Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers, 43970-43978 [2021-16830]

Download as PDF 43970 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 86, No. 152 Wednesday, August 11, 2021 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [EERE–2021–BT–STD–0002] RIN 1904–AF14 Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comment. AGENCY: On October 30, 2020 and December 16, 2020, the Department of Energy (‘‘DOE’’) published two final rules that established product classes for residential dishwashers with a cycle time for the normal cycle of 60 minutes or less, top-loading residential clothes washers and consumer clothes dryers with a cycle time of less than 30 minutes, and front-loading residential clothes washers with a cycle time of less than 45 minutes (‘‘short-cycle product classes’’). The rules resulted in amended energy conservation standards for these short cycle product classes, without determining whether the relevant statutory criteria for amending standards were met. Thus, DOE proposes to revoke the two earlier rules that improperly promulgated standards and reinstate the prior product classes and applicable standards for these covered products. DOE requests written comment on its proposal and announces a public meeting to receive comment on this notice of proposed rulemaking (‘‘NOPR’’). jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: Meeting: DOE will hold a webinar on September 23, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. See section VI, ‘‘Public Participation,’’ for webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants. DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 Comments: DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this NOPR no later than October 12, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments for docket number EERE–2021–BT– STD–0002. Alternatively, interested persons may send an email to: ShortCycleProductClasses2021S TD0002@ee.doe.gov. Include the docket number EERE–2021–BT–STD–0002 and/or RIN 1904–AF14 in the subject line of the message. Although DOE has routinely accepted public comment submissions through a variety of mechanisms, including the Federal eRulemaking Portal, email, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier, the Department has found it necessary to make temporary modifications to the comment submission process in light of the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic. DOE is currently accepting only electronic submissions at this time. If a commenter finds that this change poses an undue hardship, please contact Appliance Standards Program staff at (202) 586– 1445 to discuss the need for alternative arrangements. Once the COVID–19 pandemic health emergency is resolved, DOE anticipates resuming all of its regular options for public comment submission, including postal mail and hand delivery/courier. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see section VI (Public Participation) of this document. Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure. The docket web page can be found at www.regulations.gov/docket/EERE2021-BT-STD-0002. The docket web page contains instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. See section VI PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 for information on how to submit comments through www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. Email: Appliance StandardsQuestions@ee.doe.gov. Ms. Kathryn McIntosh, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC–33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586– 2002. Email: Kathryn.McIntosh@ hq.doe.gov. For further information on how to submit a comment, review other public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, contact the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 287–1445 or by email: ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Table of Contents I. Summary of Proposed Rulemaking II. Authority and Background A. Authority B. Background 1. Residential Dishwashers 2. Residential Clothes Washers and Consumer Clothes Dryers III. Discussion IV. Conclusion V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 VI. Public Participation A. Participation in the Webinar B. Procedure for Submitting Prepared General Statements for Distribution C. Conduct of the Webinar D. Submission of Comments VII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Summary of Proposed Rulemaking In October and December of 2020, DOE published two final rules that E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules established new short-cycle product classes for residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. 85 FR 68723 (Oct. 30, 2020) (‘‘October 2020 Final Rule’’); 85 FR 81359 (Dec. 16, 2020) (‘‘December 2020 Final Rule’’). While these short-cycle products had previously been subject to energy and water conservation standards, the October and December 2020 Final Rules stated that short-cycle product classes were no longer subject to any water or energy conservation standards. 85 FR 68723, 68742; 85 FR 81359, 81376. As a result, short-cycle products are currently allowed to consume unlimited amounts of energy and water. In amending the standards for shortcycle products to allow for unlimited water and energy usage, DOE failed to consider whether the amended standards met the criteria in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (‘‘EPCA’’),1 for issuing an amended standard. Notably, among other things, DOE did not determine, as required, that the amended standards for short-cycle products were designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). As such, DOE proposes to revoke the two earlier rules that improperly promulgated standards and to reinstate the prior product classes and applicable standards for these covered products. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS II. Authority and Background A. Authority EPCA authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a number of consumer products and certain industrial equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6291– 6317) Title III, Part B 2 of EPCA established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, which sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. These covered products include residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers, the subjects of this document. 42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(6), (7), and (8), respectively. The energy conservation program under EPCA consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) the establishment of Federal energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement 1 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended by the Energy Act of 2020, Public Law 116–260 (Dec. 27, 2020). 2 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 procedures. Relevant provisions of EPCA specifically include definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293), labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294), energy conservation standards (42 U.S.C. 6295), and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296). DOE must follow specific statutory criteria for prescribing new or amended standards for covered products, including residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. For instance, any new or amended standard for a covered product must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). In deciding whether a standard is economically justified, DOE must determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed its burdens by, to the greatest extent possible, considering the following seven statutory factors: (1) The economic impact of the standard on manufacturers and consumers of the products subject to the standard; (2) the savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average life of the covered products in the type (or class) compared to any increase in the price, initial charges, or maintenance expenses for the covered products that are likely to result from the standard; (3) the total projected amount of energy (or as applicable, water) savings likely to result directly from imposition of the standard; (4) any lessening of the utility or the performance of the covered products likely to result from imposition of the standard; (5) the impact of any lessening of competition, as determined in writing by the Attorney General, that is likely to result from the imposition of the standard; (6) the need for national energy and water conservation; and (7) other factors the Secretary of Energy (‘‘Secretary’’) considers relevant. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(I)–(VII). Furthermore, the new or amended standard must result in a significant conservation of energy. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B). EPCA also includes what is known as an ‘‘anti-backsliding’’ provision, which prevents the Secretary from prescribing any amended standard that either increases the maximum allowable energy use or decreases the minimum required energy efficiency of a covered product. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(1). Additionally, when prescribing an energy conservation standard, EPCA requires DOE to specify a different standard level than that which applies generally to a type or class of products PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43971 for any group of covered products that have the same function or intended use, if DOE determines that products within such group: (A) Consume a different kind of energy from that consumed by other covered products within such type (or class); or (B) have a capacity or other performance-related feature which other products within such type (or class) do not have and such feature justifies a higher or lower standard. 42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(1). In determining whether a performance-related feature justifies such a different standard for a group of products, DOE must consider such factors as the utility to the consumer of the feature and other factors DOE deems appropriate. Id. Any rule prescribing such a ‘‘higher or lower standard’’ must include an explanation of the basis on which such higher or lower level was established. 42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(2). B. Background As noted earlier, DOE’s October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules amended the applicable energy and water conservation standards for residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers when they established new shortcycle product classes for those products. Creation of those short-cycle classes effectively removed the energy and water conservation standards that had previously applied to those products. As discussed in greater detail below, the 2020 rulemakings failed to consider the criteria necessary for an amended standards rulemaking as required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended, which directs DOE to consider whether the amended standards were designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). 