Enhancing Participation in NRC Public Meetings, 14964-14968 [2021-05787]

Download as PDF 14964 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 52 / Friday, March 19, 2021 / Notices For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Bruce A. Watson, Chief, Reactor Decommissioning Branch, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. Attachment—Order Extending the Effectiveness of the Approval of the Transfer of License and Conforming Amendment In the Matter of LaCrosseSolutions, LLC; La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor EA–19–077; Docket Nos. 50–409 and 72–046; License No. DPR–45 Order Extending the Effectiveness of the Approval of the Transfer of License and Conforming Amendment I. LaCrosseSolutions, LLC is the holder of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) Possession Only License No. DPR–45, with respect to the possession, maintenance, and decommissioning of the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR). Operation of the LACBWR is no longer authorized under this license. The LACBWR facility is located in Vernon County, Wisconsin. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES II. By Order dated September 24, 2019 (Transfer Order), the Commission consented to the transfer of the LACBWR license to Dairyland Power Cooperative and approved a conforming license amendment in accordance with Section 50.80, ‘‘Transfer of licenses,’’ and Section 50.90, ‘‘Application for amendment of license, construction permit, or early site permit,’’ of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). By its terms, the Transfer Order becomes null and void if the license transfer is not completed within one year unless, upon application and for good cause shown, the Commission extends the Transfer Order’s September 24, 2020, expiration date. By letter dated June 24, 2020, LaCrosseSolutions, LLC submitted a request to extend the effectiveness of the Transfer Order by six months, until March 24, 2021. This request was approved by the NRC on September 1, 2020. III. In a subsequent letter dated February 2, 2021, LaCrosseSolutions, LLC submitted a second request to extend the effectiveness of the Transfer Order by an additional six months, until September 24, 2021. As stated in the February 2, 2021, letter, the LACBWR Final Status Survey Final Reports (FSSRs), their associated Release Records, and responses to NRC staff requests for additional information (RAIs) are currently under review by the staff. The letter noted that, based on the current status of the NRC review, it is anticipated that additional time will be needed to address questions or potential issues identified by the NRC staff during its review of the RAI responses and revised LACBWR FSSRs. The letter also stated that the extension would allow adequate time for response development by LaCrosseSolutions, LLC, regarding possible VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Mar 18, 2021 Jkt 253001 additional questions or potential issues, and for the NRC staff to assess the responses provided by LaCrosseSolutions, LLC and to make a final determination regarding the release of the majority of the LACBWR site for unrestricted use. Based on the above, the NRC has determined that LaCrosseSolutions, LLC has shown good cause for extending the effectiveness of the Transfer Order by an additional six months, as requested. IV. Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 161b, 161i, and 184 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Sections 2201(b), 2201(i), and 2234; and 10 CFR 50.80, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the expiration date of the Transfer Order of March 24, 2021, is extended until September 24, 2021. If the subject license transfer from LaCrosseSolutions, LLC to Dairyland Power Cooperative is not completed by September 24, 2021, the Transfer Order shall become null and void; provided, however, that upon written application and for good cause shown, such date may be extended by order. This Order is effective upon issuance. For further details with respect to this Order, see the extension request dated February 2, 2021, which is available electronically through ADAMS in the NRC Library at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html under Accession No. ML21036A055. Persons who encounter problems with ADAMS should contact the NRC’s Public Document Room reference staff by telephone at 1–800–397–4209 or 301– 415–4737 or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. Dated this 9th day of March 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. John W. Lubinski, Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2021–05681 Filed 3–18–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2016–0178] Enhancing Participation in NRC Public Meetings Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Revision to policy statement; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revised its policy statement, ‘‘Enhancing Participation in NRC Public Meetings,’’ to further clarify and enhance participation in public meetings conducted by the NRC. The revised policy statement redefines the three categories of public meetings and identifies the level of public participation offered at each category of meeting. The revised policy statement SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 also clarifies notification expectations for meetings that include physical presence in the meeting room and meetings that rely solely on remote access technology such as teleconferencing. The revisions will improve the consistency of the NRC’s public meetings and help participants better prepare for NRC meetings. This policy statement is effective on March 19, 2021. DATES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2016–0178 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2016–0178. Address questions about NRC dockets to Dawn Forder; telephone: 301–415–3407; email: Dawn.Forder@nrc.gov. For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The policy statement, ‘‘Enhancing Public Participation in NRC Meetings,’’ is available as an attachment to this document. • Attention: The PDR, where you may examine and order copies of public documents, is currently closed. You may submit your request to the PDR via email at PDR.Resource@nrc.gov or call 1–800–397–4209 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Suzanne Dennis, Office of the Executive Director for Operations, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 0760; email: Suzanne.Dennis@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 52 / Friday, March 19, 2021 / Notices I. Background jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES The NRC has had a formal policy regarding open meetings since 1978; the most recent revision was issued in 2002. In 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14149A323), the NRC assembled a task group to complete a comprehensive look at the NRC’s public meeting policies, processes, and guidance, including their implementation, and to work toward making improvements to those aspects of the agency’s work. The task group on Enhancing NRC Public Meetings was formed in June 2014, and produced a set of recommendations in January 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15029A456). In SECY–16–0007, ‘‘Proposed Revisions to Policy Statement on Enhancing Public Participation in NRC Meetings,’’ dated January 22, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15282A074), the NRC staff provided its proposed revisions to the NRC’s policy statement on public meetings to address the task group’s recommendations. The proposed revisions modified the public meeting categorization system and redefined the three categories of public meetings. The proposed revisions also included topics such as civility at NRC public meetings and NRC staff innovation with meeting formats. In the staff requirements memorandum (SRM) for SECY–16–0007, dated June 24, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16176A227), the Commission approved the proposed revisions to the policy statement for publication in the Federal Register for public comment. The Commission also directed the NRC staff to hold a public meeting related to the revised policy statement in order to have a dialogue on the expectations for and by stakeholders at NRC public meetings. The draft revisions to the policy statement were published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2016 (81 FR 60026). On September 29, 2016, the NRC staff conducted a public meeting to provide information regarding the proposed revisions to the policy statement (ADAMS Accession No. ML16274A128). Additionally, the NRC staff provided information regarding the proposed revisions to the policy statement in a September 19, 2016, blog post (https://public-blog.nrcgateway.gov/2016/09/19/back-to-basicsseeking-comment-on-a-newcommission-public-meeting-policy/). II. Overview of Public Comments In response to the proposed revisions to the policy statement, the NRC received 30 comments from 7 members of the public. Based on the public comments, the NRC staff made several VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Mar 18, 2021 Jkt 253001 modifications to improve the clarity of the policy statement. This section provides a summary of the changes made to the policy statement as a result of comments and includes discussion of comments that the NRC did not accept. The NRC updated the ‘‘Level of Participation’’ section for Observation Meetings to clarify that members of the public can pose questions to the NRC during Observation Meetings and that licensees or other parties are not precluded from responding to questions during Observation Meetings. The NRC updated the ‘‘Notice and Access’’ section of the policy statement to state that the NRC will ensure that public meeting notices are sent out to interested stakeholders using the mechanisms available, such as the applicable NRC listservs. The NRC updated the ‘‘Participation in NRC Public Meetings’’ section to