the Monticello AVA and the proposed expansion area extends eastward to Richmond, the petitioner provided other climate evidence to distinguish the proposed expansion area from the region to the east. For instance, the proposed expansion petition provides a higher-resolution of the map that was used in the original AVA petition to show the length of the growing season within the AVA and the surrounding areas. The higher resolution map shows that the far northeastern portion of the Monticello AVA, in Orange County, extends eastward beyond the 200-day contour, though not far enough east to reach the 175-day contour. The expansion petition estimates that, based on the higher resolution map, the Orange County portion of the AVA has a growing season between 190 and 200 days. When the proposed expansion area is drawn onto this high-resolution map, it also appears to have a growing season of between 190 and 200 days. Similar to the existing AVA, the proposed expansion area does not extend into the 175-day contour, which is slightly farther to the east. Therefore, according to the proposed expansion petition, the higher-resolution map shows that the proposed expansion area has a growing season length similar to that of the Orange County portion of the Monticello AVA. The higher-resolution map also shows that the region to the east of both the Monticello AVA and the proposed expansion area has a shorter growing season.

    Finally, the proposed expansion petition provided a higher-resolution version of the map used in the original Monticello petition to show the path that the “rivers of cold air” take around the AVA. The higher-resolution map shows that the Orange County portion of the Monticello AVA extends between the 15 degree contour and the 13 degree contour, meaning that the minimum January temperature for this portion of the Monticello AVA is between 13 and 15 degrees F. The “rivers of cold air” converge farther east, between the 13 degree contour and the 11 degree contour. When drawn on this map, the proposed expansion area also extends beyond the 15 degree contour, but not into the 13 degree contour. The proposed expansion petition states that this higher-resolution map demonstrates that January temperatures within the proposed expansion area are more similar to those of the Orange County portion of the Monticello AVA than those of the cooler region farther to the east of the established AVA where the “rivers of cold air” converge.

    The proposed expansion petition states that climate affects viticulture within the Monticello AVA and the proposed expansion area. According to the petition, the recommended minimum growing season length for most varietals of wine grapes in Virginia is 180 days, although a few very-early ripening varietals such as some Muscat varietals and Viognier can ripen in as few as 155 days.3 The 190- to 200-day growing season length in the proposed expansion area is long enough to grow many varietals of wine grapes, including Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Gris. The proposed expansion petition states that these varietals are also all grown within the established Monticello AVA.

    3 Wolf, Tony K., and Boyer, John D. Vineyard Site Selection. Virginia Tech Publication #463-020. 2003, page 2.

    Soils

    The original petition to establish the Monticello AVA described the soils of the AVA as a mixture of clay and loam. The soils are generally deep and well-drained. The predominant soil series found within the AVA are Buchanan, Davidson, Dyke, Nason, and Rapidan. Neither the original AVA petition nor T.D. ATF-164 describes the soils surrounding the Monticello AVA.

    The proposed expansion petition states that modern internet-based soil mapping tools provide a more detailed and accurate description of the soil series of the proposed AVA than the paper soil maps used in the original Monticello AVA petition. The expansion petition included a table comparing the major soil series found in the proposed expansion area, located in Fluvanna County, and the counties currently within the Monticello AVA. The data was compiled using the USDA's Websoils tool.4 The data shows that the proposed expansion area shares four of the five major soil series found within the Monticello AVA.

    4http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm.

    Soils of the Monticello AVA and the Proposed Expansion Area County Soil series Lew Louisburg Manteo Nason Tatum Fluvanna (proposed expansion area) X X X X Albemarle X X X X X Green X Nelson X Orange X X X X

    According to the proposed expansion petition, the soils found within the proposed expansion area are well-suited for viticulture, particularly soils of the Nason and Manteo series. These two soils are described as well-drained silty loams. Well-drained soils prevent boggy conditions, which restrict root growth and respiration. The soils also have low to moderate levels of organic content. The proposed expansion petition states that soils with high levels of organic content are not generally desirable for viticulture because the abundance of nutrients promotes overly vigorous shoot and leaf growth at the expense of fruit production and quality.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to expand the boundaries of the established Monticello AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for expansion area in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    To document the existing and proposed boundaries of the Monticello AVA, the petitioner provided a copy of the required 1971 1:250,000-scale Roanoke, Virginia USGS quadrangle map.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    The approval of the proposed expansion of the Monticello AVA would not affect any other existing viticultural area. The expansion of the Monticello AVA would allow vintners to use “Monticello” as an appellation of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown within the proposed expansion area if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should expand the Monticello AVA as proposed. TTB is specifically interested in receiving comments on the similarity of the proposed expansion area to the established Monticello AVA, as well as the differences between the proposed expansion area and the areas outside the Monticello AVA. TTB is particularly interested in any viticulture that occurs in the eastern watershed of Fluvanna County and how it relates to the boundary evidence discussed above and presented in the expansion petition. Please provide specific information in support of your comments.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking by using one of the following three methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2018-0004 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 173 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 173 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2018-0004 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 173. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the website's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this notice of proposed rulemaking, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2265 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Section 9.48 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(16), redesignating paragraph (c)(17) as paragraph (c)(19), and adding new paragraphs (c)(17) and (c)(18) to read as follows:
    § 9.48 Monticello.

    (c) * * *

    (16) Then continuing southwest along the county line to its intersection with the Rivanna River;

    (17) Then southeast along the Rivanna River to its confluence with the James River, near the Fluvanna-Goochland County line;

    (18) Then southwest, then northwest along the James River to its intersection with the Albemarle County line;

    Signed: November 30, 2017. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: March 30, 2018. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-07090 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2018-0003; Notice No. 172] RIN 1513-AC36 Proposed Expansion of the Arroyo Seco Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to expand the approximately 18,240-acre “Arroyo Seco” viticultural area in Monterey County, California, by approximately 90 acres. The established Arroyo Seco viticultural area and the proposed expansion area both lie within the established Monterey viticultural area and the larger, multi-county Central Coast viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed amendment to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this notice to one of the following addresses:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2018-0003 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. Mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing the establishment of an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Petitioners may use the same procedures to request changes involving existing AVAs. Section 9.12(c) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12(c)) prescribes standards for petitions for modifying established AVAs. Petitions to expand an established AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the region within the proposed expansion area boundary is nationally or locally known by the name of the established AVA;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed expansion area;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed expansion area affecting viticulture, including climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed expansion area similar to the established AVA and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the established AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed expansion area, with the boundary of the proposed expansion area clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed expansion area boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Petition To Expand the Arroyo Seco AVA

    TTB received a petition from Ann Hougham, owner of the Mesa del Sol Vineyards, proposing to expand the established “Arroyo Seco” AVA. The Arroyo Seco AVA (27 CFR 9.59) was established by T.D. ATF-131, which published in the Federal Register on April 15, 1983 (48 FR 16245). The Arroyo Seco AVA covers approximately 18,240 acres in Monterey County, California, and is located within the established Monterey AVA (27 CFR 9.98) and the larger, multi-county Central Coast AVA (27 CFR 9.75).

    The proposed expansion area contains approximately 90 acres and is adjacent to the far southwestern corner of the Arroyo Seco AVA. The proposed expansion area is located on an upland terrace on the northern bank of a creek known as the Arroyo Seco, which is Spanish for “dry creek.” There is one vineyard covering a total of approximately 14 acres within the proposed expansion area. The petition included a copy of an email from the Arroyo Seco Winegrowers, stating that the proposed expansion was shared with its members and received no objections. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed expansion area contained in this document come from the petition and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    The petition provides evidence that the proposed expansion area is associated with the name “Arroyo Seco.” The petitioner states that the address of her vineyard is Arroyo Seco Road, which also runs through the Arroyo Seco AVA. The creek known as the Arroyo Seco forms the southern and eastern boundary of the proposed expansion area and also flows through the established Arroyo Seco AVA. Two maps were included in the petition as evidence that the proposed expansion area is part of the larger region referred to as the “Arroyo Seco.” The first map was created by the State of California and shows proposed dam sites in the “Arroyo Seco watershed.” The confluence of Piney Creek and the Arroyo Seco, which is the location of the proposed expansion area, appears on this map. The second map is a wildlife survey study map that was produced by California State University-Monterey Bay and is titled “Aquatic Life and Habitat in the Arroyo Seco Watershed.” The bend in the Arroyo Seco where the proposed expansion area is located is shown on the map, and symbols on the map indicate that the region was included as part of the Arroyo Seco watershed aquatic life survey.

    The petition also includes evidence that the proposed expansion area has historically been associated with the name “Arroyo Seco.” An excerpt from a book that chronicles the history of the region states, “From April 15, 1880, when the first tract of 80 acres was patented to a George M. Moore, until August 22, 1924, * * * a total of 316 homesteads were granted in the Arroyo Seco area.” 1 A second excerpt, from the memoirs of local resident Fred Weybret, Jr., describes his childhood in the region from 1928 to 1933 and notes, “There was no electricity in the Arroyo Seco at that time * * * ” 2 The petition also included the ownership history of the petitioner's property, obtained from a title company, which shows that her property was once part of the land mentioned in the book as belonging to Mr. Moore and was owned by the Weybret family from 1928 to 1945.

    1 Coelho, Al. The Arroyo Seco. 1982.

    2 Weybret, Fred Jr. (2002). Arroyo Seco. Unpublished memoir manuscript.

    Boundary Evidence

    The Arroyo Seco AVA is located along the sloping bench lands surrounding the Arroyo Seco, which flows into the Salinas River near Soledad. The Arroyo Seco AVA is irregularly shaped, with the main portion of the AVA roughly resembling a triangle with its apex pointing to the southwest. A long, narrow “panhandle” extends from the apex of the triangle and is aligned west to east. The “panhandle” is formed by a series of straight lines that follow the southern boundaries of several sections on the USGS Sycamore Flat quadrangle map. The 90-acre proposed expansion area is a roughly triangular area adjacent to the southern edge of the “panhandle,” near the confluence of Piney Creek and the Arroyo Seco.

    The proposed expansion area boundary begins at the intersection of Arroyo Seco Road, Carmel Valley Road, and the southwestern corner of section 22 of the USGS Sycamore Flat quadrangle map. This intersection is also the beginning point for southern boundary of the “panhandle” portion of the current AVA boundary. Instead of proceeding east along the southern boundary of section 22, as the current boundary does, the proposed expansion area boundary proceeds southwesterly along Arroyo Seco Road to Piney Creek. The proposed boundary then proceeds southeasterly (downstream) along Piney Creek to its confluence with the Arroyo Seco. The proposed boundary then proceeds northeasterly (downstream) along the Arroyo Seco and rejoins the current AVA boundary at the intersection of the Arroyo Seco with the southern boundary of section 22.

    The proposed expansion area is bordered to the north by the established Arroyo Seco AVA. The petition states that the land surrounding the proposed expansion area in the other directions is mostly unavailable for commercial viticulture. Due south of the proposed expansion area, along the southern bank of the Arroyo Seco, is a large parcel of land owned by the Big Sur Land Trust to be kept as open space in perpetuity. To the west, southwest, and southeast of both the proposed expansion area and the Big Sur Land Trust property is the Ventana Wilderness portion of the Los Padres National Forest. Because of its status as a Federally-protected wilderness within a National Forest, this land is largely unavailable for commercial purposes. Although the Sycamore Flat USGS quadrangle map shows several inholdings (privately-held lands) within the National Forest, the petition describes the forest as a largely roadless, mountainous area with little land suitable for viticulture, even in the inholdings where commercial viticulture might be permitted.

    Distinguishing Features

    The petition states that the soils and topography of the proposed expansion area are similar to those of the established Arroyo Seco AVA.

    Soils

    T.D. ATF-131 described the soils of the Arroyo Seco AVA as gravelly and fine sandy loams with low lime content. The principal soil series within the AVA are Mocho, Lockwood, Arroyo Seco, Rincon, Elder, and Chular. The soils are described as well-drained. T.D. ATF-131 did not describe the soils of the regions surrounding the Arroyo Seco AVA.

    The proposed expansion petition included a soil report generated from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website, as well as a report from a soil analysis performed on the petitioner's property by an agricultural testing service. The testing service's report shows that the three sample sites from within the proposed expansion area all have low levels of lime, similar to the soils within the Arroyo Seco AVA. The USDA soil report concludes that approximately 96 percent of the soils within the proposed expansion area are from the Lockwood series, and that minor amounts of soils from the Elder and Mocho series are also present. The results from both reports indicate that the soils within the proposed expansion area are very similar to the soils found within the established AVA.

    The soils within both the proposed expansion area and the established AVA affect viticulture. Vines planted in soils with low levels of lime are typically slightly acidic and are better able to absorb key nutrients, such as iron and phosphorous, than vines planted in soils with high levels of lime. Well-drained soils reduce the risk of fungal disease and rot.

    Topography

    T.D. ATF-131 states that the Arroyo Seco AVA consists of sloping bench land surrounding the Arroyo Seco. Slope angles within the AVA are described as between 0 and 9 percent. According to T.D. ATF-131, elevations are highest within the far western portion of the AVA, where elevations can reach over 600 feet in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The sloping elevations allow cold air to drain from the vineyards, reducing the risk of frost.

    According to the USGS topographic map included in the petition, elevations within the proposed expansion area are similar to those of the adjacent region that is within the Arroyo Seco AVA, which range from approximately 600 feet along the banks of the Arroyo Seco to an unnamed peak with an elevation of 1,110 feet. For comparison, elevations within the proposed expansion area are highest within the northern portion, adjacent to the established AVA's southern boundary, at approximately 700 feet. Elevations in the southern portion of the proposed expansion area, adjacent to the Arroyo Seco, are approximately 600 feet. The USDA soil report included with the proposed expansion petition states that the slope angles within the proposed expansion area are between 0 and 9 percent, which is the same as the range of slope angles attributed to the established AVA in T.D. ATF-131. The USDA soil report also states that the principal landforms of the proposed expansion area are terraces and alluvial fans, which is similar to the topography of the established AVA. Finally, a USGS geologic map of the Salinas River Valley and the Arroyo Seco shows that the terrace formation on which the proposed expansion area is located extends into the Arroyo Seco AVA.

    Comparison of the Proposed Arroyo Seco AVA Expansion Area to the Existing Monterey and Central Coast AVAs Monterey AVA

    The Monterey AVA was established by T.D. ATF-177, which was published in the Federal Register on June 15, 1984 (49 FR 24714). The Monterey AVA is located in Monterey County, California, south and southeast of the city of Salinas, and covers approximately two-thirds of the county. Elevations within the Monterey AVA are generally below 1,000 feet. The soils of the Monterey AVA are described as having low levels of lime and salt, with pH levels between 5.1 and 8.4, as well as very low levels of organic matter.

    The proposed Arroyo Seco AVA expansion area has elevations and soils similar to the Monterey AVA. Within the proposed expansion area, the highest elevations are between 600 and 700 feet. The soils of the proposed expansion area are also low in lime and salt and have pH levels of between 6.2 and 6.6. However, the soil analysis provided in the expansion petition shows that the soils of the proposed expansion area have medium-to-high levels of organic matter, compared to the very low levels of organic matter that characterize the Monterey AVA. Additionally, the expansion petition provided evidence that the proposed expansion area is frequently described as being in an area referred to as the “Arroyo Seco,” rather than being described with the broader County name of “Monterrey.”

    Central Coast AVA

    The large, 1 million-acre Central Coast AVA was established by T.D. ATF-216, which was published in the Federal Register on October 24, 1985 (50 FR 43128). The Central Coast viticultural area encompasses the California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, and it contains 39 established AVAs. T.D. ATF-216 describes the Central Coast viticultural area as extending from Santa Barbara to the San Francisco Bay area, and east to the California Coastal Ranges. The only distinguishing feature of the California Coast AVA addressed in T.D. ATF-216 is that all of the included counties experience marine climate influence due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

    The Arroyo Seco AVA and the proposed expansion area are both located within the Central Coast AVA. Cool marine breezes enter the established AVA and the proposed expansion area from Monterey Bay via the Salinas River and the Arroyo Seco. However, because of their locations east of the Santa Lucas Mountains, neither the Arroyo Seco AVA nor the proposed expansion area are as exposed to the marine air and fog as the more western regions of the Central Coast AVA that are closer to the ocean. Additionally, due to its much smaller size, the topographical features of the proposed expansion area are more uniform than the diverse features of the large, multicounty Central Coast AVA, and are more similar to the topographical features of the Arroyo Seco AVA, which is located on the same sloping bench lands and terraces along the Arroyo Seco as the proposed expansion area.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to expand the boundaries of the established Arroyo Seco AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for expansion area in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    To document the existing and proposed boundaries of the Arroyo Seco AVA, the petitioner provided a copy of the required map, and it is listed below in the proposed regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    The approval of the proposed expansion of the Arroyo Seco AVA would not affect any other existing viticultural area. The expansion of the Arroyo Seco AVA would allow vintners to use “Arroyo Seco” as an appellation of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown within the proposed expansion area if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should expand the Arroyo Seco AVA as proposed. TTB is specifically interested in receiving comments on the similarity of the proposed expansion area to the established Arroyo Seco AVA, as well as the differences between the proposed expansion area and the areas outside the Arroyo Seco AVA. Please provide specific information in support of your comments.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking by using one of the following three methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2016-XXXX on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. XXX on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. XXX and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2018-0003 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 172. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the website's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this notice of proposed rulemaking, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5-×11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2265 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Section 9.59 is amended by revising paragraphs (c) introductory text and (c)(1), redesignating paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(21) as paragraphs (c)(3) through (c)(22), and adding new paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 9.59 Arroyo Seco.

    (c) Boundaries. The Arroyo Seco viticultural area is located in Monterey County, California. The beginning point is found on the “Sycamore Flat” U.S.G.S. map at the intersection of Jamesburg Road (known locally as Carmel Valley Road) and Arroyo Seco Road, near the intersection of sections 21, 22, 28, and 27, T.19 S., R. 5 E. From the beginning point, proceed southwesterly along Arroyo Seco Road to its intersection with Piney Creek.

    (1) Then southeasterly along Piney Creek to its confluence with the Arroyo Seco in section 27, T. 19 S., R. 5 E.

    (2) Then northerly along the Arroyo Seco to its intersection with the southern boundary of section 22, T. 19 S., R 5 E.

    Signed: November 30, 2017. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: March 30, 2018. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-07093 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2018-0006; Notice No. 175] RIN 1513-AC39 Proposed Establishment of the Van Duzer Corridor Viticultural Area and Clarification of the Eola-Amity Hills Viticultural Area Boundary Description AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to establish the approximately 59,871-acre “Van Duzer Corridor” viticultural area in portions of Polk and Yamhill Counties, Oregon. The proposed viticultural area lies entirely within the existing Willamette Valley viticultural area. TTB also is proposing to clarify the boundary description of the adjacent Eola-Amity Hills viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this notice to one of the following addresses:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2018-0006 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. Mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed AVA;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon;

    • An explanation of the proposed AVA is sufficiently distinct from an existing AVA so as to warrant separate recognition, if the proposed AVA is to be established within, or overlapping, an existing AVA; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Van Duzer Corridor Petition

    TTB received a petition from Mr. Jeff Havlin, the owner of Havlin Vineyard and chair of the Van Duzer Corridor AVA Committee, on behalf of himself and other local grape growers and vintners, proposing the establishment of the “Van Duzer Corridor” AVA.

    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located in Oregon and covers portions of Yamhill and Polk Counties which are north-northwest of the city of Salem and northeast of the city of Dallas. The proposed AVA lies entirely within the established Willamette Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.90) and does not overlap any other existing or proposed AVA. The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA covers approximately 59,871 acres and contains 6 wineries and 17 commercially-producing vineyards that cover a total of approximately 1,000 acres.

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA are its topography, climate, and soils. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this document are from the petition for the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA takes its name from a natural break in Oregon's Coastal Ranges which border the western side of the Willamette Valley.1 Although the Coastal Ranges create a barrier to air moving inland, this gap creates a wind corridor by providing an opening for cool, moist Pacific Ocean air to flow eastward into the Willamette Valley. An Oregon real estate site notes that temperatures in the Willamette Valley are cooled by breezes moving through “the Van Duzer Corridor, which runs from Lincoln City on the coast to Salem in the Valley.” 2 The dining and culinary page of a travel site dedicated to the Salem area encourages readers to “[h]ead west along Highway 22 to loop through the Van Duzer Corridor. Here vines get the benefit of temperate afternoon breezes and cool evenings—perfect growing conditions for exceptional Pinot noir.” 3 TTB notes that State Highway 22 forms the southern and southwestern boundaries of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA.

    1 The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is distinct from the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor. Both the proposed AVA and the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor derive their name from the late Henry Brooks Van Duzer, a former Chairman of the Oregon State Highway Commission. See H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor—History/FAQ, Oregon State Parks, http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkHistory&parkId=160; see also http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/760.

    2http://www.buccolagroup.com/region/willamette-valley/about.

    3http://www.travelsalem.com/Dining/Dining-Overview.

    The term “Van Duzer Corridor” also is commonly used by local wine industry members to describe the region of the proposed AVA. For example, an article about Johan Vineyards, which is within the proposed AVA, describes the vineyard's location as “in the southwestern corner of the Van Duzer Corridor.” 4 A local entertainment blog posted a story about two wineries within the proposed AVA and stated that the wineries “lie within the Van Duzer Corridor, the gap in the coastal hills bordering Salem * * * .” 5 An article featuring Pinot noir wines of the proposed AVA notes, “The influence of the Van Duzer Corridor extends inland to the McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills appellations as well as the vineyards in the Dallas area of the Willamette Valley.” 6 TTB notes that the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located just north of Dallas, Oregon. Additionally, the established McMinnville AVA (27 CFR 9.181) is due north of the proposed AVA, and the established Eola-Amity Hills AVA (27 CFR 9.202) is adjacent to the proposed AVA's eastern boundary. The website for the St. Innocent Winery, which is located in the established Eola-Amity Hills AVA east of the proposed AVA, states that the Willamette Valley “is affected by winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean through the Van Duzer Corridor eastward. * * * The Eola-Amity Hills AVA is 15 miles due east from the mouth of the Van Duzer Corridor.” 7 A map on the St. Innocent Winery's website shows the wine regions of Oregon, and an arrow pointing to the region of the proposed AVA is marked as “Van Duzer Corridor.” Finally, a wine blog that features the wines of the Pacific Northwest and western Canada includes an article on the Van Duzer Vineyard, which is located in the proposed AVA, and notes that the vineyard “is planted smack dab at the mouth of the Van Duzer Corridor * * *.” 8

    4http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/653.

    5http://www.willamettelive.com/2012/news/from-left-coast-to-bethel-heights.

    6http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/760.

    7http://www.stinnocentwine.com/NewFiles/vineyard.html.

    8http://www.northwestwineanthem.com/2013/02/mind-gap-van-duzer-vineyards.html.

    Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is a roughly triangular region of low, rolling hills east of the Oregon Coastal Ranges. Each of the proposed AVA's boundaries is drawn to delineate the low elevations of the proposed AVA from the surrounding higher elevations. The proposed northern boundary follows a straight line drawn between marked points on USGS quadrangle maps and separates the proposed AVA from the established McMinnville AVA, which is due north of the proposed AVA but does not share a boundary. The eastern boundary of the proposed AVA is concurrent with the western boundary of the established Eola-Amity Hills AVA and follows a series of roads and the 200-foot elevation contour. The proposed southern boundary runs east-west along a State highway north of the city of Dallas and the community of Rickreall. The proposed western boundary follows a north-south road to separate the proposed AVA from the higher elevations of the Coastal Ranges.

    Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA are its soils, topography, and climate.

    Soils

    The soils of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA are primarily uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silts with alluvial overlay, as well as some uplifted basalt. The soils are typically shallow, well-drained, and have a bedrock of siltstone. The primary soil series within the proposed AVA include Helmick, Steiwer, Hazelair, Chehulpum, Helvetia, and Santiam.

    According to the petition, the high silt and clay levels cause the soils to be “buffered,” meaning that the soils can absorb increased amounts of added acidic or alkaline substances without affecting the overall pH level of the soil. An increase or decrease in soil pH can affect the way plant roots absorb minerals and nutrients, so the ability of the soils to maintain a stable pH level is beneficial to vineyards within the proposed AVA. The petition also states that the sediments in the soil quickly absorb and “lock up” rainfall, so the vines are less able to uptake water. As a result, if heavy rains occur near harvest time, the grapes are less likely to swell and split due to an excessive uptake of water. The vines are also less prone to excessive growth or leaf production than vines planted in soils that allow for more uptake of water. According to the petition, a thinner leaf canopy allows more sunlight to reach the ripening fruit, inhibits the growth of mildew and mold by promoting air circulation.

    The soils immediately outside the northern and western boundaries of the proposed AVA contain uplifted marine sediments, similar to the soils of the proposed AVA. However, the soils are primarily from different soil series, including Yamhill, Nekia, and Peavine. Moving farther north and west, the soils begin to contain higher concentrations of basalt and other volcanic materials. East of the proposed AVA, within the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the soils also contain larger amounts of volcanic materials than are found within the proposed AVA, including soils of the Nekia, Jory, and Ritner series. South of the proposed AVA, the soils contain large concentrations of Ice Age loess, which is not commonly found in the proposed AVA.

    Topography

    Within the wind corridor known as the “Van Duzer Corridor,” the topography is characterized by low elevations and gently rolling hills. The low elevations allow cool breezes to flow relatively unimpeded from the Pacific Ocean, through the Coastal Ranges, and into the proposed AVA. For most of its length, the wind corridor known as the “Van Duzer Corridor” is narrow, squeezed by high elevations to the north and south, and there is little room for suitable vineyard sites within this portion of the corridor.

    The eastern end of the wind corridor, where the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located, has the same low elevations and rolling hills as the western portion. However, because the wind corridor widens at its eastern end, there is more room for vineyards. Elevations within the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA range from approximately 180 feet to a high point of 589 feet, as shown on the USGS quadrangle maps included with the petition. Because the elevations within the proposed AVA are too low to impede the eastward-flowing marine air, wind speeds are higher within the proposed AVA and temperatures are typically cooler than within the surrounding regions that have higher elevations. Wind speed and temperature and their effects on viticulture will be discussed in more detail later in this document.

    To the north of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA, within the established McMinnville AVA, elevations reach up to 1,000 feet. East of the proposed AVA, the higher elevations of the established Eola-Amity Hills AVA form the eastern edge of the wind corridor, reducing the wind speeds and preventing the Pacific air from travelling farther east. Elevations within the Eola-Amity Hills AVA can reach approximately 1,160 feet. South of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA, elevations reach over 700 feet, as shown on the USGS Dallas, Oregon quadrangle map. In the Coastal Ranges west of the proposed AVA, elevations can rise close to 3,000 feet.

    Climate

    The petition to establish the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA included information about the region's climate, in particular the wind speed and cumulative growing degree days (GDDs).9 According to the petition, wind speed and GDD data were not available for the regions to the west and south-southwest of the proposed AVA due to a lack of publicly accessible weather stations.

    9 In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat accumulation during the growing season, measured in annual growing degree days (GDDs), defines climatic regions. One GDD accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day's mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth. See Albert J. Winkler, General Viticulture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pages 61-64.

    Wind speed: Because the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located within a wind corridor, the petition states that wind speeds within the proposed AVA are typically higher than in the surrounding regions, where higher elevations block the wind and slow its movement inland. According to the petition, consistently high wind speeds contribute to thicker grape skins, which increase the levels of phenolic compounds in the fruit. Phenolic compounds contribute to the taste, aroma, and mouthfeel of wines. The petition also states that wines made from thicker-skinned grapes often have a darker, richer color than wines made from grapes with thin skins.

    The following table summarizes the average growing season 10 wind speeds for a vineyard in the center of the proposed AVA, as well as from McMinnville Municipal Airport (north of the proposed AVA) and the Salem Municipal Airport (south-southeast of the proposed AVA).

    10 Growing season is defined as the period between April 1 and November 1.

    Location Average growing season wind speed
  • (miles per hour)
  • 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Proposed AVA (Andante Vineyards) 11.2 9.9 9.8 11 9 McMinnville airport 5.05 4.2 5.85 6.9 Salem airport 6.3 4.6 6.45 8.1

    Cumulative growing degree days: According to the petition, temperatures within the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA are moderated by the strong Pacific marine breezes. As evidence, the petition includes data on cumulative GDDs for the proposed AVA and surrounding regions, which are shown in the following table.

    11 Due to technical difficulties with the weather station, 2015 data from Adante Vineyards was only available through September 14.

    Location Cumulative growing degree days 2012 2013 2014 2015 Proposed AVA (Andante Vineyards) 2,080 2,243 2,624 12 2,074 McMinnville airport 2,298 2,369 2,819 2,753 Salem airport 2,360 2,605 2,987 3,006

    The table shows that the proposed AVA has lower GDD accumulations than the surrounding regions, indicating that its temperatures are generally cooler. As a result, fruit ripens more slowly, creating a longer hang time than for the same grape varietal grown in a region with higher GDD accumulations. The petition states that a longer hang time reduces acid respiration in the fruit, resulting in wines with balanced acidity levels.

    12 Due to technical difficulties with the weather station, 2015 data from Adante Vineyards was only available through September 14.

    Summary of Distinguishing Features

    In summary, the topography, soils, wind speed, and cumulative growing degree days of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA distinguish it from the surrounding regions. In all directions from the proposed AVA, elevations are higher. Where climate data is available, from north and east of the proposed AVA, wind speeds are lower and GDD accumulations are higher than within the proposed AVA. With respect to soils, volcanic materials are more common in soils to the north, east, and west of the proposed AVA. South of the proposed AVA, soils contain higher concentrations of Ice Age loess.

    Comparison of the Proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA to the Existing Willamette Valley AVA

    T.D. ATF-162, which published in the Federal Register on December 1, 1983 (48 FR 54220), established the Willamette Valley AVA in northwest Oregon. The Willamette Valley AVA is described in T.D. ATF-162 as a broad alluvial plain surrounded by mountains. Elevations within the AVA generally do not exceed 1,000 feet, which is generally considered to be the maximum elevation for reliable grape cultivation in the region. Soils are described as primarily silty loams and clay loams.

    The proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA is located in the northwestern portion of the Willamette Valley AVA and shares some broad characteristics with the established AVA. For example, elevations within the proposed AVA are below 1,000 feet, and the soils are primarily silty loams and clay loams.

    However, the proposed AVA's location at the eastern end of the only wind gap in the portion of the Coastal Ranges that borders the Willamette Valley AVA creates a unique microclimate. The persistently high wind speeds and lower growing degree day accumulations within the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA distinguish the proposed AVA from the surrounding regions within the Willamette Valley AVA. Because of the high wind speeds and lower growing degree day accumulations, grapes grown within the proposed AVA typically have different physical characteristics and maturation rates than the same varietals grown in other parts of the Willamette Valley AVA.

    Clarification of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA Boundary Description

    In this document, TTB also is proposing to make a correction and several clarifications to the boundary description of the existing Eola-Amity Hills AVA (27 CFR 9.202), which is adjacent to the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA. The Eola-Amity Hills AVA was established by T.D. TTB-51, which published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2006 (71 FR 40404). Because one of the affected Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundaries is also concurrent with the boundary of the proposed AVA, TTB is proposing these clarifications in this document.

    First, TTB is proposing to correct the description of the beginning point for the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary in § 9.202(c)(1). This paragraph currently states that the AVA boundary's beginning point is at “the intersection of State Highways 22 and 223,” which is located west of the town of Rickreall, Oregon. However, the AVA boundary's intended beginning point, as marked on the Rickreall, Oregon quadrangle map that was included with the original AVA petition, is at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road. This intersection is located farther east along State Highway 22 than the currently-described beginning point. TTB believes the erroneous description of the Eola-Amity Hills boundary beginning point resulted from a misreading of the markings for State Highway 223 on the Rickreall, Oregon map.

    TTB believes that Oregon wine industry members always have understood the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary to begin at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road. TTB notes that commercially-produced maps of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA show its boundary located at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road. For example, see the Eola-Amity Hills AVA maps posted at http://eolaamityhills.com/explore-our-region/regional-map/ and http://www.everyvine.com/wine-regions/region/Eola_-_Amity_Hills/. TTB is therefore proposing to amend paragraph (c)(1) to correct the description of the AVA boundary's beginning point.

    Second, TTB is proposing to amend the Eola-Amity Hills boundary instructions in § 9.202(c)(12), (13), (15), and (16) for clarity. TTB believes the term “township of Bethel” in current paragraph (c)(12) may be confusing since Bethel appears on the Amity, Oregon map as the name of a crossroads, not as the name of a political or geographic township. Therefore, TTB proposes to remove the word “township” from paragraph (c)(12) and to add a more precise description of the point where the AVA's boundary, following Oak Grove Road, intersects the 200-foot contour line.

    In paragraph (c)(13), TTB proposes to clarify the direction in which the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary proceeds along the 200-foot contour line from Oak Grove Road, to clarify the point at which that contour line intersects Zena Road, and to clarify that the boundary follows Zena Road for a short distance to its intersection with Oak Grove Road south of Bethel. In paragraph (c)(15), TTB is clarifying that the AVA boundary follows Frizzell Road to the road's first intersection with the 200-foot contour line. In paragraph (c)(16), TTB is clarifying that, in returning to the AVA's boundary's beginning point, the boundary crosses from the Amity, Oregon map onto the Rickreall, Oregon map.

    The proposed correction and clarifications are not intended to alter the acreage of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. TTB believes that the correction and clarifications described above do not affect the location of the AVA's boundary as originally intended by the AVA's petitioners and as it is currently understood by members of the Oregon wine industry. TTB also believes that the correction and clarifications will not affect the ability of any bottler to use the Eola-Amity Hills AVA name on a wine label. However, if any interested party believes the proposed correction or any of the proposed clarifications would affect the location of the AVA's boundary, or would affect their ability to use the Eola-Amity Hills AVA name on a wine label, please submit a comment to TTB as described in the Public Participation section of this notice.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the approximately 59,871-acre Van Duzer Corridor AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for AVA in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, “Van Duzer Corridor,” will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under § 4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name “Van Duzer Corridor” in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin if this proposed rule is adopted as a final rule. TTB is not proposing “Van Duzer,” standing alone, as a term of viticultural significance if the proposed AVA is established, in order to avoid a potential conflict with a current label holder. Accordingly, the proposed part 9 regulatory text set forth in this document specifies only the full name “Van Duzer Corridor” as a term of viticultural significance for purposes of part 4 of the TTB regulations.

    The approval of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA would not affect any existing AVA, and any bottlers using “Van Duzer Corridor” as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the Van Duzer Corridor AVA would not be affected by the establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA would allow vintners to use “Van Duzer Corridor” and “Willamette Valley” as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA, if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should establish the proposed AVA. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, boundary, soils, climate, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA's location within the existing Willamette Valley AVA, TTB is interested in comments on whether the evidence submitted in the petition regarding the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA sufficiently differentiates it from the existing Willamette Valley AVA. TTB is also interested in comments on whether the geographic features of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the surrounding Willamette Valley AVA that the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA should no longer be part of that AVA. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments. Finally, TTB is interested in comments on whether the proposed correction and clarifications to the Eola-Amity Hills AVA boundary are accurate and necessary to avoid reader confusion.

