Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region, 2788-2791 [2016-00888]

Download as PDF 2788 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel P. Leiton, Director, Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room C–3321, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone: 202–693–0081 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access this telephone number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1– 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In response to requests from members of the public, the Department has decided to extend the public comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking it published on November 18, 2015 (80 FR 72296). The 60-day comment period that was originally scheduled to close on January 19, 2016 is being extended for another 30 days through February 18, 2016. The notice of proposed rulemaking contains changes to the regulations governing the administration of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000, as amended (EEOICPA or Act), 42 U.S.C. 7384 et seq., which was originally enacted on October 30, 2000. The initial version of EEOICPA established a compensation program (known as Part B of the Act) to provide a uniform lumpsum payment of $150,000 and medical benefits as compensation to covered employees who had sustained designated illnesses due to their exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica while in the performance of duty for DOE and certain of its vendors, contractors and subcontractors. Part B of the Act also provides for payment of compensation to certain survivors of these covered employees, and for payment of a smaller uniform lump-sum ($50,000) to individuals (who would also receive medical benefits), or their survivors, who were determined to be eligible for compensation under section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), 42 U.S.C. 2210 note, by DOJ. Primary responsibility for the administration of Part B of the Act was assigned to DOL by Executive Order 13179 (‘‘Providing Compensation to America’s Nuclear Weapons Workers’’) of December 7, 2000 (65 FR 77487). The initial version of EEOICPA also created a second program (known as Part D of the Act) that required DOE to establish a system by which DOE contractor employees (and their eligible survivors) could seek assistance from DOE in obtaining state workers’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 compensation benefits if a Physicians Panel determined that the employee in question had sustained a covered illness as a result of work-related exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility. A positive panel finding that was accepted by DOE required DOE, to the extent permitted by law, to order its contractor not to contest the claim for state workers’ compensation benefits. However, Congress amended EEOICPA in Subtitle E of Title XXXI of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, Public Law 108–375, 118 Stat. 1811, 2178 (October 28, 2004), by abolishing Part D of the Act and creating a new Part E (codified at 42 U.S.C. 7385s through 7385s–15) that it assigned to DOL for administration. Part E established a new system of variable federal payments for DOE contractor employees, uranium workers covered by section 5 of RECA, and eligible survivors of such employees. Leonard J. Howie III, Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. [FR Doc. 2016–00835 Filed 1–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–CR–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Send written comments to Proposed Rule Amendment, c/o USDA Forest Service, R8 Planning, 1720 Peachtree Street NW., Suite 811N, Atlanta, GA 30309. Electronic comments may be sent to commentssouthern-regional-office@fs.fed.us; or by facsimile to 404–347–5401. If comments are sent electronically, do not duplicate via regular mail. Comments should only address issues relevant to this proposed regulation. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, will be placed in the rulemaking record and will be available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received on this proposed rule in the USDA, Forest Service Regional Office, 1720 Peachtree Street, Suite 811N, Atlanta, GA, on business days between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Those wishing to inspect comments should call ahead at 404– 347–4984 to schedule a time and to facilitate entry into the office. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Arndt, Regional Planner, Planning Unit, Southern Region, 404–347–4984. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: 36 CFR Part 261 Background and Purpose for the Amendment RIN 0596–AD24 In 1974, Congress designated the 57mile Chattooga River (and its 15,432acre corridor) as a component of the National Wild and Scenic River System. The uppermost portion of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is located in the Nantahala National Forest (NF) in North Carolina. The river then flows in a southerly, south-westerly direction to form the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina, and also the boundary between the Chattahoochee NF (in Georgia) and the Sumter NF (in South Carolina). In the initial 1976 river management plan for the Chattooga River, the U.S. Forest Service used zoning to manage the upper and lower segments of the river for different recreational opportunities. As part of the initial zoning effort, management direction prohibited floating on the upper segment above GA/SC Highway 28 (which includes a section of the river in the Sumter NF in South Carolina, a section of the river in the Chattahoochee NF in Georgia, and all of the sections of the river in the Nantahala NF in North Carolina). Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region Forest Service, USDA. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is located in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. Forest Service regulations generally prohibit floating activities on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River unless authorized by a permit. On January 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service issued decisions to change some of the locations where, and conditions under which, boating would be allowed. Consequently, the Forest Service proposes to amend the regulations to more accurately reflect the new management direction for the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received in writing by March 21, 2016. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\19JAP1.SGM 19JAP1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Proposed Rules Under the authority of 36 CFR 261.70(a)(7), these prohibitions were codified at 36 CFR 261.77 (Federal Register, 43 FR 3706, January 27, 1978). In general terms, 36 CFR 261.77 prohibits floating activities on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River unless authorized by a permit. Consistent with the river management plan that is incorporated into the forest plans, the original terms and conditions of the permits issued pursuant to 36 CFR 261.77 allowed floating on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River but only on that portion of the river located downstream of GA/SC Highway 28. Therefore, due to the combination of 36 CFR 261.77 and the terms of the selfregistration permit issued pursuant to that regulation, floating was allowed on that section of the river downstream of GA/SC Highway 28 and prohibited upstream from that location. However, that management direction has changed, allowing for an increase in boating opportunities upstream of GA/SC Highway 28. To be consistent with this new management direction, the agency proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77. On January 31, 2012, the Chattahoochee, Nantahala and Sumter National Forests issued Decision Notices that amended their Forest Plans to incorporate new management direction for the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. These changes are based upon an Environmental Assessment titled ‘‘Managing Recreation Uses in the Upper Segment of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor’’. Generally, these new decisions allow floating above GA/SC Highway 28 with certain restrictions. In the existing regulations at 36 CFR 261.77, the sections of the river that lie within the Nantahala NF in North Carolina are not addressed. This area is instead regulated by Forest Supervisor’s closure order pursuant to subpart B of 36 CFR part 261. In the interest of efficiency and clarity, and to be consistent with the new management direction, the Forest Service proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77 to include sections of the river that lie within the Nantahala NF. Consistent with the new management direction, the Forest Service also proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77 to include the Sumter and Nantahala NFs in certain provisions that currently only include the Chattahoochee NF. In the interest of further consistency and clarity, and to better serve the public, the Forest Service also proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77 by eliminating reference to specific locations where self-registration permits are made available to the public. Instead, the Agency will use VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 other means to inform the public of the variety of places where it can go to obtain permits to float the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. Lastly, in an effort to use more accurate and consistent terminology, the Forest Service proposes to replace the term ‘‘special use permit’’ with the term ‘‘special use authorization.’’ Section-by-Section Analysis of the Proposed Rule Part 261, Subpart C—Prohibitions in Regions § 261.77 Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region. Revisions to § 261.77(a) Currently, § 261.77(a) applies to the Sumter National Forest and the Chattahoochee National Forest abutting the Chattooga River. However, this regulation is silent about that section of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor that is located upstream of the Sumter and Chattahoochee NFs which lies within the Nantahala NF in North Carolina. The January 31, 2012, decision by the Forest Service allows for additional boating to occur under permit in the upper section of the Chattooga River which in-part is located in North Carolina on the Nantahala NF. Therefore, the regulation needs to be revised to include the Nantahala NF. The Agency proposes that § 261.77(a) now be applicable to ‘‘any area of National Forest land abutting the Chattooga River.’’ A parenthetical sentence will then be added to clarify that ‘‘(The Chattooga River is located in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.)’’ Due to the allowance of additional floating on the Chattooga River, the Agency must be able to issue permits in a flexible and efficient manner that is consistent with the new management direction and in a manner that best serves the public. Rather than codifying the specific locations of self-registration permit stations in the regulations, these locations will be identified by the local Forest Service officials administering the different sections of the Chattooga River. Locations of the registration stations may need to be changed from time to time to better serve the public. In addition, the Forest Service may, in the future, develop an option where permits could be obtained online or through other more efficient and effective means. To achieve this need, the specific locations of the ‘‘Forest Service Registration Stations’’ are being removed and the regulation will simply PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2789 state that the use will need to be ‘‘authorized by permit or through a special use authorization’’. Revisions to § 261.77(b) Similar to § 261.77(a), § 261.77(b) currently applies to ‘‘. . . the Sumter National Forest and the Chattahoochee National Forest abutting the Chattooga River.’’ However, this regulation is also silent about that section of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor that lies within the Nantahala NF in North Carolina. Again, since the January 31, 2012, decision by the US Forest Service allows for additional boating to occur under permit in the upper section of the Chattooga River, the regulation needs to be revised to include the Nantahala NF. The agency proposes that § 261.77(b) now is applicable to ‘‘any area of National Forest System land abutting the Chattooga River.’’ As noted above, a parenthetical sentence will then be added to clarify that ‘‘(The Chattooga River is located in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.)’’ Finally, the term ‘‘unless authorized by special use permit’’ is also being replaced with the term ‘‘unless permitted under a special use authorization’’. Revisions to § 261.77(c) Section 261.77(c) currently only applies to ‘‘. . . the terms or conditions of any permit authorizing the occupancy and use . . .’’ However, in § 261.77(a) and (b), a distinction is now being made between a ‘‘permit’’ and a ‘‘special use authorization’’. So proposed § 261.77(c) is revised to apply to ‘‘. . .the terms or conditions of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the occupancy and use . . .’’ Revisions to § 261.77(d) Section 261.77(d) applies to ‘‘. . . any portion or segment of the Chattooga River within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forest . . .’’ However, as stated above, the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River flows through all three forests; the Chattahoochee NF, the Sumter NF and the Nantahala NF. In addition, the new management direction applies to all three forests. Therefore, this provision needs to be revised to include all three forests. So, proposed § 261.77(d) is revised to apply to ‘‘. . . any portion or segment of the Chattooga River within National Forest System land . . .’’ In addition, as discussed above, in the interest of consistency, efficiency and clarity, to best serve the public, specific E:\FR\FM\19JAP1.SGM 19JAP1 2790 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Proposed Rules locations to obtain self-registration permits will no longer be codified. Rather, these locations will be identified by the local Forest Service officials administering the different sections of the Chattooga River. The locations of the registration stations may need to be changed from time to time to better serve the public. It should also be recognized that the Forest Service may, in the future, develop an option where permits could be obtained online or in some other efficient manner that better serves the public. In order to address this, the specific locations of the ‘‘Forest Service Registration Stations’’ are being removed and the proposed regulation will simply state that the use will need to be ‘‘authorized by permit or through a special use authorization.’’ Revisions to § 261.77(e) Similar to § 261.77(d), the scope of the commercial or business operation prohibitions currently in § 261.77(e) only applies to ‘‘. . . any portion or segment of the Chattooga River within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forest . . .’’ As described above, the regulation needs to be revised to also include all three national forests. Therefore, § 261.77(e) is revised to read, ‘‘Entering, going, riding, or floating . . . upon any portion or segment of the Chattooga River within National Forest System land . . .’’ Finally, the term ‘‘unless authorized by special use permit’’ is also being replaced with the term ‘‘unless permitted under a special use authorization.’’ Revisions to § 261.77(f) Section 261.77(f) currently only applies to ‘‘. . . the terms or conditions of any permit authorizing the occupancy and use . . .’’ However, in § 261.77(d) and (e), a distinction is now being made between a ‘‘permit’’ and a ‘‘special use authorization’’. So proposed § 261.77(f) is revised to apply to ‘‘. . .the terms or conditions of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the occupancy and use . . .’’ Regulatory Certifications asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Environmental Impact This proposed rule is to amend an existing regulation to make it consistent with a USDA, Forest Service decision on the management of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, which lies within the Chattahoochee, Nantahala and Sumter National Forests. The Decision Notices (one for each National Forest) were signed on January 31, 2012, which were based upon an Environmental Assessment (EA) titled ‘‘Managing Recreation Uses in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 Upper Segment of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor.’’ The social and environmental effects of this decision are documented in this EA. This proposed rule amendment is to update the Forest Service regulations to now be consistent with this new management decision. Regulatory Impact This proposed rule has been reviewed under USDA procedures and Executive Order 12866 on regulatory planning and review. It has been determined that this is not a significant proposed rule. This rulemaking will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy, nor will it adversely affect productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health and safety, or State or local governments. This rulemaking will not interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency, nor will it raise new legal or policy issues. Finally, this proposed rule will not alter the budgetary impact of entitlement, grant, user fee, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of beneficiaries of such programs. Accordingly, this rulemaking is not subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review under Executive Order 12866. Regulatory Flexibility Act This proposed rule has been considered in light of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 602 et seq.). The proposed rule makes minor, technical changes to the Forest Service’s regulations. This rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined by the act because the rulemaking will not impose recordkeeping requirements on them; it will not affect their competitive position in relation to large entities; and it will not affect their cash flow, liquidity, or ability to remain in the market. No Takings Implications This proposed rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12630. It has been determined that the rulemaking will not pose the risk of a taking of private property. Civil Justice Reform This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988 on civil justice reform. After adoption of this proposed rule, (1) all State and local laws and regulations that conflict with this rulemaking or that impede its full implementation will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) it will not require PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging its provisions. Federalism and Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments The Department has considered this proposed rule under the requirements of Executive Order 13132 on federalism, and has determined that the rulemaking conforms with the federalism principles set out in this Executive Order; will not impose any compliance costs on the States; and will not have substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the Department has determined that no further assessment of federalism implications is necessary. Moreover, this proposed rule is not expected to have Tribal implications as defined by Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The Department does recognize that one or more Indian Tribes may have direct interest in the management of Chattooga Wild & Scenic River. Therefore, the Department will request consultation with all potentially affected Indian Tribes on this proposed rule. The tribal consultation will be held concurrently with the public comment period. Energy Effects This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13211 of May 18, 2001, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. It has been determined that this proposed rule does not constitute a significant energy action as defined in the Executive Order. Unfunded Mandates Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531–1538), which the President signed into law on March 22, 1995, the Department has assessed the effects of this proposed rule on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. This rulemaking will not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by any State, local, or Tribal government or anyone in the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the act is not required. Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public This proposed rule does not contain any recordkeeping or reporting requirements or other information E:\FR\FM\19JAP1.SGM 19JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 11 / Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / Proposed Rules collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not already approved for use. Accordingly, the review provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply. List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 261 Prohibitions, Law enforcement, National forests. Therefore, for the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to amend part 261 of title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 261—PROHIBITIONS or segment of the Chattooga River within National Forest System land in, on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind or description, unless permitted under a special use authorization. (f) Violating or failing to comply with any of the terms or conditions of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the occupancy and use specified in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section is prohibited. Dated: December 21, 2015. Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief, Forest Service. [FR Doc. 2016–00888 Filed 1–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P 1. The authority citation for part 261 continues to read as follows: ■ ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1011(f); 16 U.S.C. 4601–6d, 472, 551, 620(f), 1133(c)–(d)(1), 1246(i). 40 CFR Part 130 [EPA–HQ–OW–2014–0622; FRL–9941–33– OW] Subpart C—Prohibitions in Regions ■ 2. Revise § 261.77 to read as follows: RIN 2040–AF52 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 261.77 Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region. (a) Using or occupying any area of National Forest System land abutting the Chattooga River for the purpose of entering or going upon the River in, on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind or description, unless authorized by permit or through a special use authorization. (The Chattooga River is located in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.) (b) Using or occupying within the scope of any commercial operation or business any area of National Forest System land abutting the Chattooga River for the purpose of entering or going upon the River in, on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind or description, unless permitted under a special use authorization. (c) Violating or failing to comply with any of the terms or conditions of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the occupancy and use specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section is prohibited. (d) Entering, going, riding, or floating upon any portion or segment of the Chattooga River within National Forest System land in, on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind or description, unless authorized by a permit or through a special use authorization. (e) Entering, going, riding, or floating within the scope of any commercial operation or business upon any portion VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Jan 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 Treatment of Indian Tribes in a Similar Manner as States for Purposes of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: In section 518(e) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Congress authorized EPA to treat eligible federally recognized Indian tribes in a similar manner as states for purposes of administering section 303 and certain other provisions of the CWA, and directed the agency to promulgate regulations effectuating this authorization. EPA has issued regulations establishing a process for federally recognized tribes to obtain treatment in a similar manner as states (TAS) for several provisions of the CWA; 50 tribes, for example, have obtained TAS authority to issue water quality standards under CWA section 303(c). EPA, however, has not yet promulgated regulations expressly establishing a process for such tribes to obtain TAS authority to administer the water quality restoration provisions of CWA section 303(d), including issuing lists of impaired waters and developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) under CWA section 303(d), as states routinely do. EPA is now proposing to remedy this gap. By establishing regulatory procedures for eligible tribes to obtain TAS for the CWA Section 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL Program, the proposed rule would enable eligible tribes to obtain SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2791 authority to identify impaired waters on their reservations and to establish TMDLs, which serve as plans for attaining and maintaining applicable water quality standards (WQS). The proposal is comparable to similar regulations that EPA issued in the 1990s for the CWA Section 303(c) WQS and CWA Section 402 and 404 Permitting Programs, and includes features designed to minimize paperwork and unnecessary reviews. EPA requests comments on all aspects of the proposed rule. DATES: EPA must receive comments on or before March 21, 2016. EPA will discuss this proposed rule and answer questions about it in one or more webinars during the above comment period. If you are interested, see EPA’s Web site at http://www2.epa.gov/tmdl/ tribal-consultation-rulemaking-providemore-opportunities-tribes-engage-cleanwater-act for the date and time of the webinar(s) and instructions on how to register and participate. Additionally, under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of your comments on or before February 18, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket identification (ID) No. EPA–HQ–OW–2014–0622, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http:// www2.epa.gov/dockets/commentingepa-dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Furtak, Assessment and Watershed Protection Division, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds E:\FR\FM\19JAP1.SGM 19JAP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 11 (Tuesday, January 19, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 2788-2791]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00888]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

