Federal Register Vol. 83, No.75,

Federal Register Volume 83, Issue 75 (April 18, 2018)

Page Range17077-17283
FR Document

83_FR_75
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
83 FR 17281 - Task Force on the United States Postal SystemPDF
83 FR 17203 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
83 FR 17193 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
83 FR 17177 - Deletion of Item From Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
83 FR 17091 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety StandardsPDF
83 FR 17149 - Policy and Procedures Documents for the State Plane Coordinate System of 2022PDF
83 FR 17077 - Special Conditions: Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI), Model 525 Helicopter; Mode AnnunciationPDF
83 FR 17123 - Air Plan Approval; Kentucky; 2008 Ozone NAAQS Interstate Transport SIP RequirementsPDF
83 FR 17175 - Re-Establishment of the Environmental Financial Advisory BoardPDF
83 FR 17176 - Notification of a Public Meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory BoardPDF
83 FR 17209 - State of South Dakota Acting by and Through its Department of Transportation-Adverse Discontinuance of Operating Authority-Napa-Platte Regional Railroad AuthorityPDF
83 FR 17186 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Inspector Candidate Assessment QuestionnairePDF
83 FR 17196 - DFEC Claims Identity SolutionPDF
83 FR 17185 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: New Construction Subterranean Termite Protection for New HomesPDF
83 FR 17186 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Congregate Housing Services ProgramPDF
83 FR 17110 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna FisheriesPDF
83 FR 17193 - Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
83 FR 17114 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 17194 - Bloodborne Pathogens Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
83 FR 17093 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
83 FR 17143 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 293-Limon, Colorado; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Laser Galicia America LLC (Bending and Assembly of Trafo Wall); Aurora, ColoradoPDF
83 FR 17144 - Foreign-Trade Zone 158-Vicksburg/Jackson, Mississippi; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
83 FR 17142 - Foreign-Trade Zone 29-Louisville, Kentucky; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
83 FR 17143 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 249-Pensacola, Florida; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; GE Renewables North America, LLC (Wind Turbine Nacelles, Hubs, and Drivetrains); Pensacola, FloridaPDF
83 FR 17146 - Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016PDF
83 FR 17194 - Notice of a Public Meeting of the Task Force on Apprenticeship ExpansionPDF
83 FR 17222 - Veterans' Research and Health Advisory Committee, Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 17078 - Safety Zone, Delaware River; Diving and Survey Operations; Marcus Hook, PAPDF
83 FR 17078 - Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Blessing of the Fleet, Tiburon, CAPDF
83 FR 17166 - Agency Information Collection ExtensionPDF
83 FR 17221 - Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collections to OMB; Agency Request for Renewal of Previously Approved Information Collections: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air TravelPDF
83 FR 17197 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
83 FR 17160 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2019 and 2020PDF
83 FR 17189 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
83 FR 17146 - U.S. Strategy to Address Trade-Related Forced Localization Barriers Impacting The U.S. ICT Hardware Manufacturing Industry; CorrectionPDF
83 FR 17138 - Designation for the Jamestown, North Dakota; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Memphis, Tennessee AreasPDF
83 FR 17212 - Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Ohio Department of Transportation Audit ReportPDF
83 FR 17216 - Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Florida DOT Audit #1 ReportPDF
83 FR 17210 - 60-Day Notice of Intent To Seek Extension of Approval and Merger of Collections: Statutory Authority To Preserve Rail ServicePDF
83 FR 17161 - Applications for New Awards; Innovative Approaches to Literacy ProgramPDF
83 FR 17196 - Florida Power & Light Company; Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 3 and 4PDF
83 FR 17121 - Safety Zone for Fireworks Display; Upper Potomac River, Washington Channel, Washington, DCPDF
83 FR 17177 - Proposed Substances To Be Evaluated for Toxicological Profile DevelopmentPDF
83 FR 17177 - Meeting Agenda; April 23, 2018, In Person, 8:30 a.m.PDF
83 FR 17153 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 17157 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 17155 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 17188 - Agency Information Collection Activities; National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (EDMAP and STATEMAP)PDF
83 FR 17187 - Agency Information Collection Activities: National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) Grant OpportunityPDF
83 FR 17150 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
83 FR 17205 - Joint Industry Plan; Order Approving the Seventeenth Amendment to the National Market System Plan To Address Extraordinary Market Volatility by Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., Investors Exchange LLC, NASDAQ BX, Inc., NASDAQ PHLX LLC, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, NYSE National, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE American LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc.PDF
83 FR 17190 - Certain Jump Rope Systems; Institution of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 17174 - Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications; Flat Canyon Hydro, LLCPDF
83 FR 17174 - Notice of Transfer of Exemption; Hydrodyne Industries, LLC, UP Property 2, LLCPDF
83 FR 17167 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
83 FR 17167 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
83 FR 17171 - Notice Requesting Questions and Comments on Fiscal Year 2017 Other Federal Agency Cost Submissions; Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power ActPDF
83 FR 17168 - Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments; Bear Swamp Power Company, LLCPDF
83 FR 17170 - Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, LLC Herscher Northwest Storage Field Abandonment ProjectPDF
83 FR 17153 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
83 FR 17191 - Trade Authorities Extension: Economic Impact of Trade Agreements Implemented Under the Bipartisan Trade Act of 2015PDF
83 FR 17161 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Survey 2018-2019PDF
83 FR 17178 - Announcement of Meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030PDF
83 FR 17209 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
83 FR 17193 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Safe Drinking Water ActPDF
83 FR 17184 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 17220 - Correction to Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2000 East Lancashire Coachbuilders Limited Double Decker Tri-Axle Buses (With Volvo B7L Chassis) Are Eligible for ImportationPDF
83 FR 17173 - Notice of Filing; Duke Energy Carolinas, LLCPDF
83 FR 17171 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725L); Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 17197 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt PAR Hardware Replacement FeesPDF
83 FR 17203 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Select Customer Options Reduction ProgramPDF
83 FR 17198 - Order Granting Application by MIAX PEARL, LLC for Exemption Pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Exchange Act From the Rule Filing Requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act With Respect to Certain Rules Incorporated by ReferencePDF
83 FR 17206 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; MIAX PEARL, LLC; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rules Relating to Index OptionsPDF
83 FR 17200 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to the MSRB's Facility for the Real-Time Transaction Reporting SystemPDF
83 FR 17139 - Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation ProgramPDF
83 FR 17183 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 17181 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 17183 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 17185 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 17182 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 17183 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 17182 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
83 FR 17184 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
83 FR 17175 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol CoatingsPDF
83 FR 17145 - In the Matter of: Erdal Kuyumcu, Inmate Number: 89148-053, FCI Fort Dix, P.O. Box 2000, Joint Base MDL, NJ 08640; Order Denying Export PrivilegesPDF
83 FR 17149 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
83 FR 17192 - Certain Arrowheads With Arcuate Blades and Components Thereof; Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a General Exclusion Order; Termination of InvestigationPDF
83 FR 17088 - Improvement of Wireless Coverage Through the Use of Signal BoostersPDF
83 FR 17131 - Improvement of Wireless Coverage Through the Use of Signal BoostersPDF
83 FR 17222 - Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation; Notice of MeetingPDF
83 FR 17117 - Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving SetsPDF
83 FR 17086 - Requests for Documents and TestimonyPDF
83 FR 17223 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Notice of DisagreementPDF
83 FR 17081 - Air Plan Approval; Florida; Update to Materials Incorporated by ReferencePDF
83 FR 17179 - Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans Announcement Type: InitialPDF
83 FR 17226 - Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of NitrogenPDF
83 FR 17211 - Deadline for Notification of Intent To Use the Airport Improvement Program's (AIP) Primary, Cargo, and Nonprimary Entitlement Funds Available for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018PDF

Issue

83 75 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Contents Agency Toxic Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry NOTICES Proposed Substances to be Evaluated for Toxicological Profile Development, 17177-17178 2018-08090 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Designations: Jamestown, North Dakota; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Memphis, Tennessee Areas, 17138-17139 2018-08102 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Delaware River, Diving and Survey Operations, Marcus Hook, PA, 17078-17081 2018-08110 Special Local Regulations: Blessing of the Fleet, Tiburon, CA, 17078 2018-08109 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Fireworks Display; Upper Potomac River, Washington Channel, Washington, DC, 17121-17123 2018-08091 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17149-17150 2018-08039 Arms Sales, 17150-17160 2018-08088 2018-08081 2018-08086 2018-08087 Charter Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 17153 2018-08071 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Assessment of Educational Progress 2019 and 2020, 17160-17161 2018-08105 Statewide Longitudinal Data System Survey 2018-2019, 17161 2018-08068 Applications for New Awards: Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program, 17161-17166 2018-08093 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Meetings: Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, 17194 2018-08113 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17166-17167 2018-08108
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Florida; Update to Materials Incorporated by Reference, 17081-17086 2018-07900 Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen, 17226-17278 2018-07741 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Kentucky; 2008 Ozone NAAQS Interstate Transport SIP Requirements, 17123-17131 2018-08137 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings, 17175-17176 2018-08041 Charter Renewals: Environmental Financial Advisory Board, 17175 2018-08136 Meetings: Chartered Science Advisory Board, 17176-17177 2018-08135 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Special Conditions: Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI), Model 525 Helicopter; Mode Annunciation, 17077-17078 2018-08139 NOTICES Funding Availability: Airport Improvement Program's Primary, Cargo, and Nonprimary Entitlement Funds available for Fiscal Year 2018, 17211-17212 2018-07658 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Improvement of Wireless Coverage through Use of Signal Boosters, 17088-17091 2018-08031 PROPOSED RULES Improvement of Wireless Coverage through Use of Signal Boosters, 17131-17137 2018-08030 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 17177 2018-08207 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17171-17173 2018-08057 Applications: Bear Swamp Power Company, LLC, 17168-17170 2018-08073 Combined Filings, 17167-17168 2018-08075 2018-08076 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, LLC; Herscher Northwest Storage Field Abandonment Project, 17170-17171 2018-08072 Exemptions: Hydrodyne Industries, LLC; UP Property 2, LLC, 17174-17175 2018-08077 Filings: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, 17173-17174 2018-08058 Fiscal Year 2017 Other Federal Agency Cost Submissions, 17171 2018-08074 Permit Applications: Flat Canyon Hydro, LLC, 17174 2018-08078 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program: Florida Department of Transportation Audit No. 1 Report, 17216-17220 2018-08100 Ohio Department of Transportation Audit Report, 17212-17216 2018-08101 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, 17177 2018-08089 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets, 17117-17121 2018-08003 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Removal of the Lesser Long-nosed Bat From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 17093-17110 2018-08121 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: GE Renewables North America, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 249, Pensacola, FL, 17143-17144 2018-08117 Laser Galicia America LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 293, Limon, CO, 17143 2018-08120 Reorganizations under Alternative Site Frameworks: Foreign-Trade Zone 158, Vicksburg/Jackson, MS, 17144 2018-08119 Foreign-Trade Zone 29, Louisville, KY, 17142-17143 2018-08118 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, 17139-17142 2018-08051 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, 17188-17189 2018-08085 National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program Grant Opportunity, 17187-17188 2018-08084 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Meetings: Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030, 17178-17179 2018-08065
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Congregate Housing Services Program, 17186-17187 2018-08128 Inspector Candidate Assessment Questionnaire, 17186 2018-08132 New Construction Subterranean Termite Protection for New Homes, 17185-17186 2018-08129 Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Funding Opportunities: Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans, 17179-17181 2018-07892 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Export Privileges; Denials: Erdal Kuyumcu, 17145-17146 2018-08040 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea, 17146-17149 2018-08114 U.S. Strategy to Address Trade-Related Forced Localization Barriers Impacting The U.S. ICT Hardware Manufacturing Industry; Correction, 17146 2018-08103 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Arrowheads with Arcuate Blades and Components Thereof, 17192 2018-08036 Certain Jump Rope Systems, 17190 2018-08079 Trade Authorities Extension: Economic Impact of Trade Agreements Implemented Under the Bipartisan Trade Act of 2015, 17191-17192 2018-08069 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 17193 2018-08221 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 17193-17194 2018-08124 Proposed Consent Decrees under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 17193 2018-08063 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Legal Legal Services Corporation RULES Requests for Documents and Testimony, 17086-17088 2018-07964 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration RULES Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; CFR Correction, 17091-17093 2018-08196 NOTICES Importation Eligibility of Nonconforming Vehicles; Approvals: Model Year 2000 East Lancashire Coachbuilders Limited Double Decker Tri-Axle Buses with Volvo B7L Chassis; Correction, 17220-17221 2018-08060 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 17184 2018-08042 2018-08043 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 17185 2018-08047 National Cancer Institute, 17182-17183 2018-08044 2018-08045 National Institute of Mental Health, 17181, 17183 2018-08049 2018-08050 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 17184-17185 2018-08062 National Institute on Aging, 17182 2018-08046 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 17183-17184 2018-08048 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 17110-17114 2018-08125 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; Correction, 17114-17116 2018-08123 NOTICES Policy and Procedures Documents for the State Plane Coordinate System of 2022, 17149 2018-08141 National Park National Park Service NOTICES National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 17189-17190 2018-08104 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Renewals; Applications: Florida Power and Light Co.; Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 3 and 4, 17196-17197 2018-08092 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 17194-17196 2018-08122 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 17197 2018-08106 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc.: United States Postal System, Task Force on; Establishment (EO 13829), 17279-17283 2018-08272 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Joint Industry Plans: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., Investors Exchange LLC, NASDAQ BX, Inc., NASDAQ PHLX LLC, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, NYSE National, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE American LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc., 17205-17206 2018-08080 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 17203 2018-08254 Orders: MIAX PEARL, LLC, 17198-17200 2018-08054 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe Exchange, Inc., 17197-17198, 17203-17205 2018-08055 2018-08056 MIAX PEARL, LLC, 17206-17209 2018-08053 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 17200-17203 2018-08052 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17209 2018-08064 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Adverse Discontinuances of Operating Authority: State of South Dakota Acting by and Through its Department of Transportation; Napa-Platte Regional Railroad Authority, 17209-17210 2018-08134 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service, 17210-17211 2018-08095 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 17221-17222 2018-08107
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Notice of Disagreement, 17223 2018-07946 Meetings: Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation, 17222 2018-08005 Veterans' Research and Health Advisory Committee, 17222-17223 2018-08112 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES DFEC Claims Identity Solution, 17196 2018-08130 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 17226-17278 2018-07741 Part III Presidential Documents, 17279-17283 2018-08272 Reader Aids

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

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents electronic mailing list, go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USGPOOFR/subscriber/new, enter your e-mail address, then follow the instructions to join, leave, or manage your subscription.

83 75 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 29 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1129; Notice No. 29-042-SC] Special Conditions: Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI), Model 525 Helicopter; Mode Annunciation AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the BHTI Model 525 helicopter. This helicopter will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with fly-by-wire flight control system (FBW FCS) functions that affect the pilot awareness of the flight control modes while operating the helicopter. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

April 18, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

George Harrum, Aerospace Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-4087; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On December 15, 2011, BHTI applied for a type certificate for a new transport category helicopter designated as the Model 525. The aircraft is a medium twin-engine rotorcraft. The design maximum takeoff weight is 20,500 pounds, with a maximum capacity of 19 passengers and a crew of 2.

The BHTI Model 525 helicopter will be equipped with a four-axis full authority digital FBW FCS that provides for aircraft control through pilot input and coupled flight director modes. Current regulations are inadequate in the area of pilot awareness of the flight control modes while operating the helicopter. The proposed special condition will require that suitable mode annunciation be provided to the flight crew for events that significantly change the operating mode of the system but do not merit the traditional warnings, cautions, and advisories.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, BHTI must show that the Model 525 helicopter meets the applicable provisions of part 29, as amended by Amendment 29-1 through 29-55 thereto. The BHTI Model 525 certification basis date is December 31, 2013, the effective date of application to the FAA.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 29) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the BHTI Model 525 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

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

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the BHTI Model 525 helicopter must comply with the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36, and the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under section 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The BHTI Model 525 helicopter will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: A four-axis full authority digital FBW FCS. Pilot control inputs, through the mechanically linked cockpit controls (cyclic, collective, directional pedals), are transmitted electrically to each of the three Flight Control Computers (FCCs). The pilot control input signals are then processed and transmitted to the hydraulic flight control actuators which affect control of the main and tail rotors. The FCCs process the pilot control input signals depending on the flight control mode in affect.

Discussion

The current 14 CFR 29 standards do not provide adequate standards for pilot awareness of the flight control modes while operating the helicopter. These special conditions require that suitable mode annunciation be provided to the flight crew for events that significantly change the operating mode of the system but do not merit the traditional warnings, cautions, and advisories.

Discussion of Comments

Notice of proposed special conditions No. 29-042-SC for the BHTI Model 525 helicopter was published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2017 (82 FR 57687). One commenter, Sikorsky Aircraft (Sikorsky), responded to the Notice.

Sikorsky requested that the annunciation required by the proposed special conditions be placed within the immediate field of view of the pilot. Sikorsky also requested that because the word “significantly” in the proposed special conditions may be subjective, the following language be added to provide clarification: “in such a way as to alter the pilots primary control strategy.”

The FAA agrees. We have revised the special conditions accordingly.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the BHTI Model 525 helicopter. Should BHTI apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 29

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

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

The Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for the Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Model 525 helicopter:

Mode Annunciation: A means must be provided, within the pilots' primary field of view, to indicate to the crew any mode that significantly changes or degrades the handling or operational characteristics of the rotorcraft in such a way as to alter the pilots' primary control strategy.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 30, 2018. Jorge Castillo, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-08139 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2018-0323] Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Blessing of the Fleet, Tiburon, CA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations in the navigable waters of the San Francisco Bay for the annual Blessing of the Fleet to be held on April 22, 2018. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of event participants and spectators. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the regulated area, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 100.1103, Table 1, Item number 3 will be enforced from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 22, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulation established in 33 CFR 100.1103, Table 1, Item number 3 on April 22, 2018. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 22, 2018 the special local regulation applies to the navigable waters from Bluff Point on the southeastern side of Tiburon Peninsula to Point Campbell on the northern edge of Angel Island, and from Peninsula Point on the southern edge of Tiburon Peninsula to Point Stuart on the western edge of Angel Island.

Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.1103, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the regulated area during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1103 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the regulated area and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notification, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

Dated: April 12, 2018. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port of San Francisco.
[FR Doc. 2018-08109 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0322] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Delaware River; Diving and Survey Operations; Marcus Hook, PA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone encompassing all navigable waters within a 250-yard radius of the Commerce Construction vessels and associated equipment conducting survey and diving operations in the Delaware River, and in the vicinity of Anchorage 7, near Marcus Hook, PA. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, associated equipment, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by survey and diving operations. Entry of persons or vessels into this safety zone will be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Delaware Bay. We invite your comments on this rule.

DATES:

This rule is effective from April 30, 2018 through June 30, 2018. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 18, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0322 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this rulemaking, call or email Petty Officer Edmund Ofalt, Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay; telephone (215) 271-4814, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations APA Administrative Procedure Act CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port 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 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 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 due to the short time period between when Sector Delaware Bay received complete details of this operation, March 28, 2018, and the date when this safety zone needs to go into effect by. It is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to publish an NPRM before issuing this rule because we must establish the safety zone by April 30, 2018, to ensure the safety of personnel, vessels, associated equipment, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by survey and diving operations the Coast Guard is providing an opportunity to comment prior to the rule becoming effective and while the rule is in effect and may amend the rule after it is effective if necessary.

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. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because immediate action is needed to mitigate hazards presented by survey and diving operations.

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 Delaware Bay (COTP) has determined that a safety zone is necessary to mitigate the hazards involving survey and diving operations. The safety zone covers all navigable waters within 250-yards of vessels and associated equipment being used by personnel to conduct survey and diving operations.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from April 30, 2018, through June 30, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 250-yards of survey and diving operation vessels, as well as any associated equipment, operating in Marcus Hook Anchorage No. 7 near Marcus Hook, PA, and within the Marcus Hook Range on the Delaware River. Diving and survey operations conducted within the anchorage will be in the southernmost portion of the anchorage on the eastern side adjacent to the New Jersey shoreline. The affiliated safety zone will restrict available anchorage grounds in the lower portion of Anchorage No. 7. During diving and survey operations conducted within navigable channel of the Marcus Hook Range, vessels will not be permitted to anchor within the southern portion of the anchorage as this section will be utilized to allow traffic to safely pass around the safety zone. Information on procedures for requesting permission to anchor, as well as any changes to traffic patterns, will be distributed to the maritime community via the methods stated below.

Notification regarding the specific location of the zone and any changes to traffic patterns will be sent to the maritime community via Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Marine Safety information Bulletins. Marine Safety Information Bulletins may be obtained from https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/delaware-bay or by calling the Coast Guard Delaware Bay Command Center at 215-271-4807.

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, the 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 size, location and duration of the safety zone. The safety zone will impact a small designated area of Marcus Hook Anchorage No. 7 and the Marcus Hook Range on the Delaware River. During enforcement periods of the safety zone these impacts include restrictions to the location, type and size of vessels that may anchor in the Marcus Hook Anchorage. However, other anchorages in the Delaware River will remain fully operational as alternatives for vessel traffic. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around the safety zone. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16, Local Notice to Mariners, and Marine Safety Information Bulletin about the 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 rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this 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 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 rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

This 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 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 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 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 rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 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 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 rule involves a safety zone that will prohibit entry within 250-yards of survey and diving operation vessels, as well as any associated equipment, operating in Marcus Hook Anchorage No. 7 and Marcus Hook Range, on the Delaware River. 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 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.

VI. 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. The Coast Guard may amend this temporary final rule if we receive comments from the public that indicate that a change is warranted. 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 temporary final rule 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.

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.T05-0322 to read as follows:
§ 165.T05-0322 Safety Zone, Delaware River; Diving and Survey Operations; Marcus Hook, PA.

(a) Location. The following areas are safety zones: All navigable waters within 250-yards of Commerce Construction crane barge KELLY and the towing vessel JOKER, as well as any associated equipment, operating in Marcus Hook Anchorage No. 7 or Marcus Hook Range, on the Delaware River.

(b) Definitions. (1) Captain of the Port means the Commander, Sector Delaware Bay or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on his behalf.

(2) Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, to assist with the enforcement of safety zones described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in subpart C of this part apply to the safety zones created by this section.

(1) Entry into or transiting within the zones is prohibited unless vessels obtain permission from the Captain of the Port via VHF-FM channel 16 or make satisfactory passing arrangements via VHF-FM channels 13 or 16 with the crane barge KELLY or towing vessel JOKER.

(2) Any vessel wishing to anchor within Marcus Hook Anchorage No. 7 is required to verify compliance with current temporary restrictions and requirements noted within the most current Sector Delaware Bay Marine Safety Information Bulletin. The most current Marine Safety Information Bulletin may be obtained at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/delaware-bay or by calling the Coast Guard Delaware Bay Command Center at 215-271-4807.

(3) All vessels authorized to enter or transit the zones must operate at the minimum safe speed necessary to maintain steerage and reduce wake.

(4) This section applies to all vessels except those engaged in law enforcement, aids to navigation servicing, and emergency response operations.

(d) Enforcement periods. This section will be enforced from April 30, 2018, through June 30, 2018.

Dated: April 12, 2018. Scott E. Anderson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Delaware Bay.
[FR Doc. 2018-08110 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [FL-2017; FRL-9975-70-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida; Update to Materials Incorporated by Reference AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule; notification of administrative change.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the materials that are incorporated by reference (IBR) into the Florida state implementation plan (SIP). The regulations affected by this update have been previously submitted by Florida and approved by EPA. This update affects the materials that are available for public inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the EPA Regional Office.

DATES:

This action is effective April 18, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

SIP materials which are incorporated by reference into 40 CFR part 52 are available for inspection at the following locations: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303; and the National Archives and Records Administration. For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html. To view the materials at the Region 4 Office, EPA request that you email the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sean Lakeman, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Lakeman can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9043 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Each state has a SIP containing the control measures and strategies used to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The SIP is extensive, containing such elements as air pollution control regulations, emission inventories, monitoring networks, attainment demonstrations, and enforcement mechanisms.

Each state must formally adopt the control measures and strategies in the SIP after the public has had an opportunity to comment on them and then submit the proposed SIP revisions to EPA. Once these control measures and strategies are approved by EPA, and after notice and comment, they are incorporated into the federally-approved SIP and are identified in part 52 “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans,” title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR part 52). The full text of the state regulation approved by EPA is not reproduced in its entirety in 40 CFR part 52, but is “incorporated by reference.” This means that EPA has approved a given state regulation with a specific effective date. The public is referred to the location of the full text version should they want to know which measures are contained in a given SIP. The information provided allows EPA and the public to monitor the extent to which a state implements a SIP to attain and maintain the NAAQS and to take enforcement action if necessary.

The SIP is a living document which the state can revise as necessary to address the unique air pollution problems in the state. Therefore, EPA from time to time must take action on proposed revisions containing new and/or revised state regulations. A submission from a state can revise one or more rules in their entirety or portions of rules, even change a single word. The state indicates the changes in the submission (such as, by using redline/strikethrough) and EPA then takes action on the requested changes. EPA establishes a docket for its actions using a unique Docket Identification Number. which is listed in each action. These dockets and the complete submission are available for viewing on www.regulations.gov.

On May 22, 1997, (62 FR 27968), EPA revised the procedures for incorporating by reference, into the Code of Federal Regulations, materials approved by EPA into each state SIP. These changes revised the format for the identification of the SIP in 40 CFR part 52, streamlined the mechanisms for announcing EPA approval of revisions to a SIP, and streamlined the mechanisms for EPA's updating of the IBR information contained for each SIP in 40 CFR part 52. The revised procedures also called for EPA to maintain “SIP Compilations” that contain the federally-approved regulations and source specific permits submitted by each state agency. These SIP Compilations are updated primarily on an annual basis. Under the revised procedures, EPA must periodically publish an informational document in the rules section of the Federal Register notifying the public that updates have been made to a SIP Compilation for a particular state. EPA applied the 1997 revised procedures to Florida on June 16, 1999 (64 FR 32346).

II. EPA Action

This action represents EPA's publication of the Florida SIP Compilation update, appearing in 40 CFR part 52: Specifically, the materials of paragraphs (c) and (d) at 40 CFR 52. In addition, notice is provided of correcting typographical errors, state effective dates, EPA approval dates and Federal Register citations listed in to Table (c) paragraph of paragraph 52.520, as described below:

A. Under the “State effective date” and “EPA approval date” changing the 2-digit year to reflect a 4-digit year (for consistency) and correcting numerous Federal Register citation to reflect the first page of the preamble opposed to the regulatory text page.

B. 62-204.220 Title is revised to read “Ambient Air Quality Protection.”

C. 62-210.920 entry is removed from table. See 82 FR 46682

D. 62-244.100 State effective date is revised to read “2/21/1990”.

E. 62-244.200 State effective date is revised to read “2/21/1990”.

F. 62-244.300 State effective date is revised to read “2/21/1990”.

G. 62-244.400 State effective date is revised to read “2/21/1990”.

H. 62-244.500 State effective date is revised to read “2/21/1990”.

I. 62-244.600 State effective date is revised to read “2/21/1990”.

J. 62-296.509 entry is removed from table because EPA previously approved removal of the rule from the Florida SIP. See 74 FR 26103 (June 1, 2009).

III. Good Cause Exemption

EPA has determined that this action falls under the “good cause” exemption in the section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) which, upon finding “good cause,” authorizes agencies to dispense with public participation and section 553(d)(3) which allows an agency to make an action effective immediately (thereby avoiding the 30-day delayed effective date otherwise provided for in the APA). This administrative action simply codifies provisions which are already in effect as a matter of law in Federal and approved state programs and corrects typographical errors appearing in the CFR. Under section 553(b)(3)(B) of the APA, an agency may find good cause where procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Public comment for this administrative action is “unnecessary” and “contrary to the public interest” since the codification (and typographical corrections) only reflect existing law. Immediate notice of this action in the Federal Register benefits the public by providing the public notice of the updated Florida SIP Compilation and notice of typographical corrections to the Florida “Identification of Plan” portion of the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 553(d)(3), making this action immediately effective benefits the public by immediately updating both the SIP compilation and the CFR “Identification of plan” section (which includes table entry corrections).

IV. 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 previously EPA-approved regulations promulgated by Florida and federally effective prior to October 1, 2017. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 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. This notification of administrative change 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);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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).

EPA also believes that the provisions of section 307(b)(1) of the CAA pertaining to petitions for judicial review are not applicable to this action. This is because prior EPA rulemaking actions for each individual component of the Florida SIP compilations previously afforded interested parties the opportunity to file a petition for judicial review in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit within 60 days of such rulemaking action. Thus, EPA believes judicial review of this action under section 307(b)(1) is not available.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: January 29, 2018. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III Regional Administrator, Region 4.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart K-Florida 2. In § 52.520, paragraphs (b) through (d) are revised to read as follows:
§ 52.520 Identification of plan.

(b) Incorporation by reference. (1) Material listed in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with an EPA approval date prior to October 1, 2017, was approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Material is incorporated as it exists on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in the material will be published in the Federal Register. Entries in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with EPA approval dates after October 1, 2017, for Florida will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.

(2) EPA Region 4 certifies that the rules/regulations provided by EPA in the SIP compilation at the addresses in paragraph (b)(3) of this section are an exact duplicate of the officially promulgated State rules/regulations which have been approved as part of the State Implementation Plan as of the dates referenced in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(3) Copies of the materials incorporated by reference may be inspected at the Region 4 EPA Office at 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303. To obtain the material, please call (404) 562-9022. You may inspect the material with an EPA approval date prior to October 1, 2017, for Florida at the National Archives and Records Administration. For information on the availability of this material at NARA go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

(c) EPA Approved Florida Regulations.

EPA Approved Florida Regulations State
  • citation
  • (section)
  • Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    Chapter 62-204 Air Pollution Control—General Provisions 62-204.100 Purpose and Scope 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32353 62-204.200 Definitions 2/12/2006 6/27/2008, 73 FR 36435 62-204.220 Ambient Air Quality Protection 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-204.240 Ambient Air Quality Standards 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-204.260 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Maximum Allowable Increases (PSD Increments) 2/12/2006 6/27/2008, 73 FR 36435 62-204.320 Procedures for Designation and Redesignation of Areas 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-204.340 Designation of Attainment, Nonattainment, and Maintenance Areas 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-204.360 Designation of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Areas 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-204.400 Public Notice and Hearing Requirements for State Implementation Plan Revisions 11/30/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32353 62-204.500 Conformity 8/31/1998 8/11/2003, 68 FR 47468 Except for the incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 93.104(e) of the Transportation Conformity Rule. Chapter 62-210 Stationary Sources—General Requirements 62-210.200 Definitions 3/28/2012 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 Selected definitions are approved into the SIP. 62-210.220 Small Business Assistance Program 10/6/08 7/3/2017, 82 FR 30767 62-210.300 Permits Required 5/9/2007 6/1/2009, 63 FR 26103 62-210.310 Air General Permits 6/29/2011 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-210.350 Public Notice and Comment 10/12/2008 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 Excludes revisions state effective February 11, 1999, which added 62-210.350(1)(c) avs 62-210.350(4)(a)2, and revised 62-210.350(4)(b). 62-210.360 Administrative Permit Corrections 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-210.370 Emissions Computation and Reporting 2/2/2006 6/27/2008, 73 FR 36435 62-210.550 Stack Height Policy 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-210.650 Circumvention 10/15/1992 10/20/1994, 59 FR 52916 62-210.700 Excess Emissions 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-210.900 Forms and Instructions 2/9/1993 11/7/1994, 59 FR 46157 Chapter 62-212 Stationary Sources—Preconstruction Review 62-212.300 General Preconstruction Review Requirements 6/29/2009 4/12/2011, 76 FR 20239 62-212.400 Prevention of Significant Deterioration 3/28/2012 9/19/2012, 77 FR 58027 As of September 19, 2012, 61-212.400 does not include Florida's revision to adopt the PM2.5 SILs threshold and provisions (as promulgated in the October 20, 2010, PM2.5 PSD Increment-SILs-SMC Rule at 40 CFR 52.21(k)(2)). 62-212.500 Preconstruction Review for Nonattainment Areas 2/2/2006 6/27/2008, 73 FR 36435 62-212.720 Actuals Plantwide Applicability Limits (PALs) 12/17/2013 7/3/2017, 82 FR 30767 Chapter 62-243 Tampering With Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Equipment 62-243.100 Purpose and Scope 5/29/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 62-243.200 Definitions 1/2/1991 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24378 62-243.300 Exemptions 1/2/1991 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24378 62-243.400 Prohibitions 1/2/1991 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24378 62-243.500 Certification 1/2/1991 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24378 62-243.600 Enforcement 1/2/1991 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24378 62-243.700 Penalties 5/29/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 Chapter 62-244 Visible Emissions From Motor Vehicles 62-244.100 Purpose and Scope 2/21/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 62-244.200 Definitions 2/21/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 62-244.300 Exemptions 2/21/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 62-244.400 Prohibitions 2/21/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 62-244.500 Enforcement 2/21/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 62-244.600 Penalties 2/21/1990 6/9/1992, 57 FR 24370 Chapter 62-252 Gasoline Vapor Control 62-252.300 Gasoline Dispensing Facilities Stage I Vapor Recovery 5/1/2015 8/12/2015, 80 FR 48259 Chapter 62-256 Open Burning and Frost Protection Fires 62-256.100 Declaration and Intent 12/09/1975 11/1/1977, 42 FR 57124 62-256.200 Definitions 11/30/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-256.300 Prohibitions 11/30/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-256.400 Agricultural and Silvicultural Fires 7/1/1971 5/31/1972, 37 FR 10842 62-256.450 Burning for Cold or Frost Protection 6/27/1991 9/9/1994, 59 FR 46552 62-256.500 Land Clearing 11/30/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-256.600 Industrial, Commercial, Municipal, and Research Open Burning 7/1/1971 5/31/1972, 37 FR 10842 62-256.700 Open Burning Allowed 11/30/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-256.800 Effective Date 7/1/1971 5/31/1972, 37 FR 10842 Chapter 62-296 Stationary Sources—Emission Standards 62-296.100 Purpose and Scope 10/6/2008 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.320 General Pollutant Emission Limiting Standards 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.340 Best Available Retrofit Technology 1/31/2007 8/29/2013, 78 FR 53250 62-296.401 Incinerators 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.402 Sulfuric Acid Plants 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.403 Phosphate Processing 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.404 Kraft (Sulfate) Pulp Mills and Tall Oil Plants 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.405 Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with more than 250 million Btu per Hour Heat Input 3/2/1999 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.406 Fossil Fuel Steam Generator with less than 250 million Btu per Hour Heat Input, New and Existing Emissions Units 3/2/1999 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.408 Nitric Acid Plants 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.409 Sulfur Recovery Plants 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.410 Carbonaceous Fuel Burning Equipment 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.412 Dry Cleaning Facilities 3/11/2010 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.414 Concrete Batching Plants 1/10/2007 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.415 Soil Thermal Treatment Facilities 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.418 Bulk Gasoline Plants 3/11/2010 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.470 Implementation of Federal Clean Air Interstate Rule 4/1/2007 10/12/07, 72 FR 58016 62-296.500 Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Emitting Facilities 3/11/2010 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-296.501 Can Coating 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.502 Coil Coating 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.503 Paper Coating 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.504 Fabric and Vinyl Coating 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.505 Metal Furniture Coating 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.506 Surface Coating of Large Appliances 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.507 Magnet Wire Coating 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.508 Petroleum Liquid Storage 10/6/2008 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 Amendments effective 10/6/08. 62-296.510 Bulk Gasoline Terminals 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.511 Solvent Metal Cleaning 6/5/1996 01/16/2003, 68 FR 2204 62-296.512 Cutback Asphalt 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.513 Surface Coating of Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.514 Surface Coating of Flat Wood Paneling 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.515 Graphic Arts Systems 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.516 Petroleum Liquid Storage Tanks with External Floating Roofs 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.570 Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Requirements for Major VOC and NOX—Emitting Facilities 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.600 Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Lead 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.601 Lead Processing Operations in General 8/8/1994 9/18/1996, 61 FR 49064 62-296.602 Primary Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing Operations 3/13/1996 9/18/1996, 61 FR 49064 62-296.603 Secondary Lead Smelting Operations 8/8/1994 9/18/1996, 61 FR 49064 62-296.604 Electric Arc Furnace Equipped Secondary Steel Manufacturing Operations 8/8/1994 9/18/1996, 61 FR 49064 62-296.605 Lead Oxide Handling Operations 8/8/1994 9/18/1996, 61 FR 49064 62-296.700 Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Particulate Matter 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.701 Portland Cement Plants 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.702 Fossil Fuel Steam Generators 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.703 Carbonaceous Fuel Burners 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.704 Asphalt Concrete Plants 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.705 Phosphate Processing operations 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.706 Glass Manufacturing Process 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.707 Electric Arc Furnaces 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.708 Sweat of Pot Furnaces 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.709 Lime Kilns 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.710 Smelt Dissolving Tanks 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.711 Materials Handling, Sizing, Screening, Crushing and Grinding operations 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-296.712 Miscellaneous Manufacturing Process Operations 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 Chapter 62-297 Stationary Sources—Emissions Monitoring 62-297.310 General Emissions Test Requirements 3/9/2015 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-297.400 EPA Methods Adopted by Reference 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-297.401 Compliance Test Methods 3/13/1996 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-297.440 Supplementary Test Procedures 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 62-297.450 EPA VOC Capture Efficiency Test Procedures 3/2/1999 10/6/2017, 82 FR 46682 62-297.620 Exceptions and Approval of Alternate Procedures and Requirements 11/23/1994 6/16/1999, 64 FR 32346 State Statutes 112.3143(4) Voting Conflict 4/19/2012 7/30/2012, 77 FR 44485 To satisfy the requirements of sections 128 and 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). 112.3144 Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests 4/19/2012 7/30/2012, 77 FR 44485 To satisfy the requirements of sections 128 and 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). 403.131 Injunctive relief, remedies 4/19/2012 7/30/2012, 77 FR 44485 To satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(G). 120.569 Decisions which affect substantial interests 4/19/2012 7/30/2012, 77 FR 44485 To satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(G).

    (d) EPA-approved State Source-specific requirements.

    EPA-Approved Florida Source-Specific Requirements Name of source Permit No. State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    Harry S Truman, animal import center NA 11/26/1996 1/19/2000, 65 FR 2882 Martin Gas Sales, Inc 0570477-007-AC 1/17/2003 5/1/2003, 68 FR 23209 Broward County Aviation Department 8/15/2003 6/17/2003, 69 FR 33862 Order Granting Variance from Rule 62-252.400. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company 4/16/2005 11/28/2006, 71 FR 68745 Requirement that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company comply with EPA's Aerospace CTG at its Pinellas County facility. Combs Oil Company 7/31/2009 9/25/2015, 80 FR 57727 Order Granting Variance from Rule 62-296.418(2)(b)2. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC Air Permit No. 0570008-080-AC 1/15/2015 7/3/2017, 82 FR 30749 Specific Conditions pertaining to: EU004; EU005; and EU006. Rayonier Performance Fibers, LLC Air Permit No. 0890004-036-AC 4/12/2012 7/3/2017, 82 FR 30749 Specific Conditions pertaining to: EU005; EU006; and EU022. Tampa Electric Company—Big Bend Station Air Permit No. 0570039-074-AC 2/26/2015 7/3/2017, 82 FR 30749 Specific Conditions pertaining to: EU001; EU002; EU003 and EU004. WestRock, LLC Air Permit No. 0890003-046-AC 1/9/2015 7/3/2017, 82 FR 30749 Specific Conditions pertaining to: EU006; EU015; EU007 and EU011.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07900 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION 45 CFR Part 1603 Requests for Documents and Testimony AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule governs subpoenas and requests for LSC documents and testimony by non-federal litigants in cases in which LSC is not a party. This rule provides the public with guidance on where to send requests and establishes procedures by which those requests will be processed.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on May 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, 202-295-1563, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    LSC proposed to create a new regulation, known as a Touhy regulation, that would establish a process by which litigants in cases where LSC is not a party could obtain documents or testimony from LSC and its employees. Arising from the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. ex rel Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951), Touhy regulations define agencies' procedures for responding to document or testimony requests, as well as individual agency employees' obligation to follow such procedures.

    Between 2013 and 2017, LSC and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) received several subpoenas and requests for testimony or documents but did not have internal or external guidance in place regarding such requests. At the OIG's recommendation, LSC added rulemaking on requests for documents and testimony to its rulemaking agenda in 2015. On October 15, 2017, the Operations and Regulations Committee (Committee) of LSC's Board of Directors (Board) voted to recommend that the Board authorize rulemaking on part 1603. On October 17, 2017, the Board authorized LSC to begin rulemaking.

    Regulatory action was justified for four reasons. First, a Touhy regulation would promote efficiency and timeliness by identifying those LSC officials with the authority to respond to requests or subpoenas for documents or testimony and establishing a procedure for LSC's consideration of such requests. Second, it would minimize the possibility of involving LSC in controversies not related to its functions. Third, it would prevent the misuse of LSC's employees as involuntary expert witnesses for private interests or as inappropriate expert witnesses as to the state of the law. Fourth, it would maintain LSC's impartiality toward private litigants.

    On January 21, 2018, the Committee voted to recommend that the Board approve this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for publication. On January 23, 2018, the Board accepted the Committee's recommendation and voted to approve publication of this NPRM with a 30-day comment period. LSC published the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on February 1, 2018, 83 FR 4827. The comment period remained open for thirty days and closed on March 5, 2018.

    On April 8, 2018, the Committee voted to recommend that the Board adopt this Final Rule and approve its publication in the Federal Register. On April 10, 2018, the Board accepted the Committee's recommendation and voted to adopt and approve publication of this final rule.

    Materials regarding this rulemaking are available in the open rulemaking section of LSC's website at http://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/laws-regulations-guidance/rulemaking. After the effective date of the rule, those materials will appear in the closed rulemaking section at http://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/laws-regulations-guidance/rulemaking/closed-rulemaking.

    II. Discussion of the Final Rule

    LSC received no comments on the proposed rule. Consequently, LSC is adopting the text of the proposed rule published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 4827 with minor revisions. At the Operations and Regulations Committee meeting on April 8, 2018, the Committee recommended that LSC make two technical changes. The first was to include language in the definition of employee to make clear that this rule applies to non-Director members of Board committees. The second was to add language to § 1603.4(a) clarifying that individuals seeking testimony from an employee of OIG must follow the procedures in § 1603.4(b) for requesting testimony from the OIG Legal Counsel, rather than submitting the request to LSC's General Counsel. LSC Management concurred with the recommendations and revised the proposed final rule text accordingly.

    In a final rule published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, LSC is removing the existing version of part 1603 pertaining to state advisory councils. LSC is replacing it with this regulation.

    List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 1603

    Administrative practice and procedure; Archives and records; Courts.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Legal Services Corporation adds CFR part 1603 to read as follows: PART 1603—TESTIMONY BY EMPLOYEES AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS IN PROCEEDINGS WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A PARTY Sec. 1603.1 Scope, purpose, and applicability. 1603.2 Definitions. 1603.3 What is LSC's policy on presentation of testimony and production of documents? 1603.4 How does a person request voluntary testimony from an employee? 1603.5 How will LSC respond to a request for expert testimony from an employee? 1603.6 How will LSC respond to a subpoena for documents? 1603.7 When will LSC certify the authenticity of records? 1603.8 Does this part give individuals any rights? Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2996g(e).

    § 1603.1 Scope, purpose, and applicability.

    (a) This part sets forth rules to be followed when a litigant requests an employee of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), including LSC's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), to provide testimony in a deposition, trial, or other similar proceeding concerning information acquired in the course of performing official duties or because of such person's official capacity with LSC. This part also sets forth procedures for the handling of subpoenas for documents and other requests for documents in the possession of LSC or the OIG, and for the processing of requests for certification of copies of documents.

    (b) It is LSC's policy to provide information, data, and records to non-federal litigants to the same extent and in the same manner that they are made available to the public. When subject to the jurisdiction of a court or other tribunal presiding over litigation between non-federal parties, LSC will follow all applicable procedural and substantive rules relating to the production of information, data, and records by a non-party. The availability of LSC employees to testify in litigation not involving federal parties is governed by LSC's policy to maintain strict impartiality with respect to private litigants and to minimize the disruption of official duties.

    (c) This part applies to state, local, and tribal judicial, administrative, and legislative proceedings, and to federal judicial and administrative proceedings.

    (d) This part does not apply to:

    (1) Any civil or criminal proceedings to which LSC is a party.

    (2) Congressional requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents.

    (3) Consultative services and technical assistance provided by LSC in carrying out its normal program activities.

    (4) Employees serving as expert witnesses in connection with professional and consultative services as approved outside activities. In cases where employees are providing such outside services, they must state for the record that the testimony represents their own views and does not necessarily represent the official position of LSC.

    (5) Employees making appearances in their private capacity in legal or administrative proceedings that do not relate to LSC, such as cases arising out of traffic accidents, crimes, domestic relations, etc., and not involving professional and consultative services.

    (6) Any civil or criminal proceedings in State court brought on behalf of LSC.

    (7) Any criminal proceeding brought as a result of a referral for prosecution by the OIG or by any other Inspector General in connection with a case worked jointly with the OIG.

    § 1603.2 Definitions.

    (a) Certify means to authenticate official LSC documents.

    (b) Employee means current and former LSC employees, including temporary employees, OIG employees, and members of the Board of Directors and its Committees.

    (c) LSC means the Legal Services Corporation. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, LSC includes the OIG.

    (d) Testify and testimony include in-person, oral statements before a court, legislative or administrative body and statements made pursuant to depositions, interrogatories, declarations, affidavits, or other formal participation.

    § 1603.3 What is LSC's policy on presentation of testimony and production of documents?

    In any proceedings to which this part applies, no employee may provide testimony or produce documents concerning information acquired in the course of performing official duties or because of the person's official relationship with LSC unless authorized by the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel pursuant to this part based on his or her determination that compliance with the request would promote LSC's objectives.

    § 1603.4 How does a person request voluntary testimony from an employee?

    (a) All requests for testimony by an employee in his or her official capacity, except employees of OIG described in paragraph (b) of this section, and not subject to the exceptions set forth in § 1603.1(d) of this part must be in writing and addressed to the General Counsel.

    (b) All requests for testimony by an employee of the OIG must be in writing and addressed to the OIG Legal Counsel.

    (c) Requests must state the nature of the requested testimony, why the information sought is unavailable by any other means, and the reasons why the testimony would be in the interest of LSC.

    § 1603.5 How will LSC respond to a request for expert testimony from an employee?

    No employee shall serve as an expert witness in any proceeding described in § 1603.1(c) of this part or before a court or agency of the United States unless the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel authorizes the employee's participation.

    § 1603.6 How will LSC respond to a subpoena for documents?

    (a) Whenever a subpoena commanding the production of any LSC record has been served upon an employee, the employee shall refer the subpoena to the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel, as appropriate. The General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel shall determine whether the subpoena is legally sufficient, whether the subpoena was properly served, and whether the issuing court or other tribunal has jurisdiction over LSC. If the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel determines that the subpoena satisfies all three factors, LSC shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless LSC takes affirmative action to modify or quash the subpoena in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 (c).

    (b) If a subpoena commanding the production of any record served upon an employee is determined by the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel to be legally insufficient, improperly served, or from a tribunal not having jurisdiction, LSC shall deem the subpoena a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act. LSC shall handle the subpoena pursuant to the rules governing public disclosure established in 45 CFR part 1602.

    (c) If the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel denies approval to comply with a subpoena for testimony or has not acted by the return date, the employee will be directed to appear at the stated time and place, unless advised by the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel that responding to the subpoena would be inappropriate. The employee will be directed to produce a copy of these regulations and respectfully decline to testify or produce any documents on the basis of these regulations.

    § 1603.7 When will LSC certify the authenticity of records?

    Upon request, LSC will certify the authenticity of copies of records that are to be disclosed. The requesting party will be responsible for reasonable fees for copying and certification.

    § 1603.8 Does this part give individuals any rights?

    This part is intended only to provide a process for receipt and processing of private litigants' requests for LSC documents and testimony. It does not, and may not be relied upon, to create a right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against LSC.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Stefanie Davis, Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07964 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 20 [WT Docket No. 10-4; FCC 18-35] Improvement of Wireless Coverage Through the Use of Signal Boosters AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission takes further steps to expand access to signal boosters by removing the personal use restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters, thereby allowing small businesses, public safety entities, and other organizations to take advantage of the signal boosters' benefits. Specifically, whereas the existing rules restricted Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters to personal use, the Commission will now permit any subscriber—an individual or a non-individual—with a proper registration to use these boosters. This approach will have cognizable public interest benefits by permitting more entities to take advantage of the recognized benefits of Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters.

    DATES:

    Effective May 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Huetinck at [email protected], of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Mobility Division, (202) 418-7090.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Second Report and Order (Second Report and Order) in WT Docket No. 10-4, FCC 18-35, released on March 23, 2018. The complete text of the Second Report and Order, including all Appendices, is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A157, Washington, DC 20554, or by downloading the text from the Commission's website at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-18-35A1.pdf.

    Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    The Commission will send a copy of the Second Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    I. Second Report and Order

    1. The Commission's Consumer Signal Booster rules, adopted in a 2013 Report and Order (WT Docket No. 10-4) (Report and Order), 78 FR 21555, Apr. 11, 2013, appear to have achieved the Commission's goals of expanding Americans' access to well-designed boosters that do not harm wireless providers' networks. The rules adopted in the Report and Order, however, were conservatively designed and tailored to meet the needs of individual consumers. Given the record developed in the proceeding, the Commission finds that it can expand the availability of Consumer Signal Boosters without creating a risk of unacceptable interference. Accordingly, in its Second Report and Order, the Commission further expands access to signal boosters by eliminating a restriction on their use that the Commission now finds unnecessary. Specifically, based on the record before it, the Commission removes the personal use restriction on the operation of Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters so that small businesses, public safety entities, and other organizations also may take full advantage of these boosters to improve their access to quality wireless coverage. In an accompanying Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, the Commission proposes to remove the personal use restriction for Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters as well.

    2. The Commission in the Report and Order required that prior to operating a Consumer Signal Booster, the subscriber, inter alia, must (1) obtain the consent of the licensee providing service to the subscriber, and (2) register the booster with the licensee providing service to the subscriber. These requirements help ensure that wireless providers retain sufficient control over signal boosters to avoid a violation of Section 310(d) of the Communications Act and are key components to the success of the Consumer Signal Booster regulatory regime. Coupled with § 20.21(e)'s Network Protection Standard (NPS), these requirements have ensured that signal boosters are effective at improving signal coverage without causing harmful interference to wireless networks.

    3. The Commission originally included the personal use restriction on Consumer Signal Booster operation and use in the expectation that it would help support a streamlined process for meeting the consent and registration requirements. In particular, by restricting operation to the subscriber's personal use, the Commission ensured that consumers need only obtain consent from and register their devices with the wireless provider to which they subscribe. For example, if a subscriber plans to use his booster with only his own provider for his own personal use, he would need only register with that provider. Or, if he and a housemate plan to use the same booster with two different wireless providers (his provider and the housemate's different provider), each would need to register with his own provider.

    4. In a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released on September 23, 2014 (WT Docket No. 10-4) (Further NPRM), 79 FR 70837, Nov. 28, 2014, the Commission explained that, because a Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster operates only on a single wireless provider's spectrum, once the subscriber has obtained provider consent to use the signal booster, any transmission from the signal booster would be authorized. The Commission therefore questioned whether the personal use restriction remains necessary for Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters. The Further NPRM specifically asked whether the Commission should eliminate the personal use restriction for Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters, and it sought comment on several related questions. Commenters responding to the Further NPRM overwhelmingly supported elimination of the personal use restriction for Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters.

    5. As described below, the Commission finds that the personal use restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters is unnecessary and that removing it is in the public interest. The Commission therefore amends § 20.21 to remove this restriction. The action the Commission takes will expand access to signal boosters for small businesses, public safety entities using subscriber-based services in support of their operations, and other organizations, furthering the goals the Commission first set out to achieve in the Report and Order. When these rule changes take effect, once a subscriber—whether an individual or a non-individual—properly registers its Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster with its provider, anyone who subscribes to that provider also may use the device. For example, if a small business owner registers her Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster with and receives the consent of her wireless provider, any employees or customers who subscribe to that same provider would then be free to use that booster without registering. The Commission reiterates that the registering subscriber is an “operator” under its rules and as such must adhere to the requirements of its rules.

    6. In adopting this change, the Commission concludes that the personal use restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters is not needed to prevent unauthorized operation of these boosters or to ensure compliance with its signal booster rules. As stated in the Further NPRM and explained above, the fact that a subscriber must register his Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster with his provider renders the personal use restriction unnecessarily restrictive. As Nextivity points out, “[a]s required by the Commission's rules and implemented in the equipment certification process, Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters can only be used with an appropriate carrier registration and therefore the carrier always retains control over the Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster. . . . In no instance can a Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster be used to operate on spectrum without the carrier's consent.”

    7. In addition to concluding that the personal use restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters is unnecessary, the Commission also finds that modifying its rules as described in its Second Report and Order will affirmatively further the public interest. As T-Mobile explains, “[t]here are numerous practical considerations that favor the use of a provider-specific consumer booster in a non-personal use setting. For example, a small business may need to install a booster to improve signal strength within its office.” The inclusion of the personal use restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters, however, prevents such use and blocks whole segments of the public—e.g., small businesses, institutions of higher education, office parks, factories, warehouses, and government buildings—from taking advantage of the boosters' benefits. As T-Mobile also notes, “[t]he only options available to such [small businesses and others] would be to deploy an industrial signal booster, switch carriers, or continue to endure indoor coverage issues.” The Commission also agrees with Nextivity that retaining the restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters “denies a significant segment of the American business sector from fully participating in the nation's wireless transformation. Further, the prohibition disproportionality penalizes small business users in rural and edge areas and dense indoor urban environments where wireless coverage often is especially challenged.”

    8. Accordingly, based on the record before it, the Commission eliminates the personal use restriction on Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters. Not only is this restriction unnecessary, but its removal will have cognizable public interest benefits by permitting more entities to take advantage of the recognized benefits of Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters.

    II. Procedural Matters A. Paperwork Reduction Act Certification

    9. The Second Report and Order does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, the Second Report and Order does not contain any new or modified information collection burdens for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4). The Final Regulatory Flexibility Certification (FRFC) is in Appendix C of the Second Report and Order.

    B. Congressional Review Act

    10. The Commission will send a copy of the Second Report and Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Second Report and Order, including the FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA (5 U.S.C. 603(a)).

    C. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    11. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice and comment rulemakings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” Accordingly, the Commission has prepared a FRFC, set forth in Appendix C of the Second Report and Order, concerning the possible impact of the rule changes.

    D. Ex Parte Presentations

    12. This proceeding shall continue to be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

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

    III. Ordering Clauses

    14. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to Sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 7, 301, 302, and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 157, 301, 302, and 303, that the Second Report and Order in WT Docket No. 10-4 is adopted.

    15. It is further ordered that part 20 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR part 20, is amended as specified in Appendix A of the Second Report and Order.

    16. It is further ordered that the adopted rules will become effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    17. It is further ordered that, pursuant to Section 801(a)(1)(A) of the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), the Commission shall send a copy of the Second Report and Order to Congress and to the Government Accountability Office.

    18. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Second Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 20

    Communications common carriers, Communications equipment, Radio.

    Federal Communications Commission. Katura Jackson, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 20 as follows:

    PART 20—COMMERCIAL MOBILE SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a) 154(i), 157, 160, 201, 214, 222, 251(e), 301, 302, 303, 303(b), 303(r), 307, 307(a), 309, 309(j)(3), 316, 316(a), 332, 610, 615, 615a, 615b, 615c, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 20.3 by revising the definition of Consumer Signal Booster to read as follows:
    § 20.3 Definitions.

    Consumer Signal Booster. A bi-directional signal booster that is marketed and sold for use without modification.

    3. Amend § 20.21 by: a. Revising paragraph (a) introductory text; b. Removing “and” from the end of paragraph (a)(5); c. Removing the period at the end of paragraph (a)(6) and adding “; and” in its place; d. Adding paragraph (a)(7); and e. Revising paragraph (g).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 20.21 Signal boosters.

    (a) Operation of Consumer Signal Boosters. A subscriber in good standing of a commercial mobile radio service system may operate a Consumer Signal Booster under the authorization held by the licensee providing service to the subscriber provided that the subscriber complies with paragraphs (a)(1) through (7) of this section. Failure to comply with all applicable rules in this section and all applicable technical rules for the frequency band(s) of operation voids the authority to operate the Consumer Signal Booster.

    (7) If operating a Wideband Consumer Signal Booster, the subscriber operates it only for personal use.

    (g) Marketing and sale of signal boosters. Except as provided in § 2.803 of this chapter, no person, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may market (as defined in § 2.803 of this chapter) any Consumer Signal Booster that does not comply with the requirements of this section to any person in the United States or to any person intending to operate the Consumer Signal Booster within the United States. Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters may only be sold to members of the general public for their personal use.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08031 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards CFR Correction In Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 400 to 571, revised as of October 1, 2017, on page 982, in § 571.217, the first Figure 3D is removed, and on page 983, Figure 4 is reinstated to read as follows:
    § 571.217 Standard No. 217; Bus emergency exits and window retention and release. BILLING CODE 1301-00-D ER18AP18.004
    [FR Doc. 2018-08196 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-C
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138; FXES11130900000 178 FF09E42000] RIN 1018-BB91 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are removing the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to recovery. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats to this subspecies have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the subspecies has recovered and no longer meets the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act.

    DATES:

    The rule is effective May 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of documents: This final rule and supporting documents, including the Species Status Assessment (SSA) are available on http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138. In addition, the supporting file for this final rule will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours, at the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021; by telephone (602-242-0210); or by facsimile (602-242-2513). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species Act, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), a species may be added to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Adding a species to (“listing”) or removing a species from these Lists (“delisting”) can only be accomplished by issuing a rule.

    What this document does. This rule makes final the removal of the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    The basis for our action. Under the ESA, we can determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We may delist a species if the best available scientific and commercial data indicate that the species is neither endangered or threatened. We have determined that the lesser-long nosed bat has recovered and no longer meets the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act.

    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments on both the SSA and the proposed delisting rule from independent specialists to ensure that this rule is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We also considered all comments and information received during the comment period.

    Previous Federal Actions

    In carrying out our responsibility to enforce the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA or Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), maintain the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. On September 30, 1988, we published a final rule in the Federal Register (53 FR 38456) to add the Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) and Sanborn's long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris sanborni (=L. yerbabuenae)) as endangered species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). That rule became effective on October 31, 1988. In 1993, we amended the List by revising the entry for the Sanborn's long-nosed bat to “Bat, lesser (=Sanborn's) long-nosed” with the scientific name “Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae.” We issued a recovery plan for the lesser long-nosed bat on March 4, 1997.

    In 2001, we revised the entry for the lesser long-nosed bat to remove the synonym of “Sanborn's”; consequently, the listing reads, “Bat, lesser long-nosed” and retains the scientific name “Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae.” Cole and Wilson (2006) recommended that L. c. yerbabuenae be recognized as Leptonycteris yerbabuenae. Additionally, Wilson and Reeder's (2005) “Mammal Species of the World (Third Edition), an accepted standard for mammalian taxonomy, also indicates that L. yerbabuenae is a species distinct from L. curasoae. Currently, the most accepted and currently used classification for the lesser long-nosed bat is L. yerbabuenae; however, the Service continues to classify the listed entity as Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae. On August 30, 2007, we completed a 5-year review, in which we recommended reclassifying the species from endangered to threatened status (i.e., “downlisting”) under the Act (Service 2007; available online at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm). We recommended, as part of the status review, that the Service recognize and change the taxonomic nomenclature for the lesser long-nosed bat to be consistent with the most recent classification of this species, L. yerbabuenae. However, because we are removing the lesser long-nosed bat from the List (i.e., “delisting” the species), this recommendation is moot. Please note that, throughout this rule, we continue to refer to the lesser long-nosed bat as a subspecies.