    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the proposed Van Duzer Corridor AVA on wine labels that include the term “Van Duzer Corridor” as discussed above under Impact on Current Wine Labels, TTB is particularly interested in comments regarding whether there will be a conflict between the proposed AVA name and currently used brand names. If a commenter believes that a conflict will arise, the comment should describe the nature of that conflict, including any anticipated negative economic impact that approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing viticultural enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different name for the AVA.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the following three methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2018-0006 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 175 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 175 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2018-0006 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 175. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this notice, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5 x 11 inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2270 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Amend § 9.202 by revising paragraphs (c)(1), (12), (13), (15), and (16) to read as follows:
    § 9.202 Eola-Amity Hills.

    (c) * * *

    (1) The beginning point is on the Rickreall, Oregon, map at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Rickreall Road, near the Oak Knoll Golf Course, in section 50, T7S, R4W;

    (12) Follow Old Bethel Road, which becomes Oak Grove Road, south until the road intersects the 200-foot contour line approximately 400 feet north of Oak Grove Road's northern intersection with Zena Road, just northwest of Bethel; then

    (13) Follow the 200-foot contour line easterly and then southerly until its first intersection with Zena Road, and then follow Zena Road west approximately 0.25 mile to its southern intersection with Oak Grove Road, south of Bethel; then

    (15) Follow Frizzell Road west for approximately 0.25 mile to its first intersection with the 200-foot contour line, then

    (16) Follow the 200-foot contour line generally south, crossing onto the Rickreall, Oregon, map, until the contour line intersects the beginning point.

    3. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.___to read as follows:
    § 9.___ Van Duzer Corridor.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Van Duzer Corridor”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Van Duzer Corridor” is a term of viticultural significance.

    (b) Approved maps. The five United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Van Duzer Corridor viticultural area are titled:

    (1) Sheridan, Oreg., 1956; revised 1992;

    (2) Ballston, Oreg., 1956; revised 1992;

    (3) Dallas, Oreg., 1974; photorevised 1986;

    (4) Amity, Oreg., 1957; revised 1993; and

    (5) Rickreall, Oreg., 1969; photorevised 1976;

    (c) Boundary. The Van Duzer Corridor viticultural area is located in Polk and Yamhill Counties, in Oregon. The boundary of the Van Duzer Corridor viticultural area is as described below:

    (1) The beginning point is on the Sheridan map at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Red Prairie Road. From the beginning point, proceed southeasterly along State Highway 22 for a total of 12.4 miles, crossing over the Ballston and Dallas maps and onto the Rickreall map, to the intersection of the highway with the 200-foot elevation contour west of the Oak Knoll Golf Course; then

    (2) Proceed north on the 200-foot elevation contour, crossing onto the Amity map, to the third intersection of the elevation contour with Frizzell Road; then

    (3) Proceed east on Frizzell Road for 0.3 mile to the intersection of the road with Oak Grove Road; then

    (4) Proceed north along Oak Grove Road for 1.7 miles to the intersection of the road with Zena Road; then

    (5) Proceed east on Zena Road for approximately 0.25 mile to the second intersection of the road with the 200-foot elevation contour; then

    (6) Proceed northwest along the 200-foot elevation contour to the intersection of the elevation contour with Oak Grove Road; then

    (7) Proceed north along Oak Grove Road (which becomes Old Bethel Road) approximately 7.75 miles to the intersection of the road with Patty Lane; then

    (8) Proceed west in a straight line for a total of 10.8 miles, crossing over the Ballston map and onto the Sheridan map, to the intersection of the line with State Highway 18; then

    (9) Proceed southwest along State Highway 18 for 0.3 miles to the intersection of the highway with Red Prairie Road; then

    (10) Proceed south along Red Prairie Road for approximately 5.3 miles, returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: November 30, 2017. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: March 30, 2018. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2018-07089 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0105] RIN 1625-AA87 Security Zone, Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week Moving Vessels, Puget Sound, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend its Seattle Seafair Fleet Week Moving Vessels Security Zone regulation. This amendment would change the information in annual notices of enforcement that are published both in the Federal Register and Local Notice to Mariners. This action is necessary because last minute changes in the vessels participating in the Parade of Ships during Fleet Week prevent the Coast Guard from identifying the designated participating vessels in the Federal Register within the allotted timeframe. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 21, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0105 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Petty Officer Zachary Spence, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 206-217-6051, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On July 10, 2012 (77 FR 40521), the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Sector Puget Sound, published a final rule that became effective Aug. 1, 2012; the Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week Moving Vessels security zone. That final rule establishes a security zone around designated participating vessels that are not protected by the Naval Vessel Protection Zone in Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week Parade of Ships. Designated participating vessels are named by the Coast Guard each year prior to the event in a Federal Register notice, as well as the Local Notice to Mariners. These security zones are necessary to help ensure the security of the vessels from sabotage or other subversive acts.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to amend the information required in the Notice of Enforcement published in the Federal Register and Local Notice to Mariner and add the requirement to publish the names of participating vessel in a Broadcast Notice to Mariners before the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Captain of the Port Puget Sound proposes to amend the provisions in 33 CFR 165.1333 regarding information published in the notice of enforcement for the annual security zone for Seattle's Seafair Fleet Weeks Parade of Ships. Currently, the Coast Guard publishes the names of the vessels participating in the Parade of Ships, in a notice of enforcement at least 3 days prior to the beginning of Seattle's Seafair. These are military vessels. In past years, some vessels participating in the Parade of Ships changed their plans due to operational needs, and as a result, the changes precluded the Coast Guard from providing sufficient notice in the Federal Register. This proposed amendment is necessary because the changing schedules of vessels sometimes makes it impossible to know which vessels will ultimately participate in the Parade of Ships and also provide timely notice in the Federal Register.

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend the information required in the notice of enforcement to only include the date and time of the Parade of Ships, and not the names of the vessels. In order to provide notice to the public regarding the vessels requiring the security zone, the Coast Guard will provide notice to the public of the designated participating vessels by issuing a Broadcast Notice to Mariners before and during the event. In addition, the security zone will be enforced with actual notice during the Seattle Seafair Fleet Week each year. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the fact that this rule would only change the mean in which the public will be notified about the security zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves amending the way in which the Coast Guard will notify the public which vessels are designated participants in Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Amend § 165.1333 by revising paragraphs (a) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 165.1333 Security Zones, Seattle's Seafair Fleet Week moving vessels, Puget Sound, WA.

    (a) Location. The following areas are security zones: all navigable waters within 500 yards of each designated participating vessel in the Parade of Ships while each such vessel is in the Sector Puget Sound Captain of the Port (COTP) zone, as defined in 33 CFR 3.65-10, during a time specified in paragraph (e) of this section.

    (e) Annual enforcement period. The security zones described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced with actual notice during Seattle Seafair Fleet Week each year for a period of up to 1 week. The Seattle Seafair Fleet Week will occur annually sometime between July 25 and August 14. The Coast Guard will publish an annual notice enforcement containing the dates that this section will be enforced in the Federal Register and Local Notice to Mariners. A Broadcast Notice to Mariners will also be issued before the start of the Seattle Seafair Fleet Week to identify the designated participating vessels for that year.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. Linda A. Sturgis, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07026 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Parts 3 and 5 RIN 2900-AO13 VA Compensation and Pension Regulation Rewrite Project AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on November 27, 2013, proposing to reorganize and rewrite its compensation and pension regulations in a logical, claimant focused, and user-friendly format. The intended effect of the proposed revisions was to assist claimants, beneficiaries, veterans' representatives, and VA personnel in locating and understanding these regulations. VA has since determined that an incremental approach to revising these regulations is the only feasible method for the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) as it exists today. Therefore, VA is withdrawing the proposed rule, RIN 2900-AO13-VA Compensation and Pension Regulation Rewrite Project, that was published on November 27, 2013, at 78 FR 71,042.

    DATES:

    The proposed rule published on November 27, 2013, at 78 FR 71,042, is withdrawn as of April 6, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael P. Shores, Director, Office of Regulations Policy & Management (00REG), Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-4902 (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The VA Office of the Secretary provides centralized management and coordination of VA's rulemaking process through its Office of Regulation Policy and Management (ORPM). ORPM oversaw VA's Regulation Rewrite Project (the Project) to improve the organization and clarity of VA's adjudication regulations, which are in current 38 CFR part 3. These regulations govern the adjudication of claims for VA's monetary benefits (including compensation, pension, dependency and indemnity compensation, and burial benefits), which are administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

    The Project responded to a recommendation made by the VA Claims Processing Task Force in its October 2001 “Report to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs” and to criticisms of VA regulations by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The Task Force recommended that VA reorganize its regulations in a logical, coherent manner. The Court referred to the current regulations as a “confusing tapestry” and criticized VA for maintaining substantive rules in its Adjudication Procedures Manual (manual). Accordingly, the Project reviewed the manual to identify provisions that might be substantive and proposed to incorporate those provisions in a complete rewrite of part 3 that would be located at a new part 5. To be clear, the goal was never to substantively alter the law pertaining to VA monetary benefits, but to convey this law (to include current regulations, VA General Counsel opinions, court decisions, and substantive manual provisions) in readable language and an organized format. 78 FR at 71,042; see also 79 FR 57,660, 57,678 (Sep. 25, 2014) (commenting on the scope of the Rewrite Project).

    VA published the rewritten material in 20 Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) and gave interested persons 60 days to submit comments after each publication. These NPRMs addressed specific topics, programs, or groups of regulatory material organized under the following Rulemaking Identifier Numbers (RIN):

    • RIN 2900-AL67, Service Requirements for Veterans (January 30, 2004) • RIN 2900-AL70, Presumptions of Service Connection for Certain Disabilities, and Related Matters (July 27, 2004) • RIN 2900-AL71, Accrued Benefits, Death Compensation, and Special Rules Applicable Upon Death of a Beneficiary (October 1, 2004) • RIN 2900-AL72, Burial Benefits (April 8, 2008) • RIN 2900-AL74, Apportionments to Dependents and Payments to Fiduciaries and Incarcerated Beneficiaries (January 14, 2011) • RIN 2900-AL76, Benefits for Certain Filipino Veterans and Survivors (June 30, 2006) • RIN 2900-AL82, Rights and Responsibilities of Claimants and Beneficiaries (May 10, 2005) • RIN 2900-AL83, Elections of Improved Pension; Old-Law and Section 306 Pension (December 27, 2004) • RIN 2900-AL84, Special and Ancillary Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors (March 9, 2007) • RIN 2900-AL87, General Provisions (March 31, 2006) • RIN 2900-AL88, Special Ratings (October 17, 2008) • RIN 2900-AL89, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefits (October 21, 2005) • RIN 2900-AL94, Dependents and Survivors (September 20, 2006) • RIN 2900-AL95, Payments to Beneficiaries Who Are Eligible for More than One Benefit (October 2, 2007) • RIN 2900-AM01, General Evidence Requirements, Effective Dates, Revision of Decisions, and Protection of Existing Ratings (May 22, 2007) • RIN 2900-AM04, Improved Pension (September 26, 2007) • RIN 2900-AM05, Matters Affecting the Receipt of Benefits (May 31, 2006) • RIN 2900-AM06, Payments and Adjustments to Payments (October 31, 2008) • RIN 2900-AM07, Service-Connected Disability Compensation (September 1, 2010) • RIN 2900-AM16, VA Benefit Claims (April 14, 2008)

    VA received numerous comments to the 20 NPRMs and on November 27, 2013, proposed amendments to the 20 NPRMs in one document, RIN 2900-AO13. 78 FR at 71,042. VA received additional comments on AO13, from private individuals and several Veterans Service Organizations, and VA thanks the commenters for the time they invested and their input.

    As noted in RIN 2900-AO13, in 2012, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) formulated a Transformation Plan to improve the delivery of benefits to veterans and their dependents and survivors. 78 FR at 71,043. VA acknowledged that, to ensure successful implementation of the plan, a final rule with regard to the Rewrite Project would not be published in the near future and would ultimately require an evaluation of the feasibility of a one-time implementation of proposed Part 5. Id. In the interim, VA assured, Part 3 regulations would be updated and improved as needed, to include the type of readability changes proposed for Part 5. Id.

    Over the past five years, such updates have occurred, see, e.g., 79 FR 32,653 (June 6, 2014) (implementing improvements sourced in RIN 2900-AL72), and VA proposes to continue this current rulemaking approach—updating Part 3 and Part 4 as needed—but at an accelerated pace designed to also incorporate needed changes from proposed Part 5 for clarity and simplicity. Thus, it will not be adopting a one-time implementation of proposed Part 5. This will avoid the inevitable confusion caused by two co-existing sets of regulations and manuals that may or may not be applicable depending on the date of the claim. It will avoid the delays and decreases in productivity inherent in any transition where adjudicators have to familiarize themselves with all new sections and provisions. It will also ease programming complexity and allow VBA to manage the risk associated with the transition to revised regulations. VA has already undertaken a review to identify and prioritize the needs and expectations for incorporating proposed Part 5 improvements, where possible, into the current Part 3 and Part 4.

    Phased implementation allows for incremental assessment and development of the required system modifications. Controlling the rate of rewrite implementation allows VBA to retain, plan for, and mitigate adverse system impacts and development needs by reordering phases as necessary. The plan also affords VBA flexibility in scaling personnel and other resource allocations to each new phase, if necessary. One-time implementation would require extensive training for personnel, as well as costs associated with IT equipment, installation, maintenance, support, and system updates. Even though the proposed rules were not intended to alter substantive law, they would alter the terminology, section numbers, and organization of the current regulations upon which current VA systems, applications, forms, and tools are based. Thus, one-time implementation would involve a rework of numerous computer-based processing applications, claims-related training tools and materials, quality assurance tools, claims-related forms, and the Adjudication Procedures Manual. It would syphon resources from existing modernization priorities, such as improvements to the Veterans Benefits Management System and National Work Queue. This phased rollout minimizes disruption of these major IT modernization projects, as well as other VA initiatives requiring substantial personnel or training.

    Changes in Part 3 and Part 4 regulations, to include incorporation of proposed Part 5 improvements, where appropriate, can be achieved over a number of years. Some of these changes are already underway, with VA's modernized Part 4, VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, slated for publication in the near future. This multi-year approach minimizes disruption on field operations (and ultimately claim production and accuracy), as well as VBA Central Office staffing required to implement the revised regulations.

    For the above reasons, VA is withdrawing RIN 2900-AO13.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on April 3, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Jeffrey M. Martin, Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07078 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AP00 Definition of Domiciliary Care AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its rule defining domiciliary care, to accurately reflect the scope of services currently provided under the Domiciliary Care Program. VA's Domiciliary Care Program provides a temporary home to certain veterans, which includes the furnishing of shelter, goods, clothing and other comforts of home, as well as medical services. In 2005 VA designated its Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (MH RRTP) as a type of domiciliary care. MH RRTP provides clinically intensive residential rehabilitative services to certain mental health patient populations. We propose to amend the definition of domiciliary care to reflect that domiciliary care includes MH RRTP. In addition, VA domiciliary care, as a matter of long-standing practice, includes non-permanent housing, but this is not clear in the regulation. The proposed rule would clarify that domiciliary care provides temporary, not permanent, residence to affected veterans.

    DATES:

    Comment Date: Comments on the proposed rule must be received by VA on or before June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through http://www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand delivery to the Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AP00—Definition of Domiciliary Care.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jamie R. Ploppert, National Director, Mental Health Residential Treatment Programs (10P4M), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420 or (757) 722-9991 extension 1123. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.), section 1710(b)(2) authorizes VA to provide needed domiciliary care to veterans whose annual income does not exceed the applicable maximum annual rate of VA pension and to veterans who have no adequate means of support. The term “domiciliary care” is currently defined at 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 17.30(b) as the furnishing of a home to a veteran, embracing the furnishing of shelter, food, clothing and other comforts of home, including necessary medical services, as well as travel and incidental expenses pursuant to 38 CFR 70.10. Veterans must meet eligibility criteria found in § 17.46(b) as well as § 17.47(b)(2) and (c) to receive domiciliary care.

    The domiciliary program was authorized to provide eligible veterans with a home and coordinated ambulatory medical care as needed. Typically, domiciliaries are co-located with VA medical centers or exist as designated bed-settings within the centers. By law, eligible veterans include only: Those whose annual income does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension payable to a Veteran in need of regular aid and attendance; or (2) those who have no adequate means of support, as this phrase is defined in 38 CFR 17.47(b)(2), who can perform the activities specified in 38 CFR 17.46(b) but who suffer from a chronic disability, disease, or defect that results in the veteran being unable to earn a living for a prospective period. See 38 CFR 17.47 (b)(2) and (c).

    VA domiciliaries served initially as “Soldiers' Homes” for economically-disadvantaged Veterans with chronic medical needs that can be addressed on an outpatient basis. Domiciliary care provides services to economically-disadvantaged veterans, and VA remains committed to serving that group. Historically, domiciliary care in VA has primarily been focused on delivering care to older residents who cannot live independently but who do not require admission to a nursing home. However, “domiciliary care” has expanded to also provide services to veterans who require residential rehabilitation treatment for mental health or substance use issues. While the above-referenced statutory definitions and eligibility criteria still apply as do the regulatory criteria of §§ 17.46(b) and 17.47(b)(2), the scope of services furnished under the program has evolved significantly, requiring revision of § 17.30(b) and § 17.47(c). We propose to amend the definition of domiciliary care to reflect that change.

    The scope of clinical services available to VA domiciliary residents has necessarily become specialized over time due to the characteristics of the patient populations served by the residential rehabilitation treatment model. In 2005, VA administratively designated all MH RRTP facilities as domiciliary care facilities to fully integrate mental health; residential rehabilitation; and treatment and domiciliary care. VA established the first MH RRTP in 1995. MH RRTPs provide comprehensive supervised treatment and rehabilitative services to veterans with mental health or substance use disorders, and coexisting medical or psychosocial needs such as homelessness and unemployment. MH RRTPs identify and address goals of rehabilitation, recovery, health maintenance, improved quality of life, and community integration in addition to specific treatment of medical conditions, mental illnesses, addictive disorders, and homelessness. The residential component emphasizes incorporation of clinical treatment gains into a lifestyle of self-care and personal responsibility. MH RRTPs provide a 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week structured and supportive residential environment similar to that in traditional domiciliary care. However, there are differences in the type of care delivered. The goals of care for residential rehabilitation treatment reflect a stronger emphasis on rehabilitative services, including professional, counseling, and guidance services as well as treatment programs. Rehabilitative services are designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease. These services are intended to restore, to the maximum extent possible, the physical, mental, and psychological functioning of veterans receiving residential rehabilitation treatment.

    Since 2010, domiciliary care has been included as part of VA's MH RRTP, which began in 1995. VA domiciliaries are used currently for VA's Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs; Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Program; Health Maintenance Domiciliary Beds Program; General Domiciliary or Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program; Domiciliary Substance Abuse Programs; and Domiciliary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Programs. These are the patient populations currently residing in our domiciliaries. VA therefore proposes to update the definition of domiciliary care in § 17.30(b) to reflect the scope of clinically intensive rehabilitation services included in the program.

    Current § 17.30(b) defines domiciliary care as the furnishing of a home to a veteran, embracing the furnishing of shelter, food, clothing and other comforts of home, including necessary medical services. We would amend this definition by stating that domiciliary care means a “temporary home” rather than “home.” This is consistent with VA's long-standing practice of providing domiciliary care as a non-permanent living arrangement for eligible veterans. This proposed change would not alter VA's commitment to ensure extended or geriatric care is available to older veterans eligible for VA domiciliary care, that is, those who cannot live independently but who do not require admission to a nursing home. These veterans receive their domiciliary care through State Veterans Homes Domiciliary Programs and VA pays half of the cost of that care through per diem payments. We would define domiciliary care to also mean a day hospital program consisting of intensive supervised rehabilitation and treatment provided in a therapeutic residential setting for residents with mental health or substance use disorders, and co-occurring medical or psychosocial needs such as homelessness and unemployment.

    Current § 17.47 addresses considerations applicable in determining eligibility for hospital care, medical services, nursing home care, or domiciliary care. Current paragraph (c) clarifies that “domiciliary care, as the term implies, is the provision of a home, with such ambulant medical care as is needed.” For the reasons stated above, we would amend this paragraph to reflect that domiciliary care provides a temporary home.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    The CFR, as proposed to be revised by this proposed rule, would represent the exclusive legal authority on this subject. No contrary rules or procedures are authorized. All VA guidance will be read to conform with this proposed rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance will be superseded by this rulemaking.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

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

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

    This proposed rule is not expected to be an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this proposed rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.007, Blind Rehabilitation Centers; 64.008, Veterans Domiciliary Care; 64.009, Veterans Medical Care Benefits; 64.010, Veterans Nursing Home Care; 64.011, Veterans Dental Care; 64.012, Veterans Prescription Service; 64.013, Veterans Prosthetic Appliances; 64.014, Veterans State Domiciliary Care; 64.015, Veterans State Nursing Home Care; 64.018, Sharing Specialized Medical Resources; 64.019, Veterans Rehabilitation Alcohol and Drug Dependence; 64.022, Veterans Home Based Primary Care; and 64.024, VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 17

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholism, Claims, Day care, Dental health, Drug abuse, Government contracts, Grant programs—health, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Health records, Homeless, Medical and dental schools, Medical devices, Medical research, Mental health programs, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on February 27, 2018, for publication.

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Consuela Benjamin, Regulations Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, Department of Veterans Affairs proposes to amend 38 CFR part 17 as follows:

    PART 17—MEDICAL 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501, and as noted in specific sections.

    Section 17.38 also issued under 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 1701, 1705, 1710, 1710A, 1721, 1722, 1782, and 1786.

    Section 17.63 also issued under 38 U.S.C. 1730.

    Section 17.169 also issued under 38 U.S.C. 1712C.

    Sections 17.380 and 17.412 are also issued under sec. 260, Public Law 114-223, 130 Stat. 857.

    Section 17.410 is also issued under 38 U.S.C. 1787.

    Section 17.415 is also issued under 38 U.S.C. 7301, 7304, 7402, and 7403.

    Sections 17.640 and 17.647 are also issued under sec. 4, Public Law 114-2, 129 Stat. 30.

    Sections 17.641 through 17.646 are also issued under 38 U.S.C. 501(a) and sec. 4, Public Law 114-2, 129 Stat. 30.

    2. Amend § 17.30 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 17.30 Definitions.

    (b) Domiciliary care. The term domiciliary care—

    (1) Means the furnishing of:

    (i) A temporary home to a veteran, embracing the furnishing of shelter, food, clothing and other comforts of home, including necessary medical services; or

    (ii) A day hospital program consisting of intensive supervised rehabilitation and treatment provided in a therapeutic residential setting for residents with mental health or substance use disorders, and co-occurring medical or psychosocial needs such as homelessness and unemployment.

    (2) Includes travel and incidental expenses pursuant to § 70.10 of this chapter.

    3. Amend § 17.47 by removing the word “home” in the second sentence of paragraph (c) and adding, in its place, “temporary home”.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07082 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0567, FRL-9975-09—Region 8] Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Colorado; Attainment Demonstration for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard for the Denver Metro/North Front Range Nonattainment Area, and Approval of Related Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 31, 2017, the State of Colorado submitted State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions related to attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the Denver Metro/North Front Range (DMNFR) Moderate nonattainment area by the applicable attainment date of July 20, 2018. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the majority of the submittal, which includes an attainment demonstration, base and future year emission inventories, a reasonable further progress (RFP) demonstration, a reasonably available control measures (RACM) analysis, a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) program in Colorado Regulation Number 11 (Reg. No. 11), a nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program, a contingency measures plan, 2017 motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for transportation conformity, and revisions to Colorado Regulation Number 7 (Reg. No. 7). The EPA is also proposing to approve portions of the reasonably available control technology (RACT) analysis. Finally, the EPA proposes to approve revisions made to Colorado's Reg. No. 7 in a May 5, 2013 SIP submission. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0567, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Abby Fulton, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6563, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What action is the Agency taking?

    As explained below, the EPA is proposing various actions on Colorado's proposed revisions to its SIP that it submitted to the EPA on May 5, 2013, and May 31, 2017. Specifically, we are proposing to approve Colorado's 2017 attainment demonstration for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In addition, we propose to approve the MVEBs contained in the State's submittal. We also propose to approve all other aspects of the submittal, except for certain area source categories and major source RACT, which we will be acting on at a later date. We propose to approve the revisions to Colorado's Reg. 11 and 7, except for Section X.E of Reg. 7, which we will be acting on at a later date. We propose to approve the revisions to Colorado Reg. 7 Sections I, II, VI, VII, VIII, and IX from the State's May 5, 2013 submittal.

    The specific bases for our proposed actions and our analyses and findings are discussed in this proposed rulemaking. Technical information that we rely upon in this proposal is contained in the docket, available at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0567.

    II. Background

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA revised both the primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone to a level of 0.075 parts per million (ppm) (based on the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average concentration, averaged over 3 years) to provide increased protection of public health and the environment (73 FR 16436, March 27, 2008). The 2008 ozone NAAQS retains the same general form and averaging time as the 0.08 ppm NAAQS set in 1997, but is set at a more protective level. Specifically, the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS is attained when the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient air quality ozone concentrations is less than or equal to 0.075 ppm. See 40 CFR 50.15.

    Effective July 20, 2012, the EPA designated as nonattainment any area that was violating the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on the three most recent years (2008-2010) of air monitoring data (77 FR 30088, May 21, 2012). With that rulemaking, the DMNFR area was designated nonattainment and classified as Marginal. Ozone nonattainment areas are classified based on the severity of their ozone levels. This is determined using the area's design value. The design value is the 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration at a monitoring site. See 40 CFR part 50, Appendix I. The DMNFR nonattainment area includes Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties, and portions of Larimer and Weld Counties. See 40 CFR 81.306. Areas that were designated as Marginal nonattainment were required to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS no later than July 20, 2015, based on 2012-2014 monitoring data.

    On May 4, 2016, the EPA published its determination that the DMNFR, among other areas, had failed to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by the attainment deadline, and that the DMNFR was accordingly reclassified to a Moderate ozone nonattainment area (81 FR 26697; see 40 CFR 81.306). Moderate areas are required to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by no later than 6 years after the effective date of designation, which for the DMNFR nonattainment area is July 20, 2018. See 40 CFR 51.903.

    III. Analysis of the State's Submission

    CAA Section 182, 42 U.S.C. 7511a, outlines SIP requirements applicable to ozone nonattainment areas in each classification category. Moderate area classification triggers additional state requirements established under the provisions of the EPA's ozone implementation rule for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 40 CFR part 51, subpart AA. Examples of these requirements include submission of a modeling and attainment demonstration, RFP, RACT, and RACM. Moderate nonattainment areas had a submission deadline of January 1, 2017 for these SIP revisions (81 FR 26697, 26699, May 4, 2016).

    Colorado submitted revisions to its SIP to the EPA on May 31, 2017, to meet the requirements of a Moderate area classification for the DMNFR nonattainment area and attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Colorado's proposed SIP revisions consist of the parts listed below.

    • 8-Hour Ozone Attainment Plan (OAP), which includes monitoring information, emission inventories, an RFP demonstration, an attainment demonstration using photochemical grid modeling, a weight of evidence analysis, a RACT analysis, a RACM analysis, a motor vehicle emissions I/M program, NNSR program certification, contingency measures, and 2017 MVEBs for transportation conformity.

    • Revisions to Reg. No. 7.

    • Revisions to Reg. No. 11.

    The Reg. No. 7 revisions in the 2017 submission include rule revisions related to the Moderate ozone nonattainment classification and revisions that address the EPA's concerns with previous SIP submittals. In this action, we are also acting on Reg. No. 7 revisions from a May 5, 2013 SIP submission. Reg. No. 11 revisions remove “state-only” references in Part A, regarding Larimer and Weld counties, thereby making the entire motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program federally enforceable.

    The provisions we propose to approve meet the requirements of the CAA and our regulations. The specific bases for our proposed actions and our analyses and findings are discussed in this proposed rulemaking. Technical information that we rely on in this proposal is contained in the docket, available at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0567.

    A. Procedural Requirements

    The CAA requires that states meet certain procedural requirements before submitting SIP revisions to the EPA. Specifically, section 110(a)(2) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(2), requires that states adopt SIP revisions after reasonable notice and public hearing. For the May 5, 2013 submittal, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) provided notice in the Colorado Register on September 21, 2012, and held a public hearing on December 20, 2012. The Colorado AQCC adopted the SIP revisions on December 20, 2012. The SIP revisions became state-effective on February 15, 2013. For the May 31, 2017 submission, the Colorado AQCC provided notice in the Colorado Register on July 29 and August 29, 2016 and held a public hearing on the SIP revisions on November 17, 2016. The Colorado AQCC adopted the SIP revisions on November 17, 2016. The SIP revisions became state-effective on January 14, 2017. Colorado met the CAA's procedural requirements for reasonable notice and public hearing.

    IV. EPA's Evaluation of Colorado's Submission A. Monitoring

    Ozone monitoring data are used as a basis for photochemical grid modeling in the attainment demonstration. The EPA requirements for ambient monitoring are in 40 CFR part 58. Colorado collected ozone monitoring data in accordance with these requirements and with the EPA's “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Vol. II—Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program”; 1 the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division's (APCD) Quality Management Plan 2 and Quality Assurance Project Plan; 3 and Colorado's monitoring network plan.4

    1 QA Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems: “Volume II: Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program” (EPA-454/B-13-003, May 2013) (available in the docket). The current version of the Handbook is available at https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/files/ambient/pm25/qa/FinalHandbookDocument1_17.pdf (EPA-454/B-17-001, Jan. 2017).

    2 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Quality Management Plan (March 2016), available in the docket.

    3 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Quality Assurance Project Plan (July 2015), available in the docket.

    4 Annual Network Plans available at https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/tech_doc_repository.aspx.

    The monitoring section of Colorado's OAP includes:

    • Information on the location of ozone monitors in Colorado, from southern Metropolitan Denver to northern Fort Collins (including Rocky Mountain National Park);

    • 4th-maximum monitored 8-hour ozone values from 2006 through 2015, including levels recorded above the 75 parts per billion (ppb) 2008 ozone NAAQS; 5

    5 OAP Table 3.

    • A description of the State's ambient air quality data assurance program; and

    • Relevant 8-hour-average ozone monitoring data and recovery rates from 2006 through September 2015.

    B. Emissions Inventories 1. Background

    CAA section 172(c)(3), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(3), requires that each SIP include a “comprehensive, accurate, current inventory of actual emissions from all sources of the relevant pollutant or pollutants in [the] area.” The accounting required by this section provides a “base year” inventory that serves as the starting point for attainment demonstration air quality modeling, for assessing RFP, and for determining the need for additional SIP control measures. An attainment year inventory is a projection of future emissions and is necessary to show the effectiveness of SIP control measures. Both the base year and attainment year inventories are necessary for photochemical modeling to demonstrate attainment. Section D includes additional discussion on how these inventories are used in the attainment modeling.

    Colorado's DMNFR area attainment plan includes a 2011 base year inventory and a 2017 attainment year inventory. The inventories catalog NOX and VOC emissions, because these pollutants are precursors to ozone formation, across all source categories during a typical summer day, when ozone formation is pronounced. Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are reported as well, because they also impact ozone chemistry.

    In our 2008 ozone NAAQS implementation rule, the EPA recommends using 2011 as the baseline year (80 FR 12264, 12272). In addition, analysis of meteorological conditions in the DMNFR area leads to the conclusion that the summer of 2011 was a “typical” ozone season from a meteorological standpoint. The modeling analysis uses a base year of 2011 to develop the modeling inputs for the base year modeling analysis and model performance evaluation.

    2. Evaluation

    The 2011 base year emissions inventory and the 2017 attainment year emissions inventory were developed using EPA-approved guidelines for stationary, mobile, and area emission sources. Stationary source emissions data for 2011 were self-reported to the State by individual sources; the State then used the submitted 2011 information to project stationary source emissions for 2017. On-road and non-road mobile source emissions were calculated using the EPA's MOVES2014 model combined with local activity inputs including vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and average speed data, as well as local fleet, age distribution, meteorology, and fuels information. Area sources include many categories of emissions. The EPA finds that these sources (including those in the oil and gas sector) were adequately accounted for in the emissions inventory. The methodology used to calculate emissions for each respective category followed relevant EPA guidance; 67 as applicable, employed approved emission factors and National Emissions Inventory (NEI) data; and was sufficiently documented in the SIP and in the State's technical support documents (TSD).8

    6 Emissions Inventory Guidance for Implementation of Ozone and Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and Regional Haze Regulations, EPA-454/B-17-003, available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-07/documents/ei_guidance_may_2017_final_rev.pdf (hereinafter referred to as “Emissions Inventory Guidance”) (July 2017).

    7 MOVES2014 and MOVES2014a Technical Guidance: Using MOVES to Prepare Emission Inventories for State Implementation Plans and Transportation Conformity, EPA-420-B-15-093, available at https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/P100NN9L.PDF?Dockey=P100NN9L.PDF (hereinafter referred to as “MOVES Guidance”) (Nov. 2015).

    8See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 1, 2011-2017 Mobile and Area Sources Emissions Inventory Development, p. 1202.

    Projected future emissions in 2017 were based on anticipated growth, technological advancements, and expected emissions controls that were to be implemented by the 2017 ozone season. Table 1 shows the emissions by source category from the 2011 base year and 2017 attainment year emission inventories.