include a statement that the NRC should always be open to listening and responding to questions from members of the public, regardless of when the interaction occurs. The NRC updated the ‘‘Notice and Access’’ section of the policy statement to state that the NRC will ensure that available ADAMS documents related to the topic of the meeting are linked to the meeting notice as background documents to the extent practical. The NRC updated the descriptions of all three categories of meetings to include a statement that the NRC should strive to ensure sufficient time for the meeting so that members of the public can pose their questions and have them answered during the meeting to the extent practical and that, whether all questions are addressed or not, the NRC should emphasize ways members of the public can ask questions outside of the meeting. The NRC disagreed with three public comments. The NRC disagreed with a comment that bridge line numbers should be included in all meeting notices. There are times when the NRC staff requests that those interested in calling in to a meeting contact an NRC staff member for the bridge line information so that the NRC staff can understand in advance how many participants plan to call in to a meeting and set up a bridge line with the capacity to handle the expected number of callers. The NRC also disagreed with two comments that the NRC should notify the public 1 month in advance of public meetings, stating that the NRC policy is to post meeting notices a minimum of 10 days before a meeting and, if at all possible, the NRC staff announces meetings earlier. The NRC believes that the current policy of PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14965 providing a minimum of 10 days notice before a public meeting provides the public with sufficient notice of upcoming public meetings without compromising the NRC staff’s ability to conduct public meetings on timesensitive or emerging issues. The NRC concluded that the remaining comments were either already included in the proposed revision to the policy statement or that the comments were best addressed in detail in staff-level guidance. III. Procedural Requirements Congressional Review Act Statement This Policy Statement is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801–808). However, the Office of Management and Budget has not found it to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement This Policy Statement does not contain new or amended information collection requirements and, therefore, is not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Dated: March 16, 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. Attachment—Commission Policy Statement on Enhancing Participation in NRC Public Meetings A. Purpose. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) longstanding practice is to provide the public with substantial information on its activities, to conduct business in an open manner, and to balance openness and transparency with the need to exercise regulatory and safety responsibilities without undue administrative burden. The NRC’s policy is to open meetings between the agency staff and one or more outside persons to observation and participation to the extent possible. The NRC has had a formal policy regarding open (public) meetings since 1978. The Commission’s policy statement, ‘‘Enhancing Public Participation in NRC Meetings,’’ was last issued in 2002 (67 FR 36920). This policy establishes three public meeting categories based on the level of participation offered to attendees. The policy provides information such as descriptions of each category, information on how public meetings are announced, post-meeting activities, and applicability and exceptions. B. Participation in NRC Public Meetings. Consistent with the NRC’s commitment to openness, the level of participation, purpose, and description for each category of public meeting are described below. When assigning a category to a meeting, the NRC staff will E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 14966 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 52 / Friday, March 19, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES consider the objective of the meeting and the extent of known public interest in the topic. The NRC staff should always be open to listening to members of the public and responding to questions, regardless of when the interaction occurs. The three meeting categories are based on the level of public participation to be provided at each type of meeting. Therefore, some categories may support multiple meeting formats. The label for each category provides an indication of the level of participation meeting attendees can expect. The NRC is committed to providing an atmosphere of civility and inclusion at its public meetings. All participants are expected to follow established ground rules, including those provided in the applicable meeting notice posted on the NRC’s public website, to support this atmosphere of civility and inclusion regardless of personal viewpoints. If the actions of one or more participants significantly impact other participants’ ability to observe or participate in a meeting, the NRC staff shall take appropriate actions to restore a more respectful environment or end a meeting early, if necessary. Observation Meeting Meeting Purpose—The purpose of this type of meeting is for the NRC to meet with representatives from one or more groups in an open and transparent manner to discuss regulatory and technical matters. The meeting will inform the public by providing information to help them understand the applicable regulatory issues and NRC actions. Level of Participation—Other attendees besides the representatives noted above are invited to observe the meeting and discuss regulatory issues with, and pose questions to, the NRC representatives at a designated point or points identified on the agenda. This does not preclude the licensee or other parties from responding to questions if they choose to do so. The NRC staff should strive to ensure sufficient time is allotted for an Observation Meeting to ensure that members of the public can pose questions and have them answered during the meeting. Whether all questions are addressed or not, the NRC staff should emphasize ways members of the public can ask questions outside the meeting. Description—Meetings in this category include the NRC meeting with one or more industry groups, licensees, vendors, applicants, potential applicants, or nongovernment organizations, to discuss regulatory issues regarding a specific facility (or facilities), certificates of compliance, licenses, or license applications. This category of meeting could also include the NRC meeting with representatives of task force groups, industry groups, or public interest and citizen groups. The primary discussions are expected to occur between the NRC and representatives of those entities or groups. The following description will be included in an Observation Meeting notice: This is a meeting in which attendees will have an opportunity to observe the NRC performing its regulatory function or discussing regulatory issues. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Mar 18, 2021 Jkt 253001 NRC staff or make comments about the issues discussed following the business portion of the meeting, however the NRC is not actively soliciting comments towards regulatory decisions at this meeting. Examples—Meetings of this category may include meetings with licensees (or applicants) to discuss license renewal, amendment or exemption requests; meetings with applicants related to topical report reviews, combined licenses, early site permits, or design certifications; annual public meetings to discuss plant performance as part of the Reactor Oversight Process; renewals, or amendments. Certain inspection exit meetings, such as those for Incident Investigation Teams or Augmented Inspection Teams, are included under this category. Information Meeting With a Question and Answer Session Meeting Purpose—The purpose of this type of meeting is for the NRC to share information and discuss applicable regulatory issues and NRC actions with meeting attendees. The meeting will inform the public by providing information to help them understand the applicable regulatory issues and NRC actions through NRC presentations and discussions with NRC staff. These are organized, yet informal opportunities to interact with and ask questions of the NRC staff not associated with a more traditional public meeting format. Level of Participation—This type of meeting is tailored to inform attendees and allow them to ask questions. The NRC staff should strive to ensure sufficient time is allotted for an Information Meeting with a Question and Answer Session to ensure that members of the public can pose their questions and have them answered during the meeting. Whether all questions are addressed or not, the NRC should emphasize ways members of the public can ask questions outside the meeting. Description—Meetings in this category are held with interested parties, including representatives of non-government organizations, private citizens, or various businesses or industries, to engage them in a discussion of regulatory issues. The following description will be included in the notice for an Information Meeting with a Question and Answer Session: The purpose of this meeting is for the NRC staff to meet directly with individuals to discuss regulatory and technical issues. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the NRC staff or make comments about the issues discussed throughout the meeting, however the NRC is not actively soliciting comments towards regulatory decisions at this meeting. Examples—Meetings of this category may include town hall and roundtable discussions, and open house meetings. Comment-Gathering Meeting Meeting Purpose—The purpose of this type of meeting is for the NRC to obtain feedback on regulatory issues and NRC actions. In most cases, the meeting will include a presentation by the NRC to explain the PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 regulatory issue or action. The feedback received at these meetings is used to support actions such as licensing and rulemaking activities. Level of Participation—This type of meeting is focused on allowing attendees to provide opinions, perspectives, and feedback. The NRC staff should strive to ensure sufficient time is allotted for a Comment-Gathering Meeting to ensure that members of the public can pose questions and have them answered during the meeting. Whether all questions are addressed or not, the NRC should emphasize ways members of the public can ask questions outside the meeting. Description—This type of meeting would be held with a broad range of interested parties, including representatives of nongovernment organizations, private citizens, or various businesses or industries, to fully engage them in a discussion of a specific regulatory issue. The following description will be included in the notification of a Comment-Gathering Meeting: The purpose of this meeting is for NRC staff to meet directly with individuals to receive comments from participants on specific NRC decisions and actions to ensure that NRC staff understands their views and concerns. The notice for such meetings should include details as to how comments will be taken at the meeting (e.g., NRC staff taking notes, or creating a transcript of the meeting) and how NRC will use the comments (e.g., to inform NRC discussions, or as official comments related to a formal NRC regulatory decision), as well as to clarify whether participants will need to also submit comments made at the meeting in writing to receive formal consideration. Examples—Meetings of this category may include town hall and roundtable discussions, environmental impact statement scoping meetings, and workshops. C. Notice and Access. Although the extent of meeting outreach and preparation by NRC staff can be different for each meeting, certain steps are usually taken. Meeting information will be announced as soon as the NRC staff is reasonably confident that a meeting will be held and firm date, time, and facility arrangements have been made. This will generally occur no fewer than 10 days before a meeting. When a meeting must be scheduled but cannot be announced within the 10-day timeframe, the NRC staff will provide as much advance notice as possible. Public notice of meetings will be made through the NRC’s Public Meetings & Involvement web page at https:// www.nrc.gov/public-involve.html. Meeting changes or cancellations will also be announced promptly on this web page. Individuals who cannot access the NRC’s public website can contact the NRC’s PDR staff via a toll-free number (1–800–397–4209) or by email (pdr.resource@nrc.gov) for information on scheduled NRC meetings. Some meetings, specifically meetings with a high level of public interest, may also be noticed in the Federal Register or through E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 52 / Friday, March 19, 2021 / Notices other means such as a press release, blog post, or advertisement in local newspapers. The NRC staff will ensure that public meeting notices are sent out to interested stakeholders using the mechanisms available, such as the applicable NRC listservs. Meeting details and materials such as an agenda, names of participants, and background documents will be entered into the NRC’s Public Meeting Schedule website. A link to the materials as well as the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) accession number for additional meeting materials such as presentations will, when possible, be provided in the meeting notice on the NRC’s public website under the ‘‘Public Meetings & Involvement’’ web page at https:// www.nrc.gov/public-involve.html. The NRC staff will ensure that available ADAMS documents related to the topic of the meeting are linked to the meeting notice as background documents to the extent practical. Audio teleconferencing and other technologies that allow participation from locations other than a meeting room will be used whenever possible to help ensure widespread involvement in meetings. If information on how to participate remotely in a meeting is not provided in the meeting notice, individuals may request the use of such technology through the meeting contact listed on the meeting notice. Such requests may be granted to the extent resources are available and technical factors can be accommodated. D. After-Meeting Activities. The NRC staff will provide answers to questions as appropriate during the public meeting and will inform attendees at the meeting how it plans to address questions that cannot be answered at the meeting. Informal follow-up (telephone or email) may be appropriate. Individuals also have the option of calling, writing, or emailing the NRC staff about particular concerns. NRC staff will either provide feedback forms at public meetings or provide instructions for submitting feedback through the NRC public website so that comments can be reviewed and offices can track any planned improvements or resulting actions. NRC staff will make meeting summaries publicly available in ADAMS following the meeting. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES E. Innovation. The NRC staff will make efforts, to find new and innovative ways to interact with individuals, including exploring varied meeting formats and other ways to incorporate technologies that allow participation from locations other than a meeting room. Experiences with new methods will be shared across the agency for information and consideration by other NRC staff. F. Applicability and Exceptions. This policy applies to planned, formal encounters between NRC staff members and outside individuals or entities, with an expressed intent of discussing substantive issues directly associated with the NRC’s regulatory responsibilities. Such meetings will be designated in advance as public VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Mar 18, 2021 Jkt 253001 meetings, open for public attendance and categorized in accordance with this policy, subject to the following conditions and exceptions: 1. This policy applies solely to NRC staffsponsored and conducted meetings with an outside individual or entity. It does not apply to a meeting conducted by an outside individual or entity where an NRC staff member might participate, nor when an NRC employee attends a meeting outside of his or her official capacity. 2. This policy does not apply to meetings between the NRC staff and outside individuals or entities who are: a. Under contract to the NRC; b. Acting as an official consultant to the NRC; c. Acting as an official representative of an agency of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the U.S. Government (except on matters where the agency is subject to NRC regulatory oversight); d. Acting as an official representative of a foreign government or representing an international organization such as the International Atomic Energy Agency; or e. Acting as an official representative of a State or local government or Tribal official. 3. Meetings between the NRC staff and outside individuals or entities will not be designated as public meetings if the NRC staff determines that the subject matter or information to be discussed in the meeting: a. Is specifically authorized by an Executive Order to be withheld in the interests of national defense or foreign policy (classified information); b. Is specifically exempt from public disclosure by statute (e.g., safeguards or proprietary information); c. Is of a personal nature where such disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; d. Is related to a planned, ongoing, or completed investigation, or contains information compiled for law enforcement purposes; e. Could compromise the ongoing reviews and inspections associated with an open allegation; f. Could result in the inappropriate disclosure and dissemination of preliminary, pre-decisional, or unverified information; g. Is for general information exchange having no direct, substantive connection to a specific NRC regulatory decision or action; however, should discussions in a closed meeting approach issues that might lead to a specific regulatory decision or action, the NRC staff may advise the meeting attendees that such matters cannot be discussed and propose discussing the issues in a future public meeting; or h. Indicates that the administrative burden associated with public attendance at the meeting could interfere with the NRC staff’s execution of its safety and regulatory responsibilities, such as when the meeting is an integral part of the execution of the NRC inspection program. 4. This policy does not apply to Commission meetings, advisory committee meetings, meetings related to financial assistance or acquisition requirements, or to meetings sponsored by offices that report PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14967 directly to the Commission (for example, the Office of the General Counsel or the Office of the Chief Financial Officer). Similarly, it does not apply to ‘‘government-togovernment’’ meetings: meetings between NRC staff and representatives of State governments, including Agreement State representatives, relating to NRC Agreement State activities or to State regulatory actions or to other matters of general interest to the State or to the Commission, as well as meetings between NRC staff and representatives of local or Tribal governments. Also, the policy does not apply to or supersede any existing law, rule, or regulation that addresses public attendance at a specific type of meeting. For example, Part 7 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ‘‘Advisory Committees,’’ and 10 CFR part 9, ‘‘Public Records,’’ will continue to be applicable to advisory committee meetings and Commission meetings, respectively. 