Service Standard Changes, 22716-22725 [2021-08890]

Download as PDF 22716 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices Docket Office is closed to the public and not able to receive submissions to the docket by hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA–2011–0060). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so that the agency can attach them to your comments. Due to security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. Comments and submissions are posted without change at http:// www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http:// www.regulations.gov website to submit comments and access the docket is available at the website’s ‘‘User Tips’’ link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–2350, (TTY (877) 889–5627) for information about materials not available from the website, and for assistance in using the internet to locate docket submissions. V. Authority and Signature jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES James S. Fredrick, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 1–2012 (77 FR 3912). Signed at Washington, DC, on April 22, 2021. James S. Frederick, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2021–08931 Filed 4–28–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, as amended), the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces the following meeting: Name and Committee Code: Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources (#1119) (Virtual Meeting) Date and Time: May 26, 2021; 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.; May 27, 2021; 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Place: National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue. Alexandria, VA 22314 To attend the virtual meeting, all visitors must register at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.at: https:// nsf.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_ UHLnLDeIRwy5_IxC3FmFtw. The final meeting agenda will be posted to: https://www.nsf.gov/ehr/advisory.jsp. Type of Meeting: Open. Contact Person: Keaven M. Stevenson, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Room C11001, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 292–8600/ kstevens@nsf.gov. Summary of Minutes: Minutes and meeting materials will be available on the EHR Advisory Committee website at http://www.nsf.gov/ehr/advisory.jsp or can be obtained from Dr. Nafeesa Owens, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Room C11000, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 292–8600; ehr_ac@nsf.gov. Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice with respect to the Foundation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and human resources programming. Agenda Wednesday, May 26, 202; 12:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. • Welcoming Remarks from the EHR AC Chair & the EHR Assistant Director • Session 1: Aligning Agency-Wide Broadening Participation and Racial Equity Efforts • Session 2: Monitoring Broadening Participation Efforts • Session 3: Finding Central Themes around Broadening Participation Research Activities Thursday, May 27, 2020; 11:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. • Session 4: Reporting Results from a Committee of Visitors • Session 5: Funding Opportunities in Support of Equity • Session 6: Revisiting EHR’s Name • Discussions with NSF Leadership and Closing Remark PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: April 26, 2021. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2021–08944 Filed 4–28–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. N2021–1; Order No. 5875] Service Standard Changes Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is noticing a recently-filed Postal Service request for an advisory opinion on the service standards for First-Class Mail and endto-end Periodicals. This document invites public comments on the request and addresses several related procedural steps. DATES: Notices of intervention are due: May 5, 2021; Live WebEx Technical Conference: April 30, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time, Virtual. ADDRESSES: Submit notices of intervention electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Persons interested in intervening who cannot submit their views electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Pre-Filing Issues III. The Request IV. Initial Administrative Actions V. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction On April 21, 2021, the Postal Service filed a request for an advisory opinion from the Commission regarding planned changes to the service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals.1 The intended effective date of the Postal Service’s planned changes is no earlier than September 1, 2021. Request at 2. The Request was filed pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3661 and 39 CFR part 3020. Before issuing its advisory opinion, the Commission shall accord an opportunity for a formal, on-therecord hearing pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. 39 U.S.C. 3661(c). This Order provides information on the Postal Service’s planned changes, explains and 1 United States Postal Service Request for an Advisory Opinion on Changes in the Nature of Postal Services, April 21, 2021 (Request). E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices establishes the process for the on-therecord hearing, and lays out the procedural schedule to be followed in this case. II. Pre-Filing Issues On March 23, 2021, the Postal Service published a ten-year strategic plan announcing potential changes intended to achieve financial stability and service excellence.2 In conjunction with this publication, the Postal Service also filed a notice of its intent to conduct a prefiling conference regarding its proposed changes to the service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals, which would ‘‘generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis.’’ 3 Further, the Postal Service announced that it would propose amendments to the existing service standards for FirstClass Mail and end-to-end Periodicals appearing in 39 CFR part 121. See Notice at 1; see also Request at 1.4 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 2 See United States Postal Service, Delivering for America: Our Vision and Ten-Year Plan to Achieve Financial Sustainability and Service Excellence, March 23, 2021, at 3, available at, https:// about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-foramerica/assets/USPS_Delivering-For-America.pdf (Postal Service’s Strategic Plan). Further information related to the Postal Service’s Strategic Plan is available at, https://about.usps.com/what/ strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/. 3 Notice of Pre-Filing Conference, March 23, 2021, at 1 (Notice) (quoting 39 U.S.C. 3661(b)). 4 These proposed changes were published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2021 and are available VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 On March 24, 2021, the Commission issued Order No. 5848, which established Docket No. N2021–1 to consider the Postal Service’s proposed changes, notified the public concerning the Postal Service’s pre-filing conference, and appointed a Public Representative.5 Due to the COVID–19 pandemic, the Postal Service held its pre-filing conference virtually on April 6, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). See Request at 2; see also Notice at 1, 4. The Postal Service asserts that it completed the pre-filing requirements appearing in 39 CFR 3020.111 and certifies that it has made a good faith effort to address concerns of interested persons about the Postal Service’s proposal raised at the pre-filing conference. See Request at 2. III. The Request A. The Postal Service’s Planned Changes The Postal Service plans for these changes to become effective no earlier than September 1, 2021. See id. at 2. For First-Class Mail within the contiguous United States, the Postal Service states that its proposal would narrow the for public review at, https://www.govinfo.gov/ content/pkg/FR-2021-04-23/pdf/202108463.pdf?utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_ medium=email&utm_ campaign=subscription+mailing+list. 5 Notice and Order Concerning the Postal Service’s Pre-filing Conference, March 24, 2021, at 1–2, 4 (Order No. 5848). PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22717 scope of the existing 2-Day and 3-Day standards; instead 4-Day and 5-Day standards would apply to certain FirstClass Mail traveling longer distances between origin and destination. See id. at 3. The Postal Service states that most First-Class Mail volume will be unaffected by the proposed changes. See id. at 4. It observes that First-Class Mail subject to the existing 1-Day (Overnight) service standard will not be affected. See id. at 3–4. Overall, the Postal Service asserts that approximately 70 percent of First-Class Mail volume would be subject to the proposed 1-Day, 2-Day, or 3-Day service standards; approximately 21 percent of First-Class Mail volume would be subject to the proposed 4-Day service standard; and approximately 10 percent of First-Class Mail volume would be subject to the proposed 5-Day service standard.6 The Postal Service plans to apply a 3– 6-Day standard to certain end-to-end Periodicals merged with First-Class Mail for surface transportation, specifying that the Periodicals standard would equal the sum of 1 day plus the applicable First-Class Mail service standard. See id. at 6. Specifically, the Postal Service proposes to apply the following standards to First-Class Mail. 6 See id. at 4. These figures total 101 percent due to rounding. E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 22718 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices Figure 1 Proposed Postal Service First-Class Mall Service Standards .•lntt>SCF dc>mestic Presort inalJpleces properly accepted atttie SCf beforf the day-aro Critical Entry lime (ui'lthan8ed*t . ntt>SCF single piece domestic mailpieces . • time f>ehweri the.oi'f8inP&DCF~destinati nter-scrdomesttc maill)ie'Ces, if the coinbiried .inddestinatltm SCF is .3 hours or less · · · ntr.i~SCF and lnter~SCF mallpieces Within the tween the ori · · · ····· · ··· ceed20 nter•SCF mailpieces Within the .48contlguous sta~ where the combined &Def, deStmatiOQAOC. and destination SCF is .more than 20 hours but does· ·· . · in mailpieces originating and/or destinatlng in non<0ntiguous areas♦* ·· -Mailpieces for Which the drive time Within the 48 contiguous sta~ f>ehwen ori81n P&OCF, destination A~ and destination SCF exceeds 41 houn ...