36 CFR Part 261

RIN 0596-AD24


Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is located in the 
Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest 
in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. 
Forest Service regulations generally prohibit floating activities on 
the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River unless authorized by a permit. On 
January 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest 
Service issued decisions to change some of the locations where, and 
conditions under which, boating would be allowed. Consequently, the 
Forest Service proposes to amend the regulations to more accurately 
reflect the new management direction for the Chattooga Wild and Scenic 
River.

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received in writing by 
March 21, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Proposed Rule Amendment, c/o USDA 
Forest Service, R8 Planning, 1720 Peachtree Street NW., Suite 811N, 
Atlanta, GA 30309. Electronic comments may be sent to comments-southern-regional-office@fs.fed.us; or by facsimile to 404-347-5401. If 
comments are sent electronically, do not duplicate via regular mail. 
Comments should only address issues relevant to this proposed 
regulation.
    All comments, including names and addresses when provided, will be 
placed in the rulemaking record and will be available for public 
inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received on 
this proposed rule in the USDA, Forest Service Regional Office, 1720 
Peachtree Street, Suite 811N, Atlanta, GA, on business days between the 
hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Those wishing to inspect comments 
should call ahead at 404-347-4984 to schedule a time and to facilitate 
entry into the office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Arndt, Regional Planner, Planning 
Unit, Southern Region, 404-347-4984. Individuals who use 
telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 
8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose for the Amendment

    In 1974, Congress designated the 57-mile Chattooga River (and its 
15,432-acre corridor) as a component of the National Wild and Scenic 
River System. The uppermost portion of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic 
River is located in the Nantahala National Forest (NF) in North 
Carolina. The river then flows in a southerly, south-westerly direction 
to form the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina, and also the 
boundary between the Chattahoochee NF (in Georgia) and the Sumter NF 
(in South Carolina).
    In the initial 1976 river management plan for the Chattooga River, 
the U.S. Forest Service used zoning to manage the upper and lower 
segments of the river for different recreational opportunities. As part 
of the initial zoning effort, management direction prohibited floating 
on the upper segment above GA/SC Highway 28 (which includes a section 
of the river in the Sumter NF in South Carolina, a section of the river 
in the Chattahoochee NF in Georgia, and all of the sections of the 
river in the Nantahala NF in North Carolina).

