Alaska

alaska
TitlePublishedFR Doc.Description
TitlePublishedFR Doc.Description
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-Applicability and Scope; Tongass National Forest Submerged Lands2018-May-232018-10938The U.S. District Court for Alaska in its October 17, 2011, order in Peratrovich et al. v. United States and the State of Alaska, 3:92-cv-0734-HRH (D. Alaska), enjoined the United States ``to promptly initiate regulatory proceedings for the purpose of implementing the subsistence provisions in Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) with respect to submerged public lands within Tongass National Forest'' and directed entry of judgment. To comply with the order, the Federal Subsistence Board (Board) initiated a regulatory proceeding to identify those submerged lands within the Tongass National Forest that did not pass to the State of Alaska at statehood and, therefore, remain Federal public lands subject to the subsistence provisions of ANILCA. Following the Court's decision, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the USDA-Forest Service (USDA-FS) started a review of hundreds of potential pre-statehood (January 3, 1959) withdrawals in the marine waters of the Tongass National Forest. In April and October of 2015, BLM submitted initial lists of submerged public lands to the Board. This rule adds those submerged parcels to the subsistence regulations to ensure compliance with the Court order. Additional listings will be published as BLM and the USDA-FS continue their review of pre-statehood withdrawals.
Interior Department -- Alaska; Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves2018-May-222018-10735The National Park Service proposes to amend its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska. This proposed rule would remove a regulatory provision issued by the National Park Service in 2015 that prohibited certain sport hunting practices that are otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska. These proposed changes are consistent with Secretary of the Interior Orders 3347 and 3356.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reclassifying Squid Species in the BSAI and GOA2018-Apr-112018-07510NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 117 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), Amendment 106 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and to update the species codes for octopus. This proposed rule would prohibit directed fishing for the squid species complex (squids) by Federally permitted groundfish fishermen and specify a squid retention limit in the GOA groundfish fisheries consistent with the existing BSAI squid retention limit, and would make minor corrections to the octopus species codes. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the groundfish FMPs, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2019-20 and 2020-21 Subsistence Taking of Fish and Shellfish Regulations2018-Mar-232018-05848This proposed rule would establish regulations for fish and shellfish seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish and shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years and subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle; in addition, during the rulemaking cycle for the fish and shellfish regulations, the Board will accept proposals for nonrural determinations. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence fish and shellfish taking regulations. This proposed rule could also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Commerce Department -- Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan2018-Mar-202018-05623NMFS is implementing this interim final rule to establish regulations for 2018 Pacific halibut catch limits in the following International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Areas: Area 2C (Southeast Alaska), Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska), Area 3B (Western Gulf of Alaska), and Area 4 (subdivided into five areas, 4A through 4E, in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands of Western Alaska). This interim final rule revises a catch sharing plan (CSP) for guided sport (charter) and commercial individual fishing quota (IFQ) halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, revises regulations applicable to the charter halibut fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and revises a CSP for the commercial IFQ and Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) halibut fisheries in Areas 4C, 4D, and 4E. This action is necessary because the IPHC, at its annual meeting, did not recommend new catch limits or specific CSP allocations and charter management measures for Areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E for 2018, and the 2017 IPHC regulations are in effect until superseded. This interim final rule is necessary because immediate action is needed to ensure that halibut catch limits, charter halibut fishery management measures, and CSP allocations are in place at the start of the commercial IFQ and CDQ halibut fishery on March 24, 2018, that better protect the declining Pacific halibut resource. This action is intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut and is within the authority of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to establish additional regulations governing the taking of halibut which are more restrictive than those adopted by the IPHC.
Transportation Department -- Aviation Safety Organization Changes2018-Mar-052018-03374The FAA Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) and Flight Standards Service (AFS) have reorganized to align with functional organization design concepts. The AIR reorganization included eliminating product directorates and restructuring and re-designating field offices. The AFS reorganization included eliminating geographic regions, realigning headquarters organizations, and restructuring field offices. Currently, various rules in the Code of Federal Regulations refer to specific AIR and AFS offices that are obsolete after the reorganizations. This rule replaces specific references with generic references not dependent on any particular office structure. This rule does not impose any new obligations and is only intended to eliminate any confusion about with whom regulated entities and other persons should interact when complying with these various rules in the future.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements2018-Feb-232018-03548NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify regulations governing the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program. This proposed rule includes three actions. The first action would allow Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups to lease (to receive by transfer) halibut individual fishing quota (IFQ) in IFQ regulatory areas 4B, 4C, and 4D in years of extremely low halibut commercial catch limits. This proposed action is necessary to provide additional harvest opportunities to CDQ groups and community residents, and provide IFQ holders with the opportunity to receive value for their IFQ when the halibut commercial catch limits may not be large enough to provide for an economically viable fishery for IFQ holders. The second action would remove an obsolete reference in the IFQ Program regulations. The third action would clarify IFQ vessel use cap regulations. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2017-18 and 2018-19 Subsistence Taking of Fish Regulations2018-Jan-232018-00461This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rule also revises fish customary and traditional use determinations.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Nontrawl Lead Level 2 Observers2017-Dec-272017-27935NMFS proposes regulations to modify specific provisions of the North Pacific Observer Program. The first two elements of this proposed rule would modify the requirements for an observer to obtain a nontrawl lead level 2 (LL2) deployment endorsement and implement a pre-cruise meeting requirement for vessels required to carry an observer with a nontrawl LL2 deployment endorsement. These elements are intended to increase the number of observers that qualify for a nontrawl LL2 deployment endorsement and maintain observer safety and data quality. The third element of this proposed rule would make editorial changes, and modify observer coverage and reporting requirements for vessels when participating in the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. This element is intended to promote operational efficiency, and remove unnecessary requirements for specific vessels participating in the CDQ Program. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and the FMP for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.
Interior Department -- Effectuating Congressional Nullification of the Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska Under the Congressional Review Act2017-Nov-092017-24324By operation of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the ``Non- subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska'' (non-subsistence take of wildlife rule) shall be treated as if it had never taken effect. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues this document to effect the removal of any amendments, deletions, or other modifications made by the nullified rule and the reversion to the text of the regulations in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the non-subsistence take of wildlife rule.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2017-Nov-092017-24403NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 48 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to revise regulations implementing the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program and the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This final rule revises the Crab FMP and regulations that govern how NMFS determines the amount of limited access privileges held and used by groups in the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program (CDQ Program) for the purposes of monitoring the excessive share limits under the AFA Program and the CR Program. This final rule is necessary to align regulations and the Crab FMP to be consistent with an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and NMFS' current method of monitoring excessive share limits for CDQ groups in the AFA Program and the CR Program. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Crab FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Authorize Recreational Quota Entity To Participate in the Halibut IFQ Program2017-Oct-032017-20894NMFS issues a proposed rule that would authorize formation of a recreational quota entity (RQE) that could participate in the Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A in the Gulf of Alaska. The RQE would be authorized to purchase and hold a limited amount of commercial halibut quota share that would yield additional pounds of recreational fishing quota on an annual basis to augment the amount of halibut available for harvest in the charter halibut fishery. The RQE would provide a mechanism for a compensated reallocation of a portion of commercial halibut quota share to the charter halibut fishery. This proposed rule is necessary to promote social and economic flexibility in the charter halibut fishery, and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2017-Aug-222017-17607NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 48 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and a regulatory amendment to revise regulations implementing the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program and the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This proposed rule would revise how NMFS determines the amount of limited access privileges held and used by groups in the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program (CDQ Program) for the purposes of managing the excessive share limits under the AFA Program and the CR Program. This proposed rule is necessary to align regulations and the Crab FMP to be consistent with an amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and NMFS' current method of managing excessive share limits for CDQ groups in the AFA Program and the CR Program. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Crab FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Integrating Electronic Monitoring Into the North Pacific Observer Program2017-Aug-082017-16703NMFS hereby issues regulations to implement Amendment 114 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 104 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (collectively referred to as the FMPs). Amendments 114/104 and this final rule integrate electronic monitoring (EM) into the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program). This final rule establishes a process for owners or operators of vessels using nontrawl gear to request to participate in the EM selection pool and the requirements for vessel owners or operators while in the EM selection pool. This action is necessary to improve the collection of data needed for the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of managed fisheries. Amendments 114/104 are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMPs, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2018-19 and 2019-20 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations2017-May-172017-09967This proposed rule would establish regulations for hunting and trapping seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means related to taking of wildlife for subsistence uses during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence wildlife taking regulations. This rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Integrating Electronic Monitoring Into the North Pacific Observer Program2017-Mar-232017-05753NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 114 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 104 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), (collectively referred to as the FMPs). If approved, Amendments 114/104 and this proposed rule would integrate electronic monitoring (EM) into the North Pacific Observer Program. The proposed rule would establish a process for owners or operators of vessels using nontrawl gear to request to participate in the EM selection pool and the requirements for vessel owners or operators while in the EM selection pool. This action is necessary to improve the collection of data needed for the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of managed fisheries. Amendments 114/104 are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMPs, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allow the Use of Longline Pot Gear in the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery; Amendment 1012017-Jan-312017-02055In accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ``Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,'' published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 (the Memorandum), this action stays the final rule NMFS published on December 28, 2016, in order to delay its effective date.
Interior Department -- Alaska; Subsistence Collections2017-Jan-122016-32045The National Park Service amends it regulations for National Park System units in Alaska to allow qualified subsistence users to collect nonedible fish and wildlife parts and plants for creating handicrafts for barter and customary trade. The rule also clarifies that capturing, collecting or possessing living wildlife is generally prohibited and adopts restrictions on using human-produced foods to bait bears for subsistence uses.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Eligibility, Certification, and Employment and Training Provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 20082017-Jan-062016-30663This final rule implements provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) affecting the eligibility, benefits, certification, and employment and training (E&T) requirements for applicant or participant households in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The rule amends the SNAP regulations to: Exclude military combat pay from the income of SNAP households; raise the minimum standard deduction and the minimum benefit for small households; eliminate the cap on the deduction for dependent care expenses; index resource limits to inflation; exclude retirement and education accounts from countable resources; clarify reporting requirements under simplified reporting; permit States to provide transitional benefits to households leaving State-funded cash assistance programs; allow States to establish telephonic and gestured signature systems; permit States to use E&T funds to provide job retention services; and update requirements regarding the E&T funding cycle. These provisions are intended to more accurately reflect needs, reduce barriers to participation, and improve efficiency in the administration of the program. This rule also replaces outdated language in SNAP certification regulations with the new program name and updates procedures for accessing SNAP benefits in drug and alcohol treatment centers and group living arrangements with use of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. This rule provides States with regulatory options for conducting telephone interviews in lieu of face-to-face interviews and for averaging student work hours. Finally, the Department is issuing an interim final rule (with a request for additional comment) that will require that drug and alcohol treatment and group living arrangements (GLA) centers to: Submit completed change report forms to the State agency when a resident leaves the center; notify the State agency within 5 days when the center is not able to provide the resident with their EBT card at departure; and return EBT cards to residents with pro-rated benefits based up on the date of their departure.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allow the Use of Longline Pot Gear in the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery; Amendment 1012016-Dec-282016-31057NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 101 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) for the sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This final rule authorizes the use of longline pot gear in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. In addition, this final rule establishes management measures to minimize potential conflicts between hook-and-line and longline pot gear used in the sablefish IFQ fisheries in the GOA. This final rule also includes regulations developed under the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) to authorize harvest of halibut IFQ caught incidentally in longline pot gear used in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. This final rule is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the sablefish IFQ fleet and minimize potential fishery interactions with whales and seabirds. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Halibut Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2016-Dec-202016-30068NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to make minor clarifications to regulations implementing the Crab FMP. This final rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to the Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: the eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT). This regulation exempts EBT and WBT IPQ crab that is custom processed at a facility through contractual arrangements with the processing facility owners from being applied against the IPQ use cap of the processing facility owners, thereby allowing a facility to process more crab without triggering the IPQ use cap. This exemption is necessary to allow all of the EBT and WBT Class A individual fishing quota crab to be processed at the facilities currently processing EBT and WBT crab, and will have significant positive economic effects on the fishermen, processors, and communities that participate in the EBT and WBT fisheries. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Crab FMP, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Photo Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card Implementation Requirements2016-Dec-132016-29841The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is updating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or ``Program'') regulations to set implementation parameters, prerequisites and operational standards required of State agencies that intend to implement the photo Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card option provided under Section 7(h)(9) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (``the Act''). The updated regulations establish procedures to ensure State implementation is consistent with all Federal requirements as they relate to photo EBT cards, including establishing procedures to ensure: Any other appropriate member of the household or authorized representative (including any individual permitted by the household to purchase food on its behalf) who is not pictured on the photo EBT card may use the card; placing photos on EBT cards does not affect the eligibility process and does not impose additional conditions of eligibility or adversely impact the ability of appropriate household members to access the nutrition assistance they need. Failure by a State agency to adhere to the provisions of this rule may result in penalties, including loss of federal funding. The rule will also codify several other program updates to reflect the current operations of the program.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Student Eligibility, Convicted Felons, Lottery and Gambling, and State Verification Provisions of the Agricultural Act of 20142016-Dec-012016-28520The proposed action would implement four sections of the Agricultural Act of 2014, (2014 Farm Bill), affecting eligibility, benefits, and program administration requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Section 4007 clarifies that participants in a SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program are eligible for benefits if they are enrolled or participate in specific programs that will assist SNAP recipients in obtaining the skills needed for the current job market. Section 4008 prohibits anyone convicted of Federal aggravated sexual abuse, murder, sexual exploitation and abuse of children, sexual assault, or similar State laws, and who are also not in compliance with the terms of their sentence or parole or are a fleeing felon, from receiving SNAP benefits. Section 4009 prohibits households containing a member with substantial lottery and gambling winnings from receiving SNAP benefits, until the household meets the allowable financial resources and income eligibility requirements of the program. Section 4009 also provides that State SNAP agencies are required, to the maximum extent practicable, to establish cooperative agreements with gaming entities in the State to identify SNAP recipients with substantial winnings. Section 4015 requires all State agencies to have a system in place to verify income, eligibility and immigration status.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 1132016-Nov-232016-28152NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 113 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). This final rule modifies the management of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery to set aside a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod total allowable catch for harvest by vessels directed fishing for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod and delivering their catch for processing to a shoreside processor located on land west of 170[deg] W. longitude in the Aleutian Islands (``Aleutian Islands shoreplant''). The harvest set-aside applies only if specific notification and performance requirements are met, and only during the first few months of the fishing year. This harvest set-aside provides the opportunity for vessels, Aleutian Islands shoreplants, and the communities where Aleutian Islands shoreplants are located to receive benefits from a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod fishery. The notification and performance requirements preserve an opportunity for the complete harvest of the BSAI Pacific cod resource if the set-aside is not fully harvested. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of Amendment 113, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Civil Rights Update to the Federal-State Agreement2016-Nov-172016-27604The proposed action would update civil rights assurance language contained in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations on the Federal-State Agreement (FSA). The rule does not contain any new requirements and would codify protections already required by Federal law and existing policy.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs-Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity2016-Nov-172016-27196As the Nation's housing agency, HUD has the unique charge to promote the Federal goal of providing decent housing and a suitable living environment for all. In February 2012, HUD issued a final rule requiring HUD programs to make eligibility determinations for individuals seeking admission to HUD-assisted or -insured housing without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The 2012 rule did not, however, cover HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. Through this final rule, HUD revises its Native American and Native Hawaiian program regulations to ensure all eligible individuals and families, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, have access to these programs. This final rule seeks to provide consistency across HUD programs and restates the Department's commitment that eligibility for admission and continued occupancy in HUD-assisted and -insured housing is not based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements2016-Oct-132016-24457NMFS issues regulations to modify the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management areas. This rule is organized into four actions. Under the first action, NMFS implements a requirement for tender vessel operators to use the applications software ``tLandings'' to prepare electronic landing reports. This action is necessary to improve timeliness and reliability of landing reports for catcher vessels delivering to tender vessels for use in catch accounting and inseason management. Under the second action, NMFS modifies the definition of a buying station. This action is necessary to clarify the different requirements that apply to tender vessels and land-based buying stations. Under the third action, NMFS removes the requirement for buying stations to complete the buying station report because this report is no longer necessary. Under the fourth action, NMFS revises the definition of a mothership to remove unnecessary formatting without changing the substance of the definition. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area Trawl Catcher Vessels2016-Sep-302016-23536NMFS issues regulations to modify observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels participating in the trawl limited access fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This final rule allows the owner of a trawl catcher vessel to request, on an annual basis, that NMFS place the vessel in the full observer coverage category for all directed fishing for groundfish using trawl gear in the BSAI in the following calendar year. These regulations are necessary to relieve vessel owners who request full observer coverage of the reporting requirements and observer fee liability associated with the partial observer coverage category. Additionally, this final rule makes minor technical corrections to observer program regulations. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2016-Sep-232016-22911NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to make minor clarifications to regulations implementing the Crab FMP. This proposed rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to the Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: The eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT). This proposed rule would exempt EBT and WBT IPQ crab that is custom processed at a facility through contractual arrangements with the processing facility owners from being applied against the IPQ use cap of the processing facility owners, thereby allowing a facility to process more crab without triggering the IPQ use cap. This proposed exemption is necessary to allow all of the EBT and WBT Class A individual fishing quota crab to be processed at the facilities currently processing EBT and WBT crab, and would have significant positive economic effects on the fishermen, processors, and communities that participate in the EBT and WBT fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Crab FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 1032016-Sep-122016-21808NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). Amendment 103 and this final rule allow NMFS to reapportion unused Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) within and among specific trawl sectors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska (GOA), based on specific criteria and within specified limits. Amendment 103 and this final rule do not increase the current combined annual PSC limit of 32,500 Chinook salmon that applies to Central and Western GOA trawl sectors under the FMP. Amendment 103 and this final rule promote more flexible management of GOA trawl Chinook salmon PSC, increase the likelihood that groundfish resources are more fully harvested, reduce the potential for fishery closures, and maintain the overall Chinook salmon PSC limits in the Central and Western GOA. Amendment 103 and this final rule are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allow the Use of Longline Pot Gear in the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery; Amendment 1012016-Aug-192016-19795NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 101 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) for the sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This proposed rule would authorize the use of longline pot gear in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. This proposed rule would establish management measures to minimize potential conflicts between hook-and-line and longline pot gear used in the sablefish IFQ fisheries in the GOA. This proposed rule also includes proposed regulations developed under the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) to authorize harvest of halibut IFQ caught incidentally in longline pot gear used in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. This proposed rule is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the sablefish IFQ fleet and minimize potential fishery interactions with whales and seabirds. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Halibut Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2016-17 and 2017-18 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations2016-Aug-082016-17832This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means related to the taking of wildlife for subsistence uses in Alaska for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rule also revises wildlife customary and traditional use determinations.