· · .... · . · •All other mallpieces t o ~ United States destination. Notes: " The existing Flrst..Class MaU 1.,.oay service standard ls codified in 39 CFR 121.1 (aJ(2). - Speclfically,this refers to thefollowing: • Mailpleces originating In the contiguous 48 states destined to the city of Anchorage, Alaska, the 968 3-0iglt ZlP Code area In Hawan, or the 006; 007, or 009 3-Dlgit ZIP Code areas In Puerto Rico; " Maltpieces originating In the 006, 007, or 009 3-0lgit ZIP Code areas In Puerto Rico and the destination is In the contiguous 48 states. • Mailpleces originating In Hawaii and the destination ls In Guam, or vice versa. •• Mailpleces originating In Hawaii and the destination is in American Samoa, or vice versa. • Mailpleces forwhlch both the origin and destination are withfn Alaska. Reqoestat 5-6~ "SCP refers to "Sectional Center Faclllty." Id. at3. With respecttoa partfcOfarSCF; "lntra;.$CF" refers to mallpleces that originate and ~within the 3-Dlglt ZIP Code areas assigned to that SCF in the Domestic Mall Manual and "Inter-SCP refers to rnallpleces that originate outside those 3-Digit ZIP Code areas. Revised Service Standards for Market-Dorninalit Mall Products, 77 Fed. Reg. 31,190, 31,194, n.12 (May 25, 2012) (codified at 39 CFR pt 121). ·P&DCF" refers to Processing & Distribution Center or Facility. Notice at 2. ·AOC" refers to Area Distribution Center. Id. B. The Postal Service’s Position The Postal Service states that the existing service standards do not reflect declining mail volumes and that attempting to meet the existing service standards has led to high costs, transportation inefficiencies, and difficulties in providing reliable and consistent service performance. See Request at 6. The Postal Service explains that transporting mail by surface (trucks) is more reliable and cost-effective than air transportation. See id. at 7. The Postal Service asserts that the proposed changes would allow the Postal Service to use surface rather VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 than air transportation for more mailpieces between additional Postal Service origin and destination processing facilities (OD Pairs). See id. at 3, 7–8. The Postal Service states that the proposed changes could generate a net improvement to the Postal Service’s finances of approximately $174.8 million annually, when considering transportation cost savings. See id. at 9. The Postal Service asserts that implementing the proposed changes would enable it to: Provide more reliable and consistent service performance, improve its ability to run according to its operating plans and PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 optimize its surface transportation network, increase its use of more costeffective air carriers for volume that will continue to be transported by air (such as volume destined for non-contiguous areas), achieve significant cost savings due to the creation of a more efficient transportation network, and implement future operational benefits. See id. at 6– 9. It adds that the proposed changes are a key component of the Postal Service’s Strategic Plan, intended to achieve financial stability and service excellence. See id. at 9–10. Further, the Postal Service asserts that the proposed changes achieve the E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 EN29AP21.000</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES source: Request at s..s~ Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices objectives of 39 U.S.C. 3691(b)(1) better than the existing service standards. See id. at 10–12. The Postal Service contends that it has taken into account the factors set forth in 39 U.S.C. 3691(c), including the broader policies of title 39, United States Code, as required by 39 U.S.C. 3691(c)(8). See id. at 10–13. The Postal Service discusses how it will continue to satisfy the universal service provisions appearing in 39 U.S.C. 101, 403, and 3661(a) under the proposed service standards. See id. C. The Postal Service’s Direct Case The Postal Service is required to file its direct case along with the Request. See 39 CFR 3020.114. The Postal Service’s direct case includes all of the prepared evidence and testimony upon which the Postal Service proposes to rely on in order to establish that its 22719 proposal accords with and conforms to the policies of title 39, United States Code. See id. The Postal Service provides the direct testimony of five witnesses and identifies a sixth individual to serve as its institutional witness and provide information relevant to the Postal Service’s proposal that is not provided by other Postal Service witnesses. Table 1 Postal Service Witnesses Witness 1. Robert Cintron 2. Curtis Whiteman 3. stephen ~ 4. Steven ~ 5. Thomas llltta.. 6. Sharon Owens Topic(s) Designation The Postal Service's ability to meet the existing service standards, the proposed service standard changes and their benefits The Postal Service's financial situation and the estimated financial impact of the proposed changes on the Postal Service's financial situation (including estimated cost savings and the estimated net financial impact) How the proposed service standard changes would affect current mail volume in the contiguous United States (including the actual changes to the OD Pairs) How the proposed service standard changes may impact customer satisfaction and the tools/techniques used by the Postal Service to communicate with its customers regarding the proposed service standard chanaes Econometric analysis to estimate the potential contribution impact that could result from·implementing the proposed service standard chanaes Institutional witness capable of providing information relevant to the Postal Service's proposal that is not provided by other Postal Service witnesses USPS-T-1 USPS-T-2 USPS-T-3 USPS-T--4 USPS-T-5 None filed source: Request at 2, 4, 6-9. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 available to the public and two of which are designated as non-public material. PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 EN29AP21.001</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Additionally, the Postal Service filed eight library references, six of which are 22720 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices Table2 P tat S rvi Designation Ub R fere TIHe Sponsoring Witness Stephen ~ Stephen ~ Stephen ~ Curtis Whiteman • LR-N2021-1-1 MOdel Input Data • LR-N:2021-1-2 MOdel Defining Tools • LR-N2021-1-3 MOdel Results • LR-N2021-1-4 Calculating Transportation Cost Changes • LR-N2021-1-6 • LR-N2021-1-6 Econometric Analysis of Impact of Thomas·~ Delivery Service standards on FirstClass Mail and Periodicals Mail Informed Visibility.Service Robert Cintron Performance Metrics (Enterprise Analytics) Data Note: The Postal service fifed the two non-public library references under seal (shac.led in the above 1able), asserting that they consist of detalfed volume and cost infonnatkm regarotng purchased transportation as welt as Clata. tttat reveal volume. modes of transportation, and transportation WlndOWS·for competitive prooucts. see Nottee of United States Postal service of FIiing Of Library References and AppllcatlOn for Non-Public Treatment, Aprtl 21, 2021, AppllcatlOn of the Postal service for Non-Public Treatment, at 1. source: Notice of United States Postal 8ervlce ofFll!ng Of Library References and AppllcatlOn for Non-Public Treatment, April 21, 2021. A. General Procedures The procedural rules in 39 CFR part 3020 apply to Docket No. N2021–1. Before issuing its advisory opinion, the Commission shall accord an opportunity for a formal, on-the-record hearing pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. 39 U.S.C. 3661(c). The Commission will sit en banc for Docket No. N2021– 1. See 39 CFR 3020.122(b). Due to the COVID–19 pandemic, the Commission is conducting all business, including any hearing or public meeting for Docket No. N2021–1 virtually and not in person. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES B. Scope Docket No. N2021–1 is limited in scope to the specific changes proposed by the Postal Service in its Request. See 39 CFR 3020.102(b). To the extent that participants raise alternative proposals and present reasons why those alternatives may be superior to the Postal Service’s proposal, the Commission would interpret such VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 discussion as critiquing the specific changes proposed by the Postal Service in its Request.7 However, the Commission would not evaluate or opine on the merits of such alternative proposal in its advisory opinion. See Order No. 2080 at 18. Pursuant to its discretion, the Commission may undertake evaluation of alternatives or other issues raised by participants in separate proceedings (such as special studies or public inquires). See 39 CFR 3020.102(b). Moreover, any interested person may petition the Commission to initiate a separate proceeding (such as a rulemaking or public inquiry) at any time. See 39 CFR 3010.201(b) (initiation of notice and comment proceedings). C. Procedural Schedule The Commission establishes a procedural schedule, which appears below the signature of this Order. See 39 CFR 3010.151, 3020.110; see also 39 7 See Docket No. RM2012–4, Order Adopting Amended Rules of Procedure for Nature of Service Proceedings Under 39 U.S.C. 3661, May 20, 2014, at 18 (Order No. 2080). PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 CFR part 3020 Appendix A. These dates may be changed only if good cause is shown, if the Commission later determines that the Request is incomplete, if the Commission determines that the Postal Service has significantly modified the Request, or for other reasons as determined by the Commission. See 39 CFR 3020.110(b) and (c). D. How To Access Material Filed in This Proceeding 1. Using the Commission’s Website The public portions of the Postal Service’s filing are available for review on the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). The Postal Service’s electronic filing of the Request and prepared direct evidence effectively serves the persons who participated in the pre-filing conference. See 39 CFR 3020.104. Other material filed in this proceeding will be available for review on the Commission’s website, unless the information contained therein is subject to an application for non-public treatment. The Commission’s rules on E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 EN29AP21.002</GPH> IV. Initial Administrative Actions Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices how to file and access non-public material appear in 39 CFR part 3011. 2. Using Methods Other Than the Commission’s Website The Postal Service must serve hard copies of its Request and prepared direct evidence ‘‘only upon those persons who have notified the Postal Service, in writing, during the pre-filing conference(s), that they do not have access to the Commission’s website.’’ 