Notice To Extend Exemption From Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals, 68357-68358 [2020-23961]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 209 / Wednesday, October 28, 2020 / Notices and private sectors. The information discussed will include specific vulnerabilities that affect the United States’ national defense/homeland security posture and ICT risk mitigation strategies. The premature disclosure of this information to the public is likely to frustrate implementation of proposed Government action significantly. Therefore, this portion of the meeting is required to be closed pursuant to section 10(d) of FACA and The Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B)). Sandra J. Benevides, Designated Federal Officer, NSTAC, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2020–23835 Filed 10–27–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9910–9P–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA–2003–14610] Notice To Extend Exemption From Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals Transportation Security Administration, DHS. ACTION: Notice, extension of temporary exemption. AGENCY: TSA is extending the exemption from Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals that TSA published on July 31, 2020 which was scheduled to expire on October 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Under this exemption, states may extend the expiration date of hazardous materials endorsements (HMEs) that expire on or after March 1, 2020, for 180 days, due to restrictions and business closures in place in response to the COVID–19 pandemic. If a state grants an extension, the individual with an expired HME must initiate the process of renewing his or her security threat assessment (STA) for the HME no later than 60 days before the end of the state-granted extension. Federal partners, state licensing agencies and related associations report ongoing difficulties in timely renewal of expiring HMEs and asked TSA to consider extending the exemption until the end of calendar year 2020. TSA has determined it is in the public interest to extend the exemption through December 31, 2020, which aligns with similar waivers issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation. TSA may jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:29 Oct 27, 2020 Jkt 253001 extend this exemption at a future date depending on the status of the COVID– 19 crisis. This extension of the previously issued exemption published on July 31, 2020 (85 FR 46152) becomes effective on October 30, 2020, and remains in effect through December 31, 2020, unless otherwise modified by TSA through a notice published in the Federal Register. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Hamilton, 571–227–2851 or HME.question@tsa.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background A public health emergency exists in this country as a consequence of the COVID–19 pandemic.1 In response to this pandemic, on April 2, 2020, TSA issued an exemption from requirements in 48 CFR part 1572 regarding expiration of a TSA security threat assessment (STA) for HMEs.2 TSA subsequently extended the duration of the exemption through October 29, 2020.3 The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 requires individuals who transport hazardous materials via commercial motor vehicle to undergo a STA conducted by TSA.4 As required by TSA’s implementing regulations in 49 CFR part 1572, the STA for an HME consists of criminal, immigration, and terrorist checks. The STA and HME remain valid for five years. Under 49 CFR 1572.13(a), no state may issue or renew an HME for an individual’s commercial driver’s license (CDL), unless the state first receives a Determination of No Security Threat for the individual from TSA following the STA. An individual seeking renewal of an HME must initiate an STA at least 60 days before expiration of his or her current HME.5 The process of initiating an STA requires the individual to submit information either to the state licensing agency or a TSA enrollment center, including fingerprints and the information required by 49 CFR 1572.9,6 1 See HHS, Renewal of Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists (Oct. 2, 2020), available at https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/ healthactions/phe/Pages/covid19-2Oct2020.aspx. See also Proclamation 9994, Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID–19) Outbreak (March 13, 2020). Published at 85 FR 15337 (Mar. 18, 2020). 2 See 85 FR 19767 (April 8, 2020). 3 See 85 FR 46152 (July 31, 2020). 4 Public Law 107–56 (Oct. 26, 2001; 115 Stat. 396), § 1012(a)(1), codified as amended at 49 U.S.C. 5103a. 5 49 CFR 1572.13(b). 6 49 CFR 1572.15. PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68357 at least 60 days before the expiration of the HME.7 It may be impracticable for some commercial drivers to renew their STAs during the current COVID–19 crisis. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID–19 may affect the ability of commercial drivers to present themselves in-person to a state licensing agency or TSA enrollment center for the collection of fingerprints and applicant information. Without the new STA, TSA’s regulations prevent states from renewing or extending the expiration of the individual’s state-issued HME.8 Consistent with the requirements in 49 CFR 1572.13(b), if the state grants an extension to a driver, the state must, if practicable, notify the driver that the state is extending the expiration date of the HME, the date that the extension will end, and the individual’s responsibility to initiate the STA renewal process at least 60 days before the end of the extension. If it is not practicable for a state to give individualized notice to drivers, the state may publish general notice, for example, on the appropriate website. Authority and Determination TSA may grant an exemption from a regulation if TSA determines that the exemption is in the public interest.9 On April 2, 2020, TSA determined that it was in the public interest to grant an exemption from certain process requirements in 49 CFR part 1572 related to STAs for HMEs, given the need for HME drivers to work without interruption during the COVID–19 crisis.10 On July 31, 2020, TSA extended that exemption by 90 days through October 29, 2020.11 TSA has determined that it is in the public interest to extend the exemption through December 31, 2020. The exemption does not compromise the current level of transportation security because TSA continues to conduct recurrent security threat checks on HME holders and is able to take action to revoke an HME if derogatory information becomes available, regardless of expiration date. TSA uses data previously submitted by these 7 49 CFR 1572.13(b). CFR 1572.13(a). 