Update to Fees for Search and Review of Agency Records by NRC Personnel, 65110-65111 [2018-27168]

Download as PDF 65110 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 243 Wednesday, December 19, 2018 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 9 [NRC–2017–0144] RIN 3150–AK06 Update to Fees for Search and Review of Agency Records by NRC Personnel Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: Table of Contents The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its regulations to revise the fees charged for search and review of agency records by NRC personnel in response to certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. These revisions are being made to ensure the NRC recovers direct costs of these activities, as required by the FOIA. DATES: Submit comments by January 18, 2019. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2017–0144. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301–415–1677. • Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301– 415–1101. • Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Dec 18, 2018 • Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301–415–1677. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Blaney, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 6975; email: Stephanie.Blaney@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Jkt 247001 I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Rulemaking Procedure III. Background IV. Plain Writing V. Availability of Documents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2017– 0144 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publiclyavailable information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2017–0144. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 B. Submitting Comments Please include Docket ID NRC–2017– 0144 in your comment submission. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http:// www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS. II. Rulemaking Procedure Because the NRC considers this action to be non-controversial, the NRC is publishing this proposed rule concurrently with a direct final rule in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register. The direct final rule will become effective on March 4, 2019. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this proposed rule by January 18, 2019, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to these proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action in the event the direct final rule is withdrawn. A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule’s underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if: (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and- E:\FR\FM\19DEP1.SGM 19DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2018 / Proposed Rules amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when: (a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis; (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC staff. (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition. (3) The comment causes the NRC staff to make a change (other than editorial) to the rule. For procedural information, see the direct final rule published in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register. III. Background The FOIA provides that any person has a right to request and obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that any portions of those records are exempt from public disclosure. The FOIA also authorizes agencies to issue regulations specifying a schedule of fees for the processing of those requests (5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)). These fees are limited to reasonable standard charges for document search, duplication, and review, which may be charged depending on the purpose for which the records are sought and the class of requestor. The NRC’s implementing FOIA regulations are found in part 9 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The NRC charges fees for the search and review of agency records in accordance with § 9.37, ‘‘Fees for search and review of agency records by NRC personnel,’’ (although as specified in § 9.39, ‘‘Search and duplication provided without charge,’’ the NRC will search for records in some instances without charge, and requests for waivers or reduction of fees can be sought as specified in § 9.41, ‘‘Requests for waiver or reduction of fees’’). Consistent with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines on fee schedules (52 FR 10012; March 27, 1987), the NRC recoups the direct costs of search and review by charging the hourly rates of the employees performing the task, plus 16 percent for fringe benefits. These OMB guidelines also provide that, where a homogenous or single class of personnel is used, agencies may establish reasonable average rates for the range of salary grades typically involved. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Dec 18, 2018 Jkt 247001 The NRC first established fees for search and review of agency records in 1987 (52 FR 49350; December 31, 1987), and last updated these fees in 2010 (75 FR 41368; July 16, 2010). Recently, as part of the agency’s biennial review of fees performed under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (31 U.S.C. 902(a)(8)), the NRC determined that the search and review rates for agency clerical staff and for professional/ managerial staff needed to be increased in order to ensure the NRC continues to recover the direct costs of these activities. Thus, based on the results of this biennial review, § 9.37(a) will be changed from a GG–7/step 6 salary rate to a GG–9/step 7 salary rate; and § 9.37(b) will be changed from a GG–13/ step 6 salary rate to a GG–14/step 7 salary rate. IV. Plain Writing The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner that also follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and the intended audience. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, ‘‘Plain Language in Government Writing,’’ published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on the proposed rule with respect to clarity and effectiveness of the language used. V. Availability of Documents The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal Rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC–2017–0144. The Federal Rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC–2017–0144); (2) click the ‘‘Sign up for Email Alerts’’ link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly). List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 9 Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Criminal penalties, Freedom of information, Government employees, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sunshine Act. For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65111 552 and 553, the NRC is proposing the following amendments to 10 CFR part 9: PART 9—PUBLIC RECORDS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: Atomic Energy Act of 1954, sec. 161 (42 U.S.C. 2201); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note. Subpart A also issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701. Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a. Subpart C also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552b. 2. In § 9.37, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows: ■ § 9.37 Fees for search and review of agency records by NRC personnel. * * * * * (a) Clerical search and review at a salary rate that is equivalent to a GG–9/ step 7, plus 16 percent fringe benefits; (b) Professional/managerial search and review at a salary rate that is equivalent to a GG–14/step 7, plus 16 percent fringe benefits; and * * * * * Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of December 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Margaret M. Doane, Executive Director for Operations. [FR Doc. 2018–27168 Filed 12–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 590 Filing of Contracts and Purchase Agreements Associated With the Export of Natural Gas Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Proposed interpretive rule. AGENCY: The Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is proposing an interpretive rule to clarify certain DOE regulations governing the export of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Under DOE’s regulations, any person seeking authorization to export natural gas from the United States, or to amend an existing export authorization, must provide DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) with a copy of ‘‘all relevant contracts and purchase agreements.’’ DOE is proposing this interpretive rule to clarify the types of contracts and purchase agreements associated with the export of natural gas that DOE considers to be ‘‘relevant’’ for purposes of these regulations. DOE’s SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19DEP1.SGM 19DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 19, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65110-65111]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27168]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2018 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 65110]]



NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 9

[NRC-2017-0144]
RIN 3150-AK06


Update to Fees for Search and Review of Agency Records by NRC 
Personnel

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to 
amend its regulations to revise the fees charged for search and review 
of agency records by NRC personnel in response to certain Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) requests. These revisions are being made to 
ensure the NRC recovers direct costs of these activities, as required 
by the FOIA.