[[Page 2789]]

    Under the authority of 36 CFR 261.70(a)(7), these prohibitions were 
codified at 36 CFR 261.77 (Federal Register, 43 FR 3706, January 27, 
1978). In general terms, 36 CFR 261.77 prohibits floating activities on 
the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River unless authorized by a permit. 
Consistent with the river management plan that is incorporated into the 
forest plans, the original terms and conditions of the permits issued 
pursuant to 36 CFR 261.77 allowed floating on the Chattooga Wild and 
Scenic River but only on that portion of the river located downstream 
of GA/SC Highway 28. Therefore, due to the combination of 36 CFR 261.77 
and the terms of the self-registration permit issued pursuant to that 
regulation, floating was allowed on that section of the river 
downstream of GA/SC Highway 28 and prohibited upstream from that 
location. However, that management direction has changed, allowing for 
an increase in boating opportunities upstream of GA/SC Highway 28. To 
be consistent with this new management direction, the agency proposes 
to amend 36 CFR 261.77.
    On January 31, 2012, the Chattahoochee, Nantahala and Sumter 
National Forests issued Decision Notices that amended their Forest 
Plans to incorporate new management direction for the Chattooga Wild 
and Scenic River. These changes are based upon an Environmental 
Assessment titled ``Managing Recreation Uses in the Upper Segment of 
the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor''. Generally, these new 
decisions allow floating above GA/SC Highway 28 with certain 
restrictions.
    In the existing regulations at 36 CFR 261.77, the sections of the 
river that lie within the Nantahala NF in North Carolina are not 
addressed. This area is instead regulated by Forest Supervisor's 
closure order pursuant to subpart B of 36 CFR part 261. In the interest 
of efficiency and clarity, and to be consistent with the new management 
direction, the Forest Service proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77 to 
include sections of the river that lie within the Nantahala NF. 
Consistent with the new management direction, the Forest Service also 
proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77 to include the Sumter and Nantahala NFs 
in certain provisions that currently only include the Chattahoochee NF. 
In the interest of further consistency and clarity, and to better serve 
the public, the Forest Service also proposes to amend 36 CFR 261.77 by 
eliminating reference to specific locations where self-registration 
permits are made available to the public. Instead, the Agency will use 
other means to inform the public of the variety of places where it can 
go to obtain permits to float the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. 
Lastly, in an effort to use more accurate and consistent terminology, 
the Forest Service proposes to replace the term ``special use permit'' 
with the term ``special use authorization.''

Section-by-Section Analysis of the Proposed Rule

Part 261, Subpart C--Prohibitions in Regions

Sec.  261.77 Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region.

Revisions to Sec.  261.77(a)

    Currently, Sec.  261.77(a) applies to the Sumter National Forest 
and the Chattahoochee National Forest abutting the Chattooga River. 
However, this regulation is silent about that section of the Chattooga 
Wild and Scenic River Corridor that is located upstream of the Sumter 
and Chattahoochee NFs which lies within the Nantahala NF in North 
Carolina. The January 31, 2012, decision by the Forest Service allows 
for additional boating to occur under permit in the upper section of 
the Chattooga River which in-part is located in North Carolina on the 
Nantahala NF. Therefore, the regulation needs to be revised to include 
the Nantahala NF. The Agency proposes that Sec.  261.77(a) now be 
applicable to ``any area of National Forest land abutting the Chattooga 
River.'' A parenthetical sentence will then be added to clarify that 
``(The Chattooga River is located in the Nantahala National Forest in 
North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the 
Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.)''
    Due to the allowance of additional floating on the Chattooga River, 
the Agency must be able to issue permits in a flexible and efficient 
manner that is consistent with the new management direction and in a 
manner that best serves the public. Rather than codifying the specific 
locations of self-registration permit stations in the regulations, 
these locations will be identified by the local Forest Service 
officials administering the different sections of the Chattooga River. 
Locations of the registration stations may need to be changed from time 
to time to better serve the public. In addition, the Forest Service 
may, in the future, develop an option where permits could be obtained 
online or through other more efficient and effective means. To achieve 
this need, the specific locations of the ``Forest Service Registration 
Stations'' are being removed and the regulation will simply state that 
the use will need to be ``authorized by permit or through a special use 
authorization''.