9 49 U.S.C. 114(q). The Administrator of TSA delegated this authority to the Executive Assistant Administrator for Operations Support, effective March 26, 2020, during the period of the National Emergency cited supra, n. 1. 10 See Exemption from Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals, 85 FR 19767 (Apr. 8, 2020). 11 See Notice to Extend Exemption from Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals, 85 FR 46152 (July 31, 2020). 8 49 E:\FR\FM\28OCN1.SGM 28OCN1 68358 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 209 / Wednesday, October 28, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES individuals to conduct recurrent vetting against terrorism watch lists and databases to ensure that they continue to meet TSA requirements for having an HME. The exemption permits states to extend the expiration date for an HME for up to 180 days for individuals with an HME that expires on or after March 1, 2020, even if the individual did not initiate or complete submission of required information for an STA at least 60 days before expiration of the HME.12 With the extension TSA announces in this notice, states may continue this procedure through December 31, 2020. Individuals who were eligible for an extension of their HMEs during the initial exemption may continue to be eligible under this notice of extension of the exemption. Federal partners, States, the American Trucking Associations and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators asked TSA to consider extending the exemption to align with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s exemptions and waivers for drivers and States impacted by the COVID–19 crisis.13 Some states continue to face challenges maintaining regular operations at state Drivers Licensing Centers due to public health considerations related to the inability to predict how or where COVID–19 may spread in the future. Although most TSA enrollment centers have remained open during the pandemic, temporary closures in states and regions with limited enrollment center alternatives have complicated drivers’ ability to enroll for an STA. TSA’s enrollment provider has re-opened sites that were temporarily closed, but due to the uncertain nature of the spread of COVID–19, applicants may encounter renewed closures in the coming months. The extension will help ensure that drivers can continue to perform critical services during the pandemic. For these reasons, TSA is extending the exemption through December 31, 2020. 12 This exemption remains in effect through December 31, 2020, unless otherwise modified by TSA through a notice published in the Federal Register. TSA considered tying the duration of the exemption to the duration of a public health emergency declaration, but believes that the option for further modification as noted above provides clearer notice to and better certainty for states administering the program. 13 See FMCSA, Waiver in Response to the COVID–19 National Emergency—For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles (Sept. 18, 2020), available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ emergency/waiver-response-covid-19-nationalemergency-states-cdl-holders-clp-holders-and-0. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:29 Oct 27, 2020 Jkt 253001 Dated: October 23, 2020. Stacey Fitzmaurice, Executive Assistant Administrator, Operations Support. [FR Doc. 2020–23961 Filed 10–26–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 9110–05–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–7024–N–43] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Housing Finance Agency Risk-Sharing Program; OMB Control No.: 2502–0500 Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment. DATES: Comments Due Date: November 27, 2020. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/ Start Printed Page 15501PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at Colette.Pollard@ hud.gov or telephone 202–402–3400. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. This is not a toll-free number. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice informs the public that HUD has submitted to OMB a request for approval of the information collection described in Section A. The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on June 4, 2020 at 85 FR 34459. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Housing Finance Agency Risk-Sharing Program. OMB Approval Number: 2502–0500. OMB Expiration Date: 4/30/2020. Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection. Form Numbers HUD–94192, HUD– 94193, HUD–94194, HUD–94195, HUD– 94196. Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Section 542 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 directs the Secretary to implement risk sharing with State and local housing finance agencies (HFAs). Under this program, HUD provides full mortgage insurance on multifamily housing projects whose loans are underwritten, processed, and serviced by HFAs. The HFAs will reimburse HUD a certain percentage of any loss under an insured loan depending upon the level of risk the HFA contracts to assume. Respondents (i.e. affected public): Business and other for profit. Estimated Number of Respondents: 6530. Estimated Number of Responses: 22,374. Frequency of Response: Annually, semi-annually, and on-occasion. Average Hours per Response: 1 hour to 40 hours. Total Estimated Burden: 43,023. B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. (5) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. E:\FR\FM\28OCN1.SGM 28OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 209 (Wednesday, October 28, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68357-68358]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-23961]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Transportation Security Administration