Interior Department -- Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska2016-Aug-052016-18117We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or FWS), are amending regulations for National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in Alaska that govern predator control and public participation and closure procedures. The amendments to the regulations are designed to clarify how our existing mandates for the conservation of natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health on refuges in Alaska relate to predator control; prohibit several particularly effective methods and means for take of predators; and update our public participation and closure procedures. This rule does not change Federal subsistence regulations or restrict the taking of fish or wildlife for subsistence uses under Federal subsistence regulations.
Interior Department -- Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities2016-Aug-052016-18583In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended, and its implementing regulations, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, finalize incidental take regulations (ITR) that authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of Pacific walruses and polar bears during oil and gas industry activities in the Beaufort Sea and adjacent northern coast of Alaska. Industry operations include similar types of activities covered by the previous 5-year Beaufort Sea ITRs effective from August 3, 2011, through August 3, 2016. This rule is also effective for 5 years from the date of issuance.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 1132016-Aug-012016-18074NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 113 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). This proposed rule would modify the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery to set aside a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod total allowable catch for harvest by vessels directed fishing for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod and delivering their catch for processing to shoreside processors located on land west of 170 W. longitude in the Aleutian Islands (Aleutian Islands shoreplants). The harvest set-aside would apply only if specific notification and performance requirements are met, and only during the first few months of the fishing year. This harvest set-aside would provide the opportunity for vessels, Aleutian Islands shoreplants, and the communities where Aleutian Islands shoreplants are located to receive benefits from a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod fishery, while the notification and performance requirements would preserve an opportunity for the complete harvest of the BSAI Pacific cod resource should complications arise with participation in the harvest set-aside fishery. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of Amendment 113, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements2016-Aug-012016-18110NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management areas. This proposed rule is organized into four actions. Under the first action, NMFS would implement a requirement for tender vessel operators to use the applications software ``tLandings'' to prepare electronic landing reports. This action is necessary to improve timeliness and reliability of landing reports for catcher vessels delivering to tender vessels for use in catch accounting and inseason management. Under the second action, NMFS would modify the definition of a buying station. This action is necessary to clarify the different requirements that apply to tender vessels and land-based buying stations. Under the third action, NMFS would remove the requirement for buying stations to complete the buying station report because this report is no longer necessary. Under the fourth action, NMFS would revise the definition of a mothership to remove unnecessary formatting without changing the substance of the definition. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment2016-Jul-222016-15229The Coast Guard is issuing a final rule for certain design and approval standards for fire protection, detection, extinguishing equipment, and materials on inspected and uninspected vessels, outer continental shelf facilities, deepwater ports, and mobile offshore drilling units. This rule harmonizes Coast Guard approval processes for fire detection and alarm systems, and revises Coast Guard regulations for other types of equipment, materials, and components, such as spanner wrenches, non-metallic pipes, and sprinkler systems. This rule ensures Coast Guard regulations remain current and addresses advances in technology.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area Trawl Catcher Vessels2016-Jul-072016-15912NMFS is proposing regulations to modify observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels participating in the trawl limited access fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). If approved, this proposed rule would allow the owner of a trawl catcher vessel to request, on an annual basis, that NMFS place the vessel in the full observer coverage category for all directed fishing for groundfish using trawl gear in the BSAI in the following calendar year. This action is necessary to relieve vessel owners who request full observer coverage of the reporting requirements and observer fee liability associated with the partial observer coverage category. In addition, this proposed rule makes minor technical corrections to observer program regulations. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Commercial Fishing Vessels-Implementation of 2010 and 2012 Legislation2016-Jun-212016-14399The Coast Guard proposes to align its commercial fishing industry vessel regulations with the mandatory provisions of 2010 and 2012 legislation passed by Congress that took effect upon enactment. The alignments would change the applicability of current regulations, and add new requirements for safety equipment, vessel examinations, vessel safety standards, the documentation of maintenance, and the termination of unsafe operations. This rule only proposes to implement these legislative mandates, would exercise no Coast Guard regulatory discretion, and would promote the Coast Guard's maritime safety mission. It does not reflect any provision of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, but the preamble to this document discusses its likely impact where appropriate. That Act will be the subject of future Coast Guard regulatory action.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 1032016-Jun-162016-14237NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 103 and this proposed rule would allow NMFS to reapportion unused Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) within and among specific trawl sectors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska (GOA), based on specific criteria and within specified limits. This proposed rule would not increase the current combined annual PSC limit of 32,500 Chinook salmon that applies to Central and Western GOA trawl sectors under the FMP. This proposed rule would provide for more flexible management of GOA trawl Chinook salmon PSC, increase the likelihood that groundfish resources are more fully harvested, reduce the potential for fishery closures, and maintain the overall Chinook salmon PSC limits in the Central and Western GOA. Amendment 103 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bycatch Management in the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery2016-Jun-102016-13697NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 110 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (FMP). Amendment 110 and this final rule improve the management of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by creating a comprehensive salmon bycatch avoidance program. This action is necessary to minimize Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery to the extent practicable while maintaining the potential for the full harvest of the pollock total allowable catch (TAC) within specified prohibited species catch (PSC) limits. Amendment 110 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-Applicability and Scope; Tongass National Forest Submerged Lands2016-Jun-082016-13374The U.S. District Court for Alaska in its October 17, 2011, order in Peratrovich et al. v. United States and the State of Alaska, 3:92-cv-0734-HRH (D. Alaska), enjoined the United States ``to promptly initiate regulatory proceedings for the purpose of implementing the subsistence provisions in Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) with respect to submerged public lands within Tongass National Forest'' and directed entry of judgment. To comply with the order, the Federal Subsistence Board (Board) must initiate a regulatory proceeding to identify those submerged lands within the Tongass National Forest that did not pass to the State of Alaska at statehood and, therefore, remain Federal public lands subject to the subsistence provisions of ANILCA. Following the Court's decision, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the USDA-Forest Service (USDA-FS) started a review of hundreds of potential pre-statehood (January 3, 1959) withdrawals in the marine waters of the Tongass National Forest. In April and October of 2015, BLM submitted initial lists of submerged public lands to the Board. This proposed rule would add those submerged parcels to the subsistence regulations to ensure compliance with the Court order. Additional listings will be published as BLM and the USDA-FS continue their review of pre-statehood withdrawals.
Interior Department -- Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities2016-Jun-072016-13124In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended, and its implementing regulations, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose incidental take regulations (ITR) that authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during oil and gas industry activities in the Beaufort Sea and adjacent northern coast of Alaska. Industry operations include similar types of activities covered by the previous 5-year Beaufort Sea ITR effective from August 3, 2011, through August 3, 2016; this rule would also be effective for 5 years. If this rule is finalized, we will issue Letters of Authorization, upon request, for specific proposed activities in accordance with the regulations. We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or suggestions on these proposed regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)2016-May-102016-10923This proposed rule would amend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program) regulations to establish procedures for planning, requesting and operating a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). The rulemaking is necessary to implement a section of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. This rulemaking also addresses a section of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 and accompanying Executive Order 12673, which provides the authority for the Department to determine the need for SNAP assistance during a presidentially-declared disaster.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs-Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity2016-May-092016-10753This proposed rule would revise regulations for HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs to incorporate existing rules that require HUD programs to be open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Since HUD promulgated the ``Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity'' final rule in February, 2012, HUD has required that HUD-assisted and HUD- insured housing be made available in accordance with program eligibility requirements and without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, and has generally prohibited inquiries into sexual orientation or gender identity. In applying these non-discrimination requirements to HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs, this proposed rule would further the Federal goal of providing decent housing and a suitable living environment for all.
Interior Department -- Refuge-Specific Regulations; Public Use; Kenai National Wildlife Refuge2016-May-052016-10288We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are amending the regulations for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (Kenai NWR or Refuge) that govern existing general public use and recreation. These changes will implement management direction and decisions from our June 2010 Kenai NWR revised comprehensive conservation plan and June 2007 Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area final revised management plan. The amendments to the regulations are designed to enhance natural resource protection, public use activities, and public safety on the Refuge; are necessary to ensure the compatibility of public use activities with the Refuge's purposes and the Refuge System's purposes; and ensure consistency with management policies and approved Refuge management plans.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program2016-May-042016-10356NMFS issues a final rule to implement Amendment 109 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). This final rule amends regulations governing the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program to support increased participation in the groundfish CDQ fisheries (primarily Pacific cod) by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 feet (ft) (14.0 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear. Specifically, this final rule exempts operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear from the requirement to obtain and carry a License Limitation Program (LLP) license when groundfish CDQ fishing. This final rule also reduces observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA when groundfish CDQ fishing, and implements new in-season management and catch accounting requirements to properly account for the harvest of groundfish and halibut and the accrual of halibut prohibited species catch in these fisheries. In addition to the regulations necessary to implement Amendment 109, this final rule removes from the regulations a table and some explanatory text that are no longer necessary. This final rule is intended to facilitate increased participation by residents of CDQ communities in the groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), and to support economic development in western Alaska. This final rule also is intended to promote the goals of the CDQ Program, the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 1112016-Apr-272016-09680NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 111 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). This final rule reduces bycatch limits, also known as prohibited species catch (PSC) limits, for Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish fisheries by specific amounts in four groundfish sectors: The Amendment 80 sector (non-pollock trawl catcher/processors); the BSAI trawl limited access sector (all non-Amendment 80 trawl fishery participants); the non-trawl sector (primarily hook-and-line catcher/ processors); and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program (CDQ Program). This final rule establishes the following halibut PSC limits: 1,745 mt for the Amendment 80 sector; 745 mt for the BSAI trawl limited access sector; 710 mt for the BSAI non-trawl sector; and 315 mt for the CDQ Program. This results in an overall BSAI halibut PSC limit of 3,515 mt. This action is necessary to minimize halibut bycatch in the BSAI groundfish fisheries to the extent practicable and to achieve, on a continuing basis, optimum yield from the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2016-Apr-262016-09678NMFS issues a rule that modifies regulations governing the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This final rule is comprised of three actions. Under the first action, this final rule modifies regulations to create an exemption for participants in the Western Aleutian Islands golden king crab (WAG) fishery from the prohibition against resuming fishing before all CR Program crab have been fully offloaded from a vessel. The first action is intended to allow participants in the WAG fishery to offload live crab to remote ports near the fishing grounds to supply live crab markets. Under the second action, this final rule amends CR Program regulations to clarify current document submission requirements for persons applying to receive captain and crew crab quota share, called C shares, by transfer. Under the third action, this final rule amends License Limitation Program (LLP) regulations to remove the requirement for endorsements on crab LLP licenses for specific crab fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) that are no longer managed under the LLP. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Fixed-Gear Commercial Halibut and Sablefish Fisheries; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program; Cost Recovery Authorized Payment Methods2016-Apr-222016-09308NMFS issues regulations to revise the authorized methods for payment of cost recovery fees for the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. These regulations are necessary to improve data security procedures and to reduce administrative costs of processing cost recovery fee payments. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Discharge Removal Equipment for Vessels Carrying Oil2016-Apr-072016-07977The Coast Guard is finalizing an interim rule that requires vessels carrying oil in bulk as cargo to carry discharge removal equipment, install spill prevention coamings, and install emergency towing arrangements. The rule also requires these vessels to have prearranged capability to calculate damage stability in the event of a casualty. By reducing the risk of oil spills, improving vessel oil spill response capabilities, and minimizing the impact of oil spills on the environment, this rulemaking promotes the Coast Guard's maritime safety and stewardship missions.