5. This policy does not cover the hearings associated with adjudicatory proceedings under the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure set forth in 10 CFR part 2. The term ‘‘hearings’’ relates primarily to Commission adjudicatory proceedings on various types of license applications and licensing actions (e.g., applications for initial issuance of a license, amendment of an existing license, renewal of a license) or to enforcement actions involving the imposition of civil penalties or orders to modify, suspend, or revoke a license or take other appropriate action. Specific requirements regarding participation in and the conduct of adjudicatory proceedings (including the settlement of such proceedings) are provided in the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure set forth in 10 CFR part 2. This policy does not cover meetings concerning the settlement of enforcement matters. 6. Certain meetings that would normally be closed under Sections F.3.a. or F.3.b. of this policy may be opened to cleared members of the public who also have a need-to-know. A cleared member of the public is a person who holds a U.S. Government security clearance or has been granted access to Safeguards Information in accordance with 10 CFR 73.22(b). 7. This policy may be applicable to only part of a meeting. For example, an NRC meeting may have a portion that is open to the public and a portion that is closed to the public due to any of the exceptions listed above. In these cases, this policy statement is applicable to the public portion of the meeting only. 8. This policy is a matter of NRC discretion; the NRC reserves the right to depart from any stated conditions as circumstances may warrant. G. Contact. The primary point of contact in the agency for general issues related to this policy will be the Deputy Assistant for Operations, Office of the Executive Director for Operations. The Office of Public Affairs is also available to receive questions and suggestions. There are also opportunities for comment on our public participation policies, or on many of our programs through E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 14968 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 52 / Friday, March 19, 2021 / Notices the NRC’s website under the ‘‘Public Meetings & Involvement’’ web page at https://www.nrc.gov/public-involve.html. II. Background A. SDR Registration, Duties, and Core Principles [FR Doc. 2021–05787 Filed 3–18–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–91331; File No. SBSDR– 2021–01] Security-Based Swap Data Repositories; ICE Trade Vault, LLC; Notice of Filing of Application for Registration as a Security-Based Swap Data Repository March 16, 2021. I. Introduction jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES On February 11, 2021, ICE Trade Vault, LLC (‘‘ICE Trade Vault’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) an application on Form SDR to register as a security-based swap data repository (‘‘SDR’’) pursuant to Section 13(n)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Exchange Act’’) and 17 CFR 240.13n1 (‘‘Rule 13n-1’’) thereunder,1 and as a securities information processor (‘‘SIP’’) under Section 11A(b) of the Exchange Act.2 ICE Trade Vault amended its application on March 10 and March 11, 2021. ICE Trade Vault intends to operate as a registered SDR for security-based swap (‘‘SBS’’) transactions in the credit derivatives asset class. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments from interested persons regarding ICE Trade Vault’s application,3 and the Commission will consider any comments it receives in making its determination whether to approve ICE Trade Vault’s application for registration as an SDR and as a SIP. 1 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(1); 17 CFR 240.13n-1. A copy of ICE Trade Vault’s application on Form SDR and all non-confidential exhibits and amendments thereto are available for public viewing on the Commission’s website. In 2016, ICE Trade Vault submitted a prior application for registration as an SDR. See Release No. 77699 (Apr. 22, 2016), 81 FR 25475 (Apr. 28, 2016); Release No. 34–81223 (July 27, 2017), 82 FR 35844 (Aug. 1, 2017). ICE Trade Vault withdrew this prior application in 2018. See Letter from Kara Dutta, General Counsel, ICE Trade Vault, Mar. 23, 2018, https://www.sec.gov/ divisions/marketreg/sdr/ice-trade-vault-sdrapplication-withdrawal-letter-032318.pdf. 2 15 U.S.C. 78k–1(b). 3 The descriptions set forth in this notice regarding the structure and operations of ICE Trade Vault have been derived, excerpted, or summarized from ICE Trade Vault’s application on Form SDR. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Mar 18, 2021 Jkt 253001 Section 13(n) of the Exchange Act makes it unlawful for any person, unless registered with the Commission, directly or indirectly, to make use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce to perform the functions of an SDR.4 To be registered and maintain registration, an SDR must comply with certain requirements and core principles described in Section 13(n), as well as any requirements that the Commission may impose by rule or regulation.5 In 2015, the Commission adopted 17 CFR 240.13n-1 to 13n-12 under the Exchange Act to establish Form SDR, the procedures for registration as an SDR, and the duties and core principles applicable to an SDR (‘‘SDR Rules’’).6 The Commission provided a temporary exemption from compliance with the SDR Rules and also extended exemptions from the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act set forth in a Commission order providing temporary exemptions and other temporary relief from compliance with certain provisions of the Exchange Act concerning security-based swaps, and these temporary exemptions expired in 2017.7 The Commission also has adopted 17 CFR 242.900 to 909 under the Exchange Act (collectively, ‘‘Regulation SBSR’’), which governs regulatory reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap transactions.8 Among other things, Regulation SBSR requires each registered SDR to register with the Commission as a SIP,9 and the Form SDR constitutes an application for registration as a SIP, as well as an SDR.10 In 2019, the Commission stated that implementation of the SBS Reporting Rules can and should be done in a manner that carries out the fundamental policy goals of the SBS Reporting Rules while minimizing burdens as much as 4 15 U.S.C. 78m(n). 5 Id. 6 See Release No. 34–74246 (Feb. 11, 2015), 80 FR 14438, 14438 (Mar. 19, 2015) (‘‘SDR Adopting Release’’). In 2016, the Commission subsequently amended 17 CFR 240.13n-4 to address third-party regulatory access to SBS data obtained by an SDR. See Release No. 34–78716 (Aug. 29, 2016), 81 FR 60585 (Sep. 2, 2016). 7 See Release No. 34–80359 (Mar. 31, 2017), 82 FR 16867 (Apr. 6, 2017). 8 Release No. 34–74244 (Feb. 11, 2015), 80 FR 14563 (Mar. 19, 2015); Release No. 34–78321 (July 14, 2016), 81 FR 53546 (Aug. 12, 2016). Regulation SBSR and the SDR Rules are referred to collectively as the ‘‘SBS Reporting Rules.’’ 9 See 17 CFR 242.909. 10 See Form SDR, Instruction 2. PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 practicable.11 Noting ongoing concerns among market participants about incurring unnecessary burdens and the Commission’s efforts to promote harmonization between the SBS Reporting Rules and swap reporting rules, the Commission took the position that, for four years following Regulation SBSR’s Compliance Date 1 in each asset class,12 certain actions with respect to the SBS Reporting Rules would not provide a basis for a Commission enforcement action.13 The no-action statement’s relevance to ICE Trade Vault’s application for registration as an SDR and SIP is discussed further below. B. Standard for Registration As noted above, to be registered with the Commission as an SDR and maintain such registration, an SDR is required to comply with the requirements and core principles described in Section 13(n) of the Exchange Act, as well as with any requirement that the Commission may impose by rule or regulation.14 In addition, Rule 13n–1(c)(3) under the Exchange Act provides that the Commission shall grant the registration of an SDR if it finds that the SDR is so organized, and has the capacity, to be able to: (i) Assure the prompt, accurate, and reliable performance of its functions as an SDR; (ii) comply with any applicable provisions of the securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder; and (iii) carry out its functions in a manner consistent with the purposes of Section 13(n) of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.15 The Commission shall deny the registration of an SDR if it does not make any such finding.16 Similarly, to be registered with the Commission as a SIP, the Commission must find that such applicant is so organized, and has the capacity, to be able to assure the prompt, accurate, and reliable performance of its functions as a SIP, 11 Release No. 34–87780 (Dec. 18, 2019), 85 FR 6270, 6347 (Feb. 4, 2020) (‘‘ANE Adopting Release’’). 12 See id. Under Regulation SBSR, the first compliance date (‘‘Compliance Date 1’’) for affected persons with respect to an SBS asset class is the first Monday that is the later of: (i) six months after the date on which the first SDR that can accept transaction reports in that asset class registers with the Commission; or (ii) one month after the compliance date for registration of SBS dealers and major SBS participants (‘‘SBS entities’’). Id. at 6346. The compliance date for registration of SBS entities is October 6, 2021. See id. at 6270, 6345. 13 See id. The specific rule provisions of the SBS Reporting Rules affected by the no-action statement are discussed in Part II.B. 14 See 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(3). 15 17 CFR 240.13n–1(c)(3). 16 Id. E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 52 (Friday, March 19, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14964-14968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-05787]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2016-0178]