Revisions to Sec.  261.77(b)

    Similar to Sec.  261.77(a), Sec.  261.77(b) currently applies to 
``. . . the Sumter National Forest and the Chattahoochee National 
Forest abutting the Chattooga River.'' However, this regulation is also 
silent about that section of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River 
Corridor that lies within the Nantahala NF in North Carolina. Again, 
since the January 31, 2012, decision by the US Forest Service allows 
for additional boating to occur under permit in the upper section of 
the Chattooga River, the regulation needs to be revised to include the 
Nantahala NF. The agency proposes that Sec.  261.77(b) now is 
applicable to ``any area of National Forest System land abutting the 
Chattooga River.'' As noted above, a parenthetical sentence will then 
be added to clarify that ``(The Chattooga River is located in the 
Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest 
in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.)'' 
Finally, the term ``unless authorized by special use permit'' is also 
being replaced with the term ``unless permitted under a special use 
authorization''.

Revisions to Sec.  261.77(c)

    Section 261.77(c) currently only applies to ``. . . the terms or 
conditions of any permit authorizing the occupancy and use . . .'' 
However, in Sec.  261.77(a) and (b), a distinction is now being made 
between a ``permit'' and a ``special use authorization''. So proposed 
Sec.  261.77(c) is revised to apply to ``. . .the terms or conditions 
of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the occupancy 
and use . . .''

Revisions to Sec.  261.77(d)

    Section 261.77(d) applies to ``. . . any portion or segment of the 
Chattooga River within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National 
Forest . . .'' However, as stated above, the Chattooga Wild and Scenic 
River flows through all three forests; the Chattahoochee NF, the Sumter 
NF and the Nantahala NF. In addition, the new management direction 
applies to all three forests. Therefore, this provision needs to be 
revised to include all three forests. So, proposed Sec.  261.77(d) is 
revised to apply to ``. . . any portion or segment of the Chattooga 
River within National Forest System land . . .''
    In addition, as discussed above, in the interest of consistency, 
efficiency and clarity, to best serve the public, specific

[[Page 2790]]

locations to obtain self-registration permits will no longer be 
codified. Rather, these locations will be identified by the local 
Forest Service officials administering the different sections of the 
Chattooga River. The locations of the registration stations may need to 
be changed from time to time to better serve the public. It should also 
be recognized that the Forest Service may, in the future, develop an 
option where permits could be obtained online or in some other 
efficient manner that better serves the public. In order to address 
this, the specific locations of the ``Forest Service Registration 
Stations'' are being removed and the proposed regulation will simply 
state that the use will need to be ``authorized by permit or through a 
special use authorization.''

Revisions to Sec.  261.77(e)

    Similar to Sec.  261.77(d), the scope of the commercial or business 
operation prohibitions currently in Sec.  261.77(e) only applies to ``. 
. . any portion or segment of the Chattooga River within the boundaries 
of the Chattahoochee National Forest . . .'' As described above, the 
regulation needs to be revised to also include all three national 
forests. Therefore, Sec.  261.77(e) is revised to read, ``Entering, 
going, riding, or floating . . . upon any portion or segment of the 
Chattooga River within National Forest System land . . .'' Finally, the 
term ``unless authorized by special use permit'' is also being replaced 
with the term ``unless permitted under a special use authorization.''

Revisions to Sec.  261.77(f)

    Section 261.77(f) currently only applies to ``. . . the terms or 
conditions of any permit authorizing the occupancy and use . . .'' 
However, in Sec.  261.77(d) and (e), a distinction is now being made 
between a ``permit'' and a ``special use authorization''. So proposed 
Sec.  261.77(f) is revised to apply to ``. . .the terms or conditions 
of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the occupancy 
and use . . .''

Regulatory Certifications

Environmental Impact

    This proposed rule is to amend an existing regulation to make it 
consistent with a USDA, Forest Service decision on the management of 
the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, which lies within the 
Chattahoochee, Nantahala and Sumter National Forests. The Decision 
Notices (one for each National Forest) were signed on January 31, 2012, 
which were based upon an Environmental Assessment (EA) titled 
``Managing Recreation Uses in the Upper Segment of the Chattooga Wild 
and Scenic River Corridor.'' The social and environmental effects of 
this decision are documented in this EA. This proposed rule amendment 
is to update the Forest Service regulations to now be consistent with 
this new management decision.

