Update to Fees for Search and Review of Agency Records by NRC Personnel, 65075-65077 [2018-27434]

Download as PDF 65075 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 243 Wednesday, December 19, 2018 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 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: Direct final rule. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending 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: This direct final rule is effective March 4, 2019, unless significant adverse comments are received by January 18, 2019. If this direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. 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. Comments received on this direct final rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register. 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 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Dec 18, 2018 Jkt 247001 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: INFORMATION CONTACT Table of Contents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Rulemaking Procedure III. Background IV. Discussion of Changes V. Plain Writing VI. National Environmental Policy Act VII. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Certification IX. Congressional Review Act 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/ PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 using the ‘‘direct final rule procedure’’ for this rule. The rule will become effective on March 4, 2019. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this direct final rule by January 18, 2019, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws this action and will subsequently address the comments received in a final rule as a response to the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will E:\FR\FM\19DER1.SGM 19DER1 65076 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES not initiate a second comment period on this action. 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-andcomment 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 detailed instructions on filing comments, please see the ADDRESSES section of this document. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Dec 18, 2018 Jkt 247001 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. Section 9.37 paragraph (a) will be changed from a GG–7/step 6 salary rate to a GG–9/step 7 salary rate; and paragraph (b) will be changed from a GG–13/step 6 salary rate to a GG–14/ step 7 salary rate. IV. Discussion of Changes The FOIA authorizes agencies to issue regulations specifying a schedule of fees for processing requests from any person who requests access to federal agency records. Consistent with OMB fee schedule guidelines, the NRC recoups the costs associated with the search and review of documents by charging the hourly rates of the employees performing the task, plus 16 percent for fringe benefits. The NRC last updated these fees in 2010. During the agency’s biennial review of fees, it was determined that these fees needed to be increased in order to ensure the NRC recovers the direct costs of these activities. V. Plain Writing The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. 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). VI. National Environmental Policy Act The NRC has determined that this direct final rule is the type of action described in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(1). Therefore, neither an environmental impact statement nor an environmental PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 assessment has been prepared for this direct final rule. VII. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement This direct final rule does not contain a collection of information as defined in the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Public Protection Notification The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid OMB control number. VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Certification Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC certifies that this direct final rule will not, if issued, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Search and review fees, which are borne by persons who voluntarily submit FOIA requests and represent only reasonable costs associated with the NRC’s processing of such requests, are typically nominal. Additionally, as discussed above, the FOIA and NRC regulations provide means by which persons can request waiver or reduction of fees. IX. Congressional Review Act This direct final rule is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801–808). However, OMB has not found it to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act. 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 adopting 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 E:\FR\FM\19DER1.SGM 19DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 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. 2018–27434 Filed 12–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC–2018–0075] RIN 3150–AK12 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International NAC–UMS® Universal Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1015, Amendment No. 6 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is confirming the effective date of January 7, 2019, for the direct final rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2018. This direct final rule amends the NRC’s spent fuel storage regulations by revising the NAC International NAC– UMS® listing within the ‘‘List of approved spent fuel storage casks’’ to include Amendment No. 6 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1015. Amendment No. 6 revises the technical specifications of the certificate of compliance to: Remove a redundant requirement for inspection of the concrete cask and canister; revise a limiting condition of operation for heat removal to clarify that ‘‘LCO not met’’ means that the concrete heat removal system is inoperable; remove an amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Dec 18, 2018 Jkt 247001 inspection requirement that is already covered by limiting condition of operation surveillance requirements for off-normal, accident, or natural phenomenon events; and clarify that ‘‘immediate’’ restoration of a concrete cask’s heat removal capabilities means ‘‘within the design-basis time limit’’ in Section 11.2.13 of the final safety analysis report, ‘‘or within the time limit for a less than design-basis heat load case, as evaluated.’’ Amendment No. 6 also clarifies that a limiting condition of operation for loaded cask surface dose rates applies prior to storage conditions, when dose rates will be highest. Effective date: The effective date of January 7, 2019, for the direct final rule published October 22, 2018 (83 FR 53159), is confirmed. DATES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0075 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–2018–0075. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • 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 proposed amendment to the certificate, the proposed Appendices A and B to the technical specifications, and preliminary safety evaluation report are available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18088A169. The final amendment to the certificate, final appendices to the technical specifications, and final safety evaluation report can also be viewed in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18333A232. • 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. ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 65077 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bernard H. White, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301–415–6577; email: Bernard.White@nrc.gov or Robert D. MacDougall, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301– 415–5175; email: Robert.MacDougall@ nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. On October 22, 2018 (83 FR 53159), the NRC published a direct final rule amending its regulations in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations by revising the NAC International NAC–UMS® listing within the ‘‘List of approved spent fuel storage casks’’ to include Amendment No. 6 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1015. Amendment No. 6 revises the technical specifications of the certificate of compliance to: Remove a redundant requirement for inspection of the concrete cask and canister; revise a limiting condition of operation for heat removal to clarify that ‘‘LCO not met’’ means that the concrete heat removal system is inoperable; remove an inspection requirement that is already covered by limiting condition of operation surveillance requirements for off-normal, accident, or natural phenomenon events; and clarify that ‘‘immediate’’ restoration of a concrete cask’s heat removal capabilities means ‘‘within the design-basis time limit’’ in Section 11.2.13 of the final safety analysis report, ‘‘or within the time limit for a less than design-basis heat load case, as evaluated.’’ Amendment No. 6 also clarifies that a limiting condition of operation for loaded cask surface dose rates applies prior to storage conditions, when dose rates will be highest. In the direct final rule, the NRC stated that if no significant adverse comments were received, the direct final rule would become effective on January 7, 2019. The NRC did not receive any comments on the direct final rule. Therefore, this direct final rule will become effective as scheduled. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of December 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Cindy K. Bladey, Chief, Regulatory Analysis and Rulemaking Support Branch, Division of Rulemaking, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2018–27436 Filed 12–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P E:\FR\FM\19DER1.SGM 19DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 19, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65075-65077]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27434]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 