[Docket No. TSA-2003-14610]


Notice To Extend Exemption From Renewal of the Hazardous 
Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain 
Individuals

AGENCY: Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

ACTION: Notice, extension of temporary exemption.

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

SUMMARY: TSA is extending the exemption from Renewal of the Hazardous 
Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain 
Individuals that TSA published on July 31, 2020 which was scheduled to 
expire on October 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Under this 
exemption, states may extend the expiration date of hazardous materials 
endorsements (HMEs) that expire on or after March 1, 2020, for 180 
days, due to restrictions and business closures in place in response to 
the COVID-19 pandemic. If a state grants an extension, the individual 
with an expired HME must initiate the process of renewing his or her 
security threat assessment (STA) for the HME no later than 60 days 
before the end of the state-granted extension. Federal partners, state 
licensing agencies and related associations report ongoing difficulties 
in timely renewal of expiring HMEs and asked TSA to consider extending 
the exemption until the end of calendar year 2020. TSA has determined 
it is in the public interest to extend the exemption through December 
31, 2020, which aligns with similar waivers issued by the U.S. 
Department of Transportation. TSA may extend this exemption at a future 
date depending on the status of the COVID-19 crisis.

DATES: This extension of the previously issued exemption published on 
July 31, 2020 (85 FR 46152) becomes effective on October 30, 2020, and 
remains in effect through December 31, 2020, unless otherwise modified 
by TSA through a notice published in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Hamilton, 571-227-2851 or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    A public health emergency exists in this country as a consequence 
of the COVID-19 pandemic.\1\ In response to this pandemic, on April 2, 
2020, TSA issued an exemption from requirements in 48 CFR part 1572 
regarding expiration of a TSA security threat assessment (STA) for 
HMEs.\2\ TSA subsequently extended the duration of the exemption 
through October 29, 2020.\3\
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    \1\ See HHS, Renewal of Determination that a Public Health 
Emergency Exists (Oct. 2, 2020), available at https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/covid19-2Oct2020.aspx. See 
also Proclamation 9994, Declaring a National Emergency Concerning 
the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak (March 13, 2020). 
Published at 85 FR 15337 (Mar. 18, 2020).
    \2\ See 85 FR 19767 (April 8, 2020).
    \3\ See 85 FR 46152 (July 31, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 requires individuals who transport 
hazardous materials via commercial motor vehicle to undergo a STA 
conducted by TSA.\4\ As required by TSA's implementing regulations in 
49 CFR part 1572, the STA for an HME consists of criminal, immigration, 
and terrorist checks. The STA and HME remain valid for five years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Public Law 107-56 (Oct. 26, 2001; 115 Stat. 396), Sec.  
1012(a)(1), codified as amended at 49 U.S.C. 5103a.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under 49 CFR 1572.13(a), no state may issue or renew an HME for an 
individual's commercial driver's license (CDL), unless the state first 
receives a Determination of No Security Threat for the individual from 
TSA following the STA. An individual seeking renewal of an HME must 
initiate an STA at least 60 days before expiration of his or her 
current HME.\5\ The process of initiating an STA requires the 
individual to submit information either to the state licensing agency 
or a TSA enrollment center, including fingerprints and the information 
required by 49 CFR 1572.9,\6\ at least 60 days before the expiration of 
the HME.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ 49 CFR 1572.13(b).
    \6\ 49 CFR 1572.15.
    \7\ 49 CFR 1572.13(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It may be impracticable for some commercial drivers to renew their 
STAs during the current COVID-19 crisis. Measures to prevent the spread 
of COVID-19 may affect the ability of commercial drivers to present 
themselves in-person to a state licensing agency or TSA enrollment 
center for the collection of fingerprints and applicant information. 
Without the new STA, TSA's regulations prevent states from renewing or 
extending the expiration of the individual's state-issued HME.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ 49 CFR 1572.13(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consistent with the requirements in 49 CFR 1572.13(b), if the state 
grants an extension to a driver, the state must, if practicable, notify 
the driver that the state is extending the expiration date of the HME, 
the date that the extension will end, and the individual's 
responsibility to initiate the STA renewal process at least 60 days 
before the end of the extension. If it is not practicable for a state 
to give individualized notice to drivers, the state may publish general 
notice, for example, on the appropriate website.

