Proposed Modification of the Boundaries of the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco Viticultural Areas, 43754-43759 [2020-14579]

Download as PDF 43754 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Required Actions (1) Within 500 flight cycles (FCs) after the effective date of this AD, perform a visual inspection of the cushioned loop clamp (‘‘pclamp’’) to verify the p-clamp is undamaged and installed. (i) Thereafter, perform the visual inspection required by (g)(1) of this AD at intervals not to exceed 500 FCs since the last inspection. (ii) [Reserved] (2) If, during any visual inspection required by paragraphs (g)(1) or (g)(1)(i) of this AD, the p-clamp is outside of the limits in paragraph 3.B.(4) of GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin (SB) 73–0080 R01, dated August 29, 2019, or if the p-clamp is missing, perform a spot fluorescent penetrant inspection of the outer fuel manifold, part number (P/N) 2403M46G01 significant item number (SIN) 34302, using Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.(4)(b), of GE GEnx-1B SB 73– 0080 R01, dated August 29, 2019. (i) If a crack or a sign of fuel leakage is found, before further flight, remove the outer fuel manifold, P/N 2403M46G01 SIN 34302, from service and replace with a part eligible for installation. (ii) [Reserved] (3) Within 500 FCs after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 FCs from the last p-clamp replacement, replace the p-clamp with a new p-clamp. Complete this required action after performing the visual inspections required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(1)(i) of this AD. (h) Definition For the purpose of this AD, a p-clamp is a clamp, P/N J1432P12 with SIN 34282, located at the signal fuel tube hose, SIN 34200, as shown in Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3, Figure 1, ‘‘Outer Fuel Manifold and Clamp Location,’’ of GE GEnx-1B SB 73–0080 R01, dated August 29, 2019. (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, ECO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD. You may email your request to: ANE-AD-AMOC@ faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (j) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Mehdi Lamnyi, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 Burlington MA 01803; phone: 781–238–7743; fax: 781–238–7199; email: Mehdi.Lamnyi@ faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, United States; phone: 513–552–3272; email: aviation.fleetsupport@ae.ge.com; website: www.ge.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781–238–7759. Issued on July 13, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–15381 Filed 7–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau You may electronically submit comments to TTB on this proposal, and view copies of this document, its supporting materials, and any comments TTB receives on it within Docket No. TTB–2020–0007 as posted on Regulations.gov (https:// www.regulations.gov), the Federal erulemaking portal. Please see the ‘‘Public Participation’’ section of this document below for full details on how to comment on this proposal via Regulations.gov, U.S. mail, or hand delivery, and for full details on how to view or obtain copies of this document, its supporting materials, and any comments related to this proposal. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202–453–1039, ext. 175. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background on Viticultural Areas 27 CFR Part 9 TTB Authority [Docket No. TTB–2020–0007; Notice No. 192] Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Order 120– 01, dated December 10, 2013 (superseding Treasury Order 120–01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions. Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs. RIN 1513–AC55 Proposed Modification of the Boundaries of the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco Viticultural Areas Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to modify the boundaries of the ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ viticultural area and the adjacent ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ viticultural area in Monterey County, California. The proposed boundary modifications would remove approximately 376 acres from the Santa Lucia Highlands viticultural area and would also remove 148 acres from the Arroyo Seco viticultural area and place them entirely within the Santa Lucia Highlands viticultural area. The proposed viticultural areas and the proposed modification areas are located entirely within the established Monterey and Central Coast viticultural areas. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations. DATES: Comments must be received by September 18, 2020. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules Definition Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine’s geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area. Requirements Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grapegrowing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to modify an AVA must include the following: • In the case of an expansion in size of an AVA, evidence that the proposed expansion area is nationally or locally known by the name of the AVA into which it would be placed; • In the case of a reduction in size of an AVA, an explanation of the extent to which the current AVA name does not apply to the excluded area; • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed areas to be realigned, including an explanation of how the boundary of the existing AVA was incorrectly or incompletely defined or is no longer accurate due to new evidence or changed circumstances; • In the case of an expansion of an AVA, a narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed expansion area similar to the AVA into which it would be placed and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the established AVA; • In the case of a reduction of an AVA, a narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that differentiate the proposed reduction VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 area from the established AVA and demonstrate a greater similarity to the features of adjacent areas outside the established AVA; • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA boundary modifications, with the proposed boundary modifications clearly drawn thereon; and • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary modifications based on USGS map markings. Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco Boundary Modification Petition TTB received a petition from Patrick Shabram on behalf of the Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans, proposing to modify the boundaries of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (27 CFR 9.139) and the adjacent Arroyo Seco AVA (27 CFR 9.59). The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA are both located within Monterey County, California, and are both located entirely within the established Monterey AVA (27 CFR 9.98) and the Central Coast AVA (27 CFR 9.75). The petition contains two separate boundary modification proposals. The first proposal would remove approximately 376 acres from the northern part of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The petition states that the proposed reduction area is within the floodplain of the Salinas River and that no vineyards are planted or proposed in this location. The land removed from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA would remain within the Monterey AVA and the Central Coast AVA. The second proposed modification affects a portion of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco AVA boundary. The modification would remove 148 acres of foothills terrain from the western side of the Arroyo Seco AVA and place them entirely within the southeastern region of the Santa Lucia Highlands. One vineyard containing approximately 135 acres of vines would be affected by this boundary realignment, and the vineyard owner included a letter of support in the petition. The modification would reduce the size of the Arroyo Seco AVA by less than 1 percent and would not have any impact on the boundaries of the Monterey AVA or the Central Coast AVA. Santa Lucia Highlands Reduction Boundary Evidence The current northeastern boundary of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA follows PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43755 the 100-foot elevation contour southeasterly from its intersection with Limekiln Creek to its intersection with the Salinas River. The boundary then proceeds along the west bank of the Salinas River to its intersection with the 120-foot elevation, where the boundary then turns southeast to briefly follow the 120-foot elevation before jumping to the 160-foot elevation contour. The