    The recommendation to downlist the species in the 5-year review was made because information generated since the listing of the lesser long-nosed bat indicated that the subspecies was not in imminent danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range (higher population numbers, increased number of known roosts, reduced impacts from known threats, and improved protection status) and thus, did not meet the definition of endangered. On July 16, 2012, we received a petition from The Pacific Legal Foundation and others requesting that, among other reclassification actions, the Service downlist the lesser long-nosed bat as recommended in the 5-year review. On September 9, 2013, the Service published a 90-day petition finding under the Act stating that the petition contained substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action (i.e., downlisting) for the lesser long-nosed bat may be warranted (78 FR 55046).

    On November 28, 2014, the Service received a “60-day Notice of Intent to Bring Citizen Suit.” On November 20, 2015, the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and others filed a complaint challenging the Service's failure to complete the 12-month findings on five species, including the lesser long-nosed bat (New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01065-PJK-LF (D.N.M)). Plaintiffs asked the Court to compel the Service to make 12-month findings on the five species. The parties settled the lawsuit with the requirement that the Service submit a 12-month finding for the lesser long-nosed bat to the Office of the Federal Register for publication on or before December 30, 2016, among other obligations not related to the lesser long-nosed bat. On January 6, 2017, the Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule (82 FR 1665) and 12-month petition finding and request for comments to remove the lesser long-nosed bat from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule

    We have not made any substantive changes in this final rule based on the comments that we received during the public comment period on the January 6, 2017, proposed rule (82 FR 1665). Based on peer review, State, and public comments, we added text and information to clarify some language in the SSA and the proposed rule that has been incorporated into this final rule as discussed below in the Summary of Comments and Recommendations.

    Species Information

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, ecology, and overall viability of the lesser long-nosed bat is presented in the SSA report for the lesser long-nosed bat (Service 2017), which is available online at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm, or in person at the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES, above). The SSA report documents the results of the biological status review for the lesser long-nosed bat and provides an account of the subspecies' overall viability through forecasting of the subspecies' condition in the future (Service 2017; entire). In the SSA report, we summarize the relevant biological data and a description of past, present, and likely future stressors to the subspecies, and conduct an analysis of the viability of the subspecies. The SSA report provides the scientific basis that informs our regulatory determination regarding whether this subspecies should be listed as an endangered or a threatened species under the Act. This determination involves the application of standards within the Act, its implementing regulations, and Service policies to the scientific information and analysis in the SSA.

    The following discussion is a summary of the results and conclusions from the SSA report. The Service invited a group of experts to provide input as the draft SSA report was being developed. These experts included lesser long-nosed bat biologists, as well as experts in climate change modeling and plant phenology (the scientific study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, in relation to climatic conditions). Following development of the draft SSA, and in compliance with our policy, “Notice of Interagency Cooperative Policy for Peer Review of Endangered Species Act Activities,” which was published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited peer reviews on the draft SSA report from four objective and independent scientific experts in November 2016 and received responses from two peer reviewers.

    The lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) is one of three nectar-feeding bats in the United States; the others are the Mexican long-nosed bat (L. nivalis) and the Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana). The lesser long-nosed bat is a migratory pollinator and seed disperser that provides important ecosystem services in arid forest, desert, and grassland systems throughout its range in the United States and Mexico, contributing to healthy soils, diverse vegetation communities, and sustainable economic benefits for communities. The range of the lesser long-nosed bat extends from the southwestern United States southward through Mexico.

    Following listing of the lesser long-nosed bat, recovery activities were based on the U.S. recovery plan (Service 1997, entire) and the Program for the Conservation of Migratory Bats in Mexico, which was formed in 1994 (Bats 1995, pp. 1-6). The primary recovery actions outlined in the recovery plan were to monitor and protect known roost sites and foraging habitats. Because the lesser long-nosed bat is a colonial roosting species known to occur at a limited number of roosts across its range in Mexico and the United States (Arizona and New Mexico), impacts at roost locations could have a significant impact on the population, particularly if the impacts occur at maternity roosts. However, because approximately 60 percent (8 out of 14) of the roost locations known at the time of listing were on “protected” lands in both the United States and Mexico, the degree of threat from impacts to roost locations was determined in our SSA to be moderate. For example, as stated in the proposed rule, approximately 75 percent of this species in the United States is on federally managed lands where there are guidelines and management plans (Land and Resource Management Plans, Resource Management Plans, Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans, etc.) that include actions and measures that contribute to the protection of lesser long-nosed bats and their habitat.

    The Service's 5-year review recommended downlisting from endangered to threatened status (Service 2007; available at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm). The 5-year review, indicated that information generated since the listing of the bat indicated that it was not in imminent danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range and thus, would not meet the definition of endangered. In Mexico, the lesser long-nosed bat was removed from that nation's equivalent of the endangered species list in 2013 (SEMARNAT 2010, entire; Medellin and Knoop 2013, entire). Between 1990 and 2010, Mexican researchers carried out a wide range of studies that demonstrated that the lesser long-nosed bat was no longer in the critical condition that led it to be listed as in danger of extinction in Mexico. Specifically, the evaluation to delist in Mexico showed (1) the distribution of lesser long-nosed bats is extensive within Mexico, covering more than 40 percent of the country; (2) the extent and condition of lesser long-nosed bat habitat is only moderately limiting and this species has demonstrated that it is adaptable to varying environmental conditions; (3) the species does not exhibit any particular characteristics that make it especially vulnerable; and (4) the extent of human impacts is average and increased education, outreach, and research have reduced the occurrence of human impacts and disturbance.

    Subspecies Description and Needs

    The lesser long-nosed bat is a migratory bat characterized by a resident subpopulation that remains year round in southern Mexico to mate and give birth, and a migratory subpopulation that winters and mates in central and southern Mexico, but that migrates north in the spring to give birth in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States (Arizona). This migratory subpopulation then obtains the necessary resources in Arizona and New Mexico to be able to migrate south in the fall back to central and southern Mexico. The lesser long-nosed bat is a nectar, pollen, and fruit-eating bat that depends on a variety of flowering plants as food resources. These plants include columnar cacti, agaves, and a variety of flowering deciduous trees. The lesser long-nosed bat is a colonial roosting species that roosts in groups ranging from a few hundred to over 100,000. Roost sites are primarily caves, mines, and large crevices with appropriate temperatures and humidity; reduced access to predators; free of disease-causing organisms (fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, etc.); limited human disturbance; structural integrity; in a diversity of locations to provide for maternity, mating, migration, and transition roost sites.

    The primary life-history needs of this subspecies include appropriate and adequately distributed roosting sites; adequate forage resources for life-history events such as mating and birthing; and adequate roosting and forage resources in an appropriate configuration (a “nectar trail”) to complete migration between southern Mexico and northern Mexico and the United States.

    For more information on this topic, see chapter 2 of the SSA Report (Service 2017), which is available online at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm, or in person at the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES, above).

    Current Conditions

    For the last 20 years, following the completion of the lesser long-nosed bat recovery plan, there has been a steadily increasing effort related to the conservation of this subspecies. In addition, better methods of monitoring have been developed, such as the use of infrared videography and radio telemetry. These monitoring efforts have led to an increase in the number of known roosts throughout its range, from approximately 14 known at the time of listing to approximately 75 currently known roost sites. Additionally, these monitoring efforts have led to more accurate assessments of the numbers of lesser long-nosed bats using these roosts. The 1988 listing rule emphasized low population numbers along with an apparent declining population trend. At the time of listing, 1,000 lesser long-nosed bats were estimated rangewide. Since then, we have documented increased lesser long-nosed bat numbers and positive trends (stable or increasing numbers of bats documented over the past 20 years) at most roosts. The current estimate is now more than 200,000 bats rangewide. While this may, in large part, reflect a better approach to survey and monitoring in subsequent years, it gives us better information upon which to evaluate the status of the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    A number of lesser long-nosed bat publications have population estimates that far exceed those known at the time of listing (Fleming et al. 2003; Sidner and Davis 1988). Although population estimates and roost count numbers fluctuate from year to year, the numbers of lesser long-nosed bats estimated from 2010 through 2015 in the three known maternity roosts in the United States were an average of two and a half times higher than those known in the late 1990s (Service 2017; p. 10). Furthermore, protection measures have been implemented at over half the roosts in both the United States and Mexico (approximately 40 roosts), including gating, road closures, fencing, implementation of management plans, public education, monitoring, and enforcement of access limitations. Generally, roosts on Federal lands benefit from monitoring by agency personnel and a law enforcement presence resulting in these roosts being exposed to fewer potential impacts than if the roost occurred on non-federal lands. Efforts to physically protect roosts through the use of gates or barriers have been implemented at six roost sites in Arizona. The experimental fence at one roost (a mine site) worked initially, but was subsequently vandalized resulting in roost abandonment. The fencing was repaired and there have been no subsequent breeches and the bats have recolonized the site (Service 2017; p. 11).

    In the summer of 2017, a drastic (i.e., approximately 86 percent) decline was observed in the numbers of bats at one of the key maternity sites along the U.S.-Mexico border. Additionally, a late-summer transition roost in Arizona was documented as not being occupied for the second year in a row. We do not have a complete understanding of what caused the fatality event and roost abandonment in 2017. It is likely that a mortality event at the maternity roost site in 2016 probably contributed to the decline in 2017 and the information we have indicates the observed fatalities were the result of a natural weather event. The decline could also be the result of migrating females using other roosts in the area or resource conditions in Mexico resulted in fewer bats migrating northward. We intend to work with our partners in Mexico and the United States to increase the monitoring effort at this roost. We also intend to gather information on resource conditions in both the United States and Mexico and consider roost counts at other maternity roosts in the region to gain a better understanding of the causes and implications of the events of 2016 and 2017. This maternity roost is included in our draft post-delisting monitoring plan, so we will continue to monitor and evaluate this roost for the next 15 years and implement adaptive management actions, if necessary. We evaluated lesser long-nosed bat resiliency, redundancy, and representation in the SSA over two time frames, 15 years and 50 years. Because the species' viability is evaluated by resiliency, redundancy, and representation under a 15-year time frame, we used the same timeframe in the development of thresholds for post-delisting monitoring. In addition, the 15-year is based on the history of past conservation implementation, such as identifying and monitoring roost sites; completing the processes for identifying, permitting, implementing, and monitoring roost protection measures; conducting education and outreach and seeing changes in public perceptions.

    Lesser long-nosed bat roosts have a history of numbers fluctuating from year to year. Any observed incidents of fatalities or changes in roost occupancy patterns should be considered in the context of time. There is not rigorous roost count data that can be used to statistically define the trend of the lesser long-nosed bat population throughout its range. We have count data from both the United States and Mexico that has occurred regularly over the past 20 years, including annual simultaneous counts at both maternity and late-summer transition roosts in the United States. Not all roosts are counted every year, but some are. Not all roosts are counted multiple times each year, but some are. Regardless, each known roost in the United States has some count data that has occurred over the past 20 years that has resulted in regular or periodic visits by bat biologists or land managers. These counts have shown increasing or stable numbers and roost sites that continue to provide for the life history needs of the lesser long-nose bat. When looking at the count data over time and applying our best professional judgment to this data, we have concluded that the overall lesser long-nosed bat population trend is positive. Our conservation partners in Mexico reached the same conclusion when they delisted the lesser long-nosed bat in 2013.

    The lesser long-nosed bat's conservation status in Mexico is secure enough that Mexico removed the subspecies from its endangered species list in 2013 because of the factors described above. The species has a greater distribution in Mexico than in the United States; thus much of the same reasoning for the subspecies' removal from Mexico's endangered species list applies to our reasoning to remove the lesser long-nosed bat from the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Because the lesser long-nosed bat has both resident and migratory subpopulations, all of the necessary habitat elements must be appropriately distributed across the range of this species such that roost sites, forage resources, and migration pathways are in the appropriate locations during the appropriate season. Currently, the distribution of the lesser long-nosed bat extends from southern Mexico into the southwestern United States. In Mexico, the distribution of the lesser long-nosed bat covers approximately 40 percent of the country when considering resident areas, migration pathways, and seasonally-occupied roosts within the range of this subspecies. Within both the United States and Mexico, the current distribution of the lesser long-nosed bat has not generally decreased or changed substantially over the past 20 years from that described in the Recovery Plan. An exception to this is the recent documentation of the lesser long-nosed bat range expanding northward to the Gila River in New Mexico (HEG 2015, entire). However, any given area within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat may be used in an ephemeral manner dictated by the availability of resources that can change on an annual and seasonal basis. Roost switching occurs in response to changing resources and areas that may be used during one year or season may not be used in subsequent years until resources are again adequate to support occupancy of the area. This affects if and how maternity and mating roosts, migration pathways, and transition roosts are all used during any given year or season. However, while the distribution of the lesser long-nosed bat within its range may be fluid, the overall distribution of this species has remained similar over time (Service 2017, chapters 1 through 3).

    For more information on this topic, see chapter 5 of the SSA Report (Service 2017), which is available online at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm, or in person at the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES, above).

    Recovery Planning and Recovery Criteria

    Section 4(f) of the Act directs us to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of endangered and threatened species unless we determine that such a plan will not promote the conservation of the species. Recovery plans identify site-specific management actions that will achieve recovery of the species and objective, measurable criteria that set a trigger for review of the species' status. Methods for monitoring recovery progress may also be included in recovery plans.

    Recovery plans are not regulatory documents; instead they are intended to establish goals for long-term conservation of listed species and define criteria that are designed to indicate when the threats facing a species have been removed or reduced to such an extent that the species may no longer need the protections of the Act. They also identify suites of actions that are expected to facilitate achieving this goal of recovery. While recovery plans are not regulatory, they provide guidance regarding what recovery may look like and possible paths to achieve it. However, there are many paths to accomplishing recovery of a species, and recovery may be achieved without all recovery actions being implemented or criteria being fully met. Recovery of a species is a dynamic process requiring adaptive management that may, or may not, fully follow the guidance provided in a recovery plan.

    The 1997 lesser long-nosed bat recovery plan objective is to downlist the species to threatened (Service 1997, entire). The recovery plan does not explain why delisting was not considered as the objective for the recovery plan. The existing recovery plan does not explicitly tie the recovery criteria to the five listing factors at section 4(a)(1) of the Act or contain explicit discussion of those five listing factors. The recovery plan lists four criteria that should be considered for downlisting the subspecies, which are summarized below. A detailed review of the recovery criteria for the lesser long-nosed bat is presented in the 5-year Review for the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat (Service 2007; available online at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm).

    During our development of the SSA report and 5-year review, we found that data relied upon to develop the 1988 listing rule and the recovery plan are out of date. Subsequent to the completion of the listing rule and recovery plan, considerable additional data regarding the life history and status of the lesser long-nosed bat have been gathered and, as discussed above, have documented an increase in the number of known roost sites and the number of lesser long-nosed bats occupying those roosts. During the 2007 5-year review of the status of this subspecies, it was determined that the 1997 recovery plan was outdated and did not reflect the best available information on the biology of this subspecies and its needs (Service 2007; p. 30; available online at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138 or at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Lesser.htm). As explained below, we assessed the species' viability in the SSA report (Service 2017) in making the determination of whether or not the lesser long-nosed bat has recovered as defined by the Act.

    Recovery Criterion 1 (Monitor Major Roosts for 5 Years)

    Significant efforts have been made to implement a regular schedule of monitoring at the known roost sites throughout the range of the species. Approximately six roosts were known in Arizona and New Mexico at the time of listing. Currently, we have documented approximately 50 lesser long-nosed bat roosts in Arizona and New Mexico. All 13 of the roost sites identified in the recovery plan have had some degree of monitoring over the past 20 years. In the United States, all of the six major roosts identified in the recovery plan for monitoring (Copper Mountain, Bluebird, Old Mammon, Patagonia Bat Cave, State of Texas, and Hilltop) have been monitored since 2001. Additionally, we now consider almost all of the approximately 50 known roosts in the United States to be major roosts, meaning they host more than 1,000 bats. None of the New Mexico roosts were identified for monitoring in the recovery plan, but these roosts have been monitored sporadically since the completion of the recovery plan (Service 2007; pp. 6-9). The seven roost sites in Mexico have been regularly monitored since the development of the recovery plan (Medellín and Torres 2013, pp. 11-13). Therefore, this recovery criterion has been satisfied. For more information, see chapter 2 of the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    Recovery Criterion 2 (Roost Numbers Stable or Increasing)

    Nearly all of the lesser long-nosed bat experts and researchers who provided input to the 5-year review and SSA indicated that they observed that the number of lesser long-nosed bats at most of the roost sites in both the United States and Mexico is stable or increasing (see chapter 2 of the SSA Report (Service 2017). The lesser long-nosed bat's conservation status in Mexico has been determined to be secure enough that Mexico removed the subspecies from its endangered species list in 2013 based on the factors discussed above. With a documented increase from an estimated 1,000 lesser long-nosed bats rangewide at the time of listing to more than 200,000 currently documented, the total number of bats documented at this time is many times greater than those numbers upon which the listing of this species relied. Therefore, this criterion has been met.

    Recovery Criterion 3 (Protect Roost and Forage Plant Habitats)

    The lesser long-nosed bat population is fluid and constantly adapts to changing environmental conditions over a large, bi-national range. Lesser long-nosed bat roost sites are discrete and consistent, but the lesser long-nosed bat may use these roost sites in a changing and adaptable manner to take advantage of ephemeral and constantly changing forage resources with both seasonal and annual differences of occurrence. Therefore, observations of occupancy and numbers of bats using these roosts may not be a complete or accurate representation of the status of the subspecies across its range. However, the information regarding the status of the lesser long-nosed bat population is much more accurate and complete than it was as the time of the 1988 listing rule.

    More roost locations for lesser long-nosed bats are currently known, and are being more consistently monitored, than at the time of listing in 1988 (an increase from approximately 14 to approximately 75 currently known roosts). As we describe in more detail in Factor D below, we now know that the majority of these roost sites occur on public lands where they are protected and managed.

    In related efforts, a number of studies have been completed that provide us with better information related to the forage requirements of the lesser long-nosed bat when compared to the time of listing and recovery plan completion. We now know that lesser long-nosed bats are more adaptable to ephemeral forage resources and we know that effects from livestock grazing, prescribed burning, and harvesting by the tequila industry do not significantly affect lesser long-nosed bat forage resources.

    Some progress has been made toward protecting known lesser long-nosed bat roost sites, but the ultimate level of effectiveness of gates as a protection measure is still being evaluated and improved. Gates provide long-term protection of roost sites, but are accepted and used by different bat species to different extents. Different gates designs are currently being tested at additional lesser long-nosed bat roost sites. For more information, see chapter 4 of the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    In summary, we have considerably better data with regard to roost locations of lesser long-nosed bat compared to the information available at the time of listing and completion of the recovery plan. Because of improved information, land management agencies are doing a better job of protecting lesser long-nosed bat roost sites and foraging areas. Over the past five years, there has been considerable effort and success in understanding lesser long-nosed bat roost protection options and many roosts have had roost protection measures implemented (Service 2017, p. 56). In addition, monitoring over the past 24 years indicates steady increases in the numbers of lesser long-nosed bats at these roosts due to roost site protections (Service 2017, p. 10). Therefore, we believed this recovery criterion has been met. For more information, see chapter 2 and Conservation Efforts in the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    Recovery Criterion 4 (Status of New and Known Threats)

    This criterion relates to adequately addressing threats known at the time the 1997 recovery plan was written, as well as any new threats that have been identified subsequent to the completion of the recovery plan. Our current state of knowledge with regard to threats to this subspecies has changed since the development of the recovery plan. Threats to the lesser long-nosed bat from grazing on food plants, the tequila industry, and prescribed fire, identified in the recovery plan, are likely not as severe as once thought. Effects from illegal border activity and the associated enforcement activities are a new and continuing threat to roost sites in the border region. However, the Service and appropriate land managers have an active program of coordination and technical assistance with Customs and Border Protection that are addressing border issues. Potential effects to forage species and their phenology as a result of climate change have been identified, but are characterized by uncertainty and lack of data specifically addressing those issues. Nonetheless, lesser long-nosed bats have shown the ability to adapt to adverse forage conditions and we find that the lesser long-nosed bat is characterized by flexible and adaptive behaviors that will allow it to remain viable under changing climatic conditions.

    Some progress has been made toward protecting known lesser long-nosed bat roost sites; while the ultimate level of effectiveness of gates as a protection measure is still being evaluated and improved, they do provide long-term protection of roost sites. Gates are currently being tested at a few additional lesser long-nosed bat roost sites. Roost protection also occurs in the form of regular monitoring, fencing, road closures, and ongoing management as outlined in the land management agencies' planning documents. This recovery criterion has been met. For more information, see chapter 4 of the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for listing species, reclassifying species, or removing species from listed status. A species is an endangered or threatened species due to one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. A species may be reclassified or delisted on the same basis. Consideration of these factors was included in the SSA report in the discussion on “threats” or “risk factors,” and threats were projected into the future using scenarios to evaluate the current and future viability of the lesser long-nosed bat. The effects of conservation measures currently in place were also assessed in the SSA report as part of the current condition of the subspecies, and those effects were projected in future scenarios. The evaluation of the five factors as described in the SSA report is summarized below.

    The Service reviews the best scientific and commercial information available when conducting a threats analysis. In considering what factors may constitute a threat, we must look beyond the mere exposure of individuals of a species to the factor to determine whether the exposure causes actual impacts to the entire species. The mere identification of factors that could negatively impact a species is not sufficient to compel a finding that a currently listed species should be maintained on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We require evidence that these factors are operative threats currently acting on the species to the point that the species meets the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act.

    Factor A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

    The primary concern regarding future viability of this subspecies continues to be roost site disturbance or loss. This is primarily an issue related to human activities and destructive actions at these roost sites. In addition, the colonial roosting behavior of this subspecies, where high percentages of the population can congregate at a limited number of roost sites, increases the likelihood of significant declines or extinction if impacts at roost sites are pervasive However, as discussed above, increased lesser long-nosed bat numbers and positive trends at most roosts have reduced concerns expressed in the 1988 listing rule with regard to low population numbers and an apparent declining population trend. Agencies and conservation partners are implementing protective measures at known roosts and newly discovered roosts Outreach and education efforts have been effective in increasing the understanding of the general public, as well as conservation partners, with regard to the need to prevent disturbance at lesser long-nosed bat roosts while the bats are present (Service 2017, pp. 45-48). As discussed further in Factor D below, we have determined that roost sites have and will be protected to the extent that roost disturbance is no longer a sufficient threat to warrant protection under the Act.

    Although most data related to lesser long-nosed bat roost counts and monitoring have not been collected in a way that is statistically rigorous enough to draw statistically-valid conclusions about the trend of the population, in the professional judgment of biologists and others involved in these efforts, the total numbers of bats observed at roost sites across the range of the lesser long-nosed bat are considered stable or increasing at nearly all roost sites being monitored. With a documented increase from an estimated 1,000 lesser long-nosed bats rangewide at the time of listing to more than 200,000 currently estimated, the total number of bats currently being documented is many times greater than those numbers upon which the listing of this species relied, and while this may, in large part, reflect a better approach to survey and monitoring in subsequent years, it gives us better information upon which to evaluate the status of the lesser long-nosed bat population. This documented increase in roosts and of stable or increasing lesser long-nosed bat numbers indicates that threats to habitat have not reduced available habitat components to the point that it is significantly affecting the lesser long-nosed bat status. And, roost site protections will continue into the foreseeable future. Adequate roosts of all types (maternity, mating, transition, and migratory) currently exist and are likely to exist into the foreseeable future (Service 2017; pp. 8-14).

    Significant information regarding the relationship of lesser long-nosed bats to their forage resources has been gathered over the past decade. Because lesser long-nosed bats are highly specialized nectar-, pollen-, and fruit-eaters, they have potential to be extremely vulnerable to loss of or impacts to forage species. However, lesser long-nosed bats are also highly effective at locating food resources, and their nomadic nature allows them to adapt to local conditions. For example, the resiliency of lesser long-nosed bats became evident in 2004, when a widespread failure of saguaro and organ pipe bloom occurred. The failure was first noted in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and such a failure had not been noted in the recorded history of the Monument (Billings 2005). The failure extended from Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge on the west to Tucson on the east, and south into central Sonora, Mexico. The large-scale loss of this lesser long-nosed bat food resource was somewhat offset by the fact that small numbers of both saguaro and organ pipe flowers continued to bloom into August and September. Such a failure would have been expected to result in fewer lesser long-nosed bats using roosts in this area or reduced productivity at these roosts. However, this was not the case. Maternity roost numbers remained as high as or higher than previous years, with some 25,000 adult females counted during 2004 monitoring (Billings 2005). Ultimately, it appears lesser long-nosed bats were able to subsist and raise young in southwestern Arizona in this atypical year. Other observations over the past 20 years, including some years of significantly reduced agave availability, have indicated that the lesser long-nosed bat is more adaptable than previously believed to changing forage resource availability. This adaptability leads us to a determination that forage availability will not significantly affect the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    Additionally, the effects of livestock grazing and prescribed fire on long-nosed bat food sources are also not as significant as originally thought. For example, Widmer (2002) found that livestock were not responsible for all of the utilization of agave flower stalks in their study area. Wildlife such as javelina, white-tailed deer, and small mammals also utilized agave flower stalks as a food resource. The extent of livestock use of agave flower stalks appears to be related to standing biomass and distance from water. Further, Bowers and McLaughlin (2000) found that the proportion of agave flower stalks broken by cattle did not differ significantly between grazed and ungrazed areas. This information indicates that livestock do not have a significant effect on lesser long-nosed bat food sources, over and above the impact of native grazers.

    Thomas and Goodson (1992) and Johnson (2001, p. 37) reported 14 percent and 19 percent mortality of agaves following burns. Some agency monitoring has occurred post-fire for both wildfires and prescribed burns. This monitoring indicates that agave mortality in burned areas is generally less than 10 percent (USFS 2015, pp. 82-83; USFS 2013, pp. 10-11). Contributing to this relatively low mortality rate is the fact that most fires burn in a mosaic, where portions of the area do not burn. Impacts of fire on agave as a food source for lesser long-nosed bats may not be a significant concern for the following reasons: Fire-caused mortality of agaves appears to be low; alternative foraging areas typically occur within the foraging distance from lesser long-nosed bat roosts; and most agave concentrations occur on steep, rocky slopes with low fuel loads (Warren 1996). In addition, Johnson (2001, pp. 35-36) reported that recruitment of new agaves occurred at higher rates in burned plots than in unburned plots, indicating that there may be an increased availability over time of agaves in areas that have burned, if the return rate of fire is greater than 7 years. The effects of agave harvesting are primarily limited to bootleggers, which is likely occurring at the same levels as when the species was listed in 1988; however, this is not considered significant, because it removes a relatively limited number of lesser long-nosed bat forage plants. In addition, increased outreach and education are being provided to tequila producers in an effort to reduce the effects of agave harvesting on lesser long-nosed bats. These producers primarily farm agaves (as opposed to harvesting wild-growing agaves) and are working with our Mexican partners to leave agaves for utilization by nectar-feeding bats.

    Sufficient available forage resources are located in appropriate areas, including in proximity to maternity roosts and along the “nectar trail” used during migration. The discussion above and the SSA report detail our analysis and determination that forage resources are adequate and that the lesser long-nosed bat is likely to adapt to any changes in forage availability in the future (Service 2017; pp. 15-20).

    While not currently a threat affecting the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population, the potential for migration corridors to be truncated or interrupted is a concern. Significant gaps in the presence of important roosts and forage species along migration routes would affect the population dynamics of this subspecies. While the lesser long-nosed bat continues to be faced with loss and modification of its habitat throughout its range, primarily from urbanization and catastrophic wildfires, the habitats used by this subspecies occur over an extensive range that covers a wide diversity of vegetation and ecological communities. These are habitat characteristics that would not make this subspecies intrinsically vulnerable with regard to habitat limitations. That is to say, the wide variety of ecosystems that this subspecies uses, over a relatively expansive range, results in available areas characterized by the asynchronous flowering of forage resources making up the diet of the lesser long-nosed bat and buffers this subspecies from potential loss or reduction of habitats as a result of stochastic events, including climate change, among others.

    Lesser long-nosed bats are affected directly by development that removes important foraging habitat, but also indirectly as growing numbers of people increase the potential for roost disturbance. Impacts from urbanization on lesser long-nosed bat habitat are of concern because they tend to be permanent, long-term impacts, as opposed to the often temporary, shorter-term impacts from fire, grazing, and agave harvesting. Lesser long-nosed bats are often able to react to temporary impacts by moving to alternative sites in the short-term. Various human activities, including recreation and caving, can result in impacts to lesser long-nosed bat roosts. As discussed earlier, various land use plan and laws regulate the access to sensitive sites such as bat roosts. The implementation of these plans is not dependent on the regulatory protections of the Act. Additionally, post-delisting monitoring will provide regular assessments of lesser long-nosed bat roosts and allow us to respond with appropriate management to an indication of disturbance or vandalism. Past and ongoing outreach and education has been effective in raising public awareness related to the conservation of bats. The general public better understands the needs and benefits of bats in the environment. Continued education and understanding will help reduce the occurrence of bat roost disturbance and vandalism. Such efforts have been very effective, particularly in Mexico.

    There is no question that current population numbers of lesser long-nosed bats exceed the levels known and recorded at the time of listing in 1988. A number of publications have documented numbers of lesser long-nosed bats throughout its range that far exceed the numbers used in the listing analysis with an estimated increase from fewer than 1,000 bats to approximately 200,000 bats rangewide (Fleming et al. 2003, pp. 64-65; Sidner and Davis 1988, p. 494). Also, in general, the trend in overall numbers of lesser long-nosed bats estimated at roost sites has been stable or increasing in both the United States and Mexico (Medellín and Knoop 2013, p. 13; Service 2017). Increased roost occupancy and the positive trend in numbers of lesser long-nosed bats occupying these roosts appear to be supported by adequate forage resources. The adaptability of the lesser long-nosed bat to changing forage conditions seems to allow the lesser long-nosed bat to sustain a positive population status under current environmental conditions.

    While some threats are ongoing with regard to lesser long-nosed bat habitat, in general, we find that threats to this species' habitat have been reduced or are being addressed in such a way that lesser long-nosed bat habitat is being enhanced and protected at a level that has increased since the 1988 listing of this species. In particular, areas that were vulnerable to threats have been protected or are now managed such that those threats have been reduced. Outreach and education have increased the understanding of what needs to be done to protect lesser long-nosed bat habitat.

    Beyond the regulatory requirements of the Act, our conservation partners have implemented a number of past and current conservation measures that to benefit the bat (Service 2017, p. 46). The Blue Bird Mine on Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge was fenced in 2004 to protect a known lesser long-nosed bat maternity roost. Bats reoccupied this abandoned roost following the installation of this protective fencing. After the fence was vandalized and subsequently abandoned by lesser long-nosed bats in 2005, the fence was repaired (McCasland 2005), and there has been no subsequent abandonment of this roost.

    Telemetry projects have identified a number of new transition roosts. Roosts on non-Federal lands support efforts to promote the conservation of the lesser long-nosed bat. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has conducted studies on seasonal movements between lesser long-nosed bat roosts in Arizona, a migratory pollinator study, and roost monitoring in the United States and Mexico, and conducts educational activities related to bats (Krebbs 2005a).

    Investigations were initiated related to the distribution and use of hummingbird feeders by lesser long-nosed bat in the Tucson area (Wolf 2006). This program has been continued and expanded through a citizen scientist program being coordinated by the Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), the Town of Marana, the University of Arizona, and a system of volunteer citizen scientists now number over 100. Information on arrival and departure dates, peak use periods, and population characteristics are being gathered to increase our understanding of lesser long-nosed bat life history.

    A mine site on the Tohono O'odham Nation that supports a lesser long-nosed bat maternity colony has been structurally stabilized to maintain roost integrity (Wolf and Dalton 2005). The exhaust fan was removed from the historical Colossal Cave maternity roost in an effort to get lesser long-nosed bat to recolonize this roost; however, so far, no lesser long-nosed bats have recolonized this cave (AGFD 2005, entire). More recently, in 2015, a gate blocking the entrance to the bat roost at Colossal Cave has been replaced by a more bat-friendly gate.

    Educational programs occur at organized events such as Southwest Wings Birding Festival. Other programs are conducted as requested, but efforts are sporadic (AGFD 2005). In Mexico, bat biologists are working with elementary schools, providing “bat-pollination” and other games for school children who previously had known little about and had little concern for bats. This educational effort has been successful in passing along this information to siblings and teachers are sharing the program (Medellín 2011; p. 9).

    The Service and other agencies and partner organizations are raising the awareness of pollinators in general, and bat pollinators specifically, through education and outreach efforts that include events across the United States and in Mexico.

    Therefore, based on the analysis completed in the SSA report (Service 2017; pp. 54-61), we have determined that threats to the habitat of this species are currently reduced and will continue to be addressed in the foreseeable future, or are not as significant as previously thought.

    Factor B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    Lesser long-nosed bats are not known to be taken for commercial purposes, and scientific collecting is not known to be a problem (Service 1988, p. 38459). Caves and mines continue to attract recreational users interested in exploring these features, but this threat has probably not increased since the listing. For example, Pima County, in southeastern Arizona, is implementing mine closures on lands that they have acquired for conservation purposes. Other land management agencies also carry out abandoned mine closures for public recreational safety purposes. A positive aspect of these mine closure processes is that most agencies and landowners now understand the value of these features to bats and other wildlife and are implementing measures to maintain those values while still addressing public health and safety concerns. The 1988 listing rule stated that bats were often killed by vandals (Service 1988, p. 38459). However, significant changes in the public perception of bats are occurring. Educational efforts are making a difference, as evidenced by decreased vandalism at roost sites, measures being including in land use planning, reduced non-target fatalities during rabies control, and public interest and ownership in bat conservation efforts such as the hummingbird feeder monitoring project.

    In both the United States and Mexico, public education, in the form of radio and television spots, and educational materials have been implemented. Agencies now receive calls for assistance in nonlethal solutions to bat issues. Often, the general public may be concerned about rabies or vampire bats, but outreach and education are improving the understanding and knowledge of bats concerning these issues. Vampire bat control is implemented in portions of the lesser long-nosed bat range in Mexico. This control is necessary because of potential impacts to humans and livestock, including the transmission of rabies. Such control can result in the indiscriminate killing of non-target bats, including lesser long-nosed bats (Johnson et al. 2014; p. 1920-1922). Because of the colonial roosting nature of lesser long-nosed bats, any roost lost or disturbed because of rabies control activities can affect the lesser long-nosed bat population. Mexico has focused efforts to reduce the mortality of non-target species in relation to vampire bat control (see chapter 4 of the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    In summary, we determine that the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat is not being significantly affected by threats from scientific research or public recreational activities.

    Factor C. Disease or Predation

    Disease does not currently appear to be a significant risk factor for the lesser long-nosed bat. Emerging disease issues, such as those associated with white-nose syndrome, may become more significant; however our current scientific assessment indicates that white-nose syndrome will not affect this non-hibernating species. Therefore, because lesser long-nosed bats do not hibernate, we do not anticipate that white-nose syndrome will be a significant risk factor for lesser long-nosed bats (see chapter 4 of the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    Predation contributes to the mortality of lesser long-nosed bats at roost sites. Likely predators include snakes, raccoons, skunks, ringtails, bobcats, coyotes, barn owls, great-horned owls, and screech owls. Specifically, barn owls have been observed preying on lesser long-nosed bats at the maternity roost at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for many years (Billings 2005; p. 11) and snakes have been observed preying on lesser long-nosed bats in Baja California Sur, Mexico (Frick 2017, pers. comm.). However, it is our professional judgement that at large aggregations, such as bat roosts, predation is an insignificant impact on the population. Therefore, we find that neither disease nor predation are currently or is likely in the future to affect the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Factor D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    The current listing of the lesser long-nosed bat in the United States and the former listing of the bat in Mexico as an endangered species have provided this species with some level of protection. Outside of laws generally protecting wildlife and their habitats, no specific laws or regulations protect this species in Mexico. As noted in Factor B above, rabies control activities have resulted in the mortality of the lesser long-nosed bats due to the lack of requirements to properly identify the target species. However, increased education and outreach is improving this situation in Mexico, and incidents of nontarget fatalities during rabies control have been reduced. In the United States, State laws and regulations provide some additional level of protection. For example, Arizona State Law in Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) Title 17 prohibits the taking of bats outside of a prescribed hunting season and, per Commission Order 14, there is no open hunting season on bats, meaning it is always illegal to take them. Provisions for special licenses to take bats and other restricted live wildlife are found in Arizona Game and Fish Commission Rule 12, Article 4 and are administered by the AGFD. However, this protection is for individual animals only, and does not apply to the loss or destruction of habitat. However, the loss and destruction of habitat has been and will be managed and adequate areas of suitable habitat remain undeveloped such that this lack of protection of habitat under State law does not result in a threat to the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    More than 75 percent of the range of this species in the United States is on federally managed lands and these federal agencies have guidelines and requirements in place to protect lesser long-nosed bats and their habitats, particularly roost sites. As described above, roosts on Federal lands benefit from monitoring by agency personnel and a law enforcement presence resulting in these roosts being exposed to fewer potential impacts than if the roosts occurred elsewhere. Gating of roosts on Federal lands is being implemented and evaluated. If the lesser long-nosed bat is delisted, protection of their roost sites and forage resources will continue on Federal lands because agency land-use plans and general management plans contain objectives to protect cave resources and restrict access to abandoned mines, both of which can be enforced by law enforcement officers. In addition, guidelines in these plans for grazing, recreation, off-road use, fire, etc., will continue to prevent or minimize impacts to lesser long-nosed bat forage resources. The Coronado National Forest's 2017 Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) includes standards and guidelines to retain and enhance areas with paniculate agaves in order to benefit the lesser long-nosed bat. The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan has identified an objective to install additional measures to protect the lesser long-nosed bat maternity roost on the refuge. The Bureau of Land Management has forage plant protections within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, including avoidance measures to protect agave and saguaros. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge protect hundreds of square miles of areas containing foraging plants for the bat within its refuge boundaries. We are currently working with the Department of Defense facilities at Fort Huachuca and Barry M. Goldwater Range to include actions in their Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans to continue with lesser long-nosed bat conservation activities. On Fort Huachuca, for example, they are implementing an Agave Management Plan that states that they will maintain a self-sustaining populations of Agave palmeri on Fort Huachuca to conserve the forage base of the lesser long-nosed bat and other species using agave.

    As described above, roosts on Federal lands benefit from monitoring by agency personnel, or access is granted for monitoring by other entities, and a law enforcement presence resulting in these roosts being exposed to fewer potential impacts than they otherwise would be. Gating of roosts on Federal lands is being implemented and evaluated and, while the best design for such gates is still being developed, these gates do provide long-term protection of the sites. Further, outreach and education, particularly with regard to pollinator conservation, has increased and human attitudes regarding bats are more positive now than in the past; and the lesser long-nosed bat has demonstrated adaptability to potential adverse environmental conditions, such as changes in plant flowering phenology (see discussion under Factor E, below).

    The Federal Cave Protection Act of 1988 prohibits persons from activities that “destroy, disturb, deface, mar, alter, remove, or harm any significant cave or alters free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of any significant cave located on Federal lands, or enters a significant cave with the intent of committing any act described . . .” Arizona statute (ARS 13-3702) makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to “deface or damage petroglyphs, pictographs, caves, or caverns.” Activities covered under ARS 13-3702 include “kill, harm, or disturb plant or animal life found in any cave or cavern, except for safety reasons.” The above laws and regulations will continue to protect lesser long-nosed bats and their habitats after delisting.

    Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    Ecosystems within the southwestern United States are thought to be particularly susceptible to climate change and variability (Strittholt et al. 2012, pp. 104-152; Munson et al. 2012, pp. 1-2; Archer and Predick 2008). Documented trends and model projections most often show changes in two variables: Temperature and precipitation. Recent warming in the southwest is among the most rapid in the nation, significantly more than the global average in some areas (Garfin et al. 2014, p. 463; Strittholt et al. 2012, pp. 104-152; Munson et al. 2012, pp. 1-2; Guido et al. 2009). Precipitation predictions have a larger degree of uncertainty than predictions for temperature, especially in the Southwest (Sheppard et al. 2002), but indicate reduced winter precipitation with more intense precipitation events (Global Climate Change 2009, pp. 129-134; Archer and Predick 2008, p. 24). Further, some models predict dramatic changes in Southwestern vegetation communities as a result of climate change (Garfin et al. 2014, p. 468; Munson et al. 2012, pp. 9-12; Archer and Predick 2008, p. 24). In the most recent assessment of climate change impacts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the IPCC indicated that there would be a decrease in the number of cold days and nights and an increase in the number of warm days and warm nights (IPCC 2014, p. 53). This may would favor frost-intolerant lesser long-nosed bat forage species like saguaro and organ pipe cacti, but may also affect the blooming phenology of those same species. They also indicted that precipitation events would likely become more intense and that we are more likely to see climate-related extremes such as heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires, etc. (IPCC 2014, p. 53).

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produced a mapping tool that allows climate change projections to be downscaled to local areas including states, counties, and watershed units. We used this National Climate Change Viewer (USGS 2016) to compare past and projected future climate conditions for Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties, Arizona. The baseline for comparison was the observed mean values from 1950 through 2005, and 30 climate models were used to project future conditions for 2050 through 2074. We selected the climate parameters of April maximum temperature and August and December mean precipitation to evaluate potential effects on lesser long-nosed bat forage resources. These particular parameters were selected from those available because they represented those most likely to impact the survival and flowering phenology of individual forage species.

    Similar to the more general climate change effects discussed above, the downscaled analysis also showed warming spring temperatures, which could result in an early blooming period for lesser long-nosed bat forage species (USGS 2016). Precipitation changes were evaluated for changes to monsoon and winter precipitation. In line with the general climate projections, changes during the evaluated time periods were greater for winter precipitation than for monsoon precipitation. Changes projected for monsoon precipitation were minimal, but projected to be reduced by approximately one inch per 100 days for winter precipitation (USGS 2016).

    The best available information indicates that ongoing climate change will probably have some effect on lesser long-nosed bat forage resources. Such effects will occur as a result of changes in the phenology (periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, in relation to climatic conditions) and distribution of lesser long-nosed bat's forage resources. How this affects the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population is not clear. There is much uncertainty and a lack of information regarding the effects of climate change and specific impacts to forage for this subspecies. The biggest effect to the lesser long-nosed bat will occur if forage availability gets out of sync along the “nectar trail” such that bats arrive at the portion of the range they need to meet life-history requirements (migration, mating, birthing) and there are inadequate forage resources to support that activity. If the timing of forage availability changes, but changes consistently in a way that maintains the nectar trail, this subspecies is expected to adapt to those timing changes as stated above (see chapter 4 of the SSA Report (Service 2017). For example, as noted earlier, the resiliency of lesser long-nosed bats became evident in 2004, when a widespread failure of saguaro and organ pipe bloom occurred and lesser long-nosed bats were still, ultimately, able to subsist and raise young in southwestern Arizona in this atypical year. It is likely they did so by feeding more heavily on agaves (evident by agave pollen found on captured lesser long-nosed bats) than they typically do (see additional discussion under Factor A above). Although we are still not sure to what extent the environmental conductions described in climate change predictions will affect lesser long-nosed bat forage resource distribution and phenology, we have documented that lesser long-nosed bats have the ability to change their foraging patterns and food sources in response to a unique situation (Billings 2005; pp. 3-4), providing evidence that this species is more resourceful and resilient than may have been previously thought. We find that the lesser long-nosed bat is characterized by flexible and adaptive behaviors that will allow it to remain viable under changing climatic conditions.

    Species Future Conditions and Viability

    We evaluated overall viability of the lesser long-nosed bat in the SSA report (Service 2017) in the context of resiliency, redundancy, and representation. Species viability, or the ability to survive long term, is related to the species' ability to withstand catastrophic population and species-level events (redundancy); the ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions (representation); and the ability to withstand disturbances of varying magnitude and duration (resiliency). The viability of this species is also dependent on the likelihood of new threats or risk factors or the continuation of existing threats now and in the future that act to reduce a species' redundancy, resiliency, and representation.

    As described in the SSA report, we evaluated the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population at two timeframes, 15 years and 50 years. The 15-year timeframe represents the time it generally takes to document the effectiveness of various research, monitoring, and management approaches that have been or are implemented related to lesser long-nosed bat conservation. Therefore, the 15-year timeframe is a reasonable period of time within which we can predict outcomes of these activities in relation to the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population. The 50-year timeframe is related primarily to the ability of various climate change models to reasonably and consistently predict or assess likely affects to lesser long-nosed bats and their forage resources. For each of these timeframes, we evaluated three future scenarios, a best-case scenario, a moderate-case scenario, and a worst-case scenario with respect to the extent and degree to which threats will affect the future viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population. We also determined how likely it would be that each of these three scenarios would actually occur. The SSA report details these scenarios and our analysis of the effects of these scenarios, over the two timeframes, on redundancy, resiliency, and representation of the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    During our decision-making process, we evaluated our level of comfort making predictions at each of the two timeframes. Ultimately, while the SSA report evaluates both timeframes, the decision-makers could not reasonably rely on predictions of the future viability of the lesser long-nosed bat out to 50 years due to the uncertainty of climate change models and the difficulty of predicting what will happen in Mexico where the majority of this species' habitat occurs, but where we have less information with regard to the threats affecting the lesser long-nosed bats. In the SSA report, all three scenarios were evaluated over both time frames (Service 2017, pp. 52-56). The evaluation results of future viability in the SSA report were identical for both timeframes (high viability), except in the worst-case scenario where, unlike the moderate- and best-case scenarios, the viability was moderate for the 15-year timeframe and low for the 50-year timeframe. For each future scenario, we describe how confident we are that that particular scenario will occur. This confidence is based on the following confidence categories: Highly likely (greater than 90 percent sure of the scenario occurring); moderately likely (70 to 90 percent sure); somewhat likely (50 to 70 percent sure); moderately unlikely (30 to 50 percent sure); unlikely (10 to 30 percent sure); and highly unlikely (less than 10 percent sure).

    The SSA report concluded that it is unlikely that the worst-case scenario will actually occur. The worst case scenario describes a drastic increase in negative public attitudes towards bats and lesser long-nosed bat conservation, a greater influence from white-nose syndrome, and the worst possible effects from climate change. Based on our experience and the past and ongoing actions of the public and the commitment of management agencies in their land-use planning documents to address lesser long-nosed bat conservation issues, both now and in the future in both the United States and Mexico, such drastic impacts are unlikely to occur (10 to 30 percent sure this scenario will occur). In fact, for the conditions outlined in the worst-case scenario, we find that certainty of the worst-case scenario occurring is closer to 10 percent than to 30 percent sure that this scenario would actually occur based on the commitment to conservation of this species and the adaptability of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Subsequent to the publication of the proposed delisting rule for the lesser long-nosed bat (82 FR 1665, January 6, 2017), we have been in communication with our public and agency conservation partners to determine the extent of their participation in the post-delisting monitoring of the lesser long-nosed bat. Conservation partners will continue to implement management plans, such as the Forest Service's LRMPs, Bureau of Land Management's Resource Management Plans, Department of Defense's Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan that will result in continued coordination and implementation of existing and future conservation actions related to the lesser long-nosed bat as appropriate and as resources are available. Such ongoing commitment to lesser long-nosed bat conservation has already been seen subsequent to the delisting of this bat in Mexico and our experience has been that it will also continue in the United States after delisting.

    Our SSA evaluated the current status of the population in relation to the population's resiliency, redundancy, and representation (Service 2017; pp. 3-4). Resiliency addresses the population's health and ability to withstand stochastic events (numbers of individuals and population trajectory). Redundancy addresses the population's ability to withstand catastrophic events (number and distribution of population segments). Representation addresses diversity within the population (genetic and habitat variation). We also evaluated future scenarios to assess the future viability of the populations in the foreseeable future. Although the worst-case scenario was evaluated in the SSA report, because we found that it was unlikely to actually occur, the focus of our consideration was on the scenarios that had the greatest likelihood of occurring, the best- and moderate-case scenarios, where redundancy, resiliency, and representation remain high regardless of the timeframe or scenario considered. Under the current condition for the lesser long-nosed bat, as well as in both the best-case (somewhat likely to occur) and moderate-case (moderately likely to occur) future scenarios, redundancy, resiliency, and representation of the lesser long-nosed bat population remain high and the viability of the subspecies is maintained (Service 2017, pp. 64-66). Current and future viability is based on the following findings of the high resiliency, redundancy, and representation. Multiple occupied roost sites occur within both the resident and migratory segments of the population. The numbers of bats at these roost sites have been characterized as stable or increasing. Lesser long-nosed bat numbers have been documented as increasing from approximately 1,000 rangewide at the time of listing to approximately 200,000 currently. This includes stable and increasing numbers of bats at all roost types—maternity, late-summer transition, and mating roosts. Redundancy is high because there are multiple roost sites of each type of roost in both the migratory and non-migratory segments of the population. Lesser long-nosed bats have shown the ability to move among roost sites based on ephemeral forage availability allowing the bats to adapt to the ever-changing availability of forage resources. Ramirez (2011, entire) investigated population structure of the lesser long-nosed bat through DNA sampling and analysis and reported that combined results indicated sampled individuals belong to single population including both the United States and Mexico. Consequently, individuals found in the northern migratory range (United States) and in Mexico should be managed as a single population. Because the lesser long-nosed bats in both the United States and Mexico are considered a single population, there is little overall genetic variation. However, because of the large range and migratory nature of this species, the lesser long-nosed bat occupies a tremendous variety of vegetation communities and habitat types. This overall high diversity of habitat provides high representation across the range (see chapter 5 of the SSA Report (Service 2017).

    The future viability of this subspecies is dependent on a number of factors. First, an adequate number of roosts in the appropriate locations is needed. As detailed in the SSA report, adequate roosts of all types (maternity, mating, transition, and migratory) currently exist and are likely to exist into the foreseeable future (Service 2017; pp. 8-14). Second, sufficient available forage resources are located in appropriate areas, including in proximity to maternity roosts and along the “nectar trail” used during migration. The discussion above and the SSA report detail our analysis and determination that forage resources are adequate and that the lesser long-nosed bat is likely to adapt to any changes in forage availability in the future (Service 2017; pp. 15-20). In addition, the SSA report analyses the contribution of current and future management of threats to the subspecies' long-term viability. The future viability of the lesser long-nosed bat will also depend on continued positive human attitudes towards the conservation of bats, implementation of conservation actions protecting roost sites and forage and migration resources, and implementation of needed research and monitoring to inform adaptive management as discussed above and in our SSA report.

    Determination

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations, 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for listing, reclassifying, or removing species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. “Species” is defined by the Act as including any species or subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct vertebrate population segment of fish or wildlife that interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). Once the “species” is determined, we then evaluate whether that species may be endangered or threatened because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. We must consider these same five factors in reclassifying or delisting a species. The Act defines an “endangered species” as a species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” and a “threatened species” as a species that is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The analysis of threats must include an evaluation of both the threats currently facing the species and the threats that are reasonably likely to affect the species in the foreseeable future. We may delist a species according to 50 CFR 424.11(d) if the best available scientific and commercial data indicate that the species is neither endangered or threatened for the following reasons: (1) The species is extinct; (2) the species has recovered and is no longer endangered or threatened; and/or (3) the original scientific data used at the time the species was classified were in error.

    Lesser Long-Nosed Bat Determination of Status Throughout All of its Range

    The total numbers of lesser long-nosed bats across its range are stable or increasing at nearly all roost sites being monitored based on the professional judgment of biologists and others involved in these efforts. While we acknowledge that the data we have does not allow us to draw statistically defensible population trend conclusions, the total number of bats currently documented is many times greater than the total number of bats documented at the time of listing in 1988. At the time of listing, fewer than 500 lesser long-nosed bats were estimated to remain in the United States; current estimates are greater than 100,000 bats. At the time of listing, the estimated rangewide population was fewer than 1,000 lesser long-nosed bats. Current range-wide estimates are approximately 200,000 lesser long-nosed bats. While this may, in large part, reflect a better approach to survey and monitoring in subsequent years, it changes our view of the danger of extinction of the species and gives us better information upon which to evaluate the status of the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    This better information is related to the species' population size, the number of roosts, and its distribution. In addition, there have been increased efforts related to habitat protection (identification of roost sites and forage resources in planning efforts, implementation of protective measures for roosts and forage resources, increased awareness of habitat needs, etc.) and additional efforts for habitat protection are planned to be implemented in the future, regardless of the listing status of this subspecies. Threats identified at the time of listing are not as significant as thought or have been addressed to such an extent that they no longer threaten the lesser long-nosed bat population, now or in the future. For example, effects to agaves, a key lesser long-nosed bat forage resource, from prescribed burning and livestock grazing is not a significant impact to lesser long-nosed bat forage availability (FWS 2016; p. 33-35). Vandalism and human disturbance has been reduced at roost sites due to actions implemented by land management and border management agencies, including the use of fencing and gates and land use planning (FWS 2016; pp. 28-32). Forage resource impacts from agave harvesting for tequila production and non-target impacts to lesser long-nosed bats from vampire bat control in Mexico have both been reduced due to ongoing outreach and education (FWS 2016, p. 32 and 38). Public support for bats has increased with ongoing education and outreach and this has resulted in the public being more supportive of actions taken to reduce threats to bats including the protection of roosts and forage resources (FWS 2016; pp. 45-46). This increased level of information related to population, roosts, and distribution, along with ongoing conservation efforts, combined with the current state of its threats, allow us to conclude that the subspecies is not in danger of extinction and is not expected to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Our thorough evaluation of the available data for occupancy, distribution, and threat factors, as well as the opinions of experts familiar with this subspecies, indicates a currently viable population status with a stable to increasing trend.

    In the case of the lesser long-nosed bat, we have determined that, while the above threats may be affecting individuals or specific sites or areas within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, they do not represent significant threats to the overall population of the lesser long-nosed bat. Therefore, after assessing the best available information, we conclude that the lesser-long nosed bat has recovered and no longer meets the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act. We conclude that the lesser long-nosed bat is not in danger of extinction throughout all of its range and we also find that the lesser long-nosed bat is not likely to be in danger of extinction throughout all of its range in the foreseeable future.

    Lesser Long-Nosed Bat Determination of Status in Significant Portion of its Range

    On July 1, 2014, we published a final policy interpreting the phrase “significant portion of its range” (SPR) (79 FR 37578) (SPR Policy). Aspects of that policy were vacated for species that occur in Arizona by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, No. CV-14-02506-TUC-RM (D. AZ. Mar. 29, 2017). Because this species occurs in Arizona, we are not relying on the portions of the SPR policy that were vacated by the court in this decision. Pursuant to the Act, a species may warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We interpret the phrase “significant portion of its range” in the Act's definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species” to provide an independent basis for listing a species in its entirety; thus there are two situations (or factual bases) under which a species would qualify for listing: A species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range; or a species may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout a significant portion of its range. If a species is in danger of extinction throughout a significant portion of its range, the species, is an “endangered species.” The same analysis applies to “threatened species.” Having determined that the lesser long-nosed bat is not endangered or threatened throughout all of its range, we next consider whether there are any significant portions of its range in which the lesser long-nosed bat is in danger of extinction or likely to become so.

    The procedure for analyzing whether any portion is a SPR is similar, regardless of the type of status determination we are making. When we conduct a SPR analysis, we first identify any portions of the species' range that warrant further consideration. The range of a species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite number of ways. However, there is no purpose in analyzing portions of the range that have no reasonable potential to be significant or in analyzing portions of the range in which there is no reasonable potential for the species to be endangered or threatened. To identify only those portions that warrant further consideration, we determine whether substantial information indicates that: (1) The portions may be “significant”; and (2) the species may be in danger of extinction there or likely to become so within the foreseeable future. Depending on the biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it might be more efficient for us to address the significance question first or the status question first. Thus, if we determine that a portion of the range is not “significant,” we do not need to determine whether the species is endangered or threatened there; if we determine that the species is not endangered or threatened in a portion of its range, we do not need to determine if that portion is “significant.” In practice, a key part of the determination that a species is in danger of extinction in a significant portion of its range is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in some way. If the threats to the species are affecting it uniformly throughout its range, no portion is likely to have a greater risk of extinction, and thus would not warrant further consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats apply only to portions of the range that clearly do not meet the biologically based definition of “significant” (i.e., the loss of that portion clearly would not be expected to increase the vulnerability to extinction of the entire species), those portions would not warrant further consideration.

    We identified portions of the lesser long-nosed bat's range that may be significant, and examined whether any threats are geographically concentrated in some way that would indicate that those portions of the range may be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. Within the current range of the lesser long-nosed bat, some distinctions can be made between Mexico and the United States, such as the presence of an international border with associated differences in laws and culture, areas of different vegetation communities, areas of different management approaches, etc. However, we have not found that any of these geographic distinctions are characterized as areas where threats are concentrated. Therefore, our analysis indicates that the species is unlikely to be in danger of extinction or to become so in the foreseeable future in any geographic region within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat. The primary driver of the status of the species continues to be roost site disturbance or loss. This and other factors affecting the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population as discussed above occur throughout the range of the bat. We have found no areas where the threats are concentrated in any geographic region. Therefore, we have not identified any portion of the range that warrants further consideration to determine whether they are a significant portion of its range.

    We also evaluated representation across the lesser long-nosed bat's range to determine if certain areas were in danger of extinction, or likely to become so, due to isolation from the larger range. Ramirez (2011, entire) investigated population structure of the lesser long-nosed bat through DNA sampling and analysis and reported that combined results indicated sampled individuals belong to single population including both the United States and Mexico. Consequently, individuals found in the northern migratory range (United States) and in Mexico should be managed as a single population. Additionally, the species' population has increased from an estimated 1,000 lesser long-nosed bats rangewide at the time of listing to over 200,000 currently.

    Our analysis indicates that there is no geographic portion of the range that is in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. Therefore, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, no portion warrants further consideration to determine whether the species may be endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its range.

    We have determined that none of the existing or potential threats cause the lesser long-nosed bat to be in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, nor is the subspecies likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We may delist a species according to 50 CFR 424.11(d) if the best available scientific and commercial data indicate that: (1) The species is extinct; (2) the species has recovered and is no longer endangered or threatened; or (3) the original scientific data used at the time the species was classified were in error. On the basis of our evaluation, we conclude that, due to recovery, the lesser long-nosed bat is not an endangered or threatened species. We therefore remove the lesser long-nosed bat from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    Effects of the Rule

    This final rule revises 50 CFR 17.11(h) by removing the lesser long-nosed bat from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act, particularly through sections 7 and 9, no longer apply to this subspecies. Federal agencies are no longer required to consult with the Service under section 7 of the Act in the event that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out may affect the lesser long-nosed bat. Because no critical habitat was ever designated for the lesser long-nosed bat, this rule would not affect 50 CFR 17.95. State laws related to the lesser long-nosed bat will remain in place. State and Federal laws related to protection of habitat for the lesser long-nosed bat, such as those addressing effects to caves and abandoned mines, as well as protected plant species such as columnar cacti and agaves, will remain in place.