1. Residential Dishwashers Prior to the October 2020 Final Rule, dishwashers were divided into two product classes by size: Standard and compact. Standard size dishwashers had a capacity equal to or greater than eight place settings plus six serving pieces, while compact size dishwashers had a capacity less than eight place settings plus six serving pieces. 10 CFR 430.32(f)(1) (as effective October 29, 2020). Standard size dishwashers, regardless of normal cycle time,3 had to 3 ‘‘Normal cycle’’ is the cycle type, including washing and drying temperature options, recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions for daily, regular, or typical use to completely wash a full load of normally soiled dishes, including the E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM Continued 11AUP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 43972 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules use less than 307 kwh/year and 5.0 gallons per cycle, while compact dishwashers, regardless of normal cycle time, had to use less than 222 kwh/year and 3.5 gallons per cycle. On October 30, 2020, DOE published a final rule that replaced an existing product class for dishwashers with two new product classes based on cycle time and amended the standards for such dishwashers. 85 FR 68723. DOE initiated the rulemaking in response to a petition for rulemaking submitted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (‘‘CEI’’) in March 2018, in which CEI asserted that there was considerable consumer disatisfaction with the dramatically longer cycle time for dishwashers under the then-current energy conservation standards. 83 FR 17768 (Apr. 24, 2018). CEI requested that DOE establish a new product class for dishwashers with a cycle time of less than one hour. Id. at 83 FR 17771. In the October 2020 Final Rule, DOE stated that a product class of standard size residential dishwashers with a normal cycle of 60 minutes or less would allow manufacturers to provide consumers with the option to purchase a dishwasher that maximizes the consumer utility of a short-cycle time to wash and dry dishes. 85 FR 68723, 68724. DOE also stated that a product class for which the normal cycle time is 60 minutes or less could spur manufacturer innovation to generate additional product offerings to fill the market gap that exists for these products. Id. at 85 FR 68726. DOE determined that, under 42 U.S.C. 6295(q), dishwashers with a normal cycle time of 60 minutes or less have a performance-related feature that other dishwashers lack and that this feature justifies a separate product class subject to a higher or lower standard than the standards currently applicable to the existing product classes of dishwashers. Id. As a result, DOE replaced the existing product class for standard dishwashers with two new product classes for standard size dishwashers based on normal cycle time. DOE kept the existing energy conservation standards for standard size dishwashers with a normal cycle time greater than 60 minutes at the level previously prescribed for the product class that covered all standard size dishwashers. Id. at 85 FR 68741. DOE also stated that standard size dishwashers with a normal cycle time of 60 minutes or less were not subject to any energy or water conservation standards, thus allowing for unlimited water and energy usage. power-dry setting. 10 CFR part 430 subpart B appendix C1 (‘‘Appendix C1’’), section 1.12. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 Id. at 85 FR 68742. DOE stated it would consider further amending energy and water conservation standards for standard size dishwashers with a normal cycle time of 60 minutes or less in a future rulemaking. Id. at 85 FR 68724. On December 29, 2020, the National Resources Defense Council (‘‘NRDC’’), Sierra Club, Consumer Federation of America, and Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to review and set aside the October 2020 Final Rule. Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, No. 20–4256 (2d Cir.). On the same day, the States of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York filed a separate petition for review of the October 2020 Final Rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. California v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, No. 20–4285 (2d Cir.). These two cases have been consolidated in the Second Circuit and have been placed in abeyance pending DOE’s review of the October 2020 Final Rule. Further, on March 1, 2021, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (‘‘AHAM’’) petitioned DOE to reconsider the October 2020 Final Rule that established and amended standards for short-cycle residential dishwashers. ‘‘AHAM petition for reconsideration-1’’; Docket EERE–2021–BT–STD–0002, No. 001 at p. 2.4 5 On April 28, 2021, the NRDC, Sierra Club, the Consumer Federation of America, and the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants (‘‘NRDC et al.’’) also submitted a petition for DOE to repeal the same October 2020 Final Rule (‘‘NRDC petition for reconsideration’’).6 The petition challenges the legality of the final rule, 4 AHAM submitted its petition pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (‘‘APA’’), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq., which provides among other things, that ‘‘[e]ach agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.’’ 5 U.S.C. 553(e). The AHAM petition is available in the docket to this rulemaking, EERE–2021–BT–STD–0002, at https:// www.regulations.gov. 5 A notation in this form provides a reference for information that is in the specified docket, which is available at https://www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement preceding the reference is included in document number 001 of that docket at page 2. 6 NRDC also submitted its petition pursuant to the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553(e), to repeal the final rule. The NRDC petition is available in the docket to this rulemaking, EERE–2021–BT–STD–0002, at https:// www.regulations.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 stating that the creation of the new product class violates the core requirements of EPCA. NRDC petition for reconsideration, Docket EERE–2021– BT–STD–0002, No. 003 at 2. The petition contends that addressing those defects is critical to preventing such an error from being repeated in the future. 2. Residential Clothes Washers and Consumer Clothes Dryers Prior to the December 2020 Final Rule, product classes for residential clothes washers were based on clothing container capacity and axis of loading— i.e., front-loading or top-loading. 10 CFR 430.32(g)(4) (Dec. 15, 2020). And, prior to the December 2020 Final Rule, product classes for consumer clothes dryers were based on fuel source (120V electric, 240V electric, or gas), venting configuration (vented or ventless), capacity, and integration with a clothes washer (combination washer-dryer). 10 CFR 430.32(h)(3) (as effective Dec. 15, 2020). Each product class was subject to a specific energy or energy and water conservation standard that applied regardless of the cycle time. In August 2020, DOE proposed to replace existing product classes with new product classes based on cycle time for top-loading standard residential clothes washers (30 minutes or greater; less than 30 minutes), front-loading standard residential clothes washers (45 minutes or greater; less than 45 minutes), and consumer clothes dryers (30 minutes or greater; less than 30 minutes). 85 FR 49297, 49311–49312 (Aug. 13, 2020) (‘‘August 2020 NOPR’’). Unlike the dishwasher product class rulemaking, this rulemaking was not initiated in response to a petition, but instead relied on particular similarities between consumer use of dishwashers and clothes washers and clothes dryers as the basis for proposing the rulemaking. Id. at 85 FR 49298. Shortly thereafter, on December 16, 2020, DOE published the December 2020 Final Rule that replaced the product classes with new product classes based on cycle time and kept the existing energy conservation standards for the new product classes with longer cycle times, while declaring the short-cycle product classes are not currently subject to any energy or water conservation standards, thus allowing for unlimited water and energy usage. 85 FR 81359, 81375– 81376. On January 19, 2021, the States of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the City of E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules New York filed a petition for review of the December 2020 Final Rule in the Second Circuit. California v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, No. 21–108 (2d Cir.). Shortly thereafter, two other groups of petitioners filed petitions for review of the December 2020 Final Rule. The Alliance for Water Efficiency, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Environment America (collectively, ‘‘AWE’’) filed a petition for review of that final rule in the Seventh Circuit on January 17, 2021, and the Sierra Club filed a petition for review of that final rule in the Ninth Circuit on February 12, 2021. Alliance for Water Efficiency v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, No. 21–428 (2d Cir.); Sierra Club v. U.S. Dep’t of Energy, No. 21–564 (2nd Cir.). After transfer of the Seventh and Ninth Circuit petitions for review, all three cases were consolidated in the Second Circuit. In its court filings, AWE has raised the following issues with the December 2020 Final Rule: that DOE lacks authority to exempt a product group from water conservation standards; DOE failed to comply with the requirements for a section 325(q) rule; DOE violated EPCA’s anti-backsliding provision; and DOE violated the National Environmental Policy Act. Briefing on the merits is currently stayed through October 1, 2021, while DOE reviews the December 2020 Final Rule. On April 2, 2021, AHAM further petitioned DOE to reconsider the December 2020 Final Rule that established and amended standards for short-cycle residential clothes washers and dryers. ‘‘AHAM petition for reconsideration-2’’; Docket EERE–2021– BT–STD–0002, No. 002 at 2.7 AHAM argued that the short-cycle product classes were neither justified nor needed for three reasons. First, AHAM stated that many clothes washers and clothes dryers already offer cycles that are within the December 2020 Final Rule’s cycle time goal and that meet the existing standards. Id. at 7–8, 12. Second, AHAM argued that the cycle times in the December 2020 Final Rule were arbitrary because DOE lacked the data necessary to demonstrate a consumer desire for the times adopted. Id. at 13. Third, AHAM specified that establishing the separate product classes would likely cause negative, unintended consequences such as strand manufacturer investments; create new regulation; introduce manufacturer uncertainty until standards for the new 7 As with its first petition, AHAM submitted its second petition pursuant to the APA. The AHAM petition for reconsideration-2 is available in the docket to this rulemaking, EERE–2021–BT–STD– 0002, at https://www.regulations.gov. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 product classes are developed; increase test burden; and potentially cause disharmony in North America for clothes washer and clothes dryer standards. Id. at 8–9, 16–18. For these reasons, AHAM requested that DOE withdraw the December 2020 Final Rule. Id. at 19. Like its petition regarding the shortcycle product class for residential dishwashers, AHAM requested that, while DOE considers its petition, DOE stay the effectiveness of the final rule as it allows for unlimited energy and water use by these products and issue a statement to the market that these new product classes cannot reliably be used as the basis for new products. Id. at 2. III. Discussion In issuing the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules, DOE relied on its authority under EPCA to establish product classes with higher or lower levels of energy use or efficiency when prescribing, by rule, an energy conservation standard. 42 U.S.C. 6295(q). In so doing, the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules also amended the energy conservation standards for short-cycle products by stating they were no longer subject to energy and water conservation standards. 85 FR 68733; 85 FR 81366. But the 2020 Final Rules did not address any of EPCA’s requirements for amending an energy conservation standard, including an analysis of whether the amended standards are designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A); see 85 FR 81361. DOE also did not, among other things, adequately consider whether the amended standards violated EPCA’s prohibition against prescribing an amended standard that increases the maximum allowable energy use or decreases the energy efficiency of a covered product. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(1). Because the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules were contrary to EPCA, DOE proposes to revoke them through this rulemaking. As an initial matter, as support for establishing product classes without associated energy conservation standards, the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules asserted that those rules were simply deferring the issuance of new conservation standards. 85 FR 68723, 68733; 85 FR 81359, 81368. EPCA does not, however, allow DOE to simply defer the establishment of new energy conservation standards for regulated products or equipment that already have energy conservation PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43973 standards. Even if EPCA authorized deferrals in some instances, any creation of the new product classes here would have needed to follow the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6295(q), which frames the development of a product class within the context of an energy conservation standard rulemaking. But the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules did not develop the new product classes in the context of an energy conservation standard rulemaking. Instead, by stating that the new product classes were not subject to any energy conservation standards without following 42 U.S.C. 6295(q), the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules were an amendment in violation of EPCA. EPCA requires, as stated previously, that an amended conservation standard must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). The plain meaning of the statutory term ‘‘amend’’ is to ‘‘alter formally by adding, deleting or rephrasing.’’ (American Heritage Dictionary for the English Language 42 (1981)). As explained above, the 2020 Final Rules altered the existing energy and water conservation standards for the short cycle products by removing the standards applicable to those products to allow for unlimited energy and water use. This activity clearly fits within this scope of the definition of ‘‘amend’’ because DOE deleted the applicable standards altogether. Even assuming that EPCA were ambiguous in this regard, DOE’s position—that the 2020 Final Rules improperly amended the energy and water conservation standards for the short-cycle products—is the better understanding of the statute. Prior to the 2020 Final Rules, the short-cycle products belonged to product classes subject to specific energy and/or water conservation standards. The 2020 Final Rules separated the products that met the classification for the new short-cycle product classes from their regulated counterparts to establish product classes not subject to any standard and that could operate with unlimited energy and water use. Those products now do not have any applicable standard, which effectively amended the prior energy or water conservation standards for those products to zero. But the 2020 Final Rules did so without considering any of EPCA’s requirements for such action. Relatedly, the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules inaccurately cited DOE’s 2007 distribution transformer and 2009 beverage vending machine (‘‘BVM’’) energy conservation standards rulemakings as support. 85 FR E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 43974 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules 68723, 68733; 85 FR 81361, 81368. In the 2007 distribution transformers rulemaking, DOE established a separate equipment class for underground mining distribution transformers without establishing associated energy conservation standards. 72 FR 58190 (Oct. 12, 2007). Similarly, in the 2009 BVM rulemaking, DOE established a separate equipment class for combination BVMs without establishing associated energy conservation standards. 74 FR 44914 (Aug. 31, 2009). But the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules failed to note the key distinction between these examples and the short-cycle product class rulemakings. Both the 2007 and 2009 rulemakings were the first instance of energy conservation standards being promulgated for distribution transformers and BVMs. As such, not setting standards for those equipment classes simply maintained the status quo—that is, underground mining distribution transformers and combination BVMs were not subject to energy use or efficiency restrictions either before or after those rulemakings. As a result, DOE was not required to satisfy any of the criteria in EPCA for amending a standard for these equipment classes. In contrast, short-cycle residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers were all subject to energy conservation standards prior to the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules. By stating that short-cycle products were no longer subject to energy or water conservation standards, the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules changed the status quo in a direction that would allow for unlimited energy and water use by these short-cycle products. Thus, DOE was required to satisfy the requirements in EPCA for issuing an amended standard. In addition, DOE has made a policy judgment that EPCA’s express purposes of energy and water conservation (42 U.S.C. 6201(4), (5), (8)) would be thwarted if DOE could avoid restrictions on amending existing standards by nominally characterizing a regulatory change in the energy conservation standards applicable to a covered product as something other than an amendment. The October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules contravened EPCA by failing to consider these criteria when they amended the existing standards for short-cycle products in the 2020 Final Rules. This review is also consistent with the direction provided in Executive Order 13990 of January 20, 2021, ‘‘Protecting Public Health and the Environment and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.’’ 86 FR 7037 (Jan. 25, 2021). While E.O. 13990 triggered the Department’s re-evaluation, DOE is relying on the analysis presented in this NOPR, based upon EPCA, to re-examine the October and December 2020 Final Rules. IV. Conclusion After careful consideration, DOE proposes to revoke the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules that improperly amended standards and to reinstate the prior product classes and applicable standards for these covered products. DOE acknowledges that these rules will remain in effect while the Department considers whether to revoke the earlier rulemakings through notice and comment. V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (‘‘OIRA’’) in the Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) has waived review of this rule pursuant to Executive Order (‘‘E.O.’’) 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review.’’ B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (‘‘IRFA’’) for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by E.O. 13272, ‘‘Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,’’ 67 FR 53461 (Aug. 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General Counsel’s website (https://energy.gov/ gc/office-general-counsel). DOE has prepared the following IRFA for the products that are the subject of this rulemaking. DOE reviewed this proposed rule under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. DOE has initially concluded that this rule, if made final, would not have a significant impact on a substantial PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows: The Small Business Administration (‘‘SBA’’) considers a business entity to be a small business, if, together with its affiliates, it employs less than a threshold number of workers or earns less than the average annual receipts specified in 13 CFR part 121. The threshold values set forth in these regulations use size standards and codes established by the North American Industry Classification System (‘‘NAICS’’) that are available at https:// www.sba.gov/document/supporttablesize-standards. The threshold number for NAICS classification code 335220, ‘‘Major Household Appliance Manufacturing,’’ which includes residential dishwasher, residential clothes washer, and consumer clothes dryer manufacturers, is 1,500 employees. Most of the companies that manufacture residential dishwashers are large multinational corporations. Most of the manufacturers supplying residential clothes washers and consumer clothes dryers into the United States are large multinational corporations. DOE collected data from DOE’s compliance certification database 8 to identify potential manufacturers of residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. DOE then consulted publicly