boundary then follows the 160-foot elevation contour to its intersection with River Road. The proposed modification to the northeastern boundary of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA would move the beginning point of the boundary to the intersection of Limekiln Creek and the 120-foot elevation contour. The boundary would then follow the 120foot elevation contour southeasterly to River Road, where it would then proceed southeasterly along River Road to an unnamed, unimproved road. From there, the boundary would proceed southeast in a straight line to the terminus of the 110-foot elevation contour, then proceed southeast in a straight line to the Salinas River. The boundary would then follow the Salinas River southeast to the 120-foot elevation contour. From that point, the boundary would follow the contour to River Road and then follow the road to the 160-foot elevation contour. At this point, the proposed boundary would rejoin the current boundary. The result would be the elimination of most of the Salinas River floodplains from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Name Evidence The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, established by T.D. ATF–321 on May 15, 1992 (57 FR 20764), is named for the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, and is located on the eastern edge of these mountains, in the lower elevations of the Sierra de Salinas. T.D. ATF–321 shows the AVA partly derives its name from the Santa Lucia Range’s elevation, noting trade and general publications that reference viticulture ‘‘in the Santa Lucia Highlands overlooking Soledad and Salinas Valley.’’ While currently within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, the petition illustrates the topography in the proposed reduction area is inconsistent with the elevations of the Santa Lucia Range from which the ‘‘Santa Lucia AVA’’ partly derives its name. The petition provides evidence showing the proposed reduction area includes sections of the Salinas River floodplain that have essentially-flat elevations with little-to-no slope. Therefore, the petition shows the current ‘‘Santa Lucia E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 43756 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules Highlands AVA’’ name is ill-suited for the proposed reduction area. Comparison of the Proposed Reduction Area to the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA According to T.D. ATF–321, the distinguishing features of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA are its topography, climate, and soils. The boundary modification petition states that while the proposed reduction area’s climate is similar to the climate of the rest of the AVA, its topography and soils are more similar to the topography and soils of the adjacent region outside of the AVA. Topography The boundary modification petition states that the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is located on a series of alluvial fans and terraces. Slope angles within the AVA range from 5 to 30 percent, although most of the terraces have slope angles of 5 to 20 percent. The slopes are predominately oriented to the east. The petition states that east-facing slopes expose the vineyards to the cooler morning sun and offer greater solar exposure, compared to west-facing slopes which are exposed to warmer afternoon sun and receive less solar exposure. Furthermore, an eastern exposure allows for fog to burn off early in the morning. The petition also states that the gentle slope angles reduce the risk of frost in the vineyards by allowing cool night air to drain off the vineyards and into the lower, flatter elevations. According to the petition, the proposed reduction area is on the Salinas Valley floor within the floodplain of the Salinas River. The reduction area has little-to-no slope and lacks the clear easterly orientation of the rest of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. It is also not on an alluvial fan or terrace. The petition included a map of the slope angles within the AVA and in the adjacent regions outside the AVA, as well as photographs of the proposed reduction area and the surrounding regions. The slope angle map and the photographs show that the proposed reduction area is essentially flat, similar to the Salinas River valley floor outside the AVA, while the terrain within the AVA is noticeably elevated. Soils The soils of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA are predominately Chualar loams, which make up almost 32 percent of the soils within the AVA. These soils are described as very deep, well-drained soils formed in alluvial material from mixed rock sources. The petition also states that Xerorthent soils are also common within the AVA. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 Xerorthents are described as a subgroup of Entisols soils common to arid and semi-arid landscapes. Just over 17 percent of the AVA contains soils of this subgroup. The soils of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA provide good drainage for vineyards. By contrast, the petition states that the soils in the proposed reduction area are mostly Psamments and Fluvents. These are suborders of Entisols that are sandy and have little organic material. The petition included a map of the location of Psamments and Fluvents within the Santa Lucia Highlands and the region outside the AVA. The maps shows that these soils are primarily found along the Salinas River’s immediate floodplain and the river’s channel, which is outside the AVA. The soils represent a little over 0.7 percent of the acreage of the soils of the AVA. Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco Boundary Realignment The boundary modification petition also proposed to realign a portion of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco AVA boundary. The proposed realignment would remove approximately 148 acres from the Arroyo Seco AVA and place them entirely within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Boundary Evidence The petition proposes to realign the segment of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco boundary located along Paraiso Road. The current boundary follows Paraiso Road south from its intersection with Foothill Road to its intersection with Clark Road. The boundary then proceeds east along Clark Road to an unnamed, light-duty road and then follows a straight line southeasterly to the southeast corner of Section 33. The proposed realigned boundary would follow Paraiso Road south from its intersection with Foothill Road to its intersection with an unnamed road north of Clark Road. The boundary would then follow the unnamed road southeasterly to an intermittent stream. From this point, the boundary would follow the stream southwesterly to the western boundary of Section 21 and then proceed in a straight line southwest to the intersection of Clark Road and to the southern boundary of Section 21. The boundary would then follow Clark Road southwesterly to an unnamed, light-duty road, where the realigned boundary would rejoin the current boundary. The realignment would remove an alluvial terrace from the Arroyo Seco AVA and place it within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Name Evidence The Arroyo Seco AVA, which was established by T.D. ATF–131 on April 15, 1983 (48 FR 16246), derives its name from both the Arroyo Seco land grant and the Arroyo Seco Creek. The Santa Lucia Highlands, established by T.D. ATF–321 on May 15, 1992 (57 FR 20764), was named for the Santa Lucia Range. The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is located on the eastern edge of this mountain range, in the lower elevations of the Sierra de Salinas. The proposed realignment area is currently within the Arroyo Seco AVA. The boundary modification petition states that the proposed realignment area is not within the Arroyo Seco land grant, nor does the Arroyo Seco Creek run through it. The petition notes that the proposed realignment area ‘‘occupies a highland position consistent with the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.’’ Therefore, the petition claims that the current ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ name is less suited for the proposed realignment area than the ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ name. Comparison of the Proposed Realignment Area to the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA Topography and soils are distinguishing features of both the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA. The boundary modification petition states that the topography and soils of the proposed realignment area are more similar to those of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA than to the topography and soils of the Arroyo Seco AVA. Topography As stated previously, the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is comprised of gently sloping alluvial fans and terraces. The Arroyo Seco AVA, as described in T.D. ATF–131, is comprised of sloping bench land surrounding the Arroyo Seco Creek. The boundary modification petition also notes that the Arroyo Seco AVA contains the watershed of the Arroyo Seco Creek. The proposed realignment area is located on an alluvial fan. According to the boundary modification petition, the proposed realignment area has an eastern orientation and slope angles above 5 percent. By contrast, the land within the Arroyo Seco AVA that is immediately adjacent to the proposed realignment area has a more gradual slope, becoming nearly flat and lacking an eastern orientation. The petition states that the topographical characteristics of the proposed E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules realignment area are more consistent with those of the Santa Lucia Highlands than the topography of the Arroyo Seco AVA and would justify moving this region from the Arroyo Seco AVA into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Soils As stated previously, the prominent soil of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is the Chualar series. The boundary modification petition also notes that Placentia sandy loam soils are also present and comprise 5.3 percent of the soils within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The petition states that the principal soil series of the Arroyo Seco AVA are Mocho, Lockwood, Arroyo Seco, Rincon, and Chualar, with Chualar and Arroyo Seco being the most common soil types. Placentia soils are present only in very small amounts in limited areas within the Arroyo Seco AVA. The petition states that the soil of the proposed realignment area is comprised of Placentia sandy loam, Chualar, and Arroyo Seco soils. Although all three soil series are found in both the Arroyo Seco AVA and the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Placentia soils are not common in the Arroyo Seco AVA except within the proposed realignment area. The petition states that the combination of Placentia, Chualar, and Arroyo Seco soils is more common within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Therefore, the petition claims that moving the proposed realignment area into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA would enhance the boundary integrity of both AVAs. TTB Determination TTB concludes that the petition to modify the boundaries of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking. Boundary Description See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for AVA boundary modifications in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule. Maps The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed regulatory text. You may also view the proposed boundary modifications for the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco AVAs on the AVA Map Explorer on the TTB website, at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ ava-map-explorer. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 Impact on Current Wine Labels Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine’s true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details. If TTB approves the proposed removal of land from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, wines produced primarily from grapes grown in the removal area would no longer be eligible to be labeled with ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ as an appellation of origin. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin under the proposed new boundary of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA if this proposed rule is adopted as a final rule. TTB does not anticipate that the proposed removal of land will affect any current labels because the petition indicates there are no vineyards currently planted or planned within the proposed reduction area. If TTB approved the proposed realignment of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco AVA boundary, the realignment area would be moved from the Arroyo Seco AVA into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Wines produced primarily from grapes grown in the realignment area would no longer be eligible to be labeled with ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ as an appellation of origin. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin under the proposed new boundary of the Arroyo PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43757 Seco AVA if this proposed rule is adopted as a final rule. However, if the proposed realignment is approved, wines produced primarily from grapes grown in the realignment area would be eligible to be labeled with ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ as an appellation of origin. The petition included a letter of support for the proposed realignment from the only vineyard owner located within the proposed realignment area. The approval of the proposed boundary realignments would not affect the Monterey AVA or the Central Coast AVA. Bottlers using ‘‘Monterey’’ or ‘‘Central Coast’’ as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the proposed removal area or the proposed realignment area would not be affected by these boundary modifications. The proposed reduction of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA boundary would allow vintners to continue using ‘‘Monterey’’ and ‘‘Central Coast’’ as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within the proposed reduction area if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation. Additionally, the proposed realignment of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands– Arroyo Seco AVA boundary would allow vintners to use ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ as well as ‘‘Central Coast’’ and ‘‘Monterey’’ as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes grown within proposed realignment area if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation. Transition Period If the proposal to realign the shared Santa Lucia Highlands–Arroyo Seco AVA boundary is approved, a transition rule will apply to labels for wines produced from grapes grown in the area removed from the Arroyo Seco AVA and placed into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (the ‘‘proposed realignment area’’). A label containing the words ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ may be used on wine bottled within two years from the effective date of the final rule, provided that such label was approved before the effective date of the final rule and that the wine conforms to the standards for use of the label set forth in 27 CFR 4.25 or 4.39(i) in effect prior to the final rule. At the end of this two-year transition period, if the wine is produced primarily from grapes grown in the proposed realignment area, then a label containing the words ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ in the brand name or as an appellation of origin would not be permitted on the label. TTB believes that the two-year transition period should provide affected label holders with adequate time to use up any old labels. This E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 43758 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules transition period is described in the regulatory text of this proposed rule. TTB notes that wine made primarily from grapes grown in the proposed realignment area would be eligible to be labeled with ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ as an appellation of origin upon the effective date of the final rule. Finally, TTB is not proposing a similar transition period for wines labeled with ‘‘Santa Lucia Highlands’’ that are produced primarily from grapes grown in the area proposed to be removed from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, because the petition states that there are no current or planned vineyards within the proposed removal area. Public Participation Comments Invited TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should modify the boundaries of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA as proposed. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the information submitted in support of the petition. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments. TTB also encourages comments from industry members with wine labels potentially affected by the proposed realignment of land from the Arroyo Seco AVA into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. If a commenter believes that a conflict will arise, the comment should describe the nature of that conflict, including any anticipated negative economic impact that approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing viticultural enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different boundary for either AVA. Submitting Comments You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB–2020–0007 on ‘‘Regulations.gov,’’ the Federal erulemaking portal, at https:// www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 192 on the TTB website at https:// www.ttb.gov/wine/winerulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ‘‘Help’’ tab. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 • U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005. Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 192 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals. In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity’s name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity’s name in the ‘‘Organization’’ blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity’s comment on letterhead. You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing. Confidentiality All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure. Public Disclosure TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB–2020– 0007 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at https:// www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 192. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at https:// www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site’s ‘‘Help’’ tab. All posted comments will display the commenter’s name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting. You may also obtain copies of this proposed rule, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal at 20 cents per 8.5 x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or any similarlysized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB’s Regulations and Rulings Division by email using the web form at https:// www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd, or by telephone at 202–453–1039, ext. 175, to request copies of comments or other materials. Regulatory Flexibility Act TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of a viticultural area name would be the result of a proprietor’s efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required. Executive Order 12866 It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required. Drafting Information Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking. List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9 Wine. Proposed Regulatory Amendment For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205. Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Section 9.59 is amended by removing paragraphs (c)(12) and (13), redesignating paragraphs (c)(14) through ■ E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Proposed Rules (21) as paragraphs (c)(17) through (24), and adding new paragraphs (c)(12) through (16) and (d) to read as follows: § 9.59 Arroyo Seco. * * * * * (c) * * * (12) Then south following Paraiso Road to its intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road north of Clark Road in Section 20, T18S/R6E; (13) Then east-southeast along the unnamed road for 0.3 mile to its intersection with an intermittent stream; (14) Then southwesterly along the intermittent stream for 0.2 mile to its intersection with the western boundary of Section 21, T18S/R6E; (15) Then south-southwest in a straight line for approximately 0.3 mile to the intersection of Clark Road and the southern boundary of Section 21, T18S/ R6E; (16) Then west-southwest along Clark Road for 0.2 mile to its intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road; * * * * * (d) Transition period. A label containing the words ‘‘Arroyo Seco’’ in the brand name or as an appellation of origin approved prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE] may be used on wine bottled before [DATE 2 YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE], if the wine conforms to the standards for use of the label set forth in § 4.25 or § 4.39(i) of this chapter in effect prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE]. ■ 3. Section 9.139 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (c)(10) through (22) as paragraphs (c)(18) through (30), revising paragraphs (c)(1) through (9), and adding new paragraphs (c)(10) through (17). The revisions/additions read as follows: § 9.139 Santa Lucia Highlands. * * * * * (c) * * * (1) From the beginning point, the boundary follows Limekiln Creek for approximately 1.2 miles northeast to the 120-foot elevation contour. (2) Then following the 120-foot elevation contour in a general southeasterly direction for approximately 0.9 mile to where it intersects with River Road. (3) Then following River Road in a southeasterly direction for 0.3 mile to its intersection with an unimproved road near the marked 130-foot elevation. (4) Then follow a straight line southeast to the terminus of the 110-foot elevation contour. (5) Then follow a straight line southeast 0.9 mile, crossing onto the Gonzales map, to the Salinas River. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 (6) Then follow the Salinas River in a south-southeast direction 0.7 mile, crossing onto the Palo Escrito map, to the intersection of the Salinas River and the 120-foot elevation contour. (7) Then follow the 120-foot contour south for 1 mile, then southeast to its intersection with River Road. (8) Then follow River Road east for 0.1 mile to its intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road. (9) Then follow the unnamed road southeast for 0.2 mile to its intersection with the 160-foot elevation contour. (10) Then follow the 160-foot elevation contour southeasterly for approximately 5.9 miles to its intersection with River Road. (11) Then follow River Road southeasterly for approximately 1 mile to the intersection of River, Fort Romie, and Foothill Roads. (12) Then following Foothill Road in a southeasterly direction for approximately 4 miles to the junction of Foothill Road and Paraiso Roads on the Soledad map. (13) Then follow Paraiso Road in a southerly direction, crossing onto the Paraiso Springs map, to its intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road north of Clark Road in Section 20, T18S/R6E. (14) Then follow the unnamed road east-southeast for 0.3 mile to its intersection with an intermittent stream. (15) Then follow the intermittent stream in a southwesterly direction for 0.2 mile to its intersection with the western boundary of Section 21, T18S/ R6E. (16) Then follow a straight line southsouthwest for 0.3 mile to the intersection of Clark Road and the southern boundary of Section 21, T18S/ R6E. (17) Then follow Clark Road westsouthwest for 0.2 mile to its intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road. * * * * * Signed: March 10, 2020. Mary G. Ryan, Acting Administrator. Approved: June 2, 2020. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy). [FR Doc. 2020–14579 Filed 7–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43759 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 943 [SATS No. TX–071–FOR; Docket ID: OSM– 2019–0011; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 201S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 20XS501520] Texas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment. AGENCY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Texas Abandoned Mine Land Plan (hereinafter, the Plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Texas proposes revisions to its Plan to allow its AML program to receive limited liability protection for certain non-coal reclamation projects. Texas intends to revise its Plan in order to meet the requirements of SMCRA and the implementing Federal regulations. This document gives the times and locations where the Texas Plan and this proposed amendment to that Plan are available for your inspection, establishes the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and describes the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested. DATES: We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., CST, August 19, 2020. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on August 14, 2020. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., CST on August 4, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. TX–071–FOR, by any of the following methods: • Mail/Hand Delivery: Joseph R. Maki, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128–4629. • Fax: (918) 581–6419. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned Docket ID OSM–2019–0011. If you would like to submit comments go to http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20JYP1.SGM 20JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 139 (Monday, July 20, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43754-43759]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-14579]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 9

