Periodic Reporting Rules, 55464-55466 [E8-22639]

Download as PDF 55464 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 187 / Thursday, September 25, 2008 / Proposed Rules a paper filing. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original and 14 copies of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. For paper filings, the original and 14 copies of such comments should be submitted to the Secretary of the Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. 22. All comments will be placed in the Commission’s public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely, as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters. PART 284—CERTAIN SALES AND TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS UNDER THE NATURAL GAS POLICY ACT OF 1978 AND RELATED AUTHORITIES Authority: 15 U.S.C. 717–717w, 3301– 3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101–7352; 43 U.S.C. 1331– 1356. 2. Section 284.12 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (vi), adding paragraph (a)(1)(vii), and revising the introductory text of paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 284.12 Standards for pipeline business operations and communications. (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) Additional Standards (General 23. In addition to publishing the full Standards, Creditworthiness Standards, text of this document in the Federal and Gas/Electric Operational Register, the Commission provides all Communications Standards) (Version interested persons an opportunity to 1.8, September 30, 2006); view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through (ii) Nominations Related Standards FERC’s Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) (Version 1.8, September 30, 2006); and in FERC’s Public Reference Room (iii) Flowing Gas Related Standards during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. (Version 1.8, September 30, 2006); to 5 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First (iv) Invoicing Related Standards Street, NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426. (Version 1.8, September 30, 2006); 24. From FERC’s Home Page on the (v) Quadrant Electronic Delivery Internet, this information is available in Mechanism Related Standards (Version eLibrary. The full text of this document 1.8, September 30, 2006) with the is available in eLibrary both in PDF and exception of Standard 4.3.4; Microsoft Word format for viewing, (vi) Capacity Release Related printing, and/or downloading. To access Standards (Version 1.8, September 30, this document in eLibrary, type the docket number, excluding the last three 2006 (with minor corrections applied December 13, 2006); and digits of this document in the docket (vii) Internet Electronic Transport number field. Related Standards (Version 1.8, 25. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the FERC’s Web site during September 30, 2006) with the exception of Standard 10.3.2. the Commission’s normal business hours. For assistance, contact FERC * * * * * Online Support by e-mail at (b) Business practices and electronic FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or by communication requirements. An telephone at 202–502–6652 (toll-free at interstate pipeline that transports gas (866) 208–3676) or for TTY, contact under subparts B or G of this part must (202) 502–8659. comply with the following List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 284 requirements. The regulations in this paragraph adopt the abbreviations and Continental shelf, Incorporation by definitions contained in the North reference, Natural gas, Reporting and American Energy Standards Board recordkeeping requirements. Wholesale Gas Quadrant standards By direction of the Commission. incorporated by reference in paragraph Kimberly D. Bose, (a)(1) of this section. Secretary. * * * * * In consideration of the foregoing, the [FR Doc. E8–22206 Filed 9–24–08; 8:45 am] Commission proposes to amend part BILLING CODE 6717–01–P 284, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS 17:10 Sep 24, 2008 Jkt 214001 39 CFR Part 3001 [Docket No. RM2008–6; Order No. 108] Periodic Reporting Rules 1. The authority citation for part 284 continues to read as follows: VIII. Document Availability VerDate Aug<31>2005 POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Postal Regulatory Commission. Proposed rule; availability of rulemaking petition. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: Under a new law, the Postal Service must file an annual compliance report with the Postal Regulatory Commission on costs, revenues, rates, and quality of service associated with its products. It has filed documents with the Commission to change some of the methods it uses to compile the fiscal year 2008 report. In the Commission’s view, these documents constitute a rulemaking petition. Therefore, this document provides an opportunity for the public to comment on potential changes in periodic reporting rules. DATES: 1. Initial comments: September 26, 2008. 2. Reply comments: October 3, 2008. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen L. Sharfman, General Counsel, 202–789–6820 and stephen.sharfman@prc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulatory History, 73 FR 51983 (September 8, 2008). On September 12, 2008, the Postal Service filed a petition to initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding comparable to Docket No. RM2008–2 to consider two more proposed changes to the costing methods approved for periodic reporting.1 In Docket No. RM2008–2, nine numbered proposals are the subject of notice and comment rulemaking procedures. The Postal Service proposes that the two additional proposed changes be referred to as Proposal Ten and Proposal Eleven to avoid confusion with the nine proposals already under review. The Postal Service’s petition describes its two additional proposals, explains their background, objectives, rationale, and, to the extent possible, their likely impact in FY 2008. I. Procedural Expedition The same factors that led the Commission to expedite review of the 1 Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Further Proposed Methodology Changes for the FY 2008 ACR (Proposals Ten-Eleven), September 12, 2008 (Petition). E:\FR\FM\25SEP1.SGM 25SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 187 / Thursday, September 25, 2008 / Proposed Rules sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS nine proposals in Docket