    9 Emissions in Table 1 are reflective of an average summer day.

    Table 1—Emissions Inventory Data for Specific Source [Tons/avg. episode day] 9 Description 2011 VOC NOX CO 2017 VOC NOX CO Oil and Gas Sources: Point Sources Subtotal 14.8 18.1 17.0 16.3 20.6 19.7 Condensate Tanks Subtotal 216 1.1 2.3 78.7 0.6 2.3 Area Sources Subtotal 48.9 22.2 12.9 59.0 44.6 31.4 Total 279.7 41.4 32.2 154 65.8 53.4 Point Sources (EGU and Non-Oil and Gas): Electric Generating Units (EGUs) 0.7 39.7 3.6 0.4 19.2 2.9 Point (Non-Oil and Gas) 25.9 21.0 14.1 28.0 20.9 14.4 Total 26.6 60.7 17.7 28.4 40.1 17.3 Area Sources (Non-Oil and Gas): Total 60.6 0.0 1.4 67.5 1.6 Non-Road Mobile Sources: Total 58.2 75.9 800.2 44.3 54.9 759.7 On-Road Mobile Sources: Light-Duty Vehicles 90.0 102.5 812.2 52.4 50.3 538.6 Medium/Heavy-Duty Vehicles 3.7 39.6 20.6 2.6 23.0 16.2 Total 93.7 142.1 832.8 55.0 73.3 554.8 Total Anthropogenic Emissions 518.8 320.1 1,684.3 349.2 234.1 1,386.8 Total Biogenic Sources 170.5 6.1 21.6 170.5 6.1 21.6 Total Nonattainment Area Emissions 689.3 326.2 1,705.9 519.7 240.2 1,408.4

    Details of Colorado's emissions inventory development are in Colorado's supporting TSD.10 The inventories in the SIP are based on the most current and accurate information available to the State and the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) at the time the SIP was being developed. Additionally, the inventories comprehensively address all source categories in the DMNFR nonattainment area, and were developed consistent with the relevant EPA inventory guidance. For these reasons, we propose to approve the 2011 baseline emissions inventory as meeting the requirements of CAA section 172(c)(3), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(3). The EPA also finds that the 2017 inventory, which will be used to meet RFP and attainment demonstration requirements, was developed consistent with relevant EPA Emissions Inventory Guidance and MOVES Guidance. Further discussion on RFP and attainment demonstration is provided in their respective sections.

    10See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 1, 2011-2017 Mobile and Area Sources Emissions Inventory Development, p. 1202.

    10 Emissions in Table 1 are reflective of an average summer day.

    C. Reasonable Further Progress Demonstration 1. Background

    Section 182(b)(1) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7511a(b)(1), and the EPA's 2008 Ozone Implementation Rule require each 8-hour ozone nonattainment area designated Moderate and above to submit an RFP demonstration for review and approval into its SIP that describes how the area will achieve actual VOC and NOX emissions reductions from a baseline emissions inventory. Section 182(b)(1), 42 U.S.C. 7511a(b)(1), which is part of the ozone-specific requirements of Subpart 2 of the CAA's nonattainment plan requirements, requires RFP to demonstrate a 15% reduction in VOC emissions. This requirement applies before the more general Subpart 1 RFP requirements of CAA Section 172(c)(2), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(2), which permits a combination of VOC and NOX emission reductions to show RFP. Colorado has not previously submitted a 15% RFP SIP under Section 182(b)(1). Therefore, on May 31, 2017, the State submitted an RFP demonstration showing VOC emission reductions greater than 15% within six years after the 2011 base year inventory (between 2012-2017).

    RFP plans must also include an MVEB, which provides the allowable on-road mobile emissions an area can produce while still demonstrating RFP. The State's RFP submittal included MVEBs for the DMNFR area for the year 2017 (see Chapter 11 of the State's OAP). The MVEBs are discussed in detail in Section M of this notice.

    2. Evaluation

    To demonstrate compliance with RFP requirements, the State compared its 2011 base year VOC emissions inventory against its projected 2017 VOC emissions inventory and demonstrated that the projected milestone year inventory (2017) emissions of VOC will be at least 15% below the 2011 base year inventory. Colorado projects a 32.7% reduction in VOC emissions from 2011-2017 (see OAP, Table 25 on page 4-21). As discussed above in section IV.B., the EPA reviewed the procedures Colorado used to develop its projected inventories and found them to be reasonable.

    D. Photochemical Grid Modeling 1. Background

    Under the 2008 Ozone Implementation Rule, Moderate ozone nonattainment areas are required to demonstrate attainment using “photochemical modeling or another equivalent analytical method that is determined to be at least as effective. . . .” 80 FR at 12268. The EPA explained that “photochemical modeling is the most scientifically rigorous technique to determine NOX and/or VOC emissions reductions needed to show attainment of the NAAQS.” Id. at 12269. Consistent with the 2015 Ozone Implementation Rule, the SIP includes photochemical grid modeling with supplemental analyses to demonstrate that the emissions control strategy leads to attainment of the NAAQS by 2017. The modeling effort was led by the RAQC in coordination with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The RAQC first developed a modeling protocol 11 that describes the model configuration, domain, input data, and analyses to be performed for the SIP. As described in the protocol, the RAQC selected summer 2011 for the attainment demonstration base case model simulation using the 2011 base year emissions inventory. The modeling platform used the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) 12 to simulate meteorological data fields, and the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) as the photochemical air quality model. The modeling platform used a high resolution 4-km grid for the State of Colorado, nested within a western U.S. 12-km grid and a 36-km North America CAMx simulation developed by the Western Air Quality Study.13 Day-specific boundary conditions for the 36-km CAMx simulation were derived from a 2011 simulation of the MOZART model.14 The Sparse Matrix Operating Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) model 15 was used to process emissions data, and the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) 16 was used to estimate biogenic emissions of VOC and NOX. The anthropogenic precursor emissions data were based on the 2011 NEI 17 with updates in key source categories, including oil and gas emissions,18 mobile and area source emissions,19 and point source emissions.20 The EPA reviewed each of the modeling documents listed above and determined that the modeling is consistent with the recommendations in the relevant EPA guidance.21

    11 ENVIRON International Corporation, User's Guide Comprehensive Air-quality Model with Extensions Version 6.2, available at http://www.camx.com/files/camxusersguide_v6-20.pdf (March 2015).

    12 Weather Research and Forecasting model web page available at https://www.mmm.ucar.edu/weather-research-and-forecasting-model.

    13 Adelman, Z., Shanker, U., Yang, and Morris, R., CAMx Photochemical Grid Model Draft Model Performance Evaluation Simulation Year 2011, available at http://vibe.cira.colostate.edu/wiki/Attachments/Modeling/3SAQS_Base11a_MPE_Final_18Jun2015.pdf (June 2015); Ramboll Environ, Attainment Demonstration Modeling for the Denver Metro/North Front Range 2017 8-Hour Ozone State Implementation Plan, Draft Modeling Protocol, Prepared for Regional Air Quality Council, available at https://raqc.egnyte.com/dl/gFls58KHSM/Model_Protocol_Denver_RAQC_2017SIPv4.pdf (Aug. 2015).

    14 Emmons, L. K., et al., Description and Evaluation of the Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers, version 4 (MOZART-4), Geosci. Model Dev., 3, 4367, 2010, 3, pp. 43-67 (Jan. 2010).

    15 UNC, SMOKE v3.6.5 User's Manual, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Institute for the Environment, available at https://www.cmascenter.org/smoke/documentation/3.6.5/html/ (2015).

    16 Sakulyanontvittaya, T., G. Yarwood and A. Guenther. 2012. Improved Biogenic Emission Inventories across the West, ENVIRON International Corporation, available at https://www.wrapair2.org/pdf/WGA_BiogEmisInv_FinalReport_March20_2012.pdf (March 2012).

    17 2011 NEI web page available at https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/2011-national-emissions-inventory-nei-data.

    18See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 1, 2011 and 2017 Oil and Gas Emissions Inventory Development, p. 1429.

    19See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 1, 2011 and 2017 Mobile and Area Sources Emissions Inventory Development, p. 1202.

    20See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 1, 2011 and 2017 Point Source Emissions Inventory Development, p. 1443.

    21 Draft Modeling Guidance for Demonstrating Attainment of Air Quality Goals for Ozone, PM2.5 and Regional Haze, EPA, available at https://www3.epa.gov/scram001/guidance/guide/Draft_O3-PM-RH_Modeling_Guidance-2014.pdf (Dec. 2014).

    2. Evaluation

    EPA guidance recommends that model performance be evaluated by comparing model-simulated concentrations to observed concentrations. Model performance evaluation is used to evaluate the model for historical ozone episodes in the base year and to assess the model's reliability in projecting future year ozone concentrations. Using meteorological and emissions data from a historical base period, ozone and other species concentrations predicted by the model are compared to monitored concentrations to evaluate model performance. EPA modeling guidance emphasizes the use of graphical and diagnostic evaluation techniques to ensure that the modeling captures the correct chemical regimes and emission sources causing high ozone. Consistent with the guidance, Colorado's model performance evaluation included a comprehensive suite of graphical and diagnostic evaluation techniques, such as time-series plots of modeled and observed ozone at key monitoring sites, spatial plots of ozone, tabulations of model bias and error metrics, and diagnostic model simulations using sensitivity and source apportionment techniques. The WRF and CAMx configuration and MPE are described in Ramboll Environ's 2011 base case modeling and model performance evaluation report,22 which used both quantitative (model performance statistics) and qualitative (graphical displays) MPE approaches. At the four key monitoring sites in the Denver nonattainment area, the model achieved typical performance goals for model bias and error. However, as to the Chatfield monitor, which had the highest ozone design value, the model was biased low for some days in May and June and biased high for some days in July and August. While the model achieved the performance goal, it failed to accurately simulate some of the days with the highest monitored ozone.23

    22 Ramboll Environ, Denver Metro/North Front Range 2017 8-Hour Ozone State Implementation Plan: 2011 Base Case Modeling and Model Performance Evaluation, available at https://raqc.egnyte.com/dl/pxHfZAhquy/TSD_2011_BaseCaseModeling%26MPE.pdf (Sept. 2017).

    23 As discussed in EPA guidance, it is normal for an air quality model to have some under-prediction or over-prediction bias and error in modeled ozone because of uncertainties and errors in model input data. The relative response factor (RRF) approach that is recommended in the guidance and that is used in the State's SIP attainment demonstration is designed to correct for bias in the model predictions for ozone.

    Because of concerns with model underestimates of ozone on some of the highest days at the Chatfield monitor and other monitoring sites, Colorado performed additional weight of evidence (WOE) analysis to assess model performance and the effect of model performance on the model attainment demonstration, as discussed in Sections E and F below.

    E. Modeled Attainment Demonstration

    In the modeled attainment demonstration, emissions inventories are developed for the attainment year (here, 2017) that reflect emissions control measures adopted in the SIP as well as other emissions reductions expected to be achieved through federally enforceable national programs, such as reduced tailpipe emissions for mobile sources. The Colorado 2017 emissions inventory is described in the RAQC's model attainment demonstration report.24 The photochemical model is then used to simulate air quality using the projected 2017 emissions. Because of the concerns with bias and error in the model performance discussed in the previous section, absolute model results are not used to evaluate attainment. Instead, the model is used in a relative sense by calculating the ratio of the model's future (here, 2017) to base case (here, 2011) predictions at ozone monitors in the nonattainment area. We call these ratios “Relative Response Factors” (RRFs). Future ozone concentrations are then estimated at existing monitoring sites by multiplying the modeled RRF at locations near each monitor by the observation-based, monitor-specific, baseline design value. The resulting predicted future concentrations are then compared with the 2008 8-hour average ozone NAAQS of 75 ppb. If the predicted future concentrations of ozone are lower than 76 ppb at all monitors, attainment is demonstrated.25 The EPA's “Model Attainment Test Software” (MATS, Abt., 2014 26 ) is used to calculate RRFs and to perform the attainment demonstration.

    24See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 2, Denver Metro/North Front Range 2017 8-Hour Ozone State Implementation Plan: 2017 Attainment Demonstration Modeling, p. 1564.

    25 In determining compliance with the NAAQS, ozone design values are truncated to integers. For example, a design value of 75.9 ppb is truncated to 75 ppb. Accordingly, design values at or above 76.0 ppb are considered nonattainment. See p. 100, footnote 34 of Draft Modeling Guidance for Demonstrating Attainment of Air Quality Goals for Ozone, PM2.5 and Regional Haze, EPA, available at https://www3.epa.gov/scram001/guidance/guide/Draft_O3-PM-RH_Modeling_Guidance-2014.pdf (Dec. 2014), and p. 41 of Guidance on the Use of Models and Other Analyses for Demonstrating Attainment of Air Quality Goals for Ozone, PM2.5, and Regional Haze, EPA-454/B-07-002, available at https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance/guide/final-03-pm-rh-guidance.pdf (April 2007).

    26 Abt Associates Inc., Modeled Attainment Test Software—User's Manual. available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance/guide/MATS_2-6-1_manual.pdf (April 2014).

    Table 2 summarizes Colorado's 2011 base case design values, the RRFs from the 2017 control measure case modeling, and the projected 2017 future design values. Table 2 shows results for two different approaches for calculating the model RRF. EPA guidance recommends that the RRFs be calculated using the maximum modeled ozone in a 3x3 matrix of grid cells surrounding each monitor. The 3x3 matrix is used because of the possibility that errors in model inputs or physics can result in under predictions in the grid cell with the monitor, and because of the possibility that emissions point sources could be located close to the edges of grid cells, as discussed in more detail in the modeling guidance (EPA, 2014, pp. 102-103).

    Using the 3x3 RRFs, the maximum projected 8-hour ozone design values for the 2017 control measure case are 76 ppb at the Chatfield and the Rocky Flats North monitoring sites. Thus, the primary model attainment demonstration did not project NAAQS-attaining future design values (that is, less than 76 ppb) at all monitor sites. When the primary model attainment demonstration is close to but fails to attain the NAAQS, EPA guidance recommends that states consider whether it is appropriate to perform an attainment demonstration using a WOE demonstration. Colorado performed a WOE attainment demonstration as described in Section F below.

    Table 2—Current Year Observed 8-Hour Ozone Design Values (DVB), Relative Response Factors (RRF) and Projected 8-Hour Ozone 2017 Future Case Design Values (DVFs), From Table 3-1 in Ramboll Environ 2016b Monitor County Base year
  • (2011)
  • DVB
  • (ppb)
  • 3x3 Grid array
  • (4 km)
  • RRF Future
  • year
  • (2017)
  • DVF
  • (ppb) **
  • Final 2017
  • DVB
  • (ppb) **
  • 7x7 Grid array
  • (4 km)
  • RRF Future
  • year
  • (2017)
  • DVF
  • (ppb) **
  • Final 2017
  • DVF
  • (ppb) **
  • Chatfield Douglas 80.7 0.9453 76.2 76 0.9391 75.7 75 Rocky Flats North Jefferson 80.3 0.9493 76.2 76 0.9441 75.8 75 NREL Jefferson 78.7 0.9591 75.4 75 0.9442 74.3 74 Fort Collins West Larimer 78.0 0.9179 71.5 71 0.9098 70.9 70 Highland Arapahoe 76.7 0.9517 72.9 72 0.9431 72.3 72 Welby Adams 76.0 0.9512 72.2 72 0.9712 73.8 73 Welch Jefferson 75.7 0.9538 72.2 72 0.9428 71.3 71 Rocky Mountain NP Larimer 75.7 0.9464 71.6 71 0.9385 71.0 71 South Boulder Creek Boulder 74.7 0.9477 70.7 70 0.9445 70.5 70 Greeley/Weld Co. Tower Weld 74.7 0.9422 70.3 70 0.9226 68.9 68 Aspen Park Jefferson 74.5 0.9389 69.9 69 0.9370 69.8 69 Arvada Jefferson 74.0 0.9723 71.9 71 0.9495 70.2 70 Aurora East Arapahoe 73.5 0.9373 68.8 68 0.9367 68.8 68 Carriage Denver 71.0 0.9695 68.8 68 0.9595 68.1 68 Rist Canyon Larimer 71.0 0.9248 65.6 65 0.9161 65.0 65 Fort Collins CSU Larimer 68.7 0.9217 63.3 63 0.9096 62.4 62 DMAS NCore Denver 65.0 0.9697 63.0 63 0.9522 61.8 61
    F. Weight of Evidence Analysis

    As noted above, the primary model attainment demonstration predicted future design values of 76 ppb at two monitors (Rocky Flats North and Chatfield), and thus these two monitors are not projected to attain the 75 ppb NAAQS by 2017. EPA guidance recommends a WOE analysis in cases for which future design values are close to the NAAQS, using the following criteria for a WOE attainment demonstration:

    • A fully-evaluated, high-quality modeling analysis that projects future values that are close to the NAAQS;

    • A description of each of the individual supplemental analyses, preferably from multiple categories. Analyses that use well-established analytical procedures and are grounded with sufficient data should be weighted higher; and

    • A written description as to why the full set of evidence leads to a conclusive determination regarding the future attainment status of the area that differs from the results of the modeled attainment test alone.

    The WOE analysis can include monitoring and emissions inventory trend analysis; review of the conceptual model for ozone formation in the nonattainment area; additional modeling metrics; alternative attainment test methods; and assessment of the efficacy of SIP-approved regulations, state-only regulations, and voluntary control measures. Considering this information and applying the criteria described in the guidance, the WOE analysis is then used to assess whether the planned emissions reductions will result in attainment of the NAAQS at the monitors that modeled ozone future design values of 76 ppb or higher.

    As part of its WOE analysis, Colorado evaluated the model attainment demonstration using a 7x7 matrix of grid cells around each monitor site, because the model performed better in simulating the 2011 period when monitored concentrations were compared to model results in the 7x7 matrix.27 This performance difference may be a result of challenges in accurately simulating meteorological data in Colorado's complex terrain combined with the use of a high resolution 4-km grid in the Colorado modeling platform. It is possible that small errors in wind speed or wind direction could result in model-simulated plumes being offset by more than 4 km from a monitoring site. When using a 7x7 matrix of grid cells, the monitored concentration is compared to modeled concentrations up to 12 km from the monitor site to assess whether the model more accurately simulated the observed ozone in grid cells close to the monitor site. Table 2 shows that when the model attainment test is performed using the 7x7 matrix, all monitor sites are projected to attain the 75 ppb NAAQS.

    27See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 2, Denver Metro/North Front Range 2008 Ozone Standard Moderate Area State Implementation Plan: Air Quality Technical Support Document (AQTSD), p. 1608.

    Colorado also evaluated high ozone days from 2009 to 2013 that were likely influenced by atypical activities such as wildfire or stratospheric intrusion, but were included in the calculation of the 2011 baseline ozone design value (see Table 3; CDPHE, 2016d 28 ). While Colorado did not submit formal demonstrations under the Exceptional Events Rule (40 CFR 50.14) for these days because they do not affect the attainment status, which is evaluated based on 2015-2017 monitoring data, these days do affect the baseline design value and thus affect the model projected future design value for 2017. Table 4 shows the revised 2011 baseline design value when the data likely influenced by atypical activities are excluded, and Table 4 also shows the results of the model attainment demonstration using both the 3x3 and 7x7 matrices for calculating the model RRF. All future design values are below the 75 ppb NAAQS using both approaches when data possibly influenced by atypical activities are excluded in the calculation of the 2011 design values.

    28See Colorado OAP, TSD Part 2, Analyses in Support of Exceptional Event Flagging and Exclusion for the Weight of Evidence Analysis, p. 1662.

    The EPA concurs with Colorado's assessment that the model was properly configured, met EPA performance requirements, and was appropriately used in its application. The EPA finds that the WOE analysis supports a determination that the area will attain the 75 ppb ozone NAAQS by 2017.

    Table 3—Ozone Monitoring Data Flagged as Exceptional Events and Excluded From the 2011 Baseline Design Value in the Weight of Evidence Analysis [Table 1 from CDPHE, 2016d] 29 Date 8-hour ozone concentrations
  • (ppb)
  • Chatfield Rocky
  • Flats
  • North
  • NREL Fort
  • Collins
  • West
  • Exceptional event type Stratospheric
  • ozone
  • intrusion
  • Wildfire smoke
  • influence
  • Regional Local
    April 13, 2010 79 x April 14, 2010 75 x June 7, 2011 84 x May 15, 2012 76 x June 17, 2012 77 x June 22, 2012 101 83 93 x July 4, 2012 96 92 95 76 x July 5, 2012 88 81 x August 9, 2012 98 84 88 86 x August 21, 2012 80 80 80 x August 25, 2012 80 x August 31, 2012 80 x August 17, 2013 86 84 87 x
    Table 4—Base Year (DVB) and 2017 Future Year (DVF) Ozone Design Values (ppb) at Key Ozone Monitors With Flagged Exceptional Event Days Removed From the 2009-2013 DVB Monitor County Base
  • year
  • (2011)
  • DVB
  • (ppb)
  • Exceptional events omitted 3x3 grid array
  • (4 km)
  • RRF 2017 DVF
  • (ppb)
  • Final
  • 2017 DVF
  • (ppb)
  • Exceptional events omitted 7x7 grid array
  • (4 km)
  • RRF 2017 DVF
  • (ppb)
  • Final
  • 2017 DVF
  • (ppb)
  • Chatfield Douglas 78.7 0.9453 74.4 74 0.9391 73.9 73 Rocky Flats North Jefferson 78.7 0.9493 74.7 74 0.9441 74.3 74 NREL Jefferson 77.7 0.9591 74.5 74 0.9442 73.4 73 Fort Collins West Larimer 76.3 0.9179 70.0 70 0.9098 69.4 69
    G. Unmonitored Area Analysis

    29 CDPHE did not identify any exceptional events in 2009 in their weight of evidence analysis.

    The EPA guidance recommends that an “unmonitored area analysis” (UAA) be performed to examine ozone concentrations in unmonitored areas. The UAA is intended to be a means for identifying high ozone concentrations outside of traditionally monitored locations, particularly in nonattainment areas where modeling or other data analyses have indicated potential high concentration areas of ozone outside of the existing monitoring network. This review can help ensure that a control strategy leads to reductions in ozone at other locations that could have base case (and future) design values exceeding the NAAQS were a monitor deployed there. The UAA uses a combination of model output and ambient data to identify areas that might exceed the NAAQS but that are not currently monitored. Colorado used the MATS to perform the UAA and found estimated 2011 ozone DVBs in excess of 76 ppb to the south, west, and northwest of Denver, stretching to Fort Collins and then west of Fort Collins. Colorado also found that the projected DVFs for 2017 showed all areas have values below 76 ppb. The maximum 2017 estimated design value was 75.9 ppb near the Jefferson/Boulder County border.

    H. Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) Analysis 1. Background

    Section 172(c)(1) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(1), requires that SIPs for nonattainment areas “provide for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures as expeditiously as practicable (including such reductions in emissions from existing sources in the area as may be obtained through the adoption, at a minimum, of reasonably available control technology).” The EPA has defined RACT as the lowest emissions limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available, considering technological and economic feasibility (44 FR 53761, Sep. 17, 1979).

    The EPA provides guidance concerning what types of controls could constitute RACT for a given source category by issuing Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) and Alternative Control Techniques (ACT) documents.30 States must submit a SIP revision requiring the implementation of RACT for each source category in the area for which the EPA has issued a CTG, and for any major source in the area not covered by a CTG.31

    30See https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/control-techniques-guidelines-and-alternative-control-techniques-documents-reducing (accessed Sep. 21, 2017) for a list of EPA-issued CTGs and ACTs.

    31See CAA section 182(b)(2), 42 U.S.C. 7511a(b)(2)); see also Note, RACT Qs & As—Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT): Questions and Answers, William Harnett, Director, Air Quality Policy Division, EPA (May 2006), available at https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/aqmguide/collection/cp2/20060518_harnett_ract_q&a.pdf.

    For a Moderate, Serious, or Severe area a major stationary source is one that emits, or has the potential to emit, 100, 50, or 25 tons per year (tpy) or more, respectively, of VOCs or NOX (see CAA sections 182(b), 42 U.S.C. 7511a(b); 182(c), 42 U.S.C. 7511a(c); 182(d), 42 U.S.C. 7511a(d); and 302(j), 42 U.S.C. 7602(j)). For the DMNFR Moderate nonattainment area, a major stationary source is one that emits, or has the potential to emit, 100 tpy or more of VOCs or NOX. RACT can be adopted in the form of emission limitations or “work practice standards or other operation and maintenance requirements,” as appropriate.32 The Division identified 51 major sources in the DMNFR area, operated by 32 companies. The EPA will be acting on Colorado's major stationary source RACT submission in a separate action. Colorado did not rely on any emission reductions from major stationary sources in their 2017 modeling analysis. The remainder of this section will address Colorado's RACT submission related to CTG sources.

    32See Memorandum, “Approval Options for Generic RACT Rules Submitted to Meet the non-CTG VOC RACT Requirement and Certain NOX RACT Requirements,” Sally Shaver, Director, Air Quality Strategies & Standards Division, EPA (Nov. 7, 1996), available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-08/documents/shavermemogenericract_7nov1996.pdf.

    2. Evaluation 1. CTG Source Category Sources Addressed in This Action

    As part of its May 31, 2017 submittal, the Division conducted a RACT analysis to demonstrate that the RACT requirements for CTG sources in the DMNFR 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area have been fulfilled. The Division conducted its RACT analysis for VOC and NOX by: (1) Identifying all categories of CTG and major non-CTG sources of VOC and NOX emissions within the DMNFR nonattainment area; (2) Listing the state regulation that implements or exceeds RACT requirements for that CTG or non-CTG category; (3) Detailing the basis for concluding that these regulations fulfill RACT through comparison with established RACT requirements described in the CTG guidance documents and rules developed by other state and local agencies; and (4) Submitting negative declarations when there are no CTG or major non-CTG sources within the DMNFR area.

    The EPA has reviewed Colorado's new and revised VOC rules for the source categories covered by the CTGs for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS listed in Tables 5 and 6 and proposes to find that these rules are consistent with the control measures, definitions, recordkeeping, and test methods in these CTGs and applicable EPA RACT guidance.33 Tables 5 and 6 contain a list of CTG source categories, EPA reference documents, and the corresponding sections of Reg. No. 7 that fulfill the applicable RACT requirements for EPA-issued CTGs.34 Colorado's Reg. No. 7, Control of Ozone Via Ozone Precursors and Control of Hydrocarbons Via Oil and Gas Emissions, contains SIP-approved provisions (see 76 FR 47443, Aug. 4, 2011) that meet RACT requirements for the source categories listed in Table 5. Reg. No. 7 also contains general RACT provisions for the CTG source category listed in Table 6. To meet RACT requirements for the source category in Table 6, Colorado submitted several changes to Reg. No. 7 for adoption into its SIP (see Section N of this notice).

    33See https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/ract-information.

    34See The EPA's TSD for a full analysis of Colorado's rules as they relate to EPA guidelines and available technical information. We will be acting on the following CTG source categories in a future action: Metal Furniture Coatings, 2007; Miscellaneous Metal Products Coatings, 2008; Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations, 1996; Industrial Cleaning Solvents, 2006; and Aerospace, 1997.

    35 EPA Control Techniques Guidelines and Alternative Control Techniques Documents for Reducing Ozone-Causing Emissions, https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/control-techniques-guidelines-and-alternative-control-techniques-documents-reducing.

    36 The EPA published a final CTG on October 27, 2016 to reduce VOC emissions from the oil and gas industry (see 81 FR 74798 and https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/2016-ctg-oil-and-gas.pdf). The CTG gives states two years from the date of issuance to submit SIP revisions to address requirements of the oil and gas CTG. Therefore, Colorado did not submit a RACT analysis with their May 31, 2017 submission for this source category.

    Table 5—SIP Approved Source Specific Rules Meeting RACT Source category in
  • DMNFR area
  • CTG reference document 35 Date of CTG Chapter 7 sections
  • fulfilling RACT
  • Bulk Gasoline Plants Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Bulk Gasoline Plants 1977 Sections V, VI, and XV. Equipment Leaks from Natural Gas/Gasoline Processing Plants Control of Volatile Organic Compound Equipment Leaks from Natural Gas/Gasoline Processing Plants 1983 Sections V and XII. Leaks from Gasoline Tank Trucks and Vapor Collection Systems Control of Volatile Organic Compound Leaks from Gasoline Tank Trucks and Vapor Collection Systems 1978 Sections V, VI, and XV. Leaks from Petroleum Refinery Equipment Control of Volatile Organic Compound Leaks from Petroleum Refinery Equipment 1978 Sections V and VIII. Manufacture of Synthesized Pharmaceutical Products Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Manufacture of Synthesized Pharmaceutical Products 1978 Sections V, IX, and XIV. Oil and Natural Gas Industry 36 Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry 2016 Sections V, XII, XVII, and XVIII. Paper, Film, and Foil Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines for Film Coatings 2007 Sections V and IX. Petroleum Liquid Storage in External Floating Roof Tanks Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Petroleum Liquid Storage in External Floating Roof Tanks 1978 (ACT 1994) Sections V and VI. Refinery Vacuum Producing Systems, Wastewater Separators, and Process Unit Turnarounds Control of Refinery Vacuum Producing Systems, Wastewater Separators, and Process Unit Turnarounds 1977 Sections V and VIII. Solvent Metal Cleaning Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Solvent Metal Cleaning 1977 Sections V and X. Stage I Vapor Control Systems—Gasoline Service Stations Design Criteria for Stage I Vapor Control Systems—Gasoline Service Stations 1975 Sections V and VI. Storage of Petroleum Liquids in Fixed Roof Tanks Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Storage of Petroleum Liquids in Fixed-Roof Tanks 1977 Sections V and VI. Surface Coating of Cans Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Existing Stationary Sources—Volume II: Surface Coating of Cans, Coils, Paper, Fabrics, Automobiles, and Light-Duty Trucks 1977 Sections V and IX. Surface Coating of Coils Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Existing Stationary Sources—Volume II: Surface Coating of Cans, Coils, Paper, Fabrics, Automobiles, and Light-Duty Trucks 1977 Sections V and IX. Surface Coating of Metal Furniture Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Solvent Metal Cleaning 1977 Section V and IX. Surface Coating of Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Existing Stationary Sources—Volume VI: Surface Coating of Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products 1978 Sections V and IX. Tank Truck Gasoline Loading Terminals Control of Hydrocarbons from Tank Truck Gasoline Loading Terminals 1997 Section V, VI and XV. Use of Cutback Asphalt Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Use of Cutback Asphalt 1977 Sections V and XI.
    Table 6—General Rules With Proposed SIP Revisions Meeting RACT for Source Category Source category in
  • DMNFR area
  • CTG reference document Date of CTG Chapter 7 sections
  • fulfilling RACT
  • Lithographic Printing Materials and Letterpress Printing Materials Control Techniques Guidelines for Offset Lithographic Printing and Letterpress Printing 2006 Sections V and XIII.

    The Division also reviewed four ACT VOC source categories to determine if additional VOC reductions could be achieved (see section 6.2.4 of the OAP):

    1. Organic Waste Process Vents (EPA 1990, ACT);

    2. Bakery Ovens (EPA 1992, ACT);

    3. Industrial Wastewater Alternative Control Technology (EPA 1994, ACT); and

    4. Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Batch Processes (EPA 1994, ACT).

    These four categories were evaluated because they are not addressed by a CTG, federal consumer product rule, or directly by a New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) or National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutant (NESHAP) and are not included in a State source-specific RACT provision. Colorado found in its analysis that there are more recent NSPS and NESHAPs that cover the source categories, and that the State has incorporated by reference in Reg. No. 6 and implements. Additionally, Reg. No. 7 establishes work practices and disposal practices similar to the ACTs. Accordingly, Colorado did not identify any additional requirements to include in their RACT analysis through their review of the ACTs.

    We have reviewed the emission limitations and control requirements for the above source categories (Tables 5 and 6 in Reg. No. 7) and compared them against the EPA's CTG and ACT documents, available technical information, and guidelines. The emission limitations and control requirements in Reg. No. 7 for the above source categories are consistent with our guidance.

    Based on available information, we find that the corresponding sections in Reg. No. 7 provide for the lowest emission limitation through application of control techniques that are reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. For more information, see the EPA TSD prepared in conjunction with this action. Therefore, we propose to find that the control requirements for the source categories identified in Tables 5 and 6 are RACT for all affected sources in the DMNFR area under the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    I. Negative Declarations

    States are not required to adopt RACT limits for source categories for which no sources exist in a nonattainment area, and can submit a negative declaration to that effect. Colorado has reviewed its emissions inventory and determined that there are no subject sources for source categories listed in Table 7 in the DMNFR area. We are also unaware of any such facilities operating in the DMNFR nonattainment area, and thus we propose to approve the negative declarations made for the source categories in Table 7 for the DMNFR area under the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    Table 7—Negative Declarations for CTG VOC Source Categories Source category negative declarations for DMNFR area Auto and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings (2008). Factory Surface Coating of Flat Wood Paneling. Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials (2008). Flat Wood Paneling Coatings (2006). Flexible Packaging Printing Materials (2006). Fugitive Emissions from Synthetic Organic Chemical Polymer and Resin Manufacturing Equipment. Graphic Arts—Rotogravure and Flexography. Large Appliance Coatings (2007). Large Petroleum Dry Cleaners. Manufacture of High-Density Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polystyrene Resins. Manufacture of Pneumatic Rubber Tires. Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesives (2008). Oil and Natural Gas Industry (2016). Plastic Parts Coatings (2008). SOCMI Air Oxidation Processes. SOCMI Distillation and Reactor Processes. Shipbuilding/repair. Surface Coating for Insulation of Magnet Wire. Surface Coating of Automobiles and Light-Duty Trucks. Surface Coating of Fabrics. Surface Coating of Large Appliances. Surface Coating of Paper. I. Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM) Analysis 1. Background

    With the attainment demonstration, Colorado submitted a demonstration that the DMNFR area has adopted all RACM necessary to demonstrate attainment as expeditiously as practicable, as required by CAA section 172(c)(1), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(1), and 40 CFR 51.912(d). The EPA interprets the CAA RACM provision to require a demonstration that: (1) The state has adopted all reasonable measures (including RACT) to meet RFP requirements and to demonstrate attainment as expeditiously as possible; and (2) no additional measures that are reasonably available will advance the attainment date or contribute to RFP for the area. States should consider all available measures, including those being implemented in other areas, but must adopt measures for an area only if those measures are economically and technologically feasible and will advance the attainment date or are necessary for RFP.

    The EPA provided guidance interpreting the RACM requirements of section 172(c)(1) in the General Preamble for Implementation of Title I of the CAA of 1990.37 The EPA explained that states should consider all potentially available measures to determine whether they are reasonably available for implementation in the area, and whether they will advance the attainment date. Id. Potentially available measures that would not advance the attainment date for an area are not considered RACM; likewise, states can reject potential RACM if adopting them would cause substantial widespread and long-term adverse impacts. Id. Local conditions, such as economics or implementation concerns, may also be considered. To allow the EPA to determine whether the RACM requirement has been satisfied, states should provide in the SIP submittals a discussion of whether measures “within the arena of potentially reasonable measures” are in fact reasonably available.38 If the measures are reasonably available, they must be adopted as RACM.

    37 General Preamble, 57 FR 13498, 13560 (April 16, 1992).

    38 “Guidance on the Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM) Requirement and Attainment Demonstration Submissions for Ozone Nonattainment Areas,” John S. Seitz, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA (Nov. 30, 1999).

    2. Evaluation

    To demonstrate that the area meets the RACM requirement, Colorado identified potentially available control measures with input from stakeholders and analyzed whether the measure would be considered a RACM measure. In 2011, the RAQC issued a Report to the Governor that identified and evaluated potential control strategies. Later in 2011, the RAQC and CDPHE evaluated control measures for all source categories that could be implemented over the next five years and included them in a report to the RAQC Board in November 2011. Since 2011, Colorado has adopted oil and gas regulations, implemented Clean Air—Clean Jobs Act 39 controls through the Regional Haze SIP, and continued alternative fuels, transportation, and land use programs. In May 2015, the RAQC reconvened discussions with the CDPHE and other partners to review control strategies for the 2008 ozone SIP as well as future SIPs. Three subcommittees made up of RAQC Board members were assembled. Areas of analysis included stationary/areas sources, mobile sources/fuels, and transpiration/land use/pricing/outreach. Subcommittee meetings were open to the public, and stakeholders provided input on the topics discussed.