Education Department -- Federal Agency Final Regulations Implementing Executive Order 13559: Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations2016-Apr-042016-07339The Agencies publishing this final rule amend or establish their regulations to implement Executive Order 13279, as amended by Executive Order 13559. Executive Order 13279 established fundamental principles to guide the policies of Federal agencies regarding the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in programs that the Federal agencies administer. Executive Order 13559 amended Executive Order 13279 to clarify those principles and add certain protections for beneficiaries of Federal social service programs.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program2016-Mar-312016-07179This rule adopts the interim rule implementing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) nutrition education and obesity prevention grant program with changes as provided in this rule. This rule also amends SNAP regulations to implement section 28 of the Food and Nutrition Act (FNA) of 2008, as added by section 241 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, to award grants to States for provision of nutrition education and obesity prevention programs. These programs provide services for eligible individuals that promote healthy food choices consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The rule provides State agencies with requirements for implementing section 28, including the grant award process and describes the process for allocating the Federal grant funding for each State's approved SNAP-Ed plan authorized under the FNA to carry out nutrition education and obesity prevention services each fiscal year. This final rule also implements section 4028 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill of 2014), which authorizes physical activity promotion in addition to promotion of healthy food choices as part of this nutrition education and obesity prevention program.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off of Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processors in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries2016-Mar-292016-07019NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) and revise regulations for observer coverage requirements for certain small catcher/processors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This final rule modifies the criteria for NMFS to place small catcher/processors in the partial observer coverage category under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). Under this final rule, the owner of a non-trawl catcher/processor can choose to be in the partial observer coverage category, on an annual basis, if the vessel processed less than 79,000 lb (35.8 mt) of groundfish on an average weekly basis in a particular prior year, as specified in this final rule. This final rule provides a relatively limited exception to the general requirement that all catcher/processors are in the full observer coverage category, and maintains the full observer coverage requirement for all trawl catcher/processors and catcher/processors participating in a catch share program that requires full observer coverage. This final rule promotes the goals of the BSAI and GOA FMPs, and the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determinations, Nonrural List2016-Mar-102016-05317The Federal Subsistence Board is adopting, without change, a direct final rule that revised the list of areas in Alaska determined to be nonrural for purposes of the Federal Subsistence Program to the list that existed prior to 2007. Accordingly, the community of Saxman and the area of Prudhoe Bay were removed from the nonrural list. The following areas continue to be nonrural, but their boundaries returned to their previous borders: The Kenai Area; the Wasilla/Palmer area; the Homer area; and the Ketchikan area. Because we received no substantive adverse comments on the direct final rule, it is now effective.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures2016-Mar-022016-03433Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, has unified and updated the environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These final rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation(ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive Orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the changes to the existing rules relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These changes consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules, and better conform the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2016-Feb-232016-03670NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify regulations governing the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This proposed rule is comprised of three actions. Under the first action, this proposed rule would modify regulations to create an exemption for participants in the Western Aleutian Islands golden king crab (WAG) fishery from the prohibition against resuming fishing before all CR Program crab have been fully offloaded from a vessel. This action is intended to allow participants in the WAG fishery to offload live crab to remote ports near the fishing grounds to supply live crab markets. Under the second action, this proposed rule would amend CR Program regulations to clarify current document submission requirements for persons applying to receive captain and crew crab quota share, called C shares, by transfer. Under the third action, this proposed rule would amend License Limitation Program (LLP) regulations to remove the requirement for endorsements on crab LLP licenses for specific crab fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands that are no longer managed under the LLP. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2017-18 and 2018-19 Subsistence Taking of Fish and Shellfish Regulations2016-Feb-222016-03248This proposed rule would establish regulations for fish and shellfish seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish and shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years and subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence fish and shellfish taking regulations. This proposed rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program2016-Feb-082016-02319NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 109 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, this proposed rule would amend regulations governing the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program to support increased participation in the groundfish CDQ fisheries (primarily Pacific cod) by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 feet (ft) (14.0 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear. Specifically, this proposed rule would exempt operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear from the requirement to obtain and carry a License Limitation Program license when groundfish CDQ fishing. The proposed rule also would reduce observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA when groundfish CDQ fishing, and implement new in- season management and catch accounting requirements to properly account for the harvest of groundfish and halibut and the accrual of halibut prohibited species catch in these fisheries. In addition to the proposed regulations necessary to implement Amendment 109, NMFS proposes to remove a table in the regulations because it is no longer necessary. This action is intended to facilitate increased participation by residents of CDQ communities in the groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and to support economic development in western Alaska. This action is necessary to promote the goals of the CDQ Program, and to promote the goals and objectives of the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bycatch Management in the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery2016-Feb-032016-01890NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 110 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, Amendment 110 and this proposed rule would improve the management of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by creating a comprehensive salmon bycatch avoidance program. This action is necessary to minimize Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery to the extent practicable while maintaining the potential for the full harvest of the pollock total allowable catch within specified prohibited species catch limits. Amendment 110 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2016-Jan-262016-01406This rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: The eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT). This rule exempts EBT and WBT IPQ crab that is custom processed at a facility through contractual arrangements with the facility owners from being applied against the IPQ use cap of the facility owners. This rule applies to EBT and WBT IPQ crab received for custom processing during the 2015/2016 crab fishing year. Without this rule, substantial amounts of EBT and WBT Class A IFQ crab would remain unharvested, and fishermen, shoreside processors, and communities that participate in the EBT and WBT fisheries have no viable alternatives to mitigate the resulting significant, negative economic effects before the fisheries end for the season. This rule is necessary to temporarily relieve a restriction that is preventing the full harvest of EBT and WBT Class A IFQ crab. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluation Systems2016-Jan-192016-00674This rule finalizes provisions of the proposed rule entitled Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluation Systems, which was published May 3, 2011. This final rule amends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program) regulations to implement section 4116 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA). Section 4116 of the FCEA, Review of Major Changes in Program Design, requires the United States Department of Agriculture (the Department) to identify standards for major changes in operations of State agencies' administration of SNAP. The provision also requires State agencies to notify the Department if they implement a major change in operations and to collect and report data that can be used to identify and correct problems relating to integrity and access, particularly for certain vulnerable households. This final rule establishes criteria for changes that would be considered ``major changes'' in program operations and identifies the data State agencies must report in order to identify problems relating to integrity and access. It also sets forth when and how State agencies must report on the implementation of a major change. This rule also amends Management Evaluation (ME) Review regulations by modifying the requirements for State reviews. The rule revises the definitions of large, medium and small project areas. Finally, it removes sections of the regulations pertaining to coupons and coupon storage since they are obsolete.
Interior Department -- Alaska; Subsistence Collections2016-Jan-132015-33144The National Park Service proposes to allow qualified subsistence users to collect and use nonedible fish and wildlife parts and plant materials for the creation and subsequent disposition (use, barter, or sale) of handicrafts. The rule would also (1) clarify that collecting or possessing living wildlife is generally prohibited and (2) limit the types of bait that may be used to take bears for subsistence uses.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2016-Jan-132016-00387NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 44 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) and a regulatory amendment that modifies regulations governing the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This rule revises regulations to reflect that a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) may continue with the current ROFR holder or a new ROFR holder when processor quota share (PQS) is transferred and to require PQS holders to make specific certifications regarding ROFR contracts when annually applying for individual processor quota (IPQ) and when transferring PQS that are subject to a ROFR. In addition, this final rule revises the CR Program regulations to separate the annual individual fishing quota (IFQ)/IPQ application into two separate applications and to require that each crab harvesting cooperative lists the name of each member of the cooperative in its application for IFQ rather than provide NMFS with copies of each member's IFQ application. This final rule is necessary to improve available information concerning transfer and use of PQS and IPQ subject to a ROFR, thereby enhancing the ability of eligible crab communities to retain their historical processing interests in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) crab fisheries, and to improve the administration of the CR Program. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Interior Department -- Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska2016-Jan-082016-00022We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), propose to amend our regulations for National Wildlife Refuges (refuges) in Alaska. This proposed rule clarifies how our existing mandates for the conservation of natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health on refuges in Alaska relate to predator control; prohibits several particularly effective methods and means for take of predators; and updates our public participation and closure procedures. This proposed rule would not change Federal subsistence regulations or restrict the taking of fish or wildlife for subsistence uses under Federal subsistence regulations.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs2016-Jan-052015-33096NMFS publishes regulations to implement cost recovery fee programs for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program for groundfish and halibut, and three limited access privilege programs: The American Fisheries Act (AFA), Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) authorizes and requires the collection of cost recovery fees for the CDQ Program and limited access privilege programs. Cost recovery fees recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates that cost recovery fees not exceed 3 percent of the annual ex-vessel value of fish harvested by a program subject to a cost recovery fee. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Fixed-Gear Commercial Halibut and Sablefish Fisheries; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program; Cost Recovery Authorized Payment Methods2015-Dec-312015-32966NMFS issues a proposed rule to revise the authorized methods for payment of cost recovery fees for the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This proposed rule is necessary to improve data security procedures and to reduce administrative costs of processing cost recovery fee payments. The proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off of Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processors in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries2015-Dec-292015-32742NMFS proposes regulations that would implement Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) and revise regulations for observer coverage requirements for certain small catcher/processors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). If approved, this proposed rule would modify the criteria for NMFS to place small catcher/ processors in the partial observer coverage category under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). Under this proposed rule, the owner of a non-trawl catcher/processor could choose to be in the partial observer coverage category, on an annual basis, if the vessel processed less than 79,000 lb (35.8 mt) of groundfish on an average weekly basis in a particular prior year, as specified in this proposed rule. This proposed rule would not alter observer coverage requirements for a catcher/processor using trawl gear or for a catcher/processor when participating in a catch share program; these catcher/processors would continue to be required to be in the full observer coverage category. This proposed rule would provide a relatively limited exception to the general requirement that all catcher/processors are in the full observer coverage category, and maintain the full observer coverage requirement for all trawl catcher/ processors and catcher/processors participating in a catch share program that requires full coverage. The net impact of this proposed rule on the information available for fisheries management is expected to be small due, in part, to the small amount of fishing activity that would be impacted. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals of the BSAI and GOA FMPs, and to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act) and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts for Skates in the Gulf of Alaska2015-Dec-282015-32577NMFS issues regulations to reduce the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of skates using groundfish and halibut as basis species in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) from 20 percent to 5 percent. Reducing skate MRAs is necessary to decrease the incentive for fishermen to target skates and slow the catch rate of skates in these fisheries. This final rule will enhance conservation and management of skates and minimize skate discards in GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP), and other applicable laws.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Conforming Amendments2015-Dec-072015-29692On December 19, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a joint, Governmentwide interim rule with all Federal award-making agencies, entitled ``Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.'' In that rule, all Federal award-making agencies, including HUD, implemented the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. HUD also amended its administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements. This final rule conforms HUD's regulations to OMB's rule, revises cross references within affected HUD regulations, and makes other conforming changes and corrections.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 1112015-Nov-162015-28889NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 111 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The proposed rule would reduce bycatch limits, also known as prohibited species catch (PSC) limits, for Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish fisheries by specific amounts in four groundfish sectors: The Amendment 80 sector (non-pollock trawl catcher/processors); the BSAI trawl limited access sector (all non-Amendment 80 trawl fishery participants); the non-trawl sector (primarily hook-and-line catcher/ processors); and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program (CDQ Program, also referred to as the CDQ sector). This action is necessary to minimize halibut bycatch in the BSAI groundfish fisheries to the extent practicable and to achieve, on a continuing basis, optimum yield from the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determinations, Nonrural List2015-Nov-042015-27996This rule revises the list of nonrural areas in Alaska identified by the Federal Subsistence Board (Board). Only residents of areas that are rural are eligible to participate in the Federal Subsistence Management Program on public lands in Alaska. Based on a Secretarial review of the rural determination process, and the subsequent change in the regulations governing this process, the Board is revising the current nonrural determinations to the list that existed prior to 2007. Accordingly, the community of Saxman and the area of Prudhoe Bay will be removed from the nonrural list. The following areas continue to be nonrural, but their boundaries will return to their original borders: the Kenai Area; the Wasilla/Palmer area; the Homer area; and the Ketchikan area.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determination Process2015-Nov-042015-27994The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior are revising the regulations governing the rural determination process for the Federal Subsistence Management Program in Alaska. The Secretaries have removed specific guidelines, including requirements regarding population data, the aggregation of communities, and a decennial review. This change will allow the Federal Subsistence Board (Board) to define which communities or areas of Alaska are nonrural (all other communities and areas would, therefore, be rural). This new process will enable the Board to be more flexible in making decisions and to take into account regional differences found throughout the State. The new process will also allow for greater input from the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils (Councils), Federally recognized Tribes of Alaska, Alaska Native Corporations, and the public.
Interior Department -- Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Horse Management2015-Oct-292015-27522The National Park Service is revising the special regulations for Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park to close the core Dyea Historic Townsite to the use of horses except by special use permit issued by the superintendent.