Enhancing Participation in NRC Public Meetings

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Revision to policy statement; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revised its 
policy statement, ``Enhancing Participation in NRC Public Meetings,'' 
to further clarify and enhance participation in public meetings 
conducted by the NRC. The revised policy statement redefines the three 
categories of public meetings and identifies the level of public 
participation offered at each category of meeting. The revised policy 
statement also clarifies notification expectations for meetings that 
include physical presence in the meeting room and meetings that rely 
solely on remote access technology such as teleconferencing. The 
revisions will improve the consistency of the NRC's public meetings and 
help participants better prepare for NRC meetings.

DATES: This policy statement is effective on March 19, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0178 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may 
obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0178. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Dawn Forder; telephone: 301-415-3407; 
email: [email protected]. For technical questions contact the 
individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and 
then select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, 
please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 
1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. The 
ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document 
(if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time 
that a document is referenced. The policy statement, ``Enhancing Public 
Participation in NRC Meetings,'' is available as an attachment to this 
document.
     Attention: The PDR, where you may examine and order copies 
of public documents, is currently closed. You may submit your request 
to the PDR via email at [email protected] or call 1-800-397-4209 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Suzanne Dennis, Office of the 
Executive Director for Operations, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-0760; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 14965]]

I. Background

    The NRC has had a formal policy regarding open meetings since 1978; 
the most recent revision was issued in 2002. In 2014 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML14149A323), the NRC assembled a task group to complete a 
comprehensive look at the NRC's public meeting policies, processes, and 
guidance, including their implementation, and to work toward making 
improvements to those aspects of the agency's work. The task group on 
Enhancing NRC Public Meetings was formed in June 2014, and produced a 
set of recommendations in January 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML15029A456).
    In SECY-16-0007, ``Proposed Revisions to Policy Statement on 
Enhancing Public Participation in NRC Meetings,'' dated January 22, 
2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15282A074), the NRC staff provided its 
proposed revisions to the NRC's policy statement on public meetings to 
address the task group's recommendations. The proposed revisions 
modified the public meeting categorization system and redefined the 
three categories of public meetings. The proposed revisions also 
included topics such as civility at NRC public meetings and NRC staff 
innovation with meeting formats. In the staff requirements memorandum 
(SRM) for SECY-16-0007, dated June 24, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16176A227), the Commission approved the proposed revisions to the 
policy statement for publication in the Federal Register for public 
comment. The Commission also directed the NRC staff to hold a public 
meeting related to the revised policy statement in order to have a 
dialogue on the expectations for and by stakeholders at NRC public 
meetings.
    The draft revisions to the policy statement were published in the 
Federal Register on August 31, 2016 (81 FR 60026). On September 29, 
2016, the NRC staff conducted a public meeting to provide information 
regarding the proposed revisions to the policy statement (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML16274A128). Additionally, the NRC staff provided 
information regarding the proposed revisions to the policy statement in 
a September 19, 2016, blog post (https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2016/09/19/back-to-basics-seeking-comment-on-a-new-commission-public-meeting-policy/).