    39 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 40-3.2-201 et seq.

    Colorado determined that all control measures necessary to demonstrate attainment are currently being implemented. Table 43 of Colorado's OAP lists control measures included in Colorado's SIP as they relate to the State's 2017 emissions inventory, photochemical modeling in the attainment demonstration, and weight of evidence analysis. As discussed in Chapter 7.3.2 of the OAP, the AQCC adopted modifications to Reg. No. 11 to incorporate the portions of Larimer and Weld Counties that are within the DMNFR nonattainment area into Colorado's I/M program. This change was submitted as a SIP revision and is being acted on in this action (see section J of this notice). Additionally, Chapter 7.3.5.1. describes SIP-strengthening revisions made to Colorado's oil and gas control program in Reg. No. 7 (see section N of this notice). These revisions include adoption of two “state-only” provisions into the Ozone SIP, pertaining to (1) auto-igniter requirements for combustion devices; and (2) audio, visual, and olfactory inspection of storage tanks and associated equipment.

    As part of the RACM analysis, CDPHE examined emission reduction measures (see Table 44 of the OAP) being implemented in the DMNFR area that are not included in the SIP modeling and emissions inventory because they are voluntary or difficult to quantify. Non-federally-enforceable emission reduction measures were evaluated for stationary and mobile sources, lawn and garden, outreach and education, and the transportation system. Additionally, Colorado evaluated CAA 108(f), 42 U.S.C. 7408(f) transportation measures (see Table 48 of the OAP) to determine whether sources have applied RACM.

    Emission measures that were evaluated but determined not to be RACM are discussed in Chapter 7.5 of the OAP. Colorado used the following criteria to determine whether measures were considered RACM:

    • Necessary to demonstrate attainment;

    • Technologically or economically feasible;

    • Implemented successfully in other Moderate areas;

    • Could be implemented by January 1, 2017; and

    • Could qualify as SIP measures by being quantifiable, enforceable, permanent, and surplus.

    Emission reduction measures evaluated for RACM were broken into area sources, on-road mobile sources, non-road mobile sources, fuels, transportation, alternative transportation, and land use categories. Tables 50 and 51 of the OAP summarizes the measures evaluated and Colorado's RACM determination for each measure. Colorado also reviewed the EPA's Menu of Control Measures for NAAQS Implementation 40 and voluntary and mandatory control measures in other ozone nonattainment areas. Table 53 of the OAP lists control measures identified, and indicates which measures were included in the State's RACM review. Although Colorado's analysis demonstrated that none of the additional measures identified met the criteria for RACM, the State plans to continue evaluating strategies in various areas including fuels, on- and off-road vehicles, and land use.

    40 The Menu of Control Measures gives state, local and tribal air agencies information on existing emissions reduction measures, as well as relevant information concerning the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the measures. Available at https://www.epa.gov/air-quality-implementation-plans/menu-control-measures-naaqs-implementation.

    In its analysis, Colorado evaluated all source categories that could contribute meaningful emission reductions, and identified and evaluated an extensive list of potential control measures. To determine reasonableness and availability, the State considered the time needed to develop and adopt regulations, and the time it would take to see the benefit from these measures. The EPA has reviewed the RACM analysis and finds that there are no additional RACM that would advance the Moderate area attainment date of 2018 for the DMNFR nonattainment area. Therefore, the EPA proposes to approve Colorado's Moderate area RACM SIP for the DMNFR Moderate nonattainment area.

    J. Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program (I/M) Program 1. Background

    As a Moderate ozone nonattainment area, Colorado is required to implement an I/M program. Colorado's Reg. No. 11 is entitled “Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program” and addresses the implementation of the State's I/M program. Under Reg. No. 11 and state law (5 CCR 1001-13), all eligible automobiles registered in the Automobile Inspection and Readjustment (AIR) program area (the current nine-county AIR program area is depicted in Chapter 8, Figure 27, page 8-3 of the OAP) are subject to periodic emissions inspection. Currently there is an exemption from emissions inspection requirements for the first seven model years. Thereafter, an On-Board-Diagnostics (OBD) vehicle computer inspection is conducted during the first two inspection cycles (vehicles 8 through 11 model years old). Vehicles older than 11 model years are given a dynamometer-based IM240 test for 1982 and newer light-duty gasoline vehicles 41 and a two-speed idle test (TSI) 42 for 1981 and older light-duty gasoline vehicles. To improve motorist convenience and reduce program implementation costs, the State also administers a remote sensing-based “Clean Screen” program component of the I/M program. Remote sensing is a method for measuring vehicle emissions, while simultaneously photographing the license plate, when a vehicle passes through infrared or ultraviolet beams of light. Owners of vehicles meeting the Clean Screen criteria are notified by the respective County Clerk that their vehicle has passed the motor vehicle inspection process and are exempt from their next regularly scheduled IM240 test.43

    41See 40 CFR part 51, subpart S for a complete description of EPA's IM240 test. The IM240 test is essentially an enhanced motor vehicle emissions test to measure mass tailpipe emissions while the vehicle follows a computer generated driving cycle trace for 240 seconds and while the vehicle is on a dynamometer.

    42See 40 CFR part 51, subpart S for a complete description of EPA's two-speed idle test. The two-speed idle test essentially measures the mass tailpipe emissions of a stationary vehicle; one reading is at a normal idle of approximately 700 to 800 engine revolutions per minute (RPM) and one reading at 2,500 RPM.

    43 The Clean Screen program component of Reg. No. 11 was originally approved for implementation in the Denver area with the EPA's approval of the original Denver carbon monoxide (CO) redesignation to attainment and the related maintenance plan. See 66 FR 64751 (Dec. 14, 2001). The Clean Screen criteria approved in 2001 required two valid passing remote sensing readings, on different days or from different sensors and within a twelve-month period. Colorado revised Reg. No. 11 to expand the definition and requirements for a “clean-screened vehicle” to also include vehicles identified as low-emitting vehicles in the state-determined Low Emitting Index (LEI) that have one passing remote sensing reading, before the vehicle's registration renewal date. These improvements and other associated revisions to the Clean Screen program were approved by the EPA on October 21, 2016. 81 FR 72720.

    2. Evaluation

    The AIR program and Reg. No. 11 were expanded into portions of Larimer and Weld counties in the Colorado 2009 Legislative session, with the passage of Senate Bill 09-003. The startup date of the I/M program in these two counties was November 1, 2010. The purpose of this expansion of the AIR program and Reg. No. 11 into portions of Larimer and Weld counties was to further reduce vehicle emissions of NOX and VOC ozone precursors in the 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. The DMNFR was then only classified as a Marginal ozone nonattainment area, and an I/M program was not required in Larimer and Weld counties. Therefore, the State decided to make this portion of the I/M program, for these two counties, a “State-only” provision, and not to submit it as a SIP revision.

    With the reclassification of the DMNFR nonattainment area to Moderate for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and in light of the associated CAA requirements, the State chose to submit the I/M program in Larimer and Weld counties into the federal SIP. Adding these requirements into the federal SIP required several minor revisions, which were adopted by the Colorado AQCC on November 17, 2016, and submitted to the EPA on May 31, 2017. These revisions involved changes to “PART A: General Provisions, Area of Applicability, Schedules for Obtaining Certification of Emissions Control, Definitions, Exemptions, and Clean Screening/Remote Sensing.” Specifically, definition number 43 was modified to remove the notation that the “North Front Range Area” was a State-only program and not included in the SIP. In addition, Part A, section V, “Expansion of The Enhanced Emissions Program to the North Front Range Area,” was modified to remove the notation that the I/M program was only a State-only program for portions of Larimer and Weld counties and not part of the SIP. By making these changes to Part A of Reg. No. 11, and submitting them for approval by the EPA into the federal SIP, the State made the I/M program in portions of Larimer and Weld counties federally enforceable. Incorporating the formerly State-only portions of the I/M program into the SIP permitted Colorado to include the motor vehicle emissions reductions received from operation of the AIR program in these areas of Larimer and Weld counties in the DMNFR attainment demonstration.

    Based on our review and as discussed above, we propose approval of the submitted Reg. No. 11 SIP revisions.

    K. Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) 1. Background

    As a Moderate ozone nonattainment area, Colorado is required to implement a nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program. Applicable NNSR requirements for ozone nonattainment areas are described in CAA section 182, 42 U.S.C. 7511a, and further defined in 40 CFR part 51, subpart I (Review of New Sources and Modifications). Under these requirements, new major sources and major modifications at existing sources must achieve the lowest achievable emission rate (LAER) and obtain emission offsets in an amount based on the specific ozone nonattainment classification. The emission offset ratio required for Moderate ozone nonattainment areas is 1.15 to 1. CAA section 182(b)(5), 42 U.S.C. 7511a(b)(5).

    2. Evaluation

    The Colorado SIP includes Regulation No. 3, Part D, Section V.A. (Concerning Major Stationary Source New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Requirements Applicable to Nonattainment Areas). This provision requires new major sources and major modifications at existing sources in the DMNFR area to comply with LAER and obtain emission offsets at the Moderate classification ratio of 1.15 to 1. The EPA approved these provisions on January 25, 2016 (81 FR 3963). In addition, in their OAP, Colorado recertified that the State's NNSR program is fully up to date with all requirements of the Marginal designation, including offset ratios of at least 1.1 to 1. Therefore, since the provisions in the Colorado SIP satisfy the CAA NNSR requirements for ozone nonattainment areas classified as Marginal and Moderate, we propose approval of this portion of the OAP.

    L. Contingency Measures Plan 1. Background

    Nonattainment plan provisions must provide for the implementation of contingency measures. CAA section 172(c)(9), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(9). These are specific measures to provide additional emission reductions if a nonattainment area fails to make RFP, or to attain the NAAQS, by the applicable date. Contingency measures must take effect without further action by the state or the EPA. While the CAA does not specify the type of measures or quantity of emissions reductions required, the EPA has interpreted the CAA for purposes of the Ozone NAAQS to mean that contingency measures should provide additional emissions reductions of 3% of the adjusted base year inventory for the nonattainment area (or the state may implement contingency measures that achieve a lesser percentage that will make up the identified shortfall in RFP or attainment). Contingency measures may include federal measures and local measures already scheduled for implementation, as long as their emission reductions are in excess of those needed for attainment or to meet RFP in the nonattainment plan. The EPA interprets the CAA not to preclude a state from implementing such measures before they are triggered by a failure to meet RFP or failure to attain. For more information on contingency measures, see the General Preamble (57 FR at 13510) and the 2008 Ozone Implementation Rule (80 FR 12264, 12285).

    2. Evaluation

    To meet the contingency measures requirement, the State identified specific measures that provide emissions reductions in excess of those needed for RFP and for attainment as contingency measures. See Chapter 10, Tables 54 and 55 of the OAP. The submitted contingency measures consist of NOX reductions from two EGUs addressed in the Colorado Clean Air—Clean Jobs Act and previously adopted as part of the Colorado Regional Haze SIP. These two projects are: (1) The retirement of Valmont Unit 5, a 184 megawatt coal fired steam turbine located in Boulder County, and (2) switching the 352 MW coal fired steam turbine of Cherokee Unit 4 located in Adams County from coal to natural gas. The sources completed these projects by the end of 2017 and they will result in an additional 11 tons per day of NOX reductions, equating to 3.4% of the 2011 base year NOX emissions inventory. Per EPA guidance for purposes of the Ozone NAAQS, contingency measures should achieve reductions of 3% of the baseline emissions inventory for the nonattainment area. The State's contingency measures therefore are consistent with Agency guidance, because they in fact result in more than 3% reductions over the relevant baseline. The purpose of the contingency measures is to provide for further emission reductions to make up the shortfall needed for RFP or for attainment, during the period in which the State and the EPA determine whether the nonattainment plan for the area needs further revision to achieve the NAAQS expeditiously.44

    44See General Preamble, section III.A.3.c (57 FR 13498 at 13511).

    The appropriateness of relying on already-implemented reductions to meet the contingency measures requirement has been addressed in two federal circuit court decisions. See Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) v. EPA, 382 F.3d 575, 586 (5th Cir. 2004), Bahr v. United States EPA, 836 F.3d 1218 (9th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 199 L. Ed. 2d 525, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 58 (Jan. 8, 2018). The EPA believes that the language of section 172(c)(9) is ambiguous with respect to this issue, and that it is reasonable for the agency to interpret the statutory language to allow approval of already implemented measures as contingency measures, so long as they meet other parameters such as providing excess emissions reductions that the state has not relied upon to make RFP or for attainment in the nonattainment plan for the NAAQS at issue. Until the Bahr decision, under the EPA's longstanding interpretation of CAA section 172(c)(9), states could rely on control measures that were already implemented (so called “early triggered” contingency measures) as a valid means to meet the Act's contingency measures requirement. The Ninth Circuit decision in Bahr leaves a split among the federal circuit courts, with the Fifth Circuit upholding the Agency's interpretation of section 172(c)(9) to allow early triggered contingency measures and the Ninth Circuit rejecting that interpretation. The Tenth Circuit, in which Colorado is located, has not addressed the issue, nor has the Supreme Court or any other circuit court other than the Fifth and Ninth.

    Because there is a split in the federal circuits on this issue, the EPA expects that states located in circuits other than the Ninth may elect to rely on the EPA's longstanding interpretation of section 172(c)(9) allowing early triggered measures to be approved as contingency measures, in appropriate circumstances. The EPA's recently revised Regional Consistency regulations pertaining to SIP provisions authorize the Agency to follow this interpretation of section 172(c)(9) in Circuits other than the Ninth. See 40 CFR part 56. To ensure that early triggered contingency measures appropriately satisfy all other relevant CAA requirements, the EPA will carefully review each such measure, and intends to consult with states considering such measures early in the nonattainment plan development process.

    As shown in Table 55 of Colorado's OAP, the NOX reductions projected through 2018 are sufficient to meet the requirements for contingency measures, consistent with the EPA's interpretation of the CAA to allow approval of already implemented control measures as contingency measures in states outside the Ninth Circuit. Therefore, we propose approval of the contingency measure submitted by the state in the OAP.

    M. Motor Vehicle Emissions Budget (MVEB)/Transportation Conformity 1. Background

    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7506. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS (CAA 176(c)(1)(B), 42 U.S.C. 7506(c)(1)(B)). The EPA's conformity rule at 40 CFR part 93, subpart A requires that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to SIPs, and establishes the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not they conform. The conformity rule requires a demonstration that emissions from the Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) are consistent with the MVEB in the control strategy SIP revision or maintenance plan. 40 CFR 93.101, 93.118, and 93.124. The MVEBs are defined as the portion allocated to mobile source emissions out of the total allowable emissions of a pollutant defined in the SIP for a certain date for the purpose of demonstrating attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or for meeting reasonable further progress milestones.45

    45 40 CFR 93.101; see 40 CFR 93.118 and 93.124 for criteria and other requirements related to MVEBs. Further discussion of MVEBs is in the preamble to the transportation conformity rule. 58 FR 62188, 62193-62196 (Nov. 24, 1993).

    2. Evaluation

    Colorado derived the MVEBs for NOX and VOCs from its 2017 DMNFR attainment demonstration, and defined the MVEBs in Chapter 11, section 11.4 of the OAP.

    Table 8—2017 NOX and VOC MVEBs for DMNFR Area of applicability 2017 NOX
  • emissions
  • (tons per day)
  • 2017 VOC
  • emissions
  • (tons per day)
  • Northern Subarea 12 8 Southern Subarea 61 47 Total Nonattainment Area 73 55

    These MVEBs are consistent with, and clearly related to, the emissions inventory and the control measures in the SIP; are consistent (when considered together with all other emissions sources) with attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in 2017; and satisfy the minimum criteria at 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). Therefore, we propose approval of the MVEBs as reflected in Table 8. This proposed approval applies to the Northern Subarea and Southern Subarea MVEBs as well as the Total Nonattainment Area MVEBs. The transportation conformity subareas are defined in Chapter 11, section 11.3 of the OAP and are listed below.

    • The Northern Subarea is the area denoted by the ozone nonattainment area north of the Boulder County northern boundary and extended through southern Weld County to the Morgan County line. This area includes the North Front Range MPO's (NFRMPO) regional planning area as well as part of the Upper Front Range Transportation Planning Region (TPR) in Larimer and Weld counties.

    • The Southern Subarea is the area denoted by the ozone nonattainment area south of the Boulder County northern boundary and extended through southern Weld County to the Morgan County line. This area includes the nonattainment portion of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) regional planning area and the southern Weld County portion of the Upper Front Range TPR.

    • Both subareas are further described in the OAP in Figure 29, “8-hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Subareas.”

    In addition to proposing approval of the MVEBs, we also propose to approve the process described in Chapter 11, section 11.6 in the OAP for the use of the Total Nonattainment Area MVEBs or the subarea MVEBs for the respective MPOs to determine transportation conformity for their respective RTP. As described in section 11.6 of Colorado's OAP, the OAP identifies subarea MVEBs for DRCOG and the NFRMPO. These SIP-identified subarea MVEBs allow either MPO to make independent conformity determinations for the applicable subarea MVEBs whose frequency and timing needs for conformity determinations differ. As noted in section 11.6, DRCOG and the NFRMPO may switch from using the Total Nonattainment Area MVEBs to using the subarea MVEBs for determining conformity. To switch to use of the subarea MVEBs (or to subsequently switch back to use of the Total Nonattainment Area MVEBs) DRCOG and the NFRMPO must use the process described in the DMNFR OAP in section 11.6 (see pages 11-5 and 11-6). This process of demonstrating transportation conformity to the total or subarea area MVEBs, as described in section 11.6 of the OAP, was previously approved by the EPA for the Denver Ozone Plan for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (76 FR 47443, Aug. 5, 2011). Now, as to the 2008 8-hour standard, the EPA finds that this process remains consistent with the CAA and with applicable EPA regulations, and therefore proposes to approve it.

    N. SIP Control Measures 1. Background

    This section describes revisions to Colorado Reg. No. 7 submitted as a part of the SIP, including emission control requirements for oil and gas operations, graphic arts and printing processes, stationary and portable engines, and other combustion equipment. The revisions also establish RACT requirements for emission points at major sources of VOC and NOX in the DMNFR area.

    Reg. No. 7 contains various requirements intended to reduce emissions of ozone precursors. These are in the form of specific emission limits applicable to various industries and general RACT requirements.46 The EPA approved the repeal and re-promulgation of Reg. No. 7 in 1981 (46 FR 16687, March 13, 1981) and has approved various revisions to parts of Reg. No. 7 over the years. In 2008, the EPA approved revisions to the control requirements for condensate storage tanks in Section XII (73 FR 8194, Feb. 13, 2008). The EPA later approved revisions to Reg. No. 7, Sections I through XI and Section XIII through XVI (76 FR 47443, Aug. 5, 2011). Most recently, the EPA approved Reg. No. 7 revisions to control emissions from rich burn reciprocating internal combustion engines in Section XVII.E.3.a (77 FR 76871, Dec. 31, 2012).

    46 On October 20, 2016, the EPA issued final CTGs for existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry (see https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/2016-ctg-oil-and-gas.pdf). In accordance with the timing set forth in the CTG, Colorado has two years from this date (October 20, 2018) to submit SIP revisions to EPA to update RACT for this source category (see Memo: Implementing Reasonably Available Control Technology Requirements for Sources Covered by the 2016 Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry, available within the docket for this action).

    Colorado submitted proposed revisions to Reg. No. 7 on May 5, 2013, and submitted revised Reg. No. 7 revisions with the OAP on May 31, 2017. The 2017 revisions address EPA concerns about the May 5, 2013 submittal regarding monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements in Sections XII.H.5 and XII.H.6 and other concerns in Sections XII.C.1.c, XII.C.1.d, XII.C.2.a.(ii)(B), XII.E.3, and XII.H.4. The May 31, 2017 submittal also includes changes to Reg. No. 7 regarding RACT requirements for lithographic and letterpress printing, industrial cleaning solvents, and major sources of VOCs or NOX. Colorado made substantive revisions to certain limited parts of Reg. No. 7, particularly Sections X, XII, XIII, XVI and new Section XIX., and also made non-substantive revisions to numerous parts of the regulation. For ease of review, Colorado submitted the full text of Reg. No. 7 as a SIP revision (with the exception of provisions designated “State Only”). The EPA is only seeking comment on Colorado's proposed substantive changes to the SIP-approved version of Reg. No. 7, which are described below. We are not seeking comment on incorporation into the SIP of the revised portions of the regulation that were previously approved into the SIP and have not been substantively modified by the State as part of this submission.

    As noted above, Colorado designated various parts of Reg. No. 7 “State Only” and in Section I.A.1.c indicated that sections designated State Only are not federally enforceable. The EPA concludes that provisions designated State Only have not been submitted for EPA approval, but for informational purposes. Hence, the EPA is not proposing to act on the portions of Reg. No. 7 designated State Only and this proposed rule does not discuss them further except as relevant to discussion of the portions of the regulation that Colorado intended to be federally enforceable.

    2. Evaluation a. Analysis of Reg. No. 7 Changes in May 5, 2013 Submittal

    The EPA proposes to approve the changes made to Section XII.D (currently SIP-approved Section XII.A.2) with Colorado's May 5, 2013 submission.47

    47 All other sections of Reg. No. 7 addressed in the May 5, 2013 submission have been superseded by the State's May 31, 2017 submission. The EPA is not acting on the superseded earlier submissions.

    (i) Section XII.D

    Section XII.D contains an introductory statement regarding the control requirements for atmospheric condensate storage tanks. The changes to current SIP-approved Section XII.A.2 are minor and do not change the substance of the corresponding EPA-approved provisions.

    a. Section XII.D.2.a

    Section XII.D.2.a contains the system-wide control requirements for condensate storage tanks. Owners and operators of storage tanks that emit greater than two tons per year of actual uncontrolled VOCs are subject to the requirements in Section XII.D.2.a. The current SIP provides for a weekly 75% system-wide VOC reduction during the summer ozone season beginning May 1, 2007, and 78% beginning May 1, 2012. The revised section significantly increases the summer ozone season weekly VOC reduction requirements from the current EPA-approved requirements, to 85% beginning in 2010 (revised Section XII.D.2.a.(ix)) and 90% beginning May 1, 2011, and each year thereafter (revised Section XII.D.2.a.(x)). The revised Section XII.D.2.a provides more stringent emission reductions than the current SIP and therefore serves to strengthen the SIP.

    b. Analysis by Section of Reg. No. 7 Changes in May 31, 2017 Submittal (i) Sections I, II, VI, VII, VIII, and IX

    The changes in these sections are clerical 48 in nature and do not affect the substance of the requirements. Therefore, we propose to approve the changes.

    48 When we describe changes as clerical in this proposed action, we are referring to changes like section renumbering, alphabetizing of definitions, minor grammatical and editorial revisions, and changes in capitalization.

    (ii) Section X

    Section X. regulates VOC emissions from the use of cleaning solvents. We will be acting on Section X revisions in a future action.

    (iii) Section XII

    Section XII contains emission control requirements for VOCs from oil and gas operations. The State originally reorganized Section XII and included additional control requirements for condensate tanks in their June 18, 2009 SIP submittal. The EPA disapproved revisions to Reg. No. 7, Section XII in our August 5, 2011 rulemaking (76 FR 47443) because of deficiencies in Colorado's proposed revisions (see 75 FR 42355, July 21, 2010). The State once again submitted proposed revisions to Section XII with their May 31, 2017 submissions. Table 9 outlines the reorganization/renumbering in Colorado's proposed revisions to Section XII:

    Table 9—Reorganization/Renumbering in Colorado's Proposed Revisions to Section XII Proposed section XII numbering Corresponding EPA-approved
  • section XII numbering
  • Subject
    XII.A XII.A Applicability. XII.A.1 XII.A Applicability. XII.A.1.a through d.(ii) XII.A.1.a through c Applicability. XII.A.2 XII.D.4 Exception to applicability of oil refineries. XII.A.3 None Applicability for natural gas-processing plants and certain natural gas compressor stations. Subject to Section XII.G. and XII.I. XII.A.4 None Applicability for certain glycol natural gas dehydrators, natural gas compressor stations, drip stations, or gas processing plants. Only subject to XII.B and XII.H. XII.A.5 XII.A.8 Exception to applicability based on uncontrolled actual VOC emissions threshold of 30 tons per year. XII.B None Definitions specific to section XII. XII.B.1, 2, 3, 9, and 14 XII.D.5, 8, 6, 1, and 9. Definitions of various terms. XII.B.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12 None Definitions of various terms. XII.C XII.D General provisions to section XII. XII.C.1 None General requirements for air pollution control equipment, leaks. XII.C.1.a XII.D.2.a General requirements for operation/maintenance of control equipment. XII.C.1.b XII.D.2.b General requirement to minimize leakage of VOCs. XII.C.1.c XII.A.7 and XII.A.4.h Air pollution control—equipment control efficiency. Failure to operate and maintain control equipment at indicated locations is a violation. XII.C.1.d XII.D.2.c Requirements for combustion devices. XII.C.1.e None State-only requirements related to combustion devices. XII.C.1.e.(iii) None Auto-igniter requirements for combustion devices. XII.C.2 and XII.C.2.a XII.D.3 Emission factors for emission estimates. XII.D XII.A.2 Emission control requirements for condensate tanks. XII.D.2.a.(i) through (x) XII.A.2.a through h System-wide control requirements for condensate storage tanks. XII.D.2.b XII.A.9 Alternative emission control equipment. XII.E XII.A.3 Monitoring. XII.E.1 None Requirements for control equipment other than a combustion device. XII.E.2, XII.E.2.a and b XII.A.3.a and b Checks for combustion devices. XII.E.3 XII.A.4.j Documentation of inspections. XII.E.3.a.-e XII.A.3.c.-f Requirements for the weekly check. XII.F XII.A.4 and XII.A.5 Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. XII.F.1 and 2 XII.A.10 and 11 Marking of AIRS numbers on tanks. XII.F.3 XII.A.4 Introductory language for recordkeeping. XII.F.3.a(i) XII.A.4.a List of tanks and production volumes. XII.F.3.a(ii) and (iii) XII.A.4.b and c Listing of emission factors and location and control efficiencies. XII.F.3.a(iv) XII.A.4.d.i List weekly and monthly production values. Describes how to determine the averages. XII.F.3.a(v)-(vii) XII.A.4.d.ii-iv List weekly and monthly uncontrolled actual and controlled actual emissions by tank and system-wide. List percent reductions weekly and monthly. XII.F.3.a(viii) XII.A.4.e Note any downtime and account for it. XII.F.3.a(ix)-(x) XII.A.4.f-g Maintaining and mailing of spreadsheet. XII.F.3.b-d XII.A.4.h-j Failure to have control equipment as indicated on spread sheet is violation. Retain spread sheets for five years. Maintain records of inspections. XII.F.4 XII.A.5 Reporting for system-wide requirements. XII.F.4.a XII.A.5.a List tanks and production volumes. XII.F.4.b-c XII.A.5.b-c List emission factor and location and control efficiency. XII.F.4.d XII.A.5.d What different reports must show based on time of year. Emissions from individual tanks must be included. XII.F.4.e XII.A.5.e What different reports must show based on time of year. Emissions system-wide. XII.F.4.f XII.A.5.f What different reports must show based on time of year. Percent reduction system-wide. XII.F.4.g XII.A.5.g Note shutdown of control equipment and account for same in totals. XII.F.4.h XII.A.5.h State whether required reductions were achieved. XII.F.4.i XII.A.5.i Include any information requested by the Division. XII.F.4.j XII.A.5.j Retention period. XII.F.4.k XII.A.5.k Additional reporting, monthly reporting of problems and corrective actions. XII.F.4.l XII.A.5.l Before ozone season, identify tanks being controlled to meet system-wide control requirements. XII.F.5 XII.A.6 Exemption from record-keeping and reporting requirements for natural gas compressor stations and drip stations authorized to operate pursuant to a construction or operating permit. XII.G XII.B Requirements for gas processing plants. Introductory statement. XII.G.1 XII.B.1 Part 60 leak detection applies. XII.G.2 XII.B.2 Applicability of control equipment. XII.G.3 XII.B.3 Compliance date for existing plants. XII.G.4 XII.B.4 Compliance date for new plants. XII.H.1 XII.C Requirements that apply to vents from gas-condensate-glycol separators or tanks on glycol natural gas dehydrators at an oil and gas exploration and production operation, natural gas compressor station, drip station or gas-processing plant. XII.H.3 XII.C Control requirements application. XII.H.3.b XII.C Control requirements application. XII.H.4 None Method for calculating emissions from vents. XII.H.5 None Monitoring and recordkeeping requirements for glycol natural gas dehydrators. XII.H.6 None Reporting requirements for glycol natural gas dehydrators. XII.I Natural gas compressor and drip station section XII requirements exemptions.

    Section XII revises requirements for system-wide reductions in condensate storage tank VOC emissions. The current EPA-approved Section XII requires that uncontrolled actual condensate tank VOC emissions in the DMNFR area be reduced on a weekly basis during the summer ozone season by 75% system-wide beginning May 1, 2007, and 78% beginning May 1, 2012. Revised Section XII (Section XII.D.2) requires an 81% system-wide reduction in uncontrolled actual weekly condensate tank VOC emissions during the summer ozone season beginning May 1, 2009, an 85% reduction beginning May 1, 2010, and a 90% reduction beginning May 1, 2011. Section XII proposed revisions also include combustion device auto-igniter requirements, a leak detection and repair (LDAR) program applicable to natural gas processing plants, and emission reductions from glycol natural gas dehydrators requirements. Below, we describe in detail Colorado's proposed revisions to Section XII and the basis for our proposed approval of such revisions.

    a. Section XII.A

    Section XII.A defines the applicability of Section XII requirements and is consistent with the current EPA-approved applicability provisions in Section XII.

    b. Section XII.B

    Section XII.B contains definitions specific to Section XII. The substance of the definitions in Sections XII.B.1, 2, 3, 9, 12, and 14 is unchanged from the definitions contained in SIP approved Sections XII.D.1 and XII.D.5 through 9. The other definitions in revised Section XII.B define the following terms that are used in Section XII: Auto-igniter, calendar week, condensate storage tank, downtime, existing, modified or modification, and new. The definitions are clear, straightforward, and accurate.

    The definition of existing is only pertinent to State-only provisions and thus has no meaning for our SIP action.

    c. Section XII.C.1

    Section XII.C.1 contains general requirements for air pollution control equipment and prevention of leakage. Section XII.C.1.e includes a provision requiring all combustion devices installed on or after January 1, 2017, used to control emissions of VOCs to be equipped with an operational auto-igniter. This new provision strengthens Colorado's SIP. The remaining Section XII.C.1 revisions do not change the substance of the corresponding EPA-approved provisions.

    d. Section XII.C.2

    Section XII.C.2 describes the emission factors to be used for estimating emissions and emissions reductions from condensate storage tanks under Section XII. In the current EPA-approved SIP (Sections XII.D.3.b and 3.b.i), the emission factors to be used are specified for condensate storage tanks at natural gas compressor stations, natural gas drip stations, and gas-condensate-glycol separators. In revised Sections XII.C.2.a.(ii) and a.(ii)(A), Colorado deleted the reference to gas-condensate-glycol separators. Revised Section XII.H still requires a 90 percent reduction in emissions at certain gas-condensate-glycol separators. Emission calculation and monitoring and recordkeeping requirements established in XII.H.4, 5, and 6 provide for enforcement and compliance of emission reduction requirements in XII.H.1.

    At the EPA's request, Colorado deleted the EPA approval requirement in XII.C.2.a.(ii)(B). The EPA is not involved in formal approval of site-specific emission factors and the EPA was concerned with previous SIP-approved language in XII.D.b.3.ii, which allowed for default SIP approval if the EPA did not object within 30 days to a test method approved by the Division to determine an emission factor.

    e. Section XII.D

    Section XII.D contains an introductory statement regarding the control requirements for atmospheric condensate storage tanks. The changes to current SIP-approved Section XII.A.2 are minor and do not change the substance of the corresponding EPA-approved provisions.

    f. Section XII.D.2.a

    Section XII.D.2.a. contains the system-wide control requirements for condensate storage tanks and adds an introductory statement clarifying requirements for installing air pollution control equipment on condensate storage tanks to achieve reductions outlined in Sections XII.D.2.a.(i) through (x). The current SIP provides for a weekly 75% system-wide VOC reduction during the summer ozone season beginning May 1, 2007, and 78% beginning May 1, 2012. The revised section significantly increases the summer ozone season weekly VOC reduction requirements from the current EPA-approved requirements, to 85% beginning in 2010 (revised Section XII.D.2.a.(ix)) and 90% beginning May 1, 2011, and each year thereafter (revised Section XII.D.2.a.(x)). The revised Section XII.D.2.a. provides more stringent emission reductions than the current SIP and therefore strengthens the SIP.

    g. Section XII.D.2.b

    Section XII.D.2.b is a renumbered version of current EPA-approved Section XII.A.9. This section contains a process for approval of alternative emissions control equipment and pollution prevention devices and processes. Among other things, the section specifies requirements for public participation and EPA approval. Colorado did not change the substance of this provision, but simply renumbered it from Section XII.A.9 to XII.D.2.b.

    h. Section XII.E

    Section XII.E contains the monitoring requirements that are currently specified in EPA-approved Sections XII.A.3 and XII.A.4.j. Colorado retained the basic requirement for weekly inspections or monitoring. Colorado improved certain provisions. For example, under revised Section XII.E, an owner or operator must ensure not only that the control equipment is operating, but that it is operating properly. Revised Section XII.E.1 adds a requirement that owners or operators of control equipment other than a combustion device follow manufacturer's recommended maintenance and inspect the equipment to ensure proper maintenance and operation. Revised Section XII.E.3 (current XII.A.4.j) adds a requirement that the owner or operator document any corrective actions taken and the name of the individual performing the corrective actions resulting from a weekly inspection. Revised Sections XII.E.3.a through d. add the requirement that the owner or operator not only perform certain checks, but that the owner or operator document those checks. Revised Section XII.E.3.e adds a new requirement for owners or operators to conduct and document audio, visual, and olfactory inspections during liquids unloading events for tanks with uncontrolled actual emissions of VOCs equal to or greater than six tons per year. These provisions strengthen the SIP.

    i. Section XII.F

    Section XII.F contains recordkeeping and reporting requirements that are currently in EPA-approved Sections XII.A.4 and XII.A.5. The recordkeeping requirements specify information that must be listed on a spreadsheet that owners/operators must maintain. Many of the provisions are identical to those in the current EPA approved SIP.