Interior Department -- Alaska; Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves2015-Oct-232015-26813The National Park Service is amending its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska. This rule provides that the National Park Service does not adopt State of Alaska management actions or laws or regulations that authorize taking of wildlife, which are related to predator reduction efforts (as defined in this rule). This rule affirms current State prohibitions on harvest practices by adopting them as federal regulation. The rule also prohibits the following activities that are allowed under State law: Taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites; taking brown bears and black bears over bait; taking wolves and coyotes during the denning season; harvest of swimming caribou or taking caribou from a motorboat while under power; and using dogs to hunt black bears. The rule also simplifies and updates procedures for closing an area or restricting an activity in National Park Service areas in Alaska; updates obsolete subsistence regulations; prohibits obstructing persons engaged in lawful hunting or trapping; and authorizes the use of native species as bait for fishing.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2015-Oct-222015-26844NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 44 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) and a regulatory amendment that would modify regulations governing the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. The proposed rule would modify regulations to reflect that a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) may continue with the current ROFR holder or a new ROFR holder when processor quota share (PQS) is transferred and would require PQS holders to make specific certifications regarding ROFR contracts when annually applying for individual processor quota (IPQ) and when transferring PQS that are subject to a ROFR. In addition, this proposed rule would amend CR Program regulations to separate the annual individual fishing quota (IFQ)/IPQ application into two separate applications, and would require that crab harvesting cooperatives list the name of each member of the cooperative in its application for IFQ rather than provide NMFS with copies of each member's IFQ application. These actions are necessary to improve available information concerning transfer and use of PQS and IPQ subject to a ROFR, thereby enhancing the ability of eligible crab communities to retain their historical processing interests in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) crab fisheries, and to improve the administration of the CR Program. These actions are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Clarification of Eligibility of Fleeing Felons2015-Sep-102015-22763This rule implements Section 4112 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. Section 4112 amended Section 6(k) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to define the terms ``fleeing'' and ``actively seeking'' to ensure that State agencies use consistent procedures regarding the disqualification of a fleeing felon from eligibility for SNAP benefits when the individual is fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after conviction for committing a crime or attempting to commit a crime that is a felony under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing (or a high misdemeanor in New Jersey) or is violating a condition of probation or parole under Federal or State law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Prohibited Species Catch; Emergency Rule2015-Aug-102015-19428This emergency rule establishes a 1,600 Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for the Western and Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Non-Rockfish Program trawl catcher vessel sector (Non- Rockfish Program CV Sector) that is immediately available for use by the sector until the limit is reached or December 31, 2015. On January 1, 2015, an annual Chinook salmon PSC limit of 2,700 Chinook salmon became available for use by the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector implementing Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA (FMP). On May 3, 2015, and considerably earlier than had been expected, NMFS prohibited directed fishing for groundfish by the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector after determining that the sector had exceeded its annual PSC limit of 2,700 Chinook salmon. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS recently discovered that the use of Chinook salmon PSC by the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector in the first few months of 2015 was exorbitantly greater than the historical use, which was relied on in developing the Chinook salmon PSC limit for this sector, and that this discrepancy in use was not foreseen when the PSC limit of 2,700 Chinook salmon for the Non- Rockfish Program CV Sector was implemented under Amendment 97. Due to the directed fishing closure, significant amounts of non-pollock groundfish remain unharvested by the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector, and fishermen, shoreside processors, and communities that participate in the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector have limited alternatives to mitigate the resulting significant, negative economic effects. This emergency rule is necessary to relieve a restriction that is preventing non-pollock groundfish harvest by the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector while continuing to limit the amount of Chinook salmon PSC used by this sector. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Participation of Faith-Based Organizations in HUD Programs: Implementation of E.O. 135592015-Aug-062015-18258This rule proposes to revise HUD's regulation that covers the equal participation of faith-based (religious) organizations in HUD Programs, including all of HUD's Native American Programs, as well as several program-specific regulations regarding the equal participation of faith-based organizations. These revisions are being undertaken to implement Executive Order 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations. Executive Order 13559 revised Executive Order 13279, Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-Based and Community Organizations, which provides the legal basis for HUD's current equal participation regulations. This rule implements changes to Executive Order 13279 made by Executive Order 13559, including changes to specific terminology, additional beneficiary protections, and clarifications on the responsibilities of intermediaries. In addition to proposing regulatory amendments to implement Executive Order 13559, HUD is also publishing for public comment a sample notice of beneficiary protections for use by faith-based organizations.
Interior Department -- Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Horse Management2015-Jul-132015-17026The National Park Service proposes to revise the special regulations for Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park to close the core Dyea Historic Townsite to the use of horses except by special use permit issued by the superintendent.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts for Skates in the Gulf of Alaska2015-Jul-102015-16935NMFS proposes regulations to reduce the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of skates using groundfish and halibut as basis species in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) from 20 percent to 5 percent. Reducing skate MRAs is necessary to decrease the incentive for fishermen to target skates and slow the catch rate of skates in these fisheries. This proposed rule would enhance conservation and management of skates and minimize skate discards in GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and other applicable laws.
Interior Department -- Technical Edits2015-Jun-252015-15498The National Park Service is making technical corrections to its regulations. In response to Congress's enactment of Title 54 United States Code, the rule corrects the authority citations. The rule fixes typographical errors and incorrect citations and cross-references. The rule removes a firearms provision that was vacated by court order in 2009 and adds language consistent with federal law governing the possession of firearms in National Park units. The rule removes an outdated reference to a designated airstrip at Lake Mead National Recreation Area that has been closed since 1987.
Homeland Security Department -- Higher Volume Port Area-State of Washington2015-May-222015-11760The Coast Guard proposes redefining the boundaries of the existing higher volume port area in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, in Washington. This rulemaking is required by statute, and is related to the Coast Guard's maritime safety and stewardship missions.
Interior Department -- Refuge-Specific Regulations; Public Use; Kenai National Wildlife Refuge2015-May-212015-12099We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to amend our public use regulations for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (Kenai NWR or Refuge) to clarify the existing regulations; implement management decisions from our June 2010 Kenai NWR revised comprehensive conservation plan (CCP); establish regulations for managing wildlife attractants, including food, refuse, and retained fish; and revise the regulations for hunting and trapping. The proposed regulations are aimed at enhancing natural resource protection, public use activities, and public safety on the Refuge; are necessary to ensure the compatibility of public use activities with the Refuge's purposes and the Refuge System's purposes; and would ensure consistency with management policies and approved Refuge management plans.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program; Amendment 45; Pacific Cod Sideboard Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska2015-May-192015-12066NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP). Amendment 45 establishes, for a limited period of time, a process for NMFS to permanently remove Pacific cod catch limits, known as sideboard limits, which are applicable to certain hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Regulatory Areas. This action authorizes NMFS to remove these Pacific cod sideboard limits in the Central and/or Western GOA if each eligible participant in the hook-and-line catcher/processor sector in a regulatory area signs and submits a request that NMFS remove the sideboard limit. Each eligible participant will be required to submit the request to NMFS within 1 year of the date of publication of this final rule. This action is necessary to provide participants in the Central and Western GOA hook-and-line catcher/processor sectors with an opportunity to cooperatively coordinate harvests of Pacific cod through private arrangement to the participants' mutual benefit, which would remove the need for sideboard limits in these regulatory areas. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Crab FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act), and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2015-16 and 2016-17 Subsistence Taking of Fish Regulations2015-May-182015-11907This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Off Alaska2015-Mar-052015-05049NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). This final rule adds regulations to improve reporting of grenadiers, limit retention of grenadiers, and prevent direct fishing for grenadiers by federally permitted groundfish fishermen. This final rule is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMPs, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program; Amendment 45; Pacific Cod Sideboard Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska2015-Feb-122015-02911NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP). If approved, Amendment 45 would establish, for a limited period of time, a process for NMFS to permanently remove Pacific cod catch limits, known as sideboard limits, which are applicable to certain hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Regulatory Areas. This action would authorize NMFS to remove these Pacific cod sideboard limits in the Central and/or Western GOA if all eligible participants in the hook- and-line catcher/processor sector in a regulatory area sign and submit a request that NMFS remove the sideboard limit. Each eligible participant would be required to submit the request to NMFS within 1 year of the date of publication of a final rule implementing Amendment 45, if it is approved by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). This action is necessary to provide participants in the Central and Western GOA hook-and-line catcher/processor sectors with an opportunity to cooperatively coordinate harvests of Pacific cod through private arrangement to the participants' mutual benefit, which would remove the need for sideboard limits in these regulatory areas. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Crab FMP, and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Marine Vapor Control Systems; Correction2015-Feb-112015-02713This document contains corrections to the final regulations (RIN 1625-AB37) that were published in the Federal Register of Tuesday, July 16, 2013 (78 FR 42595). The regulations related to safety regulations for facility and vessel vapor control systems (VCSs).
Homeland Security Department -- MARPOL Annex I Amendments2015-Feb-042015-01925In this final rule the Coast Guard is updating our regulations to harmonize U.S. regulations with international conventions regarding oil pollution. We are amending the regulations covering Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters to align with recent amendments to Annex I of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978, which were adopted by the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee during its 52nd, 54th, 55th, and 59th sessions. This final rule also amends sections of the Vessel Response Plan regulations to include the Safety of Life at Sea Material Safety Data Sheets as an equivalent hazardous communications standard.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determination Process2015-Jan-282015-01621The Secretaries propose to revise the regulations governing the rural determination process for the Federal Subsistence Program in Alaska. Under current regulations, the Federal Subsistence Board (Board) defines which community or area of Alaska is rural using guidelines and characteristics defined by the Secretaries. This new process will enable the Board to be more flexible in making decisions and take into account the regional differences found throughout the State.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2016-17 and 2017-18 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations2015-Jan-142015-00425This proposed rule would establish regulations for hunting and trapping seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means related to taking of wildlife for subsistence uses during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence wildlife taking regulations. This rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs2015-Jan-072014-30841NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement cost recovery fee programs for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program for groundfish and halibut, and three limited access privilege programs: The American Fisheries Act (AFA), Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) authorizes and requires the collection of cost recovery fees for the CDQ Program and limited access privilege programs. Cost recovery fees recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates that cost recovery fees not exceed 3 percent of the annual ex-vessel value of fish harvested by a program subject to a cost recovery fee. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Establishing Transit Areas Through Walrus Protection Areas at Round Island and Cape Peirce, Northern Bristol Bay, Alaska; Amendment 1072015-Jan-052014-30817NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 107 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), as prepared and submitted by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), and approved by the Secretary of Commerce. This final rule allows vessels designated on Federal Fisheries Permits (FFPs) to transit through Walrus Protection Areas in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near Round Island and Cape Peirce from April 1 through August 15, annually. These actions are necessary to restore the access of federally permitted vessels to transit through Walrus Protection Areas that was unintentionally limited by regulations implementing Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) and to maintain suitable protection for walruses on Round Island and Cape Peirce. This final rule maintains an existing prohibition on deploying fishing gear in Walrus Protection Areas by vessels designated on an FFP. This final rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the BSAI FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2014-Dec-242014-30155NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). The proposed rule would make several changes to regulations governing the acquisition, use, and retention of quota share established for captains and crew, known as crew quota share or C shares, under the Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program). To implement Amendment 31, the proposed rule would: Temporarily expand the eligibility requirements for individuals wishing to acquire C share Quota Share (QS) by transfer; establish minimum participation requirements for C share QS holders to be eligible to receive an annual allocation of Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ); establish minimum participation requirements for C share QS holders to be eligible to retain their C share QS and establish an administrative process for revocation of an individual's C share QS, if he or she fails to satisfy the minimum participation requirements; establish a regulatory mechanism to ensure that three percent of the total allowable catch (TAC) for each CR Program crab fishery is allocated as IFQ to holders of C share QS; and remove the prohibition on leasing C share IFQ. In addition, the proposed rule would implement a regulatory amendment to the CR Program that adjusts certain CR Program application deadlines. Specifically, the proposed rule would: Establish an earlier deadline for filing annual IFQ, individual processing quota (IPQ), and crab harvesting cooperative IFQ applications, which would increase the amount of time during which NMFS would suspend the processing of IFQ and IPQ transfer applications; shorten the amount of time in which to appeal an initial administrative determination to withhold issuance of IFQ or IPQ; and provide in the regulations that an applicant's proof of timely filing for IFQ, IPQ, or cooperative IFQ would create a presumption of timely filing. Finally, the proposed rule would revise the reporting period and due date for CR Program registered crab receiver (RCR) Ex-vessel Volume and Value Reports. This action is necessary to ensure that individuals who hold C shares are active in the CR Program fisheries and to ensure that application deadlines provide adequate time to resolve disputes. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Non-Pollock Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 972014-Dec-022014-28096NMFS adopts a final rule to implement Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). Amendment 97 limits Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) in Western and Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) non-pollock trawl catcher/ processor (C/P) and catcher vessel (CV) fisheries. This action establishes separate annual Chinook salmon PSC limits for three sectors fishing for groundfish species other than pollock: trawl C/Ps, trawl CVs participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program, and trawl CVs not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program. If a sector reaches its Chinook salmon PSC limit, NMFS will prohibit further fishing for non-pollock groundfish by vessels in that sector. This action also establishes and clarifies Chinook salmon retention and discard requirements for vessels and processors participating in both the GOA pollock and non-pollock groundfish trawl fisheries. This action is necessary to minimize the catch of Chinook salmon to the extent practicable in the GOA non-pollock trawl fisheries. Amendment 97 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Pot Gear Fishing Closure in the Pribilof Islands Habitat Conservation Zone in the Bering Sea; Amendment 1032014-Dec-022014-28113NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). This rule closes year-round the Pribilof Islands Habitat Conservation Zone (PIHCZ) to directed fishing for Pacific cod with pot gear to minimize bycatch and prevent overfishing of Pribilof Islands blue king crab (PIBKC). This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the BSAI FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska2014-Nov-252014-27658NMFS issues regulations to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to insure that groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) off Alaska are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment (WDPS) of Steller sea lions or destroy or adversely modify their designated critical habitat. These management measures disperse fishing effort temporally and spatially to provide protection from potential competition for important Steller sea lion prey species. This action is intended to protect the endangered Steller sea lions, as required by the Endangered Species Act, and to minimize, to the extent practicable, the economic impact of fishery management measures, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Monitoring and Enforcement; At-Sea Scales Requirements2014-Nov-182014-27081NMFS issues regulations to revise the at-sea scales program for catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) and motherships that are required to weigh catch at sea. This action makes three major changes to current regulations. First, this action requires enhancements of daily scale testing for flow scales used to weigh catch at sea and requires electronic reporting of the daily flow scale test results. Second, this action requires that vessels required to use flow scales to weigh catch have electronics capable of logging and printing the frequency and magnitude of scale calibrations, as well as the time and date of each scale fault (or error) and scale startup. Third, this action requires that vessels use video to monitor the flow scale and the area around the flow scale. In addition, this action revises minor technical regulations related to equipment and operation regulations and removes certain regulations that are no longer applicable; and improves the accuracy of catch estimation by the C/Ps and motherships using at-sea scales and reduces the possibility of scale tampering. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Amendment 96 to the Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan; Management of Community Quota Entities2014-Nov-072014-26466NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 96 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) and an amendment to the Pacific halibut commercial fishery regulations for waters in and off Alaska. Amendment 96 to the FMP and the regulatory amendment modify the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed- Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). This action will remove a regulation that prohibits a Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Community Quota Entity (CQE) from transferring and holding small blocks of halibut and sablefish quota share (QS). This action will allow CQEs to acquire additional QS and facilitate CQE community resident participation in the IFQ Program. This action promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Marine Mammals; Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals; St. George Island, Alaska2014-Nov-042014-26177This final rule modifies the subsistence harvest regulations for the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) based on a petition from the Pribilof Island Aleut Community of St. George Island, Traditional Council (Council). The final rule authorizes Pribilovians of St. George Island to harvest up to 150 male young of the year fur seals annually during a new autumn harvest season from all breeding and hauling grounds, consistent with traditional practices, to meet the community's nutritional and cultural needs. Harvests of sub-adult male fur seals will continue to be authorized during the summer season as under existing regulations, and will be allowed at additional locations. The total number of fur seals harvested annually will remain within the range of 300-500 male animals that has been in place since 1997. Harvests will be coordinated between NMFS and the Council under an existing co-management agreement.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Modifications to Federal Fisheries Permits and Federal Processor Permits2014-Oct-212014-24758NMFS revises regulations for the application process, use, surrender, and amendment of a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) or a Federal Processor Permit (FPP). This action will reduce industry compliance costs associated with fishing and processing permit regulations and NMFS' administrative costs associated with maintaining and updating permit application regulations and forms. This action promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Establishing Transit Areas through Walrus Protection Areas at Round Island and Cape Peirce, Northern Bristol Bay, Alaska2014-Oct-032014-23635NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 107 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). If approved, Amendment 107 would establish seasonal transit areas for vessels designated on Federal Fisheries Permits (FFPs) through Walrus Protection Areas in northern Bristol Bay, AK. This action would allow vessels designated on FFPs to transit through Walrus Protection Areas in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near Round Island and Cape Peirce from April 1 through August 15, annually. This action is necessary to restore the access of federally permitted vessels to transit through Walrus Protection Areas that was limited by regulations implementing Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) and to maintain suitable protection for walruses on Round Island and Cape Peirce. This action would maintain an existing prohibition on deploying fishing gear in Walrus Protection Areas by vessels designated on an FFP. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the BSAI FMP, and other applicable law.