II. Overview of Public Comments

    In response to the proposed revisions to the policy statement, the 
NRC received 30 comments from 7 members of the public. Based on the 
public comments, the NRC staff made several modifications to improve 
the clarity of the policy statement. This section provides a summary of 
the changes made to the policy statement as a result of comments and 
includes discussion of comments that the NRC did not accept.
    The NRC updated the ``Level of Participation'' section for 
Observation Meetings to clarify that members of the public can pose 
questions to the NRC during Observation Meetings and that licensees or 
other parties are not precluded from responding to questions during 
Observation Meetings.
    The NRC updated the ``Notice and Access'' section of the policy 
statement to state that the NRC will ensure that public meeting notices 
are sent out to interested stakeholders using the mechanisms available, 
such as the applicable NRC listservs.
    The NRC updated the ``Participation in NRC Public Meetings'' 
section to include a statement that the NRC should always be open to 
listening and responding to questions from members of the public, 
regardless of when the interaction occurs.
    The NRC updated the ``Notice and Access'' section of the policy 
statement to state that the NRC will ensure that available ADAMS 
documents related to the topic of the meeting are linked to the meeting 
notice as background documents to the extent practical.
    The NRC updated the descriptions of all three categories of 
meetings to include a statement that the NRC should strive to ensure 
sufficient time for the meeting so that members of the public can pose 
their questions and have them answered during the meeting to the extent 
practical and that, whether all questions are addressed or not, the NRC 
should emphasize ways members of the public can ask questions outside 
of the meeting.
    The NRC disagreed with three public comments. The NRC disagreed 
with a comment that bridge line numbers should be included in all 
meeting notices. There are times when the NRC staff requests that those 
interested in calling in to a meeting contact an NRC staff member for 
the bridge line information so that the NRC staff can understand in 
advance how many participants plan to call in to a meeting and set up a 
bridge line with the capacity to handle the expected number of callers. 
The NRC also disagreed with two comments that the NRC should notify the 
public 1 month in advance of public meetings, stating that the NRC 
policy is to post meeting notices a minimum of 10 days before a meeting 
and, if at all possible, the NRC staff announces meetings earlier. The 
NRC believes that the current policy of providing a minimum of 10 days 
notice before a public meeting provides the public with sufficient 
notice of upcoming public meetings without compromising the NRC staff's 
ability to conduct public meetings on time-sensitive or emerging 
issues.
    The NRC concluded that the remaining comments were either already 
included in the proposed revision to the policy statement or that the 
comments were best addressed in detail in staff-level guidance.

III. Procedural Requirements

Congressional Review Act Statement

    This Policy Statement is a rule as defined in the Congressional 
Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801-808). However, the Office of Management and 
Budget has not found it to be a major rule as defined in the 
Congressional Review Act.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This Policy Statement does not contain new or amended information 
collection requirements and, therefore, is not subject to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Dated: March 16, 2021.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.

Attachment--Commission Policy Statement on Enhancing Participation in 
NRC Public Meetings

A. Purpose.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) longstanding 
practice is to provide the public with substantial information on 
its activities, to conduct business in an open manner, and to 
balance openness and transparency with the need to exercise 
regulatory and safety responsibilities without undue administrative 
burden. The NRC's policy is to open meetings between the agency 
staff and one or more outside persons to observation and 
participation to the extent possible. The NRC has had a formal 
policy regarding open (public) meetings since 1978. The Commission's 
policy statement, ``Enhancing Public Participation in NRC 
Meetings,'' was last issued in 2002 (67 FR 36920).
    This policy establishes three public meeting categories based on 
the level of participation offered to attendees. The policy provides 
information such as descriptions of each category, information on 
how public meetings are announced, post-meeting activities, and 
applicability and exceptions.

B. Participation in NRC Public Meetings.

    Consistent with the NRC's commitment to openness, the level of 
participation, purpose, and description for each category of public 
meeting are described below. When assigning a category to a meeting, 
the NRC staff will

[[Page 14966]]

consider the objective of the meeting and the extent of known public 
interest in the topic. The NRC staff should always be open to 
listening to members of the public and responding to questions, 
regardless of when the interaction occurs.
    The three meeting categories are based on the level of public 
participation to be provided at each type of meeting. Therefore, 
some categories may support multiple meeting formats. The label for 
each category provides an indication of the level of participation 
meeting attendees can expect.
    The NRC is committed to providing an atmosphere of civility and 
inclusion at its public meetings. All participants are expected to 
follow established ground rules, including those provided in the 
applicable meeting notice posted on the NRC's public website, to 
support this atmosphere of civility and inclusion regardless of 
personal viewpoints. If the actions of one or more participants 
significantly impact other participants' ability to observe or 
participate in a meeting, the NRC staff shall take appropriate 
actions to restore a more respectful environment or end a meeting 
early, if necessary.