    In Sections XII.F.1 through 4, Colorado made a few substantive changes to the existing provisions. In revised Section XII.F.3, Colorado added a sentence requiring the owner or operator to track VOC reductions on a calendar weekly and calendar monthly basis to demonstrate compliance with system-wide VOC reduction requirements. Colorado also specified that owners/operators would need to use the Division-approved spreadsheet to track VOC emissions and reductions. These changes are reasonable and consistent with CAA requirements.

    j. Section XII.F.3

    In revised Section XII.F.3.a(i), which requires the spreadsheet to list the condensate storage tanks subject to Section XII and the production volumes for each tank, Colorado specified that the spreadsheet must list monthly production volumes. Revised Section XII.F.3.a(iv) also requires the owner/operator to list the production volume for each tank as a weekly and monthly average based on the most recent measurement available and specifies the method for pro-rating that measurement over the weekly or monthly period.

    Revised Section XII.F.3.c requires owners/operators to retain a copy of each weekly and monthly spreadsheet for five years instead of the three years required by current EPA-approved Section XII.A.4.i. Revised Section XII.F.3.d requires owners/operators to maintain records of inspections required by Sections XII.C. and XII.E. for five years.

    k. Section XII.F.4

    In revised Section XII.F.4, Colorado made minor changes to current EPA-approved reporting requirements. Revised Section XII.F.4.a requires the semiannual reports to list all condensate storage tanks subject to or used to comply with the system-wide reduction requirements, not just the tanks that are subject to such requirements. This reflects the change to the regulation that allows owners/operators to control tanks with emissions below the Air Pollutant Emission Notice (APEN) filing levels to meet the percent reduction requirement in Section XII.D.2. In revised Sections XII.F.4.d through f. Colorado clarified that the April 30 reports must include the monthly emissions information and the November 30 reports must include the weekly emissions information. In revised Section XII.F.4.g, Colorado deleted the requirement in current EPA-approved Section XII.A.5.g that the owner/operator note in the report list “the date the source believes the shutdown [of control equipment] occurred, including the basis for such belief.” This deletion is reasonable because the owner/operator is not likely to be able to make an accurate estimate of the date the shutdown occurred, and, thus, the information is not likely to be meaningful in an enforcement context.

    In revised Section XII.F.4.h, Colorado clarified monthly versus weekly reporting requirements. In revised Section XII.F.4.j, Colorado increased the retention period for reports from 3 years to 5 years. These changes are consistent with CAA requirements.

    l. Section XII.F.5

    Section XII.F.5 contains an exemption from Section XII's record-keeping and reporting requirements for owners/operators of natural gas compressor stations (NGCSs) or natural gas drip stations (NGDSs) authorized to operate pursuant to a construction permit or Title V operating permit if certain conditions are met. In our August 5, 2011 (76 FR 47443) proposed rulemaking, we expressed our concern with Colorado's removal of one of the conditions for this exemption contained in current EPA-approved Section XII.A.6. Colorado's current submission reinstates this exemption. Colorado therefore did not change the substance of this provision, but simply renumbered it from Section XII.A.6 to section XII.F.5, made minor typographical corrections, and updated section references.

    m. Section XII.G

    Section XII.G specifies the control requirements applicable to gas processing plants and corresponds to current EPA-approved Section XII.B. The EPA-approved Section XII.B requires gas processing plants to meet the requirements in Section XII.B specifically applicable to such plants as well as the requirements in current EPA-approved Section XII.C, pertaining to certain still vents and vents from gas condensate-glycol separators, and Section XVI, pertaining to emissions from stationary and portable engines. Revised Section XII.G requires gas processing plants to additionally comply with the requirements of revised Section XII.B, the definitions section, revised Sections XII.C.1.a and XII.C.1.b, which specify maintenance and design requirements for control equipment and the obligation to minimize leakage of VOCs to the atmosphere, and revised Section XII.H, which specifies control requirements for still vents and vents flash separators or flash tanks on glycol natural gas dehydrators located at oil and gas exploration and production operations, natural gas compressor stations, drip stations, or gas-processing plants. It appears that this change would strengthen the requirements applicable to gas-processing plants.

    n. Section XII.G.1

    Section XII.G.1 specifies that NSPS leak detection and repair requirements apply regardless of the date of construction of the facility, and adds a reference to LDAR requirements in NSPS OOOO and OOOOa. Colorado made no substantive changes to this provision.

    o. Section XII.G.2

    Section XII.G.2 is a renumbered and revised version of current EPA-approved Section XII.B.2. This provision specifies the applicability threshold for installation of control equipment at gas processing plants and the efficiency requirement for the control equipment. The EPA approved current Section XII.B.2 on August 19, 2005 (70 FR 48652). In current EPA-approved Section XII.B.2, the requirement to install control equipment is triggered if condensate storage tank throughput exceeds “APEN de minimis levels,” as set in the State's Reg. No. 3, Part A, Section II.D. That regulation in turn specified that in attainment areas, the APEN requirement applied to sources with uncontrolled emissions of any criteria pollutant of less than two tons per year. For nonattainment areas, this de minimis threshold dropped to one ton per year. When the State submitted and the EPA approved section XII.B.2, the 8-hour ozone control area was still in attainment,49 and therefore the APEN de minimis level referenced in Section XII.B.2 was two tons per year.

    49 The 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS nonattainment designation for the DMNFR became effective November 20, 2007 (72 FR 53952 and 53953, September 21, 2007).

    In 2008, along with renumbering section XII.B.2 to XII.G.2, Colorado revised the threshold in this provision to accurately reflect the original two-ton-per-year level.50 The two-ton threshold in revised Section XII.G.2, therefore, would capture the same tanks as were being captured at the time Section XII.B.2 was approved into the State's SIP, and would also provide clarity as to the SIP requirements by removing a cross-reference that is arguably ambiguous. We propose to find that the revised section XII.G.2 is approvable because it clarifies the applicability threshold for determining which condensate storage tanks are subject to control requirements.

    50 Colorado submitted this to the EPA as a SIP revision on July 18, 2009, but we disapproved the proposed revisions to section XII, including XII.G.2, with our August 11, 2011 rulemaking (76 FR 47443). In our proposal, as to XII.G.2. we stated that our proposed disapproval rested in part on uncertainty about the effect of the change from “APEN de minimis levels” to “greater than or equal to two tons per year,” and in part on a revised control efficiency requirement that introduced a twelve-month averaging period. (75 FR 42346, 42358, July 21, 2010). Colorado has since removed the twelve-month averaging period, and as described in this notice we have concluded that the effect of the change to a specific two-ton-per-year threshold has the effect of clarifying the SIP, not weakening it. Accordingly, we are proposing to find that this provision is approvable.

    p. Section XII.G.3

    Section XII.G.3 specifies the compliance date for existing natural gas processing plants. Colorado did not change the substance of this provision.

    q. Section XII.G.4

    Revised Section XII.G.4, which specifies the compliance date for new gas processing plants, adds a reference to Section XII.G. Colorado did not change the substance of this provision.

    r. Section XII.H.1

    Section XII.H.1. specifies control requirements in current EPA-approved Section XII.C. for still vents and vents from gas-condensate-glycol separators on glycol natural gas dehydrators at oil and gas exploration and production operations, natural gas compressor stations, drip stations, or gas-processing plants. Colorado did not change the substance of this provision.

    s. Section XII.H.3

    XII.H.3 specifies that control requirements in Sections XII.H.1 and 2 apply where uncontrolled emissions of VOCs from glycol gas dehydrators are equal to or greater than one ton per year and the sum of actual uncontrolled emissions of VOCs from any single or grouping of glycol natural gas dehydrators at a single source is greater than 15 tons per year. Revised Section XII.H clarifies current EPA-approved Section XII.C's applicability threshold for control requirements.

    t. Section XII.H.4

    Section XII.H.4 adds a requirement for calculating emissions from still vents and vents from flash separators or flash tanks on glycol natural gas dehydrators to ensure the 90 percent VOC emission reduction requirements in XII.H.1 are achieved. This provision strengthens the SIP.

    u. Section XII.H.5

    Section XII.H.5. adds monitoring and recordkeeping requirements for enforcement and compliance of emission reduction requirements in XII.H.1. XII.H.5.a requires owners and operators of natural gas dehydrators to check on a weekly basis that condensers and air pollution equipment control equipment are operating properly, and to document dates of inspections, problems observed, and descriptions and dates of corrective actions taken. XII.H.5.b requires owners and operators to check and document on a weekly basis that pilot lights on combustion devices are lit, that valves for piping gas to pilot lights are open, and to check for smoke. XII.H.5.c requires owners and operators to document any maintenance of the condenser or air pollution control equipment consistent with manufacturer specifications or good engineering practices, and XII.H.5.d requires owners or operators to retain records for a period of 5 years. Although there are requirements to check for and document any problems observed while inspecting condenser or air pollution control equipment, the State does not require any corrective action be taken to fix the problem. The EPA recommends the State add requirements for corrective action to be taken. However, even as is, the provision strengthens the SIP, and therefore the absence of a corrective action requirement within it does not form a basis for disapproval.

    v. Section XII.H.6

    The reporting requirements included in section XII.H.6 support additional enforcement and compliance efforts in connection with the emission reduction requirements in XII.H.1. Under XII.H.6.a, owners or operators submit to the Division on a semiannual basis a list of glycol natural gas dehydrators subject to section XII.H, a list of condensers or air pollution control equipment used to control emissions of VOCs, and dates of inspections when condensers or air pollution control equipment was found not to be operating properly. This provision strengthens the SIP.

    w. Section XII.I

    Section XII.I is entirely new. It adds an exemption from the otherwise applicable requirements of Section XII for an owner or operator of any natural gas compressor station or natural gas drip station, but only if the owner or operator applies control equipment designed to achieve a VOC control efficiency of at least 95% to each condensate storage tank or tank battery with uncontrolled VOC emissions greater than or equal to two tons per year and meets certain other requirements. This is more stringent than the system-wide requirement because it requires 95% control at each tank or tank battery over the threshold rather than a maximum of 90% control system-wide. Recordkeeping and reporting requirements in XII.I.4 provide for enforcement and compliance of emission reduction requirements in XII.I. This provision strengthens the SIP.

    Based on our analysis of Section XII changes, we find that revisions are clerical in nature, do not change the substance of currently approved SIP provisions, or are SIP strengthening provisions. The State has not yet submitted a RACT analysis for this source category. Colorado has until October 27, 2018, to submit SIP revisions to address requirements of the EPA's oil and gas CTG published in 2016 (see footnote 37 of this notice). We therefore we propose approving the changes in Section XII.

    (iv) Section XIII

    Section XIII regulates VOC emissions from graphic arts and printing processes.

    a. Sections XIII.A

    Changes to Section XIII.A are clerical in nature and do not affect the substance of the requirements.

    b. Section XIII.B

    Section XIII.B addresses VOC emissions from the use of fountain solutions, cleaning materials, and inks at lithographic and letterpress printing operations. XIII.B.1 includes general provisions of the rule including definitions, applicability, and work practice requirements, and VOC content limits for inks. Section XIII.B.2 outlines requirements for cleaning materials used at offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing operations and exempted materials and operations. Section XIII.B.3 contains requirements for the use of fountain solutions at offset lithographic printing operations, sheet-fed printing operations, and for non-heatset web printing. Section XIII.B.4 sets forth control requirements for heatset web offset lithographic and heatset web letterpress printing operations. Requirements include reducing VOC emissions from heatset dryers thorough an emission control system with a control efficiency of 90% or greater and 95% or greater for control devices installed on or after January 1, 2017. Section XIII.B.4.d outlines exemptions from control requirements in Section XIII.B.4. Finally, XIII.B.5 51 contains monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for compliance with VOC emission reduction requirements in XIII.B.4. We find that the provisions are consistent with CAA requirements and CTGs, and that they strengthen the SIP.

    51 Section XIII.B.5. contains a numbering error. The State has committed to correcting the errors in Section XIII.B.5.a. in a subsequent SIP revision which are currently numbered “XIII.E.5.a.,” “XIII.E.5.b.,” and “XIII.E.5.c.”

    Therefore, we propose to approve the changes in Section XIII.

    (v) Section XVI

    Section XVI specifies emission control requirements for stationary and portable engines and other combustion equipment.

    a. Section XVI.A.-XVI.C

    Revisions in Sections XVI.A through XVI.C make grammatical changes and update references to section numbers. Colorado did not change the substance of this provision.

    b. Section XVI.D

    Section XVI.D. adds a combustion adjustment requirement for individual pieces of combustion equipment at major sources of NOX in Section XVI.D. The requirements in Section XVI.D apply to some equipment that is not subject to work practices under the NESHAPs that have uncontrolled actual NOX emissions equal to or greater than 5 tpy. Sections XVI.D.2.a-d include inspection and adjustment requirements for boilers, process heaters, duct burners, stationary combustion turbines, and stationary internal combustion engines. Section XVI.D.2.e requires owners and operators to operate and maintain equipment subject to Section XVI.D consistent with manufacturer's specifications or good engineering and maintenance practices. Section XVI.D.2.f outlines combustion adjustment frequency requirements and Section XVI.D.3 includes recordkeeping requirements for owners and operators when implementing combustion process adjustments. Section XVI.D.4 sets forth alternative options to the requirements in Sections XVI.D.2.a-e and XVI.D.3.a including conducting combustion process adjustments according to manufacturer's recommended procedures and schedules, or conducting tune-ups or adjustments according to schedules and procedures of applicable NSPS or NESHAPs. We find that the provisions in Section XVI.D are consistent with Clean Air Act requirements and CTGs, and that they strengthen the SIP.

    For the reasons previously explained, we propose to approve the changes in Section XVI.

    (vi) Section XIX

    Section XIX establishes RACT requirements for emission points at major sources of VOC and NOX in the DMNFR area. We will be acting on Colorado's RACT demonstration for major sources and revisions to Section XIX in a future rulemaking.

    V. Proposed Action

    We propose to approve the SIP submittal from the State of Colorado for the DMNFR ozone nonattainment area submitted on May 31, 2017. Specifically, we propose to approve the following:

    • Attainment demonstration with weight of evidence analysis for the 2008 ozone NAAQS;

    • Base and future year emissions inventories;

    • RFP Demonstration;

    • Demonstration of RACT for VOC CTG sources (except for the following CTG source categories as to which we are not taking any action at this time: Metal Furniture Coatings, 2007; Miscellaneous Metal Products Coatings, 2008; Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations, 1996; Industrial Cleaning Solvents, 2006; Aerospace, 1997; and Oil and Natural Gas Industry, 2016.);

    • Demonstration of RACM implementation;

    • Motor vehicle I/M program revisions in Colorado's Reg. No. 11;

    • NNSR program;

    • Contingency measures plan;

    • MVEBs; and

    • Revisions to Colorado's Reg. No. 7 (except for revisions to Reg. No. 7, Section X pertaining to VOC controls of industrial cleaning solvents and Reg. No. 7, Section XIX revisions pertaining to RACT requirements for major sources as to which we are not taking any action).

    We also propose to approve SIP revisions to Reg. No. 7 submitted by the State on May 13, 2013, except for provisions that have been superseded by later submissions, as to which we are not taking any action. We propose these actions in accordance with section 110 and part D of the CAA.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference Colorado Regulation Number 11 pertaining to regulation of the State's motor vehicle emissions inspection program and Colorado Regulation Number 7 pertaining to regulation of sources of VOC and NOX emissions discussed in section IV., J. Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program (I/M) Program and N. SIP Control Measures of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 29, 2018 Douglas H. Benevento, Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2018-06847 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 48 CFR Parts 831, 833, 852 and 871 RIN 2900-AQ02APxx Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation—Parts 831 and 833 AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend and update its VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) in phased increments to revise or remove any policy superseded by changes in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to remove any procedural guidance internal to VA into the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM), and to incorporate any new agency specific regulations or policies. These changes seek to streamline and align the VAAR with the FAR and remove outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden on contractors. The VAAM incorporates portions of the removed VAAR as well as other internal agency acquisition policy. VA will rewrite certain parts of the VAAR and VAAM, and as VAAR parts are rewritten, we will publish them in the Federal Register. VA will combine related topics, as appropriate. In particular, this rulemaking revises VAAR parts 831—Contract Cost Principles and Procedures and 833—Protests, Disputes, and Appeals, as well as affected parts 852—Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, and 871—Loan Guaranty and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 5, 2018 to be considered in the formulation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AQ02—Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation—Parts 831 and 833).” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Rafael N. Taylor, Senior Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services, 003A2A, 425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 382-2787. This is not a toll-free telephone number.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This rulemaking is issued under the authority of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act, which provides the authority for an agency head to issue agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR.

    VA is proposing to revise the VAAR to add new policy or regulatory requirements and to remove any redundant guidance and guidance that is applicable only to VA's internal operating processes or procedures. Codified acquisition regulations may be amended and revised only through rulemaking. All amendments, revisions, and removals have been reviewed and concurred with by VA's Integrated Product Team of agency stakeholders.

    The VAAR uses the regulatory structure and arrangement of the FAR and headings and subject areas are consistent with FAR content. The VAAR is divided into subchapters, parts (each of which covers a separate aspect of acquisition), subparts, sections, and subsections.

    When Federal agencies acquire supplies and services using appropriated funds, the purchase is governed by the FAR, set forth at Title 48 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter 1, parts 1 through 53, and the agency regulations that implement and supplement the FAR. The VAAR is set forth at Title 48 CFR, chapter 8, parts 801 to 873.

    Discussion and Analysis

    The VA proposes to make the following changes to the VAAR in this phase of its revision and streamlining initiative. For procedural guidance cited below that is proposed to be deleted from the VAAR, each section cited for removal has been considered for inclusion in VA's internal agency operating procedures in accordance with FAR 1.301(a)(2). Similarly, delegations of authorities that are removed from the VAAR will be included in the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM) as internal agency guidance. The VAAM is being created in parallel with these revisions to the VAAR and is not subject to the rulemaking process as they are internal VA procedures and guidance. The VAAM will not be finalized until corresponding VAAR parts are finalized and therefore the VAAM is not yet available on line.

    We propose to revise the authority citations under Parts 831, 833, and 871 to include a reference to 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3) which is from Title 41, Public Contracts, Positive Law codification that speaks to the authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement that are subject to the authority conferred in the cited section, as well as other sections of Title 41 as shown therein. For parts 831 and 871, we also propose to replace the 38 U.S.C. 501 citation with 41 U.S.C. 1702 which addresses the acquisition planning and management responsibilities of Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, to include implementation of unique procurement policies, regulations and standards of the executive agency. 38 U.S.C. 501 is a more general authority for the Secretary to utilize to prescribe all rules and regulations. The title 41 authority is more appropriate to cite when publishing the VAAR. Any other proposed changes to authorities are shown under the individual parts below.

    VAAR Part 831—Contract Cost Principles and Procedures

    In addition to the changes in authority cited earlier in this preamble, we propose to revise the authority citations under Part 831 to add 38 U.S.C. chapter 31, which is the basic statute for providing training and rehabilitation for veterans with service-connected disabilities.

    In subpart 831.70, we propose to revise the title of this subpart to more accurately reflect the subject matter and because it duplicated the title for part 831. We propose to revise the title for subpart 831.70 from “Contract Cost Principles and Procedures,” to “Contract Cost Principles and Procedures for Veterans Services under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31.”

    In section 831.7000, Scope of subpart, we propose to revise the section to clarify that the cost principles apply to the negotiation of prices under fixed-price contracts as well as to costs under cost reimbursement contracts, and to contracts with educational institutions as well as those with commercial and non-profit organizations.

    We propose to add a new section 831.7000-1 titled “Definitions,” to provide definitions for four terms used in the part.

    In section 831.7001, we propose to revise the title from “Allowable costs under cost reimbursement vocational rehabilitation and education contracts or agreements” to read “Allowable costs and negotiated prices under vocational rehabilitation and education contracts” to more accurately describe the subject matter of the section.

    In section 831.7001-1, Tuition, we propose to amend the text to simplify the limitations on tuition and enrollment fees that may be paid under the chapter 31 program, and to standardize throughout the part the term “Veteran student” for the beneficiary of the chapter 31 programs.

    In section 831.7001-2, Special services or courses, we propose minor revisions to clarify terms for services or courses that are supplementary to those customarily provided to similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students.

    In section 831.7001-3, Books, supplies, and equipment required to be personally owned, we propose to amend the text to clarify the limitations on fees that may be paid for these and other miscellaneous items under the chapter 31 program, and to further reorganize the section by combining limits that apply to several items or categories. We propose to move and combine certain paragraphs where appropriate, to fall under more applicable category headings, to streamline the language under revised paragraphs (a) through (e), and to remove paragraphs (f) through (k).

    In section 831.7001-4, Medical services and hospital care, we propose to revise the text to make minor edits to clarify some terms.

    In section 831.7001-6, Consumable instructional supplies, we propose to revise the number of the section to 831.7001-5, and to make two other minor edits.

    In section 831.7001-7, Reimbursement for other supplies and services, we propose to revise the number of the section to 831.7001-6, and to make one other minor edit.

    VAAR Part 833—Protests, Disputes, and Appeals

    We propose to amend the authority citation for part 833 to add the reference to the positive law codification of Title 41, United States Code, pertaining to the general authority of an executive agency under another law to prescribe policies, regulations, procedures, and forms for procurement subject to the authority conferred in 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3). We also propose to add the Title 41, chapter 71 authority pertaining to contract disputes, to include alternate means of dispute resolution.

    We propose to delete the existing language in section 833.102, General, since it contains guidance that is internal operational procedures of the VA and will be in the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM).

    We propose to delete outdated information in section 833.103, Protests to VA, and renumber the section 833.103-70 in accordance with FAR drafting guidelines to reflect information that appropriately supplements the FAR. We propose to add new language in paragraph (a) that: (1) Would update information for where an interested party may protest to the contracting officer; or, (2) as an alternative, may request independent review above the level of the contracting officer to the Executive Director, Office of Acquisition and Logistics (ED/OAL), supported by the Office of Risk Management and Compliance Service (RMCS); or (3) where in the VA interested parties may appeal a contracting officer's decision on a protest. This new unified approach would streamline VA protest management by combining responsibilities previously shared between the Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM) and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Materiel Management. Some of the duties formerly assigned to this old entity would be subsumed by a new organizational entity—the ED/OAL and one of its subordinate activities, RMCS, which handles protests on behalf of the ED. A new email address [email protected] was secured by RMCS to be used exclusively for purposes of electronic submission of protest related documents by offerors/bidders.

    In the renumbered section 833.103-70, Protests to VA, we also propose to add new language in a newly designated paragraph (b) that would revise slightly the language, but would retain the current types of protests that may be dismissed by VA without consideration of the merits, or may be forwarded to another agency for appropriate action. This proposed revision would renumber the paragraphs using standard numbering and format, and would make other minor edits including the following:

    Paragraph (4)(i), we propose to renumber the paragraph to (b)(1) and to update the current positive law codified reference to the Contract Disputes statute, 41 U.S.C. chapter 71.

    Paragraphs (4)(ii) through (viii) are proposed to be renumbered (b)(2) through (8), respectively.

    In paragraph (b)(2), we propose to add language that states that pursuant to Public Law 114-328, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will also hear cases related to size, status, and ownership and control challenges under the VA Veterans First Contracting Program.

    The newly renumbered proposed paragraph (b)(6), Contracts for materials, supplies, articles, and equipment exceeding $15,000, would provide that challenges of the legal status of a firm as a regular dealer or manufacturer be determined solely by the procuring agency, the SBA (if a small business is involved), and the Secretary of Labor.

    In the newly renumbered proposed paragraph (b)(7), Subcontractor protests, the language would be revised to clarify that VA will not consider subcontractor protests except where VA determines it is in the interest of the Government. The phrase “except where VA determines it is in the interest of the Government” would be added to further clarify the sentence in lieu of the phrase “by or for the Government.”

    We propose to renumber the existing paragraph (b), which would encourage the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at any stage, to paragraph (c).

    We propose to renumber paragraph (f), which details the new agency appellate review process for contracting officer's protest decision to be performed solely by the Executive Director, Office of Acquisition and Logistics, to paragraph (d).

    We propose to delete section 833.104, Protests to GAO, since it contains procedural guidance that is internal to VA and will be in the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM) and the FAR provides adequate notice to potential offerors.

    We propose to renumber section 833.106, Solicitation provisions, as 833.106-70 to comport with FAR drafting guidelines and to reflect it supplements the FAR. The section would provide that the contracting officer shall insert the provision at 852.233-70, Protest content/alternative dispute resolution and the provision at 852.233-71, Alternate protest procedure, in solicitations expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. The updated provision would include a new centralized alternate review and appeal process rather than the previous bifurcated CFM/OAL approach. It also would include a new dedicated email address to facilitate electronic protest submissions.

    In subpart 833.2, Disputes and Appeals, section 833.209, Suspected fraudulent claims, we propose to revise the text to clarify that the contracting officer may not initiate any collection, recovery, or other settlement action concerning suspected fraudulent claims reported to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and referred to the Department of Justice, without first obtaining the concurrence of the U.S. Attorney concerned, through the OIG.

    We propose to delete paragraphs (a) and (b) of the existing language in section 833.211, Contracting officer's decision, as the language is redundant to the FAR and is adequately covered in FAR 33.211. We propose to revise the language in the existing paragraph (c) and renumber it as (a) to align with the FAR in order to clarify that for purposes of appealing a VA contracting officer's final decision, the cognizant Board of Contract Appeals is the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA).

    We propose to delete section 833.212, Contracting officer's duties upon appeal, since it contains procedural guidance that is internal to VA and will be updated and moved to the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM). The cognizant FAR part that this implements provides adequate notice to potential offerors.

    We propose to revise section 833.213, Obligation to continue performance. Paragraph (a) would be revised to make one grammatical correction by adding “FAR” at the beginning of the second sentence in front of the FAR clause. Paragraph (b) would be revised to clarify that, in the event of a dispute not arising under, but relating to, the contract, if the contracting officer directs continued performance and considers providing financing for such continued performance, the contracting officer shall contact OGC for advice prior to requesting higher level approval for or authorizing such financing. It would also require the contracting officer to document in the contract file any required approvals and to explain how the Government's interest would be properly secured with respect to such financing.

    We propose to revise section 833.214, Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), to clarify that guidance for ADR procedures may be obtained at the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals website http://www.cbca.gsa.gov. This section would retain the requirement that contracting officers and contractors are encouraged to use ADR procedures.

    We propose to revise the language in the existing section 833.215, Contract clause, and rename it “Contract clauses” as this would implement the FAR section with the same title. This would retain existing language to provide that the contracting officer shall use the clause at 52.233-1, Disputes, with its Alternate I (see 833.213). This is necessary to reconcile the FAR requirement with recent updates to the dispute statutes.

    VAAR Part 852—Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses

    We propose to revise the VAAR title for subpart 852.2 to “Text of Provisions and Clauses” in lieu of “Texts of Provisions and Clauses” to comport with the FAR title to which the VAAR's subpart corresponds.

    We propose to revise two provisions—852.233-70, Protest Content/Alternative Dispute Resolution, and 852.233-71, Alternate Protest Procedure. In the current version of the VAAR both of these provisions are prescribed in section 833.106. We propose to change the prescription for each provision: 852.233-70 would now be prescribed in 833.106-70(a) and 852.233-71 would now be prescribed in 833.106-70(b). The language in 852.233-71 would be revised to reorganize the existing single and unlettered paragraph by adding paragraphs (a) and (b). Paragraph (a) would provide the address where to file an alternate protest to other than the contracting officer and would provide a new VA email address to address the protest to the Risk Management and Compliance Service: [email protected]. At paragraph (b), the provision would state that a protest will not be considered if the interested party has a protest on the same or similar issue(s) pending with the contracting officer.

    VAAR Part 871—Loan Guaranty and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs

    We propose to revise the authority citations for Part 871 to add 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31, which is the basic statute for providing training and rehabilitation for veterans with service-connected disabilities.

    In section 871.201-1, Requirements for the use of contracts, we propose to revise the introductory paragraph to clarify the language before the two conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b). We propose to revise paragraph (b), Special services or special courses, to comport with the revision of that term in section 831.7001-2.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    Title 48, Federal Acquisition Regulations System, Chapter 8, Department of Veterans Affairs, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent VA's implementation of its legal authority and publication of the Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) for the cited applicable parts. Other than future amendments to this rule or governing statutes for the cited applicable parts, or as otherwise authorized by approved deviations or waivers in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 1.4, Deviations from the FAR, and as implemented by VAAR subpart 801.4, Deviations from the FAR or VAAR, no contrary guidance or procedures would be authorized. All existing or subsequent VA guidance would be read to conform with the rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance is superseded by this rulemaking as pertains to the cited applicable VAAR parts.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 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). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, defines “significant regulatory action” to mean any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: “(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive order.”

    VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 because it does not raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.

    VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at http://www.va.gov/orpm by following the link for VA Regulations Published from FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date. This proposed rule is not expected to be an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this proposed rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The overall impact of the proposed rule would be of benefit to small businesses owned by Veterans or service-disabled Veterans as the VAAR is being updated to remove extraneous procedural information that applies only to VA's internal operating procedures. VA is merely adding existing and current regulatory requirements to the VAAR and removing any guidance that is applicable only to VA's internal operation processes or procedures. VA estimates no cost impact to individual business would result from these rule updates. This rulemaking does not change VA's policy regarding small businesses, does not have an economic impact to individual businesses, and there are no increased or decreased costs to small business entities. On this basis, the proposed rule would not have an economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this regulatory action is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal Governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal Governments or on the private sector.

    List of Subjects 48 CFR part 831

    Accounting, Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 833

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 852

    Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    48 CFR Part 871

    Government procurement, Loan programs—social programs, Loan programs—Veterans, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vocational rehabilitation.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on August 25, 2017, for publication.

    Dated: February 22, 2018. Consuela Benjamin, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 48 CFR, chapter 8, parts 831, 833, 852 and 871 as follows:

    PART 831—CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 831 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. Chapter 31; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    PART 831—CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES 2. Revise subpart 831.70 to read as follows Subpart 831.70—Contract Cost Principles and Procedures for Veterans Services Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Sec. 831.7000 Scope of subpart. 831.7000-1 Definitions. 831.7001 Allowable costs and negotiated prices under vocational rehabilitation and education contracts. 831.7001-1 Tuition. 831.7001-2 Special services or courses. 831.7001-3 Books, supplies, and equipment required to be personally owned. 831.7001-4 Medical services and hospital care. 831.7001-5 Consumable instructional supplies. 831.7001-6 Reimbursement for other supplies and services.
    831.7000 Scope of subpart.

    This subpart contains general cost principles and procedures for the determination and allowance of costs or negotiation of prices under cost reimbursement or fixed-price contracts for providing vocational rehabilitation, education, and training to eligible Veterans under 38 U.S.C. chapter 31, (referred to as a “Chapter 31 program”). This subpart applies to contracts with educational institutions as well as to contracts with commercial and non-profit organizations.

    831.7000-1 Definitions.

    Chapter 31 refers to the VR&E program that provides training and rehabilitation for Veterans with service-connected disabilities under chapter 31 of Title 38 U.S.C.

    Consumable instructional supplies means those supplies which are required for instruction in the classroom, shop school, and laboratory of an educational institution, which are consumed, destroyed, or expended by either the student, instructor or both in the process of use, and which have to be replaced at frequent intervals without adding to the value of the institution's physical property.

    Similarly circumstanced non-Veteran student means a student in equal or like situations as a person who is neither receiving educational or training benefits under chapter 31 or chapter 33 of Title 38 U.S.C. or the savings provisions of section 12(a) of Public Law 85-857, nor having all or any part of tuition fees or other charges paid by the educational institution.

    Work adjustment training means a specialized structure program that is facility or community based and designated to assist an individual in acquiring or improving work skills, work behaviors, work tolerance, interpersonal skills or work ethics.

    831.7001 Allowable costs and negotiated prices under vocational rehabilitation and education contracts.
    831.7001-1 Tuition.

    (a) Tuition and enrollment fees shall be paid at the institution's customary amount that—

    (1) Does not exceed the tuition charged to similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students; and

    (2) Is equal to the lowest price offered or published for the entire course, semester, quarter, or term.

    (b) The cost of the Veteran student's tuition and fees under a contract shall be offset by—

    (1) Any amount of tuition and fees that are waived by a State or other government authority; or

    (2) Any amounts the Veteran student receives from a fellowship, scholarship, grant-in-aid, assistantship, or similar award that limits its use to payment of tuition, fees, or other charges that VA normally pays as part of a chapter 31 program.

    (c) VA will not pay tuition or incidental fees to institutions or establishments furnishing apprentice or on-the-job training. VA may elect to pay charges or expenses that fall into either of the following categories:

    (1) Charges customarily made by a nonprofit workshop or similar establishment for providing work adjustment training to similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students even if the trainee receives an incentive wage as part of the training.

    (2) Training expenses incurred by an employer who provides on-the-job training following rehabilitation to the point of employability when VA determines that the additional training is necessary.

    831.7001-2 Special services or courses.

    Special services or courses are those services or courses that VA requests that are supplementary to those the institution customarily provides for similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students, and that the contracting officer considers them to be necessary for the rehabilitation of the trainee. VA will negotiate the costs/prices of special services or courses prior to ordering them.

    831.7001-3 Books, supplies, and equipment required to be personally owned.

    (a) Reimbursement for books, supplies, and equipment. VA will provide reimbursement for books, equipment, or other supplies of the same variety, quality, or amount that all students taking the same course or courses are customarily required to own personally. VA will provide reimbursement for items that the institution does not specifically require for pursuit of the course if VA determines that such items are needed because of the demands of the course, general possession by other students, and the disadvantage imposed on a Veteran student by not having the item.

    (b) Partial payment agreements. Agreements in which VA would pay the institution a partial payment with the remainder to be paid by the Veteran student are not authorized.

    (c) Thesis expenses. The institution's costs in connection with a Veteran student's thesis are considered supplies and are therefore authorized for reimbursement if the Veteran student's committee chairman, major professor, department head, or appropriate dean certifies that the thesis is a course requirement and the expenses are required to complete the thesis. These expenses may include research expenses, typing, printing, microfilming, or otherwise reproducing the required number of copies.

    (d) Reimbursement for books, supplies, and equipment. Books, supplies, and equipment that the institution purchases specifically for trainees will be reimbursed at the net cost to the institution. The VA shall reimburse the institution for books, supplies, and equipment when these items are—

    (1) Issued to students from its own bookstore or supply store;

    (2) Issued to students from retail stores or other non-institutionally owned establishments not owned by the contractor/institution but arranged or designated by them in cooperation with VA; or

    (3) Rented or leased books, supplies and equipment and are issued to students for survey classes when it is customary that students are not required to own the books.

    (e) Handling charges. VA shall reimburse the institution for any handling charges not to exceed more than 10 percent of the allowable charge for the books, equipment or other supplies unless—

    (1) The tuition covers the charges for supplies or rentals or a stipulated fee is assessed to all students; or

    (2) The handling charge is for Government-owned books that the contractor procures from the Library of Congress.