[Docket No. TTB-2020-0007; Notice No. 192]
RIN 1513-AC55


Proposed Modification of the Boundaries of the Santa Lucia 
Highlands and Arroyo Seco Viticultural Areas

AGENCY: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to 
modify the boundaries of the ``Santa Lucia Highlands'' viticultural 
area and the adjacent ``Arroyo Seco'' viticultural area in Monterey 
County, California. The proposed boundary modifications would remove 
approximately 376 acres from the Santa Lucia Highlands viticultural 
area and would also remove 148 acres from the Arroyo Seco viticultural 
area and place them entirely within the Santa Lucia Highlands 
viticultural area. The proposed viticultural areas and the proposed 
modification areas are located entirely within the established Monterey 
and Central Coast viticultural areas. TTB designates viticultural areas 
to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to 
allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites 
comments on this proposed addition to its regulations.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 18, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may electronically submit comments to TTB on this 
proposal, and view copies of this document, its supporting materials, 
and any comments TTB receives on it within Docket No. TTB-2020-0007 as 
posted on Regulations.gov (https://www.regulations.gov), the Federal e-
rulemaking portal. Please see the ``Public Participation'' section of 
this document below for full details on how to comment on this proposal 
via Regulations.gov, U.S. mail, or hand delivery, and for full details 
on how to view or obtain copies of this document, its supporting 
materials, and any comments related to this proposal.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and 
Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G 
Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background on Viticultural Areas

TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 
27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe 
regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt 
beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among 
other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading 
statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with 
adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act 
pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 
codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various 
authorities through Treasury Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013 
(superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB 
Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration 
and enforcement of these provisions.
    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to 
establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their 
names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine 
advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets 
forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the 
establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and 
lists the approved AVAs.

[[Page 43755]]

Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) 
defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-
growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 
of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as 
established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow 
vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or 
other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the 
wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to 
describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and 
helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of 
an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine 
produced in that area.

Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) 
outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any 
interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region 
as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes 
the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of 
AVAs. Petitions to modify an AVA must include the following:
     In the case of an expansion in size of an AVA, evidence 
that the proposed expansion area is nationally or locally known by the 
name of the AVA into which it would be placed;
     In the case of a reduction in size of an AVA, an 
explanation of the extent to which the current AVA name does not apply 
to the excluded area;
     An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of 
the proposed areas to be realigned, including an explanation of how the 
boundary of the existing AVA was incorrectly or incompletely defined or 
is no longer accurate due to new evidence or changed circumstances;
     In the case of an expansion of an AVA, a narrative 
description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, 
such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that 
make the proposed expansion area similar to the AVA into which it would 
be placed and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the 
established AVA;
     In the case of a reduction of an AVA, a narrative 
description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, 
such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that 
differentiate the proposed reduction area from the established AVA and 
demonstrate a greater similarity to the features of adjacent areas 
outside the established AVA;
     The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA boundary modifications, 
with the proposed boundary modifications clearly drawn thereon; and
     A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA 
boundary modifications based on USGS map markings.

Santa Lucia Highlands-Arroyo Seco Boundary Modification Petition

    TTB received a petition from Patrick Shabram on behalf of the Santa 
Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans, proposing to modify the boundaries of 
the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (27 CFR 9.139) and the adjacent Arroyo 
Seco AVA (27 CFR 9.59). The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo 
Seco AVA are both located within Monterey County, California, and are 
both located entirely within the established Monterey AVA (27 CFR 9.98) 
and the Central Coast AVA (27 CFR 9.75).
    The petition contains two separate boundary modification proposals. 
The first proposal would remove approximately 376 acres from the 
northern part of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The petition states 
that the proposed reduction area is within the floodplain of the 
Salinas River and that no vineyards are planted or proposed in this 
location. The land removed from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA would 
remain within the Monterey AVA and the Central Coast AVA.
    The second proposed modification affects a portion of the shared 
Santa Lucia Highlands-Arroyo Seco AVA boundary. The modification would 
remove 148 acres of foothills terrain from the western side of the 
Arroyo Seco AVA and place them entirely within the southeastern region 
of the Santa Lucia Highlands. One vineyard containing approximately 135 
acres of vines would be affected by this boundary realignment, and the 
vineyard owner included a letter of support in the petition. The 
modification would reduce the size of the Arroyo Seco AVA by less than 
1 percent and would not have any impact on the boundaries of the 
Monterey AVA or the Central Coast AVA.

Santa Lucia Highlands Reduction

Boundary Evidence

    The current northeastern boundary of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA 
follows the 100-foot elevation contour southeasterly from its 
intersection with Limekiln Creek to its intersection with the Salinas 
River. The boundary then proceeds along the west bank of the Salinas 
River to its intersection with the 120-foot elevation, where the 
boundary then turns southeast to briefly follow the 120-foot elevation 
before jumping to the 160-foot elevation contour. The boundary then 
follows the 160-foot elevation contour to its intersection with River 
Road.
    The proposed modification to the northeastern boundary of the Santa 
Lucia Highlands AVA would move the beginning point of the boundary to 
the intersection of Limekiln Creek and the 120-foot elevation contour. 
The boundary would then follow the 120-foot elevation contour 
southeasterly to River Road, where it would then proceed southeasterly 
along River Road to an unnamed, unimproved road. From there, the 
boundary would proceed southeast in a straight line to the terminus of 
the 110-foot elevation contour, then proceed southeast in a straight 
line to the Salinas River. The boundary would then follow the Salinas 
River southeast to the 120-foot elevation contour. From that point, the 
boundary would follow the contour to River Road and then follow the 
road to the 160-foot elevation contour. At this point, the proposed 
boundary would rejoin the current boundary. The result would be the 
elimination of most of the Salinas River floodplains from the Santa 
Lucia Highlands AVA.

Name Evidence

    The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, established by T.D. ATF-321 on May 
15, 1992 (57 FR 20764), is named for the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, 
and is located on the eastern edge of these mountains, in the lower 
elevations of the Sierra de Salinas. T.D. ATF-321 shows the AVA partly 
derives its name from the Santa Lucia Range's elevation, noting trade 
and general publications that reference viticulture ``in the Santa 
Lucia Highlands overlooking Soledad and Salinas Valley.''
    While currently within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, the petition 
illustrates the topography in the proposed reduction area is 
inconsistent with the elevations of the Santa Lucia Range from which 
the ``Santa Lucia AVA'' partly derives its name. The petition provides 
evidence showing the proposed reduction area includes sections of the 
Salinas River floodplain that have essentially-flat elevations with 
little-to-no slope. Therefore, the petition shows the current ``Santa 
Lucia

[[Page 43756]]

Highlands AVA'' name is ill-suited for the proposed reduction area.