39 CFR 3020.104. If you demonstrate that you are unable to effectively use the Commission’s Filing Online system or are unable to access the internet, then the Secretary of the Commission will serve material filed in Docket No. N2021–1 upon you via First-Class Mail. See 39 CFR 3010.127(b) and (c). You may request physical service by mailing a document demonstrating your need to the Office of Secretary and Administration, Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268– 0001. Service may be delayed due to the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic. Pursuant to 39 CFR 3010.127(c), the Secretary shall maintain a service list identifying no more than two individuals designated for physical service of documents for each party intervening in this proceeding. Accordingly, each party must ensure that its listing is accurate and should promptly notify the Secretary of any errors or changes. See 39 CFR 3010.127(c). E. How To File Material in This Proceeding jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 1. Using the Commission’s Filing Online System Except as provided in 39 CFR 3010.120(a), all material filed with the Commission shall be submitted in electronic format using the Filing Online system, which is available over the internet through the Commission’s website. The Commission’s website accepts filings during the Commission’s regular business hours, which are from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. EDT, except for Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. A guide to using the Filing Online system, including how to create an account, is available at: https:// www.prc.gov/how-to-participate. If you have questions about how to use the Filing Online system, please contact the dockets clerk by email at dockets@ prc.gov or telephone at (202) 789–6847. Please be advised that the dockets clerk can only answer procedural questions but may not provide legal advice or recommendations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 2. Using Methods Other Than the Commission’s Filing Online System Material may be filed using a method other than the Commission’s website only if at least one of the following exceptions applies: • The material cannot reasonably be converted to electronic format, • The material contains non-public information (see 39 CFR part 3011), • The filer is unable to effectively use the Commission’s Filing Online system and the document is 10 pages or fewer, or • The Secretary has approved an exception to the requirements to use the Commission’s Filing Online system based on a showing of good cause. 39 CFR 3010.120(a). Material subject to these exceptions may be filed by mail to the Office of Secretary and Administration, Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268–0001. Due to the agency’s virtual status, posting mailed materials to the Commission’s website may be delayed. Accordingly, before mailing materials, it is strongly recommended that individuals contact the dockets clerk by email at dockets@prc.gov or telephone at (202) 789–6847. F. Technical Conference 1. Date and Purpose A technical conference will be held live via WebEx on April 30, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.8 The technical conference is an informal, off-the-record opportunity to clarify technical issues as well as to identify and request information relevant to evaluating the Postal Service’s proposed changes. See 39 CFR 3020.115(c). At the technical conference, the Postal Service will make available for questioning its five witnesses whose direct testimony was filed along with the Request and a sixth individual to serve as its institutional witness, who will provide information relevant to the Postal Service’s proposal that is not provided by other Postal Service witnesses. See Request at 2, 4, 6–9; see also 39 CFR 3020.113(b)(6)–(7), 3020.115(b). The names and topics to which these six individuals are prepared to address are summarized above in Section III.C., Table 2, infra. 2. How To Participate in the Technical Conference To participate in this live technical conference and have the opportunity to 8 Normally, this technical conference would be set for day 10 (Saturday May 1, 2021) and extended to Monday May 3, 2021, in accordance with 39 CFR 3020.103; however, the Commission is taking into account the National Postal Forum scheduled for May 3 and 4, 2021. PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22721 ask questions of the Postal Service’s six witnesses, an individual need not formally intervene in this docket, but must register in advance as follows. Each individual seeking to participate in the live WebEx using an individual device (e.g., a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone) must register by sending an email to N20211registration@prc.gov with the subject line ‘‘Registration’’ by April 27, 2021. In order to facilitate orderly public participation, this email shall provide the following information: • Your first and last name; • your email address (to receive the WebEx link); • whether or not you would like the moderator to allow you the opportunity to question the Postal Service’s witness(es), and if so, which witness(es) you would like to question and/or the topic(s) of your question(s); and • your affiliation (if you are participating in your capacity as an employee, officer, or member of an entity such as a corporation, association, or government agency). The N2021-1registration@prc.gov email address is established solely for the exchange of information relating to the logistics of registering for and participating in the technical conference.9 No information related to the substance of the Postal Service’s Request shall be communicated, nor shall any information provided by participants apart from the list identified above be reviewed or considered. Only documents filed with the Commission’s docket system will be considered by the Commission. Before the technical conference, the Commission will email each identified individual a WebEx link, an explanation of how to connect to the technical conference, and information regarding the schedule and procedures to be followed. 3. Availability of Materials and Recording To facilitate discussion of the matters to be explored at the technical conference, the Postal Service shall, if necessary, file with the Commission any materials not already filed in Docket No. N2021–1 (such as PowerPoint presentations or Excel spreadsheets) that the Postal Service expects to present at the technical conference by April 29, 2021. Doing so will foster an orderly discussion of the matters under consideration and facilitate the ability of individuals to access these materials should technical issues arise for any 9 Please refer to the Commission’s privacy policy which is available at, https://www.prc.gov/privacy. E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 22722 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices participants during the live WebEx. After the live WebEx, if feasible, the Commission shall make the recording available and provide notice of where to access it in this docket. Participants in the WebEx, by participating, consent to such recording and posting. Information obtained during the technical conference or as a result of the technical conference is not part of the decisional record, unless admitted under the standards of 39 CFR 3010.322. See id. section 3020.115(e). G. How To Intervene (Become a Party to This Proceeding) To become a party to this proceeding, a person or entity must file a notice of intervention by May 5, 2021.10 This filing must clearly and concisely state: The nature and extent of the intervenor’s interest in the issues (including the postal services used), the intervenor’s position on the proposed changes in services (to the extent known), whether or not the intervenor requests a hearing, and whether or not the intervenor intends to actively participate in the hearing. See 39 CFR 3010.142(b). Page one of this filing shall contain the name and full mailing address of no more than two persons who are to receive service, when necessary, of any documents relating to this proceeding. See id. A party may participate in discovery; file testimony and evidence; conduct written examination of witnesses; conduct limited oral cross-examination; file briefs, motions, and objections; and present argument before the Commission or the presiding officer. See id. sections 3010.142(a); 3020.122(e). An opposition to a notice of intervention is due within 3 days after the notice of intervention is filed. See id. section 3010.142(d)(2). H. Discovery jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 1. Generally Applicable Discovery Procedures Discovery requests may be propounded upon filing a notice of intervention. Discovery that is reasonably calculated to lead to the admissible evidence is allowed. See id. section 3020.116(a). Each answer to a discovery request is due within 7 days after the discovery request is filed.11 Any motion seeking to be excused from answering any discovery request is due 10 Neither the Public Representative nor the Postal Service must file a notice of intervention; both are automatically deemed parties to this proceeding. See 39 CFR 3010.142(a). 11 See 39 CFR 3020.117(b)(4), 3020.118(b)(1), 3020.119(b)(1). Filing an opposition to a notice of intervention shall not delay this deadline. See 39 CFR 3010.142(d)(3). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 within 3 days after the discovery request is filed. See 39 CFR 3020.105(b)(1). Any response to such motion is due within 2 days after the motion is filed. See id. section 3020.105(b)(2). The Commission expects parties to make judicious use of discovery, objections, and motions practice, and encourages parties to make every effort to confer to resolve disputes informally before bringing disputes to the Commission to resolve. hearing of the Postal Service’s direct case shall begin June 9, 2021, and the hearing of the rebuttal case shall end June 11, 2021. If any party files a notice of intent to file a rebuttal case by May 28, 2021, and the Commission approves the presentation of surrebuttal testimony, then the hearing of the Postal Service’s direct case shall begin June 14, 2021, and the hearing of the surrebuttal case shall end June 16, 2021. 