Homeland Security Department -- Shipping and Transportation; Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments2014-Sep-292014-21994The Coast Guard is issuing a final rule that makes non- substantive changes throughout Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of this rule is to make conforming amendments and technical corrections to Coast Guard regulations. This rule will have no substantive effect on the regulated public. These changes are provided to coincide with the annual recodification of Titles 46 and 49 on October 1, 2014.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 1052014-Sep-232014-22568NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 105 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 105 and its implementing regulations establish a process for Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups, and cooperatives established under the Amendment 80 Program (Amendment 80 cooperatives), to exchange harvest quota from one of three flatfish species (flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole) for an equal amount of another of these three flatfish species, while maintaining total catch below acceptable biological catch (ABC) limits. This final rule modifies the annual harvest specifications process to allow the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) to establish the maximum amount of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole that may be exchanged based on social, economic, or biological considerations. This action is necessary to mitigate the operational variability, environmental conditions, and economic factors that may constrain the CDQ groups and Amendment 80 cooperatives from achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 1062014-Sep-122014-21829NMFS adopts a final rule to implement Amendment 106 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 106 is necessary to bring the BSAI FMP into conformity with the amendments to the American Fisheries Act (AFA) in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Coast Guard Act). This rule allows the owner of an AFA vessel to rebuild or replace an AFA vessel without any limitation on the length, weight, or horsepower of the rebuilt or replacement vessel when the rebuilt or replacement vessel is operating in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This rule also allows the owner of an AFA catcher vessel in an inshore cooperative to remove the vessel from the cooperative and assign the Bering Sea pollock catch history of the removed vessel to one or more vessels in the cooperative. This action is also intended to improve vessel safety and operational efficiency in the AFA fleet by allowing the rebuilding or replacement of AFA vessels with safer and more efficient vessels and by allowing the removal of inactive catcher vessels from the AFA fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the AFA, the BSAI FMP, and other applicable laws.
Interior Department -- Alaska; Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves2014-Sep-042014-20881The National Park Service proposes to amend its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in National Preserves in Alaska. This proposed rule would not adopt state laws or regulations that authorize taking of wildlife, hunting or trapping activities, or management actions involving predator reduction efforts with the intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics and associated natural ecological processes to increase harvest of ungulates by humans. The rule would maintain long-standing prohibited sport hunting and trapping practices; update procedures for closing an area or restricting an activity in National Park Service areas in Alaska; update obsolete subsistence regulations; prohibit obstructing persons engaged in lawful hunting or trapping; and authorize use of native species as bait for fishing.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Pot Gear Fishing Closure in the Pribilof Islands Habitat Conservation Zone in the Bering Sea2014-Aug-292014-20682NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 103 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) to close year-round the Pribilof Islands Habitat Conservation Zone (PIHCZ) to directed fishing for Pacific cod with pot gear to minimize bycatch and prevent overfishing of Pribilof Islands blue king crab (PIBKC). This action would promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Interior Department -- Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve; Off-Road Vehicles2014-Aug-202014-19740The National Park Service is amending its special regulations for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve to designate trails in the portion of the Nabesna District located within the National Preserve where motor vehicles may be used off roads for recreational purposes. The rule prohibits the use of certain types of vehicles based upon size and weight, and closes certain areas in designated wilderness within the Nabesna District that are located outside of established trails and trail corridors to the use of motor vehicles for subsistence.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska Trawl Economic Data Report2014-Aug-112014-18675NMFS proposes to implement the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Trawl Economic Data Report Program to evaluate the economic effects of current and anticipated future fishery management measures for the GOA trawl fisheries. This data collection program is necessary to provide the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS with baseline economic information on harvesters, crew, processors, and communities active in the GOA trawl fisheries, which could be used to assess the impacts of anticipated future fishery management measures on GOA trawl groundfish management. The data collected for this program would be submitted by vessel owners and leaseholders of GOA trawl vessels, processors receiving deliveries from those trawl vessels, and trawl catcher/processors. The types of data collected would include, but not be limited to, labor information, revenues, capital and operational expenses, and other operational or financial data. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the GOA Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Amendment 96 to the Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan; Management of Community Quota Entities2014-Aug-072014-18678NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 96 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 96 would amend certain provisions of the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). This action would remove a regulation that prohibits a Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Community Quota Entity (CQE) from transferring and holding small blocks of halibut and sablefish quota share (QS). This action would allow CQEs to acquire additional QS and facilitate sustained participation by CQE community residents in the IFQ Program. This action would promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Monitoring and Enforcement; At-Sea Scales Requirements2014-Jul-312014-18029NMFS issues a proposed rule to revise the at-sea scales program for catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) and motherships that are required to weigh catch at sea. This action would make three major changes to current regulations. First, this action would change regulations to enhance daily scale testing and require electronic reporting of daily scale test results. Second, this action would require that scales used to weigh catch have electronics capable of logging and printing the frequency and magnitude of scale calibrations, as well as the time and date of each scale fault and scale startup. Third, this action would require that the scale and the area around the scale be monitored using video. Finally, this action would revise technical regulations that are no longer applicable. This action is being proposed to reduce the possibility of scale tampering and to improve the accuracy of catch estimation by the C/P and mothership sector. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Interior Department -- Addresses of Headquarters Offices2014-Jul-292014-17768We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are updating the addresses of our headquarters offices in our regulations. The Service will relocate its headquarters offices on July 28, 2014. We are taking this action to ensure regulated entities and the general public have accurate contact information for the Service's offices.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program2014-Jul-282014-17658NMFS publishes regulations to amend the hired master provisions of the Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ Program) for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The IFQ Program allows initial recipients of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish quota share (QS) to hire a vessel master to harvest an annual allocation of individual fishing quota (IFQ) derived from the QS. This rule prohibits an initial QS recipient from using a hired master to harvest IFQ derived from catcher vessel QS received by transfer after February 12, 2010, with a limited exception for small amounts of QS. This final rule is necessary to maintain progress toward a predominantly owner-onboard fishery. In addition, this action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Marine Mammals; Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals; St. George Island, Alaska2014-Jul-242014-17373NMFS proposes to modify the subsistence harvest regulations for the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) based on a petition from the Pribilof Island Aleut Community of St. George Island, Traditional Council (Council). NMFS worked with the Council to develop this proposed rule, which would authorize Pribilovians of St. George Island to harvest up to 150 male young of the year fur seals annually during a new autumn harvest season from all breeding and hauling grounds, consistent with traditional practices, to meet the community's nutritional and cultural needs. Harvests of sub- adult male fur seals would continue during the summer season, as allowed under existing regulations. The total number of fur seals harvested annually would remain within the range of 300-500 male animals that has been in place since 1997. Harvests would be coordinated between NMFS and the Council under an existing co- management agreement.
Homeland Security Department -- Navigation and Navigable Waters; Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments2014-Jul-072014-14897This final rule makes non-substantive changes throughout Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of this final rule is to make conforming amendments and technical corrections to Coast Guard navigation and navigable waters regulations. These changes will have no substantive effect on the regulated public.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska2014-Jul-012014-14972NMFS proposes to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to insure that groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) off Alaska are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment (WDPS) of Steller sea lions or destroy or adversely modify its designated critical habitat. These management measures would disperse fishing effort temporally and spatially to provide protection from potential competition for important Steller sea lion prey species in the BSAI. The intent of this proposed action is to protect the endangered WDPS of Steller sea lions, as required by the Endangered Species Act, and to minimize, to the extent practicable, the economic impact of fishery management measures, as required by the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 105; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Flatfish Harvest Specifications Flexibility2014-Jun-302014-15185NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 105 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). If approved, Amendment 105 would establish a process for Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups, and cooperatives established under the Amendment 80 Program (Amendment 80 cooperatives), to exchange harvest quota from one of three flatfish species (flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole) for an equal amount of another of these three flatfish species, while maintaining total catch below acceptable biological catch (ABC) limits. This action would modify the annual harvest specification process to allow the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) to establish the maximum amount of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole that may be exchanged based on social, economic, or biological considerations. This action is necessary to mitigate the operational variability, environmental conditions, and economic factors that may constrain the CDQ groups and Amendment 80 cooperatives from achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield (OY) in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Non-Pollock Trawl Fisheries; Amendment 972014-Jun-252014-14726NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 97 would limit Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) in Western and Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) non-pollock trawl catcher/processor (C/P) and catcher vessel (CV) fisheries. This action would establish separate annual Chinook salmon PSC limits for trawl catcher/processors (Trawl C/P Sector), trawl catcher vessels participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program (Rockfish Program CV Sector), and trawl catcher vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program (Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector) fishing for groundfish species other than pollock. If a sector reaches its Chinook salmon PSC limit, NMFS would prohibit further fishing for non-pollock groundfish by vessels in that sector. This action also would establish and clarify Chinook salmon retention and discard requirements for vessels, shoreside processors, and stationary floating processors participating in both the GOA pollock and non-pollock groundfish trawl fisheries. This action is necessary to minimize the catch of Chinook salmon to the extent practicable in the GOA non-pollock trawl fisheries. Amendment 97 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2014-15 and 2015-16 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations2014-Jun-192014-13833This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means related to the taking of wildlife for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rulemaking replaces the wildlife taking regulations that expire on June 30, 2014. This rule also revises wildlife customary and traditional use determinations.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 1062014-Jun-182014-14012NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 106 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). The proposed rule would allow the owner of an American Fisheries Act (AFA) vessel to rebuild or replace the vessel without limitation on the length, weight, or horsepower of the rebuilt or replacement vessel when the vessel is operating in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). The proposed rule would also allow the owner of an AFA catcher vessel that is a member of an inshore cooperative to remove the vessel from the Bering Sea directed pollock fishery and assign the pollock catch history of the removed vessel to one or more vessels in the inshore cooperative to which the removed vessel belonged. This action is necessary to bring the regulations implementing the BSAI FMP into conformity with the AFA as amended by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. This action would also improve vessel safety and operational efficiency in the AFA fleet by allowing the rebuilding or replacement of AFA vessels with safer and more efficient vessels and by allowing the removal of inactive catcher vessels from the AFA fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the AFA, the BSAI FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands2014-May-142014-11050NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). This proposed action would add regulations to improve reporting of grenadiers, limit retention of grenadiers, and prevent direct fishing for grenadiers by federally permitted groundfish fishermen and is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMPs, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Modifications to Federal Fisheries Permits and Federal Processor Permits2014-Apr-182014-08600NMFS proposes to change criteria for submission, approval, surrender, revision, and receipt of a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) or Federal Processor Permit (FPP) application form; allow the use of a valid legible copy in place of an original FFP or FPP; remove unnecessary FFP and FPP application form descriptions and contact information from regulation; clarify when an FFP or FPP is required; and make minor modifications to FPP regulations. This action is necessary to reduce industry costs of complying with fishing and processing permit regulations and NMFS' administrative costs of maintaining and updating permit application regulations and forms. This action would provide efficiency, flexibility, and clarity concerning FFP and FPP requirements. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Modifications to Identification Markings on Fishing Gear Marker Buoys2014-Apr-032014-07467NMFS publishes a regulatory amendment to revise the identification marking requirements for fishing gear marker buoys (buoys) used in Federal waters off Alaska. This final rule eliminates the requirement that hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line buoys be marked with the vessel's name. The requirement to mark buoys with either the vessel's Federal fisheries permit number or Alaska Department of Fish and Game number remains in effect. This action is needed to remove a regulatory requirement that is unnecessary. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI Groundfish FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA Groundfish FMP), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Individual Fishing Quota Program2014-Feb-242014-03910NMFS adopts a final rule that modifies the vessel ownership requirement for an exemption from the owner-on-board requirement in the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska. This rule imposes a 12-month vessel ownership requirement on initial individual recipients of quota share (QS) who wish an exemption from the owner-on-board requirement and who wish to use a hired master to harvest their IFQ. For the 12-month period prior to applying to use a hired master, an individual QS holder must own a minimum 20-percent interest in the vessel that the hired master will use to fish the IFQ on behalf of the individual QS holder. The rule temporarily suspends the 12-month vessel ownership requirement for an initial individual recipient of QS whose vessel has been totally lost, irreparably damaged, or so damaged that the vessel requires at least 60 days for repairs. This action is intended to maintain a predominantly owner-operated fishery in the Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and other applicable laws. This rule will go into effect 13 months after the publication of the rule in the Federal Register.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish2014-Feb-202014-03631NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). These regulations modify halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) management in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by establishing halibut PSC limits for the GOA in Federal regulation and reducing the GOA halibut PSC limits for the trawl and hook-and-line gear sectors. The reduction to the trawl gear PSC limit also proportionately reduces a subset of trawl halibut PSC limits (also called sideboard limits) for American Fisheries Act, Amendment 80, and Central GOA Rockfish Program vessels. These regulations also incorporate three measures to minimize adverse economic impacts on fishing industry sectors. First, the reductions for these sectors will be phased-in over 3 years. Second, this action allows the Amendment 80 sector to roll over unused halibut PSC sideboard limits from one season to the subsequent season. Third, this action combines management of the deep-water and shallow-water halibut PSC limits from May 15 to June 30, which allows the aggregate halibut PSC limit to be used in either the deep-water or shallow-water fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Waiver of Citizenship Requirements for Crewmembers on Commercial Fishing Vessels2014-Feb-142014-03302The Coast Guard amends its regulations to include a description of the procedures for requesting and processing waivers of citizenship requirements on commercial fishing vessels. We seek to improve our efforts to inform the commercial fishing industry of this opportunity by codifying the application procedure policy into the Code of Federal Regulations.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 1022014-Feb-142014-03291NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), and a regulatory amendment to the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). Amendment 102 and the implementing regulations create, in halibut IFQ regulatory area 4B (Area 4B) and the sablefish Aleutian Islands regulatory area, a Community Quota Entity (CQE) Program that is similar to the existing CQE Program in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). These actions allow an eligible community in Area 4B and in the Aleutian Islands to establish a non-profit organization as a CQE to purchase halibut catcher vessel quota share (QS) assigned to Area 4B and sablefish QS assigned to the Aleutian Islands. The CQE would assign the annual halibut and sablefish IFQ derived from the QS to participants according to defined CQE Program elements. In addition, this action revises the IFQ Program regulations to allow IFQ derived from D share halibut QS to be fished on Category C vessels in Area 4B. These actions provide additional fishing opportunities for residents of fishery dependent communities and sustain participation in the halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries. These actions are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the BSAI FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Tanner Crab Area Closure in the Gulf of Alaska and Gear Modification Requirements for the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea Groundfish Fisheries2014-Jan-162014-00780NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 89 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA groundfish FMP) and revise regulations governing the configuration of modified nonpelagic trawl gear. First, this rule establishes a protection area in Marmot Bay, northeast of Kodiak Island, and closes that area to fishing with trawl gear except for directed fishing for pollock with pelagic trawl gear. The closure will reduce bycatch of Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) in Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries. Second, this rule requires that nonpelagic trawl gear used in the directed flatfish fisheries in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA be modified to raise portions of the gear off the sea floor. The modifications to nonpelagic trawl gear used in these fisheries will reduce the unobserved injury and mortality of Tanner crab, and will reduce the potential adverse impacts of nonpelagic trawl gear on bottom habitat. Finally, this rule makes a minor technical revision to the modified nonpelagic trawl gear construction regulations to facilitate gear construction for those vessels required to use modified nonpelagic trawl gear in the GOA and Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the GOA groundfish FMP, and other applicable law.