Observation Meeting

    Meeting Purpose--The purpose of this type of meeting is for the 
NRC to meet with representatives from one or more groups in an open 
and transparent manner to discuss regulatory and technical matters. 
The meeting will inform the public by providing information to help 
them understand the applicable regulatory issues and NRC actions.
    Level of Participation--Other attendees besides the 
representatives noted above are invited to observe the meeting and 
discuss regulatory issues with, and pose questions to, the NRC 
representatives at a designated point or points identified on the 
agenda. This does not preclude the licensee or other parties from 
responding to questions if they choose to do so. The NRC staff 
should strive to ensure sufficient time is allotted for an 
Observation Meeting to ensure that members of the public can pose 
questions and have them answered during the meeting. Whether all 
questions are addressed or not, the NRC staff should emphasize ways 
members of the public can ask questions outside the meeting.
    Description--Meetings in this category include the NRC meeting 
with one or more industry groups, licensees, vendors, applicants, 
potential applicants, or non-government organizations, to discuss 
regulatory issues regarding a specific facility (or facilities), 
certificates of compliance, licenses, or license applications. This 
category of meeting could also include the NRC meeting with 
representatives of task force groups, industry groups, or public 
interest and citizen groups. The primary discussions are expected to 
occur between the NRC and representatives of those entities or 
groups.
    The following description will be included in an Observation 
Meeting notice:
    This is a meeting in which attendees will have an opportunity to 
observe the NRC performing its regulatory function or discussing 
regulatory issues. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask 
questions of the NRC staff or make comments about the issues 
discussed following the business portion of the meeting, however the 
NRC is not actively soliciting comments towards regulatory decisions 
at this meeting.
    Examples--Meetings of this category may include meetings with 
licensees (or applicants) to discuss license renewal, amendment or 
exemption requests; meetings with applicants related to topical 
report reviews, combined licenses, early site permits, or design 
certifications; annual public meetings to discuss plant performance 
as part of the Reactor Oversight Process; renewals, or amendments. 
Certain inspection exit meetings, such as those for Incident 
Investigation Teams or Augmented Inspection Teams, are included 
under this category.

Information Meeting With a Question and Answer Session

    Meeting Purpose--The purpose of this type of meeting is for the 
NRC to share information and discuss applicable regulatory issues 
and NRC actions with meeting attendees. The meeting will inform the 
public by providing information to help them understand the 
applicable regulatory issues and NRC actions through NRC 
presentations and discussions with NRC staff. These are organized, 
yet informal opportunities to interact with and ask questions of the 
NRC staff not associated with a more traditional public meeting 
format.
    Level of Participation--This type of meeting is tailored to 
inform attendees and allow them to ask questions. The NRC staff 
should strive to ensure sufficient time is allotted for an 
Information Meeting with a Question and Answer Session to ensure 
that members of the public can pose their questions and have them 
answered during the meeting. Whether all questions are addressed or 
not, the NRC should emphasize ways members of the public can ask 
questions outside the meeting.
    Description--Meetings in this category are held with interested 
parties, including representatives of non-government organizations, 
private citizens, or various businesses or industries, to engage 
them in a discussion of regulatory issues.
    The following description will be included in the notice for an 
Information Meeting with a Question and Answer Session:
    The purpose of this meeting is for the NRC staff to meet 
directly with individuals to discuss regulatory and technical 
issues. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the 
NRC staff or make comments about the issues discussed throughout the 
meeting, however the NRC is not actively soliciting comments towards 
regulatory decisions at this meeting.
    Examples--Meetings of this category may include town hall and 
roundtable discussions, and open house meetings.

Comment-Gathering Meeting

    Meeting Purpose--The purpose of this type of meeting is for the 
NRC to obtain feedback on regulatory issues and NRC actions. In most 
cases, the meeting will include a presentation by the NRC to explain 
the regulatory issue or action. The feedback received at these 
meetings is used to support actions such as licensing and rulemaking 
activities.
    Level of Participation--This type of meeting is focused on 
allowing attendees to provide opinions, perspectives, and feedback. 
The NRC staff should strive to ensure sufficient time is allotted 
for a Comment-Gathering Meeting to ensure that members of the public 
can pose questions and have them answered during the meeting. 
Whether all questions are addressed or not, the NRC should emphasize 
ways members of the public can ask questions outside the meeting.
    Description--This type of meeting would be held with a broad 
range of interested parties, including representatives of non-
government organizations, private citizens, or various businesses or 
industries, to fully engage them in a discussion of a specific 
regulatory issue.
    The following description will be included in the notification 
of a Comment-Gathering Meeting:
    The purpose of this meeting is for NRC staff to meet directly 
with individuals to receive comments from participants on specific 
NRC decisions and actions to ensure that NRC staff understands their 
views and concerns.
    The notice for such meetings should include details as to how 
comments will be taken at the meeting (e.g., NRC staff taking notes, 
or creating a transcript of the meeting) and how NRC will use the 
comments (e.g., to inform NRC discussions, or as official comments 
related to a formal NRC regulatory decision), as well as to clarify 
whether participants will need to also submit comments made at the 
meeting in writing to receive formal consideration.
    Examples--Meetings of this category may include town hall and 
roundtable discussions, environmental impact statement scoping 
meetings, and workshops.

C. Notice and Access.

    Although the extent of meeting outreach and preparation by NRC 
staff can be different for each meeting, certain steps are usually 
taken. Meeting information will be announced as soon as the NRC 
staff is reasonably confident that a meeting will be held and firm 
date, time, and facility arrangements have been made. This will 
generally occur no fewer than 10 days before a meeting. When a 
meeting must be scheduled but cannot be announced within the 10-day 
timeframe, the NRC staff will provide as much advance notice as 
possible.
    Public notice of meetings will be made through the NRC's Public 
Meetings & Involvement web page at https://www.nrc.gov/public-involve.html. Meeting changes or cancellations will also be 
announced promptly on this web page. Individuals who cannot access 
the NRC's public website can contact the NRC's PDR staff via a toll-
free number (1-800-397-4209) or by email ([email protected]) for 
information on scheduled NRC meetings. Some meetings, specifically 
meetings with a high level of public interest, may also be noticed 
in the Federal Register or through

[[Page 14967]]

other means such as a press release, blog post, or advertisement in 
local newspapers. The NRC staff will ensure that public meeting 
notices are sent out to interested stakeholders using the mechanisms 
available, such as the applicable NRC listservs.
    Meeting details and materials such as an agenda, names of 
participants, and background documents will be entered into the 
NRC's Public Meeting Schedule website. A link to the materials as 
well as the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS) accession number for additional meeting materials such as 
presentations will, when possible, be provided in the meeting notice 
on the NRC's public website under the ``Public Meetings & 
Involvement'' web page at https://www.nrc.gov/public-involve.html. 
The NRC staff will ensure that available ADAMS documents related to 
the topic of the meeting are linked to the meeting notice as 
background documents to the extent practical.
    Audio teleconferencing and other technologies that allow 
participation from locations other than a meeting room will be used 
whenever possible to help ensure widespread involvement in meetings. 
If information on how to participate remotely in a meeting is not 
provided in the meeting notice, individuals may request the use of 
such technology through the meeting contact listed on the meeting 
notice. Such requests may be granted to the extent resources are 
available and technical factors can be accommodated.