2. Discovery Deadlines for the Postal Service’s Direct Case All discovery requests regarding the Postal Service’s direct case must be filed by May 19, 2021. All discovery answers by the Postal Service must be filed by May 26, 2021. The parties are urged to initiate discovery promptly, rather than to defer filing requests and answers to the end of the period established by the Commission. L. Presentation of Evidence and Testimony I. Rebuttal Case Deadlines A rebuttal case is any evidence and testimony offered to disprove or contradict the evidence and testimony submitted by the Postal Service. A rebuttal case does not include crossexamination of the Postal Service’s witnesses or argument submitted via a brief or statement of position. Any party that intends to file a rebuttal case must file a notice confirming its intent to do so by May 28, 2021. Any rebuttal case, consisting of any testimony and all materials in support of the case, must be filed by June 2, 2021. J. Surrebuttal Case Deadlines A surrebuttal case is any evidence and testimony offered to disprove or contradict the evidence and testimony submitted by the rebutting party. A surrebuttal case does not include crossexamination of the rebutting party’s witnesses or argument submitted via a brief or statement of position. Any party that intends to file surrebuttal case must obtain the Commission’s prior approval. See 39 CFR 3020.121(b). Any motion for leave to file a surrebuttal case is due June 4, 2021. Any response to such motion is due June 7, 2021. Any surrebuttal case, consisting of any testimony and all materials in support of the case, must be filed by June 9, 2021. K. Hearing Dates If no party files a notice of intent to file a rebuttal case by May 28, 2021, then the hearing of the Postal Service’s direct case shall begin June 2, 2021 and end June 4, 2021. If any party files a notice of intent to file a rebuttal case by May 28, 2021 but no surrebuttal testimony will be presented, then the PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Evidence and testimony shall be in writing and may be accompanied by a trial brief or legal memoranda. Id. section 3020.122(e)(1). Whenever possible and particularly for factual or statistical evidence, written crossexamination will be used in lieu of oral cross-examination. Id. section 3020.122(e)(2).12 Oral cross-examination will be allowed to clarify written crossexamination and/or to test assumptions, conclusions, or other opinion evidence. Id. section 3020.122(e)(3). Any party that intends to conduct oral crossexamination shall file a notice of intent to do so at least 3 days before the announced appearance of the witness. Id. section 3020.122(e)(3). M. Presentation of Argument 1. General Procedures Any person that has intervened in Docket No. N2021–1 (and thereby formally became a party to this proceeding) may submit written argument by filing a brief or a statement of position; they also may request to present oral argument at the hearing. See 39 CFR 3020.123, see also 39 CFR 3010.142(a). Any person that has not intervened in Docket No. N2021–1 may submit written argument by filing a statement of position. See 39 CFR 3020.123(g), see also 39 CFR 3010.142(a). 2. Presentation of Written Argument A brief is a written document that addresses relevant legal and evidentiary issues for the Commission to consider and must adhere to the requirements of 39 CFR 3020.123(a)–(f). A statement of position is a less formal version of a brief that describes the filer’s position on the Request and the information on the existing record in support of that position. See 39 CFR 3020.123(g). 12 This rule also requires designation of written cross-examination and provision of hard copies. 39 CFR 3020.122(e)(2). The Commission or presiding officer shall provide guidance on designation for a virtual hearing if necessary and in advance of such hearing. E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices a. Briefing Deadlines Assuming that no rebuttal case is filed, initial briefs are due June 11, 2021, and reply briefs are due June 18, 2021. If any party files a notice confirming its intent to file a rebuttal case by May 28, 2021, then the briefing schedule may be revised. b. Deadline for Statement of Position Any interested person, including anyone that has not filed a notice of intervention and become a party to this proceeding, may file a statement of position. See 39 CFR 3020.123(g), see also 39 CFR 3010.142(a). A statement of position is limited to the existing record and may not include any new evidentiary material. See 39 CFR 3020.123(g). Filings styled as a brief or comments, conforming with the content and timing requirements, shall be deemed statements of positions. Any statement of position is due June 11, 2021. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 3. Request To Present Oral Argument Oral argument has not historically been part of N-cases; the Commission VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 would only grant a request to present oral argument upon an appropriate showing of need by the presenting party. See Order No. 2080 at 53. The Commission or presiding officer shall set a deadline for filing a request to present oral argument at the hearing. N. The Commission’s Advisory Opinion Unless there is a determination of good cause for extension, the Commission shall issue its advisory opinion within 90 days of the filing of the Request. See 39 CFR 3020.102(a). Therefore, absent a determination of good cause for extension, the Commission shall issue its advisory opinion in this proceeding by July 20, 2021. ‘‘The opinion shall be in writing and shall include a certification by each Commissioner agreeing with the opinion that in his [or her] judgment the opinion conforms to the policies established under [title 39, United States Code].’’ 39 U.S.C. 3661(c). The advisory opinion shall address the specific changes proposed by the Postal Service in the nature of postal services. See 39 CFR 3020.102(b). PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22723 O. Public Representative Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3661(c), Samuel M. Poole shall continue to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding. See Order No. 5848 at 4. V. Ordering Paragraphs It is ordered: 1. The procedural schedule for this proceeding is set forth below the signature of this order. 2. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3661(c), Samuel M. Poole shall continue to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding. 3. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register. By the Commission. Erica A. Barker, Secretary. BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 22724 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices Procedural Schedule for Docket No. N2021-1 (Established by the Commission, April 23, 2021) Deadline to Email N2021-1registration@prc.gov to Register April 27, 2021 to Participate in the Live Technical Conference via WebEx Filing of the Postal Service's Materials for the Technical April 29, 2021 Conference April 30, 2021, at 11 :00 Technical Conference (live via WebEx) a.m. Eastern Daylight Time Filing of Notice of Intervention May 5, 2021 Filing of Discovery Requests May 19, 2021 Filing of the Postal Service's Answers to Discovery May 26, 2021 Filing of Notice Confirming Intent to File a Rebuttal Case May 28, 2021 Filing of Rebuttal Case June 2, 2021 Filing of Motion for Leave to File Surrebuttal Case June 4, 2021 Filing of Response to Motion for Leave to File Surrebuttal June 7, 2021 Case VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 June 9, 2021 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 EN29AP21.003</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Filing of Surrebuttal Case (if authorized) Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 81 / Thursday, April 29, 2021 / Notices Hearings (with no Rebuttal Case) June 2 to 4, 2021 Hearings (with Rebuttal Case, but no authorized Surrebuttal June 9 to 11, 2021 22725 Case) Hearings (with Rebuttal Case and authorized Surrebuttal June 14 to 16, 2021 Case) Filing of Initial Briefs (with no Rebuttal Case) June 11, 2021 Filing of Reply Briefs (with no Rebuttal Case) June 18, 2021 Filing of Statement of Position (with no Rebuttal Case) June 11, 2021 Filing of Advisory Opinion (absent determination of good July 20, 2021 cause for extension) BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–91663; File No. SR–NYSE– 2020–98] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, To Amend Its Rules To Prohibit Member Organizations From Seeking Reimbursement, in Certain Circumstances, From Issuers for Forwarding Proxy and Other Materials to Beneficial Owners jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES April 23, 2021. On November 30, 2020, New York Stock Exchange LLC (‘‘NYSE’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘SEC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to amend its rules to prohibit member organizations from seeking reimbursement, in certain circumstances, from issuers for forwarding proxy and other materials to beneficial owners. The proposed rule 1 15 2 17 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Apr 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 change was published for comment in the Federal Register on December 18, 2020.3 On January 29, 2021, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,4 the Commission designated a longer period within which to either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.5 On March 17, 2021, the Commission instituted proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.6 On April 6, 2021, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change; the Exchange withdrew that amendment on April 16, 2021. On April 16, 2021, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change, which superseded the proposed rule change as originally filed, and is described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 90653 (December 14, 2020), 85 FR 82539 (December 18, 2020). Comments received on the proposed rule change are available on the Commission’s website at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nyse-2020-98/ srnyse202098.htm. 4 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). 5 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 91011 (January 29, 2021), 86 FR 8246 (February 4, 2021). 6 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 91343 (March 17, 2021), 86 FR 15536 (March 23, 2021). PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 change, as modified by Amendment No. 2, from interested persons. I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to amend its rules to prohibit member organizations from seeking reimbursement from issuers for forwarding proxy and other materials to beneficial owners who received shares from their broker at no cost in connection with a promotion by the broker. This Amendment No. 2 amends and restates the original filing in its entirety.7 The proposed rule 7 The NYSE previously filed a proposed rule filing to amend its rules to prohibit member organizations from seeking reimbursement from issuers for forwarding proxy and other materials to beneficial owners who received shares from their broker at no cost or at a substantially discounted price in connection with a promotion by the broker. See SR–NYSE–2020–98 (November 30, 2020). The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on December 18, 2020. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 90653 (December 14, 2020), 85 FR 82539 (December 18. 2020). On January 29, 2021, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act, the Commission designated a longer period within which to either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 91011 (January 29, 2021), 86 FR 8246 (February 4, 2021). By an order dated March 17, 2021, the Commission instituted proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 91343 (March 17, 2021), E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM Continued 29APN1 EN29AP21.004</GPH> [FR Doc. 2021–08890 Filed 4–28–21; 8:45 am]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 81 (Thursday, April 29, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22716-22725]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-08890]