No. RM2008– 2 apply here. There are fewer proposals and they appear to be simpler and potentially less controversial than there were in Docket No. RM2008–2. Accordingly, the Commission will set a shorter period for comments and reply comments for these two additional proposals, and will not schedule a technical conference ahead of time, as it did in Docket No. RM2008–2. II. Substance of Postal Service Proposals The Postal Service proposals, see Petition at 3 et seq., are described below. Proposal Ten. Proposed Change in Costing of Parcel Post Products. Objective: Changes are proposed for the development of costs for products within the old Parcel Post subclass: market dominant product Parcel Post Single-Piece, and competitive products Parcel Select and Parcel Return Service (PRS). Background: In FY2007, costs from the data systems were only available for the Parcel Post subclass as a whole. In the Annual Compliance Report, ACR2007, costs for the market-dominant product Parcel Post Single-Piece and competitive products Parcel Select and Parcel Return Service (PRS) were developed using methodologies previously accepted for the purposes of estimating cost differences deemed to be relevant to worksharing.2 In other words, the estimates presented were primarily topdown. In the Annual Compliance Determination report, the Postal Regulatory Commission concluded that Parcel Return Service may have had an FY07 cost coverage of only 97.7 percent, which would have been insufficient to meet the requirements of the PAEA. The Commission acknowledged that the PRS FY07 cost coverage might have been higher if there were cost savings, such as reduced carrier costs, but noted that dispositive data on that issue were not provided.3 The Postal Service has taken the initiative to obtain data for the Parcel Post products directly from the cost data systems. The In-Office Cost System (IOCS) and Carrier Cost Systems (CCS) can identify each of the three products separately for all of FY08. The Transportation Cost System (TRACS) can separate Parcel Post Single-Piece from Bulk Parcel Post for all of FY08, but can only separate Parcel Select from PRS starting quarter 2 of FY08. 2 In Docket No. ACR2007, these estimates were presented in USPS–FT07–9 and USPS–FY07–15. 3 Postal Regulatory Commission Annual Compliance Determination, FY 2007, p. 24. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Sep 24, 2008 Jkt 214001 Proposal: For FY2008, we propose to develop mail processing and delivery costs for Parcel Post Single-Piece, Parcel Select and PRS using IOCS and CCS data. For transportation costs, we propose to use TRACS data to develop separate Parcel Post Single-Piece and Bulk Parcel Post, and to use the accepted methodology to split costs for Bulk Parcel Post into Parcel Select and PRS. These inputs would then be used in the CRA Model to develop a bottomup cost estimate for each product (i.e., displaying each product as a separate row in the CRA). Impact: The impact on costs will be unknown until the completion of the FY08 ACR. To the extent that the FY07 procedure implicitly focused only on cost differences deemed relevant for worksharing, and thus may have tended to overstate PRS costs, and to the extent that the proposed bottom-up FY08 procedures develop cost estimates intended to reflect all cost differences, and thus hopefully should neither overstate nor understate PRS costs, the new methodology perhaps may reduce PRS costs relative to the FY07 methodology. Proposal Eleven: Proposed Change in Distribution Key for Volume-Variable Carrier Costs Relating to Blue Collection Boxes. Objective: The purpose of this document is to propose a methodology change, for FY2008, in the manner in which cost segment 7 (city street activity) volume variable costs incurred by blue collection boxes are distributed to products. Background: Cost Segment 7 blue collection box costs are incurred on both special purpose routes and letter routes. For special purpose routes, the accrued and volume variable costs are derived from the study of special purpose routes submitted in Docket No. R97–1. For letter routes, the accrued and volume variable costs are derived from the 2002 City Carrier Street Time Study (CCSTS), which was submitted in Docket No. R2005–1. In FY2007, the volume variable costs resulting from blue collection boxes were $46.7 million and $9.4 million from special purpose routes and letter routes, respectively. Currently, the same distribution factors are applied to attribute the volume variable costs from special purpose routes and letter routes to products. The existing factors are primarily derived from a special study submitted in Docket No. R84–1, but are adjusted annually based on current Revenue Pieces and Weight (RPW) data. Proposal: The Postal Service is proposing to distribute the volume variable costs incurred by blue PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 55465 collection boxes to products based on updated distribution factors from current data collected on City Carrier Cost System (CCCS) tests. Rationale: Collection mail volumes from customer delivery points have been captured by CCCS for several years. In FY2008, CCCS augmented the type of collection volume data recorded. On letter routes, CCCS now records, separately, the same information about blue collection box contents as it does for collection mail from customer delivery points. Utilizing updated distribution factors based on the current mail contents in blue boxes collected on letter routes signifies a methodology improvement for two reasons. First, the existing factors are largely derived from a study conducted approximately 25 years ago, whereas the new factors estimate the current mail contents of blue collection boxes. Second, the proposed approach would directly assign costs to Priority Mail, Express Mail, Free mail, USPS mail, and International mail based on the actual frequency of each within the sampled data from collection boxes, rather than the current two-step process of first assigning a fixed proportion of collection costs to ‘‘Other’’, and then further distributing the ‘‘Other’’ costs to those products based on RPW volume. The current process is described in detail at pages 6–7 of the copies of materials provided at the technical conference with Notice of the United States Postal Service Regarding Materials Distributed or Requested at the August 27, 2008 Technical Conference, Docket No. RM2008–2 (August 29, 2008). Impact: A preliminary