available data, such as Dun and Bradstreet, to determine whether they meet the SBA’s definition of a ‘‘small business manufacturer’’ and have their manufacturing facilities located within the United States. Based on this analysis, DOE identified two manufacturers of residential dishwashers that are potential small businesses, but initially determined that this proposed rule would not impose any compliance or other requirements on any manufacturers of residential dishwashers, including small businesses. This rulemaking would eliminate the separate product class for residential dishwashers with a ‘‘normal’’ cycle of 60 minutes or less from washing through drying as described in the preamble. As discussed, DOE did not identify any residential dishwashers on the market— let alone any manufactured by small businesses—that offer a normal cycle of less than 60 minutes from washing through drying. DOE did not identify any small businesses that manufacture residential 8 https://www.regulations.doe.gov/ certificationdata. E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules clothes washers or consumer clothes dryers. As a result, DOE certifies that the proposed rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. DOE will transmit the certification and supporting statement of factual basis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b). jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Manufacturers of covered products/ equipment, such as residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers, must certify to DOE that their products comply with any applicable energy conservation standards. In certifying compliance, manufacturers must test their products according to the DOE test procedures for residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers, including any amendments adopted for those test procedures. DOE has established regulations for the certification and recordkeeping requirements for all covered consumer products and commercial equipment, including residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. 76 FR 12422 (Mar. 7, 2011); 80 FR 5099 (Jan. 30, 2015). The collectionof-information requirement for the certification and recordkeeping is subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (‘‘PRA’’). This requirement has been approved by OMB under OMB control number 1910–1400. Public reporting burden for the certification is estimated to average 35 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 DOE is analyzing this proposed regulation in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (‘‘NEPA’’) and DOE’s NEPA implementing regulations (10 CFR part 1021). DOE’s regulations include a categorical exclusion for rulemakings interpreting or amending VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 an existing rule or regulation that does not change the environmental effect of the rule or regulation being amended. 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, appendix A5. DOE anticipates that this rulemaking qualifies for categorical exclusion A5 because it is an interpretive rulemaking that does not change the environmental effect of the rule and otherwise meets the requirements for application of a categorical exclusion. See 10 CFR 1021.410. DOE will complete its NEPA review before issuing the final rule. E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 E.O. 13132, ‘‘Federalism,’’ 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 10, 1999), imposes certain requirements on Federal agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE has examined this proposed rule and has tentatively determined that it would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy conservation for the products that are the subject of this proposed rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. 42 U.S.C. 6297. No further action is required by Executive Order 13132. F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of E.O. 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform,’’ imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, (2) write regulations to minimize litigation, (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard, and (4) promote simplification and burden PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43975 reduction. 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996). Regarding the review required by section 3(a), section 3(b) of E.O. 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any, (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation, (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction, (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any, (5) adequately defines key terms, and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this proposed rule meets the relevant standards of E.O. 12988. G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (‘‘UMRA’’) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104–4, section 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. 2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b). The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed ‘‘significant intergovernmental mandate,’’ and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect them. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820. DOE’s policy statement is also available at https://energy.gov/sites/ prod/files/gcprod/documents/umra_ 97.pdf. E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 43976 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules This proposed rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditures of $100 million or more in any one year, so these requirements under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act do not apply. H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Public Law 105–277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 Pursuant to E.O. 12630, ‘‘Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights,’’ 53 FR 8859 (Mar. 15, 1988), DOE has determined that this proposed rule would not result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for Federal agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under information quality guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB’s guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE’s guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). Pursuant to OMB Memorandum M–19–15, Improving Implementation of the Information Quality Act (April 24, 2019), DOE published updated guidelines which are available at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/ 2019/12/f70/ DOE%20Final%20Updated %20IQA%20Guidelines%20Dec% 202019.pdf. DOE has reviewed this proposed rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines. K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 E.O. 13211, ‘‘Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,’’ 66 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OIRA at OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. A ‘‘significant energy action’’ is defined as any action by an agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that (1) is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use. This proposed rule, which would eliminate certain product classes for residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy and, therefore, is not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects on this proposed rule. VI. Public Participation A. Participation in the Webinar The time and date the webinar meeting are listed in the DATES section at the beginning of this document. Webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE’s website:https:// www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ appliance_standards/standards.aspx? productid=38&action=viewlive. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software. B. Procedure for Submitting Prepared General Statements for Distribution Any person who has an interest in the topics addressed in this NOPR, or who is representative of a group or class of persons that has an interest in these issues, may request an opportunity to make an oral presentation at the webinar. Such persons may submit requests to speak by email to ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Persons who wish to speak should include with their request a computer file in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or text (ASCII) file format that briefly describes the nature of their PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 interest in this rulemaking and the topics they wish to discuss. Such persons should also provide a daytime telephone number where they can be reached. Persons requesting to speak should briefly describe the nature of their interest in this rulemaking and provide a telephone number for contact. DOE requests persons selected to make an oral presentation to submit an advance copy of their statements at least two weeks before the webinar. At its discretion, DOE may permit persons who cannot supply an advance copy of their statement to participate, if those persons have made advance alternative arrangements with the Building Technologies Office. As necessary, requests to give an oral presentation should ask for such alternative arrangements. C. Conduct of the Webinar DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the webinar/public meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6306). A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of presentations and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the webinar. There shall not be discussion of proprietary information, costs or prices, market share, or other commercial matters regulated by U.S. antitrust laws. After the webinar and until the end of the comment period, interested parties may submit further comments on the proceedings and any aspect of the rulemaking. The webinar will be conducted in an informal, conference style. DOE will present summaries of comments received before the webinar, allow time for prepared general statements by participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views on issues affecting this rulemaking. Each participant will be allowed to make a general statement (within time limits determined by DOE), before the discussion of specific topics. DOE will permit, as time permits, other participants to comment briefly on any general statements. At the end of all prepared statements on a topic, DOE will permit participants to clarify their statements briefly. Participants should be prepared to answer questions by DOE and by other participants concerning these issues. DOE representatives may also ask E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS questions of participants concerning other matters relevant to this rulemaking. The official conducting the webinar/public meeting will accept additional comments or questions from those attending, as time permits. The