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POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. N2021-1; Order No. 5875]


Service Standard Changes

AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Commission is noticing a recently-filed Postal Service 
request for an advisory opinion on the service standards for First-
Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals. This document invites public 
comments on the request and addresses several related procedural steps.

DATES: Notices of intervention are due: May 5, 2021; Live WebEx 
Technical Conference: April 30, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Daylight 
Time, Virtual.

ADDRESSES: Submit notices of intervention electronically via the 
Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Persons 
interested in intervening who cannot submit their views electronically 
should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 
202-789-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Pre-Filing Issues
III. The Request
IV. Initial Administrative Actions
V. Ordering Paragraphs

I. Introduction

    On April 21, 2021, the Postal Service filed a request for an 
advisory opinion from the Commission regarding planned changes to the 
service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals.\1\ 
The intended effective date of the Postal Service's planned changes is 
no earlier than September 1, 2021. Request at 2. The Request was filed 
pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3661 and 39 CFR part 3020. Before issuing its 
advisory opinion, the Commission shall accord an opportunity for a 
formal, on-the-record hearing pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. 39 
U.S.C. 3661(c). This Order provides information on the Postal Service's 
planned changes, explains and

[[Page 22717]]

establishes the process for the on-the-record hearing, and lays out the 
procedural schedule to be followed in this case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ United States Postal Service Request for an Advisory Opinion 
on Changes in the Nature of Postal Services, April 21, 2021 
(Request).
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II. Pre-Filing Issues

    On March 23, 2021, the Postal Service published a ten-year 
strategic plan announcing potential changes intended to achieve 
financial stability and service excellence.\2\ In conjunction with this 
publication, the Postal Service also filed a notice of its intent to 
conduct a pre-filing conference regarding its proposed changes to the 
service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals, 
which would ``generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially 
nationwide basis.'' \3\ Further, the Postal Service announced that it 
would propose amendments to the existing service standards for First-
Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals appearing in 39 CFR part 121. See 
Notice at 1; see also Request at 1.\4\
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    \2\ See United States Postal Service, Delivering for America: 
Our Vision and Ten-Year Plan to Achieve Financial Sustainability and 
Service Excellence, March 23, 2021, at 3, available at, https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/assets/USPS_Delivering-For-America.pdf (Postal Service's Strategic Plan). 
Further information related to the Postal Service's Strategic Plan 
is available at, https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/.
    \3\ Notice of Pre-Filing Conference, March 23, 2021, at 1 
(Notice) (quoting 39 U.S.C. 3661(b)).
    \4\ These proposed changes were published in the Federal 
Register on April 23, 2021 and are available for public review at, 
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-04-23/pdf/2021-08463.pdf?utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list.
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    On March 24, 2021, the Commission issued Order No. 5848, which 
established Docket No. N2021-1 to consider the Postal Service's 
proposed changes, notified the public concerning the Postal Service's 
pre-filing conference, and appointed a Public Representative.\5\ Due to 
the COVID-19 pandemic, the Postal Service held its pre-filing 
conference virtually on April 6, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). See Request at 2; see also Notice at 1, 4. 
The Postal Service asserts that it completed the pre-filing 
requirements appearing in 39 CFR 3020.111 and certifies that it has 
made a good faith effort to address concerns of interested persons 
about the Postal Service's proposal raised at the pre-filing 
conference. See Request at 2.
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    \5\ Notice and Order Concerning the Postal Service's Pre-filing 
Conference, March 24, 2021, at 1-2, 4 (Order No. 5848).
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III. The Request