review of partial-year new distribution data indicates First Class Mail constituting a higher percentage (i.e., in excess of 99 percent) of mail in blue collection boxes, as compared with the study submitted in Docket No. R84–1. If this result holds, then First Class Mail will receive a higher percentage of volume variable costs incurred as a result of blue collection boxes than in previous years. In FY07, $53.8 million in volume variable costs from blue collection boxes was distributed to First Class Mail. Given that there was only $56.1 million in such costs to distribute to the products, the dollar impact on products due to this methodology proposal will be small. However, considering the numerous changes since 1984, such as a more complicated rate structure, Carrier Pickup, and rigid security regulations, the primary result of the preliminary review (i.e., that less than one percent of mail in the collection E:\FR\FM\25SEP1.SGM 25SEP1 55466 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 187 / Thursday, September 25, 2008 / Proposed Rules boxes is other than First Class Mail) seems reasonable. III. Ordering Paragraphs It is Ordered: 1. The Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Further Proposed Methodology Changes for the FY 2008 ACR (Proposals Ten and Eleven), filed September 12, 2008, is granted. 2. Interested persons may submit initial comments on or before September 26, 2008. The proposals described in this order will be considered under the current procedural schedule in Docket No. RM2008–2. 3. Reply comments may be submitted on or before October 3, 2008. 4. William C. Miller is designated as the Public Representative representing the interests of the general public in this proceeding. 5. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3652. By the Commission. Steven W. Williams, Secretary. [FR Doc. E8–22639 Filed 9–24–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R09–OAR–2008–0705; FRL–8720–5] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Nevada; Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is proposing to approve certain revisions, and to disapprove certain other revisions, of the Nevada State Implementation Plan submitted by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. These revisions relate to the application of the State’s vehicle inspection and maintenance program to vehicles operated on Federal installations. EPA is also proposing to correct certain plan revisions related to this subject that EPA previously approved in error. The intended effect is to ensure that vehicles operated on Federal installations are subject only to those requirements of the State’s vehicle inspection and maintenance program that apply in the same manner and to VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Sep 24, 2008 Jkt 214001 the same extent to nongovernmental entities. DATES: Any comments must arrive by October 27, 2008. ADDRESSES: Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA–R09– OAR–2008–0705, by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions. • E-mail: kaplan.eleanor@epa.gov. • Mail or deliver: Eleanor Kaplan (AIR–2), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. www.regulations.gov is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send e-mail directly to EPA, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eleanor Kaplan, Air Planning Office (AIR–2), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, (415) 947–4147, kaplan.eleanor@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘us’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to EPA. Table of Contents I. Background PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 II. The State’s SIP Revision Submittal A. What revisions did the State submit? B. What is our evaluation of the revisions? III. Correction of Previously-Approved Provisions A. What provisions did we previously approve? B. What is our evaluation of the approved provisions? IV. Public Comment and Final Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background On January 7, 2008 (73 FR 1175), EPA proposed, under the Clean Air Act (CAA or ‘‘Act’’), to approve certain submittals by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) of revisions to the Nevada state implementation plan (SIP). The submittals that were the subject of our January 7, 2008 proposed rule primarily relate to attainment and maintenance of the carbon monoxide (CO) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) in the Truckee Meadows nonattainment area. In our January 7, 2008 proposed rule, we also proposed to approve the State’s submittal of an update to the regulatory element of the State’s mobile source SIP, including statutory provisions and rules related to the State’s vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) programs administered in Truckee Meadows (located within Washoe County) and Las Vegas Valley and Boulder City (located within Clark County). As part of our January 7, 2008 proposed rule, we proposed to approve all of the State’s vehicle I/M rules with the exception of a particular subsection (subsection (2)) of a single rule, Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) section 445B.595 (‘‘Inspections of vehicles owned by State or political subdivisions or operated on federal installations’’) (‘‘NAC 445B.595(2)’’), for which we proposed neither approval nor disapproval. We explained our ‘‘no action’’ proposal for NAC 445B.595(2) as follows: The Federal I/M rule requires that vehicles operated on Federal installations located within an I/M program area be tested regardless of whether the vehicles are registered in the state or local I/M area. See 40 CFR 51.356(a)(4). However, we are not requiring states to implement 40 CFR 51.356(a)(4) at this time. The Department of Justice has recommended to EPA that this Federal regulation be revised since it appears to grant states authority to regulate Federal installations in circumstances where the Federal government has not waived sovereign immunity. It would not be appropriate to require compliance with this regulation if it is not constitutionally authorized. EPA will be revising this provision in the future and will review state I/M SIPs with respect to this issue when this E:\FR\FM\25SEP1.SGM 25SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 187 (Thursday, September 25, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 55464-55466]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-22639]