Comparison of the Proposed Reduction Area to the Santa Lucia Highlands 
AVA

    According to T.D. ATF-321, the distinguishing features of the Santa 
Lucia Highlands AVA are its topography, climate, and soils. The 
boundary modification petition states that while the proposed reduction 
area's climate is similar to the climate of the rest of the AVA, its 
topography and soils are more similar to the topography and soils of 
the adjacent region outside of the AVA.
Topography
    The boundary modification petition states that the Santa Lucia 
Highlands AVA is located on a series of alluvial fans and terraces. 
Slope angles within the AVA range from 5 to 30 percent, although most 
of the terraces have slope angles of 5 to 20 percent. The slopes are 
predominately oriented to the east. The petition states that east-
facing slopes expose the vineyards to the cooler morning sun and offer 
greater solar exposure, compared to west-facing slopes which are 
exposed to warmer afternoon sun and receive less solar exposure. 
Furthermore, an eastern exposure allows for fog to burn off early in 
the morning. The petition also states that the gentle slope angles 
reduce the risk of frost in the vineyards by allowing cool night air to 
drain off the vineyards and into the lower, flatter elevations.
    According to the petition, the proposed reduction area is on the 
Salinas Valley floor within the floodplain of the Salinas River. The 
reduction area has little-to-no slope and lacks the clear easterly 
orientation of the rest of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. It is also 
not on an alluvial fan or terrace. The petition included a map of the 
slope angles within the AVA and in the adjacent regions outside the 
AVA, as well as photographs of the proposed reduction area and the 
surrounding regions. The slope angle map and the photographs show that 
the proposed reduction area is essentially flat, similar to the Salinas 
River valley floor outside the AVA, while the terrain within the AVA is 
noticeably elevated.
Soils
    The soils of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA are predominately 
Chualar loams, which make up almost 32 percent of the soils within the 
AVA. These soils are described as very deep, well-drained soils formed 
in alluvial material from mixed rock sources. The petition also states 
that Xerorthent soils are also common within the AVA. Xerorthents are 
described as a subgroup of Entisols soils common to arid and semi-arid 
landscapes. Just over 17 percent of the AVA contains soils of this 
subgroup. The soils of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA provide good 
drainage for vineyards.
    By contrast, the petition states that the soils in the proposed 
reduction area are mostly Psamments and Fluvents. These are suborders 
of Entisols that are sandy and have little organic material. The 
petition included a map of the location of Psamments and Fluvents 
within the Santa Lucia Highlands and the region outside the AVA. The 
maps shows that these soils are primarily found along the Salinas 
River's immediate floodplain and the river's channel, which is outside 
the AVA. The soils represent a little over 0.7 percent of the acreage 
of the soils of the AVA.

Santa Lucia Highlands-Arroyo Seco Boundary Realignment

    The boundary modification petition also proposed to realign a 
portion of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands-Arroyo Seco AVA boundary. 
The proposed realignment would remove approximately 148 acres from the 
Arroyo Seco AVA and place them entirely within the Santa Lucia 
Highlands AVA.

Boundary Evidence

    The petition proposes to realign the segment of the shared Santa 
Lucia Highlands-Arroyo Seco boundary located along Paraiso Road. The 
current boundary follows Paraiso Road south from its intersection with 
Foothill Road to its intersection with Clark Road. The boundary then 
proceeds east along Clark Road to an unnamed, light-duty road and then 
follows a straight line southeasterly to the southeast corner of 
Section 33.
    The proposed realigned boundary would follow Paraiso Road south 
from its intersection with Foothill Road to its intersection with an 
unnamed road north of Clark Road. The boundary would then follow the 
unnamed road southeasterly to an intermittent stream. From this point, 
the boundary would follow the stream southwesterly to the western 
boundary of Section 21 and then proceed in a straight line southwest to 
the intersection of Clark Road and to the southern boundary of Section 
21. The boundary would then follow Clark Road southwesterly to an 
unnamed, light-duty road, where the realigned boundary would rejoin the 
current boundary. The realignment would remove an alluvial terrace from 
the Arroyo Seco AVA and place it within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.

Name Evidence

    The Arroyo Seco AVA, which was established by T.D. ATF-131 on April 
15, 1983 (48 FR 16246), derives its name from both the Arroyo Seco land 
grant and the Arroyo Seco Creek. The Santa Lucia Highlands, established 
by T.D. ATF-321 on May 15, 1992 (57 FR 20764), was named for the Santa 
Lucia Range. The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is located on the eastern 
edge of this mountain range, in the lower elevations of the Sierra de 
Salinas.
    The proposed realignment area is currently within the Arroyo Seco 
AVA. The boundary modification petition states that the proposed 
realignment area is not within the Arroyo Seco land grant, nor does the 
Arroyo Seco Creek run through it. The petition notes that the proposed 
realignment area ``occupies a highland position consistent with the 
Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.'' Therefore, the petition claims that the 
current ``Arroyo Seco'' name is less suited for the proposed 
realignment area than the ``Santa Lucia Highlands'' name.