A. The Postal Service's Planned Changes

    The Postal Service plans for these changes to become effective no 
earlier than September 1, 2021. See id. at 2. For First-Class Mail 
within the contiguous United States, the Postal Service states that its 
proposal would narrow the scope of the existing 2-Day and 3-Day 
standards; instead 4-Day and 5-Day standards would apply to certain 
First-Class Mail traveling longer distances between origin and 
destination. See id. at 3.
    The Postal Service states that most First-Class Mail volume will be 
unaffected by the proposed changes. See id. at 4. It observes that 
First-Class Mail subject to the existing 1-Day (Overnight) service 
standard will not be affected. See id. at 3-4. Overall, the Postal 
Service asserts that approximately 70 percent of First-Class Mail 
volume would be subject to the proposed 1-Day, 2-Day, or 3-Day service 
standards; approximately 21 percent of First-Class Mail volume would be 
subject to the proposed 4-Day service standard; and approximately 10 
percent of First-Class Mail volume would be subject to the proposed 5-
Day service standard.\6\
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    \6\ See id. at 4. These figures total 101 percent due to 
rounding.
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    The Postal Service plans to apply a 3-6-Day standard to certain 
end-to-end Periodicals merged with First-Class Mail for surface 
transportation, specifying that the Periodicals standard would equal 
the sum of 1 day plus the applicable First-Class Mail service standard. 
See id. at 6.
    Specifically, the Postal Service proposes to apply the following 
standards to First-Class Mail.

[[Page 22718]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN29AP21.000

B. The Postal Service's Position

    The Postal Service states that the existing service standards do 
not reflect declining mail volumes and that attempting to meet the 
existing service standards has led to high costs, transportation 
inefficiencies, and difficulties in providing reliable and consistent 
service performance. See Request at 6. The Postal Service explains that 
transporting mail by surface (trucks) is more reliable and cost-
effective than air transportation. See id. at 7. The Postal Service 
asserts that the proposed changes would allow the Postal Service to use 
surface rather than air transportation for more mailpieces between 
additional Postal Service origin and destination processing facilities 
(OD Pairs). See id. at 3, 7-8. The Postal Service states that the 
proposed changes could generate a net improvement to the Postal 
Service's finances of approximately $174.8 million annually, when 
considering transportation cost savings. See id. at 9.
    The Postal Service asserts that implementing the proposed changes 
would enable it to: Provide more reliable and consistent service 
performance, improve its ability to run according to its operating 
plans and optimize its surface transportation network, increase its use 
of more cost-effective air carriers for volume that will continue to be 
transported by air (such as volume destined for non-contiguous areas), 
achieve significant cost savings due to the creation of a more 
efficient transportation network, and implement future operational 
benefits. See id. at 6-9. It adds that the proposed changes are a key 
component of the Postal Service's Strategic Plan, intended to achieve 
financial stability and service excellence. See id. at 9-10.
    Further, the Postal Service asserts that the proposed changes 
achieve the

[[Page 22719]]

objectives of 39 U.S.C. 3691(b)(1) better than the existing service 
standards. See id. at 10-12. The Postal Service contends that it has 
taken into account the factors set forth in 39 U.S.C. 3691(c), 
including the broader policies of title 39, United States Code, as 
required by 39 U.S.C. 3691(c)(8). See id. at 10-13. The Postal Service 
discusses how it will continue to satisfy the universal service 
provisions appearing in 39 U.S.C. 101, 403, and 3661(a) under the 
proposed service standards. See id.

C. The Postal Service's Direct Case

    The Postal Service is required to file its direct case along with 
the Request. See 39 CFR 3020.114. The Postal Service's direct case 
includes all of the prepared evidence and testimony upon which the 
Postal Service proposes to rely on in order to establish that its 
proposal accords with and conforms to the policies of title 39, United 
States Code. See id. The Postal Service provides the direct testimony 
of five witnesses and identifies a sixth individual to serve as its 
institutional witness and provide information relevant to the Postal 
Service's proposal that is not provided by other Postal Service 
witnesses.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN29AP21.001

    Additionally, the Postal Service filed eight library references, 
six of which are available to the public and two of which are 
designated as non-public material.

[[Page 22720]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN29AP21.002

IV. Initial Administrative Actions

A. General Procedures

    The procedural rules in 39 CFR part 3020 apply to Docket No. N2021-
1. Before issuing its advisory opinion, the Commission shall accord an 
opportunity for a formal, on-the-record hearing pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
556 and 557. 39 U.S.C. 3661(c). The Commission will sit en banc for 
Docket No. N2021-1. See 39 CFR 3020.122(b). Due to the COVID-19 
pandemic, the Commission is conducting all business, including any 
hearing or public meeting for Docket No. N2021-1 virtually and not in 
person.

B. Scope

    Docket No. N2021-1 is limited in scope to the specific changes 
proposed by the Postal Service in its Request. See 39 CFR 3020.102(b). 
To the extent that participants raise alternative proposals and present 
reasons why those alternatives may be superior to the Postal Service's 
proposal, the Commission would interpret such discussion as critiquing 
the specific changes proposed by the Postal Service in its Request.\7\ 
However, the Commission would not evaluate or opine on the merits of 
such alternative proposal in its advisory opinion. See Order No. 2080 
at 18. Pursuant to its discretion, the Commission may undertake 
evaluation of alternatives or other issues raised by participants in 
separate proceedings (such as special studies or public inquires). See 
39 CFR 3020.102(b). Moreover, any interested person may petition the 
Commission to initiate a separate proceeding (such as a rulemaking or 
public inquiry) at any time. See 39 CFR 3010.201(b) (initiation of 
notice and comment proceedings).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See Docket No. RM2012-4, Order Adopting Amended Rules of 
Procedure for Nature of Service Proceedings Under 39 U.S.C. 3661, 
May 20, 2014, at 18 (Order No. 2080).
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C. Procedural Schedule

    The Commission establishes a procedural schedule, which appears 
below the signature of this Order. See 39 CFR 3010.151, 3020.110; see 
also 39 CFR part 3020 Appendix A. These dates may be changed only if 
good cause is shown, if the Commission later determines that the 
Request is incomplete, if the Commission determines that the Postal 
Service has significantly modified the Request, or for other reasons as 
determined by the Commission. See 39 CFR 3020.110(b) and (c).

