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Federal Register Highlights – 10/3/16

October 7, 2016

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for October 3, 2016:

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard is extending the effective period for the temporary safety zone on a portion of Shark River, in Neptune City, NJ. That temporary regulation was set to expire September 30, 2016. Extending the effective period for this safety zone provides continued and uninterrupted protection for the dredge operations and for the safety of life on navigable waters during dredging operations. This rule is effective September 30, 2016. Effective September 30, 2016, the effective period for §165.T05–0824, added at 81 FR 59484, August 30, 2016, effective from September 1, 2016, through September 30, 2016, is extended through October 31, 2016.

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to amend its regulations governing registration, recordation, licensing, and other services that the Office provides. The amendments will improve the quality of the Office’s regulations by updating cross-references to the Copyright Act and the Office’s regulations, replacing outdated terminology, reflecting structural changes to the Office and its senior management, eliminating expired or obsolete provisions, and correcting non-substantive errors. While these amendments are intended to be technical in nature, out of an abundance of caution, the Office is publishing the proposed regulations for public comment. Written comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 2, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket No. 2016–5.)

PROPOSED RULE: Through this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”), the Economic Development Administration (“EDA”), U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”), proposes and requests comments on updates to the agency’s regulations implementing the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (“PWEDA”). In particular, through this NPRM EDA is proposing important changes to the regulations governing the Revolving Loan Fund (“RLF”) program that are intended to reflect current best practices and strengthen EDA’s efforts to evaluate, monitor, and improve RLF performance by establishing the Risk Analysis System, a risk-based management framework, to evaluate and manage the RLF program. The proposed Risk Analysis System is modeled on the Uniform Financial Institutions Rating System, commonly known as the capital adequacy, assets, management capability, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity (“CAMELS”) rating system, which has been used since 1979 to assess financial institutions on a uniform basis and to identify those in need of additional attention. EDA also proposes to reorganize the RLF regulations to improve their readability and clarify the requirements that apply to the distinct phases of an RLF award. In addition, EDA proposes specific changes to RLF requirements to make RLF awards more efficient for Recipients to administer and EDA to monitor. In addition, through this NPRM EDA proposes important, but less comprehensive updates to other parts of its regulations, including revising definitions, replacing references to superseded regulations to reflect the promulgation of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements (2 CFR part 200) (“Uniform Guidance”), streamlining the provisions that outline EDA’s application process, and clarifying EDA’s property management regulations. Written comments on this NPRM must be submitted by December 2, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 0610–AA69.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to amend the regulations implementing the loan guarantee provisions in Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Title XVII or the Act). The proposal is intended to increase clarity and transparency, reduce paperwork, and provide a more workable interpretation of certain statutory provisions in light of DOE’s experience with the Title XVII program. Comments on this proposed rule must be postmarked no later than November 2, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 1901–AB38.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to revise provisions applicable to greenhouse gases (GHG) in the EPA’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and title V permitting regulations. This action is in response to the June 23, 2014, U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA and the April 10, 2015, Amended Judgment by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA. The proposed PSD and title V revisions involve changes to several regulatory definitions in the PSD and title V regulations, revisions to the PSD provisions on GHG Plantwide Applicability Limitations (PALs), and revisions to other provisions necessary to ensure that neither the PSD nor title V rules require a source to obtain a permit solely because the source emits or has the potential to emit (PTE) GHGs above the applicable thresholds. In addition, the EPA is also proposing a significant emissions rate (SER) for GHGs under the PSD program that would establish an appropriate threshold level below which Best Available Control Technology (BACT) is not required for a source’s GHG emissions. Comments must be received on or before December 2, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2015–0355.)

RULE: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J. This AD prohibits autorotation training flights until the hardness of the landing gear rear crosstube (crosstube) is inspected. This AD is prompted by two reports of crosstubes failing during ground handling. These actions are intended to prevent failure of a crosstube, which could result in dropping or tipping of the helicopter. This AD becomes effective October 18, 2016.

PROPOSED RULE: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) proposes to set or adjust patent fees as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act or AIA). The USPTO is a business-like operation where external factors affect the productivity of the workforce and the demand for patent products and services. The proposed fee adjustments are needed to provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover its aggregate cost of patent operations (based on current projections), while maintaining momentum towards achieving strategic goals. This rulemaking represents the second iteration of patent fee rulemaking by the USPTO to set fees under the authority of the AIA; the first AIA patent fee setting rule was published in January 2013. This current rulemaking is a result of the USPTO assessing its costs and fees, as is consistent with federal fee setting standards. Following a biennial review of fees, costs, and revenues that began in 2015, the Office concluded that further targeted fee adjustments were necessary to continue funding patent operations, enhance patent quality, and continue to work toward patent pendency goals, strengthen the Office’s information technology (IT) capability and infrastructure, and achieve operating reserve targets. Further, in several instances, the fee change proposals offered during the biennial fee review process were enhanced by the availability of cost and workload data (e.g., the number of requests for a service) that was not available in 2013. As a result, the 205 proposed fee adjustments outlined in this proposed rule align directly with the Office’s strategic goals and four key fee setting policy factors, discussed in detail in Part V. The Office solicits comments from the public on this proposed rulemaking. Written comments must be received on or before December 2, 2016 to ensure consideration. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket No. PTO–P–2015–0056.)

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