presiding official will announce any further procedural rules or modification of the above procedures that may be needed for the proper conduct of the webinar. A transcript of the webinar will be included in the docket, which can be viewed as described in the Docket section at the beginning of this NOPR. In addition, any person may buy a copy of the transcript from the transcribing reporter. D. Submission of Comments DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this proposed rule before or after the public meeting, but no later than the date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this proposed rule. Interested parties may submit comments, data, and other information using any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this document. Submitting comments via https:// www.regulations.gov. The https:// www.regulations.gov web page will require you to provide your name and contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment. However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you include it in the comment itself or in any documents attached to your comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your comment. Persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any documents submitted with the comments. Do not submit to https:// www.regulations.gov information for which disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as Confidential Business Information (‘‘CBI’’)). Comments VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 submitted through https:// www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through the website will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business Information section. DOE processes submissions made through https://www.regulations.gov before posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of being submitted. However, if large volumes of comments are being processed simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to several weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that https:// www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment. Submitting comments via email. Comments and documents submitted via email will also be posted to https:// www.regulations.gov. If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact information in a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any comments. Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that are not secured, that are written in English, and that are free of any defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature of the author. Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters’ names compiled into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting time. Confidential Business Information. Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email two well-marked copies: One copy of the document marked ‘‘confidential’’ including all the information believed to be confidential, PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43977 and one copy of the document marked ‘‘non-confidential’’ with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination. It is DOE’s policy that all comments may be included in the public docket, without change and as received, including any personal information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be exempt from public disclosure). VII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this notice of proposed rulemaking. List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 430 Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses. Signing Authority This document of the Department of Energy was signed on July 30, 2021, by Dr. Kathleen B. Hogan, Acting Under Secretary for Energy and Science, pursuant to delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. That document with the original signature and date is maintained by DOE. For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the undersigned DOE Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to sign and submit the document in electronic format for publication, as an official document of the Department of Energy. This administrative process in no way alters the legal effect of this document upon publication in the Federal Register. Signed in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2021. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, DOE proposes to amend part 430 of chapter II, subchapter D, of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 430—ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS 1. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6291–6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1 43978 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / Proposed Rules 2. Section 430.32 is amended by: a. Removing paragraph (f)(1)(iii); and b. Revising paragraphs (g)(4) and (h)(3). The revisions read as follows: ■ ■ ■ § 430.32 Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates. * * * (g) * * * * * (4) Clothes washers manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, shall have an Integrated Modified Energy Factor no less than, and an Integrated Water Factor no greater than: Integrated modified energy factor (cu.ft./kWh/ cycle) Product class (i) Top-loading, Compact ......................................................................................................................................... (less than 1.6 ft3 capacity) ....................................................................................................................................... (ii) Top-loading, Standard ........................................................................................................................................ (1.6 ft3 or greater capacity) ..................................................................................................................................... (iii) Front-loading, Compact ..................................................................................................................................... (less than 1.6 ft3 capacity) ....................................................................................................................................... (iv) Front-loading, Standard ..................................................................................................................................... (1.6 ft3 or greater capacity) ..................................................................................................................................... (h) * * * 1.15 12.0 1.57 6.5 1.13 8.3 1.84 4.7 (3) Clothes dryers manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have a combined energy factor no less than: Combined energy factor (lbs/kWh) Product class (i) Vented Electric, Standard (4.4 ft3 or greater capacity) .................................................................................................................. (ii) Vented Electric, Compact (120V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) ....................................................................................................... (iii) Vented Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) ...................................................................................................... (iv) Vented Gas .................................................................................................................................................................................... (v) Ventless Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3 capacity) .................................................................................................... (vi) Ventless Electric, Combination Washer-Dryer .............................................................................................................................. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2021–16830 Filed 8–10–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA–397] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Mesocarb in Schedule I Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Drug Enforcement Administration proposes placing the substance mesocarb (chemical name: Nphenyl-N′-(3-(1-phenylpropan-2-yl)1,2,3-oxadiazol-3-ium-5yl)carbamimidate), including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This action is being taken to enable the United States to meet its obligations under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. If finalized, this action would impose the regulatory jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 Integrated water factor (gal/cycle/ cu.ft.) 17:48 Aug 10, 2021 Jkt 253001 controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possess), or propose to handle, mesocarb. DATES: Comments must be submitted electronically or postmarked, on or before October 12, 2021. Interested persons may file a request for hearing or waiver of hearing pursuant to 21 CFR 1308.44 and in accordance with 21 CFR 1316.45 and/or 1316.47, as applicable. Requests for hearing and waivers of an opportunity for a hearing or to participate in a hearing, together with a written statement of position on the matters of fact and law asserted in the hearing, must be received on or before September 10, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested persons may file written comments on this proposal in accordance with 21 CFR 1308.43(g). Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period. To ensure PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 3.73 3.61 3.27 3.30 2.55 2.08 proper handling of comments, please reference ‘‘Docket No. DEA–397’’ on all electronic and written correspondence, including any attachments. • Electronic comments: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) encourages that all comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, which provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Please go to http:// www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. Upon completion of your submission, you will receive a Comment Tracking Number. Please be aware that submitted comments are not instantaneously available for public view on http://www.regulations.gov. If you have received a Comment Tracking Number, your comment has been submitted successfully, and there is no need to resubmit the same comment. • Paper comments: Paper comments that duplicate electronic submissions are not necessary and are discouraged. Should you wish to mail a paper comment in lieu of an electronic comment, send via regular or express mail to: Drug Enforcement E:\FR\FM\11AUP1.SGM 11AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 152 (Wednesday, August 11, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43970-43978]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-16830]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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


Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 11, 2021 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 43970]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002]
RIN 1904-AF14


Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential 
Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: On October 30, 2020 and December 16, 2020, the Department of 
Energy (``DOE'') published two final rules that established product 
classes for residential dishwashers with a cycle time for the normal 
cycle of 60 minutes or less, top-loading residential clothes washers 
and consumer clothes dryers with a cycle time of less than 30 minutes, 
and front-loading residential clothes washers with a cycle time of less 
than 45 minutes (``short-cycle product classes''). The rules resulted 
in amended energy conservation standards for these short cycle product 
classes, without determining whether the relevant statutory criteria 
for amending standards were met. Thus, DOE proposes to revoke the two 
earlier rules that improperly promulgated standards and reinstate the 
prior product classes and applicable standards for these covered 
products. DOE requests written comment on its proposal and announces a 
public meeting to receive comment on this notice of proposed rulemaking 
(``NOPR'').

DATES: Meeting: DOE will hold a webinar on September 23, 2021, from 
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. See section VI, ``Public Participation,'' for 
webinar registration information, participant instructions, and 
information about the capabilities available to webinar participants.
    Comments: DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding 
this NOPR no later than October 12, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments for docket number EERE-2021-BT-
STD-0002. Alternatively, interested persons may send an email to: 
[email protected]. Include the docket 
number EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002 and/or RIN 1904-AF14 in the subject line 
of the message.
    Although DOE has routinely accepted public comment submissions 
through a variety of mechanisms, including the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal, email, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier, the Department 
has found it necessary to make temporary modifications to the comment 
submission process in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. DOE is 
currently accepting only electronic submissions at this time. If a 
commenter finds that this change poses an undue hardship, please 
contact Appliance Standards Program staff at (202) 586-1445 to discuss 
the need for alternative arrangements. Once the COVID-19 pandemic 
health emergency is resolved, DOE anticipates resuming all of its 
regular options for public comment submission, including postal mail 
and hand delivery/courier.
    No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed 
instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the 
rulemaking process, see section VI (Public Participation) of this 
document.
    Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal 
Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, 
is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the 
docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all 
documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as 
information that is exempt from public disclosure.
    The docket web page can be found at www.regulations.gov/docket/EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002. The docket web page contains instructions on how 
to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. See 
section VI for information on how to submit comments through 
www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    Mr. John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. Email: 
[email protected].
    Ms. Kathryn McIntosh, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the 
General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 
20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2002. Email: 
[email protected].
    For further information on how to submit a comment, review other 
public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, 
contact the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 
287-1445 or by email: [email protected].