    Future Conservation Measures

    Section 4(g)(1) of the Act requires the Secretary of the Interior, through the Service and in cooperation with the States, to implement a system to monitor, for not less than 5 years, all species that have been recovered and delisted. The purpose of this requirement is to develop a program that detects the failure of any delisted species to sustain populations without the protective measures provided by the Act. If, at any time during the monitoring period, data indicate that protective status under the Act should be reinstated, we can initiate listing procedures, including, if appropriate, emergency listing.

    To fulfill the post-delisting monitoring requirement, we developed a draft post-delisting monitoring plan for the lesser long-nosed bat in coordination with the State wildlife agencies from Arizona and New Mexico. We will be publishing a notice of the availability of the draft post-delisting monitoring plan for comment shortly. We will continue to coordinate with other Federal agencies, State resource agencies, interested scientific organizations, and others as appropriate to implement an effective post-delisting monitoring plan for the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule published on January 6, 2017 (82 FR 1665) in the Federal Register, we requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the proposal by March 7, 2017. We also contacted appropriate Federal and State agencies, Tribal entities, scientific experts and organizations, and other interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing.

    State and Peer Review Comments

    Section 4(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act states that the Secretary must give actual notice of a proposed regulation under section 4(a) to the State agency in each state in which the species is believed to occur, and invite the comments of such agency. Section 4(i) of the Act directs that the Secretary will submit to the State agency a written justification for his or her failure to adopt regulations consistent with the agency's comments or petition. The Service submitted the proposed regulation to both the AGFD and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMGFD). We received comments supporting the proposed rule from both agencies.

    In accordance with our peer review policy, which was published July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion on the SS) from which the proposed delisting rule was developed. Specifically, we solicited peer review from six knowledgeable, independent individuals with scientific expertise and background related to bats in general and to lesser long-nosed bats specifically. We received responses from two of the invited peer reviewers. Editorial and clarifying comments, as well as additional data and supporting citations, have been incorporated into this final delisting rule and the SSA.

    We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers and the State agencies for substantive issues and new information regarding the delisting of the lesser long-nosed bat. These comments are addressed below.

    Comment (1): Both the NMGFD and the AGFD are supportive of the proposed rule and indicated that both the proposed rule and the Service's SSA provide sufficient justification for the removal of the lesser long-nosed bat from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The AGFD reiterated supporting data and stated that they “look forward to our continued collaboration in developing an adequate post-delisting monitoring plan and implementing those techniques that ensure the status of the lesser long-nosed bat continues to improve once removed from the regulatory protections of the Endangered Species Act.” The NMGFD provided clarifying information and suggestions, which have been incorporated in the SSA and the final delisting rule.

    Our Response: We appreciate the NMGFD and the AGFD's support and continued commitment to the conservation of the lesser long-nosed bat. We also look forward to working with both of these State agencies on post-delisting monitoring and adaptive management, if necessary, of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Comment (2): The AGFD commented on the issue of substantially reduced numbers at a major lesser long-nosed bat maternity roost in 2017 and what that might mean for our proposed delisting of this species.

    Our Response: As described above, the largest known maternity roost for the lesser long-nosed bat experienced an 86 percent decline between 2016 and 2017. We do not have a complete understanding of what caused the fatality event in 2017 and what that ultimately means for the lesser long-nosed bat population. The decline was likely due to mortality, but it could be the result of migrating females using other roosts in the area or resource conditions in Mexico resulted in fewer bats migrating northward. We do not know if this decline represents a permanent loss of these bats. We will work with our partners in Mexico and the United States to increase the monitoring effort at this roost, as well as consider roost counts at other maternity roosts in the region, and gather information on resource conditions in both the United States and Mexico. This will provide information needed to better understand what the causes and implications of the events of 2016 and 2017 are and what, if any, ramifications this has on the viability of the lesser long-nosed bat population. This roost is included in our draft post-delisting monitoring plan, so we will continue to monitor and evaluate this roost for the next 15 years and implement adaptive management actions as appropriate.

    Despite this decline, significantly more lesser long-nosed bats remain than when we listed the species, and the threats are not as significant as we concluded at the time of listing. When looking at the overall data from the past 20 years and applying our best professional judgment, we find that the overall lesser long-nosed bat population trend is positive, a conclusion that our conservation partners in Mexico also relied upon when they delisted the lesser long-nosed bat in 2013. Consequently, stable and increasing numbers of lesser long-nosed bats, in conjunction with the various analyses included in our SSA have led us to conclude that the lesser long-nosed bat no longer meets the definition of threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

    Comment (3): One peer reviewer expressed concern that habitat loss and climate change could create a catastrophic effect on resource availability in the southwestern United States. The reviewer also believed that food items are lacking along the migration route in the United States. Thus, the reviewer believed that the species should not be delisted at this time.

    Our Response: We reviewed the best scientific and commercial information available when conducting the threats analysis. We acknowledge that climate change is likely to affect forage availability in the future, both in Mexico and the United States. However, we cannot predict at this time specifically how forage resources will be affected, and how lesser long-nosed bats are likely to respond to these changes. Loss of lesser long-nosed bat habitat and forage resources are a threat that does not appear to be as significant as described at the time this species was listed as an endangered species. In the SSA and this final delisting rule, we discuss the apparent flexibility and adaptability of the lesser long-nosed bat with regard to changes in forage availability. We acknowledge that the opportunity to observe this adaptability has been limited and may not represent future long-term changes in forage availability; however, it provides evidence of the ability of this species to maintain viability during local or seasonal changes in forage availability. We have determined that, while threats to forage availability may be affecting individuals or specific sites or areas within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, they do not represent significant threats to the overall population of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Overall, the threats to foraging areas have been reduced since the species was listed under the Act. Foraging habitat for the species is primarily on public lands and is managed and conserved through inclusion in resource management plans as noted in Factor D above. Thus, land use plans, State regulatory mechanisms, and ongoing conservation measures support increased conservation efforts for the lesser long-nosed bat habitat and forage resources in the United States.

    Comment (4): One peer reviewer suggested that we attempt to get better documentation related to the consistency and quality of data used to evaluate and describe the status of the lesser long-nosed bat in Mexico.

    Our Response: We are committed to ongoing communication and coordination with our Mexican conservation partners. The draft post-delisting monitoring plan includes the use of available information on the status of the lesser long-nosed bat in Mexico to ensure that we consider the entire range of the species in assessing its status absent the protections of the Act. We consider the information we used during development of the SSA and the final delisting rule related to the 2013 delisting of the lesser long-nosed bat in Mexico, in conjunction with other data from Mexico provided during our SSA process, to be the best available scientific information at this time. We will work with our partners on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to update and improve the information regarding the status of the lesser long-nosed bat in Mexico.

    Public Comments

    During the public comment period for the proposed rule, we received comments from 19 individuals or organizations. Of these, six provided substantial comments which we address below.

    Comment (6): Several commenters would support the Service in downlisting the lesser long-nosed bat to a threatened species, but do not support delisting.

    Our Response: We assessed the status of the species based on the best available scientific and commercial information, and included expert input and review. Mexico completed a similar process in 2013 where they evaluated the current status of the lesser long-nosed bat in Mexico. The result of that analysis was the removal of the lesser long-nosed bat from Mexico's version of the endangered species list. We considered that determination when evaluating the range-wide status of the lesser long-nosed bat. We analyzed the information within the SSA and determined that the lesser long-nosed bat does not meet the definition of endangered nor does it meet the definition of a threatened species, because the future scenario's analysis indicate that the lesser long-nosed bat will retain its viability into the foreseeable future due to high resiliency, redundancy, and representation. In addition, the population is stable or increasing, threats are not as significant as previously believed or have been alleviated through management, and conservation actions continue to be implemented. Therefore, the lesser long-nosed bat is not in danger of extinction now or within the foreseeable future. We have determined that the lesser-long nosed bat has recovered and no longer meets the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act.

    Comment (7): Several commenters requested that the Service explain the rationale it used to estimate the current population of the species. One commenter stated that the estimate regarding post-maternity population size in the proposed rule is not a defendable number.

    Our Response: Counts of bats at nearly every known lesser long-nosed bat roost have occurred at least to some extent over the past 20 years in both the United States and Mexico. We cannot generate statistically rigorous population numbers or trend from these counts because limited resources has meant that roost counts do not always occur annually and, with the exception of a few sites, very rarely have multiple counts per year been completed. However, these counts have generally occurred multiple times over the past 20 years and they represent information that can be used to assess the status of the population. To do this, we relied upon the professional judgement of those conducting the counts, supported by a data set that, although not statistically robust, is a long-term data set. This input has been that, in general, the trend in overall numbers has been stable or increasing in both the United States and Mexico (AGFD 2005 and 2016, entire; Medellín and Torres 2013, pp. 11-13; Buecher 2016, p. 10; Cerro 2012, p. 23). The number of lesser long-nosed bats at any given roost fluctuates considerably each year and among years making it crucial to have long-term data sets to assess the status of the lesser long-nosed bat population. We considered the overall roost counts for maternity sites and at late-summer transition roosts, understanding that there is likely some overlap between individuals within those two sets of data. We also considered count data from Mexico understanding that there is overlap of individuals within the migratory segment of the population that inhabits both the United States and Mexico. This has allowed us to estimate that the overall population is probably at least 200,000, especially considering that one maternity site has consistently been counted at over 100,000 bats annually for many years. It also allows us to support the conclusion given to us by researchers familiar with these roost sites that indicate increasing and stable populations at nearly all roost sites that are being monitored. A good example are roost sites on Fort Huachuca in the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona. Monitoring over the past 24 years indicates steady increases in the numbers of lesser long-nosed bats at these roosts. In addition, two roost sites that had been abandoned have been reoccupied (Sidner 2005; Buecher 2016; p. 17). However, we also have documented the abandonment of roost sites including roost sites in the Chiricahua and Santa Rita mountain ranges.

    We believe that we have conservatively estimated the overall lesser long-nosed bat population to be at least 200,000. The count data used in the SSA and the proposed delisting rule represent more of an index of population size and not the exact number of lesser long-nosed bats that exist within its range. Again, we acknowledged that the population numbers used in the SSA and the proposed delisting rule do not represent actual population numbers. We are required to make decisions based on the best available scientific and commercial data and have used this count data to evaluate the current status of the species. While numbers fluctuate both within and between years, the count data we used was generally gathered using a consistent approach and over a relatively long period of time such that we believe this does provide an index of population size. The total number of bats currently being documented is many times greater than those numbers upon which the listing of this species relied, and while this may, in large part, reflect a better approach to survey and monitoring in subsequent years, it gives us better information upon which to evaluate the status of the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    In addition, a documented expansion of the known range of the lesser long-nosed bat in the United States has occurred subsequent to listing. According to Bat Conservation International (lit 2017), recent reports from Dr. Keith Geluso at the University of Nebraska have identified the presence of lesser long-nosed bats near Gila, New Mexico. This is an expansion of over 100 miles north of known occurrences in Hidalgo County, NM. Additional data collected by Buecher Biological Consulting confirmed the presence of this species in the southern Big Burros Mountains at hummingbird feeders (HEG 2015, entire). These reports are approximately 100 miles north of the historic northern extent of their range in the Peloncillo and Big Hatchet Mountains.

    Comment (8): Several commenters suggested that additional evaluation and quantitative analyses of the population size and trend is needed before a determination that downlisting or delisting can be supported.

    Our Response: As stated in our response to the previous comment, we acknowledge that we do not have statistically rigorous roost count data that provides a statistically sound population estimate. Past, current, and future resources have not and are unlikely to support future roost counts at the intensity needed to provide such a population estimate. However, the count data we do have, in conjunction with the professional judgment of the biologists conducting these counts and of those involved in the management of roost sites, does provide us a picture of increased numbers and known roost sites subsequent to the listing of the lesser long-nosed bat in 1988. As stated in the proposed rule, there has been a steadily increasing effort related to the conservation of this subspecies for the last 20 years following the completion of the lesser long-nosed bat recovery plan. Better methods of monitoring have been developed. These monitoring efforts have led to an increase in the number of known roosts throughout its range. The 1988 listing rule emphasized low population numbers along with an apparent declining population trend. At this time, we have documented increased lesser long-nosed bat numbers and positive trends at most roosts sites, as well as an increased number of knowns roosts and an expansion of the range of this species in the United States.

    Much of the debate as to the legitimacy of the 1988 listing of the lesser long-nosed bat centers around the population numbers and trends recorded from roost site monitoring. At the time of listing, population numbers and trends used by the Service in determining the endangered status of the lesser long-nosed bat showed low numbers and a declining trend (Wilson 1985). Information gathered since the listing show higher population numbers and a generally stable to increasing trend (Cockrum and Petryszyn 1991, AGFD 2005, entire, AGFD 2016, entire). Further, the increasing trend in Mexico warranted and resulted in the removal of the lesser long-nosed bat from Mexico's Law for Endangered Protection in 2013.

    We anticipate that ongoing post-delisting monitoring will detect any significant changes in population health and allow for adaptive management responses, including possible re-listing, if necessary. As is the case with many listed species, we have not had, nor do we anticipate that we will have in the future, adequate resources to gather all the information we would like or feel is necessary to evaluate prior to delisting the lesser long-nosed bat. We rely on the best available scientific and commercial information. Based on this information, we have determined that the population of the lesser long-nosed bat is currently viable and will likely maintain viability into the future based on the analysis contained in our SSA and this final rule.

    Comment (9): Several commenters remarked on and requested that the Service should more rigorously consider whether roost protections are likely to be maintained post-delisting in the absence of regulatory requirements of the Act.

    Our Response: After delisting, the lesser long-nosed bat will continue to be a high priority for conservation activities due to its status in both New Mexico and Arizona's State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP). New Mexico has the species identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need. In Arizona's SWAP, the lesser long-nosed bat is named as a special status species and monitoring roosts is a proposed activity in the plan. Further, the U.S. Forest Service has the species identified as Regional Forester Sensitive, providing it with additional conservation status in all regional USFS National Environmental Policy Act analyses. These classifications and proposed conservation activities were not identified when the lesser long-nosed bat was listed in 1988.

    We acknowledge that sustaining efforts of post-delisting monitoring can be challenging and subject to competing priorities for available resources. Nonetheless, we have designed the draft post-delisting monitoring plan to be realistic given limited resources and will continue to work with our conservation partners to obtain the resources necessary to implement post-delisting monitoring. As occurred prior to delisting, we anticipate protection and conservation of the lesser long-nosed bat will continue to be implemented as the result of existing management and land use plans, as well as other State and Federal laws related to protection of bats and their habitats, including caves used as roosts. These laws and plans will continue to be implemented and used to benefit the conservation of the lesser long-nosed bat following delisting. We acknowledge that the level of support for ongoing lesser long-nosed bat conservation actions changes over time and is often focused on species listed under the Act. However, we have reached out to our Federal and non-Federal lesser long-nosed bat conservation partners as we worked to address comments on and finalize the delisting rule for the lesser long-nosed bat to assess their level of participation in future conservation actions for this species. They have indicated that they will continue to implement conservation actions as appropriate and as resources are available.

    Our discussion in Factor A above includes a number of specific examples of conservation actions that our conservation partners have and are implementing; many of which are regulatory requirements. We are confident that actions similar to those discussed above in this section will continue to benefit the conservation of lesser long-nosed bat even absent the regulatory protections of the Act as such actions have done in Mexico. Lesser long-nosed bat recovery has occurred because of the commitments of our conservation partners that have gone well beyond the requirements of the Act. The recovery of the lesser long-nosed bat is evidence of how effective species conservation can be when supported by a committed, active group of binational conservation partners.

    Comment (10): One commenter suggested that gates are ineffective in protecting lesser long-nosed bat roosts.

    Our Response: We are still developing the most appropriate gate design and implementation strategy for gates on lesser long-nosed bat roosts. Three efforts to physically protect roosts through the use of gates or barriers have been implemented (Bluebird and State of Texas). The experimental fence at the Bluebird Mine worked initially, but it was subsequently vandalized resulting in roost abandonment. The gate was repaired and there have been no subsequent breeches and the bats have recolonized the site. Gating at the State of Texas mine has had some success (the site is protected, but bat numbers have declined), but we still do not know how lesser long-nosed bats will adapt to gates over time or if gates will prove to be a viable option for lesser long-nosed bat roost protection, especially at roosts containing the largest numbers of bats. A protective gate was installed at the Cave of the Bells roost site. This site has not been occupied since gating (AGFD 2005, entire). It is not entirely clear if the gating was responsible for abandonment of this roost, but additional research has indicated that gating may be problematic for lesser long-nosed bats based on colony size and flight speeds. Bat gates are an excellent conservation tool for bat roosts, but they may not be as suitable for lesser long-nosed bats (Ludlow and Gore 2000). Further research, similar to efforts at Coronado National Memorial, is needed before the effectiveness of this tool can be determined (Bucci et al. 2003). Current efforts are underway to use the existing gate at Coronado National Memorial to determine a better gate design and configuration with regard to lesser long-nosed bats. Regardless, the gates do provide protection from disturbance and as such, benefit the long-term conservation of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Comment (11): Several commenters stated that with the on-going impact of illegal border activity occurring across the U.S.-Mexico border, abandoned mines and caves used by the bat are still at risk from disturbance.

    Our Response: Patterns of cross-border traffic are continually changing and, while the level of use in proximity to roosts may rise and fall, roost sites nonetheless occur in areas where they are vulnerable to disturbance by border traffic. In general, recent data indicates that illegal border crossings have decreased. This may indicate a current downturn in illegal border activity, but this trend may reverse at any time. The roost monitoring proposed in our draft post-delisting monitoring plan will provide regular assessments of lesser long-nosed bat roosts and allow us to respond appropriately if threats or impacts from illegal border activities become an issue.

    We have determined that, while activities associated with illegal border crossing may be affecting individuals or specific sites or areas within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, they do not represent significant threats to the overall population of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Comment (12): One commenter stated that growing human populations and increased rate of urbanization within the range of the lesser long nosed bat will increase the prevalence of vandalism at roost sites.

    Our Response: Lesser long-nosed bats can be affected directly by development which removes important foraging habitat, but also indirectly as growing numbers of people increase the potential for roost disturbance. We have specifically addressed the issue of development and urbanization in Factor A above. We have determined that, while human development and urbanization may be affecting individuals or specific sites or areas within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, they do not represent significant threats to the overall population of the lesser long-nosed bat.

    Comment (13): Several commenters suggested that the species' food resources are unstable and the species' resilience to the 2004 cactus bloom failure event was overstated.

    Our Response: We have determined that there is a lack of evidence presented within the best available scientific and commercial information that these issues are or will have population-level effects on the lesser long-nosed bat. The threat to foraging areas has been reduced since the species was listed under the Act. A key to maintaining lesser long-nosed bat population viability into the future is assuring that forage species remain present and appropriately distributed across the landscape and available for the various life history requirements of the lesser long-nosed bat. Foraging habitat for the species is primarily on public lands and is conserved through inclusion in resource management plans. These plans provide guidance and measures to ensure that forage resources such as agaves and columnar cacti remain present in the landscape. For example, we are working with The Department of Defense facility at Fort Huachuca to continue their Agave Management Plan as part of their Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan which states that it will maintain a self-sustaining populations of Agave palmeri on Fort Huachuca to conserve the forage base of the lesser long-nosed bat and other species using agave. The Coronado National Forest's 2017 LRMP includes standards and guidelines to retain and enhance areas with paniculate agaves in order to benefit the lesser long-nosed bat. The Bureau of Land Management has forage plant protections within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, including avoidance measures to protect agave and saguaros. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge protect hundreds of square miles of areas containing foraging plants for the bat within its refuge boundaries. We are confident that these efforts and protections will continue even after the lesser long-nosed bat is delisted.

    Comment (14): One commenter suggested that lesser long-nosed bats may become dependent on artificial food resources (i.e., hummingbird feeders), which may work as a temporary replacement of their natural food but are not sufficient as a sustainable food resource.

    Our Response: As stated in the SSA, one interesting aspect of the foraging behavior of lesser long-nosed bats is the fact that they readily find and use hummingbird feeders as a forage resource (Buecher and Sidner 2013, Wolf 2006, Town of Marana 2017). Some hypothesize that the year-round presence of hummingbird feeders in southern Arizona and New Mexico support lesser long-nosed bats staying later in the year in these areas, perhaps even year-round. It is possible that this extra availability of forage resources may be one factor that has led to the lesser long-nosed bat's increased stability and progress towards recovery. The increase and permanent presence of hummingbird feeders at homes in southern Arizona and New Mexico may supply a consistent forage resource for these nectar-feeding bats that allows them to use and remain in areas when natural forage resources are absent or reduced (R. Sharp, 2013 pers. comm.). Alternatively, the long-term effects of staying longer before migrating southward and the questionable nutritional value of the sugar water in the hummingbird feeders are unknown and could actually be detrimental.

    In 2006, in southern Arizona, there was a significant failure of blooming agaves. As a result, many members of the public reported that bats were using their hummingbird feeders that year. The Service, AGFD, and the Town of Marana initiated a citizen scientist program to track use of hummingbird feeders in 2007 based on Wolf (2006, entire) and, over the past approximately 10 years, the volunteer network of feeder watchers has grown to more than 100 individuals monitoring their hummingbird feeders across southern Arizona. This has resulted in a tremendous amount of data and some very interesting results.

    The existence of this ongoing study related to lesser long-nosed bat use of hummingbird feeders provides us an opportunity to continue to assess and evaluate the potential benefits and negative effects of hummingbird feeders on the landscape within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat. Currently, there is no evidence that this resource in the landscape is negatively affecting the lesser long-nosed bat population.

    Comment (15): Several commenters stated that the impacts of climate change to bat distributions are unknown at this time and that the SSA did not adequately acknowledge the threat of climate change.

    Our Response: The lesser long-nosed bat SSA incorporates the best available scientific and commercial information related on the current state of our understanding of the potential effects of climate change on the lesser long-nosed bat. We acknowledge the limitations of the currently available information related to predicting the potential impacts of climate change on the lesser long-nosed bat specifically. However, we have determined that, while climate change may be affecting individuals or specific sites or areas within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat, it does not represent a significant threat to the overall population of the lesser long-nosed bat based upon the analysis we completed in the SSA.

    We are committed to using the best available scientific and commercial information in our analysis of the current and future status of the lesser long-nosed bat. We acknowledge that ecosystems within the southwestern United States are thought to be particularly susceptible to climate change and variability (Strittholt et al. 2012, pp. 104-152; Munson et al. 2012, pp. 1-2; Archer and Predick 2008, p. 23). Documented trends and model projections most often show changes in two variables: temperature and precipitation. Recent warming in the southwest is among the most rapid in the nation, significantly more than the global average in some areas (Guido et al. 2009, pp. 3-5). Bagne and Finch (2012 and 2013; pp. 107-116; pp. 150-160) assessed the vulnerability of the lesser long-nosed bat to the effects of climate change in the areas of the Barry M. Goldwater Range (southwestern Arizona) and at Fort Huachuca (southeastern Arizona). They concluded that the lesser long-nosed bat was moderately vulnerable to declines related to global climate change. Vulnerability was increased by reliance on the quantity and timing of flowering of a limited number of plant species, while resilience is incurred by flexible migratory behaviors and the probable resilience of forage plant populations to increasing temperatures.

    They also predicted that changes in climate are expected to exacerbate current threats. One of the primary factors related to the vulnerability of this species to climate change was the adaptability of non-native grasses and the potential changes in fire regime that are expected under most climate change scenarios. However, current climate change modeling efforts do not allow us to predict what the effects of this climate change will be beyond a relatively short timeframe. We are not able to conclude what the effects of climate change will be on the lesser long-nosed bat population distribution and viability given the current level of information we have related to climate change on forage resources such as saguaros and agaves. However, we acknowledge the potential for climate change to affect lesser long-nosed bat forage availability, and we have included an assessment of this issue as part of the draft post-delisting monitoring plan. This will provide us with information to make a better informed evaluation of the potential effects of climate change on lesser long-nosed bat forage resources. Results of this monitoring will allow us to formulate potential adaptive management actions to address these effects, or consider relisting the species if necessary.

    The best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the current population condition of the lesser long-nosed bat appears to indicate that lesser long-nosed bats may be showing some resiliency with regard to fluctuating food plant flowering cycles.

    Comment (16): Several comments expressed concern with regard to current regulations and laws not adequately protecting bats and caves.

    Our Response: The Federal Cave Protection Act of 1988 prohibits persons from activities that “destroy, disturb, deface, mar, alter, remove, or harm any significant cave or alters free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of any significant cave located on Federal lands, or enters a significant cave with the intent of committing any act described . . .” Arizona Revised Statute 13-3702 makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to “deface or damage petroglyphs, pictographs, caves, or caverns.” Activities covered under ARS 13-3702 include “kill, harm, or disturb plant or animal life found in any cave or cavern, except for safety reasons.” We acknowledge that these regulations are only as effective as their enforcement, but we are confident that our Federal and State partners will enforce these regulations to the best of their ability. We are currently aware of only one site where abandonment of the roost resulted from human disturbance. This issue was addressed through fencing and human disturbance has not been an issue since the fencing was installed.

    Comment (17): Two commenters discussed the potential effects of wind energy development. One indicated that wind energy facilities were not adequately evaluated in the SSA and the proposed delisting rule.

    Our Response: We are aware of lesser long-nosed bat fatalities from wind energy development facilities in both the United States and Mexico. However, because monitoring at these sites is not comprehensive and because this is an emerging threat without much information available specifically related to lesser long-nosed bats, it is difficult to determine the actual long-term impact of wind turbines on this species. Based on existing wind energy development, there are two wind energy facilities in Arizona (producing 268 MW of power) and one wind energy facility in New Mexico (producing 1,112 MW of power) within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has identified an additional six projects under development in New Mexico; however, none of these projects are within the range of lesser long-nosed bat. The AWEA has identified no additional projects under development in Arizona within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat. Through 2050, the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Vision (2013) report, projects 5 and 15 gigawatts of wind generating capacity for Arizona and New Mexico respectively. However, based on wind resource maps from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, measured at 80 meters above ground level, wind resources are limited within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat in either State. While we do not have any specific information related to wind energy development in Mexico, short- and medium term projects indicate that the development of wind power is expected to take an increasingly important position in Mexico's energy landscape. One source predicts that wind energy development in Mexico will increase four fold from 2016 to 2020.

    The impact of wind energy development on lesser long-nosed bats is unknown and more attention must be paid to characterizing and avoiding potential impacts. Because lesser long-nosed bats are migratory, and impacts from wind energy facilities to migratory bats are well documented, the construction of new facilities should be carefully sited to avoid roosts and migratory flyways. Moreover, construction of sites within the range of the lesser long-nosed bat should be monitored and fatalities reported with adaptive management strategies in place to reduce fatalities over time.

    Required Determinations National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. Therefore, we solicited information from Native American Tribes during the comment period to determine potential effects on them or their resources that may result from the delisting of the lesser long-nosed bat, and we fully considered their comments in this final rule.

    References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rule is available on http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0138, or upon request from the Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we hereby 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.

    § 17.11 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 17.11(h) by removing the entry for “Bat, lesser long-nosed” under MAMMALS from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Dated: March 8, 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. 2018-08121 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket Nos. 120328229-4949-02 and 150121066-5717-02] RIN 0648-XG140 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; annual adjustment of Atlantic bluefin tuna Purse Seine and Reserve category quotas; inseason quota transfer from the Reserve category to the Longline category.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Purse Seine and Reserve category quotas for 2018, as it has done annually since 2015. NMFS also is transferring 44.5 metric tons (mt) of BFT quota from the Reserve category to the Longline category after considering the applicable regulatory determination criteria. NMFS has decided that the quota transferred to the Longline category will be distributed to permitted Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity, rather than to all qualified Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) shares recipients. As a result of this transfer, each associated IBQ account will receive 1,102 lb (0.5 mt) of IBQ.

    DATES:

    Effective April 13, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah McLaughlin, Tom Warren, or Brad McHale, (978) 281-9260, or Carrie Soltanoff, (301) 427-8503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006), as amended by Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014). NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota.

    Annual Adjustment of the BFT Purse Seine and Reserve Category Quotas

    In 2015, NMFS implemented a final rule that established the U.S. BFT quota and subquotas consistent with ICCAT Recommendation 14-05 (80 FR 52198, August 28, 2015). As a result, based on the currently codified U.S. quota of 1,058.79 mt (not including the 25 mt allocated by ICCAT to the United States to account for bycatch of BFT in pelagic longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area), the baseline Purse Seine, Longline, and Reserve category quotas are codified as 184.3 mt, 148.3 mt, and 24.8 mt, respectively. See § 635.27(a). For 2018 to date, NMFS has made the following inseason quota transfers: 14.3 mt from the General category December 2018 subquota period to the January 2018 subquota period (82 FR 60680, December 22, 2017) and 10 mt from the Reserve category to the General category (83 FR 9232, March 5, 2018), resulting in an adjusted 2018 Reserve category quota of 14.8 mt.

    Pursuant to § 635.27(a)(4), NMFS has determined the amount of quota available to the Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participants in 2018, based on their BFT catch (landings and dead discards) in 2017. In accordance with the regulations, NMFS makes available to each Purse Seine category participant either 100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent, or 25 percent of the individual baseline quota allocations based on the previous year's catch, as described in § 635.27(a)(4)(ii), and reallocates the remainder to the Reserve category. NMFS has calculated the amounts of quota available to the Purse Seine category participants for 2018 based on their individual catch levels in 2017 and the codified process adopted in Amendment 7. NMFS did not open the Purse Seine fishery in 2017 because there were no purse seine vessels permitted to fish for BFT and thus on catch in 2017. As a result, each Purse Seine category participant will receive 25 percent of the individual baseline quota amount, which is the required distribution even with no fishing activity under the current regulations. The individual baseline amount is 36.9 mt (184.3 mt divided by five Purse Seine category participants), 25 percent of which is 9.2 mt. Consistent with § 635.27(a)(4)(v)(C), NMFS will notify Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participants of the amount of quota available for their use this year through the IBQ electronic system established under § 635.15 and in writing.

    By summing the individual available allocations, NMFS has determined that 46.1 mt are available to the Purse Seine category for 2018. Thus, the amount of Purse Seine category quota to be reallocated to the Reserve category is 138.2 mt (184.3 mt − 46.1 mt). This reallocation results in an adjusted 2018 Reserve category quota of 153 mt (14.8 mt + 138.2 mt), before any further transfers to other categories.

    Quota Transfer

    Under § 635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota among fishing categories or subcategories after considering the 14 regulatory determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8). NMFS has considered all of these criteria, and discuss specific consideration of the criteria relevant for the quota transfer below.

    NMFS considered the catches of the Longline category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made (§ 635.27(a)(8)(ii)). As of March 31, the Longline category has landed about 28.2 mt (19 percent) of its 148.3-mt baseline quota. Thus, this is not a situation in which NMFS is transferring quota to avoid the need for closure of the whole Longline category. However, as discussed in more detail in the next section, the additional quota will be distributed to active vessels in the Longline category to help vessel owners account for BFT catch while fostering conditions in which permit holders become more willing to lease IBQ to other vessels through the IBQ system.

    Longline vessels must use IBQ to account for their incidental BFT landings and dead discards while fishing for swordfish and yellowfin tuna. In 2018, NMFS modified HMS regulations to require vessels in the pelagic longline fishery to account for bycatch of BFT using IBQ on a quarterly basis instead of on a trip-level basis (82 FR 61489, December 28, 2017). If a vessel has insufficient IBQ to account for such landings and dead discards within a quarter, it goes into “quota debt.”

    For the first fishing trip in a calendar year quarter, as defined at § 635.15(b)(3), a vessel is not allowed to fish with pelagic longline gear if it has outstanding quota debt or does not have the minimum amount of quota (i.e., 276 lb (0.125 mt) to depart on a fishing trip in the Atlantic and 551 lb (0.25 mt) to depart on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico). These minimum amounts were specified to allow the landing and accounting of one BFT, based on average fish weight for each area (e.g., 551 lb of quota would allow for the landing and accounting of one BFT in the Gulf of Mexico). Without the quota transfer, active vessels may have difficulty accounting for their BFT catch within a quarter. Transferring 44.5 mt of quota from the Reserve category would provide limited additional opportunities to harvest available swordfish and yellowfin tuna without exceeding the BFT quota available to account for incidental BFT catch during those operations. Regarding the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota (here, the Longline category) to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iii)), NMFS cannot predict if all of the 44.5 mt of quota will be used by December 31, given the highly variable nature (i.e., temporally and spatially) of incidental BFT catch. NMFS anticipates, however, that the amount of quota transferred is an amount sufficient to facilitate vessel trips within the next quarters and encourage leasing by other permit holders, without limiting NMFS' ability to meet other needs with the Reserve quota for the remainder of the year.

    NMFS also considered the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded (§ 635.27(a)(8)(iv)) and the ability to account for all 2018 landings and dead discards. A small portion of the overall commercial BFT quota has been used in 2018 to date, consistent with the amount of quota used in the early months of previous years. NMFS will need to account for all 2018 landings and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT recommendations and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that even with this transfer from the Reserve category.

    This transfer is consistent with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the Atlantic BFT quota final rule (80 FR 52198, August 28, 2015), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments (§ 635.27(a)(8)(v) and (vi)). The adjusted Longline category quota of 192.8 mt remains within the ICCAT quota. The revised Longline category quota supports the broader objectives of Amendment 7, which include reducing BFT interactions and dead discards while maintaining an economically viable swordfish and yellowfin tuna directed fishery.

    Regarding “optimizing fishing opportunity” (§ 635.27(a)(8)(x)), the ability of pelagic longline vessel owners to account for BFT with allocated quota or to lease IBQ at an affordable price is key to the success of the IBQ Program and thus to optimize fishing opportunity. An inseason transfer of quota to the Longline category would optimize fishing opportunity, contribute to full accounting for landings and dead discards, and reduce uncertainty in the fishery as a whole. Quota transferred from the Reserve category and distributed directly to active vessels should reduce situations where fishing opportunity for target species is constrained by the unavailability of quota (e.g., because of BFT quota debt or a low IBQ balance) or, in the case of vessels with recent fishing activity that are not associated with IBQ shares, by not finding affordable quota (or sufficient quota) for lease. Detailed information is discussed below showing that without this transfer of quota, some otherwise active vessels will be unable to fish because of quota debt or low balance (below the minimum amount of allocation needed to fish) at the start of the second quarter. The quota transfer will also reduce vessel owner uncertainty about whether a vessel owner will have sufficient quota to account for future BFT catch. Without this inseason quota transfer, permit holders may be unnecessarily conservative at the beginning of the year, in a way that does not optimize fishing opportunities nor encourage the appropriate functioning of the IBQ leasing program. For example, vessel owners may fear that they will not have enough IBQ to account for BFT retained or discarded dead, and thus may feel they cannot lease IBQ to other vessels. If they do lease out quota, they may set the lease prices unnecessarily high to offset their perceived risks. An inseason distribution of IBQ to active vessels will reduce the perceived risk associated with leasing a portion of their IBQ to other vessels early in the year and will reduce uncertainty in their business plans for the year.

    Regarding accounting for dead discards (§ 635.27(a)(8)(xi)) and variations in seasonal distribution or abundance, a quota transfer from the Reserve category to the Longline category would contribute to full accounting of BFT catch by vessels that accrue quota debt (i.e., reduce quota debt), enhance the likelihood that share recipients will lease IBQ to others, and reduce uncertainty in the fishery as a whole. Transferring quota relatively early in 2018 helps to address the diversity of the fishery with respect to the timing of fishing activities in different geographic areas. A quota transfer later in the year may disadvantage those fishing early in the year. In addition, the first quarter of 2018 recently ended and any vessels that have gone into debt will not be able to fish beginning April 1 until they account for quota debt and obtain the minimum amount of allocation needed to fish with pelagic longline gear. Additional inseason transfers could occur later in the year and the additional quota at the beginning of the year helps equalize the distribution among the active vessels.

    Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 44.5 mt of the adjusted Reserve category quota to the Longline category. As a result of this quota transfer, the adjusted 2018 Reserve category quota is 108.5 mt (153 mt − 44.5 mt), and the adjusted 2018 Longline category quota is 192.8 mt.

    Distribution of Transferred Quota Within the Longline Category

    After transferring additional BFT quota inseason to the Longline category, NMFS may then distribute the quota either to all qualified IBQ share recipients (i.e., share recipients who have associated their permit with a vessel) or only to permitted Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity, whether or not they are associated with IBQ shares. This decision may be based on information for the subject year and previous year, including the number of BFT landings and dead discards, the number of IBQ lease transactions, the average amount of IBQ leased, the average amount of quota debt, the annual amount of IBQ allocation, any previous inseason allocations of IBQ, the amount of BFT quota in the Reserve category, the percentage of BFT quota harvested by the other quota categories, the remaining number of days in the year, the number of active vessels fishing not associated with IBQ share, and the number of vessels that have incurred quota debt or that have low levels of IBQ allocation (§ 635.15(b)(9)). Discussion of the relevant information and justification for how NMFS is distributing the transferred quota in this action follows.

    One hundred thirty-six IBQ share recipients were designated under Amendment 7, and the baseline Longline category quota is distributed to those share recipients at the beginning of the year, regardless of their fishing activity. Other permitted Longline vessels may also fish but do not automatically receive annual IBQ allocation from shares. NMFS has examined the logbook, Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), dealer, and electronic monitoring data for 2017 and for 2018 as of March 31, and has determined that 89 vessels have recent fishing activity and that, of those, 85 were IBQ share recipients. Any vessel activity in the pelagic longline fishery during this date range is sufficient to qualify as “recent fishing activity” (§ 635.15(b)(9)).

    Preliminary data indicate that, in 2017, 58 Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels landed a total of 494 BFT (226,738 lb) and 93 BFT were discarded dead. Data from the IBQ system indicate that in 2018 through March 31, 25 Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels landed a total of 122 BFT (59,134 lb). These landings and dead discards (as well as VMS data that document BFT released alive) indicate that pelagic longline vessels have been interacting with BFT in 2017 (and early 2018). The vessels have been accounting for BFT using IBQ, as required by the regulations. It is likely that there will continue to be pelagic longline interactions with BFT and a need for vessels to account for the BFT retained and discarded dead in 2018. Distributing only to active vessels provides a focused, more efficient distribution of quota to those that need it and will help reduce uncertainty and facilitate better business decisions and a more effective leasing program for the remainder of the year. NMFS notes that this is only a small influx of quota to facilitate effective leasing and more certainty in operational decisions at the beginning of the year.

    There were 118 IBQ lease transactions in the relevant time period analyzed (85 in 2017; 33 in 2018 through March 31), with 55 distinct share recipients leasing. A total of 200,823 lb were leased (156,148 lb in 2017; 44,675 lb in 2018 through March 31). Seventeen IBQ lessors did not have recent fishing activity. Overall, the average amount of IBQ leased was 1,837 lb in 2017 with an average lease price of $1.67 per pound, and 1,354 lb in 2018 through March 31 with an average lease price of $2.84 per pound (weighted average). In discussions with vessel operators, some have indicated that the ex-vessel price of BFT was variable, and relatively low, and that they essentially made little or no money from BFT given expenses including the cost to lease IBQ. Data indicate that the ex-vessel price of BFT from pelagic longline vessels ranged from $0.01 to $35 per pound, with an average of $4.95 per pound. There were four active vessels that were not associated with IBQ shares that leased quota from share recipients in order to fish with pelagic longline gear. Fifteen distinct vessels had quota debt at any given point in 2017, with an average of 900 lb. Nine vessels had quota debt at any given point in 2018 through March 31, with an average of 1,526 lb. This price and leasing information demonstrates that the leasing market is active, vessels are paying out of pocket to obtain additional IBQ as needed, and that BFT landings are generally not profitable. It also indicates that influxes of quota inseason were helpful in facilitating the effective functioning of the IBQ Program and system. Furthermore, share recipients that are not actively fishing are earning some revenue through leasing to those vessels that are fishing (i.e., from 5 such vessels in 2015 to 17 vessels from January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018). These trends further support distribution of quota to Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity in order to facilitate accounting for BFT catch or reducing the likelihood of accrued quota debt, while helping to lower any additional cost of leasing.

    The annual amount of Longline category quota allocated in the IBQ system for 2017 was the baseline Longline category quota of 148.3 mt plus the 45-mt transfer that was effective February 28, 2017, for a total of 193.3 mt (not including the 25 mt for the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area). The annual amount of Longline category quota currently allocated in the IBQ system for 2018 is the baseline Longline category quota of 148.3 mt. NMFS has not made any inseason transfers to the Longline category thus far in 2018. As described above, the amount of quota in the Reserve category following this action's reallocation from the Purse Seine category is 153 mt. As described in the Quota Transfer section above, a small portion of the overall commercial BFT quota has been used in 2018 to date, consistent with the amount of quota used in the early months of previous years. Thus, substantial quota remains available in the Reserve category for future transfers, as appropriate.

    NMFS has determined that distribution of quota only to Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity fulfills IBQ Program objectives. Such a distribution would provide transferred quota only to the vessels that have recently fished and are therefore most likely to need quota in order to account for BFT interactions. This would include the four Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity that are not associated with IBQ shares, as well as the 85 IBQ share recipients with recent fishing activity (representing 63 percent of all IBQ share recipients). For comparison, if the 44.5 mt were distributed to all qualified IBQ share recipients, each would receive 721 lb (0.33 mt) rather than 1,102 lb (0.5 mt) to each of the 89 vessels with recent fishing activity. Some inactive share recipients participate in the IBQ Program through leasing out quota; however, a majority of inactive share recipients (36 of 51) did not lease out quota in the period analyzed. After considering this information, NMFS has decided to distribute the 44.5 mt of quota transferred from the Reserve to the Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels with recent fishing activity.

    For those vessels with recent fishing activity that are not associated with valid (i.e., unexpired) permits at the time of the quota transfer, the IBQ will be transferred, but will not be usable by the vessel owner (i.e., may not be leased or used to account for BFT) unless and until the vessel is associated with a valid permit. When a qualified IBQ share recipient with recent fishing activity receives inseason quota, the quota will be designated as either Gulf of Mexico (GOM) IBQ, Atlantic (ATL) IBQ, or both GOM and ATL IBQ, according to the share recipient's regional designations. Those vessels that are participating in the voluntary Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration Project repose period through June 30, 2018, and that have recent fishing activity, would receive a distribution of inseason quota once the repose period ends. For vessels with recent fishing activity that are not qualified IBQ share recipients, NMFS will assign the distributed quota a regional designation based on where the majority of the vessel's “recent fishing activity” occurred for the relevant period analyzed (either GOM or ATL).

    NMFS anticipates that it will announce additional BFT quota adjustments during 2018 for all quota categories, to provide reasonable fishing opportunities throughout the year. An ICCAT recommendation adopted at the annual meeting in November 2017 for western Atlantic BFT management would result in an increase to the baseline U.S. BFT quota (i.e., from 1,058.79 mt to 1,247.86 mt) and subquotas for 2018, and NMFS will undertake domestic implementation of that recommendation through rulemaking in the near future. NMFS also anticipates that some underharvest of the 2017 adjusted U.S. BFT quota will be carried forward to 2018 and placed in the Reserve category, in accordance with the regulations, also in mid-2018 (when complete 2017 catch information is available and finalized). Subsequent notices will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries, including the pelagic longline fishery, closely through the mandatory landings and catch reports. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT through the electronic BFT dealer reporting system as well as through the online IBQ system. Pelagic longline vessels are required to enter BFT dead discard information through the IBQ system and confirm the accuracy of dealer-reported data. Pelagic longline vessels are also required to report BFT catch through VMS, as well as through the online IBQ system.

    Longline category permit holders are reminded that all BFT discarded dead must be reported through VMS, and accounted for in the online IBQ system, consistent with requirements at § 635.15(a).

    If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

    Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of and an opportunity for public comment on, the transfer from the Reserve category to the Longline category for the following reasons:

    The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended, provide for inseason adjustments to quotas and other aspects of BFT fishery management, to respond to the diverse range of factors which may affect BFT fisheries, including ecological (e.g., rebuilding, or the migratory nature of HMS) and commercial (e.g., optimizing fishing opportunity, or reducing bycatch).

    NMFS has determined that adjustments to the Reserve and Longline category BFT quotas are warranted. This transfer is consistent with the current quotas, which were established and analyzed in the Atlantic BFT quota final rule (80 FR 52198, August 28, 2015), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. The adjusted Longline category quota of 192.8 mt remains within the ICCAT quota. The revised Longline category quota supports the broader objectives of Amendment 7, which include reducing BFT interactions and dead discards while maintaining an economically viable swordfish and yellowfin tuna directed fishery. Transferring quota relatively early in 2018 helps to address the diversity of the fishery with respect to the timing of fishing activities in different geographic areas. A quota transfer later in the year may disadvantage those fishing early in the year.

    Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer is impracticable. The transfer of 44.5 mt of quota from the Reserve category to the Longline category needs to happen early in the year to facilitate effective leasing and more certainty in operational decisions. NMFS only recently received updated data from the 2017 fishery, as it recently closed, and from the first couple of months of the 2018 fishery. If NMFS were to offer an opportunity for public comment, it would unnecessarily preclude fishing opportunities for some vessel operators, particularly those that fish early in the fishing season. In addition, the first quarter of 2018 has ended, and some vessels that have gone into debt or have a low balance (below the minimum amount of allocation needed to fish) are not able to fish, as of April 1, until they account for quota debt and obtain the minimum amount of allocation needed to fish with pelagic longline gear. Without this inseason quota transfer, permit holders may be unnecessarily conservative in a way that does not optimize fishing opportunities nor encourage the appropriate functioning of the IBQ leasing program, which is contrary to the public interest. As explained earlier, NMFS conducted notice-and-comment rulemaking on the underlying regulations that set forth the criteria used for this action, and therefore notice-and-comment rulemaking is not necessary for this inseason action.

    Delays in adjusting the Reserve and Longline category quotas would adversely affect those permitted Atlantic Tunas Longline vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to reduce or resolve quota debt, lease quota to other vessels, as well as delay potential beneficial effects on the ability for vessel operators to make business plans for their future. NMFS is trying to balance providing opportunity to the pelagic longline fishery, with the reduction of BFT bycatch, and delaying this action would be contrary to the public interest. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For all of the above reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.

    This action is being taken under §§ 635.15(b), 635.15(f), 635.27(a)(4) and (a)(7), 635.27(a)(8) and (9), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

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

    Dated: April 13, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08125 Filed 4-13-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170817779-8161-02] RIN 0648-XG158 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is correcting the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). The amounts of Atka mackerel specified for the Amendment 80 sector in the Central Aleutian District (CAI) and the Western Aleutian District (WAI) were incorrect.

    DATES:

    Effective April 18, 2018, through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t) December 31, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Need for Correction

    NMFS published the final 2018 and 2019 BSAI groundfish harvest specifications on February 27, 2018 (83 FR 8365). The document contains incorrect amounts of Atka mackerel specified for the Amendment 80 sector in the CAI and the WAI. These corrections are necessary to provide the correct information about the amount of Atka mackerel allocated to the Amendment 80 sector in these districts, and to avoid confusion by the fishery participants.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of February 27, 2018 (83 FR 8365) the Amendment 80 sector allocation in the CAI for 2018 and 2019 did not account for the 75 metric ton incidental catch allowance (ICA), and the Amendment 80 sector allocation in the WAI for 2018 and 2019 did not account for the 20 metric ton ICA. Therefore, Table 6 and Table 7 of the final 2018 and 2019 BSAI groundfish harvest specifications are republished as follows:

    Table 6—Final 2018 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and Amendment 80 Allocations of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 2018 Allocation by area Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 5 Western Aleutian District TAC n/a 36,500 21,000 13,500 CDQ reserve Total 3,906 2,247 1,445 A 1,953 1,124 722 Critical Habitat n/a 674 433 B 1,953 1,124 722 Critical Habitat n/a 674 433 Non-CDQ TAC n/a 32,595 18,753 12,056 ICA Total 800 75 20 Jig 6 Total 159 0 0 BSAI trawl limited access Total 3,164 1,868 0 A 1,582 934 0 Critical Habitat n/a 560 0 B 1,582 934 0 Critical Habitat n/a 560 0 Amendment 80 sector Total 28,472 16,810 12,036 A 14,236 8,405 6,018 Critical Habitat n/a 5,043 3,611 B 14,236 8,405 6,018 Critical Habitat n/a 5,043 3,611 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS set the amount of this allocation for 2018 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Table 7—Final 2019 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and Amendment 80 Allocation of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 2019 Allocation by area Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 5 Western Aleutian District 5 TAC n/a 33,780 24,895 13,825 CDQ reserve Total 3,614 2,664 1,479 A 1,807 1,332 740 Critical Habitat n/a 799 444 B 1,807 1,332 740 Critical Habitat n/a 799 444 non-CDQ TAC n/a 30,166 22,231 12,346 ICA Total 800 75 20 Jig 6 Total 147 0 0 BSAI trawl limited access Total 2,922 2,216 0 A 1,461 1,108 0 Critical Habitat n/a 665 0 B 1,461 1,108 0 Critical Habitat n/a 665 0 Amendment 80 sectors7 Total 26,297 19,941 12,326 A 13,148 9,970 6,163 Critical Habitat n/a 5,982 3,698 B 13,148 9,970 6,163 Critical Habitat n/a 5,982 3,698 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20 (a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS set the amount of this allocation for 2019 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. 7 The 2019 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2018. NMFS will post 2019 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in December 2018. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This action corrects errors made in the allocations to the Amendment 80 sector of Atka mackerel in the CAI and WAI districts of the BSAI. This correction does not change operating practices in the fisheries. Corrections should be made as soon as possible to avoid confusion for participants in the fisheries.

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 13, 2018. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08123 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    83 75 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Proposed Rules FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 410 RIN 3084-AB44 Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) seeks comment on the proposed repeal of its Trade Regulation Rule Concerning the Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets (“Picture Tube Rule” or “Rule”). This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPR”) provides background on the Picture Tube Rule and this proceeding, discusses public comments received by the Commission in response to its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”), and solicits further comment on the proposed repeal of the Rule.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before May 14, 2018. Parties interested in an opportunity to present views orally should submit a written request to do so as explained below, and such requests must be received on or before May 14, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by following the instructions in the Request for Comments part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Picture Tube Rule (No. P174200)” on your comment and file your comment online at is https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/picturetuberule by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610, Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610, Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Andrew Singer, Attorney, (202) 326-3234, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission finds that using expedited procedures in this rulemaking will serve the public interest. Specifically, such procedures support the Commission's goals of clarifying, updating, or repealing existing regulations without undue expenditure of resources, while ensuring that the public has an opportunity to submit data, views, and arguments on whether the Commission should amend or repeal the Rule. Because written comments should adequately present the views of all interested parties, the Commission is not scheduling a public hearing or roundtable. However, if any person would like to present views orally, he or she should follow the procedures set forth in the DATES, ADDRESSES, and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION sections of this document. Pursuant to 16 CFR 1.20, the Commission will use the procedures set forth in this document, including: (1) Publishing this NPR; (2) soliciting written comments on the Commission's proposal to repeal the Rule; (3) holding an informal hearing, if requested by interested parties; (4) obtaining a final recommendation from staff; and (5) announcing final Commission action in a document published in the Federal Register. Any motions or petitions in connection with this proceeding must be filed with the Secretary of the Commission.

    I. Background

    The Commission promulgated the Picture Tube Rule in 1966 1 to prevent deceptive claims regarding the size of television screens and to encourage uniformity and accuracy in marketing. When the Commission adopted the Rule, it expressed concern about consumer confusion regarding whether a television's advertised dimension represented the actual viewable area of the convex-curved cathode ray tube or included the viewable area of the picture tube plus non-viewable portions of the tube, such as those behind a casing. In addition, the Commission concluded that most consumers thought of the sizes of rectangular shaped objects, like television screens, in terms of their length or width, not their diagonal dimension.2

    1 31 FR 3342 (Mar. 3, 1966).

    2Id.

    Based on these facts, the Rule sets forth the means to non-deceptively advertise the dimensions of television screens.3 Specifically, marketers must base any representation of screen size on the horizontal dimension of the actual, viewable picture area unless they disclose the alternative method of measurement (such as the diagonal dimension) clearly, conspicuously, and in close connection and conjunction to the size designation.4 The Rule also directs marketers to base the measurement on a single plane, without taking into account any screen curvature,5 and includes examples of both proper and improper size representations.6

    3 16 CFR 410.1.

    4 The Rule provides that “any referenced or footnote disclosure of the manner of measurement by means of the asterisk or some similar symbol does not satisfy the `close connection and conjunction' requirement of this part.” Id., Note 2.

    5Id., Note 1.

    6Id., Note 2.

    II. Regulatory Review

    The Commission reviews its rules and guides periodically to seek information about their costs and benefits, regulatory and economic impact, and general effectiveness in protecting consumers and helping industry avoid deceptive claims. These reviews assist the Commission in identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or repeal. The Commission last reviewed the Rule in 2006, leaving it unchanged.7

    7 71 FR 34247 (Jun. 14, 2006).

    In its 2017 ANPR initiating the review of the Rule, the Commission solicited comment on, among other things: The economic impact of and the continuing need for the Rule; the Rule's benefits to consumers; and the burdens it places on industry, including small businesses.8 The Commission further solicited comment, and invited the submission of data, regarding how consumers understand dimension claims for television screens, including: Whether consumers understand the stated dimensions; whether the dimensions are limited to the screen's viewable portion; and whether the dimensions are based on a single-plane measurement that does not include curvature in the screen. The Commission also solicited input on whether advances in broadcasting and television technology, such as the introduction of curved screen display panels and changing aspect ratios (e.g., from the traditional 4:3 to 16:9), create a need to modify the Rule. Finally, the Commission requested comment regarding whether the Rule should address viewable screen size measurement reporting tolerances and rounding.9

    8 82 FR 29256 (Jun. 28, 2017).

    9Id. at 29257-58.

    The Commission received two comments in response,10 both urging the Commission to repeal the Rule. In this NPR, the Commission discusses those comments and proposes repealing the Rule.

    10 The comments are located at: https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/2017/07/initiative-707. Jonathan Applebaum (#3) and Consumer Technology Association (“CTA”) (#4) submitted comments.

    III. Issues Raised by Commenters to the ANPR

    Both commenters characterized the Rule as an unnecessary relic from when televisions used curved cathode ray tubes and asserted the Rule is no longer needed to prevent consumer deception about television screen sizes.

    An individual consumer, Jonathan Applebaum, stated that, unlike 50 years ago, comparative information about televisions, including screen size, is now widely available to consumers on the internet and by visiting retail showrooms. He also stated that, due to advances in technology, overall picture quality, not screen size, drives consumers' purchasing decisions. Specifically, in addition to screen size, consumers consider pixels, aspect ratios, screen material, backlighting, contrast, and refresh rate. He also noted that since the Commission introduced the Rule, many different devices, such as computer monitors and cellphones, are capable of receiving programming once only available on televisions. To include these types of devices in the scope of the Rule would require the Commission to expand its coverage significantly. However, he urged the Commission not to do so because the relevant information already is readily available in the marketplace.

    A trade association representing the U.S. consumer technology industry, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), commented that when the Commission adopted the Rule in 1966, televisions used curved cathode ray tubes, and manufacturers often placed portions of screens behind casings. Now, however, televisions with fully viewable, single plane, flat screens have become “ubiquitous.” 11 CTA further stated diagonal measurement is now the marketplace standard, with consumers expecting a screen's diagonal measurement to be the size advertised.12 Therefore, CTA asserted there is no evidence that repealing the Rule would change this universal practice. Nor is there any basis to conclude that consumers expect any representation of screen size other than the diagonal measurement.13 CTA concluded that even the modest cost to the industry for complying with the Rule does not justify its retention.14

    11 CTA at 5-6. CTA asserts that only a “tiny percentage” of televisions sold today in the United States have curved screens. Id. at 9. According to CTA, modern curved screen televisions have concave screens (as opposed to the convex curvature for cathode ray tube screens), and a single-plane measurement of a concave screen actually understates the viewable picture size. CTA therefore asserts that the small number of curved screen televisions in the marketplace and the consistent understatement of a concave screen's size mean that these types of screens do not warrant any special treatment. Id.

    12Id. at 4-5, 7.

    13Id. at 7-8.

    14Id. at 8.

    Alternatively, if the Commission were to retain the Rule, CTA urged the Commission not to modify it or expand its coverage. Since marketers of devices such as computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones already represent viewing screen size based on the screen's diagonal measurement, CTA asserted that no consumer benefit would accrue from expanding the Rule to include such devices. Nor would there be any consumer benefit from modifying the Rule to make a screen's diagonal measurement the default measurement since it is already the marketplace standard.15 CTA also stated the Rule should not address television screen aspect ratios because changing ratios do not affect how manufacturers take the diagonal measurement of a television screen.16

    15Id. at 8-9.

    16Id. at 9-10.

    IV. Staff Observations

    Commission staff visited retail stores, reviewed newspaper circulars, and surfed websites offering televisions for sale. Staff observed that virtually every television had a flat screen and that the entire screen was visible. Staff further observed that marketers advertised the size of every television screen, as well as the viewing screens for devices such as computer monitors, tablets, and cellphones, using a diagonal measurement.

    V. Basis for Proposed Repeal of the Rule

    Section 18 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57a, authorizes the Commission to promulgate, amend, and repeal trade regulation rules that define with specificity acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive in or affecting commerce within the meaning of section 5(a)(1) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1). The Commission regularly reviews its rules to ensure they are up-to-date, effective, and not overly burdensome, and has repealed a number of trade regulation rules after finding they were no longer necessary to protect consumers.17 Comments in the record and staff's observations suggest that current conditions support repealing the Rule. Specifically, as explained in detail below: (1) The Rule has not kept up with changes in the marketplace; (2) mandatory screen measurement instructions are no longer necessary to prevent consumer deception; and (3) manufacturers are not making deceptive screen size claims, which is consistent with the fact that the Commission has not brought any enforcement actions against marketers making such claims in more than 50 years.

    17See, e.g., 16 CFR part 419 (games of chance) (61 FR 68143 (Dec. 27, 1996)) (rule outdated; violations largely non-existent; and rule has adverse business impact); 16 CFR part 406 (used lubricating oil) (61 FR 55095 (Oct. 24, 1996)) (rule no longer necessary, and repeal will eliminate unnecessary duplication); 16 CFR part 405 (leather content of belts) (61 FR 25560 (May 22, 1996)) (rule unnecessary and duplicative; rule's objective can be addressed through guidance and case-by-case enforcement); and 16 CFR part 402 (binoculars) (60 FR 65529 (Dec. 20, 1995)) (technological improvements render rule obsolete).

    A. The Rule Has Not Kept Up With Changes in the Marketplace

    Since the Commission adopted the Rule in 1966, there have been substantial changes in television screen technology, particularly in the past decade. The Rule appears to be neither necessary nor appropriate in light of these changes.

    In 1966, television screens had cathode ray tubes (CRTs).18 CRT tubes are convex, i.e., the screen's apex is closest to the viewer, and the screen curves away from the viewer.19 Portions of CRT-based television screens did not provide a viewable image.20 Further, because of their design, e.g., televisions built into consoles, portions of CRT-based television screens often were not visible.21

    18 CTA at 4.

    19See id. at 9.

    20Id. at 4; 31 FR at 3342.

    21 CTA at 4; 31 FR at 3342.

    There have been significant changes in television screen technology, particularly in the past decade.22 Due to these changes, flat screen televisions are ubiquitous today.23 As staff observed, virtually all televisions available in the marketplace today have flat screens,24 in which the viewable image covers the entire surface. Moreover, these televisions are surrounded by thin bezels, not casings or console walls, which do not obscure any of the screen.25 Consequently, technological change appears to have rendered the Rule obsolete.26

    22 CTA at 5.

    23Id.