    831.7001-4 Medical services and hospital care.

    (a) VA may pay the customary student health fee when payment of the fee is required for similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students. If payment of the fee is not required for similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students, payment may be made if VA determines that payment is in the best interest of the Veteran student and the Government.

    (b) When the customary Veteran student's health fee does not cover medical services or hospital care, but these medical services are available in an institution-operated facility or with doctors and hospitals in the immediate area through a prior arrangement, VA may provide reimbursement for these services in a contract for the services if—

    (1) An arrangement is necessary to provide timely medical services for Veteran-students attending the facility under provisions of chapter 31; and

    (2) The general rates established for medical services do not exceed the rates established by VA.

    (c) VA may reimburse a rehabilitation facility for incidental medical services provided during a Veteran student's program at the facility.

    831.7001-5 Consumable instructional supplies.

    (a) VA will provide reimbursement for consumable instructional supplies that the institution requires for the instruction of all students, Veteran or non-Veteran students, pursuing the same or comparable course or courses when—

    (1) The supplies are entirely consumed in the fabrication of a required project; or

    (2) The supplies are not consumed but are of such a nature that they cannot be salvaged from the end product for reuse by disassembling or dismantling the end product.

    (b) VA will not provide reimbursement for consumable instructional supplies if any of the following apply:

    (1) The supplies can be salvaged for reuse.

    (2) The supplies are used in a project that the student has elected as an alternate class project to produce an end product of greater value than that normally required to learn the skills of the occupation, and the end product will become the Veteran's property upon completion.

    (3) The supplies are used in a project that the institution has selected to provide the student with a more elaborate end product than is required to provide adequate instruction as an inducement to the Veteran student to elect a particular course of study.

    (4) The sale value of the end product is equal to or greater than the cost of supplies plus assembly, and the supplies have not been reasonably used so that the supplies are not readily salvaged from the end product to be reused for instructional purposes.

    (5) The end product is of permanent value and retained by the institution.

    (6) A third party loans the articles or equipment for repair or improvement and the third party would otherwise pay a commercial price for the repair or improvement.

    (7) The number of projects resulting in end products exceeds the number normally required to teach the recognized job operations and processes of the occupation stipulated in the approved course of study.

    (8) The cost of supplies is included in the charge for tuition or as a fee designated for such purpose.

    831.7001-6 Reimbursement for other supplies and services.

    VA will provide reimbursement for other services and assistance that may be authorized under applicable provisions of 38 U.S.C. chapter 31 regulations, including, but not limited to, employment and self-employment services, initial and extended evaluation services, and independent living services.

    3. Revise part 833 to read as follows PART 833—PROTESTS, DISPUTES, AND APPEALS Sec. Subpart 833.1—Protests 833.103-70 Protests to VA. 833.106-70 Solicitation provisions. Subpart 833.2—Disputes and Appeals 833.209 Suspected fraudulent claims. 833.211 Contracting officer's decision. 833.213 Obligation to continue performance. 833.214 Alternative dispute resolution (ADR). 833.215 Contract clauses. Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; 41 U.S.C. chapter 71; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 833.1—Protests
    833.103-70 Protests to VA.

    (a) Pursuant to FAR 33.103(d)(4), an interested party may protest to the contracting officer or, as an alternative, may request an independent review at a level above the contracting officer as provided in this section. An interested party may also appeal to VA a contracting officer's decision on a protest.

    (1) Protests to the contracting officer. Protests to the contracting officer shall be in writing and shall be addressed where the offer/bid is to be submitted or as indicated in the solicitation.

    (2) Independent review or appeal of a contracting officer decision—protest filed directly with the agency.

    (i) Protests requesting an independent review a level above the contracting officer, and appeals within VA above the level of the contracting officer, shall be addressed to: Executive Director, Office of Acquisition and Logistics, Risk Management and Compliance Service (RMCS), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420.

    (ii) The protest and pertinent documents shall be mailed to the address in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section or sent electronically to: [email protected]

    (3) An independent review of a protest filed pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section will not be considered if the interested party has a protest on the same or similar issues pending with the contracting officer.

    (b) The following types of protests may be dismissed by VA without consideration of the merits or may be forwarded to another agency for appropriate action:

    (1) Contract administration. Disputes between a contractor and VA are resolved under the disputes clause see the Dispute statute, 41 U.S.C. chapter 71.

    (2) Small business size standards and standard industrial classification. Challenges of established size standards, ownership and control or the size status of particular firm, and challenges of the selected standard industrial classification are for review solely by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (see 15 U.S.C. 637(b)(6); 13 CFR 121.1002). Pursuant to Public Law 114-328, SBA will also hear cases related to size, status, and ownership and control challenges under the VA Veterans First Contracting Program (see 38 U.S.C. 8127(f)(8).)

    (3) Small business certificate of competency program. A protest made under section 8(b)(7) of the Small Business Act, or in regard to any issuance of a certificate of competency or refusal to issue a certificate under that section, is not reviewed in accordance with bid protest procedures unless there is a showing of possible fraud or bad faith on the part of Government officials.

    (4) Protests under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act. The decision to place or not to place a procurement under the 8(a) program is not subject to review unless there is a showing of possible fraud or bad faith on the part of Government officials or that regulations may have been violated (see 15 U.S.C. 637(a)).

    (5) Affirmative determination of responsibility by the contracting officer. An affirmative determination of responsibility will not be reviewed unless there is a showing that such determination was made fraudulently or in bad faith or that definitive responsibility criteria in the solicitation were not met.

    (6) Contracts for materials, supplies, articles, and equipment exceeding $15,000. Challenges concerning the legal status of a firm as a regular dealer or manufacturer within the meaning of 41 U.S.C. chapter 65 are determined solely by the procuring agency, the SBA (if a small business is involved), and the Secretary of Labor (see FAR subpart 22.6).

    (7) Subcontractor protests. The contracting agency will not consider subcontractor protests except where VA determines it is in the interest of the Government.

    (8) Judicial proceedings. The contracting agency will not consider protests where the matter involved is the subject of litigation before a court of competent jurisdiction.

    (c) Alternative dispute resolution. Bidders/offerors and VA contracting officers are encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures to resolve protests at any stage in the protest process. If ADR is used, VA will not furnish any documentation in an ADR proceeding beyond what is allowed by the FAR.

    (d) Appeal of contracting officer's protest decision—agency appellate review. An interested party may request an independent review of a contracting officer's protest decision by filing an appeal in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (1) To be considered timely, the appeal must be received by the cognizant official in paragraph (a)(2) of this section within 10 calendar days of the date the interested party knew, or should have known, whichever is earlier, of the basis for the appeal.

    (2) Appeals do not extend GAO's timeliness requirements for protests to GAO. By filing an appeal as provided in this paragraph, an interested party may waive its rights to further protest to the Comptroller General at a later date.

    (3) Agency responses to appeals submitted to the agency shall be reviewed and concurred in by the Office of the General Counsel (OGC).

    833.106-70 Solicitation provisions.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 852.233-70, Protest Content/Alternative Dispute Resolution, in solicitations expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, including those for commercial items.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 852.233-71, Alternate Protest Procedure, in solicitations expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, including those for commercial items.

    Subpart 833.2—Disputes and Appeals
    833.209 Suspected fraudulent claims.

    The contracting officer must refer matters relating to suspected fraudulent claims to the Office of Inspector General for investigation and potential referral to the Department of Justice. The contracting officer may not initiate any collection, recovery, or other settlement action while the matter is in the hands of the Department of Justice without first obtaining the concurrence of the U.S. Attorney concerned, through the Office of the Inspector General.

    833.211 Contracting officer's decision.

    (a) For purposes of appealing a VA contracting officer's final decision, the Board of Contract Appeals referenced in FAR 33.211(a) and elsewhere in this subpart is the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405.

    833.213 Obligation to continue performance.

    (a) As provided in FAR 33.213, contracting officers shall use FAR clause 52.233-1, Disputes, with its Alternate I. FAR clause 52.233-1 requires the contractor to continue performance in accordance with the contracting officer's decision in the event of a claim arising under a contract. Alternate I expands this authority, adding a requirement for the contractor to continue performance in the event of a claim relating to the contract.

    (b) In the event of a dispute not arising under, but relating to, the contract, as permitted by FAR 33.213(b), if the contracting officer directs continued performance and considers providing financing for such continued performance, the contracting officer shall contact OGC for advice prior to requesting higher level approval for or authorizing such financing. The contracting officer shall document in the contract file any required approvals and how the Government's interest was properly secured with respect to such financing (see FAR 32.202-4 and VAAR subpart 832.2).

    833.214 Alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

    Contracting officers and contractors are encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures. Guidance on ADR may be obtained at the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals website: http://www.cbca.gsa.gov.

    833.215 Contract clauses.

    The contracting officer shall use the clause at 52.233-1, Disputes, with its Alternate I (see 833.213).

    PART 852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 4. The authority citation for part 852 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 8127-8128, and 8151-8153; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1303; 41 U.S.C 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 852.2—Texts of Provisions and Clauses 5. The heading of subpart 852.2 is revised to read “Text of Provisions and Clauses.” 6. Section 852.233-70 is revised to read as follows:
    852.233-70 Protest Content/Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    As prescribed in 833.106-70(a), insert the following provision:

    Protest Content/Alternative Dispute Resolution (Date)

    (a) Any protest filed by an interested party shall—

    (1) Include the name, address, fax number, email and telephone number of the protester;

    (2) Identify the solicitation and/or contract number;

    (3) Include an original signed by the protester or the protester's representative and at least one copy;

    (4) Set forth a detailed statement of the legal and factual grounds of the protest, including a description of resulting prejudice to the protester, and provide copies of relevant documents;

    (5) Specifically request a ruling of the individual upon whom the protest is served;

    (6) State the form of relief requested; and

    (7) Provide all information establishing the timeliness of the protest.

    (b) Failure to comply with the above may result in dismissal of the protest without further consideration.

    (c) Bidders/offerors and contracting officers are encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures to resolve protests at any stage in the protest process. If ADR is used, the Department of Veterans Affairs will not furnish any documentation in an ADR proceeding beyond what is allowed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

    (End of Provision)
    7. Section 852.233-71 is revised to read as follows:
    852.233-71 Alternate Protest Procedure.

    As prescribed in 833.106-70(b), insert the following provision:

    Alternate Protest Procedure (Date)

    (a) As an alternative to filing a protest with the contracting officer, an interested party may file a protest by mail or electronically with: Executive Director, Office of Acquisition and Logistics, Risk Management and Compliance Service (003A2C), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, Email: [email protected].gov.

    (b) The protest will not be considered if the interested party has a protest on the same or similar issue(s) pending with the contracting officer.

    (End of Provision)
    PART 871—LOAN GUARANTY AND VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS 8. The authority citation for part 871 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. Chapter 31; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 871.2—Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service 9. Amend section 871.201-1 by revising the introductory text and paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    871.201-1 Requirements for the use of contracts.

    The costs for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other expenses are allowable under a contract with an institution, training establishment, or employer for the training and rehabilitation of eligible Veterans under 38 U.S.C. chapter 31, provided the services meet the conditions in the following definitions:

    (b) Special services or special courses. Special services or courses are those services or courses that VA requests that are supplementary to those the institution customarily provides for similarly circumstanced non-Veteran students and that the contracting officer considers to be necessary for the rehabilitation of the trainee.

    [FR Doc. 2018-04003 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 48 CFR Parts 844 and 845 RIN 2900-AQ05 Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation—Parts 844 and 845 AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend and update its VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) in phased increments to revise or remove any policy that has been superseded by changes in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to remove any procedural guidance that is internal to the VA into the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM), and to incorporate new regulations or policies. These changes seek to streamline and align the VAAR with the FAR and remove outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden on contractors. The VAAM incorporates portions of the removed VAAR as well as other internal agency acquisition policy. VA will rewrite certain parts of the VAAR and VAAM, and as VAAR parts are rewritten, we'll publish them in the Federal Register. VA will combine related topics, as appropriate. In particular, this rulemaking revises VAAR Parts 844—Subcontracting Policies and Procedures, and Part 845—Government Property.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 5, 2018 to be considered in the formulation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AQ05—Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation Parts 844 and 845).” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rafael Taylor, Senior Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services, 003A2A, 425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 382-2787. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This rulemaking is issued under the authority of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act, which provides the authority for an agency head to issue agency acquisition regulations that implement or supplement the FAR.

    VA is proposing to revise the VAAR to add new policy or regulatory requirements and to remove any redundant guidance and guidance that is applicable only to VA's internal operating processes or procedures. Codified acquisition regulations may be amended and revised only through rulemaking. All amendments, revisions, and removals have been reviewed and concurred with by VA's Integrated Product Team of agency stakeholders.

    The VAAR uses the regulatory structure and arrangement of the FAR and headings and subject areas are consistent with FAR content. The VAAR is divided into subchapters, parts (each of which covers a separate aspect of acquisition), subparts, sections, and subsections.

    The Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as codified in 41 U.S.C. 1707, provides the authority for the Federal Acquisition Regulation and for the issuance of agency acquisition regulations consistent with the FAR.

    When Federal agencies acquire supplies and services using appropriated funds, the purchase is governed by the FAR, set forth at Title 48 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter 1, parts 1 through 53, and the agency regulations that implement and supplement the FAR. The VAAR is set forth at Title 48 CFR, chapter 8, parts 801 to 873.

    Discussion and Analysis

    The VA proposes to make the following changes to the VAAR in this phase of its revision and streamlining initiative. For procedural guidance cited below that is proposed to be deleted from the VAAR, each section cited for removal has been considered for inclusion in VA's internal agency operating procedures in accordance with FAR 1.301(a)(2). Similarly, delegations of authorities that are removed from the VAAR will be included in the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM) as internal agency guidance. The VAAM is being created in parallel with these revisions to the VAAR and is not subject to the rulemaking process as they are internal VA procedures and guidance. Therefore, the VAAM will not be finalized until corresponding VAAR parts are finalized, and is not yet available on line.

    VAAR Part 844—Subcontracting Policies and Procedures

    We propose to add part 844 to the VAAR. The authorities to be cited are: 40 U.S.C. 121(c) and 41 U.S.C. 1702, which address the overall direction of procurement policy, acquisition planning and management responsibilities of VA's Chief Acquisition Officer; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304, which is the delegation of authority for agencies to issue regulations that implement and supplement the FAR.

    This new part 844, Subcontracting Policies and Procedures, implements FAR part 44 by making public VA's additional requirements for providing its consent to subcontract, items that should be evaluated as a part of a Contractor's Purchasing Systems Review (CPSR), and establishing that contractors should determine whether subcontract items meet the FAR definition of a commercial item. Under this new part, we propose to add subpart 844.2, Consent to Subcontracts, and section 844.202-2, Considerations. We propose to add one paragraph to this section, (a)(14), which would require, before a contracting officer consents to a subcontract where other than the lowest price is the basis for selection, that the contractor has substantiated the selection as being fair, reasonable, and representing the best value to the Government.

    We propose to add subpart 844.3, Contractor's Purchasing Systems Reviews, and section 844.303, Extent of review. We included three paragraphs to this section, paragraphs (f), (l), and (m). The paragraphs included in this section would require that contractor purchasing system reviews focus special attention, respectively, on:

    Policies and procedures pertaining to the use of VA-verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and utilization in accordance with subpart 819.70 and the Veterans First Contracting Program;

    Documentation of commercial item determinations to ensure compliance with the definition of “commercial item” in FAR 2.101; and

    For acquisitions involving electronic parts, whether the contractor has implemented a counterfeit electronic part detection and avoidance system to ensure that counterfeit electronic parts do not enter the supply chain.

    We propose to add subpart 844.4, Subcontracts for Commercial Items and Commercial Components, and section 844.402, Policy requirements. Under section 844.402, we add paragraph “(a)(3)” which would require that contractors determine whether a particular subcontract item meets the FAR definition of a commercial item. This requirement does not affect the contracting officer's responsibilities or determinations made under FAR 15.403-1(c)(3).

    VAAR Part 845—Government Property

    We propose to add subpart 845.4, Title to Government Property. The authorities to be cited are: 40 U.S.C. 121(c) which provides that the Administrator of the General Services Administration may prescribe regulations to carry out responsibilities under the Federal Property and Administrative Services subtitle of Title 40, and, additionally, that the head of each executive agency shall issue orders and directives that the agency head considers necessary to carry out the prescribed regulations issued by the Administrator; and 41 U.S.C. 1702, which address the overall direction of procurement policy, acquisition planning and management responsibilities of VA's Chief Acquisition Officer; and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304, which is the delegation of authority for agencies to issue regulations that implement and supplement the FAR.

    We propose to add section 845.402, Title to contractor-acquired property (no text), and section, 845.402-70, Policy. This implements and supplements the FAR by addressing procedures for contractors to document their acquisition of property for use in the service of VA contracts; to address the transfer of title to the Government of contractor-acquired property; and to outline the procedures for the use of such property on a successor contract. This new section proposes the following:

    Paragraph (a) would provide that, for other than firm-fixed-price contracts, contractor-acquired property items not anticipated at time of contract award, or not otherwise specified for delivery on an existing line item, would be delivered to the Government on a contract line item. The value of that item would be recorded at the original purchase cost or best estimate.

    Paragraph (b) would provide that, upon delivery and acceptance by the Government of contractor-acquired property items, and when retained by the contractor for continued use under a successor contract, such items would become Government-furnished property (GFP). The items would be added to the successor contract as GFP by contract modification.

    Paragraph (c) would provide that individual contractor-acquired property items would be recorded in the contractor's property management system at the contractor's original purchase cost or best estimate.

    Paragraph (d) would provide that all other contractor inventory that is excess to the needs of the contract would be disposed of in accordance with FAR subpart 45.6.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    Title 48, Federal Acquisition Regulations System, Chapter 8, Department of Veterans Affairs, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent VA's implementation of its legal authority and publication of the Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) for the cited applicable parts. Other than future amendments to this rule or governing statutes for the cited applicable parts, or as otherwise authorized by approved deviations or waivers in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 1.4, Deviations from the FAR, and as implemented by VAAR subpart 801.4, Deviations from the FAR or VAAR, no contrary guidance or procedures would be authorized. All existing or subsequent VA guidance would be read to conform with the rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance would be superseded by this rulemaking as pertains to the cited applicable VAAR parts.

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 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). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, defines “significant regulatory action” to mean any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: “(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive order.”

    VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866.

    VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at http://www.va.gov/orpm by following the link for VA Regulations Published from FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.

    This proposed rule is not expected to be an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this proposed rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The overall impact of the proposed rule would be of benefit to small businesses owned by Veterans or service-disabled Veterans as the VAAR is being updated to remove extraneous procedural information that applies only to VA's internal operating procedures. VA is merely adding existing and current regulatory requirements to the VAAR and removing any guidance that is applicable only to VA's internal operation processes or procedures. VA estimates no cost impact to individual business would result from these rule updates. This rulemaking does not change VA's policy regarding small businesses, does not have an economic impact to individual businesses, and there are no increased or decreased costs to small business entities. On this basis, the proposed rule would not have an economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this regulatory action is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal Governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal Governments or on the private sector.

    List of Subjects 48 CFR Part 844

    Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    48 CFR Part 845

    Government procurement, Government property, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs approved this document on October 20, 2017, for publication.

    Dated: February 22, 2018. Consuela Benjamin, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 48 CFR, chapter 8 by adding parts 844 and 845 to read as follows: PART 844—SUBCONTRACTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Sec. Subpart 844.2—Consent to Subcontracts 844.202-2 Considerations. Subpart 844.3—Contractors' Purchasing Systems Reviews 844.303 Extent of review. Subpart 844.4—Subcontracts for Commercial Items and Commercial Components 844.402 Policy requirements. Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702 and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 844-2—Consent to Subcontracts
    844.202-2 Considerations.

    (a)(14) Where other than lowest price is the basis for subcontractor selection, has the contractor adequately substantiated the selection as being fair, reasonable, and representing the best value to the Government?

    Subpart 844.3—Contractors' Purchasing Systems Reviews
    844.303 Extent of review.

    (f) Policies and procedures pertaining to the use of VA-verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and utilization in accordance with subpart 819.70 and the Veterans First Contracting Program.

    (l) Documentation of commercial item determinations to ensure compliance with the definition of “commercial item” in FAR 2.101; and

    (m) For acquisitions involving electronic parts, that the contractor has implemented a counterfeit electronic part detection and avoidance system to ensure that counterfeit electronic parts do not enter the supply chain.

    Subpart 844.4—Subcontracts for Commercial Items and Commercial Components
    844.402 Policy requirements.

    (a)(3) Determine whether a particular subcontract item meets the definition of a commercial item. This requirement does not affect the contracting officer's responsibilities or determinations made under FAR 15.403-1(c)(3).

    PART 845—GOVERNMENT PROPERTY Sec. Subpart 845.4—Title to Government Property 845.402 Title to contractor-acquired property. 845.402-70 Policy. Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702 and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304.

    Subpart 845.4—Title to Government Property
    845.402 Title to contractor-acquired property.
    845.402-70 Policy.

    (a) For other than firm-fixed-price contracts, contractor-acquired property items not anticipated at time of contract award, or not otherwise specified for delivery on an existing line item, shall, by means of a contract modification, be specified for delivery to the Government on an added contract line item. The value of such contractor-acquired property item shall be recorded at the original purchase cost. Unless otherwise noted by the contractor at the time of delivery to the Government, the placed-in-service date shall be the date of acquisition or completed manufacture, if fabricated.

    (b) Following delivery and acceptance by the Government of contractor-acquired property items, if these items are to be retained by the contractor for continued use under a successor contract, these items become Government-furnished property (GFP). The items shall be added to the successor contract as GFP by contract modification.

    (c) Individual contractor-acquired property items should be recorded in the contractor's property management system at the contractor's original purchase cost.

    (d) All other contractor inventory that is excess to the needs of the contract shall be disposed of in accordance with FAR subpart 45.6.

    [FR Doc. 2018-04004 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2018-0010; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BD06 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Section 4(d) Rule for Louisiana Pinesnake AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose a rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act for the Louisiana pinesnake (Pituophis ruthveni), a reptile from Louisiana and Texas. This rule would provide measures to protect the species.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before May 7, 2018. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2018-0010, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2018-0010, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Information Requested, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Ranson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Ecological Services Office, 646 Cajundome Blvd., Suite 400, Lafayette, LA; telephone 337-291-3113. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Previous Federal Actions

    On October 6, 2016, the Service, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act, as amended (“Act”; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to add the Louisiana pinesnake (Pituophis ruthveni), a reptile from Louisiana and Texas, as a threatened species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (81 FR 69454). The List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife is in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations in part 17 (50 CFR 17.11(h)). The proposed listing rule had a 60-day comment period, ending on December 5, 2016. Then, on October 6, 2017, the Service published in the Federal Register a document that reopened the comment period on the proposed rule and announced that we were extending by 6 months the 1-year period for making a final determination on the proposed rule to list the Louisiana pinesnake as a threatened species (82 FR 46748). In accordance with section 4(b)(6)(A)(i)(III) of the Act, this extension was based on our finding that there was substantial disagreement regarding available information related to the interpretation of the available survey data used to determine the Louisiana pinesnake's status and trends. The second comment period closed November 6, 2017. No public hearing was requested or held in response to publication of these documents.

    Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we publish a final rule for the 2016 proposed listing rule for the Louisiana pinesnake as a threatened species. For a complete list of previous Federal actions related to this species as well as information on its taxonomy, habitat, life history, historical and current distribution, population estimates and status, and a summary of factors affecting the species, see that proposed rule (81 FR 69454, October 6, 2016).

    Background

    The primary habitat feature that contributes to the conservation of the Louisiana pinesnake is open-canopy forest situated on well-drained sandy soils with an abundant herbaceous plant community that provides forage for the Baird's pocket gopher (Geomys breviceps), which is the snake's primary known source of food. In addition, Baird's pocket gopher burrows are the primary known source of shelter for the Louisiana pinesnake. As discussed in the, proposed listing rule, one of the primary threats to the Louisiana pinesnake is the continuing loss and degradation of the open pine forest habitat that supports the Baird's pocket gopher. In the types of sandy soil in which the Louisiana pinesnake and pocket gopher are found (Wagner et al. 2014, p. 152 ; Duran 2010, p. 11; Davis et al. 1938, p. 414), the pocket gopher creates burrows at an average depth of about 18 centimeters (cm) (7 inches (in)) (Wagner et al. 2015, p. 54).

    One of the primary features of suitable pocket gopher habitat is a diverse herbaceous (non-woody) plant community with an adequate amount of forbs (non-grass herbaceous vegetation) that provide forage for the pocket gopher. Louisiana pinesnakes and pocket gophers are known to be highly associated (Ealy et al. 2004, p. 389) and occur together in areas with herbaceous vegetation, a nonexistent or sparse midstory, and a low pine basal area (Rudolph and Burgdorf 1997, p. 117; Himes et al. 2006, pp. 110, 112; Wagner et al. 2017, p. 22). In a study of pocket gophers in a Louisiana forest system managed according to guidelines for red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) habitat, it was shown that pocket gopher selection of habitat increased with increasing forb cover and decreased with increasing midstory stem density and midstory pine basal area (Wagner et al. 2017, p. 11). Few (less than 25 percent) sites used by pocket gophers had less than 18 percent coverage by forbs alone (Wagner et al. 2017, p. 22). Use by pocket gophers is also inhibited by increased midstory stem density and midstory pine basal area even when herbaceous vegetation is present (Wagner et al. 2017, pp. 20, 22, 25). Pocket gophers used areas with higher densities of trees much less frequently than areas with fewer stems, presumably because of greater root mass, which reduces burrowing efficiency (Wagner et al. 2017, pp. 11, 22).

    One of the main causes of the degradation of this habitat is the decline in or absence of fire. Fire was the primary source of historical disturbance and maintenance, and prescribed fire is currently known to reduce midstory and understory hardwoods and promote abundant herbaceous groundcover in the natural communities of the longleaf dominant pine ecosystem where the Louisiana pinesnake most often occurs. In the absence of regularly recurring, unsuppressed fires, open pine forest habitat requires active management activities essentially the same as those required to produce and maintain red-cockaded woodpecker foraging habitat. Those activities, such as thinning, prescribed burning, reforestation and afforestation, midstory woody vegetation control, herbaceous vegetation (especially forbs) enhancement, and harvest (particularly in stands that require substantial improvement) are necessary to maintain or restore forests to the conditions that are suitable (as described in the preceding paragraph) for pocket gophers and Louisiana pinesnakes.

    Establishment and management of open pine forests beneficial to the Louisiana pinesnake has been occurring on some privately owned land in Louisiana and Texas Additionally, throughout the range of the Louisiana pinesnake, Federal and State agencies have developed conservation efforts, which have provided a conservation benefit to the species. Increased efforts, however, are necessary on both public and private lands to address continued habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, one of the species' primary threats across its entire range, and it is the intent of this proposed rule to encourage these increased efforts.

    In the proposed listing rule (81 FR 69454, October 6, 2016), we solicited public comments as to which prohibitions, and exceptions to those prohibitions, are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the Louisiana pinesnake. During the public comment periods on the proposed listing rule (81 FR 69454, October 6, 2016; 82 FR 46748, October 6, 2017), we received comments expressing concern that, when the species is listed under the Act, certain beneficial forest management activities on private land could be considered takings in violation of section 9(a)(1) of the Act or its implementing regulations, and would thus be regulated.

    The Service intends to strongly encourage the continuation and increased implementation of forest management activities—thinning, prescribed fire, and mid- and understory woody vegetation control in particular—that promote open canopy forest and herbaceous vegetation growth, which are beneficial to the Louisiana pinesnake. In recognition of efforts that provide for conservation and management of the Louisiana pinesnake and its habitat in a manner consistent with the purposes of the Act, as discussed in more detail below, we are now proposing a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that identifies situations in which take resulting from actions that provide for conservation and management of the Louisiana pinesnake would not be prohibited. Information about section 4(d) of the Act is set forth below in Provisions of Section 4(d) of the Act.

    Our goal is to strongly encourage continuation and increased implementation of these beneficial practices. Nevertheless, if activities could cause subsurface ground disturbance that can directly harm or kill Louisiana pinesnakes inhabiting pocket gopher burrows, or inhibit the persistence of suitable pocket gopher and Louisiana pinesnake habitat, as described above, they would be subject to the section 9 take prohibitions in certain occupied habitat areas, specifically areas known as Louisiana pinesnake estimated occupied habitat areas (EOHAs). These areas have been the site of recorded occurrences of Louisiana pinesnakes, and they are considered by the Service to be occupied by the species (see the proposed listing rule). This regulation would also apply to any EOHAs that are identified in the future, because activities in such areas could be detrimental to maintenance and development of suitable habitat conditions critical to this species and are more likely to affect the Louisiana pinesnake directly.

    Provisions of Section 4(d) of the Act

    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to threatened wildlife. Under section 4(d) of the Act, the Secretary of the Interior has the discretion to issue such regulations as he deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species. The Secretary also has the discretion to prohibit, by regulation with respect to any threatened species of fish or wildlife, any act prohibited under section 9(a)(1) of the Act. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, codified at 50 CFR 17.31, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. To the extent the section 9(a)(1) prohibitions apply only to endangered species, this proposed rule would apply those same prohibitions to the Louisiana pinesnake with some exceptions.

    The regulations implementing the ESA include a provision that generally applies to threatened wildlife the same prohibitions and exceptions that apply to endangered wildlife (50 CFR 17.31(a), 17.32), in accordance with section 4(d) of the Act. For any species, the Service may instead develop a protective regulation that is specific to the conservation needs of that species. Such a regulation would contain all of the protections applicable to that species (50 CFR 17.31(c)); this may include some of the general prohibitions and exceptions under 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32, but would also include protections that are tailored to the specific conservation needs of the threatened species and may be more or less restrictive than the general provisions at 50 CFR 17.31.

    The courts have recognized the extent of the Secretary's discretion to develop prohibitions, as well as exclusions from those prohibitions, that are appropriate for the conservation of a species. For example, the Secretary may decide not to prohibit take, or to put in place only limited take prohibitions. See Alsea Valley Alliance v. Lautenbacher, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 60203 (D. Or. 2007); Washington Environmental Council v. National Marine Fisheries Service, 2002 U.S. Dist. Lexis 5432 (W.D. Wash. 2002). In addition, as affirmed in State of Louisiana v. Verity, 853 F.2d 322 (5th Cir. 1988), the protective regulation for a species need not address all the threats to the species. As noted by Congress when the Act was initially enacted, “once an animal is on the threatened list, the Secretary has an almost infinite number of options available to him with regard to the permitted activities for those species. He may, for example, permit taking, but not importation of such species,” or he may choose to forbid both taking and importation but allow the transportation of such species, as long as the measures will “serve to conserve, protect, or restore the species concerned in accordance with the purposes of the Act” (H.R. Rep. No. 412, 93rd Cong., 1st Sess. 1973).

    Proposed 4(d) Rule for the Louisiana Pinesnake

    Under this proposed section 4(d) rule, except as noted below, all prohibitions and provisions of 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32 would apply to the Louisiana pinesnake.

    Outside of any known EOHAs, the following management activities would not be subject to the general prohibitions at 50 CFR 17.31:

    (1) Forestry activities, including tree thinning, harvest (including clearcutting), planting and replanting pines, as well as other silvicultural practices outlined below, that maintain lands in forest land use and that result in the establishment and maintenance of open pine canopy conditions through time across the landscape.

    (2) Prescribed burning, including all firebreak establishment and maintenance actions, as well as actions taken to control wildfires.

    (3) Herbicide application that is generally targeted for invasive plant species control and midstory and understory woody vegetation control, but is also used for site preparation when applied in a manner that minimizes long-term impact to noninvasive herbaceous vegetation. These provisions include only herbicide applications conducted in a manner consistent with Federal and applicable State laws, including Environmental Protection Agency label restrictions and herbicide application guidelines as prescribed by manufacturers.

    Although these management activities may result in some minimal level of harm or temporary disturbance to the Louisiana pinesnake, overall, these activities benefit the pinesnake by contributing to conservation and recovery. With adherence to the three limitations described in the preceding paragraph these activities will have a net beneficial effect on the species by encouraging active forest management that creates and maintains the herbaceous plant conditions needed to support the persistence of Baird's pocket gopher populations, which is essential to the long-term viability and conservation of the Louisiana pinesnake. This is a reasonable conclusion and therefore meets the standard for applying endangered-species prohibitions to threatened species under the second sentence of section 4(d) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(d) (“The Secretary may by regulation prohibit with respect to any threatened species any act prohibited under section 1538(a)(1) of this title . . . with respect to endangered species.”)). Moreover, even if the “necessary and advisable” standard in the first sentence of section 4(d) applied to regulations adopting endangered-species prohibitions for a threatened species, we would find that adopting these prohibitions meets that standard.

    These provisions are necessary because, absent protections, the species is likely to become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future. Applying the prohibitions of the Act will minimize threats that could cause further declines in the status of the species. Additionally, these provisions are advisable because the species needs active conservation to improve the quality of its habitat. By exempting some of the prohibitions, these provisions can encourage cooperation by landowners and other affected parties in implementing conservation measures. This will allow for use of the land while at the same time ensuring the preservation of suitable habitat and minimizing impact on the species.

    When practicable and to the extent possible, the Service encourages managers to conduct such activities in a manner to maintain suitable Louisiana pinesnake habitat in large tracts; minimize ground and subsurface disturbance; and promote a diverse, abundant herbaceous groundcover. Prescribed fire is an important tool to effectively manage open-canopy pine habitats to establish and maintain suitable conditions for the Louisiana pinesnake, and the Service strongly encourages its use over other methods (mechanical or chemical) wherever practicable. The Service also encourages managers, when practicable and to the extent possible, to (1) enroll their lands into third-party forest certification programs such as the Sustainable Forest Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, and American Tree Farm System; and (2) conduct such activities using best management practices as described and implemented through such programs, or by others such as State forestry agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the Forest Service's Forest Stewardship Program or the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Practices Manual), or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

    As noted above, the management activities discussed above are not subject to the general prohibitions at 50 CFR 17.31 outside of known EOHAs. Within any known EOHAs on lands with suitable or preferable soils that are forested, undeveloped, or non-farmed (i.e., not cultivated on an annual basis) and adjacent to forested lands, the management activities discussed above would also not be subject to the general prohibitions at 50 CFR 17.31, but only provided the following additional conditions are met:

    (a) Those activities do not cause subsurface disturbance including, but not limited to, wind-rowing, stumping, disking (except during firebreak creation or maintenance), root-raking, drum chopping, below-ground shearing, and bedding. In highly degraded areas with no herbaceous vegetation, subsurface disturbance shall be limited to that less than 4 in (10 cm) in depth; and

    (b) Those activities do not inhibit the persistence of suitable pocket gopher and Louisiana pinesnake habitat.