Regulatory Impact

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under USDA procedures and 
Executive Order 12866 on regulatory planning and review. It has been 
determined that this is not a significant proposed rule. This 
rulemaking will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on 
the economy, nor will it adversely affect productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health and safety, or State or local 
governments. This rulemaking will not interfere with an action taken or 
planned by another agency, nor will it raise new legal or policy 
issues. Finally, this proposed rule will not alter the budgetary impact 
of entitlement, grant, user fee, or loan programs or the rights and 
obligations of beneficiaries of such programs. Accordingly, this 
rulemaking is not subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
review under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been considered in light of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 602 et seq.). The proposed rule makes minor, 
technical changes to the Forest Service's regulations. This rulemaking 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities as defined by the act because the rulemaking will not 
impose recordkeeping requirements on them; it will not affect their 
competitive position in relation to large entities; and it will not 
affect their cash flow, liquidity, or ability to remain in the market.

No Takings Implications

    This proposed rule has been analyzed in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12630. It has been 
determined that the rulemaking will not pose the risk of a taking of 
private property.

Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988 on 
civil justice reform. After adoption of this proposed rule, (1) all 
State and local laws and regulations that conflict with this rulemaking 
or that impede its full implementation will be preempted; (2) no 
retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) it will not 
require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in 
court challenging its provisions.

Federalism and Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    The Department has considered this proposed rule under the 
requirements of Executive Order 13132 on federalism, and has determined 
that the rulemaking conforms with the federalism principles set out in 
this Executive Order; will not impose any compliance costs on the 
States; and will not have substantial direct effects on the States, the 
relationship between the Federal government and the States, or the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. Therefore, the Department has determined that no further 
assessment of federalism implications is necessary.
    Moreover, this proposed rule is not expected to have Tribal 
implications as defined by Executive Order 13175, Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The Department does 
recognize that one or more Indian Tribes may have direct interest in 
the management of Chattooga Wild & Scenic River. Therefore, the 
Department will request consultation with all potentially affected 
Indian Tribes on this proposed rule. The tribal consultation will be 
held concurrently with the public comment period.

Energy Effects

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13211 of 
May 18, 2001, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. It has been determined that this 
proposed rule does not constitute a significant energy action as 
defined in the Executive Order.

Unfunded Mandates

    Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 
U.S.C. 1531-1538), which the President signed into law on March 22, 
1995, the Department has assessed the effects of this proposed rule on 
State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. This 
rulemaking will not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by 
any State, local, or Tribal government or anyone in the private sector. 
Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the act is not required.

Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public

    This proposed rule does not contain any recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements or other information

[[Page 2791]]

collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 that are not 
already required by law or not already approved for use. Accordingly, 
the review provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do 
not apply.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 261

    Prohibitions, Law enforcement, National forests.

    Therefore, for the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to 
amend part 261 of title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations as 
follows:

PART 261--PROHIBITIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 261 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 1011(f); 16 U.S.C. 4601-6d, 472, 551, 
620(f), 1133(c)-(d)(1), 1246(i).

Subpart C--Prohibitions in Regions

0
2. Revise Sec.  261.77 to read as follows:


Sec.  261.77  Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region.

    (a) Using or occupying any area of National Forest System land 
abutting the Chattooga River for the purpose of entering or going upon 
the River in, on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind 
or description, unless authorized by permit or through a special use 
authorization. (The Chattooga River is located in the Nantahala 
National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South 
Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.)
    (b) Using or occupying within the scope of any commercial operation 
or business any area of National Forest System land abutting the 
Chattooga River for the purpose of entering or going upon the River in, 
on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind or description, 
unless permitted under a special use authorization.
    (c) Violating or failing to comply with any of the terms or 
conditions of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the 
occupancy and use specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section is 
prohibited.
    (d) Entering, going, riding, or floating upon any portion or 
segment of the Chattooga River within National Forest System land in, 
on, or upon any floatable object or craft of every kind or description, 
unless authorized by a permit or through a special use authorization.
    (e) Entering, going, riding, or floating within the scope of any 
commercial operation or business upon any portion or segment of the 
Chattooga River within National Forest System land in, on, or upon any 
floatable object or craft of every kind or description, unless 
permitted under a special use authorization.
    (f) Violating or failing to comply with any of the terms or 
conditions of any special use authorization or permit authorizing the 
occupancy and use specified in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section is 
prohibited.

     Dated: December 21, 2015.
Thomas L. Tidwell,
Chief, Forest Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-00888 Filed 1-15-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3411-15-P