D. How To Access Material Filed in This Proceeding

1. Using the Commission's Website
    The public portions of the Postal Service's filing are available 
for review on the Commission's website (http://www.prc.gov). The Postal 
Service's electronic filing of the Request and prepared direct evidence 
effectively serves the persons who participated in the pre-filing 
conference. See 39 CFR 3020.104. Other material filed in this 
proceeding will be available for review on the Commission's website, 
unless the information contained therein is subject to an application 
for non-public treatment. The Commission's rules on

[[Page 22721]]

how to file and access non-public material appear in 39 CFR part 3011.
2. Using Methods Other Than the Commission's Website
    The Postal Service must serve hard copies of its Request and 
prepared direct evidence ``only upon those persons who have notified 
the Postal Service, in writing, during the pre-filing conference(s), 
that they do not have access to the Commission's website.'' 39 CFR 
3020.104. If you demonstrate that you are unable to effectively use the 
Commission's Filing Online system or are unable to access the internet, 
then the Secretary of the Commission will serve material filed in 
Docket No. N2021-1 upon you via First-Class Mail. See 39 CFR 
3010.127(b) and (c). You may request physical service by mailing a 
document demonstrating your need to the Office of Secretary and 
Administration, Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Avenue NW, 
Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268-0001. Service may be delayed due to the 
impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to 39 CFR 3010.127(c), the 
Secretary shall maintain a service list identifying no more than two 
individuals designated for physical service of documents for each party 
intervening in this proceeding. Accordingly, each party must ensure 
that its listing is accurate and should promptly notify the Secretary 
of any errors or changes. See 39 CFR 3010.127(c).

E. How To File Material in This Proceeding

1. Using the Commission's Filing Online System
    Except as provided in 39 CFR 3010.120(a), all material filed with 
the Commission shall be submitted in electronic format using the Filing 
Online system, which is available over the internet through the 
Commission's website. The Commission's website accepts filings during 
the Commission's regular business hours, which are from 8:00 a.m. 
through 4:30 p.m. EDT, except for Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal 
holidays. A guide to using the Filing Online system, including how to 
create an account, is available at: https://www.prc.gov/how-to-participate. If you have questions about how to use the Filing Online 
system, please contact the dockets clerk by email at [email protected] or 
telephone at (202) 789-6847. Please be advised that the dockets clerk 
can only answer procedural questions but may not provide legal advice 
or recommendations.
2. Using Methods Other Than the Commission's Filing Online System
    Material may be filed using a method other than the Commission's 
website only if at least one of the following exceptions applies:
     The material cannot reasonably be converted to electronic 
format,
     The material contains non-public information (see 39 CFR 
part 3011),
     The filer is unable to effectively use the Commission's 
Filing Online system and the document is 10 pages or fewer, or
     The Secretary has approved an exception to the 
requirements to use the Commission's Filing Online system based on a 
showing of good cause.
    39 CFR 3010.120(a).
    Material subject to these exceptions may be filed by mail to the 
Office of Secretary and Administration, Postal Regulatory Commission, 
901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268-0001. Due to 
the agency's virtual status, posting mailed materials to the 
Commission's website may be delayed. Accordingly, before mailing 
materials, it is strongly recommended that individuals contact the 
dockets clerk by email at [email protected] or telephone at (202) 789-
6847.

F. Technical Conference

1. Date and Purpose
    A technical conference will be held live via WebEx on April 30, 
2021, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.\8\ The technical conference is an informal, 
off-the-record opportunity to clarify technical issues as well as to 
identify and request information relevant to evaluating the Postal 
Service's proposed changes. See 39 CFR 3020.115(c). At the technical 
conference, the Postal Service will make available for questioning its 
five witnesses whose direct testimony was filed along with the Request 
and a sixth individual to serve as its institutional witness, who will 
provide information relevant to the Postal Service's proposal that is 
not provided by other Postal Service witnesses. See Request at 2, 4, 6-
9; see also 39 CFR 3020.113(b)(6)-(7), 3020.115(b). The names and 
topics to which these six individuals are prepared to address are 
summarized above in Section III.C., Table 2, infra.
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    \8\ Normally, this technical conference would be set for day 10 
(Saturday May 1, 2021) and extended to Monday May 3, 2021, in 
accordance with 39 CFR 3020.103; however, the Commission is taking 
into account the National Postal Forum scheduled for May 3 and 4, 
2021.
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2. How To Participate in the Technical Conference
    To participate in this live technical conference and have the 
opportunity to ask questions of the Postal Service's six witnesses, an 
individual need not formally intervene in this docket, but must 
register in advance as follows. Each individual seeking to participate 
in the live WebEx using an individual device (e.g., a desktop computer, 
laptop, tablet, or smart phone) must register by sending an email to 
[email protected] with the subject line ``Registration'' by 
April 27, 2021. In order to facilitate orderly public participation, 
this email shall provide the following information:
     Your first and last name;
     your email address (to receive the WebEx link);
     whether or not you would like the moderator to allow you 
the opportunity to question the Postal Service's witness(es), and if 
so, which witness(es) you would like to question and/or the topic(s) of 
your question(s); and
     your affiliation (if you are participating in your 
capacity as an employee, officer, or member of an entity such as a 
corporation, association, or government agency).
    The [email protected] email address is established solely 
for the exchange of information relating to the logistics of 
registering for and participating in the technical conference.\9\ No 
information related to the substance of the Postal Service's Request 
shall be communicated, nor shall any information provided by 
participants apart from the list identified above be reviewed or 
considered. Only documents filed with the Commission's docket system 
will be considered by the Commission. Before the technical conference, 
the Commission will email each identified individual a WebEx link, an 
explanation of how to connect to the technical conference, and 
information regarding the schedule and procedures to be followed.
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    \9\ Please refer to the Commission's privacy policy which is 
available at, https://www.prc.gov/privacy.
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3. Availability of Materials and Recording
    To facilitate discussion of the matters to be explored at the 
technical conference, the Postal Service shall, if necessary, file with 
the Commission any materials not already filed in Docket No. N2021-1 
(such as PowerPoint presentations or Excel spreadsheets) that the 
Postal Service expects to present at the technical conference by April 
29, 2021. Doing so will foster an orderly discussion of the matters 
under consideration and facilitate the ability of individuals to access 
these materials should technical issues arise for any

[[Page 22722]]

participants during the live WebEx. After the live WebEx, if feasible, 
the Commission shall make the recording available and provide notice of 
where to access it in this docket. Participants in the WebEx, by 
participating, consent to such recording and posting. Information 
obtained during the technical conference or as a result of the 
technical conference is not part of the decisional record, unless 
admitted under the standards of 39 CFR 3010.322. See id. section 
3020.115(e).