D. After-Meeting Activities.

    The NRC staff will provide answers to questions as appropriate 
during the public meeting and will inform attendees at the meeting 
how it plans to address questions that cannot be answered at the 
meeting. Informal follow-up (telephone or email) may be appropriate. 
Individuals also have the option of calling, writing, or emailing 
the NRC staff about particular concerns. NRC staff will either 
provide feedback forms at public meetings or provide instructions 
for submitting feedback through the NRC public website so that 
comments can be reviewed and offices can track any planned 
improvements or resulting actions. NRC staff will make meeting 
summaries publicly available in ADAMS following the meeting.

E. Innovation.

    The NRC staff will make efforts, to find new and innovative ways 
to interact with individuals, including exploring varied meeting 
formats and other ways to incorporate technologies that allow 
participation from locations other than a meeting room. Experiences 
with new methods will be shared across the agency for information 
and consideration by other NRC staff.

F. Applicability and Exceptions.

    This policy applies to planned, formal encounters between NRC 
staff members and outside individuals or entities, with an expressed 
intent of discussing substantive issues directly associated with the 
NRC's regulatory responsibilities. Such meetings will be designated 
in advance as public meetings, open for public attendance and 
categorized in accordance with this policy, subject to the following 
conditions and exceptions:
    1. This policy applies solely to NRC staff-sponsored and 
conducted meetings with an outside individual or entity. It does not 
apply to a meeting conducted by an outside individual or entity 
where an NRC staff member might participate, nor when an NRC 
employee attends a meeting outside of his or her official capacity.
    2. This policy does not apply to meetings between the NRC staff 
and outside individuals or entities who are:
    a. Under contract to the NRC;
    b. Acting as an official consultant to the NRC;
    c. Acting as an official representative of an agency of the 
executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the U.S. Government 
(except on matters where the agency is subject to NRC regulatory 
oversight);
    d. Acting as an official representative of a foreign government 
or representing an international organization such as the 
International Atomic Energy Agency; or
    e. Acting as an official representative of a State or local 
government or Tribal official.
    3. Meetings between the NRC staff and outside individuals or 
entities will not be designated as public meetings if the NRC staff 
determines that the subject matter or information to be discussed in 
the meeting:
    a. Is specifically authorized by an Executive Order to be 
withheld in the interests of national defense or foreign policy 
(classified information);
    b. Is specifically exempt from public disclosure by statute 
(e.g., safeguards or proprietary information);
    c. Is of a personal nature where such disclosure would 
constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
    d. Is related to a planned, ongoing, or completed investigation, 
or contains information compiled for law enforcement purposes;
    e. Could compromise the ongoing reviews and inspections 
associated with an open allegation;
    f. Could result in the inappropriate disclosure and 
dissemination of preliminary, pre-decisional, or unverified 
information;
    g. Is for general information exchange having no direct, 
substantive connection to a specific NRC regulatory decision or 
action; however, should discussions in a closed meeting approach 
issues that might lead to a specific regulatory decision or action, 
the NRC staff may advise the meeting attendees that such matters 
cannot be discussed and propose discussing the issues in a future 
public meeting; or
    h. Indicates that the administrative burden associated with 
public attendance at the meeting could interfere with the NRC 
staff's execution of its safety and regulatory responsibilities, 
such as when the meeting is an integral part of the execution of the 
NRC inspection program.
    4. This policy does not apply to Commission meetings, advisory 
committee meetings, meetings related to financial assistance or 
acquisition requirements, or to meetings sponsored by offices that 
report directly to the Commission (for example, the Office of the 
General Counsel or the Office of the Chief Financial Officer). 
Similarly, it does not apply to ``government-to-government'' 
meetings: meetings between NRC staff and representatives of State 
governments, including Agreement State representatives, relating to 
NRC Agreement State activities or to State regulatory actions or to 
other matters of general interest to the State or to the Commission, 
as well as meetings between NRC staff and representatives of local 
or Tribal governments. Also, the policy does not apply to or 
supersede any existing law, rule, or regulation that addresses 
public attendance at a specific type of meeting. For example, Part 7 
of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Advisory 
Committees,'' and 10 CFR part 9, ``Public Records,'' will continue 
to be applicable to advisory committee meetings and Commission 
meetings, respectively.
    5. This policy does not cover the hearings associated with 
adjudicatory proceedings under the Commission's Rules of Practice 
and Procedure set forth in 10 CFR part 2. The term ``hearings'' 
relates primarily to Commission adjudicatory proceedings on various 
types of license applications and licensing actions (e.g., 
applications for initial issuance of a license, amendment of an 
existing license, renewal of a license) or to enforcement actions 
involving the imposition of civil penalties or orders to modify, 
suspend, or revoke a license or take other appropriate action. 
Specific requirements regarding participation in and the conduct of 
adjudicatory proceedings (including the settlement of such 
proceedings) are provided in the Commission's Rules of Practice and 
Procedure set forth in 10 CFR part 2. This policy does not cover 
meetings concerning the settlement of enforcement matters.
    6. Certain meetings that would normally be closed under Sections 
F.3.a. or F.3.b. of this policy may be opened to cleared members of 
the public who also have a need-to-know. A cleared member of the 
public is a person who holds a U.S. Government security clearance or 
has been granted access to Safeguards Information in accordance with 
10 CFR 73.22(b).
    7. This policy may be applicable to only part of a meeting. For 
example, an NRC meeting may have a portion that is open to the 
public and a portion that is closed to the public due to any of the 
exceptions listed above. In these cases, this policy statement is 
applicable to the public portion of the meeting only.
    8. This policy is a matter of NRC discretion; the NRC reserves 
the right to depart from any stated conditions as circumstances may 
warrant.

G. Contact.

    The primary point of contact in the agency for general issues 
related to this policy will be the Deputy Assistant for Operations, 
Office of the Executive Director for Operations. The Office of 
Public Affairs is also available to receive questions and 
suggestions. There are also opportunities for comment on our public 
participation policies, or on many of our programs through

[[Page 14968]]

the NRC's website under the ``Public Meetings & Involvement'' web 
page at https://www.nrc.gov/public-involve.html.

[FR Doc. 2021-05787 Filed 3-18-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P