    These additional conditions on when the prohibitions would not apply within known EOHAs are reasonable because the actual likelihood of encountering individuals of the species is higher within the EOHAs. For the same reason, even if the “necessary and advisable” standard is applied to regulations adopting endangered-species prohibitions for a threatened species, we would find that adopting these more narrow prohibitions is necessary and advisable.

    Anyone undertaking activities that are not covered by the provisions, including the additional conditions, and may result in take would need to: (1) ensure, in consultation with the Service are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species (where the entity is a Federal agency or there is a Federal nexus), or (2) obtain a permit before proceeding with the activity (if there is no Federal nexus). A map of the currently known EOHAs is found in the proposed listing rule (81 FR 69461, October 6, 2016). The Service intends to update maps identifying the locations of Louisiana pinesnake EOHAs and make them available to the public in the docket on www.regulations.gov as new information becomes available. Alternatively, you may contact the Louisiana Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

    Based on the explanations above, the prohibitions under section 9(a)(1) would apply to the Louisiana pinesnake, with specific exemptions tailored to the conservation of the species. Nothing in this proposed 4(d) rule would change in any way the recovery planning provisions of section 4(f) and consultation requirements under section 7 of the Act or the ability of the Service to enter into partnerships for the management and protection of the Louisiana pinesnake.

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition of a species through listing it results in public awareness, and leads Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals to undertake conservation. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. Information about the protection required by Federal agencies, and the prohibitions against certain activities, and recovery planning and implementation and interagency consultation, are discussed in the proposed and final listing rules.

    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to threatened wildlife. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, codified at 50 CFR 17.31, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally.

    As described in the final listing rule, it is our policy to identify, to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the species proposed for listing. Since the Louisiana pinesnake is a threatened species subject to the protections outlined in both section 9(a)(1) of the Act and this proposed rule, we are identifying those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of either section 9(a)(1) or this proposed rule. Based on the best available information, the following activities may potentially result in a violation of section 9 of the Act or this proposed rule; this list is not comprehensive:

    (1) Unauthorized collecting, handling, possessing, selling, delivering, carrying, or transporting of the Louisiana pinesnake, including interstate transportation across State lines and import or export across international boundaries, except for properly documented antique specimens of these taxa at least 100 years old, as defined by section 10(h)(1) of the Act.

    (2) Introduction of nonnative animal species that compete with or prey upon the Louisiana pinesnake.

    (3) Introduction of invasive plant species that contribute to the degradation of the natural habitat of the Louisiana pinesnake.

    (4) Unauthorized destruction or modification of suitable occupied Louisiana pinesnake habitat that results in damage to or alteration of desirable herbaceous (non-woody) vegetation or the destruction of Baird's pocket gopher burrow systems used as refugia by the Louisiana pinesnake, or that impairs in other ways the species' essential behaviors such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

    (5) Unauthorized use of insecticides and rodenticides that could impact small mammal prey populations, through either unintended or direct impacts within habitat occupied by Louisiana pinesnakes.

    (6) Unauthorized actions that would result in the destruction of eggs or cause mortality or injury to hatchling, juvenile, or adult Louisiana pinesnakes.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Louisiana Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Under regulations codified at 50 CFR 17.32, we may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened wildlife under certain circumstances, including the following: Scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, economic hardship, zoological exhibition, and incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.

    Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning the proposed section 4(d) rule. We will consider all comments and information received during our preparation of a final 4(d) rule. Accordingly, our final decision may differ from this proposal based on specific public comments or any other new information that may become available.

    We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) Information concerning the appropriateness and scope of a 4(d) rule for the Louisiana pinesnake. We are particularly interested in input from forestry experts regarding forest management, restoration practices, or related activities, along with the value of certified forestry practices and best management practices, that would be appropriately addressed through a 4(d) rule.

    (2) Additional provisions the Service may wish to consider for a 4(d) rule in order to manage and conserve the Louisiana pinesnake.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

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

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

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

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

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

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We intend to undertake an environmental assessment of this action under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. We will notify the public of the availability of the draft environmental assessment for this proposal when it is finished.

    References Cited

    A list of the references cited in this proposed rule may be found in the docket in www.regulations.gov.

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Louisiana Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, for the reasons just described, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.42 by adding paragraph (i) to read as follows:
    § 17.42 Special rules—reptiles.

    (i) Louisiana pinesnake (Pituophuis ruthveni)—(1) Definitions. The following definitions apply only to terms used in this paragraph (i) for activities affecting the Louisiana pinesnake.

    (i) Estimated occupied habitat area (EOHA). Areas of land where occurrences of Louisiana pinesnakes have been recorded and that are considered by the Service to be occupied by the species. For current information regarding the EOHAs, contact your local Service ecological services field office. Field office contact information may be obtained from the Service regional offices, the addresses of which are listed in 50 CFR 2.2.

    (ii) Suitable or preferable soils. Those soils in Louisiana and Texas that generally have high sand content and a low water table and that have been shown to be selected by Louisiana pinesnakes (Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey hydrologic group, Categories A and B).

    (2) Prohibitions. Except as noted in paragraph (i)(3) of this section, all prohibitions and provisions of §§ 17.31 and 17.32 apply to the Louisiana pinesnake.

    (3) Exceptions from prohibitions. Incidental take of the Louisiana pinesnake will not be considered a violation of section 9 of the Act if the take results from any of the following activities:

    (i) Outside any known EOHAs:

    (A) Forestry activities, including tree thinning, harvest (including clearcutting), planting and replanting pines, as well as other silviculture practices, that maintain lands in forest land use and that result in the establishment and maintenance of open canopy conditions through time across the landscape.

    (B) Prescribed burning, including all firebreak establishment and maintenance actions, as well as actions taken to control wildfires.

    (C) Herbicide application that is generally targeted for invasive plant species control and midstory and understory woody vegetation control, but also for site preparation when applied in a manner that minimizes long-term impact to noninvasive herbaceous vegetation. All exempted herbicide applications must be conducted in a manner consistent with Federal and applicable State laws, including Environmental Protection Agency label restrictions and herbicide application guidelines as prescribed by herbicide manufacturers.

    (ii) Within any known EOHAs on lands with suitable or preferable soils that are forested, undeveloped, or non-farmed (i.e., not cultivated on an annual basis) and adjacent to forested lands, activities described in paragraphs (i)(3)(i)(A) through (C) of this section provided that:

    (A) Activities do not cause subsurface disturbance, including, but not limited to, wind-rowing, stumping, disking (except during firebreak creation or maintenance), root-raking, drum chopping, below-ground shearing, and bedding. In highly degraded areas with no herbaceous vegetation, subsurface disturbance will be limited to that less than 4 inches in depth.

    (B) Activities do not inhibit the persistence of suitable Louisiana pinesnake and Baird's pocket gopher habitat.

    Dated: March 12, 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. 2018-07108 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    83 67 Friday, April 6, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request April 3, 2018.

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

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by May 7, 2018. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

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

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products—Recordkeeping (Subpart B).

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0110.

    Summary of Collection: The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) directs the Department to develop programs that will provide for and facilitate the marketing of agricultural products. One of these programs is the USDA voluntary inspection and grading program for dairy products where these dairy products are graded according to U.S. grade standards by an USDA grader. Dairy processors, buyers, retailers, institutional users, and consumers have requested that such a program be developed to assure the uniform quality of dairy products purchased. For any service program to perform satisfactorily, there must be written guides and rules, which in this case are regulations for the provider and user.

    Need and Use of the Information: The Agricultural Marketing Service will collect information to ensure that the dairy inspection program products are produced under sanitary conditions and buyers are purchasing a quality product. The information collected through recordkeeping are routinely reviewed and evaluated during the inspection of the dairy plant facilities for USDA approval. Without laboratory testing results required by recordkeeping, the inspectors would not be able to evaluate the quality of dairy products.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 369.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,007.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Dairy Products Mandatory Sales Reporting.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0274.

    Summary of Collection: The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 amended § 273(d) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an electronic reporting system for certain manufacturers of dairy products to report sales information under a mandatory dairy product reporting program. Data collection for cheddar cheese, butter, dry whey, or nonfat dry milk sales is limited to manufacturing plants producing annually 1 million pounds or more of one of the surveyed commodities specified in the program.

    Need and Use of the Information: Persons engaged in manufacturing dairy products are required to provide the Department of Agriculture (USDA) certain information, including the price, quantity, and moisture content, where applicable, of dairy products sold by the manufacturer. Various manufacturer reports are filed electronically on a weekly basis. Additional paper forms are filed by manufacturers on an annual basis to validate participation in the mandatory reporting program. Manufacturers and other persons storing dairy products must also report information on the quantity of dairy products stored. USDA publishes composites of the information obtained to help industry members make informed marketing decisions regarding dairy products. The information is also used to establish minimum prices for Class III and Class IV milk under Federal milk marketing orders. Without this information USDA would not be able to verify compliance with applicable regulations.

    Description of Respondents: Businesses—Cheddar Cheese, 40 lb. Blocks.

    Number of Respondents: 219.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Weekly; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,767.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07043 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Library Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Collect Information AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, this notice announces the National Agricultural Library's (NAL) intent to request an extension of currently approved information collection form related to the Animal Welfare Information Center's (AWIC) workshop, Meeting the Information Requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. This workshop registration form requests the following information from participants: contact information, current profession and professional experience, affiliation, basic demographic information, and database searching experience. Participants include principal investigators, members of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, animal care technicians, facility managers, veterinarians, and administrators of animal use programs.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice much be received by June 5, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments concerning this notice to Sandra Ball, Information Technology Specialist, USDA, ARS, NAL Animal Welfare Information Center, 10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room #108, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2351. Submit electronic comments to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sandra Ball, Information Technology Specialist. Phone: 301-504-6212 or Fax: 301-504-5181.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Animal Welfare Act Workshop Registration.

    OMB Number: 0518-033.

    Expiration Date:

    Type of Request: To extend currently approved data collection form.

    Abstract: This Web-based form collects information to register respondents in the workshop, Meeting the Information Requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. Information collected includes the following: Preference of workshop date, name, title/position, years of professional experience, organization name, highest level of education, age, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Five questions are asked regarding: Database searching experience, membership on an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, position as principal investigator, and goals for attending the workshop.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Principal investigators, members of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, animal care personnel, veterinarians, information providers, and administrators of animal use programs.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 200 per year.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 16.6 hours.

    Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and the assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technology. Comments should be sent to the address in the preamble. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: March 27, 2018. Simon Y. Liu, Associate Administrator, Agriculture Research Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07039 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-78-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 41—Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Authorization of Production Activity; AFE, Inc. (Monitors/Displays/Televisions), Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin

    On November 30, 2017, The Port of Milwaukee, grantee of FTZ 41, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of AFE, Inc., within Subzone 41N, in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.

    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 60369-60370), December 20, 2017). On March 30, 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: April 2, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07065 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before June 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Mark Crace, BIS ICB Liaison, (202) 482-8093 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The collection is necessary under Part 748.11 of the EAR. This section states that the Form BIS-711, Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, or a statement on company letterhead (in accordance with 748.11(b)(1), must provide information on the foreign importer receiving the U.S. technology and how the technology will be utilized. The BIS-711 or letter provides assurances from the importer that the technology will not be misused, transferred or re-exported in violation of the EAR.

    II. Method of Collection

    Submitted electronically or on paper.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0021.

    Form Number(s): BIS-711.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 414.

    Estimated Time per Response: 16 Minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 110.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0. (This is not the cost of respondents' time, but the indirect costs respondents may incur for such things as purchases of specialized software or hardware needed to report, or expenditures for accounting or records maintenance services required specifically by the collection.)

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: EAR Part 748.11

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07069 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-469-805] Certain Uncoated Paper From Portugal: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2017 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain uncoated paper (uncoated paper) from Portugal is not being, or is not likely to be sold, at less than normal value during the period of review (POR), August 26, 2015, through February 28, 2017.

    DATES:

    Applicable April 6, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Bethea, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1491.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on uncoated paper from Portugal in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The review covers one producer/exporter of the subject merchandise, The Navigator Company, S.A. (Navigator). Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.1

    1 Commerce has exercised its discretion to toll deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now April 3, 2018. See Memorandum for The Record from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government” (Tolling Memorandum), dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by 3 days.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this review is uncoated paper from Portugal. For a full description of the scope, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.2

    2See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Uncoated Paper from Portugal; 2015-2017,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    Commerce is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of the topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that, for the period of August 26, 2015, through February 28, 2017, the following weighted-average dumping margin exists:

    3 On November 23, 2016, Commerce determined that Navigator is the successor-in-interest to Portucel, S.A. See Certain Uncoated Paper from Portugal: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 82 FR 84555 (November 23, 2016).

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • The Navigator Company, S.A.3 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs. Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities. Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by Commerce's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Commerce intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, Commerce shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If Navigator's weight-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), we will calculate an importer-specific ad valorem antidumping duty assessment rate based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is not zero or de minimis. If Navigator's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by this review where applicable.

    In accordance with Commerce's “automatic assessment” practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Navigator for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate those entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Navigator will be the rate established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 7.80 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.4 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    4See Certain Uncoated Paper from Portugal: Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 3105 (January 20, 2016).

    Notification to Importers

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

    The preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Discussion of the Methodology a. Determination of the Comparison Method b. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis 5. Product Comparisons 6. Date of Sale 7. Export Price 8. Normal Value a. Home Market Viability as Comparison Market b. Level of Trade c. Sales to Affiliates d. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test e. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices f. Price to Constructed Value Comparison 9. Currency Conversion 10. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2018-07003 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG146 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a joint meeting of its Golden Crab Advisory Panel and Deepwater Shrimp Advisory Panel in Daytona Beach, FL.

    DATES:

    The joint meeting of the advisory panels will be held April 25, 2018, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and April 26, 2018, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meetings will be held at the Daytona Beach Resort, 2700 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32118; Phone: Reservation: (800) 654-6216 or (386) 672-3770; Fax: (386) 944-7247.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, SAFMC; phone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free: (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda items for the joint AP meeting include the following: An update on amendments recently submitted for Secretarial review and currently under development by the Council; an overview of Joint Coral Amendment 10, Golden Crab Amendment 10, and Shrimp Amendment 11 addressing allowable fishing areas, Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for the golden crab fishery, and transit provisions for the shrimp trawl fishery; a discussion of the royal red shrimp fishery and management options; an update on deep sea coral research; and regulations recommended for removal. Advisory panel members will provide recommendations as appropriate.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the public hearings.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07041 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG145 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, MA 02740; phone: (774) 634-2000.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Committee will review detailed information to support development of exemption area alternatives in the clam dredge framework, including Plan Development Team (PDT) advice and analysis, as well as advice from a Scientific and Statistical Committee review panel on use of two Science Center for Marine Fisheries reports. They will also discuss any exemption area alternatives recommended by the Habitat Advisory Panel on April 3, including initial PDT evaluation. The Committee plans to recommend exemption alternatives for further analysis. These could include Advisory Panel proposals, or refinements thereof, Committee-generated proposals, and/or specific design criteria to be used by the PDT to define or refine exemption areas. They will also discuss mussel dredge fishery exemptions if necessary given the outcome of the April 17 Council discussion. They will receive briefings on offshore energy projects from developers, with a focus on offshore wind projects off MA and NY. Develop Council comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in response to any open notices, including the Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Vineyard Wind project. Discuss other business as needed.

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

    Special Accommodations

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07040 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XG141 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Acting Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit Application from the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation contains all the required information and warrants further consideration. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act require publication of this notice to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 23, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “Comments on CFRF Lobster EFP.”

    Mail: Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on CFRF Lobster EFP.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura Hansen, NOAA Affiliate, (978) 281-9225.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) submitted a complete application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) on February 22, 2018, to conduct fishing activities that the regulations would otherwise restrict. The EFP would authorize four commercial fishing vessels to conduct a study using ventless traps to survey the abundance and distribution of juvenile American lobster and Jonah crab in Lobster Conservation Management Area (LCMA) 2. Overall, this EFP proposes to use a total of 144 ventless traps to survey the abundance and distribution of juvenile American lobster and Jonah crab in the Rhode Island/Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (RI/MA WEA); covering statistical areas 537 and 539. Maps depicting these areas are available on request.

    This study is funded through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Award #M13AC00009). The CFRF is requesting exemptions from the following Federal lobster regulations:

    1. Gear specification requirements in 50 CFR 697.21(c) to allow for closed escape vents;

    2. Trap limit requirements, as listed in § 697.19 (b), for LCMA 2, to be exceeded by 32 standard survey traps and 48 ventless traps per fishing vessel for a total of 80 additional traps;

    3. Trap tag requirements, as specified in § 697.19(j), to allow for the use of untagged traps;

    4. Possession restrictions in §§ 697.20(a), 697.20(d), and 697.20(g) to allow for temporary onboard biological sampling of sub-legal lobsters; and,

    5. Possession limits and minimum fish size requirements specified in § 648, subsections B and D through O, for biological sampling purposes.

    If the EFP is approved, this study would take place from May through November, 2018. Each participating vessel would have eight trawls with 10 traps per trawl, consisting of 6 ventless traps and 4 standard traps per trawl. Each vessel will deploy a trawl at eight stations twice a month. Gear will be deployed and retrieved after a five-day soak period. No more than 144 modified and 96 standard traps would be in the water at any time. Modifications to a standard lobster trap would include a closed escape vent, a smaller mesh size, and a smaller entrance head. Traps will be rigged on trawls that are compliant with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. Each experimental trap will have the participating fisherman's identification attached.

    Lobster and Jonah crab retrieved from the standard and modified traps would remain onboard for a short period of time to allow for sampling, after which they would be returned to the water. During sampling, biological information would be collected on all lobsters caught, including: Carapace length; sex; cull status; and presence of eggs, v-notches, and shell disease. Bycatch species would also be kept onboard for enumeration, weight collection, and measurement. All species captured in study traps will be returned promptly to the water after sampling. In conjunction with the ventless trap survey within the RI/MA WEA, the project will include a lobster tagging program to determine the seasonal movement patterns and habitat use by lobsters. Investigators anticipate tagging of 300 lobsters per month across the area. Outreach and incentive programs will be developed to encourage tag reporting. Permitted activities would begin on or after May 1, 2018, and continue through November 2018. No catch from this project will be landed for sale. All data collected will be made available to state and Federal management agencies to improve and enhance the available data for these two crustacean species.

    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. We may grant EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. The EFP would prohibit any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activities.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07088 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho Cleanup Project AGENCY:

    Office of Environmental Management, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Idaho Cleanup Project. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, April 19, 2018; 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

    The opportunity for public comment is at 10:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

    This time is subject to change; please contact the Federal Coordinator (below) for confirmation of times prior to the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center, 777 Bannock Trail, Fort Hall, ID 83203.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brad Bugger, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Avenue, MS-1203, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415. Phone (208) 526-0833; or email: [email protected] or visit the Board's internet home page at: https://energy.gov/em/icpcab/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Topics (agenda topics may change up to the day of the meeting; please contact Brad Bugger for the most current agenda):

    • Recent Public Outreach • Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) Overview • Update on Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) • Update on Transuranic Waste Characterization and Shipping • Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board Study • Update on EM Budget • Board Discussion

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Idaho Cleanup Project, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Brad Bugger at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral presentations pertaining to agenda items should contact Brad Bugger at the address or telephone number listed above. The request must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Brad Bugger, Federal Coordinator, at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following website: https://energy.gov/em/icpcab/listings/cab-meetings.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on April 2, 2018. Latanya Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07061 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee; Notice of a Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, April 17, 2018; 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and

    Wednesday, April 18, 2018; 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Sheraton Hotel Pentagon City, 900 S Orme Street, Arlington, VA 22204.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Chalk, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research; SC-21/Germantown Building; U.S. Department of Energy; 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone (301) 903-7486.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Meeting: To provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Office of Science and to the Department of Energy on scientific priorities within the field of advanced scientific computing research.

    Tentative Agenda Topics:

    • View from Washington • View from Germantown • Update on Exascale project activities • Report from Subcommittee on 40 years of investments by the Department of Energy in advanced computing and networking • Program response to Committee of Visitors for Research programs • Technical presentations • Public Comment (10-minute rule) The meeting agenda includes an update on the budget, accomplishments and planned activities of the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program and the exascale computing project; an update on the Office of Science; technical presentations from funded researchers; and there will be an opportunity comments from the public. The meeting will conclude at 12:00 noon on April 18, 2018. Agenda updates and presentations will be posted on the ASCAC website prior to the meeting: http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 10 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Those wishing to speak should submit your request at least five days before the meeting. Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Christine Chalk, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, email to [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available within 90 days on the Advanced Scientific Computing website at http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2018. Latanya Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07060 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah AGENCY:

    Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Paducah. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Emerging Technology Center, 4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Woodard, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Paducah Site Office, Post Office Box 1410, MS-103, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, (270) 441-6825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda:

    • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda • Administrative Issues • Public Comments (15 minutes) • Adjourn

    Breaks Taken As Appropriate

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Paducah, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Jennifer Woodard as soon as possible in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Jennifer Woodard at the telephone number listed above. Requests must be received as soon as possible prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments. The EM SSAB, Paducah, will hear public comments pertaining to its scope (clean-up standards and environmental restoration; waste management and disposition; stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials; excess facilities; future land use and long-term stewardship; risk assessment and management; and clean-up science and technology activities). Comments outside of the scope may be submitted via written statement as directed above.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Jennifer Woodard at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following website: http://www.pgdpcab.energy.gov/2018_meetings.htm.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on April 2, 2018. Latanya Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07062 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Number: PR18-39-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Colorado.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b), (e)+(g): 20180327 SOR Update for Refund due to TCJA to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/27/18.

    Accession Number: 201803275001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/17/18.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET5/29/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-276-000.

    Applicants: Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: Status Report and Motion to Suspend Technical Conference to be effective12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 3/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180328-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/6/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-621-000.

    Applicants: East Tennessee Natural Gas, LLC.

    Description: East Tennessee Natural Gas, LLC submits the 2016-2017 Cashout Report.

    Filed Date: 3/28/18.

    Accession Number: 20180328-5254.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-628-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 032918 Negotiated Rates—Emera Energy Services, Inc. R-2715-34 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5087.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-629-000.

    Applicants: Hardy Storage Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: RAM 2018 to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5110.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-630-000.

    Applicants: Rover Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Agreements—4 in compliance with CP15-93 Order to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5111.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-631-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (RE Gas 35433, 34955 to BP 37059, 37060) to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-632-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (EM Energy OH 35451 to BP 37065) to be effective4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-633-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: OTRA—Summer 2018 to be effective5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-634-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: ANR Negotiated Rate Amendment to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5116.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-635-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Reservation of Capacity to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-636-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Chesapeake Amended 911041 to be effective4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Number: RP18-637-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2018 Daggett Surcharge on 5A.02 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-638-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update (TEP May 18) to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5122.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-639-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2018 Non-Conforming Agreement with LADWP to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5123.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-640-000.

    Applicants: Rover Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Phase 2 In-service to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-642-000.

    Applicants: Gas Transmission Northwest LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement—Mercuria to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-643-000.

    Applicants: Portland Natural Gas Transmission System.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Northern Utilities Neg Rate Amdt to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-644-000.

    Applicants: Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement—Sequent to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-645-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: COH Negotiated Rate Agreement to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-646-000.

    Applicants: Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Enbridge Gas New Brunswick contract 1812 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-647-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 032918 Negotiated Rates—ENGIE Energy Marketing NA, Inc. R-7855-02 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-648-000.

    Applicants: Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Tariff Filing Adding Flexibility to Manage Service Agreements to be effective5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5199.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-649-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 032918 Negotiated Rates—ENGIE Energy Marketing NA, Inc. R-7855-03 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-650-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Filing (GIGO) to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-651-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update Filing (Pioneer Apr 18) to be effective4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5250.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-652-000.

    Applicants: Pine Needle LNG Company, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2018 Annual Fuel and Electric Power Tracker Filing to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5319.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/10/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-653-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: GXP Kaiser Interim Neg Rate Agmt to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-654-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 20180330 Negotiated Rate to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-655-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Apr 2018 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-656-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update Filing (APS Apr 18) to be effective4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5146.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-657-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate Filing—April 2018 City of Winfield, KS, AOG 5193 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-658-000.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-03-30 GP, Macquarie, Citadel to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-659-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Con Edison releases eff 4-1-2018 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-660-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: Annual Gas Compressor Fuel Report of Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-661-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-03-30 ARM to be effective4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-662-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-03-30 EQT to be effective4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-663-000.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2018-03-30 Fortigen to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5261.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/11/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07020 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-502-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2018-03-30_Deficiency Response to Network Resource Designation Improvement to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5265.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1262-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-03-30_Use of Post Reserve Deployment Constraints to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5280.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1263-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment No. 1 to Westside Power Authority IA and WDT SA (SA 15) to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5282.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1264-000.

    Applicants: Westar Energy, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MPS Electric Interconnection Agreement to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5284.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1265-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement No. 363, Transmission Service Agreement with CSE to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5286.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1266-000.

    Applicants: Moxie Freedom LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Reactive Power Tariff to be effective 5/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5289.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1267-000.

    Applicants: South Central MCN LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: South Central MCM OATT Tariff Filing to be effective 3/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5301.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1268-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Tariff Revisions to Implement a Set of Resource Adequacy Policies to be effective 7/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 3/30/18.

    Accession Number: 20180330-5305.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/20/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1269-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to LGE and KU TCA RS No. 507 to be effective 6/4/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1270-000.

    Applicants: West Penn Power Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: West Penn Power Company submits Interconnection Agreement No. 4161 to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1271-000.

    Applicants: Jersey Central Power & Light Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: JCP&L submits Interconnection Agreement SA No. 4920 to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1272-000.

    Applicants: Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MAIT submits Operating and Interconnection Agreement SA No. 4928 to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1273-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amd LGE and KU PSSA RS No. 508 to be effective 6/4/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1274-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Ohio, Inc., Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc., PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEOK submits revisions to OATT Attachments H-22A and H-22B to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1275-000.

    Applicants: Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MAIT submits Operating and Interconnection Agreement SA No. 4929 to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1276-000.

    Applicants: Kentucky Utilities Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: KU Concurrence to PSSA LGE and KU Joint RS FERC No. 508 to be effective6/4/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1277-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: GSEC RPSA Table 3 Revision 0.2.0 to be effective 12/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1278-000.

    Applicants: Rausch Creek Generation, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MBRA Tariff to be effective 2/28/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1279-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to WMPA SA No. 3355; Queue No. W3-044 to be effective2/4/2014.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1280-000.

    Applicants: Sierra Pacific Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SPPC RS 73 Concurrence to PG&E RS367 to be effective 4/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1281-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to WMPA SA No. 3183; Queue No. W3-029 to be effective11/10/2014.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1282-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Raven Solar Development (Taylor Solar) LGIA Filing to be effective 3/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5192.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1283-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Raven Solar Development (Wilcox Solar) LGIA Filing to be effective3/23/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1284-000.

    Applicants: Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Cancellation of A&R Letter Agreement for Short Term O&M with the HBPW to be effective 3/9/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5209.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1285-000.

    Applicants: RE Gaskell West 1 LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: RE Gaskell West 1 Market Based Rate Tariff Amendment to be effective 4/3/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/2/18.

    Accession Number: 20180402-5281.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF18-1006-000.

    Applicants: Whiting Clean Energy, Inc.

    Description: Form 556 of Whiting Clean Energy, Inc.

    Filed Date: 3/29/18.

    Accession Number: 20180329-5379.

    Comments Due: Non Applicable.

    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: April 2, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07019 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9038-5] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7156 or https://www2.epa.gov/nepa.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 03/26/2018 Through 03/30/2018 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-nepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20180053, Draft, USFWS, CA, Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report, Phase 2, Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, Comment Period Ends: 05/21/2018, Contact: Anne Morkill (510) 792-0222. EIS No. 20180055, Draft, USFS, MN, Hi Lo Project, Comment Period Ends:05/21/2018, Contact: Linda Merriman (218) 365-2095. EIS No. 20180056, Final, FHWA, WA, Washington State Convention Center Addition and King County Site Work, under 23 U.S.C. 139(n)(2), FTA has issued a single document that consists of a final environmental impact statement and record of decision. Therefore, the 30-day wait/review period under NEPA does not apply to this action.” Contact: Sharon P. Love (360) 753-9558. EIS No. 20180057, Draft, USFS, CO, Golden Peak Improvements 2016, Comment Period Ends: 05/21/2018, Contact: Max Forgensi (970) 309-4861. Dated: April 3, 2018. Kelly Knight, Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07022 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than May 2, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Mark A. Rauzi, Vice President), 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Viking Financial Corporation, Alexandria, Minnesota; to become a bank holding company by acquiring First State Bank of Ashby, Ashby, Minnesota. In connection with this proposal, the Applicant will retain ownership of its saving association subsidiary, Viking Bank, Alexandria, Minnesota and thereby engage in operating a savings association, pursuant to Section 225.28(b)(4).

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, April 2, 2018. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07009 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency For Healthcare Research And Quality; Notice Of Meeting AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) meeting on AHRQ-HS-17-012, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12). Each SEP meeting will commence in open session before closing to the public for the duration of the meeting.

    DATES:

    April 25, 2018 (Open on April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and closed for the remainder of the meeting).

    ADDRESSES:

    Cambria hotel & suites Rockville, 1 Helen Heneghan Way, Rockville, MD 20850.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anyone wishing to obtain a roster of members, agenda or minutes of the non-confidential portions of this meeting should contact: Mrs. Bonnie Campbell, Committee Management Officer, Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations, AHRQ, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20850, Telephone: (301) 427-1554. Agenda items for this meeting are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with section 10 (a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2), announcement is made of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) meeting on AHRQ-HS-17-012, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12).

    A Special Emphasis Panel is a group of experts in fields related to health care research who are invited by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and agree to be available, to conduct on an as needed basis, scientific reviews of applications for AHRQ support. Individual members of the Panel do not attend regularly-scheduled meetings and do not serve for fixed terms or a long period of time. Rather, they are asked to participate in particular review meetings which require their expertise.

    Each SEP meeting will commence in open session before closing to the public for the duration of the meeting. The SEP meeting referenced above will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in 5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 10(d), 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4), and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6). Grant applications for the AHRQ-HS-17-012, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12) are to be reviewed and discussed at this meeting. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Karen J. Migdail, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07001 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) meeting on Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12). Each SEP meeting will commence in open session before closing to the public for the duration of the meeting.

    DATES:

    April 25, 2018 (Open on April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and closed for the remainder of the meeting).

    ADDRESSES:

    Cambria hotel & suites Rockville, 1 Helen Heneghan Way, Rockville, MD 20850.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anyone wishing to obtain a roster of members, agenda or minutes of the non-confidential portions of this meeting should contact:

    Mrs. Bonnie Campbell, Committee Management Officer, Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations, AHRQ, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20850, Telephone: (301) 427-1554.

    Agenda items for this meeting are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with section 10 (a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2), announcement is made of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) meeting on AHRQ-HS-17-012, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12).

    A Special Emphasis Panel is a group of experts in fields related to health care research who are invited by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and agree to be available, to conduct on an as needed basis, scientific reviews of applications for AHRQ support. Individual members of the Panel do not attend regularly-scheduled meetings and do not serve for fixed terms or a long period of time. Rather, they are asked to participate in particular review meetings which require their expertise.

    Each SEP meeting will commence in open session before closing to the public for the duration of the meeting. The SEP meeting referenced above will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in 5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 10(d), 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4), and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6). Grant applications for the AHRQ-HS-17-012, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Learning Health Systems Mentored Career Development Program (K12) are to be reviewed and discussed at this meeting. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Karen J. Migdail, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07064 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended, and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP)—RFA-CE-18-003, Research on Improving Pediatric mTBI Outcomes Through Clinician Training, Decision Support, and Discharge Instructions.

    Date: May 16, 2018 and May 17, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT.

    Place: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta—Buckhead, 3342 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    For Further Information Contact: Dahna Batts, M.D., FACEP, Scientific Review Official, NCIPC, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mailstop F-63, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, Telephone: (404) 639-2485; Email: [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07052 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended, and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP)—SIP18-003, Enhancing Surveillance of Fluorosis.

    Date: May 3, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., EDT.

    Place: Teleconference.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    For Further Information Contact: Jaya Raman Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop F80, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, Telephone: (770) 488-6511, [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07054 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket Number: NIOSH 278] Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH) AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the CDC announces the following meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BSC, NIOSH). This meeting is open to the public, limited only by the space available. The meeting room accommodates approximately 33 people. The meeting is also open to the public via webcast. If you wish to attend in person or by webcast, please see the NIOSH website to register (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/) or call (404-498-2539) at least five business days in advance of the meeting. Teleconference is available toll-free; please dial (888) 397-9578, Participant Pass Code 63257516. Adobe Connect webcast will be available at https://odniosh.adobeconnect.com/nioshbsc/ for participants wanting to connect remotely. This meeting is open to the public, limited only by the space available. The public is welcome to participate during the public comment period, 12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. EDT May 15, 2018. Please note that the public comment period ends at the time indicated above. Each commenter will be provided up to five minutes for comment. A limited number of time slots are available and will be assigned on a first come-first served basis. Written comments will also be accepted from those unable to attend the public session via an on-line form at the following website: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/contact.html.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on May 15, 2018, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Patriots Plaza I, 395 E Street SW, Room 9000, Washington, DC 20201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alberto Garcia, M.S., Executive Secretary, BSC, NIOSH, CDC, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS-R5, Cincinnati, OH, 45226, telephone (513) 841-4596, fax (513) 841-4506.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose: The Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and by delegation the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are authorized under Sections 301 and 308 of the Public Health Service Act to conduct directly or by grants or contracts, research, experiments, and demonstrations relating to occupational safety and health and to mine health. The Board of Scientific Counselors provides guidance to the Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on research and prevention programs. Specifically, the Board provides guidance on the Institute's research activities related to developing and evaluating hypotheses, systematically documenting findings and disseminating results. The Board evaluates the degree to which the activities of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: (1) Conform to appropriate scientific standards, (2) address current, relevant needs, and (3) produce intended results.

    Matters To Be Considered: The agenda for the meeting addresses occupational safety and health issues related to: (1) Use of contribution analysis to evaluate research impact; (2) breach in the protective barrier system of the glove and gown interface; (3) occupational safety and health workforce training; and (4) safe-skilled-ready workforce update—Research for Young and Temporary Workers.