    24Id. at 5, 9. Staff observed a handful of concave curved screen televisions, where the apex of the screen's curve is farthest from the viewer, and the sides of the screen curve towards the viewer, are available for purchase. Though introduced with some fanfare, the popularity of concave screen televisions is waning, and it appears that only a single manufacturer currently produces them. See, e.g., Alex Cranz, The Curved TV Gimmick Might Finally Be Dead, Gizmodo (Jan. 4, 2017), https://gizmodo.com/the-curved-tv-fimmick-might-finally-be-dead-1790743745; David Katzmaier, Curved TV Isn't Dead Yet. Thanks, Samsung, Cnet (Feb. 23, 2017), www.cnet.com/news/curved-tv-isnt-dead-yet-thanks-samsung. Unlike with convex CRT television screens, the Rule's single-plane measurement requirement is not necessary to prevent consumer deception regarding the screen size of concave screen televisions. If anything, the single-plane measurement of a concave television screen understates its effective viewable picture size. See, e.g., www.rtings.com/tv/curved-vs-flat-tvs-compared (providing a demonstrative illustration that, at a distance of 8 feet from the screen, a concave screen measured as 55 inches on a single-plane basis has an effective screen size of 55.8 inches) (Aug. 2, 2017).

    25 CTA at 5.

    26See, e.g., 60 FR 65529-30 (Dec. 20, 1995) (Binocular Rule repealed where technological improvements rendered rule obsolete).

    B. Mandatory Screen Measurement Instructions Are No Longer Necessary To Prevent Consumer Deception

    In 1966, the Commission found that television marketers represented screen size using a variety of inconsistent and, at times, deceptive, methods.27 To create clarity and uniformity in the marketplace, the Rule mandated that marketers use the single-plane horizontal dimension of the viewable portion of the television screen as the default measurement.28 The Commission stated that consumers best understood the size of rectangular objects like television screens based upon their horizontal or vertical dimensions and thus made the horizontal measurement the Rule's default but allowed marketers to use other measurements so long as their use was properly disclosed.29

    27 31 FR at 3342-43 (former 16 CFR 410.1 and 410.2(e)).

    28Id. (former 16 CFR 410.3(b)); see also 16 CFR 410.1.

    29 31 FR at 3342-43 (former 16 CFR 410.2(d)).

    In the over 50 years since the Rule's promulgation, the record demonstrates that the industry standard for representing television screen size has been the screen's diagonal dimension.30 All of the televisions for sale that staff recently observed listed the screen's diagonal dimension. The record, including staff's observations, also suggests a universal practice of using the diagonal dimension for the viewing screen in devices not covered by the Rule (e.g., computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones).31 The ubiquity of the diagonal dimension and the comments suggest that consumers expect to compare diagonal dimensions. Therefore, were the Commission to repeal the Rule, television marketers do not appear to have an incentive to switch to using a measurement other than the now customary diagonal dimension.32 Thus, absent the Rule, it is highly unlikely that marketers would change their screen size claims to make claims that would confuse consumers.33

    30 CTA at 7.

    31Id. at 5-7.

    32Id.

    33Id. at 7-8.

    C. The Record Contains No Information Indicating Manufacturers Are Making Deceptive Screen Size Claims

    The record lacks evidence of deception supporting retaining the Rule. The Commission received only two comments in response to the ANPR, both urging the Commission to repeal the Rule because it is obsolete and unnecessary. The Commission received no comments advocating for the Rule's retention or submitting information indicating that manufacturers are making deceptive screen size claims. Therefore, the record provides no basis for concluding that maintaining the Rule is necessary to prevent deception. Specifically, in the over 50 years since its adoption, the Commission has never brought an enforcement action against marketers making such claims.34

    34See, e.g., Part 419 (Games of Chance) (61 FR 68143 (Dec. 27, 1996) (Rule repealed where violations largely non-existent). In the unlikely event that, after the repeal of the Rule, the Commission should discover deceptive marketing concerning television screen size, it can address that on a case-by-case basis through enforcement actions brought under Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a). See also, e.g., Part 405 (leather content of belts) (61 FR 25560 (May 22, 1996) (after repeal, former rule's objective could be addressed through case-by-case enforcement).

    D. Preliminary Conclusions

    For the reasons described above, the Commission preliminarily concludes that the Rule is outdated and no longer necessary to protect consumers. Nothing in the record suggests that repealing the Rule would likely result in any consumer deception. Therefore, the record suggests that even the minimal costs associated with the Rule for businesses now outweigh any benefits.35 Should the Commission discover any deception concerning television screen size, it can address that marketing on a case-by-case basis through enforcement actions brought under Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a), rather than through imposing an industry-wide trade regulation rule.36

    35 CTA at 7-8.

    36Id. at 3; see also, e.g., 61 FR 25560 (May 22, 1996) (repealing Leather Belt Rule where Commission concluded rule's objective can be addressed through case-by-case enforcement).

    VI. Request for Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before May 14, 2018. Write “Picture Tube Rule (No. P174200)” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public FTC website, at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments.

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/picturetuberule, by following the instruction on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that website.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Picture Tube Rule (No. P174200)” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610, Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610, Washington, DC 20024. If possible, please submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC website at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential”—as provided by section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rules 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)—including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC website—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request.

    Visit the FTC website to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before May 14, 2018. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

    A. Questions

    The Commission seeks comment on the costs, benefits, and market effects of repealing the Rule, and particularly the cost on small businesses. Please identify any data and empirical evidence that supports your answer. Comments opposing the proposed repeal should explain the reasons they believe the Rule is still needed and, if appropriate, suggest specific alternatives.

    1. Have changes in technology made the Rule unnecessary?

    2. Do television marketers uniformly use the diagonal dimension of the viewing screen when representing screen size?

    3. Is there any basis to conclude that, if the Commission repeals the Rule, television marketers will use a measurement other than the diagonal dimension of a screen to represent its size?

    4. What would be the benefits and costs of the Rule's continuance to consumers?

    5. Will repealing the Rule increase the likelihood of any consumer deception regarding the size of television screens and, if so, why?

    6. What are the benefits and costs of the Rule's repeal to businesses subject to its requirements, particularly small businesses?

    7. Should the Commission address deceptive acts or practices concerning how television marketers represent screen size through case-by-case enforcement rather than through an industry-wide trade regulation rule?

    B. Proposed Effective Date of Repeal

    The Commission proposes to repeal the Rule effective 90 days after publication of its Final Rule Notice. The Commission seeks comment on whether such an effective date provides sufficient notice to those affected by the proposed repeal of the Rule.

    VII. Communications to Commissioners or Their Advisors by Outside Parties

    Pursuant to Commission Rule 1.18(c)(1), the Commission has determined that communications with respect to the merits of this proceeding from any outside party to any Commissioner or Commissioner advisor shall be subject to the following treatment. Written communications and summaries or transcripts of oral communications shall be placed on the rulemaking record if the communication is received before the end of the comment period on the staff report. They shall be placed on the public record if the communication is received later. Unless the outside party making an oral communication is a member of Congress, such communications are permitted only if advance notice is published in the Weekly Calendar and Notice of “Sunshine” Meetings.37

    37See 15 U.S.C. 57a(i)(2)(A); 16 CFR 1.18(c).

    VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Regulatory Analysis

    Under Section 22 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57b-3, the Commission must issue a preliminary regulatory analysis for a proceeding to amend a rule only when it: (1) Estimates that the amendment will have an annual effect on the national economy of $100 million or more; (2) estimates that the amendment will cause a substantial change in the cost or price of certain categories of goods or services; or (3) otherwise determines that the amendment will have a significant effect upon covered entities or upon consumers. The Commission has preliminarily determined that the rescission of the Rule will not have such effects on the national economy; on the cost of televisions; or on covered parties or consumers. Accordingly, the proposed repeal of the Rule is exempt from Section 22's preliminary regulatory analysis requirements.

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, requires that the Commission conduct an analysis of the anticipated economic impact of the proposed amendments on small entities. The purpose of a regulatory flexibility analysis is to ensure that an agency considers the impacts on small entities and examines regulatory alternatives that could achieve the regulatory purpose while minimizing burdens on small entities. Section 605 of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 605, provides that such an analysis is not required if the agency head certifies that the regulatory action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Commission believes that the repeal of the Rule would not have a significant economic impact upon small entities because the Rule's repeal will eliminate any regulatory compliance costs regarding representations of the screen size of televisions. In the Commission's view, a repeal of the Rule should not have a significant or disproportionate impact on the costs of small entities that sell televisions. These entities appear to provide consumers with the screen size as measured by a television's manufacturer and that typically appears on a television's packaging. In addition, the Commission is not aware of any existing federal laws or regulations that address the measurement of television screens and that would conflict with the repeal of the Rule.

    Therefore, based on available information, the Commission certifies that repealing the Rule as proposed will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. To ensure the accuracy of this certification, however, the Commission requests comment on the economic effects of the proposed repeal of the Rule, including whether the proposed repeal will have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on the number of entities that would be affected by the proposed repeal of the Rule, the number of these companies that are small entities, and the average annual burden for each entity.

    IX. List of Subjects

    Advertising, Electronic funds transfer, Television, Trade practices

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, and under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 57a, the Commission proposes to remove 16 CFR part 410. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08003 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2018-0215] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone for Fireworks Display; Upper Potomac River, Washington Channel, Washington, DC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone for certain waters of the Upper Potomac River. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during a fireworks display in the Washington Channel at Washington, DC on May 10, 2018. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from entering the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0215 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port 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 February 27, 2018, The Wharf DC of Washington, DC notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting a fireworks display on May 10, 2018, at 9 p.m. Details of the event were provided to the Coast Guard by the event sponsor on March 23, 2018. The fireworks display will be conducted by Pyrotecnico, Inc. and launched from a barge located within the waters of the Washington Channel, at The Wharf DC in Washington, DC. Hazards from the fireworks display include accidental discharge of fireworks, dangerous projectiles, and falling hot embers or other debris. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks to be used in this display would be a safety concern for anyone within 200 feet of the fireworks barge.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters of the Washington Channel before, during, and after the scheduled events. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a temporary safety zone in the Washington Channel on May 10, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of the Washington Channel within 200 feet of the fireworks barge located within an area bounded on the south by latitude 38°52′30″ W, and bounded on the north by the Francis Case (I-395) Memorial Bridge, located at Washington, DC. The safety zone would be enforced from 8:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on May 10, 2018. The duration of the safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled fireworks display. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Although vessel traffic will not be able to safely transit around this safety zone, the impact would be for 1.5 hours during the evening when vessel traffic in Washington Channel is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the 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 safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a safety zone lasting less than 2 hours that would prohibit entry within a portion of the Washington Channel. 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; and; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T05-0215 to read as follows:
    § 165.0215 Safety Zone for Fireworks Display; Upper Potomac River, Washington Channel, Washington, DC.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    (1) Captain of the Port means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.

    (2) Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Washington Channel within 200 feet of the fireworks barge located within an area bounded on the south by latitude 38°52′30″ W, and bounded on the north by the Francis Case (I-395) Memorial Bridge, located at Washington, DC. All coordinates refer to datum NAD 1983.

    (c) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165 subpart C apply to the safety zone created by this section.

    (1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found in 33 CFR 165.23.

    (2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. All vessels underway within this safety zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone.

    (3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zone must first obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or designated representative. To request permission to transit the area, the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region and or designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or designated representative and proceed as directed while within the zone.

    (4) Enforcement officials. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

    (d) Enforcement. This section will be enforced from 8:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on May 10, 2018.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. L.P. Harrison, Jr., Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08091 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2018-0142; FRL-9976-96—Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Kentucky; 2008 Ozone NAAQS Interstate Transport SIP Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve Kentucky's February 28, 2018, draft State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission pertaining to the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) that was submitted by Kentucky for parallel processing. The good neighbor provision requires each state's SIP to address the interstate transport of air pollution in amounts that contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of a NAAQS in any other state. In this action, EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky's draft submission demonstrating that no additional emission reductions are necessary to address the good neighbor provision for the 2008 ozone NAAQS beyond those required by the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update (CSAPR Update) federal implementation plan (FIP). Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky's draft submission as partially addressing the requirements of the good neighbor provision for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, and resolving any obligation remaining under the good neighbor provision after promulgation of the CSAPR Update FIP. EPA is proposing this action because it is consistent with the CAA.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. at EPA-R04-OAR-2018-0142 http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 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:

    Ashten Bailey, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bailey can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9164 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On March 27, 2008 (73 FR 16436), EPA promulgated an ozone NAAQS that revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm. Pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(1), within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS (or shorter, if EPA prescribes), states must submit SIPs that meet the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2). EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. One of the structural requirements of section 110(a)(2) is section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), also known as the “good neighbor” provision, which generally requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit in-state emissions activities from having certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of air pollution. There are four sub-elements, or “prongs,” within section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA. CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from emitting any air pollutant in amounts that will contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The two provisions of this section are referred to as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will interfere with measures required to be included in the applicable implementation plan for any other state under part C to prevent significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3) or to protect visibility (prong 4). This proposed action addresses only prongs 1 and 2 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i).1

    1 All other infrastructure SIP elements for Kentucky for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS were addressed in separate rulemakings. See 78 FR 14681 (March 7, 2013) and 79 FR 65143 (November 3, 2014).

    On July 17, 2012, Kentucky submitted a SIP submission to EPA, addressing a number of the CAA requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS infrastructure SIPs. With respect to the interstate transport requirements of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), EPA disapproved the submission, effective April 8, 2013 (78 FR 14681). In the notice, EPA explained that the disapproval of the good neighbor portion of the Commonwealth's infrastructure SIP submission did not trigger a mandatory duty for EPA to promulgate a FIP to address these requirements. Id. at 14683. Citing the D.C. Circuit's decision EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 696 F.3d 7, 41 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (EME Homer City I), EPA explained that the court concluded states have no obligation to make a SIP submission to address the good neighbor provision for a new or revised NAAQS until EPA first defines a state's obligations pursuant to that section. Therefore, because a good neighbor SIP addressing the 2008 ozone standard was not at that time required, EPA indicated that its disapproval action would not trigger an obligation for EPA to promulgate a FIP to address the interstate transport requirements. On April 29, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a decision reversing and vacating the D.C. Circuit's decision in EME Homer City I. EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 133 S. Ct. 2857 (2013). EPA subsequently finalized a determination that the FIP obligation was triggered on the date of the judgment issued in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, or on June 2, 2014. See 81 FR 74504, 74513 (October 26, 2016).2

    2 On April 30, 2013, Sierra Club filed a petition for review of EPA's final action disapproving Kentucky's good neighbor SIP in the Sixth Circuit based on the Agency's conclusion that the FIP obligation was not triggered by the disapproval of Kentucky's good neighbor SIP. Sierra Club v. EPA, Case No. 13-3546 (6th Cir., filed Apr. 30, 2013). Following the Supreme Court decision, EPA requested, and the Sixth Circuit granted, vacatur and remand of the portion of EPA's final action on Kentucky's good neighbor SIP that determined that the FIP obligation was not triggered by the disapproval. See Order, Sierra Club v. EPA, Case No. 13-3546 (Mar. 13, 2015), ECF No. 74-1. On October 24, 2016 (81 FR 74513), EPA issued a final action correcting the portion of the Kentucky disapproval notice indicating that the FIP obligation would not be triggered by the SIP disapproval, but rather on the date of the Supreme Court's judgment. EPA explained that the FIP obligation was not triggered as of the date of the SIP disapproval because the controlling law as of that date was the DC Circuit decision in EME Homer City I, which held that states had no obligation to submit a SIP and EPA had no authority to issue a FIP until EPA first quantified each state's emission reduction obligation under the good neighbor provision. Rather, EPA concluded that the FIP obligation was triggered when the Supreme Court clarified the state and federal obligations with respect to the good neighbor provision.

    In October 2016, EPA promulgated the CSAPR Update to address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) concerning interstate transport of air pollution for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016). In the CSAPR Update rulemaking, EPA determined that air pollution transported from Kentucky would unlawfully affect other states' ability to attain or maintain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and established an ozone season nitrogen oxide (NOX) budget for Kentucky's electricity generating units (EGUs).3 In particular, EPA found that Kentucky was linked to four maintenance-only receptors in Harford County, Maryland; Richmond County, New York; Hamilton County, Ohio; and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Kentucky EGUs meeting the CSAPR applicability criteria are consequently subject to CSAPR FIPs that require participation in the CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program, the CSAPR sulfur dioxide (SO2) Group 1 Trading Program, and the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program.4

    3 CSAPR Update, 81 FR at 74507-08.

    4 40 CFR 52.38(a)(2)(i), (b)(2), (b)(2)(iii); 52.39(b); 52.940(a), (b); 52.941(a).

    In the CSAPR Update, EPA found that the CSAPR FIP for Kentucky and 20 other states may provide only a partial remedy with respect to the good neighbor provision requirements as to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA's analysis showed persisting downwind air quality problems after implementation of the CSAPR Update in 2017, including two of the receptors to which Kentucky was linked in Harford County, Maryland, and Richmond County, New York. Because EPA's analysis showed persisting downwind air quality problems and did not assess available emissions reductions after 2017, EPA could not definitively conclude, without further analysis, that the CSAPR Update fully addressed the requirements of the good neighbor provision in upwind states, including Kentucky. See 81 FR at 74521.

    On October 27, 2017, EPA issued a memorandum 5 with technical information and related analyses to assist states with developing SIPs to address the remaining section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In the technical analysis related to the October 2017 Transport Memo, EPA used detailed air quality analyses to identify locations in the U.S. where EPA anticipates there will be nonattainment or maintenance problems for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the year 2023 (these are identified as nonattainment or maintenance receptors, respectively). This analysis used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx version 6.40) 6 to model the 2011 base year, and 2023 future base case emissions scenarios to identify projected nonattainment and maintenance sites with respect to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.7 The updated modeling data released with the October 2017 Transport Memo is the most up-to-date information EPA has developed to inform the Agency's analysis of downwind air quality problems for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.8 EPA's updated modeling for the 2023 future base case emissions scenarios indicates that there are no monitoring sites, outside of California, that are projected to have nonattainment or maintenance problems with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2023.

    5 Memorandum, Stephen D. Page, Supplemental Information on the Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan Submissions for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Action Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (October 2017 Transport Memo).

    6 CAMx v6.40 was the most recent public release version of CAMx at the time EPA updated its modeling in fall 2017. “Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions version 6.40 User's Guide” Ramboll Environ, December 2016. http://www.camx.com/.

    7 For the updated modeling, EPA used the construct of the modeling platform (i.e., modeling domain and non-emissions inputs) that we used for the Notice of Data Availability (NODA) modeling, except that the photolysis rates files were updated to be consistent with CAMx v6.40. The NODA Air Quality Modeling Technical Support Document describing the modeling platform is available at https://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/notice-data-availability-preliminary-interstate-ozone-transport-modeling-data-2015-ozone.

    8 October 2017 Transport Memo.

    II. Kentucky's Draft SIP Submission

    On February 28, 2018, Kentucky provided a draft SIP submission to address the remaining interstate transport obligations for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, which contains a demonstration 9 that the emission reductions required by the CSAPR Update are adequate to prohibit emissions within Kentucky from significantly contributing to nonattainment, or interfering with the maintenance, of downwind states with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS. This demonstration shows that, based on the Commonwealth's current and projected emissions, air quality modeling data, and on-the-books state and federal measures reducing ozone precursor emissions, including the CSAPR Update FIP, emissions from Kentucky will not significantly contribute to nonattainment, or interfere with the maintenance, of downwind states with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2023.

    9 As discussed above, EPA previously disapproved the portion of the Kentucky's July 17, 2012, SIP submission as it related to prongs 1 and 2. See 78 FR 14681 (March 7, 2013).

    In its February 28, 2018, draft submission, Kentucky reviewed air quality modeling and data files that EPA disseminated in the October 2017 Transport Memo, which indicated that the air quality problems at monitors to which Kentucky was linked in the CSAPR Update would be resolved in 2023. Kentucky's draft SIP submission agrees with the October 2017 Transport Memo's preliminary projections, and provides information intended to demonstrate that use of the modeling is appropriate. In addition, the draft submission contains air quality modeling conducted by Alpine Geophysics, LLC, that concludes that none of the nonattainment and maintenance receptors identified in the CSAPR Update are predicted to be in nonattainment or have issues with maintenance in 2023. Additionally, Kentucky cites information related to emissions trends—such as reductions in ozone precursor emissions and controls on Kentucky sources—as further evidence that, after implementation of all on-the-books measures including those identified in the CSAPR Update, emissions from the Commonwealth will no longer contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.

    Kentucky requests that EPA approve the draft SIP submission and find that Kentucky is not required to make any further reductions, beyond those required by the CSAPR Update, to address its statutory obligation under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.10

    10 EPA is parallel processing Kentucky's draft SIP submittal. As discussed in more detail in Section IV, below, final approval of Kentucky's submission is contingent on Kentucky's submission of a final SIP submittal that does not differ significantly from the draft.

    III. EPA's Analysis of Kentucky's Draft Submission

    In Kentucky's draft submission, the Commonwealth relies on modeling performed by EPA, which was summarized in the October 2017 Transport Memo, in support of its conclusion that the emissions reductions required by the CSAPR Update are adequate to prohibit emissions within Kentucky from significantly contributing to nonattainment, or interfering with the maintenance, of downwind states with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Accordingly, before undertaking the specific analysis of Kentucky's SIP submittal, it is helpful to understand how EPA developed the October 2017 Transport Memorandum. EPA applied the same four-step framework used in previous federal regulatory actions addressing interstate transport of ozone pollution, including most recently the CSAPR Update. While some aspects of these previous regulatory actions have been challenged in court—and some aspects of these challenges have been upheld—each of these rulemakings essentially followed the same four-step interstate transport framework to quantify and implement emission reductions necessary to address the interstate transport requirements of the good neighbor provision. These steps are described in the following four paragraphs.

    (1) Identifying downwind air quality problems relative to the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA has historically identified downwind areas with air quality problems considering monitored ozone data where appropriate and air quality modeling projections to a future compliance year. In the CSAPR Update, the Agency identified not only those areas expected to be in nonattainment with the ozone NAAQS, but also those areas that may struggle to maintain the NAAQS, despite clean monitored data or projected attainment.

    (2) Determining which upwind states are “linked” to these identified downwind air quality problems and thereby warrant further analysis to determine whether their emissions violate the good neighbor provision. In CSAPR and the CSAPR Update, EPA identified such upwind states as those modeled to contribute at or above a threshold equivalent to one percent of the applicable NAAQS. Upwind states linked to one of these downwind nonattainment or maintenance areas were then evaluated to determine what level of emissions reductions, if any, should be required of each state.

    (3) For states linked to downwind air quality problems, identifying upwind emissions on a statewide basis that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of a standard. In all of EPA's prior rulemakings addressing interstate ozone pollution transport, the Agency apportioned emission reduction responsibility among multiple upwind states linked to downwind air quality problems by considering feasible NOX control strategies and using cost-based and air quality-based criteria to quantify the amount of a linked upwind state's emissions that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance in another state.

    (4) For states that are found to have emissions that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS downwind, implementing the necessary emission reductions within the state. EPA has done this by requiring affected sources in upwind states to participate in allowance trading programs (e.g., the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program) to achieve the necessary emission reductions.

    EPA's proposed action on Kentucky's draft submission is based on a finding that 2023 is a reasonable analytic year for evaluating ozone transport problems with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS and that interstate ozone transport air quality modeling projections for 2023 indicate that Kentucky is not expected to significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in downwind states. As explained in more detail in the following paragraphs, EPA's selection of 2023 as a reasonable analytic year is supported by an assessment of attainment dates for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and feasibility for control strategies to reduce NOX in CSAPR Update states, including Kentucky. EPA's assessment of NOX control strategy feasibility prioritizes NOX control strategies in CSAPR Update states that would be additional to those strategies that were already quantified into CSAPR Update emissions budgets. EPA proposes that 2023 is an appropriate future analytic year because it is the first ozone season for which significant new cost-effective post-combustion controls to reduce NOX could be feasibly installed across the CSAPR Update region, and thus represents the timeframe that is as expeditious as practicable for upwind states to implement additional emission reductions. EPA's analysis of steps 1 and 2 for the 2023 analytic year indicates that there are no expected eastern nonattainment or maintenance receptors for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in this future year. Together, these findings support EPA's proposed approval of Kentucky's SIP submittal, which is based on the determination that Kentucky is not expected to significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in downwind states in 2023.

    A. Additional Information Regarding Selection of an Analytic Year

    One of the first steps in conducting air quality modeling analysis to evaluate steps 1 and 2 of the four-step interstate transport framework is selecting a future analytic year. In determining the appropriate future analytic year for purposes of assessing remaining interstate transport obligations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, including Kentucky's, EPA considered two primary factors: Attainment dates and NOX control feasibility.

    First, EPA considered the downwind attainment dates for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. In North Carolina v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit held that emissions reductions required by the good neighbor provision should be evaluated considering the relevant attainment dates of downwind nonattainment areas impacted by interstate transport.11 The next attainment dates for the 2008 ozone NAAQS will be July 20, 2021, for nonattainment areas classified as serious and July 20, 2027, for nonattainment areas classified as severe.12 Because the various attainment deadlines are in July, which is in the middle of the ozone monitoring season for all states, data from the calendar year prior to the attainment date (e.g., data from 2020 for the 2021 attainment date and from 2026 for the 2027 attainment date) are the last data that can be used to demonstrate attainment with the NAAQS. In all cases, the statute provides that areas should attain as expeditiously as practicable.13

    11 531 F.3d 896, 911-12 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (holding that EPA must coordinate interstate transport compliance deadlines with downwind attainment deadlines).

    12 While there are no areas (outside of California) that are classified as either serious or severe, these classifications (and the associated attainment dates) are required under the statute in the event that the many downwind moderate nonattainment areas fail to attain by their attainment date of July 20, 2018.

    13See CAA section 181(a)(1).

    Second, EPA considered the timeframes that may be required for implementing further emissions reductions as expeditiously as practicable. In considering potential emissions reductions, EPA notes that emissions levels are already expected to decline in the future through implementation of existing local, state and federal emissions reduction programs. This is an important consideration because the U.S. Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit Court have both held that EPA may not require emissions reductions greater than necessary to achieve attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS in downwind areas.14 Therefore, if new controls cannot be implemented feasibly for several years and air quality will likely be cleaner in the future, EPA should evaluate air quality in a future year to ensure that any potential emissions reductions would not over-control relative to the identified ozone problem. Accordingly, it is reasonable to evaluate downwind air quality, and identify any remaining receptors, in the year in which EPA expects additional emissions reductions, if any, to be implemented.

    14EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584, 1600-01 (2014); EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 795 F.3d 118, 127 (D.C. Cir. 2015).

    For its analysis of NOX control feasibility, EPA believes that the feasibility of control strategies should reflect the time needed to plan for, install, and test new EGU and non-EGU NOX reduction strategies across multiple states. This conclusion is based on previous interstate ozone transport analyses showing that multiple upwind states are typically linked to identified eastern downwind ozone problems.15 In particular, EPA's assessment in the CSAPR Update indicated that, with respect to the Harford and Richmond receptors to which Kentucky was linked, eight other states and the District of Columbia would continue to be linked to the Harford receptor and seven other states would continue to be linked to the Richmond receptor after implementation of the CSAPR Update in 2017.16 Thus, to evaluate potential upwind obligations for one of several states linked to a common downwind air quality problem, EPA believes the most appropriate approach is to evaluate potential NOX control strategies on a regional, rather than state-specific, basis.

    15See 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016).

    16See EPA's Air Quality Assessment Tool from the CSAPR Update in the docket for this rulemaking.

    Further, EPA believes that the feasibility of new emissions controls should be considered on multiple upwind source categories in order to ensure that the Agency properly evaluates NOX reduction potential and cost-effectiveness (at step 3 of the framework) from all reasonable control measures (including beyond the EGU sector). Major NOX emissions come from multiple anthropogenic source categories, such as electric utilities and industrial facilities. As commenters noted during the development of the CSAPR Update, EGUs in the eastern U.S. have been the subject of regulation to address interstate ozone pollution transport and have made significant financial investments to achieve emission reductions. While EPA evaluates additional control feasibility for EGUs in the discussion that follows, non-EGU source categories may also be well-positioned to cost-effectively reduce NOX relative to EGUs, including non-EGUs that currently do not report emissions to EPA under 40 CFR part 75 and for which EPA's information concerning emissions levels, existing control efficiencies, and further emissions reduction potential is therefore more uncertain.17

    17See Assessment of Non-EGU NOX Emission Controls, Cost of Controls, and Time for Compliance Final technical support document (TSD) from the CSAPR Update in the docket for this rulemaking.

    In establishing the CSAPR Update EGU NOX ozone season emission budgets, EPA quantified the emission reductions achievable from all NOX control strategies that were feasible within one year and cost-effective at a marginal cost of $1,400 per ton of NOX removed.18 These EGU NOX control strategies were: Fully operating existing Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), including both optimizing NOX removal by existing, operational SCRs and turning on and optimizing existing idled SCRs; installing state-of-the-art NOX combustion controls; and shifting generation to existing units with lower-NOX emission rates within the same state. For the purposes of this proposed action on Kentucky's draft submission, EPA considers these NOX control strategies to have been appropriately evaluated in the CSAPR Update rulemaking. Further, the Agency believes that the resulting CSAPR Update emission budgets are being appropriately implemented under the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 allowance trading program. Therefore, EPA has focused its further assessment on feasibility of controls that were deemed to be infeasible to install for the 2017 ozone season in the CSAPR Update for purposes of identifying an appropriate future analytic year rather than reassessing controls previously analyzed.

    18 The CSAPR Update was signed on September 7, 2016—approximately 8 months before the beginning of the 2017 ozone season on May 1.

    EPA identified, but did not account for, the following two EGU NOX control strategies in establishing the CSAPR Update emissions budgets because implementation by 2017 was not considered feasible: Installing new SCRs and selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) controls. In the CSAPR Update, EPA found that EGU SCR post-combustion controls can achieve up to 90 percent reduction in EGU NOX emissions. In 2017, these controls were in widespread use by EGUs in the east. In the 22 state CSAPR Update region, approximately 59 percent of coal-fired EGU heat input and 64 percent of natural gas-fired EGU generation was equipped with SCR.19 Installing new SCR controls for EGUs not already equipped with such controls generally involves conducting an engineering review of the facility and awarding a procurement contract; obtaining a construction permit; installing the control technology; and obtaining an operating permit.20 The total time associated with navigating these steps is estimated to be up to 39 months for an individual power plant installing SCR on more than one boiler.21 However, for the purposes of evaluating the installation timing for new SCR controls at the fleet-level, rather than the unit-level, within the CSAPR Update region, EPA believes more time would be needed. As explained more fully below, EPA determined that a minimum of 48 months is a reasonable time to allow for the coordination of outages, shepherding of labor and material supply, and identification of retrofit projects. This time frame would facilitate multiple power plants with multiple boilers to conduct all stages of post-combustion and combustion control project planning, installation and operation.

    19 Heat input is a proxy for the distribution of electricity generation across the evaluated EGUs.

    20 Final Report: Engineering and Economic Factors Affecting the Installation of Control Technologies for Multipollutant Strategies (“Engineering and Economic Factors Report”), EPA-600/R-02/073, October 2002 (available at https://nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/PDF/P1001G0O.pdf).

    21 Engineering and Economic Factors Report, Table 3-1.

    Scheduled curtailment, or planned outage, for pollution control installation would be necessary to complete either SCR or SNCR projects. Given that peak demand and rule compliance would both fall in the ozone-season, sources would likely try to schedule installation projects for the shoulder season (i.e., the spring and/or fall when electricity demand is lower than in the peak summer season) when reserve margins are higher and compliance requirements are not yet in effect. If multiple units were under the same timeline to complete the retrofit projects as soon as feasible from an engineering perspective, this could lead to bottlenecks of scheduled outages as each unit is trying to start and finish in roughly the same compressed time. Thus, any compliance timeframe that would assume installation of new SCR or SNCR controls should allow multiple shoulder seasons to accommodate scheduling of curtailment for control installation purposes and better accommodate the regional nature of the program.

    In addition to the coordination of scheduled curtailment, an appropriate compliance timeframe should accommodate the additional coordination of labor and material supply necessary for any fleet-wide mitigation efforts. The total construction labor for an SCR system associated with a 500 megawatt (MW) EGU is in the range of 300,000 to 500,000 man-hours, with boilermakers22 accounting for approximately half of this time.23 SNCR, while generally having shorter project time frames of 10 to 13 months from bid solicitation to start-up, share similar labor and material resources and therefore are linked to the timing of SCR installation planning. In recent industry surveys, one of the largest shortages of union craft workers was for boilermakers. This shortage of skilled boilermakers is expected to rise due to an anticipated nine percent increase in boilermaker labor demand growth by 2026, coupled with expected retirements and comparatively low numbers of apprentices joining the workforce.24 The shortage of and demand for skilled labor, including other craft workers critical to pollution control installation, is pronounced in the manufacturing industry. The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) conducted a survey of identified labor shortages where boilermakers were second to most frequently reported skilled labor market with a labor shortage.25 Moreover, the natural disasters of Hurricane Harvey and wildfires in 2017 are expected to further tighten the labor supply market in manufacturing in the near term.26 EPA considered these tight labor market conditions (which were compounded by Hurricane Irma) for the manufacturing roles critical, and combined with fleet-level mitigation initiatives, would likely lead to some sequencing and staging of labor pool usage, rather than simultaneous construction across all efforts. Allowing a timeframe that exceeds the demonstrated single-unit installation is therefore appropriate for fleet-wide programs.

    22 A boilermaker is a trained and skilled craftsman who produces steel fabrications (in this context, boilers).

    23See Engineering and Economic Factors Report, Table 3-1.

    24 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Boilermakers, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/boilermakers.htm (last modified on January 30, 2018).

    25 Union Craft Labor Supply Survey, The Association of Union Constructors, Exhibit 4-2 at page 29, available at https://www.tauc.org/files/2017_TAUC_UNION_CRAFT_LABOR_SUPPLY_REVISEDBC_FINAL.pdf (2017).

    26 Skilled Wage Growth Less Robust, Worker Shortage Still and Issue. Industry Week (October 23, 2017), available at http://www.industryweek.com/talent/skilled-wage-growth-less-robust-worker-shortage-still-issue.

    In addition to labor supply, NOX post-combustion control projects also require materials and equipment such as steel and cranes. Sheet metal workers used in steel production are also reported as having well above an average supply-side shortage of labor. This—coupled with growth in steel demand estimated at three percent in 2018 and the simultaneous growth in global economies—puts upward pressure on demand for steel.27 Similarly, cranes are critical for installation of SCRs, which often need to be lifted hundreds of feet in the air. Cranes are also facing higher demand during periods of economic growth with companies reporting a shortage in both equipment and manpower.2829 This tightening labor, materials, and equipment atmosphere combined with the regional aspect of a pollution transportation program puts upward pressure on installation timetables relative to what has been historically demonstrated at the unit-level.

    27 Worldsteel Short Range Outlook (October 16, 2017), available at https://www.worldsteel.org/media-centre/press-releases/2017/worldsteel-Short-Range-Outlook-2017-2018.html.

    28Seattle Has Most Cranes in the Country for 2nd Year in a Row—and Lead is Growing, Seattle Times (July 11, 2017), available at https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/seattle-has-most-cranes-in-the-country-for-2nd-year-in-a-row-and-lead-is-growing/.

    29See Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index—January 2018 in the docket for this rulemaking.

    The time lag identified between planning and in-service date of SCR and SNCR operations also illustrates that conditions sometimes lead to installation times of 4 years or longer. For instance, SCR projects for units at Ottumwa, Columbia, and Oakley Generating Station were all being planned by 2014. However, these projects had estimated in-service dates ranging between 2018 and 2021.30 Completed projects, when large in scale, also illustrate how timelines can extend beyond the bare minimum necessary for a single unit when the project is part of a larger multi-unit air quality initiative. For instance, Big Bend in Florida recently completed a multi-faceted project that involved adding SCRs to all four units, converting furnaces, making overfire air changes, and making windbox modifications. The completion time from the initial planning stages was a decade.31

    30 2014 EIA Form 860, Schedule 6, Environmental Control Equipment.

    31Big Bend's Multi-Unit SCR Retrofit. Power Magazine. March 1, 2010. Available at http://www.powermag.com/big-bends-multi-unit-scr-retrofit/.

    While individual unit-level SCR and SNCR projects can average 39 and 10 months respectively going from bid to start up, a comprehensive and regional emissions reduction effort requires more time to accommodate the labor, materials, and outage coordination. And since these post-combustion control strategies share similar input resources and are part of regional reduction programs rather than unit-specific technology mandates, the timeframes for one are inherently linked to another. This means that SNCR projects cannot simply be put on an early schedule because of the reduced construction timing without impacting the available resources to SCRs and the potential start dates of those projects. Given the market and regulatory circumstances in which EPA evaluated this effort, it determined that 4 years would be a reasonable time to coordinate the planning and completion of any mitigation efforts necessary in this instance.

    In the CSAPR Update, EPA also evaluated the feasibility of NOX controls on non-EGUs in the eastern United States, finding that there was greater uncertainty in the assessment of non-EGU point-source NOX mitigation potential as compared to EGUs.32 EPA explained in the CSAPR Update that more time was required for states and EPA to improve non-EGU point source data, including data on existing control efficiencies, additional applicable pollution control technologies, and installation times for those control technologies. Further, using the best information available to EPA, which was submitted for public comment with the proposed CSAPR Update, EPA found that there were more non-EGU point sources than EGU sources and that these sources on average emit less NOX than EGUs. The implication was that there were more individual sources to control and there were relatively fewer emissions reductions available from each source, reducing the cost-effectiveness of controls. Further, another factor influencing uncertainty was that EPA lacks sufficient information on the capacity and experience of suppliers and major engineering firms' supply chains to determine if they would be able to install the required pollution controls for non-EGU sources in less than 48 months. Considering these factors, EPA found substantial uncertainty regarding whether significant aggregate NOX mitigation would be achievable from non-EGU point sources to address the 2008 ozone NAAQS any earlier than the timelines noted in EPA's analysis of new EGU post-combustion control feasibility.

    32See Assessment of Non-EGU NOX Emission Controls, Cost of Controls, and Time for Compliance Final TSD from the CSAPR Update in the docket for this rulemaking.

    Finally, in the CSAPR Update, EPA also identified one EGU NOX control strategy that was considered feasible to implement within one year but was not cost-effective at a marginal cost of $1,400 per ton of NOX removed: Specifically, turning on existing idled SNCRs. In the CSAPR Update, EPA identified a marginal cost of $3,400 per ton as the level of uniform control stringency that represents turning on and fully operating idled SNCRs.33 However, the CSAPR Update finalized emission budgets using $1,400 per ton control stringency, finding that this level of stringency represented the control level at which incremental EGU NOX reductions and corresponding downwind ozone air quality improvements were maximized with respect to marginal cost. In finding that use of the $1,400 control cost level was appropriate, EPA established that the more stringent emission budget level reflecting $3,400 per ton (representing turning on idled SNCR) yielded fewer additional emission reductions and fewer air quality improvements relative to the increase in control costs. In other words, based on information available at that time, establishing emission budgets at $3,400 per ton was not determined to be cost-effective for addressing good neighbor provision obligations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. 81 FR 74550 (Oct. 26, 2016). EPA believes that its assessment of turning on and fully operating SNCRs was appropriately evaluated in the CSAPR Update with respect to addressing interstate ozone pollution transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Accordingly, in this proposal EPA is not prioritizing the assessment of this control strategy in terms of identifying an appropriate future analytic year.

    33See EGU NOX Mitigation Strategies Final Rule TSD, docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500-0554, available at www.regulations.gov.

    For these reasons, EPA believes it is appropriate to assume that planning for, installing, and commencing operation of new controls for both EGUs and non-EGUs would take up to 48 months following promulgation of a final rule requiring appropriate emission reductions. Specifically, EPA believes that it is reasonable to assume that the installation of new post-combustion controls for state- or regional-level fleets of EGUs or controls for non-EGU point sources may take up to 4 years following promulgation of a final rule.34 For purposes of conducting updated modeling to determine in what year future emissions reductions might be implemented, EPA, therefore, considered the timeframe in which a future rulemaking that might require such emissions reductions would likely be finalized. While EPA is subject to several statutory and court-ordered deadlines to address the requirements of the good neighbor provision for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, EPA does not believe that it is feasible, at this point, to finalize action requiring emission reductions for any state prior to the start of the 2018 ozone season (i.e., May 1, 2018).35 Accordingly, implementation of any of the control strategies considered herein is likely not feasible until during or after the 2022 ozone season. Considering the time to implement the controls with the time to promulgate a final rule, EPA believes that such reductions are unlikely to be implemented for a full ozone season until 2023.

    34See 81 FR 74562 (October 26, 2016).

    35 Using the 2023 analytic year also allowed EPA to begin the updated analysis using the data sets originally developed for the January 2017 NODA (82 FR 1733, January 6, 2017), which we revised in response to stakeholder feedback. Accordingly, EPA initiated its analysis more quickly than if a different year had been chosen, which might have delayed subsequent rulemaking actions and therefore emissions reductions.

    While 2023 is later than the next attainment date for nonattainment areas classified as Serious (July 20, 2021), as explained earlier, EPA does not believe it is likely that emissions control requirements could be promulgated and implemented by the serious area attainment date. Likewise, EPA also believes that it would not be reasonable to assume that emissions reductions could be postponed to the attainment date for nonattainment areas classified as severe (July 20, 2027) because the statute instructs states to attain the NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. Accordingly, EPA believes implementation of additional emission reductions would be as expeditiously as practicable in light of relevant attainment dates.

    In conclusion, in selecting its future analytic year for the air quality modeling, EPA balanced considerations such as attainment dates in downwind states, including the obligation to attain as expeditiously as practicable, EPA's obligation to avoid unnecessary over-control of upwind state emissions, the timeframe in which any necessary emissions reductions could be feasibly implemented, and the timeframe required for rulemaking to impose any such emissions reductions that might be required. In light of these considerations, EPA believes that 2023 is a reasonable year to assess downwind air quality to evaluate any remaining requirements under the good neighbor provision for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    B. EPA's Air Quality Modeling

    EPA used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx v6.40) 36 for modeling the updated emissions in 2011 and 2023.37 EPA used outputs from the 2011 and 2023 model simulations to project base period 2009-2013 average and maximum ozone design values to 2023 at monitoring sites nationwide. EPA's modeling guidance 38 recommends that model predictions from the “3 x 3” array of grid cells surrounding the location of the monitoring site be used in the projection of future year design values. EPA used this approach for projecting design values for the updated 2023 modeling. In addition, in light of comments on the January 2017 NODA and other analyses, EPA also projected 2023 design values based on a modified version of this approach for those monitoring sites located in coastal areas. In brief, in the alternative approach, EPA eliminated from the design value calculations those modeling data in grid cells not containing a monitoring site that are dominated by water (i.e., more than 50 percent of the land use in the grid cell is water).39 40

    36 CAMx v6.40 was the most recent public release version of CAMx at the time EPA updated its modeling in Fall 2017. Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extension version 6.40 User's Guide,” Ramboll Environ, December 2016, available at http://www.camx.com/. For the emissions information, see TSD: Additional Updates to Emissions Inventories for the Version 6.3, 2011 Emissions Modeling Platform for the Year 2023, October 2017. Available at https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-modeling/2011-version-63-platform.

    37 For the updated modeling, EPA used the construct of the modeling platform (i.e., modeling domain and non-emissions inputs) that we used for the NODA modeling, except that the photolysis rates files were updated to be consistent with CAMx v6.40. The NODA Air Quality Modeling Technical Support Document describing the modeling platform is available at https://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/notice-data-availability-preliminary-interstate-ozone-transport-modeling-data-2015-ozone.

    38 Draft Modeling Guidance for Demonstrating Attainment of Air Quality Goals for Ozone, PM2s, and Regional Haze (Dec. 13, 2014), available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance/guide/Draft_O3-PM-RH_Modeling_Guidance-2014.pdf.

    39 A model grid cell is identified as a “water” cell if more than 50 percent of the grid cell is water based on the 2006 National Land Cover Database. Grid cells that meet this criterion are treated as entirely over water in the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) modeling used to develop the 2011 meteorology for EPA's air quality modeling.

    40 The base period and 2023 average and maximum design values at individual monitoring sites for both the “3 x 3” approach and the alternative approach affecting coastal sites are available in a file at https://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/october-2017-memo-and-information-interstate-transport-sips-2008-ozone-naaqs. This file also contains 2014-2016 measured design values.

    When identifying areas with potential downwind air quality problems, EPA's updated modeling used the same “receptor” definitions as those developed during the CSAPR rulemaking process and used in the CSAPR Update.41 That is, EPA identified nonattainment receptors as those monitoring sites with current measured values exceeding the NAAQS that also have projected (i.e., in 2023) average design values exceeding the NAAQS. EPA identified maintenance receptors as those monitoring sites with current measured values below the NAAQS and projected average and maximum design values exceeding the NAAQS. EPA also identified as maintenance receptors those monitoring sites with projected average design values below the NAAQS but with projected maximum design values exceeding the NAAQS. As with past application of receptor definitions, EPA considered all nonattainment receptors to also be maintenance receptors because a monitoring site with a projected average design value above the standard necessarily also has a projected maximum design value above the standard.

    41See 81 FR 74530 (October 26, 2016).

    EPA's 2023 updated modeling, using either the “3 x 3” approach or the alternative approach described above for projecting design values for monitoring sites in coastal areas, indicates that there are no monitoring sites outside of California that are projected to have nonattainment or maintenance problems with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2023.42 Specifically for Kentucky, EPA's modeling for the CSAPR Update showed that emissions from Kentucky were linked to 2017 maintenance receptors in Harford Co., MD, Hamilton Co., OH, Philadelphia Co., PA, and Richmond Co., NY. As indicated above, EPA's updated 2023 modeling shows that these monitoring sites—along with all other sites outside of California—will have nonattainment and/or maintenance problems resolved with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2023.

    42 This information is available at https://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/october-2017-memo-and-information-interstate-transport-sips-2008-ozone-naaqs.

    C. Conclusions

    As discussed above, Kentucky's draft submission demonstrates that emission activities from the State will not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state after implementation of all on-the-books measures, including the CSAPR Update. EPA's modeling indicates that there are no monitoring sites (outside of California) that are projected to have nonattainment or maintenance problems with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2023, and EPA's analysis supports the use of 2023 as the proper analytic year. Kentucky has provided information that shows the use of this modeling is appropriate in this context, such as emissions trends data and information about on-the-books controls that supports the likelihood of reduced emissions from Kentucky between 2017 and 2023. For example, Kentucky's submission notes that retirements of coal-fired units at the E.W. Brown Generating Station and the Elmer Smith Plant are planned to occur before 2023, which means that emissions of NOX from Kentucky sources will be even lower than EPA's modeling projects. In addition, Kentucky's draft submission contains air quality modeling conducted by Alpine Geophysics, LLC, that similarly concludes that none of the nonattainment and maintenance receptors identified in the CSAPR Update are predicted to be in nonattainment or have issues with maintenance in 2023.

    Because Kentucky is not linked to any downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptors in 2023, EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky's draft SIP submission and to determine that—after implementation of all on-the-books measures, including the CSAPR Update—emissions from the Commonwealth will no longer contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.HD1P>IV. Parallel Processing

    Parallel processing refers to a concurrent state and federal proposed rulemaking action. Generally, the state submits a copy of the proposed regulation or other revisions to EPA before conducting its public hearing. EPA reviews this proposed state action, and prepares a notice of proposed rulemaking. EPA's notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register during the same timeframe that the state is holding its public hearing. The state and EPA then provide for concurrent public comment periods on both the state action and federal action, respectively. If the state's formal SIP revision is changed from the draft SIP revision, EPA will evaluate those changes and may publish another notice of proposed rulemaking. A final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP revision has been adopted by Kentucky and submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the SIP.

    The Commonwealth of Kentucky, through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ), requested parallel processing of the February 28, 2018 draft SIP revision regarding the “good neighbor” provision of the CAA. This revision was noticed for public comment by the Commonwealth on March 1, 2018, and is not yet state-effective. Through this proposed rulemaking, EPA is proposing parallel approval of this draft SIP revision.

    Once the February 28, 2018, draft revision is state-effective, Kentucky will need to provide EPA with a formal SIP revision that meets the requirements outlined in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V “Criteria for Determining the Completeness of Plan Submissions.” After Kentucky submits the formal SIP revision (including a response to any public comments raised during the State's public participation process), EPA will evaluate the revision. If the formal SIP revision is changed from the draft SIP revision, EPA will evaluate those changes for significance. If any such changes are found by EPA to be significant, then the Agency intends to re-propose the action based upon the revised submission.

    While EPA may not be able to have a concurrent public comment process with the Commonwealth, the DAQ-requested parallel processing allows EPA to begin to take action on the Commonwealth's draft SIP submission in advance of the formal SIP submission. As stated above, the final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP submission has been: (1) Adopted by Kentucky; (2) submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the SIP; and (3) evaluated for changes.

    V. EPA's Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky's February 28, 2018, draft SIP submission and to find that Kentucky is not required to make any further reductions, beyond those required by the CSAPR Update, to address its statutory obligation under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. If EPA finalizes approval of this draft submission, Kentucky's obligations under 110(a)(2)(d)(i)(I) will be fully addressed through the combination of the CSAPR Update FIP and the demonstration showing that no further reductions are necessary. As a result, EPA is also proposing to amend the regulatory text at 40 CFR 52.940(b)(2) to reflect that the CSAPR Update represents a full remedy with respect to Kentucky's transport obligation for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA requests comment on this proposed action.

    EPA's proposed approval is contingent on Kentucky's submission of a final SIP revision that does not differ significantly from the February 28, 2018 draft. Should Kentucky not submit such a final SIP revision to EPA or should EPA not be able to approve a final revision, EPA will undertake further action to address any outstanding obligations that Kentucky may have under 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The Agency has made the preliminary determination that this proposed action is consistent with the CAA.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. See 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. This action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone,, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: April 9. 2018. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08137 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 20 [WT Docket No. 10-4; FCC 18-35] Improvement of Wireless Coverage Through the Use of Signal Boosters AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission proposes additional steps to enhance the usefulness of signal boosters in improving access to wireless service while continuing to guard against unacceptable interference to the operations of wireless providers. The proposals are intended to extend additional benefits to users of both Provider-Specific and Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters. Thus, the Commission proposes to expand the service bands on which all Consumer Signal Boosters may operate, develop consumer advisory requirements suitable for any embedded Consumer Signal Boosters (whether Provider-Specific or Wideband), and facilitate enterprise use of both Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters and Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters.

    DATES:

    Interested parties may file comments on or before May 18, 2018, and reply comments on or before June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 10-4, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the internet by accessing the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS): http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. Generally, if more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    • Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    • All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW, Washington DC 20554.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Huetinck at [email protected], of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Mobility Division, (202) 418-7090. For additional information concerning the PRA information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918 or send an email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second Further Notice) in WT Docket No. 10-4, FCC 18-35, released on March 23, 2018. The complete text of the Second Further Notice, including all Appendices, is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A157, Washington, DC 20554, or by downloading the text from the Commission's website at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-18-35A1.pdf.

    Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    I. Second Further Notice A. Additional Spectrum Bands

    1. In the Report and Order, adopted on February 20, 2013 (WT Docket No. 10-4) (Report and Order), the Commission authorized the use of Consumer Signal Boosters in the wireless radio service spectrum bands that were being used for the provision of commercial wireless services at the time: Cellular (824-849 MHz and 869-894 MHz), Broadband PCS (1850-1915 MHz and 1930-1995 MHz), AWS-1 (1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz), 700 MHz Lower A through E (698-746 MHz) and Upper C (746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz) Blocks, and 800 MHz Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio (ESMR) (817-824 MHz and 862-869 MHz). Recognizing that “subscriber-based services may be offered in additional bands in the future,” the Commission also stated that, “[a]s consumer demand for signal boosters in these bands arises,” it would seek comment on “how best to expand our signal booster framework to accommodate such additional bands.”

    2. To ensure that Consumer Signal Boosters continue to meet the needs of American telecommunications users, no matter what type of mobile device they use or on what band(s) that device operates, the Commission seeks comment on whether and how the Commission can expand the number of spectrum bands for which Consumer Signal Boosters are authorized. The Commission specifically seeks comment on whether to permit the operation of Consumer Signal Boosters in certain additional wireless radio service spectrum bands and how its technical rules would need to be amended to accommodate the additional bands.

    3. In determining which, if any, new bands are appropriate for use with Consumer Signal Boosters, the Commission considers: (1) Whether the band is used to provide services to consumers or other non-licensee users such as public safety responders (assuming they are using commercial spectrum rather than spectrum specifically designated for public safety); (2) whether a meaningful number of the licensees in the band will consent to Consumer Signal Booster operation; (3) the impact of other technologies and operations both within the band and in adjacent bands and whether Consumer Signal Booster operation would harm other users within the band or in adjacent bands (and vice versa); and (4) whether the current technical rules for signal boosters must be adjusted to accommodate any such new service bands.

    4. With this criteria in mind, the Commission specifically seeks comment on whether it should authorize the operation of Consumer Signal Boosters in the 600 MHz (617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz), WCS (2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz), and BRS/EBS (2495-2690 MHz) bands. Commenters should address how each consideration identified above weighs for or against including any of the proposed bands in its Consumer Signal Booster rules. Are there any other considerations that the Commission should take into account in determining whether new bands are appropriate for use with Consumer Signal Boosters? Are there other bands it should consider adding to its Consumer Signal Booster rules? To the extent that commenters support adding other bands to its Consumer Signal Booster rules, they should address the above listed considerations, and any others that commenters demonstrate are relevant, in relation to those specific band(s) as well.

    5. Further, are there costs associated with adding additional spectrum bands to the signal booster regime? What would be the benefits, quantifiable and otherwise, of permitting operation of Consumer Spectrum Boosters on additional bands? Are there any changes the Commission would need to make to its Consumer Signal Booster requirements and technical specifications to accommodate any additional bands that may be added to the rules? How can it balance the risk of releasing into the market Consumer Signal Boosters with the ability to operate on bands for which not all licensees have consented with the benefit to consumers of using the devices on the networks for which there is consent? Finally, the Commission also urges commenters to provide suggestions for other ways to expand the use of safe and reliable Consumer Signal Boosters.

    B. Embedded Consumer Signal Boosters

    6. Despite the success of the Consumer Signal Booster regulatory regime, it appears that businesses that wish to embed Consumer Signal Boosters within vehicles have been stymied by section 20.21(f)(1)'s requirement that advisories be placed on the outside packaging of the device and on a label affixed to the device. Because these Consumer Signal Boosters are embedded within a vehicle, and the consumer neither has access to nor sees the device or its packaging, these businesses, as a practical matter, are unable to comply with section 20.21(f)(1).

    7. In light of the evolving use of Consumer Signal Boosters and the Commission's desire to encourage technological innovation, the Commission proposes to amend section 20.21(f)(1) for embedded Consumer Signal Boosters to provide alternative advisory language to that now found in section 20.21(f)(1)(iv)(A)(1) as well as an alternative to providing the advisory on the device and its packaging, as required by section 20.21(f)(1)(iii)-(iv). The Commission seek to strike a balance between providing flexibility in the Consumer Signal Booster marketplace and retaining the protections offered by the labeling requirement.

    8. To achieve this goal, the Commission proposes that in lieu of placing the required advisory on the device and its packaging, vehicle manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of embedded Consumer Signal Boosters instead be required to provide an alternative advisory to consumers in any materials provided at vehicle delivery, as well as to consumers when they register their vehicle with the vehicle manufacturer. The Commission emphasizes that these manufacturers, distributors, and retailers would remain responsible for ensuring that the alternative advisory is provided in any on-line, point-of-sale marketing materials and in any print or on-line owner's manual, as required by section 20.21(f)(1)(i)-(ii).

    9. Under the proposal, the alternative advisory would provide all the same warnings to consumers, including that they must register the embedded signal booster with and receive the consent of the appropriate wireless provider(s), and it additionally would include instructions for the consumer on how to disable the device for the specific vehicle. To provide maximum flexibility to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of vehicles with embedded signal boosters, the Commission proposes to permit them both to craft their own processes for their customers to disable the device and to insert a description of that process into the advisory but would expect that the chosen mode be one that the average consumer easily can undertake.

    10. The Commission seeks comment on the above approach and asks commenters to provide information on the costs of complying with such a requirement. Do the benefits of providing an alternative delivery method for the advisory language for embedded Consumer Signal Boosters justify the costs that would be involved? Is the alternative advisory language sufficient to provide adequate notice to consumers? Is the method of delivery—via materials at vehicle delivery and in response to consumer registration of their vehicle with the vehicle manufacturer—a sufficient means of ensuring that consumers receive the advisory? Is this approach the best way the Commission can reduce the burden on businesses that wish to embed signal boosters in vehicles while ensuring consumers receive all necessary information? Is there a better way that the Commission can achieve this goal? If so, what is that approach and why is it superior? Commenters should discuss the costs and benefits of any proposals.

    11. In addition, how can the Commission address the situation where a vehicle owner who has complied with all obligations associated with the embedded Consumer Signal Booster in his vehicle sells the vehicle to a third party in a private transaction? Would a new signal booster registration be required for this new user? How can the Commission ensure that the new owner will satisfy the requirements for signal booster operation? What would be the responsibilities of a manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer that has complied with all of its associated obligations for the original sale in such a scenario? Are there any other rules that the Commission would need to revise to achieve its goal of balancing the limitations faced in connection with providing sufficient information about operation in connection with embedded signal boosters with ensuring that the owner of the vehicle meets all the applicable obligations? Are there other types of embedded uses that the Commission should consider? If so, what other considerations are there? Finally, are there any other considerations regarding embedded Consumer Signal Boosters for which the Commission has not accounted and should?

    12. The Commission also seeks comment on how to treat waivers of section 21.20(f)(1) that it has granted to several companies for this purpose (WT Docket No. 10-4) (Labeling Waivers) following any rule change it adopts based upon the record compiled in response to the Second Further Notice. The Commission recognizes that its proposed rules differ from the waiver conditions, and, if the rules are adopted, the manufacturers party to the Labeling Waivers would need to alter their practices as a result. The Commission seeks comment on how it should handle the transition from the requirements of the Labeling Waivers to those of the proposed rules. How can the Commission best balance the importance of timely compliance with the rule changes with the realities of their business? For example, should it require compliance by the production year following the rules' adoption so manufacturers are not forced to alter their manufacturing parameters mid-production?

    C. Enterprise Use

    13. The rules adopted in the Report and Order were designed specifically to benefit the general consumer, and they have worked well to that end. In the associated Second Report and Order, released March 23, 2018 (WT Docket No. 10-4) (Second Report and Order), the Commission provided flexibility for enterprise (i.e., any non-individual, such as a small business, public safety entity, school, hospital, or governmental organization) and individual subscribers of a wireless provider to operate a Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Booster for non-personal use on that provider's spectrum. In the Second Further Notice, the Commission considers whether and how to expand that flexibility to permit different types of enterprise entities to take advantage of the benefits of both Provider-Specific and Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters, while continuing to ensure that all signal boosters function safely on those networks and without causing harmful interference. Specifically, the Commission examines whether and how to enable enterprises (and individuals) to operate either type of Consumer Signal Booster—Provider-Specific or Wideband—on a provider's spectrum without subscribing to the provider's service. The Commission generally seeks comment on whether it should expand access to Consumer Signal Boosters in this way.

    14. The Commission observes that, to effect such a change and achieve the related public interest benefits, it would need to amend its Consumer Signal Booster rules both to: (1) Eliminate the personal use restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters, and (2) prescribe a method for non-subscribers to register a Consumer Signal Booster (whether Provider-Specific or Wideband) with and receive the consent of all relevant wireless providers.