Comparison of the Proposed Realignment Area to the Santa Lucia 
Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA

    Topography and soils are distinguishing features of both the Santa 
Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA. The boundary modification 
petition states that the topography and soils of the proposed 
realignment area are more similar to those of the Santa Lucia Highlands 
AVA than to the topography and soils of the Arroyo Seco AVA.
Topography
    As stated previously, the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is comprised of 
gently sloping alluvial fans and terraces. The Arroyo Seco AVA, as 
described in T.D. ATF-131, is comprised of sloping bench land 
surrounding the Arroyo Seco Creek. The boundary modification petition 
also notes that the Arroyo Seco AVA contains the watershed of the 
Arroyo Seco Creek.
    The proposed realignment area is located on an alluvial fan. 
According to the boundary modification petition, the proposed 
realignment area has an eastern orientation and slope angles above 5 
percent. By contrast, the land within the Arroyo Seco AVA that is 
immediately adjacent to the proposed realignment area has a more 
gradual slope, becoming nearly flat and lacking an eastern orientation. 
The petition states that the topographical characteristics of the 
proposed

[[Page 43757]]

realignment area are more consistent with those of the Santa Lucia 
Highlands than the topography of the Arroyo Seco AVA and would justify 
moving this region from the Arroyo Seco AVA into the Santa Lucia 
Highlands AVA.
Soils
    As stated previously, the prominent soil of the Santa Lucia 
Highlands AVA is the Chualar series. The boundary modification petition 
also notes that Placentia sandy loam soils are also present and 
comprise 5.3 percent of the soils within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. 
The petition states that the principal soil series of the Arroyo Seco 
AVA are Mocho, Lockwood, Arroyo Seco, Rincon, and Chualar, with Chualar 
and Arroyo Seco being the most common soil types. Placentia soils are 
present only in very small amounts in limited areas within the Arroyo 
Seco AVA.
    The petition states that the soil of the proposed realignment area 
is comprised of Placentia sandy loam, Chualar, and Arroyo Seco soils. 
Although all three soil series are found in both the Arroyo Seco AVA 
and the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Placentia soils are not common in 
the Arroyo Seco AVA except within the proposed realignment area. The 
petition states that the combination of Placentia, Chualar, and Arroyo 
Seco soils is more common within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. 
Therefore, the petition claims that moving the proposed realignment 
area into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA would enhance the boundary 
integrity of both AVAs.

TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to modify the boundaries of the 
Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA merits consideration 
and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for 
AVA boundary modifications in the proposed regulatory text published at 
the end of this proposed rule.

Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed 
below in the proposed regulatory text. You may also view the proposed 
boundary modifications for the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco 
AVAs on the AVA Map Explorer on the TTB website, at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ava-map-explorer.

Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a 
wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true 
place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 
percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area 
represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions 
listed in Sec.  4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). 
If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name 
appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the 
bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. 
Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in 
a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new 
label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an 
AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 
7, 1986. See Sec.  4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 
4.39(i)(2)) for details.
    If TTB approves the proposed removal of land from the Santa Lucia 
Highlands AVA, wines produced primarily from grapes grown in the 
removal area would no longer be eligible to be labeled with ``Santa 
Lucia Highlands'' as an appellation of origin. Consequently, wine 
bottlers using the name ``Santa Lucia Highlands'' in a brand name, 
including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin 
of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use 
the AVA name as an appellation of origin under the proposed new 
boundary of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA if this proposed rule is 
adopted as a final rule. TTB does not anticipate that the proposed 
removal of land will affect any current labels because the petition 
indicates there are no vineyards currently planted or planned within 
the proposed reduction area.
    If TTB approved the proposed realignment of the shared Santa Lucia 
Highlands-Arroyo Seco AVA boundary, the realignment area would be moved 
from the Arroyo Seco AVA into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Wines 
produced primarily from grapes grown in the realignment area would no 
longer be eligible to be labeled with ``Arroyo Seco'' as an appellation 
of origin. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name ``Arroyo Seco'' 
in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference 
as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is 
eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin under the 
proposed new boundary of the Arroyo Seco AVA if this proposed rule is 
adopted as a final rule. However, if the proposed realignment is 
approved, wines produced primarily from grapes grown in the realignment 
area would be eligible to be labeled with ``Santa Lucia Highlands'' as 
an appellation of origin. The petition included a letter of support for 
the proposed realignment from the only vineyard owner located within 
the proposed realignment area.
    The approval of the proposed boundary realignments would not affect 
the Monterey AVA or the Central Coast AVA. Bottlers using ``Monterey'' 
or ``Central Coast'' as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for 
wines made from grapes grown within the proposed removal area or the 
proposed realignment area would not be affected by these boundary 
modifications. The proposed reduction of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA 
boundary would allow vintners to continue using ``Monterey'' and 
``Central Coast'' as appellations of origin for wines made from grapes 
grown within the proposed reduction area if the wines meet the 
eligibility requirements for the appellation. Additionally, the 
proposed realignment of the shared Santa Lucia Highlands-Arroyo Seco 
AVA boundary would allow vintners to use ``Santa Lucia Highlands'' as 
well as ``Central Coast'' and ``Monterey'' as appellations of origin 
for wines made from grapes grown within proposed realignment area if 
the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

Transition Period

    If the proposal to realign the shared Santa Lucia Highlands-Arroyo 
Seco AVA boundary is approved, a transition rule will apply to labels 
for wines produced from grapes grown in the area removed from the 
Arroyo Seco AVA and placed into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (the 
``proposed realignment area''). A label containing the words ``Arroyo 
Seco'' may be used on wine bottled within two years from the effective 
date of the final rule, provided that such label was approved before 
the effective date of the final rule and that the wine conforms to the 
standards for use of the label set forth in 27 CFR 4.25 or 4.39(i) in 
effect prior to the final rule. At the end of this two-year transition 
period, if the wine is produced primarily from grapes grown in the 
proposed realignment area, then a label containing the words ``Arroyo 
Seco'' in the brand name or as an appellation of origin would not be 
permitted on the label. TTB believes that the two-year transition 
period should provide affected label holders with adequate time to use 
up any old labels. This

[[Page 43758]]

transition period is described in the regulatory text of this proposed 
rule. TTB notes that wine made primarily from grapes grown in the 
proposed realignment area would be eligible to be labeled with ``Santa 
Lucia Highlands'' as an appellation of origin upon the effective date 
of the final rule. Finally, TTB is not proposing a similar transition 
period for wines labeled with ``Santa Lucia Highlands'' that are 
produced primarily from grapes grown in the area proposed to be removed 
from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, because the petition states that 
there are no current or planned vineyards within the proposed removal 
area.