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POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

39 CFR Part 3001

[Docket No. RM2008-6; Order No. 108]


Periodic Reporting Rules

AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule; availability of rulemaking petition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Under a new law, the Postal Service must file an annual 
compliance report with the Postal Regulatory Commission on costs, 
revenues, rates, and quality of service associated with its products. 
It has filed documents with the Commission to change some of the 
methods it uses to compile the fiscal year 2008 report. In the 
Commission's view, these documents constitute a rulemaking petition. 
Therefore, this document provides an opportunity for the public to 
comment on potential changes in periodic reporting rules.

DATES: 1. Initial comments: September 26, 2008.
    2. Reply comments: October 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing 
Online system at http://www.prc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen L. Sharfman, General Counsel, 
202-789-6820 and stephen.sharfman@prc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulatory History, 73 FR 51983 (September 
8, 2008).
    On September 12, 2008, the Postal Service filed a petition to 
initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding comparable to Docket No. 
RM2008-2 to consider two more proposed changes to the costing methods 
approved for periodic reporting.\1\ In Docket No. RM2008-2, nine 
numbered proposals are the subject of notice and comment rulemaking 
procedures. The Postal Service proposes that the two additional 
proposed changes be referred to as Proposal Ten and Proposal Eleven to 
avoid confusion with the nine proposals already under review. The 
Postal Service's petition describes its two additional proposals, 
explains their background, objectives, rationale, and, to the extent 
possible, their likely impact in FY 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting 
Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Further Proposed Methodology 
Changes for the FY 2008 ACR (Proposals Ten-Eleven), September 12, 
2008 (Petition).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I. Procedural Expedition

    The same factors that led the Commission to expedite review of the

[[Page 55465]]

nine proposals in Docket No. RM2008-2 apply here. There are fewer 
proposals and they appear to be simpler and potentially less 
controversial than there were in Docket No. RM2008-2. Accordingly, the 
Commission will set a shorter period for comments and reply comments 
for these two additional proposals, and will not schedule a technical 
conference ahead of time, as it did in Docket No. RM2008-2.