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


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

[[Page 65075]]



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: Direct final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending 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: This direct final rule is effective March 4, 2019, unless 
significant adverse comments are received by January 18, 2019. If this 
direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely 
notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. 
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. Comments received on this direct final 
rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed 
rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the 
Federal Register.

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. Discussion of Changes
V. Plain Writing
VI. National Environmental Policy Act
VII. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Certification
IX. Congressional Review Act

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 using the ``direct final rule procedure'' for this rule. The 
rule will become effective on March 4, 2019. However, if the NRC 
receives significant adverse comments on this direct final rule by 
January 18, 2019, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws 
this action and will subsequently address the comments received in a 
final rule as a response to the companion proposed rule published in 
the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register. 
Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring 
republication, the NRC will

[[Page 65076]]

not initiate a second comment period on this action.
    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-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 detailed instructions on filing comments, please see the 
ADDRESSES section of this document.

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.
    Section 9.37 paragraph (a) will be changed from a GG-7/step 6 
salary rate to a GG-9/step 7 salary rate; and paragraph (b) will be 
changed from a GG-13/step 6 salary rate to a GG-14/step 7 salary rate.

IV. Discussion of Changes

    The FOIA authorizes agencies to issue regulations specifying a 
schedule of fees for processing requests from any person who requests 
access to federal agency records. Consistent with OMB fee schedule 
guidelines, the NRC recoups the costs associated with the search and 
review of documents by charging the hourly rates of the employees 
performing the task, plus 16 percent for fringe benefits. The NRC last 
updated these fees in 2010. During the agency's biennial review of 
fees, it was determined that these fees needed to be increased in order 
to ensure the NRC recovers the direct costs of these activities.

V. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal 
agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized 
manner. 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).

VI. National Environmental Policy Act

    The NRC has determined that this direct final rule is the type of 
action described in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(1). Therefore, neither an 
environmental impact statement nor an environmental assessment has been 
prepared for this direct final rule.

VII. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This direct final rule does not contain a collection of information 
as defined in the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq.) and, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to a request for information or an information collection 
requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid 
OMB control number.

VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the 
NRC certifies that this direct final rule will not, if issued, have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Search and review fees, which are borne by persons who voluntarily 
submit FOIA requests and represent only reasonable costs associated 
with the NRC's processing of such requests, are typically nominal. 
Additionally, as discussed above, the FOIA and NRC regulations provide 
means by which persons can request waiver or reduction of fees.

IX. Congressional Review Act

    This direct final rule is a rule as defined in the Congressional 
Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801-808). However, OMB has not found it to be a 
major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

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 adopting 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

[[Page 65077]]

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. 2018-27434 Filed 12-18-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P