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Federal Register Highlights – 7/18/16

July 18, 2016

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 18, 2016:

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016–17 through the 2018–19 crop years from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound of almonds handled under the marketing order (order). Of the $0.04 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.024 per pound) would be available as credit- back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. The assessment rate would return to $0.03 for the 2019–20 and subsequent crop years, and the amount available for handler credit-back would return to $0.018 per pound (60 percent). The Board locally administers the order and is comprised of growers and handlers of almonds grown in California. Assessments upon almond handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year begins August 1 and ends July 31. The $0.04 assessment rate would remain in effect until July 31, 2019. Beginning August 1, 2019, the assessment rate would return to $0.03 and would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Comments must be received by August 2, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket No. AMS–SC–16–0045.)

PROPOSED RULE: We are proposing to amend the regulations that govern the importation of animals and animal products to revise the conditions for the importation of live sheep, goats, and certain other non-bovine ruminants, and products derived from sheep and goats, with regard to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie. We are proposing to remove BSE-related import restrictions on sheep and goats and most of their products, and to add import restrictions related to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies for certain wild, zoological, or other non-bovine ruminant species. The conditions we are proposing for the importation of specified commodities are based on internationally accepted scientific literature and will in general align our regulations with guidelines set out in the World Organization for Animal Health’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before September 16, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket No. APHIS–2009–0095.)

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Norfolk Southern Railroad vertical lift span bridge across the Black Warrior River, mile 267.8, at Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama. This deviation is necessary to install drive motors necessary for the continued safe operation of the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed for two (2) three-hour periods daily, Monday through Thursday for three consecutive weeks. This deviation is effective from August 1, 2016 through August 18, 2016.

TEMPORARY RULE: This action closes the Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/ hook gear for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2016. The closure is required by regulation because the common pool fishery has caught 90 percent of its Trimester 1 quota for Georges Bank cod. This closure is intended to prevent an overage of the common pool’s quota for this stock. This action is effective July 13, 2016, through August 31, 2016.

TEMPORARY RULE: NMFS is temporarily closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna for vessels over 24 meters in overall length in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) through December 31, 2016, because the 2016 catch limit of 500 metric tons is expected to be reached. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding the applicable catch limit established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in Resolution C–13–01 (Multiannual Program for the Conservation of Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean During 2014–2016). The rule is effective 12 a.m. local time July 25, 2016, through 11:59 p.m. local time December 31, 2016.

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