Interior Department -- Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve; Off-Road Vehicles2014-Jan-152014-00491The National Park Service proposes to amend its special regulations for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve to designate trails in the portion of the Nabesna District located within the National Preserve where motor vehicles may be used off park roads for recreational purposes. The proposed rule would also prohibit the use of certain types of vehicles based upon size and weight, and close certain areas in designated wilderness within the Nabesna District that are located outside of established trails and trail corridors to the use of motor vehicles for subsistence.
Homeland Security Department -- Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment2014-Jan-132013-29863The Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations for certain design and approval standards for fire protection, detection, and extinguishing equipment on inspected and uninspected vessels, outer continental shelf facilities, deepwater ports, and mobile offshore drilling units. The proposed amendments would harmonize Coast Guard regulations with appropriate national and international consensus standards; address advances in fire protection technologies and standards; update Coast Guard approval processes for fire detection and alarm systems; and revise Coast Guard regulations for other types of equipment or components, such as spanner wrenches, non-metallic pipes, and sprinkler systems. These proposed changes are necessary to ensure Coast Guard regulations remain current and address advances in technology.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2015-16 and 2016-17 Subsistence Taking of Fish and Shellfish Regulations2014-Jan-102014-00239This proposed rule would establish regulations for fish and shellfish seasons, harvest limits, methods and means related to taking of fish and shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years and subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence fish and shellfish taking regulations. This proposed rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 992014-Jan-062013-31556NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 99 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 99 enables the holders of license limitation program (LLP) licenses authorizing a designated vessel to catch and process Pacific cod in the BSAI hook-and-line fisheries to use newly built or existing vessels that are not eligible under current vessel length and capacity restrictions. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea by encouraging the replacement of older vessels with newer and more efficient vessels that are able to meet modern vessel safety standards. This action is intended to facilitate the increased retention and utilization of groundfish by allowing sector participants to use larger vessels with increased processing and hold capabilities. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Modifications to Identification Markings on Fishing Gear Marker Buoys2014-Jan-032013-31416NMFS proposes to revise the identification marking requirements for fishing gear marker buoys (buoys) used in Federal waters off Alaska. This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement that hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line buoys be marked with the vessel's name. The requirement to mark buoys with either the vessel's Federal fisheries permit number or Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) number remains in effect. This action is needed to remove a regulatory requirement that is unnecessary. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI Groundfish FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA Groundfish FMP), and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Automated Data Processing and Information Retrieval System Requirements: System Testing2014-Jan-022013-31347The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is adopting as a final rule, without substantive changes, the proposed rule that amends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations to implement Section 4121 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill), which requires adequate system testing before and after implementation of a new State automated data processing (ADP) and information retrieval system, including the evaluation of data from pilot projects in limited areas for major systems changes, before the Secretary approves the system to be implemented more broadly. The rule also provides that systems be operated in accordance with an adequate plan for continuous updating to reflect changed policy and circumstances, and for testing the effects of the system on access by eligible households and on payment accuracy. This final rule specifies the requirements for submission of a test plan, and changes the due date of an Advance Planning Document Update (APDU) from 90 days after to 60 days prior to the expiration of the Federal financial participation (FFP) approval, and revises language regarding the federal share of costs in consolidated information technology (IT) operations to specify that the threshold for service agreements applies to federally aided public assistance programs, rather than to SNAP alone. In addition, this rule amends SNAP regulations relating to the establishment of an ADP and information retrieval system and to provide clarifications and updates, which have occurred since this section was last updated in 1996.
Commerce Department -- Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan for Guided Sport and Commercial Fisheries in Alaska2013-Dec-122013-29598NMFS issues regulations to implement a catch sharing plan for the guided sport (charter) and commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters of International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). This catch sharing plan replaces the Guideline Harvest Level program, defines an annual process for allocating halibut between the charter and commercial fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and establishes allocations for each fishery. The commercial fishery will continue to be managed under the Individual Fishing Quota system. To allow flexibility for individual commercial and charter fishery participants, the catch sharing plan also authorizes annual transfers of commercial halibut quota to charter halibut permit holders for harvest in the charter fishery. This action is necessary to achieve the halibut fishery management goals of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 1022013-Nov-142013-26999NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), and amend the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). Amendment 102 and its proposed implementing regulations would create a Community Quota Entity (CQE) Program in halibut IFQ regulatory area 4B (Area 4B) and the sablefish Aleutian Islands regulatory area that is similar to the existing CQE Program in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 102 would also allow an eligible community in Area 4B and in the Aleutian Islands to establish a non-profit organization as a CQE to purchase halibut catcher vessel quota share (QS) assigned to Area 4B and sablefish QS assigned to the Aleutian Islands. The CQE could assign the resulting annual halibut and sablefish IFQ to participants according to defined CQE Program elements. An additional proposed revision to the IFQ Program regulations would allow IFQ derived from D share halibut QS to be fished on Category C vessels in Area 4B. These actions are necessary to provide additional fishing opportunities for residents of fishery dependent communities and sustain participation in the halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries. These actions are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the BSAI FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 992013-Oct-252013-25271NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 99 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). If approved, Amendment 99 would enable the holders of license limitation program (LLP) licenses authorizing a designated vessel to catch and process Pacific cod in the BSAI hook-and-line fisheries to use newly built or existing vessels that are not eligible under current vessel length and capacity restrictions. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea by encouraging the replacement of older vessels with newer and more efficient vessels that are able to meet modern vessel safety standards. This action is intended to facilitate the increased retention and utilization of groundfish by allowing sector participants to use larger vessels with increased processing and hold capabilities. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act), and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Shipping and Transportation; Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments2013-Sep-302013-22624The Coast Guard is issuing a final rule that makes non- substantive changes throughout titles 46 and 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of this rule is to make conforming amendments and technical corrections to Coast Guard shipping and transportation regulations. This rule will have no substantive effect on the regulated public. These changes are provided to coincide with the annual recodification of titles 46 and 49 on October 1, 2013.
Homeland Security Department -- Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Response Plan Requirements2013-Sep-302013-22059The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, is promulgating this nontank vessel response plan final rule to further protect the Nation from the threat of oil spills in U.S. waters. This final rule requires owners or operators of nontank vessels to prepare and submit oil spill response plans. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act defines nontank vessels as self-propelled vessels of 400 gross tons or greater that operate on the navigable waters of the United States, carry oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion, and are not tank vessels. This final rule specifies the content of a response plan and addresses, among other issues, the requirement to plan for responding to a worst case discharge and a substantial threat of such a discharge. Additionally, this final rule updates the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan requirements that apply to certain nontank vessels and tank vessels. Finally, this final rule requires vessel owners or operators to submit their vessel response plan control number as part of already required notice of arrival information. This rulemaking supports the Coast Guard's strategic goals of protection of natural resources and maritime mobility.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish2013-Sep-172013-22362NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). This proposed action would modify halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) management in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) to establish halibut PSC limits for the GOA in Federal regulation; reduce the GOA halibut PSC limits for trawl and hook-and-line gear; proportionately reduce a subset of trawl halibut PSC limits (also called ``sideboards'') for American Fisheries Act, Amendment 80, and Central GOA Rockfish Program vessels; and adjust the accounting methods for halibut PSC sideboard limits for Amendment 80 vessels, as well as halibut PSC used by trawl vessels from May 15 through June 30. This action is necessary to reduce halibut bycatch in the GOA, and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Privacy Protections of Information From Applicant Households2013-Aug-022013-18597The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is issuing this affirmation of a final rule, without change, of an interim rule that amended Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations at Sec. 272.1, to permit SNAP State agencies to share information with local educational agencies (LEAs) administering the National School Lunch Program established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the School Breakfast Program established under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, in order to directly certify the eligibility of school-age children for receipt of free school lunches and breakfasts based on their receipt of SNAP benefits.
Homeland Security Department -- Marine Vapor Control Systems2013-Jul-162013-15808The Coast Guard is revising existing safety regulations for facility and vessel vapor control systems (VCSs) to promote maritime safety and marine environmental protection. The revisions promote safe VCS operation in an expanded range of activities now subject to current Federal and State environmental requirements, reflect industry advances in VCS technology, and codify the standards for the design and operation of a VCS at tank barge cleaning facilities. They increase operational safety by regulating the design, installation, and use of VCSs, but they do not require anyone to install or use VCSs.
Commerce Department -- Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan for Guided Sport and Commercial Fisheries in Alaska2013-Jun-282013-15543NMFS proposes regulations that would implement a catch sharing plan for the guided sport (charter) and commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters of International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). If approved, this catch sharing plan will replace the Guideline Harvest Level program, define an annual process for allocating halibut between the charter and commercial fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and establish allocations for each fishery. The commercial fishery will continue to be managed under the Individual Fishing Quota system. To allow flexibility for individual commercial and charter fishery participants, the proposed catch sharing plan also will authorize annual transfers of commercial halibut quota to charter halibut permit holders for harvest in the charter fishery. This action is necessary to achieve the halibut fishery management goals of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Tanner Crab Area Closure in the Gulf of Alaska and Gear Modification Requirements for the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea Groundfish Fisheries2013-Jun-172013-14328NMFS proposes regulations that would implement Amendment 89 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) and that would revise current regulations governing the configuration of modified nonpelagic trawl gear. First, this proposed rule would establish a protection area in Marmot Bay, northeast of Kodiak Island, and close that area to fishing with trawl gear except for directed fishing for pollock with pelagic trawl gear. The proposed closure would reduce bycatch of Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) in Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries. Second, this proposed rule would require that nonpelagic trawl gear used in the directed flatfish fisheries in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA be modified to raise portions of the gear off the sea floor. The proposed modifications to nonpelagic trawl gear used in these fisheries would reduce the unobserved injury and mortality of Tanner crab, and would reduce the potential adverse impacts of nonpelagic trawl gear on bottom habitat. Finally, this proposed rule would make a minor technical revision to the modified nonpelagic trawl gear construction regulations to facilitate gear construction for those vessels required to use modified nonpelagic trawl gear in the GOA and Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2013-Jun-172013-14332NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 42 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). These regulations revise the annual economic data reports (EDRs) currently required of participants in the Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) fisheries. The EDRs include cost, revenue, ownership, and employment data the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS use to study the economic impacts of the CR Program on harvesters, processors, and affected communities. This action is necessary to eliminate redundant reporting requirements, standardize reporting across participants, and reduce costs associated with the data collection. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Interior Department -- Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities2013-Jun-122013-13725In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), and its implementing regulations, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we), are finalizing regulations that authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during oil and gas Industry (Industry) exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea and adjacent western coast of Alaska. This rule is effective for 5 years from the date of issuance. The total expected takings of Pacific walruses (walruses) and polar bears during Industry exploration activities will impact small numbers of animals, will have a negligible impact on these species, and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species for subsistence use by Alaska Natives. These final regulations include: Permissible methods of nonlethal taking; measures to ensure that Industry activities will have the least practicable adverse impact on the species and their habitat, and on the availability of these species for subsistence uses; and requirements for monitoring and reporting of any incidental takings that may occur, to the Service. The Service will issue Letters of Authorization (LOAs), upon request, for activities proposed to be conducted in accordance with the regulations.
Interior Department -- Addresses of Regional Offices2013-Jun-122013-13902We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are updating the names and addresses of our regional offices in our regulations at title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. We are also making other revisions to our regulations, such as updating the names and phone numbers of certain other Service offices. We are taking these actions to ensure regulated entities and the general public have accurate contact information for the Service's offices.
Commerce Department -- Amendment 94 to the Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan and Regulatory Amendments for Community Quota Entities2013-Jun-042013-13196NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 94 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). This final rule amends certain sablefish provisions of the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). Amendment 94 and its implementing regulations revise the vessel use caps applicable to sablefish quota share (QS) held by Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Community Quota Entities (CQEs). This final rule makes the same regulatory revisions to the vessel use caps applicable to halibut QS held by GOA CQEs. In this action, NMFS also revises the IFQ Program regulations to add three eligible communities to the CQE Program; to allow CQEs in International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory area 3A (Area 3A) to purchase vessel category D halibut QS; to revise CQE annual reporting requirements, including specifying reporting requirements for the charter halibut program; to clarify the CQE floating processor landing reporting requirements; and to consolidate CQE Program eligibility by community in a single table in the regulations.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retainable Amounts of Groundfish Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands2013-May-202013-11953NMFS issues a regulation to increase the maximum retainable amounts (MRAs) of groundfish using arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) and Kamchatka flounder (Atheresthes evermanni) as basis species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action allows the use of BSAI arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder as basis species for the retention of species closed to directed fishing and is necessary to improve retention of otherwise marketable groundfish in these BSAI fisheries. This action also includes four regulatory amendments related to harvest management of Kamchatka flounder. Two amendments are necessary to account for Kamchatka flounder in the same manner as arrowtooth flounder in the BSAI and to aid in the recordkeeping, reporting, and catch accounting of flatfish in the BSAI. The third amendment is necessary to provide NMFS the flexibility to allocate Kamchatka flounder (and other species in the future) to the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program in the annual harvest specifications. Through this action, NMFS intends to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2013-May-152013-11571NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 41 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). These regulations amend the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) by establishing a process whereby holders of regionally designated individual fishing quota (IFQ) and individual processor quota (IPQ) in six CR Program fisheries may receive an exemption from regional delivery requirements in the North or South Regions. The six CR Program fisheries are Bristol Bay red king crab, Bering Sea snow crab, Saint Matthew Island blue king crab, Eastern Aleutian Islands golden king crab, Western Aleutian Islands red king crab, and Pribilof Islands red and blue king crab. This action is necessary to mitigate disruptions in a CR Program fishery that prevent participants from complying with regional delivery requirements. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Interior Department -- Segregation of Lands-Renewable Energy2013-Apr-302013-10087The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is amending its regulations to add provisions allowing the BLM to temporarily segregate from the operation of the public land laws, by publication of a Federal Register notice, public lands included in a pending wind or solar energy generation right-of-way (ROW) application, and public lands that the BLM identifies for potential future wind or solar energy generation right-of-way applications under applicable legal requirements. The purpose of such segregation is to promote the orderly administration of the public lands. Lands segregated under this rule will not be subject to appropriation under the public land laws, including location under the Mining Law of 1872 (Mining Law), for up to two years from the date of publication of notice under this rule, subject to valid existing rights, but would remain open under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA) and the Materials Act of 1947 (Materials Act).