    1. Wideband Consumer Signal Booster Personal Use Restriction

    15. The personal use restriction guards against unauthorized operation of a signal booster on a wireless provider's network, while also providing a streamlined consent and registration process for consumers. This risk of unauthorized operation is present for Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters because they can operate on spectrum licensed to multiple wireless providers. While the personal use restriction was devised to stem this risk while providing convenience to consumers, it also effectively prevents enterprise use of Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters, thereby denying a crucial tool for improving wireless service access to a range of entities—including businesses of all sizes, public safety entities (using commercial spectrum), educational institutions, and others.

    16. On December 21, 2016, Wilson Electronics, LLC, filed a Petition for Further Rulemaking asking the Commission to eliminate the personal use restriction on the operation of Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters and adopt a multi-provider registration requirement for Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters (WT Docket No. 10-4). On March 3, 2017, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau sought comment on the Wilson Petition (WT Docket No. 10-4) (Wilson Public Notice). Commenters responding to the Wilson Public Notice almost uniformly supported elimination of the personal use restriction for both types of boosters. They argued that Consumer Signal Boosters offer enterprises a cost-effective way to boost signal coverage for employees and customers, that expanding access to these devices will promote public safety, and that the NPS has negated any potential interference concerns.

    17. Based upon the success of the Consumer Signal Booster rules thus far and the record before it, the Commission proposes to eliminate the personal use restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters and requests comment on this proposal. What are the potential benefits of eliminating the personal use restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters? Are there quantifiable economic benefits associated with this proposal? Would removal of this restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters increase the likelihood of harmful interference to wireless providers' networks? Are there, as one commenter claims, different and possibly more extensive technical and performance issues? Are there other possible costs associated with the possible removal of the personal use restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters? How might any costs or adverse effects balance against any benefits resulting from this proposed rule change? The Commission requests that commenters provide as much documentation and detail as possible in their comments on this proposal so that it can fairly evaluate the issues.

    2. Subscriber Relationship

    18. Under the current rules, operators must be subscribers of the wireless provider on whose spectrum they use a Consumer Signal Booster and may register only with said provider. To use a Wideband Consumer Signal Booster for multiple providers under its current rules, a subscriber of each provider must register that same device with each respective provider.

    19. Accordingly, even if the Commission eliminates the personal use restriction for Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters as proposed, enterprise users still would be unable to operate a Wideband booster across multiple providers' spectrum unless they subscribed to each provider. The Commission therefore considers whether and how to permit non-subscribers to operate Provider-Specific or Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters and proposes a means for non-subscribers to register with and receive consent from providers to which they do not subscribe, while ensuring that providers maintain control over their networks.

    20. Section 301 of the Communications Act requires a valid FCC license to operate a radio frequency transmitting device, such as a signal booster. The Commission in the Report and Order noted that wireless providers must retain sufficient control over Consumer Signal Boosters to avoid violating Section 310(d) of the Act and thus authorized Consumer Signal Boosters under wireless providers' blanket licenses and required that signal booster operators be subscribers who must obtain the consent of their wireless provider and register their Consumer Signal Booster with that provider. By all accounts, this framework has worked as intended, and wireless providers have retained required control of their operations, with interference to wireless networks being almost nonexistent.

    21. The Commission proposes to extend this paradigm so that a non-subscriber may operate a Consumer Signal Booster under the provider's blanket license subject to an arrangement with the provider. This arrangement would serve as a substitute for the subscriber relationship while retaining the consent and registration components of its framework. Similar to a subscriber agreement, such an arrangement could include any appropriate rights, restrictions, and obligations the provider believes it must impose on the non-subscriber. In this way, wireless providers would continue to maintain control over their licensed spectrum in compliance with section 310(d) while enterprise users and individuals would have the flexibility to operate boosters across wireless networks, including taking advantage of any alternative approaches to facilitating the operation of Consumer Signal Boosters by non-subscribers.

    22. The Commission also proposes that non-subscriber registrants would have to agree to and accept certain terms established by the wireless provider on whose spectrum the Consumer Signal Booster would operate. The details of the arrangement between the wireless provider and a non-subscriber registrant generally would be left to the wireless providers to implement, but at minimum the Commission proposes that any such arrangement must require that the registrant:

    • Prior to operation, obtain the consent of the licensee for any network operating in the range of the signal booster;

    • Prior to operation, register the signal booster with the licensee for any network on which the booster will be operated;

    • Operate the Consumer Signal Booster only with approved antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices as specified by the manufacturer of the booster;

    • Operate the signal booster only on frequencies used for the provision of subscriber-based services, as specified in section 20.21(e)(3);

    • Because operation of Consumer Signal Boosters is on a secondary, non-interference basis to primary services licensed for the frequency bands on which they transmit, upon request of an FCC representative or a licensee experiencing harmful interference,

    ○ Cooperate in determining the source of the interference, and

    ○ If necessary, deactivate the signal booster immediately, or as soon as practicable, if immediate deactivation is not possible;

    • Use a signal booster that meets the Network Protection Standard in Section 20.21(e);

    • Use a signal booster that is appropriately labeled as required by Section 20.21(f); and

    • Not deactivate any features of the signal booster that are designed to prevent harmful interference to wireless networks. These features must be enabled and operating at all times that the signal booster is in use.

    23. The Commission seeks comment on these proposed terms. Are they adequate to achieve its goals? More specifically, is the requirement that operators receive consent of all providers “operating in the range of the signal booster” feasible? What costs would this requirement entail for the purchasers/operators of Consumer Signal Boosters? The Commission seeks comment on whether wireless providers may charge a registration fee to non-subscribers. Should it set up a system for registrants to determine which providers are in range of their signal booster? Should the providers themselves set up such a system? Should the Commission include any additional protections for consumers? How could these arrangements be enforced against a non-subscriber? Are there other ways in which the Commission can ease the registration and consent requirements for small businesses? If a commenter suggests alternative or additional terms, or a different approach to the establishment of an arrangement between a wireless provider and a non-subscriber Consumer Signal Booster registrant, its comments should explain the purpose and feasibility of such different or additional terms, and should also address how any arrangement meets the requirements of sections 301 and 310(d) of the Communications Act.

    24. As with the current subscriber framework, the Commission intends that this registration process (which also would include the establishment of the relationship between the wireless provider and the non-subscriber Consumer Signal Booster operator) would constitute the provider's consent to the non-subscriber registrant's operation of the signal booster. To be clear, the signal booster's operator would need to register with each and every provider on whose network the signal booster might operate. The registered operator would remain responsible for the signal booster as defined by the Commission's rules, while other users could utilize the signal booster without registering. If an individual chose to operate a booster for his personal use on his subscribing provider's network, however, the individual simply would follow the current framework and register only with that provider. The Commission seeks comment on this proposed framework. Does it achieve the goals of expanding access to Consumer Signal Boosters while adequately providing licensees with control over their networks? Is there a better way to achieve this goal?

    25. If the Commission allows individuals and enterprises to register with and seek consent from wireless providers other than those to which they subscribe, it observes it also must alter the required advisory language for Consumer Signal Boosters, specifically the statement that “BEFORE USE, you MUST REGISTER THIS DEVICE with your wireless provider and have your provider's consent. Most wireless providers consent to the use of signal boosters. Some providers may not consent to the use of this device on their network. If you are unsure, contact your provider.” The Commission proposes to alter this language to make clear to purchasers that any Consumer Signal Booster must be registered with one or more wireless providers and that it may not be used with any provider in the absence of their prior consent. The Commission also proposes to include language directing signal booster purchasers/operators to an FCC web page that will guide them to determine with which provider(s) they must register and from whom they must receive consent before initiating any operation of the signal booster. The Commission preliminarily anticipates that the FCC web page would include tools so that a Consumer Signal Booster purchaser/operator could determine whether it needed to register with only one, or with multiple providers and to assist the purchaser/operator in identifying which providers might be within range of the signal booster when operated. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Is it likely to promote compliance with its requirements for Consumer Signal Boosters or might it instead lead to purchasers, particularly individuals, ignoring the requirements? Is there a simpler way to include the required information in an advisory that accompanies the Consumer Signal Boosters? Is there a more efficient way for signal booster purchasers/operators to obtain this information?

    26. The Commission also considers what action it should take with respect to Mobile Consumer Signal Boosters if it moves forward with its overall proposal. While Mobile Consumer Signal Boosters generally are used by consumers for their personal use and only on their own provider's mobile network (e.g., in their personal car), other non-personal uses across multiple wireless providers' spectrum are possible as well. For example, commercial bus or train lines that travel across multiple markets may choose to deploy a mobile booster for their passengers' use. The Commission proposes that such enterprises would be required to register their Mobile Consumer Signal Boosters with all providers within range of the signal booster, even though the number of such wireless providers may well be larger than those for a fixed signal booster, as the bus or train would be moving through multiple markets. Would imposing this registration requirement for mobile signal boosters be burdensome on entities like bus and train lines, or would it simply be considered a requirement of doing business? Is there an alternative way to address the need for registration of mobile signal boosters that would maintain the integrity of its registration and consent requirement?

    27. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on whether either or both of its proposals above (to eliminate the personal use restriction for Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters and to allow non-subscribers to operate Consumer Signal Boosters on the networks of all wireless providers) require any additional rule changes. For example, would either proposal require any technical rule changes? Are enterprise users likely to place their Consumer Signal Boosters in locations that are more prone to causing interference, for example, outdoors or on top of tall buildings? Should the Commission consider placing restrictions on where Consumer Signal Boosters may be operated? Is there a technical reason to limit how many Consumer Signal Boosters one operator may deploy? Sprint, for example, points out that using multiple Consumer Signal Boosters to cover a large industrial, retail, or other facility is not ideal, “as the performance of the boosters is not optimized for such deployments.” Are there any other considerations?

    II. Procedural Matters A. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    28. The Second Further Notice contains proposed modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    29. The Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) is in Appendix D of the Second Further Notice.

    B. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    30. As required by the RFA, the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities of the rule revisions proposed in the Second Further Notice. The analysis is found in Appendix D of the Second Further Notice. The Commission requests written public comment on the analysis. Comments must be filed in accordance with the same deadlines as comments filed in response to the Second Further Notice, and must have a separate and distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of the Second Further Notice, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, in accordance with the RFAs.

    C. Ex Parte Presentations

    31. This proceeding shall continue to be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

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

    III. Ordering Clauses

    33. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to Sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 7, 301, 302, and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 157, 301, 302, and 303, that the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Docket No. 10-4 is adopted.

    34. It is further ordered that, pursuant to applicable procedures set forth in Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments on the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on or before 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and reply comments on or before 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    35. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 20

    Communications common carriers, Communications equipment, Radio.

    Federal Communications Commission. Katura Jackson, Federal Register Liaison. Office of the Secretary. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 20 as follows:

    PART 20—COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICES 1. The authority citation for Part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a) 154(i), 157, 160, 201, 214, 222, 251(e), 301, 302, 303, 303(b), 303(r), 307, 307(a), 309, 309(j)(3), 316, 316(a), 332, 610, 615, 615a, 615b, 615c, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 20.21 by revising paragraphs (a), (f), (g), and (h) to read as follows:
    § 20.21 Signal boosters.

    (a) Operation of Consumer Signal Boosters.—(1) For personal use by a subscriber. A subscriber in good standing of a commercial mobile radio service system may operate a Consumer Signal Booster under the authorization held by the licensee providing service to the subscriber, provided that the subscriber complies with paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(vi) of this section. Failure to comply with all applicable rules in this section and all applicable technical rules for the frequency band(s) of operation voids the authority to operate the Consumer Signal Booster.

    (i) Prior to operation, the subscriber obtains the consent of the licensee providing service to the subscriber;

    (ii) Prior to operation, the subscriber registers the Consumer Signal Booster with the licensee providing service to the subscriber;

    (iii) The subscriber only operates the Consumer Signal Booster with approved antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices as specified by the manufacturer of the Consumer Signal Booster;

    (iv) The subscriber operates the Consumer Signal Booster on frequencies used for the provision of subscriber-based services as specified by paragraph (e)(3) of this section;

    (v) The Consumer Signal Booster complies with paragraphs (e), (f), (g), and (h) of this section and § 2.907 of this chapter; and

    (vi) The subscriber may not deactivate any features of the Consumer Signal Booster that are designed to prevent harmful interference to wireless networks. These features must be enabled and operating at all times the signal booster is in use.

    (2) For non-personal use. An individual or non-individual may operate a Consumer Signal Booster under the authorization held by the licensee(s) of the spectrum on which the Consumer Signal Booster operates, provided that the operator complies with paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (a)(2)(vi) of this section. Failure to comply with all applicable rules in this section and all applicable technical rules for the frequency band(s) of operation voids the authority to operate the Consumer Signal Booster.

    (i) Prior to operation, the operator obtains the consent of the licensee(s) of the spectrum on which the Consumer Signal Booster operates;

    (ii) Prior to operation, the operator registers the Consumer Signal Booster with the licensee(s) of the spectrum on which the Consumer Signal Booster operates;

    (iii) The operator only operates the Consumer Signal Booster with approved antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices as specified by the manufacturer of the Consumer Signal Booster;

    (iv) The operator operates the Consumer Signal Booster on frequencies used for the provision of subscriber-based services as specified by paragraph (e)(3) of this section;

    (v) The Consumer Signal Booster complies with paragraphs (e), (f), (g), and (h) of this section and § 2.907 of this chapter; and

    (vi) The operator may not deactivate any features of the Consumer Signal Booster that are designed to prevent harmful interference to wireless networks. These features must be enabled and operating at all times the signal booster is in use.

    (f) Signal Booster Labeling Requirements.

    (1) Consumer Signal Boosters.

    (i) Consumer Signal Booster manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must ensure that all signal boosters include the following advisory:

    This is a CONSUMER device.

    BEFORE USE, you MUST REGISTER THIS DEVICE with the appropriate wireless provider(s) and have that provider's consent. Most wireless providers consent to the use of signal boosters. Some providers may not consent to the use of this device on their network. Please visit www.fcc.gov/X to determine the provider(s) with which you must register and from which you must receive consent.

    You MUST operate this device with approved antennas and cables as specified by the manufacturer. Antennas MUST be installed at least 20 cm (8 inches) from any person.

    You MUST cease operating this device immediately if requested by the FCC or a licensed wireless service provider.

    WARNING. E911 location information may not be provided or may be inaccurate for calls served by using this device.

    (ii) The label for Consumer Signal Boosters certified for fixed indoor operation also must include the following language:

    This device may be operated ONLY in a fixed location for in-building use.

    (iii) These advisories must be included:

    (A) In on-line, point-of-sale marketing materials,

    (B) In any owner's manual and installation instructions (whether in print or on-line),

    (C) On the outside packaging of the device, and

    (D) On a label affixed to the device.

    (iv) In lieu of the requirements of paragraphs (f)(1)(i), and (f)(1)(iii)(C and (D) of this section, vehicle manufacturers, vehicle distributors, and vehicle retailers of vehicles with embedded Consumer Signal Boosters must use the following alternative advisory in any materials provided at vehicle delivery and when the consumer registers the vehicle with the vehicle manufacturer:

    This vehicle contains a CONSUMER SIGNAL BOOSTER device.

    BEFORE USE, you MUST REGISTER THIS SIGNAL BOOSTER DEVICE with the appropriate wireless provider(s) and have that provider's consent. Most wireless providers consent to the use of signal boosters. Some providers may not consent to the use of this device on their network. Please visit www.fcc.gov/X to determine with which provider(s) you must register and from which you must receive consent.

    If a wireless provider does not consent to the use of this device on its network, or if you are directed to cease operating the device by the FCC or a licensed wireless service provider, you MUST [manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer insert instruction to consumer].

    WARNING. E911 location information may not be provided or may be inaccurate for calls served by using this device.

    (v) A Consumer Signal Booster label may contain an acknowledgement that particular provider(s) have given their consent for all consumers to use the device. Such an acknowledgement shall be inserted prior to, “Some providers may not consent to the use of this device on their network.” The remaining language of the advisory shall remain the same.

    (2) Industrial Signal Boosters. (i) Industrial Signal Booster manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must ensure that all signal boosters, include the following advisory:

    WARNING. This is NOT a CONSUMER device. It is designed for installation by FCC LICENSEES and QUALIFIED INSTALLERS. You MUST have an FCC LICENSE or express consent of an FCC Licensee to operate this device. Unauthorized use may result in significant forfeiture penalties, including penalties in excess of $100,000 for each continuing violation.

    (g) Marketing and Sale of Signal Boosters. Except as provided in § 2.803 of this chapter, no person, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may market (as defined in § 2.803 of this chapter) any Consumer Signal Booster that does not comply with the requirements of this section to any person in the United States or to any person intending to operate the Consumer Signal Booster within the United States.

    (h) Registration. (1) Each licensee consenting to the operation of a Consumer Signal Booster must establish a free registration mechanism for subscribers and register all, including non-subscriber, Consumer Signal Boosters to which it consents. A licensee must establish a registration mechanism within 90 days of consenting to the operation of a Consumer Signal Booster. At a minimum, a licensee must collect:

    (i) The name of the Consumer Signal Booster owner and/or operator, if different individuals;

    (ii) The make, model, and serial number of the device;

    (iii) The location of the device; and

    (iv) The date of initial operation. Licensee consent is voluntary and may be withdrawn at the licensee's discretion.

    (2) In addition, for any non-subscriber registration, at a minimum, the registrant must:

    (i) Prior to operation, obtain the consent of the licensee for any network operating in the range of the signal booster;

    (ii) Prior to operation, register the signal booster with the licensee for any network on which the booster will be operated;

    (iii) Operate the Consumer Signal Booster only with approved antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices as specified by the manufacturer of the booster;

    (iv) Operate the signal booster only on frequencies used for the provision of subscriber-based services, as specified by paragraph (e)(3) of this section;

    (v) Because operation of Consumer Signal Boosters is on a secondary, non-interference basis to primary services licensed for the frequency bands on which they transmit, upon request of an FCC representative or a licensee experiencing harmful interference,

    (A) Cooperate in determining the source of the interference, and

    (B) If necessary, deactivate the signal booster immediately, or as soon as practicable, if immediate deactivation is not possible;

    (vi) Use a signal booster that meets the Network Protection Standard as required by paragraph (e) of this section;

    (vii) Use a signal booster that is appropriately labeled as required by paragraph (f) of this section; and

    (viii) Not deactivate any features of the signal booster that are designed to prevent harmful interference to wireless networks. These features must be enabled and operating at all times the signal booster is in use.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08030 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    83 75 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Designation for the Jamestown, North Dakota; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Memphis, Tennessee Areas AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    AMS is announcing the designations of Grain Inspection, Inc. (Jamestown); Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc. (Lincoln); and Midsouth Grain Inspection Service (Midsouth) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary's Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under AMS.

    DATES:

    Applicable Date: April 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Mark Wooden, Compliance Officer, USDA, AMS, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Wooden, 816-659-8413, [email protected] or [email protected]

    Read Applications: All applications and comments are available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the September 5, 2017, Federal Register (82 FR 41911-41914), GIPSA requested applications for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas serviced by Jamestown, Lincoln, and Midsouth. Applications were due by October 5, 2017.

    The current official agencies, Lincoln and Midsouth, were the only applicants for designation to provide official services in their respective areas. As a result, GIPSA did not ask for additional comments.

    The current official agency, Jamestown, applied for most of the territory within its current geographic area except for a small eastern portion. North Dakota Grain Inspection Service, Inc. (North Dakota) applied for the small eastern portion of Jamestown's territory.

    AMS evaluated the designation criteria in section 7(f) of the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 79(f)) and determined that Jamestown, Lincoln, Midsouth, and North Dakota are qualified to provide official services in the geographic areas specified in the Federal Register on September 5, 2017. These designations to provide official services in the specified areas of Lincoln and Midsouth are effective April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023.

    The designation to provide official services in the specified area by Jamestown is effective April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. Jamestown's geographic area is amended as follows:

    Jamestown

    Pursuant to Section 7(f)(2) of the USGSA, the following geographic area, in the States of Minnesota and North Dakota, is assigned to this official agency.

    In Minnesota

    Traverse, Grant, Douglas, Todd, Morrison, Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Pine, Big Stone, Stevens, Pope, Stearns, Benton, Isanti, Chisago, Swift, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Wright, Sherburne, Anoka, Lac Qui Parle, and Chippewa Counties.

    In North Dakota

    Bounded on the north by Interstate 94 east to U.S. Route 85; U.S. Route 85 north to State Route 200; State Route 200 east to U.S. Route 83; U.S. Route 83 southeast to State Route 41; State Route 41 north to State Route 200; State Route 200 east to State Route 3; State Route 3 north to the northern Wells County line, the northern Wells and Eddy County lines east; the eastern Eddy County line south to the northern Griggs County line; the northern Griggs county line east to State Route 32; bounded on the east by State Route 32 south to State Route 45; State Route 45 south to State Route 200; State Route 200 west to State Route 1; State Route 1 south to Interstate 94; Interstate 94 East to State Route 1; State Route 1 south to the Dickey County line; bounded on the South by the southern Dickey County line west to U.S. Route 281; U.S. Route 281 north to the Lamoure County line; the southern Lamoure County line; the southern Logan County line west to State Route 13; State Route 13 west to U.S. Route 83; U.S. Route 83 south to the Emmons County line; the southern Emmons County line; the southern Sioux County line west to State Route 49; State Route 49 north to State Route 21; State Route 21 west to the Burlington-Northern line; the Burlington-Northern line northwest to State Route 22; State Route 22 south to U.S. Route 12; U.S. Route 12 west-northwest to the North Dakota State line; and bounded on the west by the western North Dakota State line north to Interstate 94.

    The following grain elevators are not part of this geographic area assignment and are assigned to Minot Grain Inspection, Inc.: Benson Quinn Company, Underwood, McLean County and SRS Commodities, Washburn, McLean County, North Dakota.

    The designation to provide official services in the specified area by North Dakota remains effective from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020. North Dakota's geographic area is amended effective April 1, 2018, as follows:

    North Dakota

    Pursuant to Section 7(f)(2) of the USGSA, the following geographic area, in the States of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Ohio is assigned to this official agency.

    In Illinois

    Bounded on the east by the eastern Cumberland County line; the eastern Jasper County line south to State Route 33; State Route 33 east-southeast to the Indiana-Illinois State line; the Indiana-Illinois State line south to the southern Gallatin County line; bounded on the south by the southern Gallatin, Saline, and Williamson County lines; the southern Jackson County line west to U.S. Route 51; U.S. Route 51 north to State Route 13; State Route 13 northwest to State Route 149; State Route 149 west to State Route 3; State Route 3 northwest to State Route 51; State Route 51 south to the Mississippi River; and bounded on the west by the Mississippi River north to the northern Calhoun County line; bounded on the north by the northern and eastern Calhoun County lines; the northern and eastern Jersey County lines; the northern Madison County line; the western Montgomery County line north to a point on this line that intersects with a straight line, from the junction of State Route 111 and the northern Macoupin County line to the junction of Interstate 55 and State Route 16 (in Montgomery County); from this point southeast along the straight line to the junction of Interstate 55 and State Route 16; State Route 16 east-northeast to a point approximately 1 mile northeast of Irving; a straight line from this point to the northern Fayette County line; the northern Fayette, Effingham, and Cumberland County lines.

    In Indiana

    Bartholomew, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll (south of State Route 25), Cass, Clinton, Delaware, Fayette, Fulton (bounded on east by eastern Fulton County line south to State Route 19; State Route 19 south to State Route 114; State Route 114 southeast to eastern Fulton County line), Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Jay, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Randolph, Richmond, Rush (north of State Route 244), Shelby, Tipton, Union, and Wayne Counties.

    In Michigan

    Bounded on the west by State Route 127 at the Michigan-Ohio State line north to State Route 50; bounded on the north by State Route 50 at State Route 127 east to the Michigan State line; the Michigan state line south to the Michigan-Ohio State line.

    In Minnesota

    Koochiching, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Itasca, Norman, Mahnomen, Hubbard, Cass, Clay, Becker, Wadena, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Carlton, Wilkin, and Otter Tail Counties, except those export port locations within the State, which are serviced by AMS.

    In North Dakota

    Bounded on the north by the northern Steele County line from State Route 32 east; the northern Steele and Trail County lines east to the North Dakota State line; bounded on the east by the eastern North Dakota State line; bounded on the south by the southern North Dakota State line west to State Route 1; and bounded on the west by State Route 1 north to Interstate 94; Interstate 94 west to State Route 1; State Route 1 north to State Route 200; State Route 200 east to State Route 45; State Route 45 north to State Route 32; State Route 32 north.

    In Ohio

    The northern Ohio State line east to the to the Ohio-Pennsylvania State line; bounded on the east by the Ohio-Pennsylvania State line south to the Ohio River; bounded on the south by the Ohio River south-southwest to the western Scioto County line; and bounded on the west by the western Scioto County line north to State Route 73; State Route 73 northwest to U.S. Route 22; U.S. Route 22 west to U.S. Route 68; U.S. Route 68 north to Clark County; the northern Clark County line west to Valley Pike Road; Valley Pike Road north to State Route 560; State Route 560 north to U.S. 36; U.S. 36 west to eastern Miami County Line; eastern Miami County line to Northern Miami County line; Northern Miami County line west to Interstate 75; Interstate 75 north to State Route 47; State Route 47 northeast to U.S. Route 68 (including all of Sidney, Ohio); U.S. Route 68 north to the southern Hancock County line; the southern Hancock County line west to the western Hancock, Wood and Lucas County lines north to the Michigan-Ohio State line; the Michigan-Ohio State line west to State Route 127; plus all of Darke County.

    North Dakota's assigned geographic area does not include the export port locations inside the State of Ohio area which are serviced by AMS.

    The following grain elevators are not part of this geographic area assignment and are assigned to Titus Grain Inspection, Inc.: The Andersons, Delphi, Carroll County; Frick Services, Inc., Leiters Ford, Fulton County; and Cargill, Inc., Linden, Montgomery County, Indiana.

    Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting these agencies at the following telephone numbers:

    Official agency Headquarters location and telephone Designation
  • start
  • Designation
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  • Jamestown Jamestown, ND, 701-252-1290 4/1/2018 3/31/2023 Lincoln Lincoln, NE, 402-435-4386 4/1/2018 3/31/2023 Midsouth Memphis, TN, 901-942-3216 4/1/2018 3/31/2023 North Dakota Fargo, ND, 701-293-7420 1/1/2016 12/31/2020

    Section 7(f) of the USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79 (f)).

    Dated: April 13, 2018. Greg Ibach, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08102 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program AGENCY:

    Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION:

    Request for applications.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry staff, requests applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP). This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access.

    Eligible lands for grants funded under this program are private forest that is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, must not be held in trust by the United States on behalf of any Indian Tribe, must not be Tribal allotment lands, must be offered for sale by a willing seller, and if acquired by an eligible entity, must provide defined community benefits under CFP and allow public access.

    DATES:

    Interested local government and nonprofit applicants must submit applications to the State Forester. Tribal applicants must submit applications to the appropriate Tribal government officials. All applications, either hardcopy or electronic, must be received by State Foresters or Tribal governments by June 29, 2018. State Foresters or Tribal government officials must forward applications to the Forest Service Region, Northeastern Area, or International Institute of Tropical Forestry by July 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    All local government and qualified nonprofit organization applications must be submitted to the State Forester of the State where the property is located. All Tribal applications must be submitted to the equivalent Tribal government official. Applicants are encouraged to contact and work with the Forest Service Region, Northeastern Area or International Institute of Tropical Forestry, and State Forester or equivalent Tribal government official when developing their proposal. Applicants must consult with the State Forester and equivalent Tribal government official prior to requesting technical assistance for a project. The State Forester's member roster may be found on www.stateforesters.org/about/who-we-are. All applicants must also send an email to [email protected] to confirm an application has been submitted for funding consideration.

    State Foresters and Tribal government officials shall submit applications, either electronic or hardcopy, to the appropriate Forest Service Regional/Area/Institute contact noted below.

    Northern and Intermountain Regions Regions 1 and 4 (ID, MT, ND, NV, UT) Janet Valle, U.S. Forest Service, 324 25th St., Ogden, UT 84401, 801-625-5258 (phone), 801-625-5716 (fax), [email protected]. Rocky Mountain Region Region 2 (CO, KS, NE, SD, WY) Claire Harper, U.S. Forest Service, 740 Simms Street, Golden, CO 80401, 303-895-6157 (phone), 303-275-5754 (fax), [email protected]. Southwestern Region Region 3 (AZ, NM) Alicia San Gil, U.S. Forest Service, 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505-842-3289 (phone), 505-842-3165 (fax), [email protected]. Pacific Southwest Region Region 5 (CA) Miranda Hutten, U.S. Forest Service, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592, 707-562-9025 (phone), 707- 562-9054 (fax), [email protected]. (Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia and other Pacific Islands) Katie Friday, 60 Nowelo St. Hilo, HI 96720, 808-854-2620 (phone), 503-808-2469 (fax), [email protected]. Pacific Northwest, and Alaska Regions Regions 6 and 10 (AK, OR, WA) Brad Siemens, U.S. Forest Service, 120 Southwest 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, 503-808-2353 (phone), 503-808-2469 (fax), [email protected]. Southern Region Region 8 (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA) Mike Murphy, U.S. Forest Service, 1720 Peachtree Rd. NW, Suite 700B 850S North, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-347-5214 (phone), 404-347-2776 (fax), [email protected]. International Institute of Tropical Forestry (PR, VI) Magaly Figueroa, U.S. Forest Service, Jardin Botanico Sur, 1201 Calle Ceiba, San Juan, PR 00926-1119, 787-764-7718 (phone), 787-766-6263 (fax), [email protected]. Northeastern Area (CT, DC, DE, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WI, WV) Neal Bungard, U.S. Forest Service, 271 Mast Road, Durham, NH 03824-4600, 603-868-7719 (phone), 603-868-7604 (fax), [email protected]. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions regarding the grant application or administrative regulations, contact Scott Stewart, Program Coordinator, 202-205-1618, [email protected].

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CFDA number 10.689: To address the goals of Section 7A of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2103d) as amended, the Forest Service is requesting proposals for community forest projects that protect forest land that has been identified as a national, regional, or local priority for protection and to assist communities in acquiring forestland that will provide public recreation, environmental and economic benefits, and forest-based educational programs.

    Detailed information regarding what to include in the application, definitions of terms, eligibility, and necessary prerequisites for consideration can be found in the final program rule, published October 20, 2011 (76 FR 65121-65133), which is available at https://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/private-land/community-forest/program.

    Grant Application Requirements 1. Eligibility Information

    a. Eligible Applicants. A local governmental entity, Indian Tribe (including Alaska Native Corporations), or a qualified nonprofit organization that is qualified to acquire and manage land (see § 230.2 of the final rule at https://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/private-land/community-forest/program. Individuals are not eligible to receive funds through this program.

    b. Cost Sharing (Matching Requirement). All applicants must demonstrate a 50 percent match of the total project cost. The match can include cash, in-kind services, or donations, which shall be from a non-Federal source. For additional information, please see § 230.6 of the final rule.

    c. DUNS Number. All applicants shall include a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in their application. For this requirement, the applicant is the entity that meets the eligibility criteria and has the legal authority to apply for and receive the grant. For assistance in obtaining a DUNS number at no cost, call the DUNS number request line 1-866-705-5711 or register on-line at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

    d. System for Award Management. All prospective awardees shall be registered in the System for Award Management prior to award, during performance, and through final payment of any grant resulting from this solicitation. Further information can be found at www.sam.gov. For assistance, contact Federal Service Desk 1-866-606-8220.

    2. Award Information

    Funds have been appropriated for CFP in FY 2018. Individual grant applications may not exceed $600,000, which does not include technical assistance requests. The Federal Government's obligation under this program is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds.

    No legal liability on the part of the Government shall be incurred until funds are committed by the grant officer for this program to the applicant in writing. The initial grant period shall be for two years, and acquisition of lands should occur within that timeframe. Lands acquired prior to the grant award are not eligible for CFP funding. The grant may be reasonably extended by the Forest Service when necessary to accommodate unforeseen circumstances in the land acquisition process. Written annual financial performance reports and semi-annual project performance reports shall be required and submitted to the appropriate grant officer.

    Technical assistance funds, totaling not more than 10 percent of all funds, may be allocated to State Foresters and equivalent officials of the Indian tribe. Technical assistance, if provided, will be awarded at the time of the grant. Applicants shall work with State Foresters and equivalent officials of the Indian Tribe to determine technical assistance needs and include the technical assistance request in the project budget.

    As funding allows, applications submitted through this request may be funded in future years, subject to the availability of funds and the continued feasibility and viability of the project.

    3. Application Information

    Application submission. All local governments and qualified nonprofit organizations' applications must be submitted to the State Forester where the property is located by June 29, 2018. All Tribal applications must be submitted to the equivalent Tribal officials by June 29, 2018. Applications may be submitted either electronic or hardcopy to the appropriate official. The State Forester's contact information may be found at: https://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/private-land/community-forest/program.

    All applicants must also send an email to [email protected] to confirm an application has been submitted to the State Forester or equivalent Tribal official for funding consideration.

    All State Foresters and Tribal government officials must forward applications to the Forest Service by July 27, 2018.

    4. Application Requirements

    The following section outlines grant application requirements:

    a. The application can be no more than eight pages long, plus no more than two maps (eight and half inches by eleven inches in size), the grant forms specified in (b), and the draft community forest plan specified in (e).

    b. The following grant forms and supporting materials must be included in the application:

    (1) An Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424);

    (2) Budget information (Standard Form SF 424c—Construction Programs); and

    (3) Assurances of compliance with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and policies (Standard Form 424d— Construction Programs).

    c. Documentation verifying that the applicant is an eligible entity and that the land proposed for acquisition is eligible (see § 230.2 of the final rule).

    d. Applications must include the following, regarding the property proposed for acquisition:

    (1) A description of the property, including acreage and county location;

    (2) A description of current land uses, including improvements;

    (3) A description of forest type and vegetative cover;

    (4) A map of sufficient scale to show the location of the property in relation to roads and other improvements as well as parks, refuges, or other protected lands in the vicinity;

    (5) A description of applicable zoning and other land use regulations affecting the property;

    (6) A description of the type and extent of community benefits, including to underserved communities (see selection criteria);

    (7) A description of relationship of the property within and its contributions to a landscape conservation initiative; and

    (8) A description of any threats of conversion to non-forest uses, including any encumbrances on the property that prevent conversion to non-forest uses.

    e. Information regarding the proposed establishment of a community forest, including:

    (1) A description of the benefiting community, including demographics, and the associated benefits provided by the proposed land acquisition;

    (2) A description of community involvement to-date in the planning of the community forest acquisition and of community involvement anticipated long-term management;

    (3) An identification of persons and organizations that support the project and their specific role in establishing and managing the community forest; and

    (4) A draft community forest plan. The eligible entity is encouraged to work with the State Forester or equivalent Tribal government official for technical assistance when developing or updating the Community Forest Plan. In addition, the eligible entity is encouraged to work with technical specialists, such as professional foresters, recreation specialists, wildlife biologists, or outdoor education specialists, when developing the Community Forest Plan.

    f. Information regarding the proposed land acquisition, including:

    (1) A proposed project budget not exceeding $600,000 and technical assistance needs as coordinated with the State Forester or equivalent Tribal government official (section § 230.6 of the final program rule);

    (2) The status of due diligence, including signed option or purchase and sale agreement, title search, minerals determination, and appraisal;

    (3) Description and status of cost share (secure, pending, commitment letter, etc.) (section § 230.6 of the final rule);

    (4) The status of negotiations with participating landowner(s) including purchase options, contracts, and other terms and conditions of sale;

    (5) The proposed timeline for completing the acquisition and establishing the community forest; and;

    (6) Long term management costs and funding source(s).

    g. Applications must comply with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards also referred to as the Omni Circular (2 CFR 200).

    h. Applications must also include the forms required to process a Federal grant. Section 6 Grant Requirements references the grant forms that must be included in the application and the specific administrative requirements that apply to the type of Federal grant used for this program.

    A sample grant outline and scoring guidance can be found on the CFP website at https://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/private-land/community-forest/program.

    5. Forest Service's Project Selection Criteria

    a. Using the criteria described below, to the extent practicable, the Forest Service will give priority to applications that maximize the delivery of community benefits, as defined in the final rule (see section § 230.2 of the final rule); and

    b. The Forest Service will evaluate all applications received by the State Foresters or equivalent Tribal government officials and award grants based on the following criteria:

    (1) Type and extent of community benefits provided, including to underserved communities. Community benefits are defined in the final program rule as:

    (i) Economic benefits, such as timber and non-timber products;

    (ii) Environmental benefits, including clean air and water, stormwater management, and wildlife habitat;

    (iii) Benefits from forest-based experiential learning, including K-12 conservation education programs; vocational education programs in disciplines such as forestry and environmental biology; and environmental education through individual study or voluntary participation in programs offered by organizations such as 4-H, Boy or Girl Scouts, Master Gardeners, etc.;

    (iv) Benefits from serving as replicable models of effective forest stewardship for private landowners; and

    (v) Recreational benefits such as hiking, hunting, and fishing secured through public access.

    (2) Extent and nature of community engagement in the establishment and long-term management of the community forest;

    (3) Amount of cost share leveraged;

    (4) Extent to which the community forest contributes to a landscape conservation initiative;

    (5) Extent of due diligence completed on the project, including cost share committed and status of appraisal;

    (6) Likelihood that, unprotected, the property would be converted to non-forest uses; and

    (7) Costs to the Federal Government.

    6. Grant Requirements

    a. Once an application is selected, funding will be obligated to the grant recipient through a grant adhering to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards also referred to as the Omni Circular (2 CFR 200).

    d. Forest Service must approve any amendments to a proposal or request to reallocate funding within a grant proposal. If negotiations on a selected project fail, the applicant cannot substitute an alternative site.

    e. The grant recipient must comply with the requirements in section § 230.8 in the final rule before funds will be released.

    f. After the project has closed, as a requirement of the grant, grant recipients will be required to provide the Forest Service with a Geographic Information System (GIS) shapefile: a digital, vector-based storage format for storing geometric location and associated attribute information, of CFP project tracts and cost share tracts, if applicable.

    g. Any funds not expended within the grant period must be de-obligated and revert to the Forest Service.

    h. All media, press, signage, and other documents discussing the creation of the community forest must reference the partnership and financial assistance by the Forest Service through the CFP.

    Additional information may be found in section § 230.9 of the final rule.

    Dated: March 22, 2018. Jaelith Hall-Rivera, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08051 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-23-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 29—Louisville, Kentucky; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Louisville & Jefferson County Riverport Authority, grantee of FTZ 29, requesting authority to reorganize the zone under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on April 11, 2018.

    FTZ 29 was approved by the FTZ Board on May 26, 1977 (Board Order 118, 42 FR 29323; June 8, 1977) and expanded on January 31, 1989 (Board Order 429, 54 FR 5992; February 7, 1989), December 15, 1997 (Board Order 941, 62 FR 67044; December 23, 1997), July 17, 1998 (Board Order 995, 63 FR 40878; July 31, 1998), December 11, 2000 (Board Order 1133, 65 FR 79802; December 20, 2000), January 15, 2002 (Board Order 1204, 67 FR 4391; January 30, 2002), November 20, 2003 (Board Order 1305, 68 FR 67400; December 2, 2003), January 27, 2005 (Board Order 1364, 70 FR 6616; February 8, 2005), and January 31, 2012 (Board Order 1808, 77 FR 6058; February 7, 2012).

    The current zone includes the following sites: Site 1 (1,643 acres)—Riverport Industrial Complex, Louisville; Site 4 (2,149 acres)—Louisville International Airport, Grade Lane, Louisville; Site 5 (69 acres)—Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, 4510 Algonquin Parkway, Louisville; Site 6 (43 acres)—Amazon.com.KYDC LLC, 271 Omega Parkway and 376 Zappos Boulevard, Sheperdsville; Site 7 (191 acres)—Henderson County Riverport Authority, 6200 Riverport Rd., Henderson; Site 8 (182 acres)—Owensboro Riverport Authority, 2300 Harbor Rd., Owensboro; Site 9 (778 acres)—4 Star Regional Industrial Park, Southern Star Way, Robards; Site 11 (261 acres)—Outer Loop, 116 acres at Stennett Lane, 44 acres at 8100 Air Commerce Drive and 101 acres at 1900 Outer Loop Road, Louisville; Site 13 (6 acres)—Workwell Industries, Inc., 3401 Jewell Ave, Louisville; Site 14 (3.95 acres)—Yellow Banks River Terminal, 6133 U.S. Highway 60, East Owensboro; and, Site 15 (302.3 acres)—Cedar Grove Business Park, Highway 480, near Interstate 65, Sheperdsville.

    The grantee's proposed service area under the ASF would be Anderson, Boyle, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Carroll, Crittenden, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Hopkins, Jefferson, Jessamine, Larue, Marion, McLean, Meade, Mercer, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Union, Washington, Webster, and Woodford Counties, Kentucky, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed service area is within and adjacent to the Louisville, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana Customs and Border Protection ports of entry.

    The applicant is requesting authority to reorganize its existing zone to include existing Sites 1, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 15 as “magnet” sites and existing Sites 5, 6, 8, 13 and 14 as usage-driven sites. The ASF allows for the possible exemption of one magnet site from the “sunset” time limits that generally apply to sites under the ASF, and the applicant proposes that Site 1 be so exempted. The application would have no impact on FTZ 29's previously authorized subzones.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Elizabeth Whiteman of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is June 18, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to July 2, 2018.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08118 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-24-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 293—Limon, Colorado; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Laser Galicia America LLC (Bending and Assembly of Trafo Wall); Aurora, Colorado

    The Town of Limon, Colorado, grantee of FTZ 293, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Laser Galicia America LLC (Laser Galicia), located in Aurora, Colorado. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on April 6, 2018.

    The applicant indicates that it will be submitting a separate application for FTZ usage-driven designation at the Laser Galicia facility within FTZ 293. The facility is used for the bending and assembly of trafo wall. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Laser Galicia from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Laser Galicia would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that apply to front section trafo wall, top section trafo wall, and left section trafo wall (duty rate—3.0%). Laser Galicia would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Small nut plate (galvanized steel thickness 10 mm); bracket for lubrication system—unfolded (stainless steel thickness 3 mm); frame assembly—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 2 mm); cross plate trafo wall—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 1.5 mm); shield for trafo component—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 1.5 mm); structural sections of trafo wall—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 1.5 mm); bracket angle front lock plate trafo—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 2 mm); front section trafo wall—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 1.5 mm); holder for cross plate—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 1.5 mm); bracket for right trafo wall (galvanized steel thickness 2 mm); cover for actuator—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 2 mm); cover for vibration sensor—unfolded (galvanized steel thickness 2 mm); outlet air guide—unfolded (aluminum thickness 3 mm); and, air choke plate—unfolded (aluminum thickness 3 mm) (duty rates range from 2.5% to 2.9%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is May 29, 2018.

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

    For further information, contact Juanita Chen at [email protected] or 202-482-1378.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08120 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-21-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 249—Pensacola, Florida; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; GE Renewables North America, LLC (Wind Turbine Nacelles, Hubs, and Drivetrains); Pensacola, Florida

    GE Renewables North America, LLC (GE Renewables) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Pensacola, Florida. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on April 9, 2018.

    GE Renewables already has authority to produce wind turbines, related hubs and nacelles, and drivetrains within Subzone 249A. The current request would add foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt GE Renewables from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, GE Renewables would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to the finished products in the existing scope of authority for the foreign-status materials/components noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment. GE Renewables would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: top box kits; polypropylene clamps; fiberglass locknuts; fiber optic harnesses with temperature detectors; electrical harnesses; cable-assembly wind sensors; ground cables; cable harnesses; cable glands; steel washers; steel nuts; copper ferrules; desiccants; steel screws; panel assembly adaptors; steel bars; transformers; pitch cabinet kits; cable ties; steel bushings; limit switches, and steel brackets (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 8.5%). The request indicates that steel bars will be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41), thereby precluding inverted tariff benefits on such items.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is May 29, 2018.

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

    For further information, contact Christopher Wedderburn at [email protected] or (202) 482-1963.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08117 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-22-2018] Foreign-Trade Zone 158—Vicksburg/Jackson, Mississippi; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Greater Mississippi Foreign-Trade Zone, Inc., grantee of FTZ 158, requesting authority to reorganize the zone under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on April 10, 2018.

    FTZ 158 was approved by the FTZ Board on April 11, 1989 (Board Order 430, 54 FR 15480 April 18, 1989) and expanded on March 8, 2005 (Board Order 1378, 70 FR 13449, March 21, 2005), on October 18, 2002 (Board Order 1864, 77 FR 65359-65360, October 26, 2012), and on May 23, 2013 (Board Order 1900, 78 FR 33340, June 4, 2013).

    The current zone includes the following sites: Site 2 (2,242 acres)—Jackson International Airport Complex, 100 International Drive, Jackson; Site 10 (989 acres)—Airport Industrial Park, Air Park Road at Old Runway Road, Tupelo; Site 11 (277 acres)—South Green Industrial Complex, adjacent to U.S. Highway 45 and the Kansas City Southern Railroad, Tupelo; Site 14 (128 acres)—Burlington Northern Industrial Park, along U.S. Highway 78 (I-22) and MS Highway 178 Interchange, Tupelo; Site 15 (699 acres)—Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex, Intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and Pratts Road, Tupelo; Site 16 (284 acres)—Turner Industrial Park, U.S. Highway 45 and MS Highway 145 Interchange, Tupelo; Site 17 (540 acres)—Tupelo Industrial Park South, U.S. Highway 45 and Brewer Road Interchange, Tupelo; and, Site 18 (140 acres)—Central Mississippi Industrial Center, Interstate 55 and Gluckstadt Road, Gluckstadt and Madison.

    The grantee's proposed service area under the ASF would be Claiborne, Hinds, Madison, Marshall, Pontotoc, Rankin, Tate, Warren and Washington Counties, Mississippi in their entirety, and portions of Lee and Tishomingo Counties, Mississippi, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed service area is within and adjacent to the following Customs and Border Protection ports of entry: Vicksburg and Greenville, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; and, Huntsville, Alabama.

    The applicant is requesting authority to reorganize its existing zone to include all of the existing sites as “magnet” sites. The ASF allows for the possible exemption of one magnet site from the “sunset” time limits that generally apply to sites under the ASF, and the applicant proposes that Site 2 be so exempted. The application would have no impact on FTZ 158's previously authorized subzones.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Qahira El-Amin of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is June 18, 2018. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to July 2, 2018.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Qahira El-Amin at [email protected] or (202) 482-5928.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08119 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security In the Matter of: Erdal Kuyumcu, Inmate Number: 89148-053, FCI Fort Dix, P.O. Box 2000, Joint Base MDL, NJ 08640; Order Denying Export Privileges

    On September 7, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Erdal Kuyumcu (“Kuyumcu”) was convicted of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq. (2012)) (“IEEPA”). Specifically, Kuyumcu knowingly and willfully conspired to export from the United States to Iran a metallic powder composed of cobalt and nickel, without having obtained the required U.S. Government authorization. Kuyumcu was sentenced to 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $7,000, and an assessment of $100.

    Section 766.25 of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR” or “Regulations”) 1 provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he Director of the Office of Exporter Services, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Export Enforcement, may deny the export privileges of any person who has been convicted of a violation of the EAA [Export Administration Act], the EAR, or any order, license or authorization issued thereunder; any regulation, license, or order issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706); 18 U.S.C. 793, 794 or 798; section 4(b) of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. 783(b)), or section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778).” 15 CFR 766.25(a); see also Section 11(h) of the Export Administration Act (“EAA” or “the Act”), 50 U.S.C. 4610(h). The denial of export privileges under this provision may be for a period of up to 10 years from the date of the conviction. 15 CFR 766.25(d); see also 50 U.S.C. 4610(h). In addition, Section 750.8 of the Regulations states that the Bureau of Industry and Security's Office of Exporter Services may revoke any Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) licenses previously issued pursuant to the Act or Regulations, in which the person had an interest in at the time of his/her conviction.

    1 The Regulations are currently codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2017). The Regulations issued pursuant to the Export Administration Act (50 U.S.C. 4601-4623 (Supp. III 2015) (available at http://uscode.house.gov)) (“EAA” or “the Act”). Since August 21, 2001, the Act has been in lapse and the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001 (3 CFR, 2001 Comp. 783 (2002)), which has been extended by successive Presidential Notices, the most recent being that of August 15, 2017 (82 FR 39005 (Aug. 16, 2017)), has continued the Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq. (2012)).

    BIS has received notice of Kuyumcu's conviction for violating the IEEPA, and has provided notice and an opportunity for Kuyumcu to make a written submission to BIS, as provided in Section 766.25 of the Regulations. BIS has not received a submission from Kuyumcu.

    Based upon my review and consultations with BIS's Office of Export Enforcement, including its Director, and the facts available to BIS, I have decided to deny Kuyumcu's export privileges under the Regulations for a period of 10 years from the date of Kuyumcu's conviction. I have also decided to revoke all licenses issued pursuant to the Act or Regulations in which Kuyumcu had an interest at the time of his conviction.

    Accordingly, it is hereby ordered:

    First, from the date of this Order until September 7, 2027, Erdal Kuyumcu, with a last known address of Inmate Number: 89148-053, FCI Fort Dix, P.O. Box 2000, Joint Base MDL, NJ 08640, and when acting for or on his behalf, his successors, assigns, employees, agents or representatives (“the Denied Person”), may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology (hereinafter collectively referred to as “item”) exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, including, but not limited to:

    A. Applying for, obtaining, or using any license, license exception, or export control document;

    B. Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, or engaging in any other activity subject to the Regulations; or

    C. Benefitting in any way from any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations, or from any other activity subject to the Regulations.

    Second, no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following:

    A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of the Denied Person any item subject to the Regulations;

    B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by the Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby the Denied Person acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control;

    C. Take any action to acquire from or to facilitate the acquisition or attempted acquisition from the Denied Person of any item subject to the Regulations that has been exported from the United States;

    D. Obtain from the Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the Regulations with knowledge or reason to know that the item will be, or is intended to be, exported from the United States; or

    E. Engage in any transaction to service any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, servicing means installation, maintenance, repair, modification or testing.

    Third, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in Section 766.23 of the Regulations, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to Kuyumcu by ownership, control, position of responsibility, affiliation, or other connection in the conduct of trade or business may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order in order to prevent evasion of this Order.

    Fourth, in accordance with Part 756 of the Regulations, Kuyumcu may file an appeal of this Order with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. The appeal must be filed within 45 days from the date of this Order and must comply with the provisions of Part 756 of the Regulations.

    Fifth, a copy of this Order shall be delivered to the Kuyumcu, and shall be published in the Federal Register.

    Sixth, this Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until September 7, 2027.

    Issued this 9th day of April 2018. Karen H. Nies-Vogel, Director, Office of Exporter Services.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08040 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration U.S. Strategy to Address Trade-Related Forced Localization Barriers Impacting The U.S. ICT Hardware Manufacturing Industry; Correction AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice; Correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The International Trade Administration published a document in the Federal Register of April 12, 2018, concerning request for comments to support development of a comprehensive strategy to address trade-related forced localization policies, practices, and measures impacting the U.S. information and communications technology (ICT) hardware manufacturing industry. The document contained the incorrect docket number.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before May 14, 2018. Comments must be in English.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cary Ingram; 202-482-2872.

    Correction: In the Federal Register of April 12, 2018, in FR Doc. 2018-07584, on page 15786, in the third column under the ADDRESSES section, correct the Docket Number to read: ITA-2018-0001.

    Dated: April 13, 2018. Cary Ingram, International Trade Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08103 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-870] Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) determines that SeAH Steel Corporation (SeAH) and NEXTEEL Co., Ltd. (NEXTEEL), producers/exporters of certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from the Republic of Korea (Korea), sold subject merchandise in the United States at prices below normal value (NV) during the period of review (POR) September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable April 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Deborah Scott or Michael J. Heaney, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2657 or (202) 482-4475, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On October 10, 2017, Commerce published the Preliminary Results of this administrative review of OCTG from Korea.1 We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. Between November 30 and December 8, 2017, Commerce received timely filed briefs and rebuttal briefs from various interested parties. On January 19, 2018, Maverick Tube Corporation and TenarisBayCity, and United States Steel Corporation filed a duty reimbursement allegation with respect to NEXTEEL.2

    1See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016, 82 FR 46963 (October 10, 2017) (Preliminary Results), and accompanying Decision Memorandum (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    2See Maverick Letter, “Oil Country Tubular Goods from The Republic of Korea: Duty Reimbursement and Further Information in Support of Duties as a Cost Allegation,” dated January 19, 2018, refiled as “Oil Country Tubular Goods from The Republic of Korea: Resubmission of Petitioners' Duty Reimbursement and Further Information in Support of Duties as a Cost Allegation,” dated February 6, 2018.

    Commerce exercised its discretion to toll all deadlines affected by the closure of the Federal Government from January 20 through 22, 2018.3 If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with Commerce's practice, the deadline will become the next business day. As a result, the revised deadline for the final results of this review was February 12, 2018. On January 31, 2018, Commerce postponed the final results of this review until April 11, 2018.

    3See Memorandum, “Deadlines Affected by the Shutdown of the Federal Government,” dated January 23, 2018. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by three days.

    These final results cover 31 companies.4 Based on an analysis of the comments received, Commerce has made changes to the weighted-average dumping margins determined for the respondents. The weighted-average dumping margins are listed in the “Final Results of Review” section, below. Commerce conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    4 The 31 companies consist of two mandatory respondents, four companies for which we made a final determination of no shipments, and 25 companies not individually examined.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain OCTG, which are hollow steel products of circular cross-section, including oil well casing and tubing, of iron (other than cast iron) or steel (both carbon and alloy), whether seamless or welded, regardless of end finish (e.g., whether or not plain end, threaded, or threaded and coupled) whether or not conforming to American Petroleum Institute (API) or non-API specifications, whether finished (including limited service OCTG products) or unfinished (including green tubes and limited service OCTG products), whether or not thread protectors are attached. The scope of the order also covers OCTG coupling stock. For a complete description of the scope of the order, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.5

    5See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the 2015-2016 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs filed by parties in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted with this notice. The issues are identified in Appendix I to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on our analysis of the comments received, and for the reasons explained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, we made certain changes to the Preliminary Results. We made one revision to our preliminary calculation of the weighted-average dumping margin for SeAH.6 For NEXTEEL, Commerce determined that it is appropriate to apply total adverse facts available for these final results.7

    6See Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 14.

    7Id., at Comment 6.

    Application of Facts Available and Adverse Facts Available

    For these final results, we find that NEXTEEL withheld necessary information and significantly impeaded the proceeding and, thus, failed to cooperate to the best of its ability in responding to Commerce's requests for information. Therefore, we find that the application of adverse facts available, pursuant to section 776(a)-(b) of the Act, is warranted with respect to NEXTEEL. For a full description of the methodology and rationale underlying our conclusions, see Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Determination of No Shipments

    In the Preliminary Results, Commerce preliminarily determined that Hyundai RB Co., Ltd. (Hyundai RB), Samsung, Samsung C&T Corporation (Samsung C&T), and SeAH Besteel Corporation (SeAH Besteel) had no shipments during the POR.8 Following publication of the Preliminary Results, we received no comments from interested parties regarding these companies. As a result, and because the record contains no evidence to the contrary, we continue to find that Hyundai RB, Samsung, Samsung C&T and SeAH Besteel made no shipments during the POR. Accordingly, consistent with Commerce's practice, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to liquidate any existing entries of merchandise produced by these four companies, but exported by other parties, at the rate for the intermediate reseller, if available, or at the all-others rate.9

    8See Preliminary Results, 82 FR at 46963.

    9See, e.g., Magnesium Metal From the Russian Federation: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 26922, 26923 (May 13, 2010), unchanged in Magnesium Metal From the Russian Federation: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 56989 (September 17, 2010).

    Duty Absorption

    In the Preliminary Results, Commerce indicated that it would make a determination in the final results of this review as to whether SeAH and NEXTEEL absorbed antidumping duties during the instant POR.10 For these final results, we find that SeAH and NEXTEEL have absorbed antidumping duties.11

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum, at 6.

    11 For further discussion, see Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 5.

    Rate for Non-Examined Companies

    The statute and Commerce's regulations do not address the establishment of a rate to be applied to companies not selected for examination when Commerce limits its examination in an administrative review pursuant to section 777A(c)(2) of the Act. Generally, Commerce looks to section 735(c)(5) of the Act, which provides instructions for calculating the all-others rate in a market economy investigation, for guidance when calculating the rate for companies which were not selected for individual review in an administrative review. Under section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, the all-others rate is normally “an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely {on the basis of facts available}.”

    For these final results, we calculated a weighted-average dumping margin that is not zero, de minimis, or determined entirely on the basis of facts available for SeAH, and we determined NEXTEEL's margin entirely on the basis of facts available. Because SeAH's weighted-average dumping margin is the only margin that is not zero, de minimis, or determined entirely on the basis of facts available, in accordance with our standard practice, Commerce has assigned to the companies not individually examined the 6.75 percent weighted-average dumping margin calculated for SeAH for these final results.

    Final Results of Review

    Commerce determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016:

    12See Appendizx II for a full list of these companies.

    Exporter or producer Weighted-average
  • dumping margins
  • (percent)
  • NEXTEEL Co., Ltd 75.81 SeAH Steel Corporation 6.75 Non-examined companies12 6.75
    Disclosure

    Commerce intends to disclose the calculations performed for these final results of review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Assessment

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b), Commerce shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review. Commerce intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review in the Federal Register.

    Where the respondent reported reliable entered values, we calculated importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem rates by aggregating the dumping margins calculated for all U.S. sales to each importer (or customer) and dividing this amount by the total entered value of the sales to each importer (or customer).13 Where Commerce calculated a weighted-average dumping margin by dividing the total amount of dumping for reviewed sales to that party by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions, Commerce will direct CBP to assess importer- (or customer-) specific assessment rates based on the resulting per-unit rates.14 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem or per-unit rate is greater than de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent), Commerce will instruct CBP to collect the appropriate duties at the time of liquidation.15 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem or per-unit rate is zero or de minimis, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.16

    13See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    14Id.

    15Id.

    16See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For the companies which were not selected for individual review, we will assign an assessment rate based on the methodology described in the “Rates for Non-Examined Companies” section, above.

    Consistent with Commerce's assessment practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by SeAH, NEXTEEL, or the non-examined companies for which the producer did not know that its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.17

    17 For a full discussion of this practice, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    As noted in the “Final Determination of No Shipments” section, above, Commerce will instruct CBP to liquidate any existing entries of merchandise produced by but exported by other parties, at the rate for the intermediate reseller, if available, or at the all-others rate.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of 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 for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rates for the companies listed in these final results will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margins established in the final results of this review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment in which the company was reviewed; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review or the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) 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 producers or exporters will continue to be 5.24 percent,18 the all-others rate established in the LTFV investigation. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    18See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Korea: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Determination, 81 FR 59603 (August 30, 2016).