Table of Contents

I. Summary of Proposed Rulemaking
II. Authority and Background
    A. Authority
    B. Background
    1. Residential Dishwashers
    2. Residential Clothes Washers and Consumer Clothes Dryers
III. Discussion
IV. Conclusion
V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review
    A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866
    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132
    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988
    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act, 1999
    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630
    J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act, 2001
    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211
VI. Public Participation
    A. Participation in the Webinar
    B. Procedure for Submitting Prepared General Statements for 
Distribution
    C. Conduct of the Webinar
    D. Submission of Comments
VII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

I. Summary of Proposed Rulemaking

    In October and December of 2020, DOE published two final rules that

[[Page 43971]]

established new short-cycle product classes for residential 
dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. 
85 FR 68723 (Oct. 30, 2020) (``October 2020 Final Rule''); 85 FR 81359 
(Dec. 16, 2020) (``December 2020 Final Rule''). While these short-cycle 
products had previously been subject to energy and water conservation 
standards, the October and December 2020 Final Rules stated that short-
cycle product classes were no longer subject to any water or energy 
conservation standards. 85 FR 68723, 68742; 85 FR 81359, 81376. As a 
result, short-cycle products are currently allowed to consume unlimited 
amounts of energy and water.
    In amending the standards for short-cycle products to allow for 
unlimited water and energy usage, DOE failed to consider whether the 
amended standards met the criteria in the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act, as amended (``EPCA''),\1\ for issuing an amended 
standard. Notably, among other things, DOE did not determine, as 
required, that the amended standards for short-cycle products were 
designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that 
is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 
6295(o)(2)(A). As such, DOE proposes to revoke the two earlier rules 
that improperly promulgated standards and to reinstate the prior 
product classes and applicable standards for these covered products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute 
as amended by the Energy Act of 2020, Public Law 116-260 (Dec. 27, 
2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Authority and Background

A. Authority

    EPCA authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a number 
of consumer products and certain industrial equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6291-
6317) Title III, Part B \2\ of EPCA established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, which sets forth 
a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. These 
covered products include residential dishwashers, residential clothes 
washers, and consumer clothes dryers, the subjects of this document. 42 
U.S.C. 6292(a)(6), (7), and (8), respectively.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The energy conservation program under EPCA consists essentially of 
four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) the establishment of Federal 
energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement 
procedures. Relevant provisions of EPCA specifically include 
definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293), 
labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294), energy conservation standards (42 
U.S.C. 6295), and the authority to require information and reports from 
manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296).
    DOE must follow specific statutory criteria for prescribing new or 
amended standards for covered products, including residential 
dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. 
For instance, any new or amended standard for a covered product must be 
designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that 
is technologically feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 
6295(o)(2)(A). In deciding whether a standard is economically 
justified, DOE must determine whether the benefits of the standard 
exceed its burdens by, to the greatest extent possible, considering the 
following seven statutory factors: (1) The economic impact of the 
standard on manufacturers and consumers of the products subject to the 
standard; (2) the savings in operating costs throughout the estimated 
average life of the covered products in the type (or class) compared to 
any increase in the price, initial charges, or maintenance expenses for 
the covered products that are likely to result from the standard; (3) 
the total projected amount of energy (or as applicable, water) savings 
likely to result directly from imposition of the standard; (4) any 
lessening of the utility or the performance of the covered products 
likely to result from imposition of the standard; (5) the impact of any 
lessening of competition, as determined in writing by the Attorney 
General, that is likely to result from the imposition of the standard; 
(6) the need for national energy and water conservation; and (7) other 
factors the Secretary of Energy (``Secretary'') considers relevant. 42 
U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(I)-(VII). Furthermore, the new or amended 
standard must result in a significant conservation of energy. 42 U.S.C. 
6295(o)(3)(B).
    EPCA also includes what is known as an ``anti-backsliding'' 
provision, which prevents the Secretary from prescribing any amended 
standard that either increases the maximum allowable energy use or 
decreases the minimum required energy efficiency of a covered product. 
42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(1).
    Additionally, when prescribing an energy conservation standard, 
EPCA requires DOE to specify a different standard level than that which 
applies generally to a type or class of products for any group of 
covered products that have the same function or intended use, if DOE 
determines that products within such group: (A) Consume a different 
kind of energy from that consumed by other covered products within such 
type (or class); or (B) have a capacity or other performance-related 
feature which other products within such type (or class) do not have 
and such feature justifies a higher or lower standard. 42 U.S.C. 
6295(q)(1). In determining whether a performance-related feature 
justifies such a different standard for a group of products, DOE must 
consider such factors as the utility to the consumer of the feature and 
other factors DOE deems appropriate. Id. Any rule prescribing such a 
``higher or lower standard'' must include an explanation of the basis 
on which such higher or lower level was established. 42 U.S.C. 
6295(q)(2).