II. Substance of Postal Service Proposals

    The Postal Service proposals, see Petition at 3 et seq., are 
described below.
    Proposal Ten. Proposed Change in Costing of Parcel Post Products.
    Objective: Changes are proposed for the development of costs for 
products within the old Parcel Post subclass: market dominant product 
Parcel Post Single-Piece, and competitive products Parcel Select and 
Parcel Return Service (PRS).
    Background: In FY2007, costs from the data systems were only 
available for the Parcel Post subclass as a whole. In the Annual 
Compliance Report, ACR2007, costs for the market-dominant product 
Parcel Post Single-Piece and competitive products Parcel Select and 
Parcel Return Service (PRS) were developed using methodologies 
previously accepted for the purposes of estimating cost differences 
deemed to be relevant to worksharing.\2\ In other words, the estimates 
presented were primarily topdown. In the Annual Compliance 
Determination report, the Postal Regulatory Commission concluded that 
Parcel Return Service may have had an FY07 cost coverage of only 97.7 
percent, which would have been insufficient to meet the requirements of 
the PAEA. The Commission acknowledged that the PRS FY07 cost coverage 
might have been higher if there were cost savings, such as reduced 
carrier costs, but noted that dispositive data on that issue were not 
provided.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ In Docket No. ACR2007, these estimates were presented in 
USPS-FT07-9 and USPS-FY07-15.
    \3\ Postal Regulatory Commission Annual Compliance 
Determination, FY 2007, p. 24.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Postal Service has taken the initiative to obtain data for the 
Parcel Post products directly from the cost data systems. The In-Office 
Cost System (IOCS) and Carrier Cost Systems (CCS) can identify each of 
the three products separately for all of FY08. The Transportation Cost 
System (TRACS) can separate Parcel Post Single-Piece from Bulk Parcel 
Post for all of FY08, but can only separate Parcel Select from PRS 
starting quarter 2 of FY08.
    Proposal: For FY2008, we propose to develop mail processing and 
delivery costs for Parcel Post Single-Piece, Parcel Select and PRS 
using IOCS and CCS data. For transportation costs, we propose to use 
TRACS data to develop separate Parcel Post Single-Piece and Bulk Parcel 
Post, and to use the accepted methodology to split costs for Bulk 
Parcel Post into Parcel Select and PRS. These inputs would then be used 
in the CRA Model to develop a bottom-up cost estimate for each product 
(i.e., displaying each product as a separate row in the CRA).
    Impact: The impact on costs will be unknown until the completion of 
the FY08 ACR. To the extent that the FY07 procedure implicitly focused 
only on cost differences deemed relevant for worksharing, and thus may 
have tended to overstate PRS costs, and to the extent that the proposed 
bottom-up FY08 procedures develop cost estimates intended to reflect 
all cost differences, and thus hopefully should neither overstate nor 
understate PRS costs, the new methodology perhaps may reduce PRS costs 
relative to the FY07 methodology.
    Proposal Eleven: Proposed Change in Distribution Key for Volume-
Variable Carrier Costs Relating to Blue Collection Boxes.
    Objective: The purpose of this document is to propose a methodology 
change, for FY2008, in the manner in which cost segment 7 (city street 
activity) volume variable costs incurred by blue collection boxes are 
distributed to products.
    Background: Cost Segment 7 blue collection box costs are incurred 
on both special purpose routes and letter routes. For special purpose 
routes, the accrued and volume variable costs are derived from the 
study of special purpose routes submitted in Docket No. R97-1. For 
letter routes, the accrued and volume variable costs are derived from 
the 2002 City Carrier Street Time Study (CCSTS), which was submitted in 
Docket No. R2005-1. In FY2007, the volume variable costs resulting from 
blue collection boxes were $46.7 million and $9.4 million from special 