    Notification to Importers

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

    Notification to Interested Parties Regarding Administrative Protective Order

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

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Duty Absorption V. Margin Calculations and Application of AFA VI. Rate for Non-Examined Companies VII. Discussion of the Issues General Issues Comment 1: Particular Market Situation Comment 2: Additional Particular Market Situation Adjustments Comment 3: Allegation of Improper Political Influence Comment 4: Calculation of ILJIN's Margin Comment 5: Duty Absorption Comment 6: Duty Reimbursement and Application of Adverse Facts Available Comment 7: Calculation of Constructed Value Profit Comment 8: Differential Pricing Comment 9: Rate for Non-Examined Respondents SeAH—Specific Issues Comment 10: Interested Party Standing Comment 11: Reporting of Grade Codes Comment 12: Freight Revenue Cap Comment 13: Treatment of General and Administrative Expenses Incurred by SeAH's U.S. Affiliate in Further Manufacturing Costs Comment 14: Calculation of General and Administrative Expenses Incurred by SeAH's U.S. Affiliate Comment 15: Treatment of Interest Expenses for SeAH's U.S. Affiliate in Further Manufacturing Costs NEXTEEL—Specific Issues Comment 16: NEXTEEL's Warranty Expense Calculation Comment 17: POSCO Daewoo's Warranty Expense Calculation Comment 18: POSCO Daewoo's Further Manufacturing Costs Comment 19: Suspended Production Losses Comment 20: Cost Adjustment for Downgraded, Non-OCTG Pipe Comment 21: Programming Errors VIII. Recommendation Appendix 2 List of Companies Not Individually Examined BDP International Daewoo America Daewoo International Corporation Dong-A Steel Co. Ltd. Dong Yang Steel Pipe Dongbu Incheon Steel DSEC Erndtebruecker Eisenwerk and Company Hansol Metal Husteel Co., Ltd. Hyundai HYSCO Hyundai Steel Company 19 ILJIN Steel Corporation Jim And Freight Co., Ltd. Kia Steel Co. Ltd. KSP Steel Company Kukje Steel Kurvers POSCO Daewoo Corporation POSCO Daewoo America Steel Canada Sumitomo Corporation TGS Pipe Yonghyun Base Materials ZEECO Asia

    19 On September 21, 2016, Commerce published the final results of a changed circumstances review with respect to OCTG from Korea, finding that Hyundai Steel Corporation is the successor-in-interest to Hyundai HYSCO for purposes of determining antidumping duty cash deposits and liabilities. See Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Korea, 81 FR 64873 (September 21, 2016). Hyundai Steel Company is also known as Hyundai Steel Corporation and Hyundai Steel Co. Ltd.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08114 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Policy and Procedures Documents for the State Plane Coordinate System of 2022 AGENCY:

    National Geodetic Survey (NGS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed change to the State Plane Coordinate System; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will establish the State Plane Coordinate System of 2022 (SPCS2022) as part of the transition to the 2022 Terrestrial Reference Frames (TRFs). SPCS2022 is the successor to previous versions referenced to the North American Datums of 1983 and 1927. Like its predecessors, SPCS2022 will be a system of conformal map projections for the entire National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). It will provide surveyors, engineers, and other geospatial professionals with a practical means for accessing and using the NSRS. NGS has developed draft policy and procedures that propose defining characteristics and requirements for SPCS2022. These documents also provide mechanisms for user input on initial design of SPCS2022 and subsequent changes. The aim is for SPCS2022 to meet the needs of NGS customers for the future NSRS. To achieve that goal, NGS is inviting written comments on the draft SPCS2022 policy.

    In addition, NGS seeks feedback on purposed “special purpose” zones.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted until Friday, August 31, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be submitted in writing to NGS Feedback, NOAA/NOS/National Geodetic Survey, 1315 East-West Hwy, Rm. 9340 N/NGS1, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or via Email to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Dennis, SPCS2022 Project Manager, NOAA/NOS/National Geodetic Survey, 1315 East-West Hwy, Rm. 9340 N/NGS1, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The SPCS was originally established in the 1930s. Since that time it has evolved, and there has been substantial variability in how it was defined, maintained, and used. The history and current status of SPCS is discussed in NOAA Special Publication NOS NGS 13 (https://geodesy.noaa.gov/library/pdfs/NOAA_SP_NOS_NGS_0013_v01_2018-03-06.pdf). This publication may prove a useful companion in reviewing the draft SPCS2022 policy and procedures by providing context and insight into the development of SPCS and the existing NGS policies pertaining to it. Further information is available on the NGS State Plane Coordinate System web page: https://geodesy.noaa.gov/SPCS/index.shtml.

    Pursuant to the authority provided in the Coast and Geodetic Survey Act, 33 U.S.C. 883a et seq., the Director of NOAA's National Geodetic Survey invites interested parties to submit comments to assist NGS in developing a new State Plane Coordinate System for the future. Comments may address any aspect of the draft SPCS2022 policy and procedures. The draft SPCS2022 policy is available at: https://geodesy.noaa.gov/INFO/Policy/files/DRAFT_SPCS2022_Policy.pdf. The associated draft procedures are available at: https://geodesy.noaa.gov/INFO/Policy/files/DRAFT_SPCS2022_Procedures.pdf. Specifically, the Director seeks comments regarding:

    1. Usage of current SPCS in your organization, how your organization expects to use SPCS2022, and whether it will facilitate migration to the 2022 TRFs.

    2. Whether the proposed default SPCS2022 definitions will impose a hardship or be beneficial to your organization.

    3. Whether there is insufficient or excessive flexibility in the characteristics of SPCS2022 that can be established through user input.

    4. Whether the deadlines are acceptable and realistic for making requests or proposing characteristics for SPCS2022.

    5. Whether including “special purpose” zones as part of SPCS2022 would be beneficial, problematic, or irrelevant to your organization.

    NGS notes that the draft SPCS2022 policy and procedures do not currently include a “special purpose” zone option, in part, because it would create areas where zones partially overlap other zones. Special purpose zones would, however, provide contiguous coverage for regions that are not adequately covered by SPCS2022, primarily those that fall within two or more SPCS2022 zones. These zones would be for major urbanized areas, large American Indian reservations, or federal applications covering large geographic areas. Examples for each category are:

    Major urbanized areas: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Denver, Portland, and many others cross zone (and often state) boundaries.

    Large American Indian reservations: The Navajo Nation is about the same area as West Virginia and falls within five existing SPCS zones (and three states).

    Regional federal applications: The Atlantic coast from the Florida-Georgia border to the Maine-Canada border is a region that spans 14 existing SPCS zones but could be covered by a single zone.

    Although these types of zones were included as a possibility in the 1977 policy, none were created as part of the SPCS.1 NGS seeks to determine whether it is appropriate to include special purpose zones as part of SPCS2022, or support special purpose zones in some other manner, if at all.

    1 These zones were considered in 1977 for “[u]rbanization that requires either different parameters for existing zones or additional zones such that a metropolitan area would be located in a single zone,” as documented in the “Policy on Publication of Plane Coordinates,” located in Vol. 42, No. 57, pages 15943-15944 of the Federal Register, dated Thursday, March 24, 1977 (https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-1977-03-24/pdf/FR-1977-03-24.pdf).

    Dated: March 23, 2018. Juliana P. Blackwell, Director, Office of National Geodetic Survey, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08141 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2018-OS-0020] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the White House Communications Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: 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; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA/WACC/ESB), ATTN: Kevin A. Gifford, 2743 Defense Boulevard SW, Washington, DC 20373-5815 or call (202) 757-5667.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Basic Employee and Security Tracking Systems (BEAST); OMB Control Number 0704-0507.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain, track, and record the personnel security data, training information, and travel history within the White House Military Office (WHMO) and White House Communications Agency (WHCA).

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 38.

    Number of Respondents: 150.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 150.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are DoD contractors, retired military members who have departed the agency, and agency visitors. The data collected is used for security background checks, training records, and also to encompass the historical travel records of members of the agency. This data collection is essential in maintaining the integrity of the agency's personnel, training, and travel programs.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08039 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-48] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Arms sales notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107, [email protected] or Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217, [email protected]; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-48 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN18AP18.002 Transmittal No. 16-48 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $0.15 billion Other $1.16 billion TOTAL $1.31 billion

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

    One hundred and eighty (180) 155mm M109A5/A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer structures for conversion to one hundred and seventy-seven (177) 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer systems Three (3) Fire Support Combined Arms Tactical Trainers (FSCATT) static training devices One hundred and eighty (180) M2 HB .50 Cal Machine Guns Eight (8) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (AFATDS)

    Non-MDE: Also included are M109A5/A6 overhaul, conversion and refurbishment services; Special Tools and Test Equipment; Basic Issue Items (BII); Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE) Wide system; Program Management Support; Verification Testing; System Technical Support; Transportation; spare and repair parts; communications equipment; personnel training and training equipment; tool and test equipment; repair and return; publications and technical documentation; Quality Assurance Team (QAT); U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Army (VTG)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: SR-B-VFM and SR-B-VAZ

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services

    Proposed to be Sold: See Annex attached.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: April 5, 2018

    * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System

    The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of one hundred and eighty (180) 155mm M109A5/A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer structures for conversion to one hundred and seventy-seven (177) 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer systems; three (3) Fire Support Combined Arms Tactical Trainers (FSCATT) static training devices; one hundred and eighty (180) M2 HB .50 Cal Machine Guns; and eight (8) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (AFATDS). Also included are M109A5/A6 overhaul, conversion and refurbishment services; Special Tools and Test Equipment; Basic Issue Items (BII); Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE) Wide system; Program Management Support; Verification Testing; System Technical Support; Transportation; spare and repair parts; communications equipment; personnel training and training equipment; tool and test equipment; repair and return; publications and technical documentation; Quality Assurance Team (QAT); U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $1.31 billion.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important partner which has been and continues to be a leading contributor of political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force's (RSLF) interoperability with U.S. forces and conveys U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia's security and armed forces modernization.

    The proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia's capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its border regions and critical infrastructure. The RSLF currently has M109A2, A3 and A5 howitzers in its inventory. These additional modernized howitzers will enhance Saudi Arabia's ability to support its deployed forces and defend its borders. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these vehicles into its armed forces.

    The prime contractor for this requirement is unknown at this time. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia. Support teams will travel to the country on a temporary basis.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 16-48 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. This sale will involve the release of sensitive technology to Saudi Arabia. The RSLF seeks to purchase the 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer system. The Paladin M109A6 howitzer is the fourth product improvement to the original M109 self-propelled howitzer. It features improvements in the areas of survivability, reliability, availability, maintainability, responsiveness, and terminal effects. The M109A6 is an armored, full tracked howitzer carrying 37 complete conventional rounds and two Copperhead projectiles and operated by a crew of four. It is designed with a new turret structure that facilitates integration of the various turret improvements and vulnerability reduction measures. It improves overall crew compartment layout and space. The howitzer can travel at a maximum speed of 38 miles per hour and has a maximum cruising range of 186 miles. The Ml09A6 can operate independently, from on the move, it can receive a fire mission, compute firing data, select and take up its firing position, automatically unlock and point its cannon, fire and move—all without external technical assistance. Firing the first round following a move in under 60 seconds, a “shoot and scoot” capability protects the crew from counterbattery fire. The M109A6 is capable of firing up to four rounds per minute to ranges of 30 kilometers. The Ml09A6 features increased survivability characteristics such as day/night operability and Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protection with climate control and secure voice and digital communications. The crew remains in the vehicle throughout the mission.

    2. The Electronic Fire Control System (EFCS). Commonly referred to as the Paladin Fire Control System (PFCS), it is the major change for the Paladin M109A6 Howitzer from the manual fire control system used on the M109A5. The integrated electronic digital Fire Control System includes an Embedded Trainer. It gives the howitzer the ability to operate over a widely dispersed area and to move and emplace using the onboard fire control system (Dynamic Reference Unit Hybrid Replacement Inertial Navigation System) and a plug-in AN/PCN-13A Defense Advanced Global Positioning System Receiver with a Selective Availability Anti-spoofing Module (SAASM). The M109A6 can move and position within an assigned position area, process technical firing data, and fire a mission without relying on aiming circles and wire lines. The M109A6 can change position more frequently, an advantage against enemy fire.

    3. The Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) provides the multi-service automated Fire Support Command, Control and Communications portion of the Army Battle Command System (ABCS). AFATDS enables the maneuver commander to plan and execute attacks on the right target, at the right time, with the right weapons system, and the right munitions. It provides for maximum utilization of the fire support assets available on an expanding battlefield. It supports the close, deep, and rear battle fire support requirements of land and littoral doctrine. AFATDS is designed for full interoperability with the other ABCS Battlefield Functional Areas as well as with the Fire Support capabilities of the Navy's Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS) and the Air Force's Theater Battle Management Core System (TBMCS).

    4. The Driver's Vision Enhancer Wide (DVE Wide) improves survivability and mission capability by providing drivers with wider fields of view as well as the elimination of blind spots to safely navigate through dust, sand, haze, smoke, light fog and the blackest night. The front facing DVE Wide integrates three state-of-the-art 640 x 480, 17 µm uncooled infrared sensors, which output a stitched video of a 107 x 30 field of view (POV). The DVE Wide can receive, manage and display video from multiple external cameras on the vehicle. The driver can electronically pan through the 107° total horizontal field of view allowing the driver the ability to see both sides of the road. The vehicle wheel track indicators aid the driver in clearly identifying any potential impediments to safe operation. The DVE Wide is fully backwards compatible with all fielded DVE units, which means that any vehicle currently equipped with a DVE system can be readily upgraded. It is also forward compatible with new, high resolution, touch-screen displays. The DVE Wide is an UNCLASSIFIED system.

    5. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements of the M109A6, the information could be used to develop countermeasures or equivalent systems which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    6. A determination has been made that Saudi Arabia can provide the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification.

    7. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08081 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the Defense Innovation Board.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being renewed in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The charter and contact information for the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be obtained at http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The Board provides the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense independent advice and recommendations on innovative means to address future challenges in terms of integrated change to organizational structure and process, business and functional concepts, and technology applications. The Board shall be composed of no more than 20 members who must possess some or all of the following: (a) Proven track record of sound judgment in leading or governing complex, private sector corporations or organizations; (b) demonstrated performance in identifying and adopting new technology innovations in either the public or private sector; (c) demonstrated performance in developing new technology concepts. Members of the Board who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as special government employee members. Members of the Board who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.130(a) to serve as regular government employee members. All members of the Board are appointed to provide advice on the basis of their best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. Except for reimbursement of official Committee-related travel and per diem, members serve without compensation. The DoD, as necessary and consistent with the Board's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Board, and all subcommittees must operate under the provisions of FACA and the Government in the Sunshine Act. Subcommittees will not work independently of the Board and must report all recommendations and advice solely to the Board for full deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees, task forces, or working groups have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Board. No subcommittee or any of its members can update or report, verbally or in writing, directly to the DoD or any Federal officers or employees. The Board's DFO, pursuant to DoD policy, must be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD employee, and must be in attendance for the duration of each and every Board/subcommittee meeting. The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Such statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned Board meetings. All written statements must be submitted to the Board's DFO who will ensure the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08071 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 17-72] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Arms sales notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107, [email protected] or Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217, [email protected]; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 17-72 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN18AP18.000 Transmittal No. 17-72 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Government of Australia

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * 4.4 million Other $143.6 million TOTAL $148.0 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Two thousand, five hundred four (2,504) rounds of M795 with Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm HE Projectile

    Non-MDE includes: Also included are 155mm High Explosive, Illumination and White Phosphorous munitions, point detonating fuzes, electronic-timed fuzes, M231 and M232/M232A1 propelling charges, percussion primers, technical publications and books, technical data for operational maintenance, technical assistance and services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Army

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: AT-B-UCY and UEJ

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: April 4, 2018

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Australia—M795 with Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm HE Projectile

    The Government of Australia has requested to buy two thousand, five hundred four (2,504) rounds of M795 with Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm High Explosive (HE) Projectile. Also included are 155mm High Explosive, Illumination and White Phosphorous munitions, point detonating fuzes, electronic-timed fuzes, M231 and M232/M232A1 propelling charges, percussion primers, technical publications and books, technical data for operational maintenance, technical assistance and services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $148 million.

    This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner which has been, and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the East Asia and Pacific region.

    The proposed sale of 155mm howitzer ammunition will improve Australia's capability to meet out-year Operational Readiness Training requirements. Australia will use this capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractor will be determined at a later date. Material could potentially be sourced from a combination of stock and procurement. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Australia.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 17-72 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The M795 Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm HE Projectile is UNCLASSIFIED. The M231/M232A1 Modular Artillery Charge System (MACS) consists of two propelling charges, the M231 and the M232/232A1, and associated packaging. The system is compatible with all current and planned 155mm field artillery weapons. MACS uses a “build-a-charge” concept in which increments are identical to all others in the same lot desiccation, retained for future use. The M231 is fired either singly (Charge 1-L) or in pairs (Charge-2L) to engage targets. The M232/M232A1 is fired in groups of 3 (Charge-3H) or groups of 4 (Charge-4H) or groups of 5 (Charge-5H) to engage targets. The highest classification level of the charge is UNCLASSIFED.

    2. Although the charges are UNCLASSIFIED, they have associated technology that is sensitive. Certain aspects of the performance, specifically the interior ballistics characteristics, and some of the design features are considered sensitive data. This UNCLASSIFIED sensitive data could be used by a technologically advanced potential enemy to duplicate the charges through reverse engineering. No technical data packages or test information should be supplied.

    3. A determination has been made that Australia can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification.

    4. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to Australia.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08088 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 18-04] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Arms sales notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107, [email protected] or Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217, [email protected]; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 18-04 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN18AP18.003 Transmittal No. 18-04 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: United Kingdom

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $ 0 million Other $500 million TOTAL $500 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Non-MDE:

    Defense articles and services for continued follow-on support to the MQ-9 Reaper program including: contractor logistics support, manpower and base support, publication and technical documentation, depot and organizational level maintenance and equipment, minor modifications and upgrades, software support, spare and repair/return parts, program studies, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support, and other related elements of program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Air Force (UK-D-QDL)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

    UK-D-SMI—$375m—23 Feb 2007; UK-D-SMJ—$69m—11 Oct 2007; UK-D-YAC—$20m—1 May 2008; UK-D-GAA—$122k—19 Nov 2008; UK-D-YAF—$24m—3 Mar 2011; UK-D-SMK—$70m—17 Nov 2011; UK-D-QBH—$20m—6 Aug 2013; UK-D-GAY—$106m—10 Dec 2014; UK-D-QBQ—$103m—11 Dec 2015; UK-D-YAY—$134m—23 Aug 2016; UK-D-QBR—$5m—30 Mar 2017; UK-D-VAC—$5m—22 Mar 2017; UK-D-YAI—$132m—8 May 2017

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: None.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: April 4, 2018

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION United Kingdom—MQ-9 Continuing Contractor Logistics Support

    The Government of the United Kingdom has requested to buy defense articles and services for continued follow-on support to the MQ-9 Reaper program including: contractor logistics support, manpower and base support, publication and technical documentation, depot and organizational level maintenance and equipment, minor modifications and upgrades, software support, spare and repair/return parts, program studies, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support, and other related elements of program support. The total estimated program cost is $500 million.

    This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security policies of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues.

    The proposed sale is required to maintain the operational readiness of the United Kingdom's MQ-9 Reaper program and enable the United Kingdom to continue to operate its fleet of MQ-9 Reapers in support of coalition operations. The United Kingdom will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractors will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. in San Diego, CA, and MAG Aerospace in Woodland, VA. At this time, there are no known offset agreements. Any offset agreements will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the United Kingdom.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08086 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 17-71] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Arms sales notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107, [email protected] or Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217, [email protected]; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 17-71 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Shelly E. Finke, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN18AP18.001 Transmittal No. 17-71 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Government of Germany

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $ .95 billion Other $1.55 billion TOTAL $2.50 billion

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

    Four (4) MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) One (1) Mission Control Station (MCS) comprised of one (1) Main Operating Base (MOB) (MD-3A) and one (1) Forward Operating Base (FOB) (MD-3B) Ten (10) Kearfott Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) units (2 per aircraft plus 2 spares) Ten (10) LN-251 INS/GPS units (2 per aircraft plus 2 spares)

    Non-MDE: This proposed MQ-4C UAS sale will be a modified version of the USN Triton configuration. Also included is one Rolls Royce Engine (spare), communication equipment, support equipment, mission planning element to include Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) Global Positioning System (GPS) items, Communications Security (COMSEC) equipment, mapping, training, support equipment, consumables, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, flight test support, airworthiness support, personnel training and training devices, applicable software, hardware, publications and technical data, facilities and maintenance support, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics supports services, and other elements of unique engineering efforts required to support the integration, installation and functional platform compatibility testing of Germany's indigenous payload and other related elements of logistics and program support, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy (GY-P-SCK)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: GY-P-GPT

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: April 4, 2018

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Germany—MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

    The Government of Germany has requested to buy four (4) MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), one (1) Mission Control Station (MCS) comprised of one (1) Main Operating Base (MOB) (MD-3A) and one (1) Forward Operating Base (FOB) (MD-3B), ten (10) Kearfott Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS), units (2 per aircraft plus 2 spares), and ten (10) LN-251 INS/GPS units (2 per aircraft plus 2 spares). This proposed MQ-4C UAS sale will be a modified version of the USN Triton configuration. Also included is one Rolls Royce Engine (spare), communication equipment, support equipment, mission planning element to include Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) Global Positioning System (GPS) items, Communications Security (COMSEC) equipment, mapping, training, support equipment, consumables, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, flight test support, airworthiness support, personnel training and training devices, applicable software, hardware, publications and technical data, facilities and maintenance support, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics supports services, and other elements of unique engineering efforts required to support the integration, installation and functional platform compatibility testing of Germany's indigenous payload and other related elements of logistics and program support, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total case value is $2.50 billion.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political and economic stability in Europe.

    Germany is one of the major political and economic powers in Europe and NATO and a key partner of the United States in ensuring global peace and stability. The proposed sale of the MQ-4C Triton will support legitimate national security requirements and significantly enhance Germany's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and the overall collective security of the European Union and NATO.

    The proposed sale of the MQ-4C Triton will close a crucial capability gap and will enhance bilateral and NATO interoperability and will help ensure that Germany is able to continue to monitor and deter regional threats. This proposed MQ-4C UAS sale will be a modified version of the United States Navy (USN) Triton configuration. The German Armed Forces will have no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be Northrop Grumman Corporation Rancho Bernardo, CA, responsible for integration, installation and functional platform compatibility testing of the payload. Airbus Defence and Space, located in Germany, will be the prime contractor to Germany for the development and manufacturing, and will be responsible for the functional test, end-to-end test and installed performance. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of contractor representatives to Germany to perform contractor logistics support and to support establishment of required security infrastructure.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 17-71 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The MQ-4C Triton hardware and software procured for this potential sale are UNCLASSIFIED. The MQ-4C is optimized for long range and prolonged flight endurance. The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides a persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability to include data collection, analysis, and situational reporting. Aircraft system, sensor, and navigational status are provided continuously to the ground operators through a health and status downlink for mission monitoring. Navigation is via inertial navigation with integrated global positioning system (GPS) updates. The vehicle is capable of operating from a standard paved runway. Real time missions are flown under the control of a pilot in a Mission Control Station (MCS). It is designed to carry a non-weapons maximum internal payload of 3,200 lbs, maximum external payload of 2,400 lbs, consisting primarily of sensors and avionics. The MQ-4C will include the Mission Control Station (MCS) which consists of the following components:

    a. The Mission Control Station (MCS) is the MQ-4C Triton UAS ground control station required to operate the MQ-4C Triton UAS. The MOB MCS (MD-3A) provides MQ-4C Triton Aircraft Command & Control (C2). The MOB MCS consists of a primary and back-up system, an embedded training capability, requisite data links, communication systems, antennas, computer work-stations and hardware/software for air vehicle, and tactical coordinator. The MOB MCS communications consists of both Line of Sight (LOS) and Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) capabilities to control the Triton Unmanned Aircraft world-wide. The MOB technical data and documentation are UNCLASSIFIED.

    b. The MQ-4C Triton UAS Forward Operating Base (FOB) (MD-3B) is used for aircraft launch and recovery and is physically located at the same location as the MQ-4C Triton aircraft. The FOB MCS is similar to the MOB MCS, but the FOB MCS does not process or control any payload information. The FOB MCS is manned by air vehicle operators only and used for line of sight Aircraft C2 while beyond line of sight control is used as a back-up communication line. The FOB MCS consists of requisite data links, communication systems, antennas, computer work-stations and hardware/software for air vehicle operator control. The FOB technical data and documentation are UNCLASSIFIED.

    c. The MQ-4C employs a quad-redundant Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) configuration. The system utilizes two different INS/GPS systems for greater redundancy. The system consists of two LN-251 units and two Kearfott KN-4074E INS/GPS Units. The LN-251 is a fully integrated, non-dithered navigation system with an embedded Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM), P(Y) code or Standard Positioning Service (SPS) GPS. It utilizes a Fiber-Optic Gyro (FOG) and includes three independent navigation solutions: blended INS/GPS, INS-only, and GPS-only. The Kearfott KN-4074E features a Monolithic Ring Laser Gyro (MRLG) and accelerometer. The inertial sensors are tightly coupled with an embedded SAASM P(Y) code GPS. Both systems employ crypto graphic technology that can be classified up to SECRET.

    2. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of specific hardware, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapons system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    3. A determination has been made that Germany can provide substantially the same degree of protection for sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This proposed sustainment program is necessary to the furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the policy justification.

    4. All defense articles and services listed on this transmittal are authorized for release and export to the Government of Germany.

    [FR Doc. 2018-08087 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2018-ICCD-0044] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2019 and 2020 AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0044. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Room 216-32, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, 202-245-7377.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2019 and 2020.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0928.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 712,922.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 379,998.

    Abstract: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is a federally authorized survey of student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12 in various subject areas, such as mathematics, reading, writing, science, U.S. history, civics, geography, economics, technology and engineering literacy (TEL), and the arts. The National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act (Pub. L. 107-279 Title III, section 303) requires the assessment to collect data on specified student groups and characteristics, including information organized by race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, disability, and limited English proficiency. It requires fair and accurate presentation of achievement data and permits the collection of background, noncognitive, or descriptive information that is related to academic achievement and aids in fair reporting of results. The intent of the law is to provide representative sample data on student achievement for the nation, the states, and subpopulations of students and to monitor progress over time. The nature of NAEP is that burden alternates from a relatively low burden in national-level administration years to a substantial burden increase in state-level administration years when the sample has to allow for estimates for individual states and some of the large urban districts. The request to conduct NAEP 2017-2019 was approved in August 2016, with the latest change requests approved in March 2018 (OMB# 1850-0928 v.1-9). This request updates the scope, sampling, procedures, and materials to be used in NAEP in 2019 and 2020, including operational assessments, pilot tests, and special studies. The NAEP results will be reported to the public through the Nation's Report Card as well as other online NAEP tools.

    Dated: April 13, 2018. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08105 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2018-ICCD-0043] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Survey 2018-2019 AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0043. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Room 216-34, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, 202-245-7377.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Survey 2018-2019.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0933.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 112.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 140.

    Abstract: As authorized by the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002, Title II, the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program has awarded competitive, cooperative agreement grants to states since 2005. Through grants and a growing range of services and resources, the program has helped propel the successful design, development, implementation, and expansion of K12 and P-20W (early learning through the workforce) longitudinal data systems. These systems are intended to enhance the ability of States to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data, including individual student records. The SLDSs should help states, districts, schools, educators, and other stakeholders to make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes; as well as to facilitate research to increase student achievement and close achievement gaps. The SLDS grants extend for three to five years for up to twenty million dollars per grantee, and grantees are obligated to submit annual reports and a final report on the development and implementation of their systems. All 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply, and each state can apply multiple times to develop different aspects of their data system. Since November 2005, 97 grants have been awarded. In addition to the grants, the program offers many services and resources to assist education agencies with SLDS-related work. Best practices, lessons learned, and non-proprietary products/solutions developed by recipients of these grants and other states are disseminated to aid all state and local education agencies. The request to formalize the annual SLDS Interim Progress Report (IPR) as the SLDS Survey, intended to provide insight on state and U.S. territory SLDS capacity for automated linking of K-12, teacher, postsecondary, workforce, career and technical education (CTE), adult education, and early childhood data, and to conduct the annual SLDS Survey from 2017 through 2019 was approved in February 2017 with the latest change request approved in September 2017 (1850-0933 v.1-4). The SLDS Survey will help inform ongoing evaluation and targeted technical assistance efforts to enhance the quality of the SLDS Program's support to states. This request is to update the survey instrument to reflect feedback received from respondents during the SLDS survey's first administration in 2017.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08068 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.215G.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: April 18, 2018.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 18, 2018.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 17, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beth Yeh, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3E230, Washington, DC 20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 205-5798. Email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The IAL program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies (high-need LEAs) and schools. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) intends to promote innovative literacy programs that support the development of literacy skills in low-income communities, including programs that (1) develop and enhance effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development for school librarians, books, and up-to-date materials to high-need schools; (2) provide early literacy services, including pediatric literacy programs through which, during well-child visits, medical providers trained in research-based methods of early language and literacy promotion provide developmentally appropriate books and recommendations to parents to encourage them to read aloud to their children starting in infancy; and (3) provide high-quality books on a regular basis to children and adolescents from low-income communities to increase reading motivation, performance, and frequency. The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that demonstrate a rationale.

    In accordance with the Senate report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, S. Rep. No. 115-150, at 163 (2017), the Department will reserve no less than 50 percent of funds under the IAL program for grants to develop and enhance effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development to librarians in high-need schools or books and other up-to-date library materials to such schools. Further, the Department will ensure that grants are distributed among eligible entities that will serve geographically diverse areas, including rural areas.

    Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and two competitive preference priorities. We are establishing the absolute priority for the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). Competitive preference priority 1 is from the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (FY 2018 Supplemental Priorities). Competitive preference priority 2 is from the notice of final priorities, requirement, and definitions for this program published in the Federal Register on June 17, 2014 (79 FR 34428) (IAL NFP).

    Absolute Priority: This priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    High-Quality Plan for Innovative Approaches to Literacy That Includes Book Distribution, Childhood Literacy Activities, or Both, and That, at a Minimum, Demonstrates a Rationale.

    To meet this priority, applicants must submit a plan that demonstrates a rationale, including a rationale for the project component and a corresponding logic model.

    The applicant must submit a plan with the following information:

    (a) A description of the proposed book distribution, childhood literacy activities, or both, that are designed to improve the literacy skills of children and students by one or more of the following—

    (1) Promoting early literacy and preparing young children to read;

    (2) Developing and improving students' reading ability;

    (3) Motivating older children to read; and

    (4) Teaching children and students to read.

    (b) The age or grade spans of children and students from birth through 12th grade to be served.

    (c) A detailed description of the key goals, the activities to be undertaken, the rationale for those activities, the timeline, the parties responsible for implementing the activities, and the credibility of the plan (as judged, in part, by the information submitted that demonstrates a rationale); and

    (d)(1) A description of how the proposed project demonstrates a rationale; and

    (2) The corresponding logic model.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), for competitive preference priority 1, we award an additional five points to an application that meets the priority. For competitive preference priority 2, we award an additional three points to an application that meets the priority, for a possible maximum total of eight competitive preference priority points.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, with a Particular Focus on Computer Science.

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project designed to improve student achievement or other educational outcomes in one or more of the following areas: Science, technology, engineering, math, or computer science. The project must address one or more of the following priority areas:

    (a) Utilizing technology for educational purposes in communities served by rural local educational agencies (rural LEAs) or other areas identified as lacking sufficient access to such tools and resources.

    (b) Utilizing technology to provide access to educational choice.

    (c) Working with schools, municipal libraries, or other partners to provide new and accessible methods of accessing digital learning resources, such as by digitizing books or expanding access to such resources to a greater number of children or students.

    (d) Making coursework, books, or other materials available as open educational resources or taking other steps so that such materials may be inexpensively and widely used.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2—Serving Rural LEAs.

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project designed to provide high-quality literacy programming, or distribute books, or both, to students served by a rural LEA.

    Definitions: The definitions listed below are from 34 CFR 77.1; the FY 2018 Supplemental Priorities; and the IAL NFP. These definitions apply to the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Computer science means the study of computers and algorithmic processes and includes the study of computing principles and theories, computational thinking, computer hardware, software design, coding, analytics, and computer applications. Computer science often includes computer programming or coding as a tool to create software including applications, games, websites, and tools to manage or manipulate data; or development and management of computer hardware and the other electronics related to sharing, securing, and using digital information.

    In addition to coding, the expanding field of computer science emphasizes computational thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving to equip students with the skills and abilities necessary to apply computation in our digital world.

    Computer science does not include using a computer for everyday activities, such as browsing the internet; use of tools like word processing, spreadsheets or presentation software; or using computers in the study and exploration of unrelated subjects. (FY2018 Supplemental Priorities.)

    Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes. (34 CFR 77.1.)

    Educational choice means the opportunity for a child or student (or a family member on their behalf) to create a high-quality personalized path for learning that is consistent with applicable Federal, State, and local laws; is in an educational setting that best meets the child's or student's needs; and, where possible, incorporates evidence-based activities, strategies, and interventions.

    Opportunities made available to a student through a grant program are those that supplement what is provided by a child's or student's geographically assigned school or the institution in which he or she is currently enrolled and may include one or more of the options listed below:

    (1) Public educational programs or courses including those offered by traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, public online education providers, or other public education providers.

    (2) Private or home-based educational programs or courses including those offered by private schools, private online providers, private tutoring providers, community or faith-based organizations, or other private education providers.

    (3) Internships, apprenticeships, or other programs offering access to learning in the workplace.

    (4) Part-time coursework or career preparation offered by a public or private provider in person or through the internet or another form of distance learning, that serves as a supplement to full-time enrollment at an educational institution, as a stand-alone program leading to a credential, or as a supplement to education received in a homeschool setting.

    (5) Dual or concurrent enrollment programs or early college high schools (as defined in section 8101(15) and (17) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended 1 ), or other programs that enable secondary school students to begin earning credit toward a postsecondary degree or credential prior to high school graduation. (2018 Supplemental Priorities.)

    1 In December 2015, Congress enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorized the ESEA. Therefore, for purposes of this notice, unless otherwise indicated, all references to the “ESEA” are to the “ESEA, as amended by the ESSA.”

    High-need local educational agency (High-need LEA) means—

    (1) Except for LEAs referenced in paragraph (2), an LEA in which at least 20 percent 2 of the students aged 5-17 in the school attendance area of the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for school districts for the most recent income year (Census list).

    2 Section 2226(b)(1) of the ESEA changed this from 25 percent to 20 percent.

    (2) For an LEA that is not included on the Census list, such as a charter school LEA, an LEA for which the State educational agency (SEA) determines, consistent with the manner described under section 1124(c) of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, in which the SEA determines an LEA's eligibility for Title I allocations, that 20 percent of the students aged 5-17 in the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line. (IAL NFP.)

    Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes. (34 CFR 77.1.)

    National not-for-profit (NNP) organization means an agency, organization, or institution owned and operated by one or more corporations or associations whose net earnings do not benefit, and cannot lawfully benefit, any private shareholder or entity. In addition, it means, for the purposes of this program, an organization of national scope that is supported by staff or affiliates at the State and local levels, who may include volunteers, and that has a demonstrated history of effectively developing and implementing literacy activities. (IAL NFP.)

    Note:

    A local affiliate of an NNP organization does not meet the definition of NNP organization. Only a national agency, organization, or institution is eligible to apply as an NNP organization.

    Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers). (34 CFR 77.1.)

    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the specific goals of the program. (34 CFR 77.1.)

    Rural local educational agency (Rural LEA) means an LEA that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement program (SRSA) or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title V, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine whether a particular district is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the Department's website at www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html. (FY 2018 Supplemental Priorities.)

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements, regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant competition for this program under section 2226(b)(1) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6646) and therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on the absolute priority under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. This priority will apply to the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Program Authority:

    Section 2226 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6646).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations in 34 CFR part 299. (e) The IAL NFP. (f) The FY 2018 Supplemental Priorities.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian Tribes.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $26,730,000.

    IAL has received $27,000,000 for new awards for this program for FY 2018, of which we intend to use an estimated $26,730,000 for this competition.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: $175,000 to $750,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: $500,000.

    Estimated Number of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: 30.

    Estimated Range of Awards to NNP Organizations, Consortia of NNP Organizations, and Consortia of NNP Organizations and LEAs: $1,500,000 to $5,000,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards to NNP Organizations, Consortia of NNP Organizations, and Consortia of NNP Organizations and LEAs: $3,000,000.

    Estimated Number of Awards to NNP Organizations: 2-6.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 36 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: To be considered for an award under this competition, an applicant must:

    (a) Be one of the following:

    (1) A high-need LEA;

    (2) An NNP organization that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs;

    (3) A consortium of high-need LEAs; or

    (4) The Bureau of Indian Education; and

    (b) Coordinate with school libraries in developing project proposals.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the IAL program, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11, we define “business information” and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).

    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.

    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

    4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 25 pages and (2) use the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; the one-page abstract, resumes, bibliography, logic model, or letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section.

    Note:

    The applicant should include, as an attachment, the logic model used to address paragraph (d)(2) of the absolute priority.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all selection criteria is 100. The maximum possible score for each selection criterion is indicated in parentheses. The selection criteria for this competition are as follows:

    (a) Need for project (up to 10 points).

    The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.

    (b) Significance (up to 10 points).

    The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.

    (c) Quality of the project design (up to 20 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. (5 points)

    (2) The extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations providing services to the target population. (5 points)

    (3) The extent to which the proposed project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support rigorous academic standards for students. (5 points)

    (4) The extent to which the proposed project demonstrates a rationale. (5 points)

    (d) Quality of project services (up to 25 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

    (1) The quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (10 points)

    (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services. (10 points)

    (3) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services. (5 points)

    (e) Adequacy of resources (up to 10 points).

    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.

    (f) Quality of the management plan (up to 20 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (10 points)

    (2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. (10 points)

    (g) Quality of the project evaluation (up to 5 points).

    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20(c).

    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report (APR) that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    5. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 performance measures for the IAL program: (1) The percentage of four-year-old children participating in the project who achieve significant gains in oral language skills; (2) the percentage of fourth graders participating in the project who demonstrated individual student growth (i.e., an improvement in their achievement) over the past year on State reading or language arts assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; (3) the percentage of eighth graders participating in the project who demonstrated individual student growth (i.e., an improvement in their achievement) over the past year on State reading or language arts assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; (4) the percentage of schools participating in the project whose book-to-student ratios increase from the previous year; and (5) the percentage of participating children who receive at least one free, grade- and language-appropriate book of their own.

    All grantees will be expected to submit an APR that includes data addressing these performance measures to the extent that they apply to the grantee's project.

    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Other Information

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

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

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

    Dated: April 13, 2018. Jason Botel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the Position of Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08093 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [EERE 2018-AM-00XX] Agency Information Collection Extension AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy has submitted an information collection package to the OMB for extension under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The package requests a three-year extension of its “Superior Energy Performance (SEP) Certification and 50001 Ready Recognition,” OMB Control Number 1910-5177. The proposed collection of information relates to tracking partner participation and calculating the energy efficiency impact of DOE's Superior Energy Performance certification and 50001 Ready recognition programs.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this collection must be received on or before May 18, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, please advise the OMB Desk Officer of your intention to make a submission as soon as possible. The Desk Officer may be telephoned at 202-395-4650 or contacted by email at [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to the: Desk Officer for the Department of Energy, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, 735 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503.

    And to: Mr. Paul Scheihing, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE-5A), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, or by fax at 202-586-9234, or by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Mr. Paul Scheihing at the contact information listed above or phone at 202-586-7234.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This package contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5177; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Department of Energy Superior Energy Performance (SEP) Certification and 50001 Ready Recognition; (3) Type of Review: Renewal; (4) Purpose: This Information Collection Request applies to the Department of Energy (DOE) voluntary ISO 50001 programs for industrial facilities: Superior Energy Performance® (SEP®) and 50001 ReadyTM recognition. SEP is an energy efficiency certification and recognition program for commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities demonstrating excellence in energy management as well as continual improvement in energy efficiency through third-party verified energy performance. 50001 Ready recognition is a self-attestation of the implementation of an ISO 50001 energy management system without the need for external audits.

    DOE's 50001 Ready provides an on-ramp towards SEP certification. It is a self-guided approach for facilities to establish an energy management system and self-attest to the structure of the ISO 50001 energy management system. SEP certification builds on ISO 50001 provides a rigorous, internationally-recognized business process for companies to continually improve their energy performance. The SEP third-party verification of energy performance improvement is unique in the marketplace, and assists to differentiate certified companies from their competitors. This request for information consists of a voluntary data collection process for SEP participation: to manage and track certification cycles, and provide recognition for verified energy performance improvements. 50001 Ready collects a minimal amount of self-attested information to manage and track recognition cycles and to recognize the achievements of its participants.

    The following types of information are collected from primary participants: (1) Background data, including contact information and basic information and basic facility information about its energy use, energy consumption, and energy performance indicators—collected in the SEP Application Form; (2) Information on energy performance improvement in SEP-certified facilities—collected in the SEP Energy Performance Improvement Report. 50001 Ready collects only a subset of the same types of information, and without the need for external audit. Background data will primarily be used to track basic information about SEP and 50001 Ready participants and identify opportunities to provide participants with technical assistance. Basic information about a facility's energy use, energy consumption, and energy performance indicators will be used to administer SEP and 50001 Ready. Information on energy performance improvement will be used by DOE to manage and track participation cycles, and to track the results of participation in SEP and 50001 Ready. Responses to the DOE's Information Collection Request will be voluntary. (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 233; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Responses: 233; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 333; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $18,667.

    Statutory Authority:

    Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency. Executive Order 13624, 77 FR 54779 (Aug. 30, 2012); 42 U.S.C. 16191.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on: April 9, 2018. Paul Scheihing, Technology Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08108 Filed 4-17-18; 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 Numbers: RP18-697-000.

    Applicants: Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (Newfield 18 to Sequent 1970) to be effective 4/11/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/11/18.

    Accession Number: 20180411-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/23/18.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-698-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: AGT Apr2018 Non-conforming Agreements Cleanup to be effective 5/12/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5031.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/24/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08076 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG18-74-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 10, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5052.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2577-001.

    Applicants: York Haven Power Company, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report Docket No. ER17-2577-001 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-660-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: 3390 SWPA & South Central MCN Int Agr Compliance Filing to be effective 3/31/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5066.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1094-001.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: FPL Revisions to LCEC Rate Schedule No. 317 to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1095-001.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: FPL Revisions to FKEC Rate Schedule No. 322 to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1275-002.

    Applicants: Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: MAIT submits Supplemental Filing re: OIA SA No. 4929 to be effective 6/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1344-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2018-04-011 Congestion Revenue Rights Auction Efficiency Track 1A Amendment to be effective 7/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/11/18.

    Accession Number: 20180411-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1345-000.

    Applicants: High Prairie Wind Farm II, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1346-000.

    Applicants: Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm I, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1347-000.

    Applicants: Rail Splitter Wind Farm, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5069.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1348-000.

    Applicants: Lone Valley Solar Park I LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1349-000.

    Applicants: Lone Valley Solar Park II LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1350-000.

    Applicants: New England Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Reimbursement Agreement with Granite Reliable Power to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5116.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1351-000.

    Applicants: Virginia Electric and Power Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: VEPCO submits revisions to OATT, Attachment H-16A re: Depreciation Rate to be effective 6/15/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1352-000.

    Applicants: Rising Tree Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1353-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amended IFA Between SCE and AEPCO and Notices of Cancellation to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1354-000.

    Applicants: Rising Tree Wind Farm II LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1355-000.

    Applicants: Rising Tree Wind Farm III LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised MBR Tariff to be effective 4/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-1356-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company.

    Description: Notice of Cancellation of Network Operating Agreement (Third Revised Service Agreement 14) of Louisville Gas and Electric Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 4/12/18.

    Accession Number: 20180412-5166.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/3/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08075 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2669-085] Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments; Bear Swamp Power Company, LLC

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New Major License.

    b. Project No.: 2669-085.

    c. Date Filed: March 30, 2018.

    d. Applicant: Bear Swamp Power Company, LLC (Bear Swamp).

    e. Name of Project: Bear Swamp Project.

    f. Location: The existing project is located on the Deerfield River in Berkshire and Franklin Counties, Massachusetts. The project does not affect federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Steven P. Murphy, Director of Licensing, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group, 33 West 1st Street South, Fulton, NY 13069; Telephone (315) 593-3118.

    i. FERC Contact: John Baummer, (202) 502-6837 or [email protected]

    j. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    k. Project Description: The existing Bear Swamp Project consists of a pumped storage development, the Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development, and a conventional hydropower development, the Fife Brook Development, with a combined authorized capacity of 676 megawatts (MW). The project generates an average of 483,863 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually, and uses an average of 618,293 MWh annually to operate the pumped storage development.

    Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development

    The existing Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development consists of the following existing facilities: (1) A 118-acre upper reservoir with a gross storage capacity of 8,300 acre-feet at the normal full water surface elevation of approximately 1,600 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD), which is contained by existing topography and 4 dikes: (a) An approximately 1,300-foot-long, 155-foot-high curved, earth and rock-fill dike (North Dike); (b) an approximately 350-foot-long, 23-foot-high earth and rock-fill dike extending from the eastside of the North Dike (North Dike Extension); (c) an approximately 2,880-foot-long, 140-foot-high earth and rock-fill dike (South Dike); and (d) an approximately 750-foot-long, 50-foot-high earth and rock-fill dike (East Dike); (2) a 420-foot long emergency spillway to the east of the North Dike Extension; (3) an 88-foot-long, 1.5- to 4-foot-wide, 4-foot-high submerged weir with three 5-foot-wide, 3-foot-high concrete stoplog gates; (4) a 40-foot-diameter concrete inlet/outlet structure located at the bottom of the upper reservoir to the west of the North Dike; (5) an approximately 1,430.5-foot-long tunnel system that includes: (a) A 75-foot-long concrete-lined section that tapers from 40 feet to 25 feet in diameter; (b) an approximately 965-foot-long, 25-foot-diameter concrete-lined section; (c) a 15-foot-long concrete-lined section that bifurcates from a single 25-foot-diameter section to two 20-foot-diameter penstock sections; (d) two 25-foot-long concrete-lined penstock sections that taper from 20 feet to 17.5 feet in diameter; (e) two 322-foot-long, 17.5-foot-diameter concrete-lined penstock sections; (f) two 20-foot-long concrete-lined penstock sections that taper from 17.5 feet to 11 feet in diameter; and (g) two 8.5-foot-long, 11-foot-diameter, steel-lined penstock sections; (6) a 227-foot-long, 79-foot-wide, 182-foot-high underground powerhouse containing two reversible Francis pump turbine-generator units with a total authorized capacity of 666 MW; (7) two 504-foot-long, 22-foot-wide, 29.5-foot-high concrete-lined draft tube tunnels; (8) a lower reservoir inlet/outlet structure with four 15-foot-wide, 20-foot-high bays, each equipped with 16-foot-wide, 20.6-foot-high steel slide gates; (9) four 15-foot-wide, 26.7-foot-tall steel trashracks with 6-inch bar spacing; (10) two 13.8-kilovolt (kV) motor-generator lead electrical lines, one approximately 890 feet long (east lead) and one approximately 900 feet long (west lead); (11) a 600-foot-long, 15-foot-wide, 23-foot-high access tunnel for the generator lead lines; (12) two 13.8/230-kV step-up transformers; (13) two 230-kV above-ground transmission lines, one approximately 4,075 feet long (south line) and one approximately 3,960 feet long (north line), which terminate at a non-project switchyard owned by National Grid; (14) a 700-foot-long, 25-foot-wide, 29-foot-high tunnel for the access road; and (15) appurtenant facilities.

    Fife Brook Development

    The existing Fife Brook Development consists of: (1) An 890-foot-long, 130-foot-high earthen rock-fill dam; (2) a 152-acre impoundment with a gross storage capacity of 6,900 acre-feet at a normal maximum water surface elevation of 870 feet NGVD, which also serves as the lower reservoir for the Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development; (3) two 36-foot-wide, 40-foot-high steel Tainter spillway gates that are integral with the dam; (4) a concrete intake structure that is integral with the dam and includes an 11.2-foot-wide, 24-foot-tall trashrack with 3-inch bar spacing and a 15-foot-wide, 18-foot-high headgate; (5) a 10-foot-diameter, 200-foot-long steel penstock; (6) an approximately 79.25-foot-long, 44-foot-wide, 94-foot-tall concrete powerhouse containing a 10-MW Francis turbine-generator unit; (7) a 21-foot-long steel-lined draft tube; (8) an approximately 325-foot-long, 30-inch-diameter minimum flow release pipe that is gated at its intake and bifurcates into an approximately 55-foot-long, 20-inch-diameter pipe and an approximately 55-foot-long, 24-inch-diameter pipe; (9) a partially buried (860-foot-long section) and partially above-ground (7,060-foot-long section) 13.8-kV transmission line that connects the turbine-generator unit to the regional grid at a non-project substation owned by Great River Hydro, LLC; and (10) appurtenant facilities.

    The Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development uses a storage capacity of 4,600 acre-feet to generate approximately 3,028 MWh of energy over a generation run time of approximately 5.3 hours. The Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development normally generates and pumps back some or all of its useable storage capacity over a 24-hour period.

    The impoundment for the Fife Brook Development is the lower reservoir of the Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development. The Fife Brook impoundment has an allowable drawdown of 40 feet to provide a useable storage capacity of 4,600 acre-feet to the upper reservoir of the Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development for daily peaking operations. Releases from Fife Brook dam generally match the inflow from the Station No. 5 Development of Great River Hydro, LLC's Deerfield River Project (FERC No. 2323), which discharges directly into the Fife Brook impoundment.

    The project's current license requires Bear Swamp to release a continuous minimum flow of 125 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Fife Brook dam, and to use water from the Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development to meet the required 125 cfs minimum flow as necessary. The existing license also requires Bear Swamp to provide 106 scheduled annual releases of 700 cfs for whitewater recreation downstream of the Fife Brook dam from April 1 through October 31.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the Rowe Town Library, located at 318 Zoar Road, Rowe, MA 01367; or the North Adams Public Library, located at 74 Church Street, North Adams, MA 01247.

    m. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Procedural Schedule: Pursuant to section 5.19(d) of the Commission's regulations, the Director, Office of Energy Projects will issue an order within 30 days of the filing date of the final license application to resolve study requests that were filed in comments on the draft license application. At this time, the application is expected to be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made following the Director's determination on the study requests, or as otherwise appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Notice of Acceptance/Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis October 2018. Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and fishway prescriptions December 2018. Commission issues Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) June 2019. Comments on Draft EA August 2019. Modified terms and conditions October 2019. Commission issues Final EA January 2020.

    o. Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08073 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-12-000] Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, LLC Herscher Northwest Storage Field Abandonment Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Herscher Northwest Storage Field Abandonment Project, proposed by Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC (Natural) in the above-referenced docket. Natural requests authorization to abandon the Herscher Northwest Storage Field facilities with its certificated maximum inventory of 18.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) located in Kankakee County, Illinois.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the abandonment of the Herscher Northwest Storage Field Abandonment Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    Natural proposes to abandon:

    • In place 19 injection/withdrawal wells by permanently plugging and capping;

    • in place 16.15 miles of 4- to 16-inch-diameter associated pipeline laterals in the storage field by capping;

    • in place 13 non-jurisdictional observation wells by plugging;

    • in place one non-jurisdictional salt water disposal well by plugging;

    • in place approximately 15.3 Bcf of non-recoverable cushion gas;

    • by removal the 330-horsepower Compressor Station 202 including its building, compressor unit, concrete piers, and concrete foundation; and

    • by removal all aboveground and belowground storage field auxiliary surface facilities, including, but not limited to: Well head piping, slug catchers, water gathering system, and methanol distribution systems associated with the abandoned wells; seven tap valves; a pigging facility; and two corrosion monitors along with their associated rectifiers and ground beds.

    Natural also proposes to convert the P. Cook No. 1 injection/withdrawal well to an observational well for its nearby Herscher Mount Simon Storage Field; and retain the P. Cook No. G-1 well as an observation well for its nearby Herscher Galesville Storage Field.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the project area. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before May 14, 2018.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (CP18-12-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister. You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select Comment on a Filing; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).1 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    1 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on General Search, and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP18-12). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08072 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD18-5-000] Notice Requesting Questions and Comments on Fiscal Year 2017 Other Federal Agency Cost Submissions; Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act

    In its Order On Rehearing Consolidating Administrative Annual Charges Bill Appeals And Modifying Annual Charges Billing Procedures, 109 FERC 61,040 (2004) (October 8 Order) the Commission set forth an annual process for Other Federal Agencies (OFAs) to submit their costs related to Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act. Pursuant to the established process the Chief of Revenue and Receivables, Financial Management Division, Office of the Executive Director, on October 5, 2017, issued a letter requesting the OFAs to submit their costs by December 31, 2017 using the OFA Cost Submission Form.

    Upon receipt of the agency submissions, the Commission posted the information in eLibrary, and issued, on March 7, 2018, a notice announcing the date for a technical conference to review the submitted costs. On March 27, 2018 the Commission held the technical conference. Technical conference transcripts, submitted cost forms, and detailed supporting documents are all available for review under Docket No. AD18-5. These documents are accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and are available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC.

    Interested parties may file specific questions and comments on the FY 2017 OFA cost submissions with the Commission under Docket No. AD18-5, no later than April 26, 2018. Once filed, the Commission will forward the questions and comments to the OFAs for response.

    Anyone with questions pertaining to the technical conference or this notice should contact Raven A. Rodriguez at (202) 502-6276 (via email at [email protected]).

    Dated: April 12, 2018. . Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08074 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC18-7-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725L); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting the FERC-725L (Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: MOD Reliability Standards) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-725L and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by May 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0261, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected] Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-8528.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC18-7-000, by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's website: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725L, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: MOD Reliability Standards.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0261.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-725L information collection requirements with no changes to the reporting requirements.

    Abstract: MOD Reliability Standards ensure that generators remain in operation during specified voltage and frequency excursions, properly coordinate protective relays and generator voltage regulator controls, and ensure that generator models accurately reflect the generator's capabilities and equipment performance.

    On 5/30/2013, NERC filed a petition explaining that the reliability of the Bulk-Power System benefits from “good quality simulation models of power system equipment,2 ” and that “model validation ensures the proper performance of the control systems and validates the computer models used for stability analysis.” NERC further stated that the Reliability Standards will enhance reliability because the tests performed to obtain model data may reveal latent defects that could cause “inappropriate unit response during system disturbances,2 ” Subsequently, on 3/20/2014,1 the Commission approved Reliability Standards MOD-025-2, MOD-026-1, and MOD-027-1. These Standards were intended to address generator verifications needed to support Bulk-Power System reliability that would also ensure that accurate data is verified and made available for planning simulations.2

    1 Final Rule in Docket No. RM13-16-000.

    2 NERC Petition for Approval of Five Proposed Reliability Standards MOD-025-2, MOD-026-1, MOD-027-1, PRC-019-1, and PRC-024-1 submitted to FERC on 5/30/2013.

    On 5/1/2014,3 the Commission approved Reliability Standards MOD-032-1 and MOD-033-2. These Standards were to address “system-level modeling data and validation requirements necessary for developing planning models and the Interconnection-wide cases that are integral to analyzing the reliability of the Bulk-Power System.”

    3 Order in Docket No. RD14-5-000.

    MOD-025-2, MOD-026-1, MOD-027-1, MOD-032-1 and MOD-033-2 are all currently approved within the FERC-725L information collection. The reporting requirements associated with each standard will not change as a result of this extension request.

    Type of Respondents: NERC-registered entities including generator owners, transmission planners, planning authorities, balancing authorities, resource planners, transmission service providers, reliability coordinators, and transmission operators.4

    4 In subsequent portions of this notice, the following acronyms will be used: PA = Planning Authority, GO = Generator Owner, TP = Transmission Planner, BA = Balancing Authority, RP = Resource Planner, TSP = Transmission Service Provider, RC = Reliability Coordinator, TOP = Transmission Operator.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:5 The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden 6 and cost for the information collection as:

    5 “Burden” is defined as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    6 Each of the five MOD standards in the FERC-725L information collection previously contained “one-time” components to their respondent burden. These one-time burden categories consisted primarily of activities related to establishing industry practices and developing data validation procedures tailored toward these reliability standards and their reporting requirements. None of the one-time burdens apply any longer, so they are being removed from the FERC-725L information collection.

    MOD-025-2 [Verification and data reporting of generator real and reactive power capability and synchronous condenser reactive power capability] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Attachment 2 933 (GO) 1 933 6 hrs.; $448.92 7 5,598 hrs.; $418,842 $448.92 Evidence Retention 933 (GO) 1 933 1 hr.; $32.74 8 933 hrs.; $30,546 32.74 Total 6,531 hrs.; $449,388
    MOD-026-1 [Verification of models and data for generator excitation control system or plant volt/variance control functions] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Instructions for obtaining excitation control system or plant voltage/variance control function model 185 (TP) 1 185 8 hrs.; $598.56 7 1,480 hrs.; $110,734 $598.56 Documentation on generator verification 466 (GO) 1 466 8 hrs.; $598.56 7 3,728 hrs.; $278,929 598.56 Evidence Retention 651 (GO and TOP) 1 651 1 hr.; $32.74 8 651 hrs.; $21,314 32.74 Total 5,859 hrs.; $410,977
    MOD-027-1 [Verification of models and data for turbine/governor and load control or active power/frequency control functions] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Instructions for obtaining excitation control system or plant voltage/variance control function model 185 (TP) 1 185 8 hrs.; $598.56 7 1,480 hrs.; $110,734 $598.56 Documentation on generator verification 466 (GO) 1 466 8 hrs.; $598.56 7 3,728 hrs.;
  • $278,929
  • 598.56
    Evidence Retention 651 (GO and TP) 1 651 1 hr.; $32.74 8 651 hrs.; $21,314 32.74 Total 5,859 hrs.; $410,977
    MOD-032-1 [Verification of models and data for turbine/governor and load control or active power/frequency control functions] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Data Submittal 1,197 (BA, GO, PA, RP, TO, TP, and TSP) 1 1,197 8 hrs.; $544.96 9 9,576 hrs.; $652,317 $544.96 Evidence Retention 1,197 (BA, GO, PA, RP, TO, TP, and TSP) 1 1,197 1 hr.; $32.74 8 1,197 hrs.; $39,190 32.74 Total 10,773 hrs.; $691,507
    MOD-033-1 [Steady-state and dynamics system model validation] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Data Submittal 188 (RC and TOP) 1 188 8 hrs.; $544.96 9 1,504 hrs.; $102,452 $544.96 Evidence Retention 194 (PA, RC, and TOP) 1 194 1 hr.; $32.74 8 194 hrs.; $6,352 32.74 Total 1,698 hrs.; $108,804

    The total annual estimated burden and cost for the FERC-725L information collection is 30,720 hours and $2,071,653 respectively.

    7 This wage figure uses the average hourly wage (plus benefits) for electrical engineers (Occupation Code: 17-2071, $68.12/hour) and managers (Occupation Code: 11-0000, $81.52/hour) obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average used the following calculation: [$68.12/hour + $81.52/hour] ÷ 2 = $74.82/hour.

    8 The estimate uses the hourly average wage (plus benefits) for file clerks obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: $32.74/hour (BLS Occupation Code: 43-4071).

    9 This uses the hourly average wage (plus benefits) for electrical engineers obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: $68.12/hour (BLS Occupation Code: 17-2071).