DATES: Submit comments by January 18, 2019. Comments received after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC 
is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before 
this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0144. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do 
not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact 
us at 301-415-1677.
     Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission at 301-415-1101.
     Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and 
Adjudications Staff.
     Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal 
workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Blaney, Office of the Chief 
Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6975; email: Stephanie.Blaney@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments
II. Rulemaking Procedure
III. Background
IV. Plain Writing
V. Availability of Documents

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0144 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain 
publicly-available information related to this action by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0144.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS 
Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or 
by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each 
document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first 
time that it is mentioned in this document.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2017-0144 in your comment submission.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

II. Rulemaking Procedure

    Because the NRC considers this action to be non-controversial, the 
NRC is publishing this proposed rule concurrently with a direct final 
rule in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal 
Register. The direct final rule will become effective on March 4, 2019. 
However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this 
proposed rule by January 18, 2019, then the NRC will publish a document 
that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is 
withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to 
these proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant 
modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the 
NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action in the 
event the direct final rule is withdrawn.
    A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter 
explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to 
the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or 
unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:
    (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient 
to require a substantive response in a notice-and-

[[Page 65111]]

comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when:
    (a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) 
its position or conduct additional analysis;
    (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a 
substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or
    (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously 
addressed or considered by the NRC staff.
    (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and 
it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable 
without incorporation of the change or addition.
    (3) The comment causes the NRC staff to make a change (other than 
editorial) to the rule.
    For procedural information, see the direct final rule published in 
the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal 
Register.

III. Background

    The FOIA provides that any person has a right to request and obtain 
access to federal agency records, except to the extent that any 
portions of those records are exempt from public disclosure. The FOIA 
also authorizes agencies to issue regulations specifying a schedule of 
fees for the processing of those requests (5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)). 
These fees are limited to reasonable standard charges for document 
search, duplication, and review, which may be charged depending on the 
purpose for which the records are sought and the class of requestor. 
The NRC's implementing FOIA regulations are found in part 9 of Title 10 
of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR).
    The NRC charges fees for the search and review of agency records in 
accordance with Sec.  9.37, ``Fees for search and review of agency 
records by NRC personnel,'' (although as specified in Sec.  9.39, 
``Search and duplication provided without charge,'' the NRC will search 
for records in some instances without charge, and requests for waivers 
or reduction of fees can be sought as specified in Sec.  9.41, 
``Requests for waiver or reduction of fees''). Consistent with Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines on fee schedules (52 FR 
10012; March 27, 1987), the NRC recoups the direct costs of search and 
review by charging the hourly rates of the employees performing the 
task, plus 16 percent for fringe benefits. These OMB guidelines also 
provide that, where a homogenous or single class of personnel is used, 
agencies may establish reasonable average rates for the range of salary 
grades typically involved.
    The NRC first established fees for search and review of agency 
records in 1987 (52 FR 49350; December 31, 1987), and last updated 
these fees in 2010 (75 FR 41368; July 16, 2010). Recently, as part of 
the agency's biennial review of fees performed under the Chief 
Financial Officers Act of 1990 (31 U.S.C. 902(a)(8)), the NRC 
determined that the search and review rates for agency clerical staff 
and for professional/managerial staff needed to be increased in order 
to ensure the NRC continues to recover the direct costs of these 
activities.
    Thus, based on the results of this biennial review, Sec.  9.37(a) 
will be changed from a GG-7/step 6 salary rate to a GG-9/step 7 salary 
rate; and Sec.  9.37(b) will be changed from a GG-13/step 6 salary rate 
to a GG-14/step 7 salary rate.

IV. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal 
agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner 
that also follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or 
field and the intended audience. The NRC has written this document to 
be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential 
Memorandum, ``Plain Language in Government Writing,'' published June 
10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on the proposed rule 
with respect to clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

V. Availability of Documents

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including 
public comments, on the Federal Rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2017-0144. The Federal 
Rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when changes or 
additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the 
docket folder (NRC-2017-0144); (2) click the ``Sign up for Email 
Alerts'' link; and (3) enter your email address and select how 
frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or 
monthly).

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 9

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Criminal penalties, 
Freedom of information, Government employees, Privacy, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Sunshine Act.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization 
Act of 1974, as amended; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as 
amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is proposing the following 
amendments to 10 CFR part 9:

PART 9--PUBLIC RECORDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Atomic Energy Act of 1954, sec. 161 (42 U.S.C. 2201); 
Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 
U.S.C. 3504 note.

    Subpart A also issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701.
    Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a.
    Subpart C also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552b.

0
2. In Sec.  9.37, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  9.37  Fees for search and review of agency records by NRC 
personnel.

* * * * *
    (a) Clerical search and review at a salary rate that is equivalent 
to a GG-9/step 7, plus 16 percent fringe benefits;
    (b) Professional/managerial search and review at a salary rate that 
is equivalent to a GG-14/step 7, plus 16 percent fringe benefits; and
* * * * *

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of December 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Margaret M. Doane,
Executive Director for Operations.
[FR Doc. 2018-27168 Filed 12-18-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P