purpose routes and letter routes, respectively. Currently, the same 
distribution factors are applied to attribute the volume variable costs 
from special purpose routes and letter routes to products. The existing 
factors are primarily derived from a special study submitted in Docket 
No. R84-1, but are adjusted annually based on current Revenue Pieces 
and Weight (RPW) data.
    Proposal: The Postal Service is proposing to distribute the volume 
variable costs incurred by blue collection boxes to products based on 
updated distribution factors from current data collected on City 
Carrier Cost System (CCCS) tests.
    Rationale: Collection mail volumes from customer delivery points 
have been captured by CCCS for several years. In FY2008, CCCS augmented 
the type of collection volume data recorded. On letter routes, CCCS now 
records, separately, the same information about blue collection box 
contents as it does for collection mail from customer delivery points. 
Utilizing updated distribution factors based on the current mail 
contents in blue boxes collected on letter routes signifies a 
methodology improvement for two reasons. First, the existing factors 
are largely derived from a study conducted approximately 25 years ago, 
whereas the new factors estimate the current mail contents of blue 
collection boxes. Second, the proposed approach would directly assign 
costs to Priority Mail, Express Mail, Free mail, USPS mail, and 
International mail based on the actual frequency of each within the 
sampled data from collection boxes, rather than the current two-step 
process of first assigning a fixed proportion of collection costs to 
``Other'', and then further distributing the ``Other'' costs to those 
products based on RPW volume. The current process is described in 
detail at pages 6-7 of the copies of materials provided at the 
technical conference with Notice of the United States Postal Service 
Regarding Materials Distributed or Requested at the August 27, 2008 
Technical Conference, Docket No. RM2008-2 (August 29, 2008).
    Impact: A preliminary review of partial-year new distribution data 
indicates First Class Mail constituting a higher percentage (i.e., in 
excess of 99 percent) of mail in blue collection boxes, as compared 
with the study submitted in Docket No. R84-1. If this result holds, 
then First Class Mail will receive a higher percentage of volume 
variable costs incurred as a result of blue collection boxes than in 
previous years. In FY07, $53.8 million in volume variable costs from 
blue collection boxes was distributed to First Class Mail. Given that 
there was only $56.1 million in such costs to distribute to the 
products, the dollar impact on products due to this methodology 
proposal will be small. However, considering the numerous changes since 
1984, such as a more complicated rate structure, Carrier Pickup, and 
rigid security regulations, the primary result of the preliminary 
review (i.e., that less than one percent of mail in the collection

[[Page 55466]]

boxes is other than First Class Mail) seems reasonable.

III. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is Ordered:
    1. The Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting 
Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Further Proposed Methodology 
Changes for the FY 2008 ACR (Proposals Ten and Eleven), filed September 
12, 2008, is granted.
    2. Interested persons may submit initial comments on or before 
September 26, 2008. The proposals described in this order will be 
considered under the current procedural schedule in Docket No. RM2008-
2.
    3. Reply comments may be submitted on or before October 3, 2008.
    4. William C. Miller is designated as the Public Representative 
representing the interests of the general public in this proceeding.
    5. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this notice in 
the Federal Register.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3652.

    By the Commission.
Steven W. Williams,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E8-22639 Filed 9-24-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P