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08057 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL17-83-000] Notice of Filing; Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC

    Take notice that on April 10, 2018, Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC submitted tariff filing per: Refund Report to be effective N/A, pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Order issued on February 15, 2018.1

    1Piedmont Mun. Power Agency v. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, 162 FERC ¶ 61,109 (2018).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 1, 2018.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08058 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14870-000] Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications; Flat Canyon Hydro, LLC

    On March 7, 2018, the Flat Canyon Hydro, LLC, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Flat Canyon Pumped Storage Project (Flat Canyon Project or project) to be located in Flat Canyon, near the City of Elsinore, Sevier County, Utah. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would be a closed-loop pumped storage hydropower facility that consists of the following: (1) A 37-acre upper reservoir having a total storage capacity of 1,800 acre-feet at a normal maximum operating elevation of 6,930 feet mean sea level (msl); (2) a 55-foot-high, 550-foot-long zoned earth/rockfill or concrete-faced upper reservoir dam; (3) a 55-foot-high, 525-foot-long zoned earth/rockfill or concrete-faced second upper reservoir dam; (4) a 1,350-foot-long, 15-foot-diameter low-pressure headrace tunnel either unlined or lined concrete-lined; (5) a 6,850-foot-long, 15-foot-diameter high-pressure headrace tunnel lined with either concrete or steel; (6) a 220-foot-long, 60-foot-wide, 120-foot-high powerhouse housed in an underground cavern and accessed via a 2,600-foot-long, 18-foot-diameter access tunnel, housing two variable-speed reversible pump/turbine-motor/generator units rated for 150 megawatts each at 1,370 feet maximum gross head; (7) a 2,400-foot-long, 17.5-foot-diameter tailrace tunnel lined with concrete; (8) a 37-acre lower reservoir having a total storage capacity 1,800 acre-feet at a normal maximum operating elevation of 5,630 feet msl; (9) a 75-foot-high, 850-foot-long zoned earth/rockfill or concrete-faced lower reservoir dam; (10) a 13-mile-long, 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line extending from the powerhouse that would follow an existing transmission corridor to the Sigurd Substation owned by Rocky Mountain Power, or, if possible, a direct connection to Rocky Mountain Power's Sigurd-Red Butte No. 2 345-kV line adjacent to the project (the point of interconnection); and (11) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Flat Canyon Project would be 525.6 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Matthew Shapiro, CEO, Gridflex Energy, LLC, 1210 W Franklin St, Ste. 2, Boise, Idaho 83702; phone: (208) 246-9925.

    FERC Contact: Kyle Olcott; phone: (202) 502-8963.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14870-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the eLibrary link of Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14870) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. . Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08078 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 7987-014] Notice of Transfer of Exemption; Hydrodyne Industries, LLC, UP Property 2, LLC

    1. By letter filed March 8, 2018, Charles T. Hagan, III, Manager, Hydrodyne Industries, LLC, exemptee informed the Commission that the exemption from licensing for the High Falls Hydroelectric Project No. 7987, originally issued September 12, 1984 1 has been transferred to UP Property 2, LLC. The project is located on the Deep River in Moore County, North Carolina. The transfer of an exemption does not require Commission approval.

    1 Order Granting Exemption From Licensing of a Small Hydroelectric Project of 5 Megawatts or Less. Cook Industries, Inc., 28 FERC 62,352 (1984).

    2. UP Property 2, LLC is now the exemptee of the High Falls Hydroelectric Project No. 7987. All correspondence should be forwarded to: Mr. Aaron Aho, Land and Resource Associate, UP Property 2, LLC, P.O. Box 52357, Durham, NC 27717, Phone: 919-491-1964, Email: [email protected].

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08077 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9976-93-OW] Re-Establishment of the Environmental Financial Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to re-establish the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) for a two-year period due to an administrative delay in filing the committee's renewal charter. EPA has determined that the EFAB is necessary and in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the agency by law. The purpose of EFAB is to provide advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on issues associated with environmental financing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Inquiries may be directed to Leo Gueriguian, Associate Director, Water Infrastructure Division, U.S. EPA, William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460 (Mail Code: 4201T), Telephone (202) 564-0388, or [email protected]

    Dated: April 10, 2018. Andrew D. Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management, Office of Water.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08136 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0971; FRL-9976-54-OAR] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings” (EPA ICR No. 2289.04, OMB Control No. 2060-0617) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Before doing so, the EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2018. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0971 online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to: [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

    The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Kaye Whitfield, Sector Policies and Programs Division (Mail Code D243-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-2509; fax number: (919) 541-5450; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, the EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: The EPA is required under section 183(e) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the use of consumer and commercial products. Pursuant to CAA section 183(e)(3), the EPA published a list of consumer and commercial products and a schedule for their regulation (60 FR 15264). Aerosol coatings are included on the list, and the standards for such coatings are codified at 40 CFR part 59, subpart E. The reports required under the standards enable the EPA to identify coating formulations manufactured, imported, or distributed in the United States, and to determine the product-weighted reactivity. The ICR addresses the burden for activities conducted in 3-year increments after promulgation of the national VOC emission standards for aerosol coatings. Regulated entities read instructions to determine how they are affected by the rule. They are required to submit initial notifications when an aerosol coating is manufactured and notification of changes in the initial report, to report formulation data and exemptions claimed, and to maintain records. In addition, regulated entities are required to submit triennial reports that include formulation data and VOC usage.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Respondents to this information collection are manufacturers, distributors, and importers of aerosol coatings. These regulated entities fall within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code 32551, “Paint and Coating Manufacturing” and NAICS Code 325998, “All Other Miscellaneous Chemical Production and Preparation Manufacturing.”

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory under 40 CFR part 59, subpart E.

    Estimated number of respondents: 65 (total).

    Frequency of response: Annual, triennial.

    Total estimated burden: 12,259 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $855,113 (per year), includes no annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: There is a decrease of 6 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease is due to addressing calculation errors in the previously approved ICR.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Penny Lassiter, Acting Director, Sector Policies and Programs Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08041 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9976-97-OA] Notification of a Public Meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public meeting of the chartered SAB to: (1) Conduct a quality review of a draft SAB report on an Screening Methodologies to Support Risk and Technology Reviews (RTR) for National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: RTR; (2) discuss information provided by the EPA on planned actions in the 2017 semi-annual regulatory agenda and their supporting science; and (3) receive briefings from the EPA Office of Research and Development, the Office of Water, and the Office of Air.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday June 1, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC 20005.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public who wants further information concerning the meeting may contact Mr. Thomas Carpenter, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), EPA Science Advisory Board (1400R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; via telephone/voice mail (202) 564-4885, or email at [email protected] General information concerning the SAB can be found on the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical advice to the Administrator on the scientific and technical basis for Agency positions and regulations. The SAB is a Federal Advisory Committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB will hold a public meeting to discuss and deliberate on the topics below.

    (1) Quality Review of a Draft SAB Review Report on the Screening Methodologies To Support Risk and Technology Reviews (RTR): A Case Study Analysis

    EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) requested that the SAB conduct a review of the methods for conducting Risk and Technology Review Assessments in conjunction with assessments of residual risk required by the Clean Air Act. These assessments evaluate the effects of industrial emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) on public health and the environment. The SAB convened RTR Methods Panel to review EPA's draft Screening Methodologies to Support Risk and Technology Reviews (RTR) (External Review Draft May, 2017).

    The chartered SAB will conduct a quality review of the panel's draft report before it is transmitted to the EPA Administrator. The SAB quality review process ensures that all draft reports developed by SAB panels, committees or workgroups are reviewed and approved by the Chartered SAB before being finalized and transmitted to the EPA Administrator. These reviews are conducted in a public meeting as required by FACA.

    Background on the current advisory activity, Screening Methodologies to Support Risk and Technology Reviews (RTR): A Case Study Analysis can be found on the SAB website at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/RTR%20Screening%20Methods%20Review?OpenDocument.

    (2) Discussion of Information in the Agency's Semiannual Regulatory Agenda

    As part of the EPA's effort to routinely inform the SAB about proposed and planned agency actions that have a scientific or technical basis, the agency provided notice to the SAB that the Office of Management and Budget published the “Unified (Regulatory) Agenda” on the Web on and available at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain.

    The SAB convened a Work Group to review information provided in the agency's 2017 regulatory agenda regarding EPA planned actions and their supporting science. The SAB will discuss recommendations and information developed by the Work Group regarding the adequacy of the science supporting the planned actions. Information about this advisory activity can be found on the Web at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/SAB%20Spring%202017%20Reg%20Agenda?OpenDocument.

    Availability of Meeting Materials: A meeting agenda and other materials for the meeting will be placed on the SAB website at http://epa.gov/sab.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office.

    Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to the EPA. Members of the public can submit relevant comments pertaining to the EPA's charge, meeting materials, or the group providing advice. Input from the public to the SAB will have the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical information or analysis for the SAB to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information. Members of the public wishing to provide comment should contact the DFO directly.

    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at a public meeting will be limited to five minutes. Persons interested in providing oral statements at the May 31-June 1, 2018, meeting should contact Mr. Thomas Carpenter, DFO, in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by May 22, 2018 to be placed on the list of registered speakers.

    Written Statements: Written statements for the May 31-June 1, 2018, meeting should be received in the SAB Staff Office by March 22, 2018, so that the information can be made available to the SAB for its consideration prior to the meeting. Written statements should be supplied to the DFO at the contact information above via email (preferred) or in hard copy with original signature. Submitters are requested to provide a signed and unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its websites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the SAB website. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Mr. Carpenter at the phone number or email address noted above, preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting, to give the EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Khanna Johnston, Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08135 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Deletion of Item From Sunshine Act Meeting April 13, 2016.

    The following item has been deleted from the list of items scheduled for consideration at the Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Open Meeting and previously listed in the Commission's Notice of April 10, 2018.

    Item No. Bureau Subject 7 MEDIA TITLE: Amendment of Section 73.624(g) of the Commission's Rules Regarding Submission of FCC Form 2100, Schedule G, Used to Report TV Stations' Ancillary or Supplementary Services (MB Docket No. 17-264); Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (MB Docket No. 17-105). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would revise Section 73.624(g) of its rules to reduce broadcaster reporting obligations relating to the provision of ancillary or supplementary services. Federal Communications Commission. Katura Jackson, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08207 Filed 4-16-18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Meeting Agenda; April 23, 2018, In Person, 8:30 a.m. Open Session 1. Approval of the Meeting Minutes for the March 26, 2018 Board Member Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Participant Activity Report (b) Legislative Report 3. Quarterly Reports (c) Investment Performance (d) Budget Review (e) Audit Status 4. OCFO Annual Report 5. Internal Audit 6. Annual Financial Audit—CLA 7. DOL Presentation 8. IT Update Closed Session

    Information covered under 5 U.S.C. 552b (c)(9)(B).

    Contact Person for More Information: Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Dharmesh Vashee, Deputy General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08089 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry [Docket No. ATSDR-2018-0003] Proposed Substances To Be Evaluated for Toxicological Profile Development AGENCY:

    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Request for comments on proposed substances to be evaluated for Toxicological Profile development.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) within the Department of Health and Human Services is initiating the development of another set of Toxicological Profiles. This notice solicits public nominations of substances for ATSDR to evaluate for Toxicological Profile development. ATSDR will consider nominations from the Substance Priority List, as well as any non-Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERLA) substances that may have public health implications, on the basis of ATSDR's authority to prepare Toxicological Profiles for substances not found at sites on the National Priorities List. The agency will do so in order to “. . . establish and maintain inventory of literature, research, and studies on the health effects of toxic substances”, to respond to requests for consultation, and to support the site-specific response actions conducted by ATSDR, as otherwise necessary.

    DATES:

    Nominations from the Substance Priority List and/or additional substances must be submitted by May 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit nominations, identified by Docket No. ATSDR-2018-0003 by any of the following methods:

    Internet: Access the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, MS F-57, Atlanta, GA 30329. Attn: Docket No. ATSDR-2018-0003.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All relevant comments will be posted without change. This means that no confidential business information or other confidential information should be submitted in response to this notice. Refer to the section Submission of Nominations (below) for the specific information required.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, please contact Susan Z. Ingber, Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, MS F-57, Atlanta, GA 30329, Email: [email protected]; phone: 770.488.0605.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) [42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.] amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA or Superfund) [42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.] by establishing certain requirements for ATSDR and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with regard to hazardous substances most commonly found at facilities on the CERCLA National Priorities List (NPL). Among these statutory requirements is a mandate for the Administrator of ATSDR to prepare Toxicological Profiles for each substance included on the Priority List of Hazardous Substances. This list identifies 275 hazardous substances that ATSDR and EPA have determined pose the most significant current potential threat to human health.

    Substances To Be Evaluated for Toxicological Profile Development

    Each year, ATSDR develops a list of substances to be considered for Toxicological Profile development. The nomination process includes consideration of all substances on ATSDR's Substance Priority List (SPL), as well as other substances nominated by the public. The SPL may be found at the following website: www.atsdr.cdc.gov/SPL.

    Submission of Nominations for Toxicological Profile Development

    Today's notice invites voluntary public nominations for substances included on the SPL and for substances not listed on the SPL. All nominations should include the full name of the nominator, affiliation, and email address. When nominating a non-SPL substance, please include the rationale for the nomination. Please note that email addresses will not be posted on regulations.gov.

    ATSDR will evaluate data and information associated with nominated substances and will determine the final list of substances to be chosen for Toxicological Profile development. Substances will be chosen according to ATSDR's specific guidelines for selection. These guidelines can be found in the Selection Criteria, which may be accessed at www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/guidance/ATSDR_TP_Selection%20Criteria.pdf.

    Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified nomination period. Nominations received after the closing date will be marked as late and may be considered only if time and resources permit.

    Pamela Protzel Berman, Director, Office of Policy, Planning and Partnerships, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08090 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-70-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Announcement of Meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 AGENCY:

    Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the next meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (Committee) regarding the development of national health promotion and disease prevention objectives for 2030. This meeting will be held online via webinar and is open to the public. The Committee will discuss the nation's health promotion and disease prevention objectives and will provide recommendations to improve health status and reduce health risks for the nation by the year 2030. The Committee will further develop recommendations regarding Leading Health Indicators and recommendations for setting targets for the Healthy People 2030 objectives. Pursuant to the Committee's charter, the Committee's advice must assist the Secretary in reducing the number of objectives while ensuring that the selection criteria identifies the most critical public health issues that are high-impact priorities supported by current national data.

    DATES:

    The Committee will meet on May 14, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held online via webinar. To register to attend the meeting, please visit the Healthy People website at http://www.healthypeople.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emmeline Ochiai, Designated Federal Official, Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Room LL-100, Rockville, MD 20852, (240) 453-8280 (telephone), (240) 453-8281 (fax). Additional information is available on the Healthy People website at http://www.healthypeople.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The names and biographies of the Committee members are available at https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/history-development/healthy-people-2030-advisory-committee.

    Purpose of Meeting: Through the Healthy People initiative, HHS leverages scientific insights and lessons from the past decade, along with new knowledge of current data, trends, and innovations, to develop the next iteration of national health promotion and disease prevention objectives. Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease. Since 1979, Healthy People has set and monitored national health objectives that meet a broad range of health needs, encourage collaboration across sectors, guide individuals toward making informed health decisions, and measure the impact of our prevention and health promotion activities. Healthy People 2030 health objectives will reflect assessments of major risks to health and wellness, changing public health priorities, and emerging technologies related to our nation's health preparedness and prevention.

    Public Participation at Meeting: Members of the public are invited to join the online Committee meeting. There will be no opportunity for oral public comments during this online Committee meeting. However, written comments are welcome throughout the entire development process of the national health promotion and disease prevention objectives for 2030 and may be emailed to [email protected]

    To join the Committee meeting, individuals must pre-register at the Healthy People website at http://www.healthypeople.gov. Participation in the meeting is limited. Registrations will be accepted until maximum webinar capacity is reached, and must be completed by 9:00 a.m. ET on May 14, 2018. A waiting list will be maintained should registrations exceed capacity, and those individuals will be contacted as additional space for the meeting becomes available. Registration questions may be directed to [email protected]

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 300u and 42 U.S.C. 217a. The Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 is governed by provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C., App.) which sets forth standards for the formation and use of federal advisory committees.

    Dated: April 11, 2018. Don Wright, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Disease Prevention and Health Promotion).
    [FR Doc. 2018-08065 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Indian Health Service [CFDA Number: 93.164] Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans Announcement Type: Initial

    Key Dates: April 18, 2018, first award cycle deadline date; August 15, 2018, last award cycle deadline date; September 15, 2018, last award cycle deadline date for supplemental loan repayment program funds; September 30, 2018, entry on duty deadline date.

    I. Funding Opportunity Description

    The Indian Health Service (IHS) estimated budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018 includes $27,500,000 for the IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for health professional educational loans (undergraduate and graduate) in return for full-time clinical service as defined in the IHS LRP policy at https://www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment/policiesandprocedures/ in Indian health programs.

    This notice is being published early to coincide with the recruitment activity of the IHS which competes with other Government and private health management organizations to employ qualified health professionals.

    This program is authorized by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) Section 108, codified at 25 U.S.C. 1616a.

    II. Award Information

    The estimated amount available is approximately $17,750,000 to support approximately 384 competing awards averaging $46,210 per award for a two year contract. The estimated amount available is approximately $9,750,000 to support approximately 390 competing awards averaging $25,000 per award for a one year extension. One year contract extensions will receive priority consideration in any award cycle. Applicants selected for participation in the FY 2018 program cycle will be expected to begin their service period no later than September 30, 2018.

    III. Eligibility Information A. Eligible Applicants

    Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 1616a(b), to be eligible to participate in the LRP, an individual must meet the following three criteria:

    (1) Be enrolled in an accredited institution, in any State and intended to complete the course in the same year the individual applies to participate in the program.

    Or be enrolled in an approved graduate training program in a health profession.

    Or have a health profession degree and a license to practice in a State.

    (2) Be eligible for, or hold an appointment as a commissioned officer in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS).

    Or be eligible for selection for service in the Regular Corps of the PHS.

    Or meet the professional standards for civil service employment in the IHS.

    Or be employed in an Indian health program without service obligation.

    (3) Submit to the Secretary an application for a contract to the LRP. The Secretary must approve the contract before the disbursement of loan repayments can be made to the participant. Participants will be required to fulfill their contract service agreements through full-time clinical practice at an Indian health program site determined by the Secretary. Loan repayment sites are characterized by physical, cultural, and professional isolation, and have histories of frequent staff turnover. Indian health program sites are annually prioritized within the Agency by discipline, based on need or vacancy. The IHS LRP's ranking system gives high site scores to those sites that are most in need of specific health professions. Awards are given to the applications that match the highest priorities until funds are no longer available.

    Any individual who owes an obligation for health professional service to the Federal Government, a State, or other entity, is not eligible for the LRP unless the obligation will be completely satisfied before they begin service under this program.

    25 U.S.C. 1616a authorizes the IHS LRP and provides that the Secretary, acting through the Service, shall establish a program to be known as the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program (hereinafter referred to as the Loan Repayment Program) in order to assure an adequate supply of trained health professionals necessary to maintain accreditation of, and provide health care services to Indians through, Indian health programs.

    For the purposes of this program, the term “Indian health program” means any health program or facility funded, in whole or in part, by the Service for the benefit of Indians and administered—

    • Directly by the Service; • By any Indian Tribe or Tribal or Indian organization pursuant to a contract under— ○ The Indian Self-Determination Act, or ○ Section 23 of the Act of April 30, 1908, (25 U.S.C. 47), popularly known as the Buy Indian Act; or • By an urban Indian organization pursuant to Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. (see 25 U.S.C. 1616a(a)(2)(A)) 25 U.S.C. 1616a, authorizes the IHS to determine specific health professions for which IHS LRP contracts will be awarded. Annually, the Director, Division of Health Professions Support, sends a letter to the Director, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services, IHS Area Directors, Tribal health officials, and Urban Indian health programs directors to request a list of positions for which there is a need or vacancy. The list of priority health professions that follows is based upon the needs of the IHS as well as upon the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. (a) Medicine—Allopathic and Osteopathic doctorate degrees (b) Nursing—Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) (c) Nursing—Bachelor of Science (BSN) (d) Nursing (NP, DNP)—Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse in Family Practice, Psychiatry, Geriatric, Women's Health, Pediatric Nursing. (e) Nursing—Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) (f) Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), (g) Physician Assistant (Certified) (h) Dentistry—DDS or DMD degrees (i) Dental Hygiene (j) Social Work—Independent Licensed Master's degree (k) Counseling—Master's degree (l) Clinical Psychology—Ph.D. or PsyD (m) Counseling Psychology—Ph.D. (n) Optometry—OD (o) Pharmacy—PharmD (p) Podiatry—DPM (q) Physical/Occupational/Speech Language Therapy or Audiology—MS, Doctoral (r) Registered Dietician—BS (s) Clinical Laboratory Science—BS B. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Not applicable.

    C. Other Requirements

    Interested individuals are reminded that the list of eligible health and allied health professions is effective for applicants for FY 2018.

    These priorities will remain in effect until superseded.

    IV. Application and Submission Information A. Content and Form of Application Submission

    Each applicant will be responsible for submitting a complete application. Go to http://www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment for more information on how to apply electronically. The application will be considered complete if the following documents are included:

    • Employment Verification—Documentation of your employment with an Indian health program as applicable: ○ Commissioned Corps orders, Tribal employment documentation or offer letter, or Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50)—For current Federal employees. • License to Practice—A photocopy of your current, non-temporary, full and unrestricted license to practice (issued by any State, Washington, DC, or Puerto Rico). • Loan Documentation—A copy of all current statements related to the loans submitted as part of the LRP application. • Transcripts—Official Transcripts • If applicable, if you are a member of a federally recognized Tribe or an Alaska Native (recognized by the Secretary of the Interior), provide a certification of Tribal enrollment by the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) (Certification: Form BIA—4432 Category A—Members of federally Recognized Indian Tribes, Bands or Communities or Category D—Alaska Native). B. Submission Dates and Address

    Applications for the FY 2018 LRP will be accepted and evaluated monthly beginning April 18, 2018, and will continue to be accepted each month thereafter until all funds are exhausted for FY 2018. Subsequent monthly deadline dates are scheduled for Friday of the second full week of each month until August 15, 2018.

    Applications shall be considered as meeting the deadline if they are either:

    (1) Received on or before the deadline date; or

    (2) Received after the deadline date, but with a legible postmark dated on or before the deadline date. (Applicants should request a legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark or obtain a legibly dated receipt from a commercial carrier or U.S. Postal Service. Private metered postmarks are not acceptable as proof of timely mailing).

    Applications submitted after the monthly closing date will be held for consideration in the next monthly funding cycle. Applicants who do not receive funding by September 30, 2018, will be notified in writing.

    Application documents should be sent to: IHS Loan Repayment Program, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: OHR (11E53A), Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    C. Intergovernmental Review

    This program is not subject to review under Executive Order 12372.

    D. Funding Restrictions

    Not applicable.

    E. Other Submission Requirements

    New applicants are responsible for using the online application. Applicants requesting a contract extension must do so in writing by April 18, 2018, to ensure the highest possibility of being funded a contract extension.

    V. Application Review Information A. Criteria

    The IHS will utilize the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration for each Indian health program for which there is a need or vacancy. At each Indian health facility, the HPSA score for mental health will be utilized for all behavioral health professions, the HPSA score for dental health will be utilized for all dentistry and dental hygiene health professions, and the HPSA score for primary care will be used for all other approved health professions.

    In determining applications to be approved and contracts to accept, the IHS will give priority to applications made by American Indians and Alaska Natives and to individuals recruited through the efforts of Indian Tribes or Tribal or Indian organizations.

    B. Review and Selection Process

    One or all of the following factors may be applicable to an applicant, and the applicant who has the most of these factors, all other criteria being equal, will be selected.

    (1) An applicant's length of current employment in the IHS, Tribal, or Urban program.

    (2) Availability for service earlier than other applicants (first come, first served).

    (3) Date the individual's application was received.

    C. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

    Not applicable.

    VI. Award Administration Information A. Award Notices

    Notice of awards will be mailed on the last working day of each month. Once the applicant is approved for participation in the LRP, the applicant will receive confirmation of his/her loan repayment award and the duty site at which he/she will serve his/her loan repayment obligation.

    B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Applicants may sign contractual agreements with the Secretary for 2 years. The IHS may repay all, or a portion, of the applicant's health profession educational loans (undergraduate and graduate) for tuition expenses and reasonable educational and living expenses in amounts up to $20,000 per year for each year of contracted service. Payments will be made annually to the participant for the purpose of repaying his/her outstanding health profession educational loans. Payment of health profession education loans will be made to the participant within 120 days, from the date the contract becomes effective. The effective date of the contract is calculated from the date it is signed by the Secretary or his/her delegate, or the IHS, Tribal, Urban, or Buy Indian health center entry-on-duty date, whichever is more recent.

    In addition to the loan payment, participants are provided tax assistance payments in an amount not less than 20 percent and not more than 39 percent of the participant's total amount of loan repayments made for the taxable year involved. The loan repayments and the tax assistance payments are taxable income and will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The tax assistance payment will be paid to the IRS directly on the participant's behalf. LRP award recipients should be aware that the IRS may place them in a higher tax bracket than they would otherwise have been prior to their award.

    C. Contract Extensions

    Any individual who enters this program and satisfactorily completes his or her obligated period of service may apply to extend his/her contract on a year-by-year basis, as determined by the IHS. Participants extending their contracts may receive up to the maximum amount of $20,000 per year plus an additional 20 percent for Federal withholding.

    VII. Agency Contact

    Please address inquiries to Ms. Jacqueline K. Santiago, Chief, IHS Loan Repayment Program, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: OHR (11E53A), Rockville, Maryland 20857, Telephone: 301/443-3396 [between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays].

    VIII. Other Information

    IHS area offices and service units that are financially able are authorized to provide additional funding to make awards to applicants in the LRP, but not to exceed the maximum allowable amount authorized by statute per year, plus tax assistance. All additional funding must be made in accordance with the priority system outlined below. Health professions given priority for selection above the $20,000 threshold are those identified as meeting the criteria in 25 U.S.C. 1616a(g)(2)(A), which provides that the Secretary shall consider the extent to which each such determination:

    • Affects the ability of the Secretary to maximize the number of contracts that can be provided under the LRP from the amounts appropriated for such contracts;

    • Provides an incentive to serve in Indian health programs with the greatest shortages of health professionals; and

    • Provides an incentive with respect to the health professional involved remaining in an Indian health program with such a health professional shortage, and continuing to provide primary health services, after the completion of the period of obligated service under the LRP.

    Contracts may be awarded to those who are available for service no later than September 30, 2018, and must be in compliance with 25 U.S.C. 1616a. In order to ensure compliance with the statutes, area offices or service units providing additional funding under this section are responsible for notifying the LRP of such payments before funding is offered to the LRP participant.

    Should an IHS area office contribute to the LRP, those funds will be used for only those sites located in that area. Those sites will retain their relative ranking from their Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSA) scores. For example, the Albuquerque Area Office identifies supplemental monies for dentists. Only the dental positions within the Albuquerque Area will be funded with the supplemental monies consistent with the HPSA scores within that area.

    Should an IHS service unit contribute to the LRP, those funds will be used for only those sites located in that service unit. Those sites will retain their relative ranking from their HPSA scores.

    Dated: April 9, 2018. Michael D. Weahkee, RADM, Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service, Acting Director, Indian Health Service.
    [FR Doc. 2018-07892 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Mental Health Council.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and/or contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Mental Health Council.

    Date: May 17, 2018.

    Open: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Agenda: Presentation of the NIMH Director's Report and discussion of NIMH program.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Closed: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Jean G. Noronha, Ph.D., Director, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6154, MSC 9609, Bethesda, MD 20892-9609, 301-443-3367, [email protected]

    Any member of the public interested in presenting oral comments to the committee may notify the Contact Person listed on this notice at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. Interested individuals and representatives of organizations may submit a letter of intent, a brief description of the organization represented, and a short description of the oral presentation. Only one representative of an organization may be allowed to present oral comments and if accepted by the committee, presentations may be limited to five minutes. Both printed and electronic copies are requested for the record. In addition, any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding their statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: www.nimh.nih.gov/about/advisory-boards-and-groups/namhc/index.shtml., where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.242, Mental Health Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08049 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel; AMP-AD Consortium and Coordinating Center.

    Date: May 15, 2018.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, Suite 2C212, 7201 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Alexander Parsadanian, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building 2C/212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-496-9666, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08046 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Review of Transition to Independence Application.

    Date: May 7, 2018.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant application.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W602 Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Delia Tang, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Resources Training and Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W602, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6456, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Research Centers and Coordinating Center for Improving Management of Symptoms Across Cancer Treatments.

    Date: May 17, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W634 Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Jennifer C. Schiltz, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W634, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5864, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Glycobiology of Cancer.

    Date: May 24, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Nadeem Khan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5856, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Minority—PDX Development and Trial Center Network.

    Date: May 31-June 1, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda Downtown, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Byeong-Chel Lee, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Resources and Training Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W238, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-7755, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Program Project Review V (P01).

    Date: June 7-8, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott Suites, 6711 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20817.

    Contact Person: Timothy C. Meeker, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Resources and Training Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W606, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6464, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI U01 Review.

    Date: June 7, 2018.

    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W248, Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Mukesh Kumar, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Program Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W618, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6611, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Quantitative Imaging.

    Date: June 7, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute, Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Rockville, MD 20850 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Nadeem Khan, Ph.D. Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5856, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Initial Review Group; Subcommittee J—Career Development.

    Date: June 12-13, 2018.

    Time: 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Tushar Deb, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Resources and Training Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W624, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-7684, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCTN Review Meeting 1.

    Date: June 14-15, 2018.

    Time: 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Doubletree Hotel Bethesda, 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Michael B. Small, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Program and Review Extramural Staff Training Office, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W412, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6438, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08044 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee.

    The meeting will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting. The meeting will also be videocast and can be accessed from the NIH Videocasting and Podcasting website (http://videocast.nih.gov/).

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee.

    Date: July 11, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Strategic Discussion of NCI's Clinical and Translational Research Programs.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room TE406, Rockville, MD 20850.

    Contact Person: Sheila A. Prindiville, MD, MPH, Director, Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 6W136, Rockville, MD 20850, 240-276-6173, [email protected]

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/ctac/ctac.htm, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08045 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel; Early Phase Development of Psychosocial and Preventive Interventions.

    Date: May 18, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: David I. Sommers, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6154, MSC 9606, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-443-7861, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel; NIMH Clinical Trials to Test the Effectiveness of Treatment, Preventive, and Services Interventions (R01).

    Date: May 18, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6101 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Marcy Ellen Burstein, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 6143, MSC 9606, Bethesda, MD 20892-9606, 301-443-9699, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.242, Mental Health Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08050 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and/or contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.

    Date: May 15, 2018.

    Closed: 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Open: 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: This portion of the meeting will be open to the public for announcements and reports of administrative, legislative, and program developments in the drug abuse field.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Susan R.B. Weiss, Ph.D., Director, Division of Extramural Research, Office of the Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, NSC, Room 5274, MSC 9591, Rockville, MD 20892, 301-443-6487, [email protected].

    Any member of the public interested in presenting oral comments to the committee may notify the Contact Person listed on this notice at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. Interested individuals and representatives of organizations may submit a letter of intent, a brief description of the organization represented, and a short description of the oral presentation. Only one representative of an organization may be allowed to present oral comments and if accepted by the committee, presentations may be limited to five minutes. Both printed and electronic copies are requested for the record. In addition, any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding their statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: www.drugabuse.gov/NACDA/NACDAHome.html, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS).
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08048 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Drug Discovery.

    Date: April 30, 2018.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Jeffrey Smiley, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room , 6194, MSC 7804, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-7945, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 11, 2018. David D. Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08042 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, PAR Panel: Linking Provider Recommendation to Adolescent HPV Uptake.

    Date: May 14, 2018.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Tasmeen Weik, DRPH, MPH, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3141, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-6480, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08043 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Special Emphasis Panel; Review of Epilepsy Centers Without Walls.

    Date: May 3-4, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Alexandrian, 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Jimok Kim, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, NINDS/NIH/DHHS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, (301) 496-9223, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.853, Clinical Research Related to Neurological Disorders; 93.854, Biological Basis Research in the Neurosciences, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08062 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel.

    Date: May 18, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Minki Chatterji, Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Rm. 2121D, Bethesda, MD 20892-7501, 301-827-5435, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Initial Review Group Population Sciences Subcommittee.

    Date: May 18, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Minki Chatterji, Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Rm. 2121D, Bethesda, MD 20892-7501, 301-827-5435, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: April 12, 2018. Michelle D. Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08047 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-7005-N-05] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: New Construction Subterranean Termite Protection for New Homes AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The proposed information collection requirement described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Department is soliciting public comments on the subject proposal.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elissa Saunders, Acting Director, Office of Single Family Program Development, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 708-2121 (this is not a toll free number) for copies of the proposed forms and other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Saunders.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department is submitting the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended).

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: New Construction Subterranean Termite Protection for New Homes.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0525.

    Form Number: HUD NPFA-99A and HUD NPFA-99B.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: HUD regulations at 24 CFR 200.926d(b)(3) require that the sites for HUD insured structures must be free of termite hazards. The HUD-NPCA-99-A requires the builder to certify that all required treatment for termites was performed by an authorized pest control company and further that the builder guarantees the treated area against infestation for one year. The form HUD-NPCA-99-B requires a licensed pest control company to provide to the builder a record of specific treatment information in those cases when the soil treatment method is used for prevention of subterranean termite infestation. When applicable the HUD-NPCA-99-B must accompany the HUD-NPCA-99-A. If the requested data is not collected, new home purchasers and HUD are subject to the risk of purchasing or insuring a home that is infested by termites and would have no recourse against the builder.

    Agency form numbers, if applicable: HUD NPMA-99-A and HUD NPMA-99-B.

    Respondents (i.e., affected public): Business.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 78,000.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 156,000.

    Frequency of Response: On Occasion.

    Average Hours per Response: 0.083.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 12,948.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) 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; (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (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 collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comments in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: March 30, 2018. Dana T. Wade, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08129 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-7006-N-04] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Inspector Candidate Assessment Questionnaire AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, PIH, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 3178, Washington, DC 20410, Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109, (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Mussington.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Proposal: Inspector Candidate Assessment Questionnaire.

    OMB Approval Number: 2577-0243.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Form Number: Form HUD 50002A and Form HUD 50002B—HFA.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: To meet the requirements of HUD's Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS), the Physical Condition of Multifamily Properties and the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) regulations, the Department conducts physical condition inspections of approximately 14,000 multifamily and public housing properties annually. HUD uses contract inspectors that are trained and certified in the UPCS protocol by HUD to conduct UPCS inspections. Individuals who wish to be trained and certified UPCS by HUD are requested to electronically submit the questionnaire via the internet. The questionnaire provides HUD with basic knowledge of an individual's inspection skills and abilities.

    As part of aligning REAC UPCS inspections with those conducted by state Housing Finance Agencies, state HFA staff also may fill out a form for information purposes only prior to attending the UPCS training.

    Respondents: Applicants to the UPCS inspector certification program and state HFA staff.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 705.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 705.

    Frequency of Response: To apply to UPCS training.

    Average Hours per Response: 15 to 20 minutes depending on the respondent.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 225 hours.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) 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;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (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 collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: March 29, 2018. Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Director, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08132 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-7005-N-06] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Congregate Housing Services Program AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For copies of the proposed forms and other available information contact Jessica V. Grantling, Office of Housing Assistance and Grants Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20410 by email [email protected] telephone at 202-402-2521. (This is not a toll-free number.) Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Congregate Housing Services Program.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0485.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: SF-424, 425, HUD-90003, HUD-90006, HUD-90198, HUD-91180-A, HUD-91178-A

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Completion of the Annual Report by grantees provides HUD with essential information about whom the grant is serving and what sort of services the beneficiaries receive using grant funds.

    The Summary Budget and the Annual Program Budget make up the budget of the grantee's annual extension request. Together the forms provide itemized expenses for anticipated program costs and a matrix of budgeted yearly costs. The budget forms show the services funded through the grant and demonstrate how matching funds, participant fees, and grant funds will be used in tandem to operate the grant program. Field staff approve the annual budget and request annual extension funds according to the budget. Field staff can also determine if grantees are meeting statutory and regulatory requirements through the evaluation of this budget.

    HUD will use the Payment Voucher to monitor use of grant funds for eligible activities over the term of the grant. The Grantee may similarly use the Payment Voucher to track and record their requests for payment reimbursement for grant-funded activities.

    Respondents: Non-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 49.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 392.

    Frequency of Response: Semi-annually to annually.

    Average Hours per Response: 2.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 612.5.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) 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;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (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 collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: March 30, 2018. Dana T. Wade, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08128 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX18GL00DT7ST00; OMB Control Number 1028-0087] Agency Information Collection Activities: National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) Grant Opportunity AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is proposing to renew authorization for information collection from state geological surveys that request NGGDPP funds to preserve geoscience materials and data.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on the information collection request (ICR) by mail to the U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collections Clearance Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to [email protected]. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028-0087 in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact U.S. Geological Survey Information Collection Clearance Officer by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 510-504-0481.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We, the USGS, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the USGS; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the USGS enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the USGS minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: This notice concerns the collection of information to inform evaluation and selection of proposals for NGGDPP funding. Annual NGGDPP data preservation priorities are provided in the Program Announcement. Proposals are accepted from state geological surveys requesting funds to inventory, preserve, and make publicly available geoscience collections and data. Financial assistance is awarded annually on a competitive basis following the evaluation and ranking of state proposals by a review panel composed of representatives from the Department of the Interior, state geological surveys, and academic and museum institutions. Since its inception in 2007, NGGDPP has awarded 46 states $7,043,000, which, when matched or exceeded by the states, amounts to over $14 million invested in the rescue and preservation of valuable geoscientific samples and data for research. To submit a proposal, respondents must complete a project narrative and submit the application via www.grants.gov. Grant recipients must complete a final technical report at the end of the project period. Narrative and report guidance is available at http://datapreservation.usgs.gov and in the Program Announcement. Information provided by respondents is proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), implementation regulations (43 CFR part 2), and data and information public disclosure limitations (30 CFR 250.197). Responses are voluntary. Information about NGGDPP-funded projects conducted by state geological surveys is available to the public at http://datapreservation.usgs.gov.

    Title of Collection: National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) Grant Announcement Opportunity.

    OMB Control Number: 1028-0087.

    Form Number: NA.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: All state geological surveys may apply for NGGDPP grants.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 35.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 70 (35 applications, 35 final technical report submissions).

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Grant application time estimate is 80 hours; final technical report completion time estimate is 10 hours.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 3,150.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain a Benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: Annually.

    Total Estimated Annual Non-hour Burden Cost: None.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The authorities for this action are the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.).

    Lindsay Powers, NGGDPP Coordinator.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08084 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX18GC009PLSG00; OMB Control Number 1028-0088] Agency Information Collection Activities; National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (EDMAP and STATEMAP) AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is proposing to renew an information collection (IC).

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on the information collection request (ICR) by mail to the U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to [email protected] Please reference OMB Control Number 1028-0088, in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Darcy McPhee by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 703-648-6973.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We, the U.S. Geological Survey, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

    We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the USGS; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the USGS enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the USGS minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Abstract: EDMAP is the educational component of the NCGMP that is intended to train the next generation of geologic mappers. The primary objective of the STATEMAP component of the NCGMP is to establish the geologic framework of areas that are vital to the welfare of individual States.

    The NCGMP EDMAP program allocates funds to colleges and universities in the United States and Puerto Rico through an annual competitive cooperative agreement process. Every Federal dollar awarded is matched with university funds.

    Geology professors, who are skilled in geologic mapping, request EDMAP funding to support undergraduate and graduate students at their college or university in a one-year mentored geologic mapping project that focuses on a specific geographic area.

    Only State Geological Surveys are eligible to apply to the STATEMAP component of the NCGMP pursuant to the National Geologic Mapping Act (Pub. L. 106-148). Since many State Geological Surveys are organized under a state university system, such universities may submit a proposal on behalf of the State Geological Survey.

    Each fall, the program announcements are posted to the Grants.gov website and respondents are required to submit applications (comprising Standard Form 424, 424A, 424B, Proposal Summary Sheet, the Proposal, and Budget Sheets. Additionally, EDMAP proposals must include a Negotiated Rate Agreement and a Support letter from a State Geologist or USGS Project Chief).

    Since 1996, more than $5 million from the NCGMP has supported geologic mapping efforts of more than 1,200 students working with more than 260 professors at 161 universities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Funds for graduate projects are limited to $17,500 and undergraduate project funds limited to $10,000. These funds are used to cover field expenses and student salaries, but not faculty salaries or tuition. The authority for both programs is listed in the National Geologic Mapping Act (Pub. L. 106-148).

    We will protect information from respondents considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2), and under regulations at 30 CFR 250.197, “Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspection.” Responses are voluntary. No questions of a “sensitive” nature are asked.

    Title: National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP-EDMAP and STATEMAP).

    OMB Control Number: 1028-0088.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Renewal without change.

    Respondents/Affected Public: University or College faculty and State Geological Surveys.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: Approximately 50 University or College faculty and 45 State Geological Survey respondents.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: Approximately 95 responses.

    Estimated Completion Time per Response: 36 hours.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 3,420 hours total.

    Respondent's Obligation: None. Participation is voluntary, though necessary to receive funding.

    Frequency of Collections: Annually.

    Total Estimated Annual Non-hour Burden Cost: There are no “non-hour cost” burdens associated with this IC.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The authorities for this action are the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.).

    Darcy McPhee, Associate Program Coordinator, National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08085 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4311-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NRNHL-DTS #25358; PPWOCRADI0, PCU00RP14.R50000] National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service is soliciting comments on the significance of properties nominated before March 31, 2018, for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places.

    DATES:

    Comments should be submitted by May 3, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be sent via U.S. Postal Service and all other carriers to the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St. NW, MS 7228, Washington, DC 20240.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The properties listed in this notice are being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places. Nominations for their consideration were received by the National Park Service before March 31, 2018. Pursuant to Section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60, written comments are being accepted concerning the significance of the nominated properties under the National Register criteria for evaluation.

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

    Nominations submitted by State Historic Preservation Officers:

    IOWA Greene County St. Columbkille Catholic Church, 805 Head St., Churdan, SG100002398 Story County Ames Main Street Historic District, Roughly 100-400 blks. of Main & 5th Sts. with cross streets of Burnett, Kellogg, Douglas & Duff Sts., Ames, SG100002399 PENNSYLVANIA Allegheny County Wilkinsburg Historic District, Roughly bounded by North, E Swissvale, Center & Rebecca Aves., Stoner Way & MLK Jr. E Busway, Wilkinsburg Borough, SG100002401 Erie County Lawrence Park Historic District, Roughly bounded by East Lake Rd., Lawrence Pkwy., Bell St. & Smithson Ave., Lawrence Park Township, SG100002402 WASHINGTON Ferry County Ferry County Courthouse, 350 E Delaware Ave., Republic, SG100002404 Grays Harbor County Hulbert, Edward & Laura, House, 807 N M St., Aberdeen, SG100002405 King County Century 21—Washington State Coliseum, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, SG100002406 Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave., Seattle, SG100002407 Washington Athletic Club, 1325 Sixth Ave., Seattle, SG100002408 Pacific County Shogren Cottage, 22107 Pacific Way, Ocean Park, SG100002409 WISCONSIN Crawford County St. Germain dit Gauthier House, 419 5th St., Prairie du Chien, SG100002411

    Nominations submitted by Federal Preservation Officers:

    The State Historic Preservation Officer reviewed the following nominations and responded to the Federal Preservation Officer within 45 days of receipt of the nominations and supports listing the properties in the National Register of Historic Places.

    ALASKA Denali Borough Mount McKinley National Park Headquarters District (Boundary Increase), Mi. 3.1 Denali Park Rd., Denali National Park and Preserve, BC100002397 NEW HAMPSHIRE Coos County Fabyan Guard Station, .7 mi. N of jct. of NH 302 & Cherry Mountain Rd., Carroll, SG100002400 PENNSYLVANIA Warren County Cornplanter Grant, Address Restricted, Elk Township vicinity, SG100002403 Authority:

    Section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60.

    Dated: April 2, 2018. J. Paul Loether, Chief, National Register of Historic Places/National Historic Landmarks Program and Keeper, National Register of Historic Places.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08104 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-1108] Certain Jump Rope Systems; Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on February 13, 2018, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, on behalf of Jump Rope Systems, LLC of Louisville, Colorado. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain jump rope systems by reason of infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,789,809 (“the '809 patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 8,136,208 (“the '208 patent”). The complaint, as supplemented, further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by the applicable Federal Statute.

    The complainant requests that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pathenia M. Proctor, The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-2560.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority: The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337 and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2017).

    Scope of Investigation: Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on April 12, 2018, ordered that

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain jump rope systems by reason of infringement of claim 1 of the '809 patent or claim 1 of the '208 patent; and whether an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainant is: Jump Rope Systems, LLC, 500 Front Street, Louisville, CO 80027.

    (b) The respondent is the following entity alleged to be in violation of section 337, and is the party upon which the complaint is to be served: Suzhou Everise Fitness Co., Ltd., Room 10008, Shishang Siji Commerical Plaza, No. 1060, Jiayuan Road, Yuanhe Street Xiangcheng District, Suzhou, Jiangsu China.

    (c) The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20436; and

    (3) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondent in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of the respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: April 12, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08079 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 332-566] Trade Authorities Extension: Economic Impact of Trade Agreements Implemented Under the Bipartisan Trade Act of 2015 AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Institution of investigation and notice of opportunity to file written submissions.

    SUMMARY:

    Having been notified by the U.S. Trade Representative that the President on March 20, 2018, submitted a report to Congress that contains a request for an extension of trade authorities procedures, the Commission, as required by section 103(c)(3)(B) of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 1 (Bipartisan Trade Act), has instituted an investigation for the purpose of preparing a report to Congress that contains a review and analysis of the economic impact on the United States of all trade agreements implemented between the date of the enactment of the Bipartisan Trade Act and March 20, 2018. The Commission is unaware of any trade agreements that were implemented under the Bipartisan Trade Act between the date of its enactment and March 20, 2018.

    1 19 U.S.C. 4202(c)(3)(B).

    DATES:

    May 2, 2018: Deadline for filing written submissions.

    June 1, 2018: Transmittal of Commission report to Congress.

    ADDRESSES:

    All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commissions electronic docket (EDIS) at http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/edis.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information specific to this investigation may be obtained from Yasnanhia Cabral, Project Leader, Office of Operations (202-205-2230, or [email protected]). For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-3091 or [email protected]). The media should contact Peg O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or [email protected]). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its website (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: As indicated above, the Commission is unaware of any trade agreements that were implemented under the Bipartisan Trade Act between the date of its enactment (June 29, 2015) and March 20, 2018, the date of the President's request to Congress to extend trade authorities procedures. While at least one trade agreement was negotiated during this period, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, it was not implemented during this period.

    The Commission instituted this investigation under section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1332) to facilitate public filing of comments and public review of such comments and to include the report in an existing series of Commission reports. The Commission will submit its report to Congress by June 1, 2018.

    Written Submissions: The Commission does not plan to hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation. However, interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this investigation. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, and should be received not later than 5:15 p.m., May 2, 2018. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission's Handbook on Filing Procedures require that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (202-205-1802).

    Confidential Business Information. Any submissions that contain confidential business information must also conform to the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the “confidential” or “non-confidential” version, and that the confidential business information is clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties.

    The Commission will not include any confidential business information in the report that it sends to Congress or that it makes available to the public. However, all information, including confidential business information, submitted in this investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel for cybersecurity purposes. The Commission will not otherwise disclose any confidential business information in a manner that would reveal the operations of the firm supplying the information.

    Summaries of Written Submissions: The Commission intends to publish summaries of the positions of interested persons. Persons wishing to have a summary of their position included in the report should include a summary with their written submission. The summary may not exceed 500 words, should be in MSWord format or a format that can be easily converted to MSWord, and should not include any confidential business information. The summary will be published as provided if it meets these requirements and is germane to the subject matter of the investigation. The Commission will identify the name of the organization furnishing the summary and will include a link to the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) where the full written submission can be found.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: April 12, 2018. Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08069 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-1033] Certain Arrowheads With Arcuate Blades and Components Thereof; Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a General Exclusion Order; Termination of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined that there is a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended in the above-captioned investigation. The Commission has issued a general exclusion order (“GEO”) barring entry of certain arrowheads with arcuate blades and components thereof that infringe the patents asserted in this investigation. The Commission has terminated this investigation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Liberman, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-3115. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 6, 2017, the Commission instituted an investigation under section 337, based on a complaint filed by complainant Flying Arrow Archery, LLC of Belgrade, Montana (“Flying Arrow,” or Complainant), alleging a violation of section 337 in the importation, sale for importation, and sale within the United States after importation of certain arrowheads with arcuate blades and components thereof (the “Accused Products”) by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 5 and 25 of U.S. Patent No. 8,920,269 (“the `269 patent”); the claim of U.S. Design Patent No. D713,919 (“the `919 design patent”); and the claim of U.S. Design Patent No. D729,336 (“the `336 design patent”) (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”). See 82 FR 1760-61 (Jan. 6, 2017) (Notice of Investigation). The Notice of Investigation named the following respondents: Arthur Sifuentes of Spring, Texas; Liu Mengbao and Zhou Yang, both of Guangdong, China; Jiangfeng Mao of Jiangsu, China; Sandum Precision Industry (China) Co., Ltd. (In-Sail) of Guangdong Province, China; Wei Ran, Dongguan Hongsong, and Wanyuxue, all of Guangdong, China; and Yandong of Henan, China. A Commission investigative attorney (“IA”) is participating in this investigation. Id.

    On April 4, 2017, the ALJ found Arthur Sifuentes, Zhou Yang, Jianfeng Mao, Sandum Precision, and Liu Mengbao (collectively, the “Defaulting Respondents”) in default. See Order No. 6 (unreviewed, Commission Notice (Apr. 28, 2017)). On April 6, 2017, the ALJ issued an Initial Determination granting Flying Arrow's motion to terminate the Investigation as to the remaining respondents based on withdrawal of the infringement allegations in the Complaint. See Order No. 7 (unreviewed, Commission Notice (Apr. 28, 2017)).

    On August 15, 2017, complainant filed a motion for summary determination of a violation of section 337 pursuant to Commission Rule 210.16(c)(2) to support its request for entry of a general exclusion order with respect to all asserted patents. The IA filed a timely response in support of the motion. No respondent filed a response to the motion.

    On November 8, 2017, the presiding ALJ issued an ID (Order No. 9) granting Complainant's motion for summary determination thus finding a violation of section 337, and recommending the issuance of a GEO. No party petitioned for review of the ID.

    On December 21, 2017, the Commission determined not to review Order No. 9. See “Notice of Commission Decision Not to Review an Initial Determination Granting Complainant's Motion for Summary Determination of a Violation of Section 337; Request for Submissions [on Remedy, the Public Interest, and Bonding]” (December 21, 2017) (“Commission Notice”). See 82 FR 61587-88 (Dec. 28, 2017). The Commission's determination resulted in a determination of a violation of section 337.

    The Commission requested written submissions on remedy, public interest, and bonding. Id. Complainant and the IA timely filed their submissions pursuant to the Commission Notice. No other parties filed any submissions in response to the Commission Notice.

    Having reviewed the submissions filed in response to the Commission's Notice and the evidentiary record, the Commission has determined that the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is a GEO prohibiting the unlicensed importation of certain arrowheads with arcuate blades and components thereof covered by one or more of claims 5 and 25 of the `269 patent, the claim of the `919 design patent, and the claim of the `336 design patent.

    The Commission has further determined that the public interest factors enumerated in subsection (g)(1) (19 U.S.C. 1337(g)(1)) do not preclude issuance of the above-referenced remedial order. Finally, the Commission has determined that a bond in the amount of one hundred (100) percent of the entered value is required to permit temporary importation of the articles in question during the period of Presidential review (19 U.S.C. 1337(j)). The investigation is terminated.

    The Commission's order, opinion, and the record upon which it based its determination were delivered to the President and to the United States Trade Representative on the day of their issuance. The Commission has also notified the Secretary of the Treasury of the order.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and in Part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR part 210).

    Issued: April 12, 2018.

    By order of the Commission.

    Lisa Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08036 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE-18-019] Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice Agency Holding the Meeting:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    Time and Date:

    April 20, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

    Place:

    Room 101, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, Telephone: (202) 205-2000.

    Status:

    Open to the public.

    Matters to be Considered:

    1. Agendas for future meetings: None. 2. Minutes. 3. Ratification List. 4. Vote in Inv. Nos. 701-TA-601 and 731-TA-1411 (Preliminary) (Laminated Woven Sacks from Vietnam). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determinations on April 23, 2018; views of the Commission are currently scheduled to be completed and filed on April 30, 2018. 5. Outstanding action jackets: None.

    In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting. Earlier notification of this meeting was not possible.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: April 16, 2018. William Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08221 Filed 4-16-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Safe Drinking Water Act

    On April 11, 2018, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree with the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in a lawsuit entitled United States and the State of New York v. Town of Ticonderoga, New York, Civil Action No. 8:18-cv-442-GLS-CFH.

    In that case the United States seeks relief for the Town's violations of the Long Term Enhanced Treatment Rule promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The complaint also contains claims alleged by the State of New York on behalf of the New York Department of Health under the State's laws and regulations. To resolve the claims alleged in the complaint, the Town of Ticonderoga agrees to perform injunctive relief that includes major long-term compliance projects plus interim measures; pay a civil penalty of $50,000 to be divided evenly between the United States and the State of New York; and perform two supplemental environmental projects.

    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the proposed consent decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and refer to United States v. Town of Ticonderoga, New York, Civil Action No. 8:18-cv-442-GLS-CFH, D.J. Ref. 90-5-1-1-11348. All comments must be submitted no later than 30 days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected] By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ-ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the consent decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department website: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of the consent decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ-ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $7.75 (25 cents per page) payable to the United States Treasury.

    Robert Maher, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08063 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water Act

    On April 2, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) lodged a proposed Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in United States and State of Indiana v. United States Steel Corporation, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-00127. The lodging of the proposed Decree immediately followed DOJ's filing in the same court of a civil complaint (Complaint) against United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel). Notice of lodging was published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2018, which opened a thirty (30) day period for public comment on the proposed Consent Decree. At the request of some members of the public, the Department of Justice is extending the public comment period for an additional 30 days.

    The proposed Consent Decree resolves Clean Water Act and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act claims in the Complaint by the United States on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Park Service (NPS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and by Co-Plaintiff the State of Indiana (State) on behalf of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Under the proposed Decree, U.S. Steel agrees, among other things, to undertake measures to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system at its steel manufacturing and finishing facility, known as the Midwest Plant, in Portage, Indiana. U.S. Steel also agrees to pay a civil penalty to EPA and the State and to reimburse EPA and the NPS for response costs incurred as a result of an April 2017 spill of wastewater containing hexavalent chromium. U.S. Steel will also pay costs to NOAA for assessing natural resource damages due to the April 2017 spill, and damages to NPS resulting from the closure of several beaches along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore due to the spill.

    Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States et al v. United States Steel Corporation, D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-2-1-06476/2. All comments must be submitted no later than sixty (60) days following the April 6, 2018 publication date. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected] By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the proposed Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department website: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.

    We will provide a paper copy of the proposed Consent Decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $14.25 (25 cents per page reproduction cost), payable to the United States Treasury.

    Thomas Carroll, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08124 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Notice of a Public Meeting of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and its implementing regulations, notice is hereby given to announce the final public meeting of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion on Thursday, May 10, 2018. The Task Force is a FACA committee established by Presidential Executive Order that is charged with identifying strategies and proposals to promote and expand apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient. The Task Force is solely advisory in nature, and will consider reports, comments, research, evidence, and existing practices as appropriate to develop recommendations for inclusion in its final report to the President. To achieve its mission, the Task Force will convene its final meeting in person.

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, May 10, 2018, and adjourn at approximately 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20210. The Department will post any updates regarding the agenda and meeting logistics to the Task Force website: https://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/task-force.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Laurie Rowe, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210, Telephone: (202) 693-2772 (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Public Viewing Accommodations

    In order to promote openness, and increase public participation, in person or web based viewing accommodations will be made available for members of the public to observe the meeting proceedings. Additional information will be provided on https://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/task-force.htm. Members of the public interested in the viewing accommodations, must register via the registration link below, space is limited and in person participants are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes early to allow for security clearance into the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building.

    Security and Transportation Instructions for Frances Perkins Building

    Meeting participants should use the visitor's entrance to access the Frances Perkins Building, one block north of Constitution Avenue on 3rd and C Streets NW. For security purposes:

    1. Visitors must present valid photo identification (ID) to receive a visitor badge.

    2. Visitors must know the name of the event you are attending: The meeting event is the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion meeting.

    3. Visitor badges are issued by the security officer at the Visitor Entrance located at 3rd and C Streets NW, as described above.

    4. Laptops and other electronic devices may be inspected and logged for identification purposes.

    5. Due to limited parking options, Metrorail is the easiest way to travel to the Frances Perkins Building. For individuals wishing to take Metrorail, the closest metro stop to the building is Judiciary Square on the Red Line.

    Notice of Intent To Attend the Meeting and Submission of a Written Statement

    Interested members of the public must register for the Task Force meeting before noon on the day of the meeting, via the public registration website using the following link: https://www.apprenticeshiptaskforce.com/reg/. Additionally, individuals with special needs and/or disabilities that will require special accommodations should send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Special Accommodations for the May 2018 Task Force Meeting” no later than Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

    The tentative agenda for this meeting includes the following:

    • Discuss Any Remaining Issues from the April 10, 2018, Meeting • Final Task Force Discussions and Deliberations • Next Steps

    Also in the interest of increasing public participation, any member of the public who wishes to provide a written statement should send it via electronic mail to [email protected], subject line “Public Comment May 2018 Task Force Meeting.” The agenda and meeting logistics may be updated between the time of this publication and the scheduled date of the Task Force meeting. All meeting updates will be posted to the Task Force website: https://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/task-force.htm.

    Rosemary Lahasky, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08113 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2010-0047] Bloodborne Pathogens Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit a copy of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2010-0047, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3653, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the OSHA Docket Office's normal business hours, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., ET.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2010-0047) for the Information Collection Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments, see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Theda Kenney at (202) 693-2222 below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charles McCormick or Theda Kenney, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, telephone (202) 693-2222.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance process to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information collection requirements in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also requires OSHA to obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of effort in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

    The information collection requirements specified in the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard require employers to: Develop and maintain exposure control plans; develop a housekeeping schedule; provide workers with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) vaccinations, post-exposure medical evaluations and follow-up; maintain medical and training records for specified periods; and provide employees and their authorized representatives with access to these records. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and HBV research laboratories and production facilities must also adopt or develop, and review at least once a year, a biosafety manual. Employers must also establish and maintain a sharps injury log for the recording of percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps.

    II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

    • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply—for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

    III. Proposed Actions

    The Agency is requesting an adjustment increase of 158,940 burden hours (from 5,528,742 hours to 5,687,682). This increase is a result of updated data showing an increase in the number of facilities (from 691,669 to 700,724) and employees (from 8,270,108 to 8,399,358) affected by the Standard.

    The operation and maintenance cost increased from $46,093,897 to $51,817,985 due to the increase in medical costs. This increase is also a result of updated data showing an increase in the number of facilities and employees affected by the Standard.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030).

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0180.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.

    Number of Respondents: 700,724.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Average Time per Response: Varies.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 26,656,386.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 5,687,682.

    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $51,817,985.

    IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (Docket No. OSHA-2010-0047) for the ICR. You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so that the Agency can attach them to your comments.

    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350; TTY (877) 889-5627. Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and dates of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through this website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov website to submit comments and access the docket is available at the website's “User Tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the website, and for assistance in using the internet to locate docket submissions.

    V. Authority and Signature

    Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on April 12, 2018. Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08122 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers' Compensation Programs DFEC Claims Identity Solution AGENCY:

    Division of Federal Employees' Compensation, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice; Request for Comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). In this capacity, OWCP's Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) routinely responds to a myriad of written and telephonic inquiries. Claims staff issue written correspondence when developing and adjudicating a claim, and when terminating, reducing, or suspending compensation entitlement.