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate. An agenda is also posted on the NIOSH website (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/). Members of the public who wish to address the NIOSH BSC are requested to contact the Executive Secretary for scheduling purposes (see contact information below). Alternatively, written comments to the BSC may be submitted via an on-line form at the following website: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/bsc/contact.html. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07049 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the CDC announces the following meeting for the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). This meeting is open to the public; however, visitors must be processed in accordance with established federal policies and procedures. Attendance is limited only by room seating available, (add number of seats that will be available in the room). The public is also welcome to listen to the meeting via teleconference; 100 teleconference lines are available. Time will be available for public comment. The public is welcome to submit written comments in advance of the meeting. Comments should be submitted in writing by email to the contact person listed below. The deadline for receipt of written public comment is May 3, 2018. All requests must contain the name, address, and organizational affiliation of the speaker, as well as the topic being addressed. Written comments should not exceed one single-spaced typed page in length and delivered in 3 minutes or less. Members of the public who wish to provide public comments should plan to attend the public comment session at the start time listed. Please note that the public comment period may end before the time indicated, following the last call for comments. Written comments received in advance of the meeting will be included in the official record of the meeting. Registration is required to attend in person or on the phone. Interested parties may register at www.cdc.gov/hicpac.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on May 17, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EDT, and May 18, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Communications Center, Building 19, Auditorium B, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329 and teleconference at 866-692-3582, passcode: 66783078.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Stone, M.A., HICPAC, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, NCEZID, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop A-07, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, Telephone (404) 639-4045. Email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose: The Committee is charged with providing advice and guidance to the Director, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), the Director, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), the Director, CDC, and the Secretary, Health and Human Services, regarding (1) the practice of healthcare infection prevention and control; (2) strategies for surveillance, prevention, and control of infections, antimicrobial resistance, and related events in settings where healthcare is provided; and (3) periodic updating of CDC guidelines and other policy statements regarding prevention of healthcare-associated infections and healthcare-related conditions.

    Matters To Be Considered: The agenda will include updates on CDC's activities for prevention of healthcare-associated infections. It will also include updates from the following HICPAC workgroups: The Healthcare Personnel Guideline Workgroup; the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Workgroup; the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Guideline Workgroup; and the Products and Practices Workgroup. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07050 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-19-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking nominations for membership on the ACIP. The ACIP consists of 15 experts in fields associated with immunization practices and public health, have expertise in the use of vaccines and other immunobiologic agents in clinical practice or preventive medicine, have expertise with clinical or laboratory vaccine research, or have expertise in assessment of vaccine efficacy and safety. The committee shall include a person or persons knowledgeable about consumer perspectives and/or social and community aspects of immunization programs. Nominations are being sought for individuals who have expertise and qualifications necessary to contribute to the accomplishments of the committee's objectives. Nominees will be selected based on expertise in the fields of vaccines and related agents for effective control of vaccine-preventable diseases in the civilian population of the United States. Members may be invited to serve for four-year terms. Selection of members is based on candidates' qualifications to contribute to the accomplishment of ACIP objectives https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/committee/charter.html.

    DATES:

    Nominations for membership on the ACIP must be received no later than August 1, 2018. Packages received after this time will not be considered for the current membership cycle.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations should be emailed to ACIP Secretariat, ACIP[email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Stephanie Thomas, Committee Management Specialist, CDC, NCIRD, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-A27, Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, telephone (404) 639-8367, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy stipulates that committee membership be balanced in terms of points of view represented, and the committee's function. Appointments shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status; female and minority nominees are strongly encouraged to apply. Nominees must be U.S. citizens, and cannot be full-time employees of the U.S. Government. Current participation on federal workgroups or prior experience serving on a federal advisory committee does not disqualify a candidate; however, HHS policy is to avoid excessive individual service on advisory committees and multiple committee memberships. Committee members are Special Government Employees, requiring the filing of financial disclosure reports at the beginning and annually during their terms. CDC reviews potential candidates for ACIP membership each year, and provides a slate of nominees for consideration to the Secretary of HHS for final selection. HHS notifies selected candidates of their appointment near the start of the term in July 2019, or as soon as the HHS selection process is completed. Note that the need for different expertise varies from year to year and a candidate who is not selected in one year may be reconsidered in a subsequent year.

    Nominees must be U.S. citizens, and cannot be full-time employees of the U.S. Government. Candidates should submit the following items:

    A cover letter that includes a statement of interest and the qualifications and expertise of the nominee for serving on ACIP.

    Current curriculum vitae, including complete contact information (telephone numbers, mailing address, email address).

    At least one letter of recommendation from person(s) not employed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Candidates may submit letter(s) from current HHS employees if they wish, but at least one letter must be submitted by a person not employed by an HHS agency (e.g., CDC, NIH, FDA, etc.).

    Nominations may be submitted by the candidate him- or herself, or by the person/organization recommending the candidate.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities for both CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07048 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-0932] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled Information Collection for Evaluation of Education, Communication, and Training Activities for Mobile Populations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on October 30, 2017 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received four comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Information Collection for Evaluation of Education, Communication, and Training Activities for Mobile Populations (OMB Control Number 0920-0932, Expiration 07/31/2018)—Revision—National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) is requesting a three-year revision of a currently approved generic clearance to conduct evaluation research. This will help CDC plan and implement health communication, education, and training activities to improve health and prevent the spread of disease. These activities include communicating, educating, and training with international travelers and other mobile populations, training healthcare providers, and educating public health departments, federal partners, and other stakeholders.

    The information collection for which the revision is sought is in accordance with DGMQ's mission to reduce morbidity and mortality among immigrants, refugees, travelers, expatriates, and other globally mobile populations, and to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States. This mission is supported by delegated legal authorities outlined in the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 U.S.C. 264) and in regulations that are codified in 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 70 and 71, and 34.

    Approval of this revision request will allow DGMQ to continue collecting, in an expedited manner, information about the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of key audiences (such as refugees, immigrants, migrants, international travelers, travel industry partners, healthcare providers, non-profit agencies, customs brokers and forwarders, schools, state and local health departments) to help improve and inform these activities during both routine and emergency public health events. This generic OMB clearance will help DGMQ continue to refine these efforts in a timely manner, and will be especially valuable for communication activities that must occur quickly in response to public health emergencies.

    DGMQ staff will use a variety of data collection methods for this proposed project: interviews, focus groups, surveys, and pre/post-tests. Depending on the research questions and audiences involved, data may be gathered in-person, by telephone, online, or using some combination of these formats. Data may be collected in quantitative and/or qualitative forms. Numerous audience variables will be assessed under the auspices of this generic OMB clearance. These include, but are not limited to, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, behavioral intentions, practices, behaviors, skills, self-efficacy, and information needs and sources. Insights gained from evaluation research will assist in the development, refinement, implementation, and demonstration of outcomes and impact of communication, education, and training activities.

    DGMQ estimates that 17,500 respondents and 7,982 hours of burden will be involved in evaluation research activities each year. The information being collected will not impose a cost burden on the respondents beyond that associated with their time to provide the required data.

    For this submission, requested burden has been reduced from 37,500 respondents and 17,835 burden hours to 17,500 respondents and 7,982 burden hours due to a reduction in the number of estimated number of collections per year from ten to five and a two thirds reduction in pre- and post-tests requested for both types of respondents: healthcare professionals and the general public.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • General Public Focus Groups Screening form 1,050 1 10/60 Healthcare Professionals Focus Groups Screening form 450 1 10/60 General Public Focus Groups 525 1 90/60 Healthcare Professionals Focus Groups 225 1 90/60 General Public Interview Screening Form 700 1 10/60 Healthcare Professionals Interview Screening Form 300 1 10/60 General Public Interviews 350 1 1 Healthcare Professionals Interviews Interviews 150 1 1 General Public Survey Screening Forms 5,250 1 10/60 Healthcare Professionals Survey Screening Forms 2,250 1 10/60 General Public Surveys 2,625 1 45/60 Healthcare Professionals Surveys 1,125 45/60 General Public Pre/Post Tests 1,750 1 45/60 Healthcare Professionals Pre/Post Tests 750 1 45/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07017 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-0943] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled Data Collection for the Residential Care Community and Adult Day Services Center Components of the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on December 19, 2017 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received three comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Data Collection for the Residential Care Community and Adult Day Services Center Components of the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (OMB Control Number 0920-0943, Exp. Date 05/31/2019)—Revision—National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Section 306 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 U.S.C. 242k), as amended, authorizes that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (DHHS), acting through NCHS, “shall collect statistics on health resources. . . [and] utilization of health care, including extended care facilities, and other institutions.”

    NCHS seeks approval to collect data for the residential care community (RCC) and adult day services center (ADSC) survey components of the 2018 National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP). A one year clearance is requested.

    Details on the complete study design are as follows. The NSLTCP is designed to (1) broaden NCHS' ongoing coverage of paid, regulated long-term care (LTC) providers; (2) merge with existing administrative data on LTC providers and service users (i.e. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data on nursing homes and residents, home health agencies and patients, and hospices and patients); (3) update data more frequently on LTC providers and service users for which nationally representative administrative data do not exist; and (4) enable comparisons across LTC sectors and timely monitoring of supply, use, and characteristics of these sectors over time. Data will be collected from two types of LTC providers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia: 2,090 RCCs and 1,650 ADSCs. Data were collected in 2012, 2014, and 2016. The data to be collected in 2018 include the basic characteristics, services, staffing, and practices of RCCs and ADSCs, and demographics, selected health conditions and health care utilization, physical functioning, and cognitive functioning of RCC residents and ADSC participants. The 2018 NSLTCP will include the addition of a contact confirmation call, a call to screen and set an appointment for the services user data collection, and sampling and services user questionnaires. The provider-level data collection has been consolidated into one version of a questionnaire for each setting rather than two versions, and a data retrieval call has been eliminated.

    Expected users of data from this collection effort include, but are not limited to CDC; other Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) agencies, such as the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, The Administration for Community Living, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; associations, such as LeadingAge, National Center for Assisted Living, American Seniors Housing Association, Argentum (formerly Assisted Living Federation of America), and National Adult Day Services Association; universities; foundations; and other private sector organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association and the AARP Public Policy Institute.

    Expected burden from data collection for eligible cases is 80 minutes per respondent: 5 Minutes for a contact confirmation call; 15 minutes for a screener and appointment setting call; 30 minutes for a provider questionnaire; and 30 minutes for a sampling and services user questionnaire. We estimate an eligibility rate for ADSCs of 86% and for RCCs of 76%. One year clearance is requested to cover the collection of data. The burden for the collection is shown in the table below. There is no cost to respondents other than their time to participate.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name No. of
  • respondents
  • No. of
  • responses per respondent
  • Avg. burden per response (in hours)
    RCC/ADSC Director/Designated Staff Member Contact Confirmation Call 3,740 1 5/60 RCC/ADSC Director/Designated Staff Member Screener and Appointment Setting Call 3,740 1 15/60 RCC Director/Designated Staff Member RCC
  • Provider Questionnaire
  • 1,589 1 30/60
    ADSC Director/Designated Staff Member ADSC Provider Questionnaire 1,419 1 30/60 RCC/ADSC Director/Designated Staff Member RCC/ADSC
  • Sampling and Services User Questionnaire
  • 3,008 1 30/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07016 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended, and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP)—RFA-CE-18-002, Evaluation of Policies for the Primary Prevention of Multiple Forms of Violence.

    Dates: May 23, 2018 and May 24, 2018.

    Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT.

    Place: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta—Buckhead, 3342 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    For Further Information Contact: Mikel L. Walters, M.A., Ph.D., Scientific Review Official, NCIPC, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mailstop F-63, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, Telephone: (404)639-0913; Email: [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07051 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended, and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP)—CK18-001, Epicenters for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs); Cycle II Multicenter Program Studies and CK18-003, Determining and Monitoring Health Conditions Among US-Bound Refugees and Other Globally Mobile Populations.

    Date: May 9, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., EDT.

    Place: Teleconference.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    For Further Information Contact: Gregory Anderson, M.S., M.P.H., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop E60, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, (404) 718-8833, [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07053 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0791] Exposure-Response Analysis in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision Making; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 2017 (PDUFA VI), part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA, highlights the goal of advancing model-informed drug development (MIDD). Exposure-response analysis is a MIDD strategy that has been used in drug development and regulatory decision making. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is opening a docket to receive public comments on experience leveraging exposure-response analysis since publishing the guidance for industry (GFI) entitled “Exposure-Response Relationships—Study Design, Data Analysis, and Regulatory Applications,” which was announced in the Federal Register on May 6, 2003. Specifically, the Agency wants to identify areas of scientific policy that may need further clarity or elaboration, as well as any obstacles that prevent use of exposure-response analyses in drug development and regulatory review.

    DATES:

    To ensure that the Agency considers your input, submit either electronic or written comments by July 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before July 5, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery date service acceptance receipt is on or before that date:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-0791 for “Exposure-Response Analysis in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision Making; Request for Comments.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin Krudys, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 3110, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3859, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On May 6, 2003, FDA issued a GFI entitled “Exposure-Response Relationships—Study Design, Data Analysis, and Regulatory Applications” (available at https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM072109.pdf) (68 FR 24004). This guidance provides recommendations for sponsors of investigational new drugs (INDs) and applicants submitting new drug applications (NDAs) or biologics license applications (BLAs) on the use of exposure-response analyses in the development of drugs, including therapeutic biologics. Since then, FDA and drug developers have gained a wealth of experience performing exposure-response analyses and leveraging the results to influence drug development and inform regulatory review. Additionally, obstacles that limit the routine application and acceptance of exposure-response analyses to address key drug development and regulatory decisions have since been identified. Given that PDUFA VI goals highlight advancing MIDD, FDA wants to capture the public's experience to inform future efforts on providing additional clarity, new insights, and updated recommendations for employing exposure-response analyses in drug development. To achieve these ends, FDA is opening the docket “Exposure-Response Analysis in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision Making: Request for Comments” to give interested parties an opportunity to identify areas of scientific policy that may need further clarity or elaboration, as well as any obstacles preventing use of exposure-response analyses in drug development and regulatory review.

    II. Additional Issues for Consideration: Request for Information and Comments

    Interested persons are invited to provide detailed information and comments on the use of exposure-response analysis in drug development and regulatory review. FDA is particularly interested in responses to the following questions:

    1. In general, are there any aspects of the 2003 GFI entitled “Exposure-Response Relationships—Study Design, Data Analysis, and Regulatory Applications” that merit further elaboration? Additionally, are there any new topic areas that should be addressed?

    2. What are best practices for conducting exposure-response analysis that can be generally applied across development programs and regulatory submissions? Input on best practices can include any of the following topic areas:

    • Planning and design (e.g., data considerations, assumption setting);

    • Analytical approaches (e.g., exposure and response metrics, choice and inclusion of predictors, methods for addressing confounding factors);

    • Model evaluation and qualification (e.g., goodness-of-fit, assessment of model risk, impact on regulatory decisions); and

    • Communication of results and impact on subsequent drug development or regulatory decisions.

    3. What attributes of an exposure-response analysis are critical to effectively inform a drug development or regulatory decision? Additionally, what are the main obstacles preventing widespread acceptance of exposure-response analyses?

    4. During which stages of drug development would it be most productive to interact with the FDA regarding exposure-response analysis planning? What type of feedback would be useful to inform exposure-response analyses and to reduce uncertainty in regulatory acceptance?

    FDA will consider all information and comments submitted.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the 2003 GFI entitled “Exposure-Response Relationships—Study Design, Data Analysis, and Regulatory Applications” at either https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM072109.pdf or https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidancecomplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07028 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2018-N-1324] Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) announces a forthcoming public advisory committee meeting of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration. The Science Board provides advice to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and other appropriate officials on specific, complex scientific and technical issues important to FDA and its mission, including emerging issues within the scientific community. Additionally, the Science Board advises the Agency on keeping pace with technical and scientific developments, including in regulatory science; provides input into the Agency's research agenda; and advises on upgrading its scientific and research facilities and training opportunities. It will also provide, where requested, expert review of Agency sponsored intramural and extramural scientific research programs. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on April 23, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503, Section A), Silver Spring, MD 20993. For those unable to attend in person, the meeting will also be webcast. The link for the webcast is available at https://collaboration.fda.gov/scienceboard2018/. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: https://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rakesh Raghuwanshi, Office of the Chief Scientist, Office of the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 1, Rm. 3309, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-4769, [email protected], or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area). A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the Agency's website at https://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm and scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link, or call the advisory committee information line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda: The Science Board will hear a report from the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Program Review Subcommittee; hear about FDA's Patient Affairs Initiative; and discuss how the Agency can leverage its existing tools and authorities, and work with stakeholders, to better address the complex scientific, public health, and technology challenges it faces today.

    FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its website prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA's website after the meeting. Background material is available at https://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link.

    Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person on or before April 18, 2018. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Those individuals interested in making formal oral presentations should notify the contact person and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before April 13, 2018. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session. The contact person will notify interested persons regarding their request to speak by April 16, 2018.

    Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the Agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

    FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact Rakesh Raghuwanshi at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

    FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our website at https://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings.

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).

    Dated: April 3, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07105 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0362] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations for Finished Pharmaceuticals AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by May 7, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, Fax: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0139. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations for Finished Pharmaceuticals (21 CFR parts 210 and 211) OMB Control Number 0910-0139—Extension

    This information collection supports FDA regulations. Specifically, under section 501(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B)), a drug is adulterated if the methods used in or the facilities or controls used for its manufacture, processing, packing, or holding do not conform to or are not operated or administered in conformity with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP). The CGMP regulations help ensure drug products meet the statutory requirements for safety and have their purported or represented identity, strength, quality, and purity characteristics. The information collection requirements in the CGMP regulations provide FDA with the necessary information to perform its duty to protect public health and safety. CGMP requirements establish accountability for manufacturing and processing drug products, provide for meaningful FDA inspections, and enable manufacturers to improve the quality of drug products over time. The CGMP recordkeeping requirements also serve preventive and remedial purposes and provide crucial information if it is necessary to recall a drug product.

    The general requirements for recordkeeping under part 211 (21 CFR part 211) are set forth in § 211.180. Any production, control, or distribution record associated with a batch and required to be maintained in compliance with part 211 must be retained for at least 1 year after the expiration date of the batch and, for certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, 3 years after distribution of the batch (§ 211.180(a)). Records for all components, drug product containers, closures, and labeling are required to be maintained for at least 1 year after the expiration date and 3 years for certain OTC products (§ 211.180(b)).

    All part 211 records must be readily available for authorized inspections during the retention period (§ 211.180(c)), and such records may be retained either as original records or as true copies (§ 211.180(d)). Additionally, § 11.2(a) (21 CFR 11.2(a)) provides that “for records required to be maintained but not submitted to the Agency, persons may use electronic records in lieu of paper records or electronic signatures in lieu of traditional signatures, in whole or in part, provided that the requirements of this part are met.” To the extent this electronic option is used, the burden of maintaining paper records should be substantially reduced, as should any review of such records.

    To facilitate improvements and corrective actions, records must be maintained so data can be used to evaluate the quality standards of each drug product on at least an annual basis and determine whether to change any drug product specifications or manufacturing or control procedures (§ 211.180(e)). Written procedures for these evaluations are to be established and include provisions for a review of a representative number of batches and, where applicable, records associated with the batch; provisions for a review of complaints, recalls, returned or salvaged drug products; and investigations conducted under § 211.192 for each drug product.

    The specific information collection provisions are as follows:

    • Section 211.34—Consultants advising on the manufacture, processing, packing, or holding of drug products must have sufficient education, training, and experience to advise on the subject for which they are retained. Records must be maintained stating the name, address, and qualifications of any consultants and the type of service they provide.

    • Section 211.67(c)—Records must be kept of maintenance, cleaning, sanitizing, and inspection as specified in §§ 211.180 and 211.182.

    • Section 211.68—Appropriate controls must be exercised over computer or related systems to assure that changes in master production and control records or other records are instituted only by authorized personnel.

    • Section 211.68(a)—Records must be maintained of calibration checks, inspections, and computer or related system programs for automatic, mechanical, and electronic equipment.

    • Section 211.68(b)—All appropriate controls must be exercised over all computers or related systems and control data systems to assure that changes in master production and control records or other records are instituted only by authorized persons.

    • Section 211.72—Filters for liquid filtration used in the manufacture, processing, or packing of injectable drug products intended for human use must not release fibers into such products.

    • Section 211.80(d)—Each container or grouping of containers for components or drug product containers or closures must be identified with a distinctive code for each lot in each shipment received. This code must be used in recording the disposition of each lot. Each lot must be appropriately identified as to its status.

    • Section 211.100(b)—Written production and process control procedures must be followed in the execution of the various production and process control functions and must be documented at the time of performance. Any deviation from the written procedures must be recorded and justified.

    • Section 211.105(b)—Major equipment must be identified by a distinctive identification number or code that must be recorded in the batch production record to show the specific equipment used in the manufacture of each batch of a drug product. In cases where only one of a particular type of equipment exists in a manufacturing facility, the name of the equipment may be used in lieu of a distinctive identification number or code.

    • Section 211.122(c)—Records must be maintained for each shipment received of each different labeling and packaging material indicating receipt, examination, or testing.

    • Section 211.130(e)—Inspection of packaging and labeling facilities must be made immediately before use to assure that all drug products have been removed from previous operations. Inspection must also be made to assure that packaging and labeling materials not suitable for subsequent operations have been removed. Results of inspection must be documented in the batch production records.

    • Section 211.132(c)—Certain retail packages of OTC drug products must bear a statement that is prominently placed so consumers are alerted to the specific tamper-evident feature of the package. The labeling statement is required to be so placed that it will be unaffected if the tamper-resistant feature of the package is breached or missing. If the tamper-evident feature chosen is one that uses an identifying characteristic, that characteristic is required to be referred to in the labeling statement.

    • Section 211.132(d)—A request for an exemption from packaging and labeling requirements by a manufacturer or packer is required to be submitted in the form of a citizen petition under 21 CFR 10.30.

    • Section 211.137—Requirements regarding product expiration dating and compliance with 21 CFR 201.17.

    • Section 211.160(a)—The establishment of any specifications, standards, sampling plans, test procedures, or other laboratory control mechanisms, including any change in such specifications, standards, sampling plans, test procedures, or other laboratory control mechanisms, must be drafted by the appropriate organizational unit and reviewed and approved by the quality control unit. These requirements must be followed and documented at the time of performance. Any deviation from the written specifications, standards, sampling plans, test procedures, or other laboratory control mechanisms must be recorded and justified.

    • Section 211.165(e)—The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of test methods employed by a firm must be established and documented. Such validation and documentation may be accomplished in accordance with § 211.194(a)(2).

    • Section 211.166—Stability testing program for drug products.

    • Section 211.173—Animals used in testing components, in-process materials, or drug products for compliance with established specifications must be maintained and controlled in a manner that assures their suitability for their intended use. They must be identified, and adequate records must be maintained showing the history of their use.

    • Section 211.180(e)—Written records required by part 211 must be maintained so that data can be used for evaluating, at least annually, the quality standards of each drug product to determine the need for changes in drug product specifications or manufacturing or control procedures. Written procedures must be established and followed for such evaluations and must include provisions for a representative number of batches, whether approved or unapproved or rejected, and a review of complaints, recalls, returned or salvaged drug products, and investigations conducted under § 211.192 for each drug product.

    • Section 211.180(f)—Procedures must be established to assure that the responsible officials of the firm, if they are not personally involved in or immediately aware of such actions, are notified in writing of any investigations, conducted under § 211.198, § 211.204, or § 211.208, any recalls, reports of inspectional observations issued, or any regulatory actions relating to good manufacturing practices brought by FDA.

    • Section 211.182—Specifies requirements for equipment cleaning records and the use log.

    • Section 211.184—Specifies requirements for component, drug product container, closure, and labeling records.

    • Section 211.186—Specifies master production and control records requirements.

    • Section 211.188—Specifies batch production and control records requirement.

    • Section 211.192—Specifies the information that must be maintained on the investigation of discrepancies found in the review of all drug product production and control records by the quality control staff.

    • Section 211.194—Explains and describes laboratory records that must be retained.

    • Section 211.196—Specifies the information that must be included in records on the distribution of the drug.

    • Section 211.198—Specifies and describes the handling of all complaint files received by the applicant.

    • Section 211.204—Specifies that records be maintained of returned and salvaged drug products and describes the procedures involved.

    Written procedures, referred to here as standard operating procedures (SOPs), are required for many part 211 records. Current SOP requirements were initially provided in a final rule published in the Federal Register of September 29, 1978 (43 FR 45014), and are now an integral and familiar part of the drug manufacturing process. The major information collection impact of SOPs results from their creation. Thereafter, SOPs need to be periodically updated. A combined estimate for routine maintenance of SOPs is provided in table 1. The 25 SOP provisions under part 211 in the combined maintenance estimate include:

    • Section 211.22(d)—Responsibilities and procedures of the quality control unit;

    • Section 211.56(b)—Sanitation procedures;

    • Section 211.56(c)—Use of suitable rodenticides, insecticides, fungicides, fumigating agents, and cleaning and sanitizing agents;

    • Section 211.67(b)—Cleaning and maintenance of equipment;

    • Section 211.68(a)—Proper performance of automatic, mechanical, and electronic equipment;

    • Section 211.80(a)—Receipt, identification, storage, handling, sampling, testing, and approval or rejection of components and drug product containers or closures;

    • Section 211.94(d)—Standards or specifications, methods of testing, and methods of cleaning, sterilizing, and processing to remove pyrogenic properties for drug product containers and closures;

    • Section 211.100(a)—Production and process control;

    • Section 211.110(a)—Sampling and testing of in-process materials and drug products;

    • Section 211.113(a)—Prevention of objectionable microorganisms in drug products not required to be sterile;

    • Section 211.113(b)—Prevention of microbiological contamination of drug products purporting to be sterile, including validation of any sterilization process;

    • Section 211.115(a)—System for reprocessing batches that do not conform to standards or specifications to insure that reprocessed batches conform with all established standards, specifications, and characteristics;

    • Section 211.122(a)—Receipt, identification, storage, handling, sampling, examination and/or testing of labeling and packaging materials;

    • Section 211.125(f)—Control procedures for the issuance of labeling;

    • Section 211.130—Packaging and label operations, prevention of mixup and cross contamination, identification and handling of filled drug product containers that are set aside and held in unlabeled condition, and identification of the drug product with a lot or control number that permits determination of the history of the manufacture and control of the batch;

    • Section 211.142—Warehousing;

    • Section 211.150—Distribution of drug products;

    • Section 211.160—Laboratory controls;

    • Section 211.165(c)—Testing and release for distribution;

    • Section 211.166(a)—Stability testing;

    • Section 211.167—Special testing requirements;

    • Section 211.180(f)—Notification of responsible officials of investigations, recalls, reports of inspectional observations, and any regulatory actions relating to good manufacturing practice;

    • Section 211.198(a)—Written and oral complaint procedures, including quality control unit review of any complaint involving specifications failures, and serious and unexpected adverse drug experiences;

    • Section 211.204—Holding, testing, and reprocessing of returned drug products; and

    • Section 211.208—Drug product salvaging.

    In addition, the following regulations in parts 610 and 680 (21 CFR parts 610 and 680) reference certain CGMP regulations in part 211: §§ 610.12(g), 610.13(a)(2), 610.18(d), 680.2(f), and 680.3(f). In table 1, the burden associated with the information collection requirements in these regulations is included in the burden estimates under §§ 211.165, 211.167, 211.188, and 211.194, as appropriate.

    Although most CGMP provisions covered in this document were created many years ago, some existing firms expanding into new manufacturing areas and startup firms will need to create SOPs. As provided in table 1, FDA assumes approximately 50 firms will have to create up to 25 SOPs for a total of 1,250 records, estimating 20 hours per recordkeeper to create 25 new SOPs for a total of 25,000 hours.

    In the Federal Register of December 14, 2017 (82 FR 58811) we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received in response to the notice and we therefore retain those burden estimates, which are as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 21 CFR section/activity Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual
  • records
  • Average burden
  • per recordkeeping
  • (in hours) 1
  • Total hours
    SOP Maintenance 3,270 3,270 25 81,750 New Startup SOPs 50 25 1,250 20 25,000 211.34—Consultants 3,270 0.25 818 5 4,090 211.67(c)—Equipment cleaning and maintenance 3,270 50 163,500 0.25 (15 minutes) 40,875 211.68—Changes in master production and control records or other records 3,270 2 6,540 1 6,540 211.68(a)—Automatic, mechanical, and electronic equipment 3,270 10 32,700 0.5 (30 minutes) 16,350 211.68(b)—Computer or related systems 3,270 5 16,350 0.25 (15 minutes) 4,088 211.72—Filters 416 0.25 104 1 104 211.80(d)—Components and drug product containers or closures 3,270 0.25 818 0.1 (6 minutes) 82 211.100(b)—Production and process controls 3,270 3 9,810 2 19,620 211.105(b)—Equipment identification 3,270 0.25 818 0.25 (15 minutes) 205 211.122(c)—Labeling and packaging material 3,270 50 163,500 0.25 (15 minutes) 40,875 211.130(e)—Labeling and packaging facilities 3,270 50 163,500 0.25 (15 minutes) 40,875 211.132(c)—Tamper-evident packaging 1,613 20 32,260 0.5 (30 minutes) 16,130 211.132(d)—Tamper-evident packaging 1,613 0.2 323 0.5 (30 minutes) 162 211.137—Expiration dating 3,270 5 16,350 0.5 (30 minutes) 8,175 211.160(a)—Laboratory controls 3,270 2 6,540 1 6,540 211.165(e)—Test methodology 3,270 1 3,270 1 3,270 211.166—Stability testing 3,270 2 6,540 0.5 (30 minutes) 3,270 211.173—Laboratory animals 33 1 33 0.25 (15 minutes) 8 211.180(e)—Production, control, and distribution records 3,270 0.2 654 0.25 (15 minutes) 164 211.180(f)—Procedures for notification of regulatory actions 3,270 0.2 654 1 654 211.182—Equipment cleaning and use log 3,270 2 6,540 0.25 (15 minutes) 1,635 211.184—Component, drug product container, closure, and labeling records 3,270 3 9,810 0.5 (30 minutes) 4,905 211.186—Master production and control records 3,270 10 32,700 2 65,400 211.188—Batch production and control records 3,270 25 81,750 2 163,500 211.192—Discrepancies in drug product production and control records 3,270 2 6,540 1 6,540 211.194—Laboratory records 3,270 25 81,750 0.5 (30 minutes) 40,875 211.196—Distribution records 3,270 25 81,750 0.25 (15 minutes) 20,438 211.198—Compliant files 3,270 5 16,350 1 16,350 211.204—Returned drug products 3,270 10 32,700 0.5 (30 minutes) 16,350 Total 651,139 1 Burden estimates of less than 1 hour are expressed as a fraction of an hour in the format “[number of minutes per response]/60”.

    The recordkeeping requirement estimates provided in table 2 are specific to medical gases. In particular, on June 29, 2017, FDA published a Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register regarding revised draft guidance for industry entitled “Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Medical Gases” (82 FR 29565). This guidance, when finalized, is intended to help medical gas manufacturers comply with applicable CGMP regulations found in parts 210 and 211. In the NOA for the revised draft guidance, FDA noted the guidance includes information collection provisions subject to review by the OMB under the PRA and, in accordance with the PRA, before publication of the final guidance, FDA intends to solicit public comment and obtain OMB approval for any recommended new information collections or material modifications to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. This notice is intended to solicit such public comment.

    The regulations addressed in table 2 are the same as those listed in table 1, but the estimated information collection burden differs and is specific to medical gas manufacturing.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden [Medical Gases] 1 21 CFR section/activity Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual
  • records
  • Average burden
  • per recordkeeping
  • (in hours) 1
  • Total hours
    SOP Maintenance 2,284 0.65 1,485 25 37,125 New startup SOPs 100 25 2,500 20 50,000 211.34—Consultants 2,284 0.25 571 0.5 (30 minutes) 286 211.67(c)—Equipment cleaning and maintenance 2,284 32.5 74,230 0.25 (15 minutes) 18,558 211.68—Changes in master production and control records or other records 2,284 2 4,568 1 4,568 211.68(a)—Automatic, mechanical, and electronic equipment 2,284 10 22,840 0.5 (30 minutes) 11,420 211.68(b)—Computer or related systems 2,284 5 11,420 0.25 (15 minutes) 2,855 211.72—Filters 2,284 .25 571 1 571 211.80(d)—Components and drug product containers or closures 2,284 0.25 571 0.1 (6 minutes) 57 211.100(b)—Production and process controls 2,284 3 6,382 2 13,704 211.105(b)—Equipment identification 2,284 0.25 571 0.25 (15 minutes) 143 211.122(c)—Labeling and packaging material 2,284 50 114,200 0.25 (15 minutes) 28,550 211.130(e)—Labeling and packaging facilities 2,284 50 114,200 0.25 (15 minutes) 28,550 211.132(c)—Tamper-evident packaging 2,284 20 45,680 0.5 (30 minutes) 22,840 211.132(d)—Tamper-evident packaging 2,284 .2 457 0.5 (30 minutes) 229 211.137—Expiration dating 2,284 3.25 7,423 0.33 (20 minutes) 2,450 211.160(a)—Laboratory controls 2,284 2 4,568 1 4,568 211.165(e)—Test methodology 2,284 1 2,284 1 2,284 211.166—Stability testing 2,284 1.3 2,969 0.33 (20 minutes) 980 211.173—Laboratory animals 2,284 1 2,284 0.25 (15 minutes) 571 211.180(e)—Production, control, and distribution records 2,284 0.2 457 0.25 (15 minutes) 114 211.180(f)—Procedures for notification of regulatory actions 2,284 0.2 457 1 457 211.182—Equipment cleaning and use log 2,284 1.3 2,969 0.16 (10 minutes) 475 211.184—Component, drug product container, closure, and labeling records 2,284 1.95 4,454 0.33 (20 minutes) 1,470 211.186—Master production and control records 2,284 10 22,840 2 45,680 211.188—Batch production and control records 2,284 16.25 37,115 1.3 48,250 211.192—Discrepancies in drug product production and control records 2,284 2 4,568 1 4,568 211.194—Laboratory records 2,284 25 57,100 0.5 (30 minutes) 28,550 211.196—Distribution records 2,284 25 57,100 0.25 (15 minutes) 14,275 211.198—Complaint files 2,284 5 11,420 1 11,420 211.204—Returned drug products 2,284 10 22,840 0.5 (30 minutes) 11,420 Total 396,988 1 Burden estimates of less than 1 hour are expressed as a fraction of an hour in the format “[number of minutes per response]/60”.

    The information collection reflects an increase in the number of respondents that results in a corresponding increase to the number of annual burden hours. This is consistent with our experience with the information collection.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07031 Filed 4-5-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice—Request for nominations for voting members.

    SUMMARY:

    HRSA is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV). The ACCV was established by Title XXI of the Public Health Service Act (the Act), and advises the Secretary of HHS (the Secretary) on issues related to implementation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

    DATES:

    The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your nominations to the Director, Division of Injury Compensation Programs (DICP), Healthcare Systems Bureau (HSB), HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 08N146B, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Submit your electronic nomination package by email to Ms. Annie Herzog at [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Annie Herzog, Principal Staff Liaison, DICP, HSB, HRSA, at (301) 443-6634 or email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the authorities that established the ACCV, the Federal Advisory Committee Act of October 6, 1972, (Pub. L. 92-463) and sect