Authority and Determination

    TSA may grant an exemption from a regulation if TSA determines that 
the exemption is in the public interest.\9\ On April 2, 2020, TSA 
determined that it was in the public interest to grant an exemption 
from certain process requirements in 49 CFR part 1572 related to STAs 
for HMEs, given the need for HME drivers to work without interruption 
during the COVID-19 crisis.\10\ On July 31, 2020, TSA extended that 
exemption by 90 days through October 29, 2020.\11\ TSA has determined 
that it is in the public interest to extend the exemption through 
December 31, 2020.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 49 U.S.C. 114(q). The Administrator of TSA delegated this 
authority to the Executive Assistant Administrator for Operations 
Support, effective March 26, 2020, during the period of the National 
Emergency cited supra, n. 1.
    \10\ See Exemption from Renewal of the Hazardous Materials 
Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals, 85 
FR 19767 (Apr. 8, 2020).
    \11\ See Notice to Extend Exemption from Renewal of the 
Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for 
Certain Individuals, 85 FR 46152 (July 31, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The exemption does not compromise the current level of 
transportation security because TSA continues to conduct recurrent 
security threat checks on HME holders and is able to take action to 
revoke an HME if derogatory information becomes available, regardless 
of expiration date. TSA uses data previously submitted by these

[[Page 68358]]

individuals to conduct recurrent vetting against terrorism watch lists 
and databases to ensure that they continue to meet TSA requirements for 
having an HME.
    The exemption permits states to extend the expiration date for an 
HME for up to 180 days for individuals with an HME that expires on or 
after March 1, 2020, even if the individual did not initiate or 
complete submission of required information for an STA at least 60 days 
before expiration of the HME.\12\ With the extension TSA announces in 
this notice, states may continue this procedure through December 31, 
2020. Individuals who were eligible for an extension of their HMEs 
during the initial exemption may continue to be eligible under this 
notice of extension of the exemption.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ This exemption remains in effect through December 31, 2020, 
unless otherwise modified by TSA through a notice published in the 
Federal Register. TSA considered tying the duration of the exemption 
to the duration of a public health emergency declaration, but 
believes that the option for further modification as noted above 
provides clearer notice to and better certainty for states 
administering the program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Federal partners, States, the American Trucking Associations and 
the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators asked TSA to 
consider extending the exemption to align with the U.S. Department of 
Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's exemptions 
and waivers for drivers and States impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.\13\ 
Some states continue to face challenges maintaining regular operations 
at state Drivers Licensing Centers due to public health considerations 
related to the inability to predict how or where COVID-19 may spread in 
the future. Although most TSA enrollment centers have remained open 
during the pandemic, temporary closures in states and regions with 
limited enrollment center alternatives have complicated drivers' 
ability to enroll for an STA. TSA's enrollment provider has re-opened 
sites that were temporarily closed, but due to the uncertain nature of 
the spread of COVID-19, applicants may encounter renewed closures in 
the coming months. The extension will help ensure that drivers can 
continue to perform critical services during the pandemic.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ See FMCSA, Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 National 
Emergency--For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate 
Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles (Sept. 18, 2020), 
available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/waiver-response-covid-19-national-emergency-states-cdl-holders-clp-holders-and-0.
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    For these reasons, TSA is extending the exemption through December 
31, 2020.

    Dated: October 23, 2020.
Stacey Fitzmaurice,
Executive Assistant Administrator, Operations Support.
[FR Doc. 2020-23961 Filed 10-26-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 9110-05-P