    Because of security and safety concerns expressed by our employees, DFEC is proposing to change its longstanding procedure of placing employee names on correspondence and all decisions in FECA cases. A similar change would be applied to oral communications. To fulfill this requirement, the Division proposes to implement new pseudonym procedures by August 2018.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed below on or before June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments concerning this notice by mail, delivery service, or by hand to Ms. Yoon Ferguson, United States Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room S-3201, Washington, DC 20210, telephone/fax to (202) 354-9647, by email to [email protected] Please use only the designated method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or email). Please note that comments after the comment period will not be considered.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OWCP DFEC fully recognizes the importance of the safety and welfare of DFEC employees in its mandate to fulfill the requirements of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq. Balancing the safety of its employees and the communication needs of our stakeholders, DFEC is proposing the below methods in its written and telephonic communications:

    1. All signatures and names currently appearing on outgoing correspondence will be replaced with “Division of Federal Employees' Compensation”.

    2. To preserve the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board's (ECAB) ability to identify the adjudicator of certain decisions, DFEC will use a QR code to identify decision authors.

    3. A naming convention for the staff will be used to provide every employee with a pseudonym for use in telephone and other oral communications. Employees will utilize the entire first name and last name initial only. If more than one individual has that combination (e.g., two Thomas J.'s in an office) then the middle initial will be added.

    4. Outgoing correspondence will not reveal the pseudonym when printed. Instead the pseudonym will be embedded into a QR Code on the letter, allowing any person with a QR scanner on their mobile device to view the pseudonym.

    This notice will be published in the Federal Register.

    Dated: April 12, 2018. Julia K. Hearthway, Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08130 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CH-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50-250 and 50-251; NRC-2018-0074] Florida Power & Light Company; Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 3 and 4 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License renewal application; receipt.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received an application with three supplements for the subsequent renewal of Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-31 and DPR-41, which authorize Florida Power & Light Company (the applicant) to operate Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 3 and 4 (Turkey Point). The renewed licenses would authorize the applicant to operate Turkey Point for an additional 20 years beyond the period specified in each of the current renewed licenses. The current renewed operating licenses for Turkey Point expire as follows: Unit 3 on July 19, 2032, and Unit 4 on April 10, 2033.

    DATES:

    The license renewal application referenced in this document was available on March 21, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0074 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0074. Address questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lois M. James, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3306, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NRC has received an application (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML18037A812) from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL or the applicant), dated January 30, 2018, Supplement 1 to the application (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML18044A644), dated February 9, 2018; Supplement 2 to the application (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML18053A123), dated February 16, 2018; and Supplement 3 to the application (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML18072A224) dated March 1, 2018, filed pursuant to Section 103 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and part 54 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, to renew the operating licenses for Turkey Point. Renewal of the license would authorize the applicant to operate the facility for an additional 20-year period beyond the period specified in the respective current renewed operating licenses. The current renewed operating licenses for Turkey Point expire as follows: Unit 3 on July 19, 2032, and Unit 4 on April 10, 2033. The Turkey Point units are Pressurized Water Reactors located in Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida. The acceptability of the tendered application for docketing, and other matters, including an opportunity to request a hearing, will be the subject of subsequent Federal Register notices.

    A copy of the license renewal application for Turkey Point, as supplemented, is also available for inspection near the site, at the Homestead Branch Library, 700 North Homestead Boulevard, Homestead, Florida 33030, at the Naranja Branch Library, 14850 SW 280 Street, Homestead, Florida 33032.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of April 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Eric R. Oesterle, Chief, License Renewal Project Branch, Division of Materials and License Renewal, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08092 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Date of required notice: April 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on April 13, 2018, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 431 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2018-143, CP2018-205.

    Elizabeth Reed, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08106 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83042; File No. SR-CBOE-2018-028] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt PAR Hardware Replacement Fees April 12, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 2, 2018, Cboe Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “Cboe Options”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to adopt Fees related to PAR hardware.

    The text of the proposed rule change is also available on the Exchange's website (http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/CBOELegalRegulatoryHome.aspx), at the Exchange's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to adopt Fees related to PAR hardware. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to assess fees for certain PAR related hardware that needs to be replaced due to loss or damage. Currently, the Exchange provides replacement PAR tablets, stylus, chargers, adapters and protective cases free of charge to Trading Permit Holders (“TPHs”). While the Exchange will continue to provide these initial items free of charge, as well as replace any defective items free of charge, it no longer wishes to subsidize items that need replacement because of loss or because of non-normal wear and tear. As such, the Exchange proposes to implement the following fees:

    Replacement Tablet $1,300 each. Replacement Stylus Pen $100 each. Replacement Chargers $75 each. Replacement adapters and protective cases $50 each. 2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to the Exchange and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.3 Specifically, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) 4 requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,5 which requires that Exchange rules provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its Trading Permit Holders and other persons using its facilities.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    4 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is reasonable because the amount of fees assessed reflect the approximate cost to the Exchange to provide those items to TPHs. The Exchange believes it's equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because TPHs that lose these items or damage these items from non-normal wear or tear should be responsible for the cost of replacement. The Exchange believes the proposed fees will encourage TPHs to take proper care of the above-mentioned PAR related hardware. As noted above, the Exchange will still provide the initial items free of charge and will also not charge TPHs to replace defective items (that were not the result of non-normal wear and tear).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on intramarket or intermarket competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange notes that the proposed rule change applies to all TPHs that lose or damage the above-mentioned PAR related hardware. The Exchange also notes the proposed rule change is not intended for competitive purposes, but rather because the Exchange no longer wishes to subsidize TPHs for items they lose or break.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 6 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 7 thereunder. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission will institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    7 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-CBOE-2018-028 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2018-028. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2018-028 and should be submitted on or before May 9, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.8

    8 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08056 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83040] Order Granting Application by MIAX PEARL, LLC for Exemption Pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Exchange Act From the Rule Filing Requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act With Respect to Certain Rules Incorporated by Reference April 12, 2018.

    MIAX PEARL, LLC (“MIAX PEARL” or “Exchange”) has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) an application for an exemption under Section 36(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) 1 from the rule filing requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act 2 with respect to certain rules of the Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (“MIAX Options” 3 ) that the Exchange seeks to incorporate by reference. Section 36 of the Exchange Act authorizes the Commission to conditionally or unconditionally exempt any person, security, or transaction, or any class thereof, from any provision of the Exchange Act or rule thereunder, if necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78mm(a)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78s(b).

    3 The Commission notes that MIAX PEARL referred to the Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC as “MIAX Options” in its application for an exemption under Section 36(a)(1) of the Exchange Act. See Letter from Dimitriy Kotov, Counsel, MIAX PEARL, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated March 14, 2018 (“Exemptive Request”). References herein to the rules of MIAX Options are to the rules of the Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC.

    On September 27, 2017, the Commission approved a proposed rule change by MIAX Options to adopt new Chapter XVIII comprising MIAX Options Rules 1801-1812 (“MIAX Options Index Options Rules”), to accommodate the trading of index options by MIAX Options members and establish generic listing standards and maintenance standards to permit MIAX Options to list “broad-based” and “narrow-based” index options pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.4 On February 8, 2018, MIAX PEARL filed a proposed rule change with the Commission to incorporate by reference, in new Chapter XVIII of the MIAX PEARL rulebook, the rules contained in MIAX Options Chapter XVIII.5

    4See 17 CFR 240.19b-4(e). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81739 (February 2, 2017), 82 FR 46111 (October 3, 2017). The proposed rule change also made related changes to other rules in the MIAX Options rulebook. See id.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82756 (February 21, 2018), 83 FR 8538 (February 27, 2018). MIAX PEARL's proposed rule change was approved by the Commission on April 12, 2018. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 83039.

    MIAX PEARL has requested, pursuant to Rule 0-12 under the Exchange Act,6 that the Commission grant the Exchange an exemption from the rule filing requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act for changes to MIAX PEARL Chapter XVIII that are effected solely by virtue of a change to Chapter XVIII of the MIAX Options rules. Specifically, MIAX PEARL requests that it be permitted to incorporate by reference changes made to each MIAX Options Index Options Rule that is cross-referenced in the MIAX PEARL Chapter XVIII rules,7 without the need for the Exchange to file separately the same proposed rule changes pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act.8 By virtue of these incorporations by reference, MIAX PEARL members will comply with the MIAX Options Index Options Rules by complying with the MIAX Options rules referenced in the MIAX PEARL Chapter XVIII rules.9 The Exchange states that the MIAX Options rules the Exchange seeks to incorporate by reference are categories of rules that are regulatory in nature. The Exchange has agreed to provide written notice to its members whenever MIAX Options proposes a change to Chapter XVIII of its Rules.10

    6 17 CFR 240.0-12.

    7 MIAX PEARL Chapter XVIII states “[t]he rules contained in MIAX Options Exchange Chapter XVIII, as such rules may be in effect from time to time (the `Chapter XVIII Rules'), are hereby incorporated by reference into this MIAX PEARL Chapter XVIII, and are thus MIAX PEARL Rules and thereby applicable to MIAX PEARL Members.”

    8See Exemptive Request, supra note 3, at 2.

    9Id.

    10 The Exchange states that it will provide such notice on its website in the same section it uses to post its own proposed rule change filings pursuant to Rule 19b-4(l). See 17 CFR 240.19b-4(l). In addition, the Exchange states that its website will also include a link to the MIAX Options website where the proposed rule change filings are located. See Exemptive Request, supra note 3, at 2.

    The Exchange believes this exemption is appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors because it will promote more efficient use of the Exchange's and the Commission's resources by avoiding duplicative rule filings based on simultaneous changes to identical rules sought by more than one self-regulatory organization (“SRO”),11 and because it will result in the Exchange's rules being consistent with the relevant cross-referenced MIAX Options rules.

    11Id.

    The Commission has issued exemptions similar to the Exchange's request.12 In granting one such exemption in 2010, the Commission repeated a prior, 2004 Commission statement that it would consider similar future exemption requests from other SROs, provided that:

    12See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 76998 (January 29, 2016), 81 FR 6066, 6083-84 (February 4, 2016) (order granting application for registration as a national securities exchange of ISE Mercury, LLC (now known as Nasdaq MRX, LLC) and exemptive request relating to rules of the International Securities Exchange, LLC (now known as Nasdaq ISE, LLC) (“ISE”) incorporated by reference, including index options rules); 70050 (July 26, 2013), 78 FR 46622, 46642 (August 1, 2013) (order granting application for registration as a national securities exchange of Topaz Exchange, LLC (now known as Nasdaq GEMX, LLC) and exemptive request relating to rules of ISE incorporated by reference, including index options rules); 61152 (December 10, 2009), 74 FR 66699, 66709-10 (December 16, 2009) (order granting application for registration as a national securities exchange of C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated (“C2”) and exemptive request relating to rules of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE”) incorporated by reference, including index options rules). See also, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61534 (February 18, 2010), 75 FR 8760 (February 25, 2010) (order granting BATS Exchange, Inc.'s exemptive request relating to rules incorporated by reference by the BATS Exchange Options Market rules) (“BATS Options Market Order”).

    • An SRO wishing to incorporate rules of another SRO by reference has submitted a written request for an order exempting it from the requirement in Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act to file proposed rule changes relating to the rules incorporated by reference, has identified the applicable originating SRO(s), together with the rules it wants to incorporate by reference, and otherwise has complied with the procedural requirements set forth in the Commission's release governing procedures for requesting exemptive orders pursuant to Rule 0-12 under the Exchange Act; 13

    13See 17 CFR 240.0-12 and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 39624 (February 5, 1998), 63 FR 8101 (February 18, 1998) (“Commission Procedures for Filing Applications for Orders for Exemptive Relief Pursuant to Section 36 of the Exchange Act; Final Rule”).

    • The incorporating SRO has requested incorporation of categories of rules (rather than individual rules within a category) that are not trading rules (e.g., the SRO has requested incorporation of rules such as margin, suitability, or arbitration); and

    • The incorporating SRO has reasonable procedures in place to provide written notice to its members each time a change is proposed to the incorporated rules of another SRO.14

    14See BATS Options Market Order, supra note 12 (citing Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49260 (February 17, 2004), 69 FR 8500 (February 24, 2004) (order granting exemptive request relating to rules incorporated by reference by several SROs) (“2004 Order”)).

    The Commission believes that the Exchange has satisfied each of these conditions. The Commission also believes that granting the Exchange an exemption from the rule filing requirements under Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act will promote efficient use of Commission and Exchange resources by avoiding duplicative rule filings based on simultaneous changes to identical rule text sought by more than one SRO.15 The Commission therefore finds it appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors to exempt the Exchange from the rule filing requirements under Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act with respect to the above-described rules it has incorporated by reference. This exemption is conditioned upon the Exchange promptly providing written notice to its members whenever MIAX Options changes a rule that the Exchange has incorporated by reference.

    15See BATS Options Market Order, supra note 12, 75 FR at 8761; see also 2004 Order, supra note 14, 69 FR at 8502.

    Accordingly, It is ordered, pursuant to Section 36 of the Exchange Act,16 that the Exchange is exempt from the rule filing requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act solely with respect to changes to the rules identified in its request that incorporate by reference certain MIAX Options rules that are the result of changes to such MIAX Options' rules, provided that the Exchange promptly provides written notice to its members whenever MIAX Options proposes to change a rule that the Exchange has incorporated by reference.

    16 15 U.S.C. 78mm.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.17

    17 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(76).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08054 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83038; File No. SR-MSRB-2018-02] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to the MSRB's Facility for the Real-Time Transaction Reporting System April 12, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act” or “Exchange Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 2, 2018 the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the “MSRB” or “Board”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the MSRB. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The MSRB filed with the Commission a proposed rule change to the MSRB's facility for the Real-Time Transaction Reporting System (“RTRS”) to reflect the re-engineered RTRS and modernize and consolidate the RTRS information facility (“RTRS IF”) (“proposed rule change”). The MSRB has filed the proposed rule change under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 4 thereunder, as a noncontroversial rule change that renders the proposal effective upon filing. The proposed rule change would be made operative on May 29, 2018.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the MSRB's website at www.msrb.org/Rules-and-Interpretations/SEC-Filings/2018-Filings.aspx, at the MSRB's principal office, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the MSRB included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The MSRB has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    MSRB Rule G-14, on transaction reporting, requires brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (“dealers”) to report executed transactions in municipal securities to RTRS within 15 minutes of the time of trade, with limited exceptions. RTRS disseminates information about transactions occurring in the municipal securities market to RTRS subscription services, including to the MSRB's Electonic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA®). The RTRS IF sets forth the material aspects of the operation of RTRS by describing the basic functionality of, and the high-level parameters by which the MSRB operates, RTRS. The proposed rule change consists of amendments to the RTRS IF.5

    5 The RTRS facility is currently available on the MSRB's website at http://www.msrb.org/Rules-and-Interpretations/MSRB-Rules/Facilities/RTRS-Facility.aspx.

    Background

    The MSRB is enhancing certain RTRS components, including improving business continuity and connectivity services to RTRS and migrating subscription products to encrypted solutions.6 The purpose of the proposed rule change is to revise the RTRS IF to reflect this re-engineering of RTRS and to modernize and consolidate the RTRS IF.

    6 The MSRB has reported the enhancements to RTRS components to the SEC consistent with Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity. See Exchange Act Release No. 73639 (November 19, 2014), 79 FR 72251 (December 5, 2014).

    Since the re-engineering would result in revisions to the RTRS IF, the MSRB took the opportunity to perform a comprehensive review of the RTRS IF to evaluate whether it sufficiently and clearly describes the basic functionality and operation of RTRS. The MSRB believes that dealers, submitters 7 and subscribers 8 benefit from this information being provided in a concise and organized manner.

    7 As defined in Rule G-14, a submitter means a dealer, or service bureau acting on behalf of a dealer, that has been authorized to interface with RTRS for the purposes of entering transaction data into the system.

    8 Subscriber refers to an individual or entity that receives RTRS data through an MSRB subscription service.

    Proposed Amendments to the RTRS Information Facility (i) Subscriber Connectivity Changes

    The RTRS IF sets forth RTRS subscribers' options for connecting to the RTRS Real-Time Transaction Data Subscription Service (“Real-Time Service”). Currently, subscribers have the option to connect to the Real-Time Service either over the internet or by leased line. As part of the re-engineering, the MSRB will require that subscribers to the Real-Time Service utilize the internet to connect to RTRS. As a result, subscribers will no longer be able to use leased lines for the Real-Time Service.

    With respect to messaging with RTRS, subscribers currently must use either the MQ Series messaging software or a Transmission Control Protocol (“TCP”) Socket connection. As part of the re-engineering, the MSRB will offer subscribers a new web service as an option for messaging with RTRS and retire the MQ Series messaging software. Moreover, the MSRB will require that any TCP socket connections utilized for messaging with RTRS are secure.

    The MSRB is implementing these subscriber connectivity changes to improve business continuity by allowing for more efficient failovers to backup sites, migrate the Real-Time Service to encrypted messaging and improve the security of subscriber connections.

    The MSRB has previously notified subscribers of these connectivity changes, which will be operative on May 29, 2018, and provided a test environment for subscribers to test applicable systems changes. Specifically, the MSRB first notified all subscribers to the Real-Time Service of the subscriber connectivity changes on January 5, 2017 and made a test environment available to subscribers on February 1, 2017. The MSRB has been engaging in outreach efforts to subscribers to support the transition to the re-engineered RTRS and will continue to do so.

    The proposed rule change would remove references to leased lines and the MQ Series and add references to the new web service and secure TCP socket connections to reflect the subscriber connectivity changes associated with the re-engineering.

    (ii) Removal of Outdated References

    The RTRS IF was approved by the Commission on August 31, 2004 9 and RTRS became operational on January 10, 2005. RTRS replaced the MSRB's former Transaction Reporting System (the “TRS system”) and brought real-time collection and dissemination of transactions to the municipal securities market.

    9 Exchange Act Release No. 50294 (August 31, 2004), 69 FR 54170 (September 7, 2004) (SR-MSRB-2004-02).

    Given the significance of the progression to real-time collection and dissemination at the time of RTRS' inception, the facility referenced improvements associated with the creation of real-time collection and dissemination and included transitional language which referenced the TRS system in describing RTRS functionality, including describing enhanced functionality of RTRS as compared with the TRS system, and common features between the systems.

    As it has been over thirteen years since TRS ceased operation and the progression to real-time collection and dissemination took place, the proposed rule change would remove dated references to the original improvements associated with real-time collection and dissemination and the TRS system, including the section titled “Improved Functionality” and much of a section titled “Enhancement of Information Available to Regulators.” To modernize the RTRS IF, the information that remains current with respect to information that RTRS provides to regulators would be consolidated under the proposed rule change in a renamed section titled “Information Available to Regulators.”

    The inclusion of references to TRS and the enhancements implemented in 2005 no longer serve a purpose in describing the basic functionality of, or the high-level parameters by which the MSRB operates, RTRS. In addition, information concerning outdated “enhancements” could mislead users to believe certain RTRS functionality is recent, when in fact such functionality may have been in place since 2005.

    In place of these references, the proposed rule change would add a new introductory paragraph which explains the purpose of the RTRS IF, summarizes key RTRS functionality and refers dealers to Rule G-14 for transaction reporting requirements.

    (iii) Consolidating Format

    The RTRS IF is currently structured such that there are separate segmented topics within the information facility: the “RTRS Facility,” the “MSRB Real-Time Transaction Data Subscription Service,” the “Comprehensive Transaction Data Subscription Service,” the “MSRB Historical Transaction Data Product,” and the “MSRB Academic Historical Transaction Data Product.” Each segmented topic was initially designed to stand alone, with each having a separate footnote section.

    The proposed rule change would reorganize the RTRS IF into two sections, “RTRS Functionality” and “Transaction Dissemination by RTRS.” The first section, “RTRS Functionality” would set forth basic information regarding the operation and functionality of RTRS, including the submission of transaction reports, messaging input options, the information that RTRS provides to regulators, and key steps in RTRS processing. The “Transaction Dissemination by RTRS” section would describe the RTRS subscription products, including the Real-Time Service, the Comprehensive Transaction Data Subscription Service, the Historical Transaction Data Product and the Academic Historical Transaction Data Product. Reorganizing and consolidating the RTRS IF in the manner set forth in the proposed rule change would reduce redundancies and improve readability.

    The proposed rule change would also consolidate repetitive references in the RTRS IF to ensure consistency within the document. For example, the proposed rule change would consolidate a list of information designed to identify and describe the types of data disseminated by RTRS currently provided in both the “RTRS Facility” segment and the “Real-Time Transaction Data Subscription Service” segment. A consolidated list of data fields would reduce the risk of inconsistencies and potential confusion.

    The proposed rule change would also consolidate two sections in the RTRS IF that describe the process by which RTRS determines whether a trade is reported within the applicable reporting deadline set forth in Rule G-14. The RTRS IF contains a section titled “Measurement of Timely Reporting” and a section titled “Lateness checking,” both of which contain similar information. The proposed rule change consolidates the information in these two sections to improve clarity regarding the description of RTRS processing with respect to measuring trades against the applicable reporting deadline.

    In addition, the “Message-Based and Web-Based Input Methods” section of the RTRS IF includes repetitive references regarding the ability of dealers and submitters to use the message-based and web-based portals. The proposed rule change removes these repetitive references as the “RTRS Portals” section of the RTRS IF is the appropriate section to uniformly describe the policies governing each RTRS portal.

    The proposed rule change also consolidates several other repetitive references in the RTRS IF.

    (iv) Uniformity of Rule References

    As RTRS is the facility for the collection of information about transactions occurring in the municipal securities market, the RTRS IF includes references to dealers' obligations under Rule G-14. The proposed rule change would ensure that, if Rule G-14 is referenced, the language of Rule G-14 would be used in the RTRS IF.

    To that end, the proposed rule change would replace the section titled “Submission of Transaction Reports by Intermediaries” with a new section titled “Submission of Transaction Reports” which references relevant provisions of Rule G-14. By including direct references to Rule G-14, the proposed rule change would provide increased certainty regarding transaction reporting obligations.

    To ensure consistency within the RTRS IF, the proposed rule change would also replace certain uses of the term “dealer” with the term “submitter.” The term “dealer” would be used when referencing obligations under Rule G-14 and the term “submitter” would be used when referring to an RTRS user who accesses the system to make a submission, whether the user is a dealer or a service bureau acting on behalf of a dealer.

    (v) Improved Descriptions of RTRS Functionality

    As part of its comprehensive review, the MSRB analyzed whether aspects of the RTRS IF could be enhanced to more accurately or concisely describe RTRS functionality and operation to better serve the RTRS IF's intention of describing the basic functionality of, and the high-level parameters by which the MSRB operates, RTRS.

    One area where the MSRB determined that an enhanced description of RTRS functionality would be beneficial is in reference to real-time dissemination. The RTRS IF frequently references that RTRS disseminates transaction data in “real-time” but does not uniformly describe “real-time” processing. Instead, the RTRS IF suggests that real-time is “as soon as it is received” or “as soon as possible.” In addition, in one section, the RTRS IF provides that “[t]he MSRB anticipates that, during peak traffic periods, these automated functions will be accomplished within two minutes, and during lighter periods will be accomplished within a few seconds.”

    The proposed rule change would clarify that real-time dissemination for RTRS functionality occurs “promptly following processing in RTRS.” This description of real-time dissemination reflects the fact that, prior to dissemination, RTRS, among other things, conducts format checks, validates the submitter, timestamps and assesses the trade against the reporting deadline and conducts content checks.

    The proposed rule change would also clarify the impact of failing certain checks in RTRS processing. The proposed rule change would revise the RTRS IF to highlight that messages that fail certain format or content checks are not processed further and an error message describing the deficiency is returned to the submitter. The RTRS Users Manual sets forth additional information regarding format and content checks.10

    10 The RTRS Users Manual is currently available on the MSRB's website at http://www.msrb.org/Market-Transparency/Trade-Data/RTRS-Users-Manual.aspx.

    (vi) Removal of Certain Technical and Ancillary Information

    Given that the purpose of the RTRS IF is to set forth the material aspects of RTRS' operation, highly technical and ancillary information regarding RTRS is more appropriately left to the RTRS Users Manual and similar documents that the MSRB maintains that describe RTRS functionality.

    Specifically, the MSRB maintains two specifications documents for RTRS, the “Specifications for Real-Time Reporting of Municipal Securities Transactions” (“RTRS Reporting Specifications”) and the “Specifications Document for the RTRS Subscription Service” (“RTRS Subscription Specifications”). Both of these specifications documents are available on the MSRB's publicly available website, msrb.org. 11 The RTRS Reporting Specifications provide detailed information regarding, among other things, input and output specifications, message formatting, structure and flow and error messages and feedback. The RTRS Subscription Specifications provide specifications and requirements to access, retrieve and understand RTRS subscription services. The MSRB also maintains an “MSRB Subscription Services Price List” on msrb.org to inform interested individuals about the pricing for RTRS subscription services.

    11 The RTRS Reporting Specifications are currently available on the MSRB's website at http://www.msrb.org/msrb1/RTRS/RTRS-Specifications.pdf. The RTRS Subscription Specifications are currently available on the MSRB's website at http://www.msrb.org/msrb1/RTRS/Specifications-Document-for-RTRS-Subscription-Service.pdf.

    The proposed rule change would remove certain technical and ancillary information from the RTRS IF that is presented in the RTRS Reporting Specifications, RTRS Subscription Specifications and MSRB Subscription Services Price List. The removal of such information will streamline the RTRS IF by presenting the information that is necessary to describe the material aspects of the operation of RTRS.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The MSRB believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15B(b)(2)(C) of the Act.12 which provides that the MSRB's rules shall:

    12 15 U.S.C. 78o-4(b)(2)(C).

    be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in municipal securities and municipal financial products, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market in municipal securities and municipal financial products, and, in general, to protect investors, municipal entities, obligated persons, and the public interest.

    Specifically, the proposed rule change would contribute to the MSRB's continuing efforts to improve market transparency by improving business continuity and the security of RTRS subscriber connections. As RTRS disseminates information about transactions occurring in the municipal securities market, any improvement with respect to the resiliency and security of RTRS will further perfect the mechanism of a free and open market in municipal securities by making it more likely that the market is continuously provided with transaction information.

    The RTRS enhancements will improve the speed of dissemination of trade information and enhance the resiliency of RTRS by allowing RTRS to failover to backup sites more efficiently. This re-engineering of RTRS will also migrate the Real-Time Service to encrypted messaging and further enhance the security of subscriber connections. The MSRB is continuously seeking to enhance system security and the RTRS re-engineering is consistent with this objective.

    The proposed rule change would also increase clarity and accuracy with respect to the description of basic RTRS functionality and the high-level parameters by which the MSRB operates RTRS. The MSRB believes that dealers, submitters and subscribers will benefit from a clearer understanding of this information. While additional technical information regarding RTRS is set forth in the RTRS Users Manual and similar documents that the MSRB maintains, the MSRB believes that it is important that fundamental information regarding RTRS be clearly described in the RTRS IF and the proposed rule change serves this purpose.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    Section 15B(b)(2)(C) of the Act 13 requires that MSRB rules not be designed to impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change consists of revisions to the RTRS IF to better align the language of the information facility to the MSRB's administration of RTRS. The proposed rule change seeks to clarify existing services and make minor changes of a technical nature to the information facility resulting from the re-engineering. The proposed rule change will not modify the manner in which the MSRB administers RTRS in collecting and disseminating information on transactions in the municipal securities market. Accordingly, the MSRB does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act.

    13Id.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Board did not solicit comment on the proposed change. Therefore, there are no comments on the proposed rule change received from members, participants or others.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 14 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.15

    14 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    15 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-MSRB-2018-02 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-MSRB-2018-02. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the MSRB. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-MSRB-2018-02 and should be submitted on or before May 9, 2018.

    For the Commission, pursuant to delegated authority.16

    16 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08052 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings Time and Date:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act, Public Law 94-409, that the Securities and Exchange Commission staff will hold a public roundtable on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

    Place:

    The roundtable will be held in Multi-Purpose Room LL-006 at the Commission's headquarters, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC.

    Status:

    The roundtable will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. Visitors will be subject to security checks. The roundtable will be webcast on the Commission's website at www.sec.gov.

    Matters to be Considered:

    The Commission staff will host a roundtable on the market structure for thinly-traded exchange-listed securities. The roundtable is open to the public and the public is invited to submit written comments. This Sunshine Act notice is being issued because a majority of the Commission may attend the roundtable.

    The agenda for the roundtable will focus on the challenges faced by participants in the market for thinly-traded exchange-listed securities, and potential improvements that might be considered to the market structure for these securities.

    Contact Person for more Information:

    For further information, please contact Brent J. Fields from the Office of the Secretary at (202) 551-5400.

    Dated: April 16, 2018. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08254 Filed 4-16-18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83041; File No. SR-CBOE-2018-027] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Select Customer Options Reduction Program April 12, 2018.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 2, 2018, Cboe Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “Cboe Options”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change a described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Select Customer Options Reduction program.

    The text of the proposed rule change is also available on the Exchange's website (http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/CBOELegalRegulatoryHome.aspx), at the Exchange's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Select Customer Options Reduction program (“SCORe”).3 By way of background, SCORe is a recently adopted discount program for Retail ,4 Non-FLEX Customer (“C” origin code) volume in the following options classes: SPX (including SPXW), VIX, RUT, MXEA, MXEF & XSP (“Qualifying Classes”). The SCORe program is available to any Trading Permit Holder (“TPH”) Originating Clearing Firm or non-TPH Originating Clearing Firm that sign up for the program.5 The SCORe program currently utilizes two measures for participation and discounts: (1) The Qualifying Tiers, which determine whether a firm qualifies for the discounts in either Tier A or Tier B and (2) the Discount Tiers, which determine the Originating Firm's applicable discount tiers and corresponding discounts. The Exchange proposes to amend the lower threshold for Tier B of the Qualifying Tiers.

    3 The proposed SCORe amendment will be effective April 1, 2018 (i.e., April discounts will be based on March 2018 volume using the proposed threshold change).

    4 For purposes of the program “Retail” orders will be defined as Customer orders for which the original order size (in the case of a simple order) or largest leg size (in the case of a complex order) is 100 contracts or less.

    5 For this program, an “Originating Clearing Firm” is defined as either (a) the executing clearing Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) number on any transaction which does not also include a Clearing Member Trading Agreement (“CMTA”) OCC clearing number or (b) the CMTA in the case of any transaction which does include a CMTA OCC clearing number.

    To determine an Originating Firm's Qualifying Tier, the Originating Firm's total Retail volume in the Qualifying Classes is divided by the Originating Firm's total Customer volume, Retail and non-Retail, in the Qualifying Classes. Currently if an Originating Firm's Retail volume is between 35.00% and 69.99%, the Originating Firm will qualify for Tier B discounts. If an Originating Firm's Retail volume is at or above 70.00%, the Originating Firm will qualify for Tier A discounts. The Qualifying Tier that is applied in a given month is based on an Originating Firm's Retail volume in the prior month (e.g., an Originating Firm's volume in January determines which Qualifying Tier applies in February). The Exchange proposes to amend the lower threshold to qualify for Tier B. Particularly, the Exchange proposes to lower the 35.00% threshold to 20.00% such that in order to qualify for Tier B discounts, an Originating Firm's Retail volume would need to be between 20.00% and 69.99%. The purpose of the proposed change is to adjust for current volume trends and make it easier for Originating Firms to obtain discounts.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to the Exchange and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.6 Specifically, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) 7 requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,8 which requires that Exchange rules provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its Trading Permit Holders and other persons using its facilities.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange believes the proposed amendment to SCORe is reasonable because it adjusts for current volume trends and makes it easier for Customers orders from Originating Firms that register for the program to meet the qualifying threshold and receive the corresponding discount. The Exchange notes that SCORe will continue to provide an incremental incentive for Originating Firms to strive for the highest tier level, which provides increasingly higher discounts. The proposed rule change is designed to encourage increased Retail volume in the Qualifying Classes, which provides increased volume and greater trading opportunities for all market participants. The Exchange believes the proposed change is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because the qualifying volume thresholds apply to all registered Originating Firms uniformly. The Exchange also notes that the rates set forth in the Discount Tiers are not changing.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act because, while the discounts apply only to Customer orders from Originating Firms, the Program is designed to encourage increased Customer options volume in the Qualifying Classes, which provides greater trading opportunities for all market participants. Additionally, there is a history in the options markets of providing preferential treatment to Customers orders. The Exchange notes that the proposed change applies to all Originating Firms uniformly. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will not cause an unnecessary burden on intermarket competition because the Qualifying Classes are products that only trade on Cboe Options. To the extent that the proposed changes make the Exchange a more attractive marketplace for market participants at other exchanges, such market participants are welcome to become Cboe Options market participants.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 9 and paragraph (f) of Rule 19b-4 10 thereunder. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission will institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-CBOE-2018-027 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2018-027. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2018-027 and should be submitted on or before May 9, 2018.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.11

    11 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08055 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83044; File No. 4-631] Joint Industry Plan; Order Approving the Seventeenth Amendment to the National Market System Plan To Address Extraordinary Market Volatility by Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., Investors Exchange LLC, NASDAQ BX, Inc., NASDAQ PHLX LLC, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, NYSE National, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE American LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc. April 12, 2018. I. Introduction

    On February 26, 2018, NYSE Group, Inc., on behalf of the other parties 1 to the National Market System Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility (the “Plan”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) pursuant to Section 11A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 2 and Rule 608 thereunder,3 a proposal to amend the Plan.4 The proposal represents the seventeenth amendment to the Plan, and reflects proposed changes unanimously approved by the Participants (“Seventeenth Amendment”). The proposed Seventeenth Amendment was published for comment in the Federal Register on March 21, 2018.5 The Commission received no comment letters regarding the amendment. This order approves the Seventeenth Amendment to the Plan as proposed.

    1 Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc., Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), Investors Exchange LLC, NASDAQ BX, Inc., NASDAQ PHLX LLC, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”), New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”), NYSE Arca, Inc., NYSE National Inc., and NYSE American LLC (collectively, the “Participants”).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    3 17 CFR 242.608.

    4See Letter from Elizabeth King, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, NYSE, to Brent Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated February 23, 2018. (“Transmittal Letter”).

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82888 (March 15, 2018), 83 FR 12432.

    II. Description of the Proposal

    In the Seventeenth Amendment, the Participants propose to extend the pilot period of the Plan from April 16, 2018 to April 15, 2019.

    III. Discussion and Commission Findings

    The Commission finds that the Seventeenth Amendment is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder. Specifically, the Commission finds that the Seventeenth Amendment is consistent with Section 11A of the Act 6 and Rule 608 thereunder 7 in that it is appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors and the maintenance of fair and orderly markets, and that it removes impediments to, and perfects the mechanism of, a national market system.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    7 17 CFR 242.608.

    The Participants propose to extend the pilot period for an additional year to April 15, 2019. As the Participants note, the twelfth and thirteenth amendments to the Plan 8 as well as the associated amendments to the Primary Listing Exchanges' 9 reopening procedures were implemented on November 20, 2017. The Participants state that an extension of the pilot period would provide additional time for the public, the Participants, and the Commission to assess the impact of modifications from the twelfth and thirteenth amendments to the Plan on market operations as well as to consider other potential modifications to the Plan including how NMS Stocks are tiered under the Plan and the applicable percentage parameters associated with such tiers, the elimination of double-wide Price Bands at the open and close of trading, and recommendations made by the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee with respect to Plan operations.10

    8See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 79845 (January 19, 2017), 82 FR 8551 (January 26, 2017) (approving the twelfth amendment to the Plan), 80455 (April 13, 2017), 82 FR 18519 (April 19, 2017) (approving the thirteenth amendment to the Plan).

    9 Unless otherwise specified, the terms used herein have the same meaning as set forth in the Plan.

    10See U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee, Recommendations for Rulemaking on Issues of Market Quality, dated November 29, 2016, available here: https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/emsac/emsac-recommendations-rulemaking-market-quality.pdf.

    The Commission believes that a one-year extension of the Plan will allow the Participants to continue their examination and analysis of the Plan's operation. Accordingly, the Commission believes that it is appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors and the maintenance of a fair and orderly market to approve the amendment to extend the pilot period until April 15, 2019.

    For the reasons noted above, the Commission finds that the Seventeenth Amendment to the Plan is consistent with Section 11A of the Act 11 and Rule 608 thereunder.12 The Commission reiterates its expectation that the Participants will continue to monitor the scope and operation of the Plan and study the data produced, and will propose any modifications to the Plan that may be necessary or appropriate.13

    11 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    12 17 CFR 242.608.

    13See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67091 (May 31, 2012), 77 FR 33498 (June 6, 2012).

    IV. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 11A of the Act 14 and Rule 608 thereunder,15 that the Seventeenth Amendment to the Plan (File No. 4-631) be, and it hereby is, approved.

    14 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    15 17 CFR 242.608.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.16

    16 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(29).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08080 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-83039; File No. SR-PEARL-2018-02] Self-Regulatory Organizations; MIAX PEARL, LLC; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rules Relating to Index Options April 12, 2018. I. Introduction

    On February 8, 2018, MIAX PEARL, LLC (“MIAX PEARL” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to the provisions of Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to adopt rules relating to index options. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 27, 2018.3 The Commission received no comments regarding the proposal. This order approves the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82756 (February 21, 2018), 83 FR 8538 (“Notice”).

    II. Description of the Proposal A. Overview

    The Exchange proposes to amend MIAX PEARL Rule 504 and adopt new Chapter XVIII to accommodate the trading of index options on the Exchange by MIAX PEARL Members; and establish generic listing standards and maintenance standards to permit the Exchange to list “broad-based” and “narrow-based” index options on the Exchange pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.4 Proposed MIAX PEARL Chapter XVIII would incorporate by reference Chapter XVIII of the rules of the Exchange's affiliate, Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (“MIAX Options”).5 The proposed generic listing and maintenance standards for broad-based indices listed and traded on the Exchange require, among other things, that options on the index be a.m.-settled; that the index be capitalization-weighted, modified capitalization-weighted, price-weighted, or equal dollar-weighted; and that the index be comprised of at least fifty securities, all of which must be “NMS stocks,” as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS.6 The proposed generic listing and maintenance standards for narrow-based indices require, among other characteristics, that the proposed indices must consist of ten or more component securities.7

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(e). The term “broad-based index” is defined as an index designed to be representative of a stock market as a whole or of a range of companies in unrelated industries. See Proposed Rule 1801(k). The term “narrow-based index” is defined as an index designed to be representative of a particular industry or a group of related industries or an index whose constituents are all headquartered within a single country. See Proposed Rule 1801(j).

    5 The Commission has separately issued an order granting the Exchange an exemption pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Act from the rule filing requirements of Section 19(b) of the Act with respect to the rules in MIAX Options Chapter XVIII that the Exchange seeks to incorporate by reference. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 83040 (April 12, 2018). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81739 (September 27, 2017), 82 FR 46111 (October 3, 2017) (order approving SR-MIAX-2017-39) (“MIAX Options Order”). The Commission notes that the MIAX Options Order also approved changes to MIAX Options Rules 308, 313, and 700, which rules are already incorporated by reference in MIAX PEARL's rules. See id. at 46112 & nn. 13 & 15. See also Notice, supra note 3, at 8539. In the description of the proposed rule change below, the term “Proposed Rule” shall refer to the rules in MIAX Options Chapter XVIII, which the Exchange has proposed to be incorporated by reference into the MIAX PEARL Rules and thereby become applicable to MIAX PEARL Members.

    6See Proposed Rule 1802(d)(4).

    7See Proposed Rule 1802(b)(2).

    Because the rules related to options in indices are product specific in many areas,8 certain rules will indicate that they apply to “Specified” indices. Proposed Rules 1800, 1801(n), 1804(a), 1807(a), 1809, and 1811 all contain provisions that are dependent upon the Exchange identifying specific index products in the rule. Accordingly, Proposed Rule 1800 states that where the rules in Chapter XVIII indicate that particular indices or requirements with respect to particular indices will be “Specified,” the Exchange will file a proposed rule change with the Commission pursuant to Section 19 of the Act 9 and Rule 19b-4 10 thereunder to specify such indices or requirements. Because MIAX PEARL has incorporated the rules in MIAX Options Chapter XVIII by reference, MIAX PEARL's rules will be amended when MIAX Options files a proposed rule change with the Commission pursuant to Section 19 of the Act 11 and Rule 19b-4 12 thereunder to specify such indices or requirements.13 As more fully set forth in the Notice and further described below, the proposed new Exchange Rules are based on the existing rules of other options exchanges.14

    8See Notice, supra note 3, at 8539.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s.

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78s.

    12 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    13See Notice, supra note 3, at 8539. See also supra note 5.

    14See, e.g., MIAX Options Rules Chapter XVIII; Nasdaq ISE, LLC (“ISE”) Rules, Chapter 20, Index Rules; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC Rules, Chapter 20, Index Rules; Nasdaq MRX, LLC Rules, Chapter 20, Index Rules; NASDAQ PHLX LLC (“Phlx”) Rules 1000A-1108A; and Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE”) Rules, Chapter XXIV, Index Options; Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc. Rules, Chapter 24, Index Options. See also Notice, supra note 3, at 8539.

    B. Index Options Procedural Rules

    MIAX PEARL proposes to add new Chapter XVIII to the Exchange rules (“Proposed Rules”), which would incorporate by reference the rules in Chapter XVIII of MIAX Options.15 The proposal would, among other things, set forth general procedural rules that address the trading sessions for index options, including the days and hours of business, opening rotation, and halts and suspensions.16 Existing MIAX PEARL Rules further provide for the procedures Members must follow with respect to the exercise of American-style, cash settled index options.17

    15 The Exchange also proposes to amend MIAX PEARL Rule 504 (Trading Halts) to address index options.

    16See Proposed Rule 1808.

    17See MIAX PEARL Rules 313(a)(3) and 700(h). See also supra note 5.

    The Proposed Rules also establish position limit and exercise limits for index options.18 In addition, existing MIAX PEARL Rules and the Proposed Rules provide for exemption standards from position limits and procedures for requesting exemptions from those rules.19 The proposed position limits and exercise limits, as well as the proposed exemptions, are different for broad-based index options and narrow-based index options.20

    18See Proposed Rules 1804, 1805, and 1807.

    19See MIAX PEARL Rule 308(b) and Proposed Rule 1806. See also supra note 5.

    20See Proposed Rules 1804 to 1807.

    C. Generic Listing Standards and Maintenance Standards for Broad-Based Index Options

    The Exchange also proposes to establish generic listing and maintenance standards in Proposed Rule 1802 to enable the Exchange to list and trade new broad-based index options pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.21 Proposed Rule 1802(d) sets forth the initial listing standards for broad-based index options. The listing standards require, among other things, that the underlying index be broad-based, as defined in Rule 1801(k); that options on the index be a.m. settled; that the index be capitalization-weighted, modified capitalization-weighted, price-weighted, or equal dollar-weighted; and that the index consist of 50 or more component securities, each of which must be an “NMS stock” as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Act.22 In addition, Proposed Rule 1802(d) requires that the index's component securities meet certain minimum market capitalization and average daily trading volume requirements; that no single component account for more than10% of the weight of the index and that the five highest weighted component securities represent no more than 33% of the weight of the index; that the index value be widely disseminated at least once every 15 seconds; and that the Exchange have written surveillance procedures in place with respect to the index options. Proposed Rule 1802(e) establishes maintenance standards for broad-based index options listed pursuant to Proposed Rule 1802(d). The Exchange states that the proposed listing and maintenance standards are modeled after standards approved by the Commission for other options exchanges.23

    21 17 CFR 240.19b-4(e). Rule 19b-4(e) provides that the listing and trading of a new derivative securities product by a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) shall not be deemed a proposed rule change, pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of Rule 19b-4, if the Commission has approved, pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Act, the SRO's trading rules, procedures, and listing standards for the product class that includes the new derivative securities product and the SRO has a surveillance program for the product class. When relying on Rule 19b-4(e), the SRO must submit Form 19b-4(e) to the Commission within five business days after the exchange begins trading the new derivative securities products. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 40761 (December 8, 1998), 63 FR 70952 (December 22, 1998) (File No. S7-13-98).

    22See 17 CFR 242.600.

    23See, e.g., MIAX Options Rule 1802(d); NYSE American LLC (“NYSE American”) Rule 901C.02(a) and (b); CBOE Rule 24.2(f) and (g); NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) Rule 5.12-O; Phlx Rule 1009A(d) and (e); and ISE Rule 2002(d) and (e).

    D. Generic Listing Standards and Maintenance Standards for Narrow-Based Index Options

    The Exchange further proposes to establish generic listing and maintenance standards in Proposed Rule 1802 to enable the Exchange to list and trade new narrow-based index options pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.24 Proposed Rule 1802(b) sets forth the initial listing standards for narrow-based index options. The listing standards require, among other things, that options on the index be a.m. settled; that the index be capitalization-weighted, price-weighted, equal dollar-weighted, or modified capitalization-weighted; and that the index consist of 10 or more component securities, each of which must be an “NMS stock” as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Act.25 In addition, Proposed Rule 1802(b) requires that the index's component securities meet certain minimum market capitalization and average daily trading volume requirements; that no single component account for more than 30% of the weight of the index and that the five highest weighted component securities represent no more than 50% (65% for an index consisting of fewer than 25 component securities) of the weight of the index; that the index value be widely disseminated at least once every 15 seconds; and that non-U.S. component securities (stocks or ADRs) that are not subject to comprehensive surveillance agreements do not in the aggregate represent more than 20% of the weight of the index. Proposed Rule 1802(c) establishes maintenance standards for narrow-based index options listed pursuant to Proposed Rule 1802(b). The Exchange states that the proposed listing and maintenance standards are modeled after standards approved by the Commission for other options exchanges.26

    24 17 CFR 240.19b 09 094(e). See also supra note 21.

    25See 17 CFR 242.600.

    26See, e.g., MIAX Options Rule 1802(b) and (c); NYSE American Rule 901C.03; CBOE Rule 24.2(b) and (c); NYSE Arca Rule 5.13-O; Phlx Rule 1009A(b) and (c); and ISE Rule 2002(b) and (c).

    E. Surveillance and Capacity

    The Exchange represents that it has an adequate surveillance program in place for index options. The Exchange is a member of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”), which is comprised of an international group of exchanges, market centers, and market regulators.27 The Exchange further represents that it has analyzed its capacity and believes the Exchange and the Options Price Reporting Authority (“OPRA”) have the necessary systems capacity to handle the additional traffic associated with the listing and trading of index options.28

    27See Notice, supra note 3, at 8552. The ISG was formed on July 14, 1983, to, among other things, coordinate more effectively surveillance and investigative information sharing arrangements in the stock and options markets. The purpose of the ISG is to provide a framework for the sharing of information and the coordination of regulatory efforts among exchanges trading securities and related products to address potential intermarket manipulations and trading abuses. Id. The ISG plays a crucial role in information sharing among markets that trade securities, options on securities, security futures products, and futures and options on broad-based security indexes. Id.

    28See id.

    F. Implementation

    The Exchange will announce the implementation date of the proposed rule change by Regulatory Circular to be published no later than 90 days following the approval of the proposed rule change. The implementation date will be no later than 90 days following the issuance of the Regulatory Circular.

    III. Discussion and Commission Findings

    After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange and, in particular, with Section 6(b) of the Act.29 In particular, the Commission believes that the Exchange's proposal to establish rules and procedures applicable to index options and establish generic listing and maintenance standards for broad-based and narrow-based index options is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,30 which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    29 15 U.S.C. 78f(b). In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    30 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). See also supra note 5.

    The Commission believes that permitting the trading of options on an index of securities (including a narrow-based index) enables investors to participate in the price movements of the index's underlying securities and allows investors holding positions in some or all of such securities to hedge the risks associated with their portfolios. The Commission further believes that options on an index provide investors with an important trading and hedging mechanism that is designed to reflect accurately the overall movement of the component stocks. In particular, the Commission believes that the proposed position and exercise limits should serve to minimize potential manipulation concerns.

    A. Generic Listing and Maintenance Standards for Broad-Based and Narrow-Based Index Options

    In considering the proposed generic listing and maintenance standards for broad-based and narrow-based index options, the Commission notes that they are consistent with the listing and maintenance standards for broad-based and narrow-based index options that other exchanges 31 have developed and that the Commission has previously approved.32 The Commission finds that the generic standards covering minimum capitalization, monthly trading volume, and relative weightings of component stocks are designed to ensure that the trading markets for component stocks are adequately capitalized and sufficiently liquid, and that no one stock or stock group dominates the index. Thus, the Commission believes that the satisfaction of these requirements significantly minimizes the potential for manipulation of the index.

    31See, e.g., MIAX Options Rules Chapter XVIII; NYSE American Rules 901C.02 and 901C.03; CBOE Rule 24.2; NYSE Arca Rules 5.12-O and 5.13-O; Phlx Rule 1009A; and ISE Rule 2002.

    32See, e.g., MIAX Options Order, supra note 5 (order approving rules for index options, including generic listing and maintenance standards for broad-based and narrow-based index options); Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 48405 (August 25, 2003), 68 FR 52257 (September 2, 2003) (SR-ISE-2003-05) (order approving rules for index options and generic listing and maintenance standards for narrow-based index options); 52578 (October 7, 2005), 70 FR 60590 (October 18, 2005) (SR-ISE-2005-27) (order approving generic listing and maintenance standards for broad-based index options); and 75650 (August 7, 2015), 80 FR 48600 (August 13, 2015) (SR-EDGX-2015-18) (order approving options trading rules, including generic listing and maintenance standards for broad-based and narrow-based index options).

    The Commission also finds the requirements that all securities comprising the index be an “NMS stock” as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Act,33 and that the index value be disseminated at least once every 15 seconds during trading hours of the index, will contribute significantly to the transparency of the market for such index options.

    33See 17 CFR 242.600.

    The Commission further notes that the Exchange's rules that are applicable to broad-based and narrow-based index options, including provisions addressing sales practices, floor trading procedures, position and exercise limits, margin requirements, and trading halts and suspensions, will continue to apply to any broad-based or narrow-based index options listed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.

    The Commission's approval of the Exchange's proposed listing standards for broad-based and narrow-based index options will allow those index option products that satisfy the generic listing standards to begin trading pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act, without the need for notice and comment and Commission approval. The Exchange's ability to rely on Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act for these products potentially reduces the time frame for listing and trading these securities, and thus enhances investors' opportunities.34

    34 The Exchange, however, must maintain regulatory oversight over any products listed under the generic listing standards through adequate surveillance. The Exchange represents that it has an adequate surveillance program in place for index options. See Notice, supra note 3, at 8552.

    B. Surveillance

    As noted above,35 the Commission believes that the Exchange must maintain regulatory oversight over any products listed under the generic listing standards through adequate surveillance, and the Exchange represents that it has an adequate surveillance program in place for index options. The Commission also believes that a surveillance sharing agreement between an Exchange proposing to list a stock index derivative product and the exchange(s) trading the stocks underlying the derivative product is an important measure for surveillance of the derivative and underlying securities markets. The Commission notes that such agreements ensure the availability of information necessary to detect and deter potential manipulations and other trading abuses, thereby making the stock index product less readily susceptible to manipulation. When a new derivative securities product based upon domestic securities is listed and traded on an exchange pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act, the exchange should determine that the markets upon which all of the U.S. component securities trade are members of the ISG, which provides information relevant to the surveillance of the trading of securities on other market centers.36 In this regard, all of the registered national securities exchanges, including the Exchange, as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), are members of the ISG.

    35See supra note 34.

    36See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 40761 (December 8, 1998), 63 FR 70952 (December 22, 1998) (File No. S7-13-98).

    For new derivative securities products based on securities from a foreign market, the SRO should have a comprehensive Intermarket Surveillance Agreement with the market for the securities underlying the new securities product.37 Accordingly, the Commission finds that the requirement that no more than 20% of the weight of the index may be comprised of non-U.S. component securities (stocks or ADRs) that are not subject to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement between the particular U.S. exchange and the primary market of the underlying security will continue to ensure that the Exchange has the ability to adequately surveil trading in the broad-based and narrow-based index options and the ADR components of the index.38

    37Id.

    38See Proposed Rule 1802(b)(9) and (d)(10).

    IV. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,39 that the proposed rule change (SR-PEARL-2018-02), be and hereby is approved.

    39 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.40

    40 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08053 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) is publishing this notice to comply with requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which requires agencies to submit proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements to OMB for review and approval, and to publish a notice in the Federal Register notifying the public of that submission.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before May 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should refer to the information collection by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Agency Clearance Officer, Curtis Rich, Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20416; and SBA Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Curtis Rich, Agency Clearance Officer, (202) 205-7030 [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    SBA is required to survey affected disaster areas, within a state upon request by the Governor of that state to determine if there is sufficient damage to warrant a Disaster Declaration, Information is obtained from individuals, businesses, and public officials.

    Solicitation of Public Comments

    Comments may be submitted on (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the agency to properly perform its functions; (b) whether the burden estimates are accurate; (c) whether there are ways to minimize the burden, including through the use of automated techniques or other forms of information technology; and (d) whether there are ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information.

    Copies: A copy of the Form OMB 83-1, supporting statement, and other documents submitted to OMB for review may be obtained from the Agency Clearance Officer.

    Summary of Information Collections

    Title: Disaster Survey Worksheet.

    Description of Respondents: Affected Disaster Areas.

    Form Number: SBA Form 987.

    Estimated Annual Respondents: 2,760.

    Estimated Annual Responses: 2,760.

    Estimated Annual Hour Burden: 229.

    Curtis Rich, Management Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08064 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. AB 1253] State of South Dakota Acting by and Through its Department of Transportation—Adverse Discontinuance of Operating Authority—Napa-Platte Regional Railroad Authority

    On March 29, 2018, the State of South Dakota acting by and through its Department of Transportation (the State) filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 10903 requesting that the Surface Transportation Board (the Board) authorize the third-party, or “adverse,” discontinuance of the operating authority of Napa-Platte Regional Railroad Authority (NPRRA) 1 over approximately 13.4 miles of rail line extending from milepost (MP) 0.0, referred to as Napa Junction, in South Dakota, to MP 13.4+/− near Tabor, S.D. (the Napa-Tabor Line). The Napa-Tabor Line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 57078 and 57063.2

    1 According to the State, NPRRA is a political subdivision of the State of South Dakota and is a non-operating common carrier railroad.

    2 In a letter filed April 11, 2018, the State informed the Board that United States Postal Service Zip Code 57058 had inadvertently been included in its verified notice.

    According to the State, the Napa-Tabor Line is part of a longer line that runs from MP 0.0 to MP 83.3 near Platte, S.D. (the Napa-Platte Line). The State explains that the Napa-Platte Line was authorized for abandonment in 1980 but, prior to being abandoned, was acquired by the State. See Ogilvie—Aban.—in S.D., Iowa, & Neb., AB 7 (Sub-No. 88) (ICC served May 14, 1980); see also Napa-Platte Reg'l R.R. Auth.—Modified Rail Certificate, FD 35026, slip op. at 1-2 (STB served June 14, 2007). The State further explains that, in 2007, NPRRA obtained Board authority to lease and operate the Napa-Tabor Line. See Napa-Platte Reg'l R.R. Auth.—Lease & Operation Exemption—Dakota Short Line Corp., FD 35025 (STB served May 31, 2007). According to the State, NPRRA's last lease from the State expired on September 20, 2015. The State claims that neither NPRRA nor any other rail carrier provided common carrier service over the Napa-Tabor Line between 2007 and September 20, 2015. The State further claims that, beginning September 21, 2015, the State has leased the Napa-Tabor Line and a connecting line segment to the Dakota Southern Railway Company (DSRC). See Dakota S. Ry.—Notice of Modified Certificate of Pub. Convenience & Necessity—Yankton, Bon Homme, & Charles Mix Ctys., S.D., FD 36086 (STB served Jan. 25, 2017). According to the State, following the termination of NPRRA's lease, the State requested that NPRRA seek a voluntary termination of its lease and operating authority over the Napa-Tabor Line, but NPRRA has not done so. The State now seeks Board authority through an adverse discontinuance proceeding to terminate NPRRA's regulatory authority to lease and operate the Napa-Tabor Line. The State asserts that NPRRA does not oppose the State's application for adverse discontinuance.

    In a decision served in this proceeding on May 31, 2017, the State was granted exemptions from several statutory provisions as well as waivers of certain Board regulations that were not relevant to its adverse discontinuance application or that sought information not available to the State.

    According to the State, the Napa-Tabor Line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in the State's possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it. The State's entire case-in-chief for adverse abandonment and discontinuance was filed with the application.

    Any interested person may file written comments concerning the proposed adverse discontinuance or protests (including protestant's entire opposition case) by May 14, 2018. Persons who may oppose the proposed adverse discontinuance but who do not wish to participate fully in the process by submitting verified statements of witnesses containing detailed evidence should file comments. Persons opposing the proposed adverse discontinuance who wish to participate actively and fully in the process should file a protest, observing the filing, service, and content requirements of 49 CFR 1152.25. The State's reply is due by May 29, 2018.

    All filings in response to this notice must refer to Docket No. AB 1253 and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) John H. LeSeur, Slover & Loftus LLP, 1224 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Filings may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing should comply with the instructions found on the Board's “www.stb.gov” website, at the “E-FILING” link. Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format should send the original and 10 copies of the filing to the Board with a certificate of service. Except as otherwise set forth in 49 CFR 1152, every document filed with the Board must be served on all parties to this adverse discontinuance proceeding. 49 CFR 1104.12(a).

    Persons seeking further information concerning discontinuance procedures may contact the Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245-0238 or refer to the full discontinuance regulations at 49 CFR 1152. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

    Board decisions and notices are available on our website at “WWW.STB.GOV.”

    Decided: April 12, 2018.

    By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.

    Raina Contee, Clearance Clerk.
    [FR Doc. 2018-08134 Filed 4-17-18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD 60-Day Notice of Intent To Seek Extension of Approval and Merger of Collections: Statutory Authority To Preserve Rail Service AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an extension of approval for the information collections. The Board is also seeking approval to merge into this collection (OMB Control Number: 2140-0022) the collection of information about notifications of Trails Act agreement and substitute sponsorship (OMB Control Number: 2140-0017).

    DATES:

    Comments on this information collection should be submitted by June 18, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all comments to Chris Oehrle, PRA Officer, Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001, or to [email protected] When submitting comments, please refer to “Paperwork Reduction Act Comments, Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information regarding this collection, contact Michael Higgins, Deputy Director, Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245-0284 or at [email protected] [Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board currently collects information from those seeking statutory authority to preserve rail carrier service under OMB Control Number 2140-0022. The authority under OMB Control Number 2140-0022 includes the collection of information under the Trails Act and its regulations, such as the notifications of Trails Act agreement and substitute sponsorship, which is also addressed under OMB Control Number 2140-0017. This request proposes to combine collections under Control Numbers 2140-0017 and 2140-0022, with 2140-0022 being the survivor. The Board will request to discontinue Control Number 2140-0017 upon OMB approval of the merger.

    Comments are requested concerning: (1) The accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (2) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (3) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate; and (4) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility. Submitted comments will be summarized and included in the Board's request for OMB approval.

    Description of Collection 1

    Title: Statutory Authority to Preserve Rail Service.

    OMB Control Number: 2140-0022.

    STB Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Extension without change.

    Respondents: Affected shippers, communities, or other interested persons seeking to preserve rail service over rail lines that are proposed or identified for abandonment, and railroads that are required to provide information to the offeror or applicant.

    Number of Respondents: 40.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Table—Number of Yearly Responses Type of filing Number
  • of filings
  • Offer of Financial Assistance 1 OFA—Railroad Reply to Request for Information 1 OFA—Request To Set Terms and Conditions 1