G. How To Intervene (Become a Party to This Proceeding)

    To become a party to this proceeding, a person or entity must file 
a notice of intervention by May 5, 2021.\10\ This filing must clearly 
and concisely state: The nature and extent of the intervenor's interest 
in the issues (including the postal services used), the intervenor's 
position on the proposed changes in services (to the extent known), 
whether or not the intervenor requests a hearing, and whether or not 
the intervenor intends to actively participate in the hearing. See 39 
CFR 3010.142(b). Page one of this filing shall contain the name and 
full mailing address of no more than two persons who are to receive 
service, when necessary, of any documents relating to this proceeding. 
See id. A party may participate in discovery; file testimony and 
evidence; conduct written examination of witnesses; conduct limited 
oral cross-examination; file briefs, motions, and objections; and 
present argument before the Commission or the presiding officer. See 
id. sections 3010.142(a); 3020.122(e). An opposition to a notice of 
intervention is due within 3 days after the notice of intervention is 
filed. See id. section 3010.142(d)(2).
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    \10\ Neither the Public Representative nor the Postal Service 
must file a notice of intervention; both are automatically deemed 
parties to this proceeding. See 39 CFR 3010.142(a).
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H. Discovery

1. Generally Applicable Discovery Procedures
    Discovery requests may be propounded upon filing a notice of 
intervention. Discovery that is reasonably calculated to lead to the 
admissible evidence is allowed. See id. section 3020.116(a). Each 
answer to a discovery request is due within 7 days after the discovery 
request is filed.\11\ Any motion seeking to be excused from answering 
any discovery request is due within 3 days after the discovery request 
is filed. See 39 CFR 3020.105(b)(1). Any response to such motion is due 
within 2 days after the motion is filed. See id. section 
3020.105(b)(2). The Commission expects parties to make judicious use of 
discovery, objections, and motions practice, and encourages parties to 
make every effort to confer to resolve disputes informally before 
bringing disputes to the Commission to resolve.
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    \11\ See 39 CFR 3020.117(b)(4), 3020.118(b)(1), 3020.119(b)(1). 
Filing an opposition to a notice of intervention shall not delay 
this deadline. See 39 CFR 3010.142(d)(3).
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2. Discovery Deadlines for the Postal Service's Direct Case
    All discovery requests regarding the Postal Service's direct case 
must be filed by May 19, 2021. All discovery answers by the Postal 
Service must be filed by May 26, 2021. The parties are urged to 
initiate discovery promptly, rather than to defer filing requests and 
answers to the end of the period established by the Commission.

I. Rebuttal Case Deadlines

    A rebuttal case is any evidence and testimony offered to disprove 
or contradict the evidence and testimony submitted by the Postal 
Service. A rebuttal case does not include cross-examination of the 
Postal Service's witnesses or argument submitted via a brief or 
statement of position. Any party that intends to file a rebuttal case 
must file a notice confirming its intent to do so by May 28, 2021. Any 
rebuttal case, consisting of any testimony and all materials in support 
of the case, must be filed by June 2, 2021.

J. Surrebuttal Case Deadlines

    A surrebuttal case is any evidence and testimony offered to 
disprove or contradict the evidence and testimony submitted by the 
rebutting party. A surrebuttal case does not include cross-examination 
of the rebutting party's witnesses or argument submitted via a brief or 
statement of position. Any party that intends to file surrebuttal case 
must obtain the Commission's prior approval. See 39 CFR 3020.121(b). 
Any motion for leave to file a surrebuttal case is due June 4, 2021. 
Any response to such motion is due June 7, 2021. Any surrebuttal case, 
consisting of any testimony and all materials in support of the case, 
must be filed by June 9, 2021.

K. Hearing Dates

    If no party files a notice of intent to file a rebuttal case by May 
28, 2021, then the hearing of the Postal Service's direct case shall 
begin June 2, 2021 and end June 4, 2021. If any party files a notice of 
intent to file a rebuttal case by May 28, 2021 but no surrebuttal 
testimony will be presented, then the hearing of the Postal Service's 
direct case shall begin June 9, 2021, and the hearing of the rebuttal 
case shall end June 11, 2021. If any party files a notice of intent to 
file a rebuttal case by May 28, 2021, and the Commission approves the 
presentation of surrebuttal testimony, then the hearing of the Postal 
Service's direct case shall begin June 14, 2021, and the hearing of the 
surrebuttal case shall end June 16, 2021.

L. Presentation of Evidence and Testimony

    Evidence and testimony shall be in writing and may be accompanied 
by a trial brief or legal memoranda. Id. section 3020.122(e)(1). 
Whenever possible and particularly for factual or statistical evidence, 
written cross-examination will be used in lieu of oral cross-
examination. Id. section 3020.122(e)(2).\12\ Oral cross-examination 
will be allowed to clarify written cross-examination and/or to test 
assumptions, conclusions, or other opinion evidence. Id. section 
3020.122(e)(3). Any party that intends to conduct oral cross-
examination shall file a notice of intent to do so at least 3 days 
before the announced appearance of the witness. Id. section 
3020.122(e)(3).
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    \12\ This rule also requires designation of written cross-
examination and provision of hard copies. 39 CFR 3020.122(e)(2). The 
Commission or presiding officer shall provide guidance on 
designation for a virtual hearing if necessary and in advance of 
such hearing.
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M. Presentation of Argument

1. General Procedures
    Any person that has intervened in Docket No. N2021-1 (and thereby 
formally became a party to this proceeding) may submit written argument 
by filing a brief or a statement of position; they also may request to 
present oral argument at the hearing. See 39 CFR 3020.123, see also 39 
CFR 3010.142(a). Any person that has not intervened in Docket No. 
N2021-1 may submit written argument by filing a statement of position. 
See 39 CFR 3020.123(g), see also 39 CFR 3010.142(a).
2. Presentation of Written Argument
    A brief is a written document that addresses relevant legal and 
evidentiary issues for the Commission to consider and must adhere to 
the requirements of 39 CFR 3020.123(a)-(f). A statement of position is 
a less formal version of a brief that describes the filer's position on 
the Request and the information on the existing record in support of 
that position. See 39 CFR 3020.123(g).

[[Page 22723]]

a. Briefing Deadlines
    Assuming that no rebuttal case is filed, initial briefs are due 
June 11, 2021, and reply briefs are due June 18, 2021. If any party 
files a notice confirming its intent to file a rebuttal case by May 28, 
2021, then the briefing schedule may be revised.
b. Deadline for Statement of Position
    Any interested person, including anyone that has not filed a notice 
of intervention and become a party to this proceeding, may file a 
statement of position. See 39 CFR 3020.123(g), see also 39 CFR 
3010.142(a). A statement of position is limited to the existing record 
and may not include any new evidentiary material. See 39 CFR 
3020.123(g). Filings styled as a brief or comments, conforming with the 
content and timing requirements, shall be deemed statements of 
positions. Any statement of position is due June 11, 2021.
3. Request To Present Oral Argument
    Oral argument has not historically been part of N-cases; the 
Commission would only grant a request to present oral argument upon an 
appropriate showing of need by the presenting party. See Order No. 2080 
at 53. The Commission or presiding officer shall set a deadline for 
filing a request to present oral argument at the hearing.

N. The Commission's Advisory Opinion

    Unless there is a determination of good cause for extension, the 
Commission shall issue its advisory opinion within 90 days of the 
filing of the Request. See 39 CFR 3020.102(a). Therefore, absent a 
determination of good cause for extension, the Commission shall issue 
its advisory opinion in this proceeding by July 20, 2021. ``The opinion 
shall be in writing and shall include a certification by each 
Commissioner agreeing with the opinion that in his [or her] judgment 
the opinion conforms to the policies established under [title 39, 
United States Code].'' 39 U.S.C. 3661(c). The advisory opinion shall 
address the specific changes proposed by the Postal Service in the 
nature of postal services. See 39 CFR 3020.102(b).

O. Public Representative

    Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3661(c), Samuel M. Poole shall continue to 
serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to 
represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding. See 
Order No. 5848 at 4.

V. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:
    1. The procedural schedule for this proceeding is set forth below 
the signature of this order.
    2. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3661(c), Samuel M. Poole shall continue to 
serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to 
represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding.
    3. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the 
Federal Register.

    By the Commission.
Erica A. Barker,
Secretary.
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[FR Doc. 2021-08890 Filed 4-28-21; 8:45 am]
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