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska: Fixed-Gear Commercial Halibut and Sablefish Fisheries; Limitations on Use of Quota Share and the Individual Fishing Quota Program2013-Apr-262013-09939NMFS proposes to amend the hired master regulations of the Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ Program) for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The IFQ Program allows initial recipients of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish quota share (QS) to hire a vessel master to harvest an annual allocation of individual fishing quota (IFQ) derived from the QS. If this action is approved, an initial QS recipient would not be allowed to use a hired master to harvest IFQ derived from catcher vessel QS that they received by transfer after February 12, 2010, with a limited exception for small amounts of QS. This action is necessary to maintain a predominantly owner-operated fishery. In addition, this action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program2013-Apr-052013-07602This rule amends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations to implement Section 28 of the Food and Nutrition Act (``FNA'' or the ``Act'') of 2008, as added by Section 241 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids (HHFK) Act of 2010, to award grants to States for provision of nutrition education and obesity prevention programs. These programs will provide services for eligible individuals that promote healthy food choices consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). This rule provides State agencies with requirements for implementing Section 28 including the grant award process and describes the process for allocating the 100 percent Federal grant funding authorized under the Act to carry out nutrition education and obesity prevention services each fiscal year.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2013-14 and 2014-15 Subsistence Taking of Fish Regulations2013-Mar-292013-07198This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rulemaking replaces the fish taking regulations that expire on March 31, 2013.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2013-Mar-212013-06413NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 42 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). If approved, these regulations would revise the annual economic data reports (EDRs) currently required of participants in the Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) fisheries. The EDRs include cost, revenue, ownership, and employment data that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS use to study the economic impacts of the CR Program on harvesters, processors, and affected communities. This proposed action is necessary to eliminate redundant reporting requirements, standardize reporting across participants, and reduce participants' costs associated with the data collection. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Amendment 94 to the Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan and Regulatory Amendments for Community Quota Entities2013-Mar-062013-05077NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 94 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP), which would amend certain sablefish provisions of the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program). Amendment 94 and its proposed implementing regulations would revise the vessel use caps applicable to sablefish quota share (QS) held by Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Community Quota Entities (CQEs). NMFS is proposing the same regulatory revisions to the vessel use caps applicable to halibut QS held by GOA CQEs. In this action, NMFS is also proposing to revise the IFQ Program regulations to add three eligible communities to the CQE Program; to allow CQEs in International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory area 3A (Area 3A) to purchase vessel category D halibut QS; to revise CQE annual reporting requirements, including specifying requirements for the charter halibut program; to clarify the CQE floating processor landing reporting requirements; and to consolidate CQE Program eligibility by community in a single table in the regulations.
Homeland Security Department -- Updates to Standards Incorporated by Reference; Reapproved ASTM Standards; Technical Amendment2013-Feb-272013-03724Many of the Coast Guard's regulations incorporate by reference consensus standards that are developed by organizations other than the Coast Guard. This final rule updates references to standards developed by ASTM International, that have been reapproved, without change, since their incorporation into Coast Guard regulation. This rule does not address standards that have changed substantively, and it will not have any substantive impact on the regulated public.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Groundfish Retention Standard2013-Feb-252013-04262NMFS publishes a regulatory amendment to modify the groundfish retention standard (GRS) program in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This final rule removes certain regulatory requirements that mandate minimum levels of groundfish retention by the owners and operators of trawl catcher/processor (C/P) vessels not listed in the American Fisheries Act (AFA), commonly referred to as either non-AFA trawl C/Ps or Amendment 80 vessels, and Amendment 80 cooperatives participating in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. The GRS program was implemented to increase the retention and utilization of groundfish; however, NMFS has discovered that the regulatory methodology used to calculate compliance with the GRS requires individual Amendment 80 vessels and Amendment 80 cooperatives to retain groundfish at rates well above the minimum retention rates recommended by the Council or implemented by NMFS. As a result, the GRS imposes significantly higher than predicted compliance costs on vessel owners and operators due to the increased level of retention needed to meet the minimum retention rates. Additionally, NMFS discovered that enforcement of the GRS has proven far more complex, challenging, and potentially costly than anticipated by NMFS. This action is necessary to relieve Amendment 80 vessels and Amendment 80 cooperatives from undue compliance costs stemming from the minimum retention rates while continuing to promote the GRS program goals of increased groundfish retention and utilization. This action maintains current monitoring requirements for the Amendment 80 fleet and establishes a new requirement for Amendment 80 cooperatives to annually report groundfish retention performance as part of the report submitted to NMFS. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the fishery management plan, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- National School Lunch Program: Direct Certification Continuous Improvement Plans Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20102013-Feb-222013-04118This rule amends the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) regulations to incorporate provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 designed to encourage States to improve direct certification efforts with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The provisions require State agencies to meet certain direct certification performance benchmarks and to develop and implement continuous improvement plans if they fail to do so. This rule also amends NSLP and SNAP regulations to provide for the collection of data elements needed to compute each State's direct certification performance rate to compare with the new benchmarks. Improved direct certification efforts would help increase program accuracy, reduce paperwork for States and households, and increase eligible children's access to school meals.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2013-Jan-302013-02007NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 41 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). If approved, these regulations will amend the Bering Sea/ Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) by establishing a process whereby holders of regionally designated individual fishing quota (IFQ) and individual processor quota (IPQ) in six CR Program fisheries may receive an exemption from regional delivery requirements in the North or South Region. The six CR Program fisheries are Bristol Bay red king crab, Bering Sea snow crab, Saint Matthew Island blue king crab, Eastern Aleutian Islands golden king crab, Western Aleutian Islands red king crab, and Pribilof Islands red and blue king crab. Current regulations require that a portion of crab harvested in these fisheries be delivered and processed within the boundaries of the North or South Region. This action is necessary to mitigate disruptions in a CR Program fishery that prevent participants from complying with regional delivery requirements. This proposed action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2014-15 and 2015-16 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations2013-Jan-112013-00325This proposed rule would establish regulations for hunting and trapping seasons, harvest limits, methods and means related to taking of wildlife for subsistence uses during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence wildlife taking regulations. This rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Interior Department -- Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities2013-Jan-092012-31347In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), and its implementing regulations, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we), propose regulations that authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during oil and gas industry (Industry) exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea and adjacent western coast of Alaska. If adopted as proposed, this rule would be effective for 5 years from the date of issuance of the final rule. We propose a finding that the total expected takings of Pacific walruses (walruses) and polar bears during Industry exploration activities will impact small numbers of animals, will have a negligible impact on these species, and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species for subsistence use by Alaska Natives. The proposed regulations include: Permissible methods of nonlethal taking; measures to ensure that Industry activities will have the least practicable adverse impact on the species and their habitat, and on the availability of these species for subsistence uses; and requirements for monitoring and reporting of any incidental takings which may occur, to the Service. If this rule is made final, the Service will issue Letters of Authorization (LOAs), upon request, for activities proposed to be conducted in accordance with the regulations.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Salmon2012-Dec-212012-30839NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 12 to the Fishery Management Plan for Salmon Fisheries in the EEZ off the Coast of Alaska (FMP). Amendment 12 comprehensively revises and updates the FMP to reflect the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) salmon management policy and to comply with Federal law. This action is necessary to revise specific regulations and remove obsolete regulations in accordance with the modifications in Amendment 12. This action promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Groundfish Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska and Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Observer Program2012-Nov-212012-28255NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 86 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 76 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (Amendments 86/76). Amendments 86/ 76 add a funding and deployment system for observer coverage to the existing North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program (Observer Program) and amend existing observer coverage requirements for vessels and processing plants. The new funding and deployment system allows NMFS to determine when and where to deploy observers according to management and conservation needs, with funds provided through a system of fees based on the ex-vessel value of groundfish and halibut in fisheries covered by the new system. This action is necessary to resolve data quality and cost equity concerns with the Observer Program's existing funding and deployment structure. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the fishery management plans, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revisions to IFQ Program Regulations2012-Oct-312012-26790NMFS proposes a regulatory amendment to the vessel ownership requirement of the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program for fixed- gear Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in and off of Alaska. The IFQ Program requires that initial recipients of certain classes of quota shares own a minimum of 20-percent interest in any vessel on which they hire a master to fish their IFQ permits. This action proposes to require such quota share holders to have held a minimum of 20-percent ownership interest in the vessel for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the submission of any application to hire a master. This proposed action also would temporarily exempt from the 12-month ownership requirement an initial recipient whose vessel has been totally lost, as by sinking or fire, or so damaged that the vessel would require at least 60 days to be repaired. This action is necessary to maintain a predominantly owner-operated fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Groundfish Retention Standard2012-Oct-152012-25012NMFS proposes a regulatory amendment that would modify the groundfish retention standard (GRS) program in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area by removing certain regulatory requirements mandating minimum levels of groundfish retention and adding requirements for annual reports on groundfish retention performance. The GRS program was implemented to increase the retention and utilization of groundfish caught by trawl catcher/processor (C/P) vessels not listed in the American Fisheries Act (AFA), referred to as Amendment 80 vessels, and Amendment 80 cooperatives participating in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries. NMFS has discovered that the regulatory methodology used to calculate compliance with the GRS requires individual Amendment 80 vessels and Amendment 80 cooperatives to retain groundfish at minimum rates well above the minimum rates recommended by the Council or implemented by NMFS. As a result, the GRS is expected to impose significantly higher than predicted compliance costs on vessel owners and operators due to the increased level of retention needed to meet the minimum retention rates. Additionally, NMFS has discovered that enforcement of the GRS has proven far more complex, challenging, and potentially costly than anticipated by NMFS. This proposed rule would relieve non-AFA trawl C/ Ps and Amendment 80 cooperatives from undue compliance costs stemming from the mandatory GRS rates, but continue the GRS program goals of increased retention and utilization by establishing additional reporting requirements on groundfish retention performance together with current monitoring requirements for the Amendment 80 fleet. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the fishery management plan, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 972012-Oct-012012-24100NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). Amendment 97 allows the owner of a trawl catcher/processor vessel authorized to participate in the Amendment 80 catch share program to replace that vessel with a vessel that meets certain requirements. This action establishes the regulatory process for replacement of vessels in the Amendment 80 fleet and the requirements for Amendment 80 replacement vessels, such as a limit on the overall length of a replacement vessel, a prohibition on the use of an AFA vessel as a replacement vessel, measures to prevent a replaced vessel from participating in Federal groundfish fisheries off Alaska that are not Amendment 80 fisheries, and measures that extend specific catch limits (known as Amendment 80 sideboards) to a replacement vessel. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea by allowing Amendment 80 vessel owners to replace their vessels for any reason at any time and by requiring replacement vessels to meet certain U.S. Coast Guard vessel safety standards, and to improve the retention and utilization of groundfish catch by these vessels by facilitating an increase in the processing capabilities of the fleet. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- Shipping and Transportation; Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments2012-Oct-012012-23551This final rule makes non-substantive changes throughout Titles 46 and 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of this rule is to make conforming amendments and technical corrections to Coast Guard shipping and transportation regulations. This rule will have no substantive effect on the regulated public. These changes are provided to coincide with the annual recodification of Titles 46 and 49 on October 1, 2012.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Monitoring and Enforcement Requirements in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Freezer Longline Fleet2012-Sep-262012-23721NMFS issues regulations that modify equipment and operational requirements for freezer longliners (catcher/processors) named on License Limitation Program (LLP) licenses endorsed to catch and process Pacific cod at sea with hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). These regulations require vessel owners to select between two monitoring options: carry two observers so that all catch can be sampled, or carry one observer and use a motion-compensated scale to weigh Pacific cod before it is processed. The selected monitoring option is required to be used when the vessel is operating in either the BSAI or Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries when directed fishing for Pacific cod is open in the BSAI, or while the vessel is fishing for groundfish under the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. A vessel owner who notifies NMFS that the vessel will not be used to conduct directed fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI or to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing at any time during a particular year will not be required to select one of the monitoring options and will continue to follow observer coverage and catch reporting requirements that apply to catcher/processors not subject to this action. These regulatory amendments address the need for enhanced catch accounting, monitoring, and enforcement created by the formation of a voluntary cooperative by the BSAI longline catcher/ processor subsector in 2010, and are necessary to improve the precision of the accounting for allocated quota species. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revise Maximum Retained Amounts for Groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands2012-Sep-142012-22721NMFS proposes a regulatory amendment to increase the maximum retainable amounts (MRAs) of groundfish using arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) and Kamchatka flounder (Atheresthes evermanni) as basis species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action would allow the use of BSAI arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder as basis species for the retention of species closed to directed fishing and is necessary to improve retention of otherwise marketable groundfish in these BSAI fisheries. This action also includes four regulatory amendments related to harvest management of Kamchatka flounder. Three amendments are necessary to manage Kamchatka flounder in the same manner as arrowtooth flounder in the BSAI and to aid in the recordkeeping, reporting, and catch accounting of flatfish in the BSAI. The fourth amendment is necessary to provide NMFS the flexibility to allocate arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder (and other species in the future) to the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program in the annual harvest specifications. Through this proposed action, NMFS intends to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Pollock Fishery; Amendment 932012-Jul-202012-17747NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 93 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The regulations apply exclusively to the directed pollock trawl fisheries in the Central and Western Reporting Areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) (Central and Western GOA). Amendment 93 establishes separate prohibited species catch (PSC) limits in the Central and Western GOA for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), which would cause NMFS to close the directed pollock fishery in the Central or Western regulatory areas of the GOA, if the applicable limit is reached. This action also requires retention of salmon by all vessels in the Central and Western GOA pollock fisheries until the catch is delivered to a processing facility where an observer is provided the opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect scientific data or biological samples from the salmon. This action makes several revisions to the Prohibited Species Donation (PSD) program. Amendment 93 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 88; Correction2012-Jun-262012-15584This action corrects the final rule published on December 27, 2011, that implemented Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. This correction clarifies that participants in the entry level trawl fishery may qualify for quota share (QS) under the Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Rockfish Program only in proportion to the number of years that a person made rockfish legal landings to an entry level processor in 2007, 2008, or 2009. This clarification is administrative in nature and does not change the distribution of rockfish QS to entry level trawl participants.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Monitoring and Enforcement Requirements in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Freezer Longline Fleet2012-Jun-152012-14681NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify equipment and operational requirements for freezer longliners (catcher/processors) named on License Limitation Program (LLP) licenses endorsed to catch and process Pacific cod at sea with hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). If approved, the proposed regulations would require vessel owners to select between two monitoring options: carry two observers so that all catch can be sampled, or carry one observer and use a motion-compensated scale to weigh Pacific cod before it is processed. The selected monitoring option would be required to be used when the vessel is operating in either the BSAI or Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries when directed fishing for Pacific cod is open in the BSAI, or while the vessel is fishing for groundfish under the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. A vessel owner who notifies NMFS that the vessel will not be used to conduct directed fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI or to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing at any time during a particular year would not be required to select one of the monitoring options and would continue to follow observer coverage and catch reporting requirements that apply to catcher/processors not subject to this proposed action. These regulatory amendments address the need for enhanced catch accounting, monitoring, and enforcement created by the formation of a voluntary cooperative by the BSAI longline catcher/ processor subsector in 2010, and are necessary to improve the precision of the accounting for allocated quota species. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2012-13 and 2013-14 Subsistence Taking of Wildlife Regulations2012-Jun-132012-13866This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means related to the taking of wildlife for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rulemaking replaces the wildlife taking regulations that expire on June 30, 2012. This rule also revises wildlife customary and traditional use determinations and the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Homeland Security Department -- Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression Systems on Commercial Vessels2012-Jun-072012-12334The Coast Guard is amending the current regulations for fire suppression systems on several classes of commercial vessels. The amendments clarify that approved alternatives to carbon dioxide systems may be used to protect some spaces on these vessels, and set general requirements for alternative systems. Additionally, certain new carbon dioxide systems must be equipped with lockout valves and odorizing units to protect persons after a carbon dioxide discharge. By requiring these features on carbon dioxide systems and by making a wider range of fire suppression systems available, the regulations advance the Coast Guard's strategic goals of promoting marine safety and maritime mobility.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program2012-May-182012-12153NMFS issues a final rule to modify the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska (IFQ Program) by revoking quota share (QS) that have been inactive since they were originally issued in 1995. Inactive QS are those held by persons that have never harvested their IFQ and have never transferred QS or IFQ into or out of their IFQ accounts. This action is necessary to achieve the catch limit from the halibut fisheries and optimum yield from the sablefish fisheries in Alaska in accordance with National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and this action will achieve more efficient use of these species. The intended effect is to promote the management provisions in the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Commerce Department -- Groundfish Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska and Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Observer Program2012-Apr-182012-8856NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 86 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) and Amendment 76 to the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), (collectively referred to as the FMPs). If approved, Amendments 86 and 76 would add a funding and deployment system for observer coverage to the existing North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program (Observer Program) and amend existing observer coverage requirements for vessels and processing plants. The new funding and deployment system would allow NMFS to determine when and where to deploy observers according to management and conservation needs, with funds provided through a system of fees based on the ex- vessel value of groundfish and halibut in fisheries covered by the new system. This action is necessary to resolve data quality and cost equity concerns with the Observer Program's existing funding and deployment structure. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the FMPs, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Salmon2012-Apr-112012-8750NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 12 to the Fishery Management Plan for Salmon Fisheries in the EEZ off the Coast of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 12 would comprehensively revise and update the FMP to reflect the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council's) salmon management policy and to comply with Federal law. This proposed rule is necessary to revise specific regulations and remove obsolete regulations in accordance with the modifications proposed by Amendment 12. These proposed regulations are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Homeland Security Department -- MARPOL Annex I Amendments2012-Apr-092012-7919In this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), we are proposing to update our regulations to harmonize U.S. regulations with international conventions regarding oil pollution and safety of life at sea. The Coast Guard proposes to amend our regulations covering Navigation and Navigable Waters to align with recent amendments to Annex I of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978, which were adopted by the Marine Environment Protection Committee during its 52nd, 54th, 56th, and 59th sessions. In addition, we are proposing to incorporate guidance from the Maritime Safety Committee, based on updates to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974, into our regulations covering shipping. Finally, we are seeking public comment on an alternative to add a requirement that some new U.S. non-oceangoing vessels be equipped with an oily bilge water storage tank.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 972012-Apr-042012-7867NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, Amendment 97 would allow the owners of trawl catcher/processor vessels authorized to participate in the Amendment 80 catch share program to replace these vessels with vessels that meet certain requirements. This proposed action includes management measures that would establish the requirements for replacement vessels, such as a limit on the overall length of replacement vessels, measures to prevent replaced vessels from participating in Federal groundfish fisheries off Alaska that are not Amendment 80 fisheries, and specific catch limits known as Amendment 80 sideboards for replacement vessels. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea, by allowing Amendment 80 vessel owners to replace their vessels for any reason at any time and by requiring replacement vessels to meet certain U.S. Coast Guard vessel safety standards, and is intended to facilitate an increase in the processing capabilities of the fleet to improve the retention and utilization of groundfish catch by these vessels. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-Subpart C-Board Determinations; Rural Determinations2012-Mar-012012-4786This final rule extends the compliance date for the final rule that revised the list of nonrural areas identified by the Federal Subsistence Board (Board). On May 7, 2007, the Board published a final rule changing the rural determination for several communities or areas in Alaska. These communities had five years following the date of publication to come into compliance. In 2009 the Secretary of the Interior initiated a review of the Federal Subsistence Program. An ensuing directive was for the Federal Subsistence Board to review its processes for determining the rural and nonrural status of communities. As a result, the Board has initiated a review of the rural determination process and the rural determination findings. The Board finds that it is in the public's interest to extend the compliance date of the 2007 final rule until the review is complete or in 5 years, whichever comes first.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Community Development Quota Program2012-Feb-082012-2751NMFS issues regulations that govern fisheries managed under the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. These revisions are needed to comply with certain changes made to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act) in 2006. Changes include revising regulations associated with recordkeeping, vessel licensing, catch retention requirements, and fisheries observer requirements to ensure that they are no more restrictive than the regulations in effect for comparable non-CDQ fisheries managed under individual fishing quotas or cooperative allocations. In addition, NMFS removes CDQ Program regulations that now are inconsistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, including regulations associated with the CDQ allocation process, the transfer of groundfish CDQ and halibut prohibited species quota, and the oversight of CDQ groups' expenditures.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery; Economic Data Collection2012-Feb-032012-2361NMFS issues a final rule to implement the Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report Program, which will evaluate the effectiveness of Chinook salmon bycatch management measures for the Bering Sea pollock fishery that were implemented under Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). Members of the American Fisheries Act catcher vessels, catcher/processor, and mothership sectors as well as representatives for the six western Alaska Community Development Quota Program organizations that presently receive allocations of Bering Sea pollock will submit the data collected for this program. This rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the FMP, the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2013-14 and 2014-15 Subsistence Taking of Fish and Shellfish Regulations2012-Feb-022012-2008This proposed rule would establish regulations for fish and shellfish seasons, harvest limits, methods and means related to taking of fish and shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years and subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence fish and shellfish taking regulations. This proposed rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife.
Agriculture Department -- National School Lunch Program: Direct Certification Continuous Improvement Plans Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20102012-Jan-312012-1835This rule proposes to amend the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) regulations to incorporate provisions of the Healthy, Hunger- Free Kids Act of 2010 designed to encourage States to improve direct certification efforts with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The provisions would require State agencies to meet certain direct certification performance benchmarks and to develop and implement continuous improvement plans if they fail to do so. This rule also proposes to amend NSLP and SNAP regulations to provide for the collection of data elements needed to compute each State's direct certification performance rate to compare with the new benchmarks.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 882011-Dec-272011-32873NMFS issues regulations implementing Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). Amendment 88 is the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program (Rockfish Program). These regulations allocate exclusive harvest privileges to a specific group of license limitation program license holders who used trawl gear to target Pacific ocean perch, pelagic shelf rockfish, and northern rockfish during particular qualifying years. The Rockfish Program retains the conservation, management, safety, and economic gains realized under the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Pilot Program) and resolves identified issues in the management and viability of the rockfish fisheries. This action is necessary to replace particular Pilot Program regulations that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in the Gulf of Alaska Pollock Fishery; Amendment 932011-Dec-142011-31973NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 93 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The proposed regulations would apply exclusively to the directed pollock trawl fisheries in the Central and Western Reporting Areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) (Central and Western GOA). If approved, Amendment 93 would establish separate prohibited species catch (PSC) limits in the Central and Western GOA for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), which would cause NMFS to close the directed pollock fishery in the Central or Western regulatory areas of the Gulf of Alaska, if the applicable limit is reached. This action also would require retention of salmon by all vessels in the Central and Western GOA pollock fisheries until the catch is delivered to a processing facility where an observer is provided the opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect scientific data or biological samples from the salmon. Amendment 93 would increase observer coverage on vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall that participate in the directed pollock fishery in the Central or Western regulatory areas of the GOA by January 2013, unless the restructured North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program is in place by this time. Amendment 93 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 832011-Dec-012011-30861NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 83 allocates Western and Central GOA Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) limits among various gear and operational sectors. Sector allocations limit the amount of Western and Central GOA Pacific cod that each sector is authorized to harvest. This action reduces competition among sectors and supports stability in the Pacific cod fishery. This rule limits access to the Federal Pacific cod TAC fisheries prosecuted in State of Alaska waters, commonly known as the parallel fishery, adjacent to the Western and Central GOA. This action is intended to promote community participation and provide incentives for new entrants in the jig sector. It also promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Revisions to Pacific Cod Fishing in the Parallel Fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area2011-Nov-292011-30727NMFS issues regulations to limit access of Federally permitted pot and hook-and-line catcher/processors (C/Ps) to the Pacific cod fishery in Alaska State waters within 3 nautical miles of shore adjacent to the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). The affected fishery is commonly known as the ``parallel'' fishery. The parallel fishery is managed by the State of Alaska concurrent with the Federal pot and hook-and-line fishery for Pacific cod in the BSAI. This rule limits access by Federally permitted vessels to the parallel fishery for Pacific cod in three ways. First, it requires an owner of a Federally permitted pot or hook-and-line C/P vessel used to catch Pacific cod in the State of Alaska parallel fishery to be issued the same endorsements on his or her Federal fisheries permit (FFP) or license limitation program (LLP) license as currently are required for catching Pacific cod in the Federal waters of the BSAI. Second, it provides that the owner of a pot or hook-and-line C/P vessel who surrenders an FFP will not be reissued a new FFP for that vessel within the 3-year term of the permit. Third, it requires an operator of any Federally permitted pot or hook-and-line C/P vessel used to catch Pacific cod in the parallel fishery to comply with the same seasonal closures of Pacific cod that apply in the Federal fishery. These three measures are necessary to limit some C/Ps from catching a greater amount of Pacific cod in the parallel fishery than has been allocated to their sector from the BSAI total allowable catch. Maintaining Pacific cod catch amounts within BSAI sector allocations also will reduce the potential for shortened Pacific cod seasons for C/Ps in the Federal fishery. These three measures will improve the effectiveness of NMFS' catch accounting and monitoring requirements on vessels participating in the parallel fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2011-Nov-042011-28664NMFS issues regulations implementing Amendment 30 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). Amendment 30 amends the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) to modify procedures for producing and submitting documents that are required under the arbitration system to resolve price, delivery, and other disputes between harvesters and processors. This action is necessary to improve the quality and timeliness of market information used to conduct arbitration proceedings. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Limited Access Privilege Program2011-Nov-042011-28665NMFS issues regulations implementing Amendment 93 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). These regulations amend the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Amendment 80 Program to modify the criteria for forming and participating in a harvesting cooperative. This action is necessary to encourage greater participation in harvesting cooperatives, which enable members to more efficiently target species, avoid areas with undesirable bycatch, and improve the quality of products produced. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-Subpart B, Federal Subsistence Board2011-Sep-122011-23243This final rule revises the regulations concerning the composition of the Federal Subsistence Board (Board). On October 23, 2009, the Secretary of the Interior announced the initiation of a Departmental review of the Federal Subsistence Management Program in Alaska. The review focused on how the program is meeting the purposes and subsistence provisions of Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), and how the program is serving rural subsistence users. The review proposed several administrative and regulatory changes to strengthen the program and make it more responsive to rural subsistence users. This rule expands the Federal Subsistence Board by two public members who possess personal knowledge of and direct experience with subsistence uses in rural Alaska. This action will afford additional stakeholder input to the process.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 882011-Aug-192011-20454NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP), which regulates the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program. This proposed Rockfish Program would allocate exclusive harvest privileges to a specific group of license limitation program license holders who used trawl gear to target Pacific ocean perch, pelagic shelf rockfish, and northern rockfish during particular qualifying years. It would retain the conservation, management, safety, and economic gains realized under the Rockfish Pilot Program and resolve identified issues in the management and viability of the rockfish fisheries. This action is necessary to replace particular Rockfish Pilot Program regulations that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Agriculture Department -- Clarification of Eligibility of Fleeing Felons2011-Aug-192011-21194Section 6(k) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (``the Act'') provides that certain individuals are not eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Such individuals include an individual fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after conviction for committing a crime or attempting to commit a crime that is a felony under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing (or a high misdemeanor in New Jersey) or is violating a condition of probation or parole under Federal or State law. Section 4112 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Public Law 110-246, amended Section 6(k) of the Act to require the Secretary of Agriculture to define the terms ``fleeing'' and ``actively seeking'' to ensure State agencies use consistent procedures to disqualify individuals. This rule proposes to define the terms ``fleeing'' and ``actively seeking'' and to establish procedures State agencies are to use in determining fleeing felon status. This rule also proposes criteria to identify a parole violator, verification procedures to establish an individual's status, and time frames for disqualifying an individual determined to be a fleeing felon or a parole violator.
Homeland Security Department -- Waiver of Citizenship Requirements for Crewmembers on Commercial Fishing Vessels2011-Aug-182011-21024The Coast Guard proposes to add to its regulations a description of the procedures for requesting and processing waivers of citizenship requirements on commercial fishing vessels. The Coast Guard aims to improve its efforts to inform the commercial fishing industry of this opportunity by publishing the application procedure policy into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program2011-Aug-102011-20187NMFS proposes regulations implementing Amendment 30 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP). This proposed rule would amend the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (CR Program) to modify procedures for producing and submitting documents that are required under the Arbitration System to resolve price, delivery, and other disputes between harvesters and processors. This action is necessary to improve the quality and timeliness of market information used to conduct arbitration proceedings. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable law.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Limited Access Privilege Program2011-Aug-102011-20191NMFS proposes regulations that would implement Amendment 93 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). This proposed rule would amend the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Amendment 80 Program to modify the criteria for forming and participating in a harvesting cooperative. This action is necessary to encourage greater participation in harvesting cooperatives, which enable members to more efficiently target species, avoid areas with undesirable bycatch, and improve the quality of products produced. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable law.
Interior Department -- Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities2011-Aug-032011-19296The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed regulations that would authorize the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walruses during year-round oil and gas industry (Industry) exploration, development, and production operations in the Beaufort Sea and adjacent northern coast of Alaska. Industry operations for the covered period include types of activities similar to those covered by the previous 5- year Beaufort Sea incidental take regulations that were effective from August 2, 2006, through August 2, 2011. We find that the total expected takings of polar bears and Pacific walruses during oil and gas industry exploration, development, and production activities will have a negligible impact on these species and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species for subsistence use by Alaska Natives. We base this finding on the results of 17 years of data on the encounters and interactions between polar bears, Pacific walruses, and Industry; recent studies of potential effects of Industry on these species; oil spill risk assessments; potential and documented Industry impacts on these species; and current information regarding the natural history and status of polar bears and Pacific walruses. This rule is effective for 5 years from date of issuance.
Commerce Department -- Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod Allocations in the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 832011-Jul-262011-18317NMFS proposes a rule to implement Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). If approved, Amendment 83 would allocate the Western and Central GOA Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) limits among various gear and operational sectors. Sector allocations would limit the amount of Western and Central GOA Pacific cod that each sector is authorized to harvest. This action would reduce competition among sectors and support stability in the Pacific cod fishery. This rule would also limit access to the Federal Pacific cod TAC fisheries prosecuted in State waters, commonly known as the parallel fishery, adjacent to the Western and Central GOA. This action is intended to promote community participation and provide incentives for new entrants in the jig sector. It also promotes the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan, and other applicable laws.
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