Public Participation

Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on 
whether it should modify the boundaries of the Santa Lucia Highlands 
AVA and the Arroyo Seco AVA as proposed. TTB is also interested in 
receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the information 
submitted in support of the petition. Please provide any available 
specific information in support of your comments.
    TTB also encourages comments from industry members with wine labels 
potentially affected by the proposed realignment of land from the 
Arroyo Seco AVA into the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. If a commenter 
believes that a conflict will arise, the comment should describe the 
nature of that conflict, including any anticipated negative economic 
impact that approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing 
viticultural enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving 
suggestions for ways to avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a 
modified or different boundary for either AVA.

Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice by using one of the 
following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the 
online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2020-
0007 on ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at 
https://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available 
under Notice No. 192 on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml">https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments 
submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use 
Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the ``Help'' tab.
     U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the 
Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and 
Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.
    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this 
notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 192 and include your 
name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, 
be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public 
disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB 
considers all comments as originals.
    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for 
yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If 
you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include 
the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you 
comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the 
``Organization'' blank of the online comment form. If you comment via 
postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's 
comment on letterhead.
    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing 
date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right 
to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public 
record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your 
comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for 
public disclosure.

Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected 
supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about 
this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2020-0007 on the Federal e-
rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at https://www.regulations.gov. A 
direct link to that docket is available on the TTB website at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 192. You may 
also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page 
at https://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use 
Regulations.gov, click on the site's ``Help'' tab.
    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization 
(if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all 
address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous 
attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for 
posting.
    You may also obtain copies of this proposed rule, all related 
petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or 
mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal at 20 cents per 
8.5 x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of 
USGS maps or any similarly-sized documents that may be included as part 
of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's Regulations and Rulings Division by 
email using the web form at https://www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd, or by 
telephone at 202-453-1039, ext. 175, to request copies of comments or 
other materials.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived 
from the use of a viticultural area name would be the result of a 
proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. 
Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant 
regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 
1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted 
this notice of proposed rulemaking.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend 
title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 9--AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS

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

    Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205.

Subpart C--Approved American Viticultural Areas

0
2. Section 9.59 is amended by removing paragraphs (c)(12) and (13), 
redesignating paragraphs (c)(14) through

[[Page 43759]]

(21) as paragraphs (c)(17) through (24), and adding new paragraphs 
(c)(12) through (16) and (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  9.59  Arroyo Seco.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (12) Then south following Paraiso Road to its intersection with an 
unnamed, light-duty road north of Clark Road in Section 20, T18S/R6E;
    (13) Then east-southeast along the unnamed road for 0.3 mile to its 
intersection with an intermittent stream;
    (14) Then southwesterly along the intermittent stream for 0.2 mile 
to its intersection with the western boundary of Section 21, T18S/R6E;
    (15) Then south-southwest in a straight line for approximately 0.3 
mile to the intersection of Clark Road and the southern boundary of 
Section 21, T18S/R6E;
    (16) Then west-southwest along Clark Road for 0.2 mile to its 
intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road;
* * * * *
    (d) Transition period. A label containing the words ``Arroyo Seco'' 
in the brand name or as an appellation of origin approved prior to 
[EFFECTIVE DATE] may be used on wine bottled before [DATE 2 YEARS AFTER 
EFFECTIVE DATE], if the wine conforms to the standards for use of the 
label set forth in Sec.  4.25 or Sec.  4.39(i) of this chapter in 
effect prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE].
0
3. Section 9.139 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (c)(10) through 
(22) as paragraphs (c)(18) through (30), revising paragraphs (c)(1) 
through (9), and adding new paragraphs (c)(10) through (17).
    The revisions/additions read as follows:


Sec.  9.139  Santa Lucia Highlands.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) From the beginning point, the boundary follows Limekiln Creek 
for approximately 1.2 miles northeast to the 120-foot elevation 
contour.
    (2) Then following the 120-foot elevation contour in a general 
southeasterly direction for approximately 0.9 mile to where it 
intersects with River Road.
    (3) Then following River Road in a southeasterly direction for 0.3 
mile to its intersection with an unimproved road near the marked 130-
foot elevation.
    (4) Then follow a straight line southeast to the terminus of the 
110-foot elevation contour.
    (5) Then follow a straight line southeast 0.9 mile, crossing onto 
the Gonzales map, to the Salinas River.
    (6) Then follow the Salinas River in a south-southeast direction 
0.7 mile, crossing onto the Palo Escrito map, to the intersection of 
the Salinas River and the 120-foot elevation contour.
    (7) Then follow the 120-foot contour south for 1 mile, then 
southeast to its intersection with River Road.
    (8) Then follow River Road east for 0.1 mile to its intersection 
with an unnamed, light-duty road.
    (9) Then follow the unnamed road southeast for 0.2 mile to its 
intersection with the 160-foot elevation contour.
    (10) Then follow the 160-foot elevation contour southeasterly for 
approximately 5.9 miles to its intersection with River Road.
    (11) Then follow River Road southeasterly for approximately 1 mile 
to the intersection of River, Fort Romie, and Foothill Roads.
    (12) Then following Foothill Road in a southeasterly direction for 
approximately 4 miles to the junction of Foothill Road and Paraiso 
Roads on the Soledad map.
    (13) Then follow Paraiso Road in a southerly direction, crossing 
onto the Paraiso Springs map, to its intersection with an unnamed, 
light-duty road north of Clark Road in Section 20, T18S/R6E.
    (14) Then follow the unnamed road east-southeast for 0.3 mile to 
its intersection with an intermittent stream.
    (15) Then follow the intermittent stream in a southwesterly 
direction for 0.2 mile to its intersection with the western boundary of 
Section 21, T18S/R6E.
    (16) Then follow a straight line south-southwest for 0.3 mile to 
the intersection of Clark Road and the southern boundary of Section 21, 
T18S/R6E.
    (17) Then follow Clark Road west-southwest for 0.2 mile to its 
intersection with an unnamed, light-duty road.
* * * * *

    Signed: March 10, 2020.
Mary G. Ryan,
Acting Administrator.
    Approved: June 2, 2020.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2020-14579 Filed 7-17-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P