B. Background

    As noted earlier, DOE's October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules 
amended the applicable energy and water conservation standards for 
residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer 
clothes dryers when they established new short-cycle product classes 
for those products. Creation of those short-cycle classes effectively 
removed the energy and water conservation standards that had previously 
applied to those products. As discussed in greater detail below, the 
2020 rulemakings failed to consider the criteria necessary for an 
amended standards rulemaking as required by the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act, as amended, which directs DOE to consider whether the 
amended standards were designed to achieve the maximum improvement in 
energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically 
justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A).
1. Residential Dishwashers
    Prior to the October 2020 Final Rule, dishwashers were divided into 
two product classes by size: Standard and compact. Standard size 
dishwashers had a capacity equal to or greater than eight place 
settings plus six serving pieces, while compact size dishwashers had a 
capacity less than eight place settings plus six serving pieces. 10 CFR 
430.32(f)(1) (as effective October 29, 2020). Standard size 
dishwashers, regardless of normal cycle time,\3\ had to

[[Page 43972]]

use less than 307 kwh/year and 5.0 gallons per cycle, while compact 
dishwashers, regardless of normal cycle time, had to use less than 222 
kwh/year and 3.5 gallons per cycle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ ``Normal cycle'' is the cycle type, including washing and 
drying temperature options, recommended in the manufacturer's 
instructions for daily, regular, or typical use to completely wash a 
full load of normally soiled dishes, including the power-dry 
setting. 10 CFR part 430 subpart B appendix C1 (``Appendix C1''), 
section 1.12.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On October 30, 2020, DOE published a final rule that replaced an 
existing product class for dishwashers with two new product classes 
based on cycle time and amended the standards for such dishwashers. 85 
FR 68723. DOE initiated the rulemaking in response to a petition for 
rulemaking submitted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (``CEI'') 
in March 2018, in which CEI asserted that there was considerable 
consumer disatisfaction with the dramatically longer cycle time for 
dishwashers under the then-current energy conservation standards. 83 FR 
17768 (Apr. 24, 2018). CEI requested that DOE establish a new product 
class for dishwashers with a cycle time of less than one hour. Id. at 
83 FR 17771.
    In the October 2020 Final Rule, DOE stated that a product class of 
standard size residential dishwashers with a normal cycle of 60 minutes 
or less would allow manufacturers to provide consumers with the option 
to purchase a dishwasher that maximizes the consumer utility of a 
short-cycle time to wash and dry dishes. 85 FR 68723, 68724. DOE also 
stated that a product class for which the normal cycle time is 60 
minutes or less could spur manufacturer innovation to generate 
additional product offerings to fill the market gap that exists for 
these products. Id. at 85 FR 68726. DOE determined that, under 42 
U.S.C. 6295(q), dishwashers with a normal cycle time of 60 minutes or 
less have a performance-related feature that other dishwashers lack and 
that this feature justifies a separate product class subject to a 
higher or lower standard than the standards currently applicable to the 
existing product classes of dishwashers. Id. As a result, DOE replaced 
the existing product class for standard dishwashers with two new 
product classes for standard size dishwashers based on normal cycle 
time. DOE kept the existing energy conservation standards for standard 
size dishwashers with a normal cycle time greater than 60 minutes at 
the level previously prescribed for the product class that covered all 
standard size dishwashers. Id. at 85 FR 68741. DOE also stated that 
standard size dishwashers with a normal cycle time of 60 minutes or 
less were not subject to any energy or water conservation standards, 
thus allowing for unlimited water and energy usage. Id. at 85 FR 68742. 
DOE stated it would consider further amending energy and water 
conservation standards for standard size dishwashers with a normal 
cycle time of 60 minutes or less in a future rulemaking. Id. at 85 FR 
68724.
    On December 29, 2020, the National Resources Defense Council 
(``NRDC''), Sierra Club, Consumer Federation of America, and 
Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants petitioned the U.S. Court 
of Appeals for the Second Circuit to review and set aside the October 
2020 Final Rule. Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. Dep't of 
Energy, No. 20-4256 (2d Cir.). On the same day, the States of 
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New 
Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the 
City of New York filed a separate petition for review of the October 
2020 Final Rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 
California v. U.S. Dep't of Energy, No. 20-4285 (2d Cir.). These two 
cases have been consolidated in the Second Circuit and have been placed 
in abeyance pending DOE's review of the October 2020 Final Rule.
    Further, on March 1, 2021, the Association of Home Appliance 
Manufacturers (``AHAM'') petitioned DOE to reconsider the October 2020 
Final Rule that established and amended standards for short-cycle 
residential dishwashers. ``AHAM petition for reconsideration-1''; 
Docket EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002, No. 001 at p. 2.4 5 On April 
28, 2021, the NRDC, Sierra Club, the Consumer Federation of America, 
and the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants (``NRDC et al.'') 
also submitted a petition for DOE to repeal the same October 2020 Final 
Rule (``NRDC petition for reconsideration'').\6\ The petition 
challenges the legality of the final rule, stating that the creation of 
the new product class violates the core requirements of EPCA. NRDC 
petition for reconsideration, Docket EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002, No. 003 at 
2. The petition contends that addressing those defects is critical to 
preventing such an error from being repeated in the future.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ AHAM submitted its petition pursuant to the Administrative 
Procedure Act (``APA''), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq., which provides among 
other things, that ``[e]ach agency shall give an interested person 
the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a 
rule.'' 5 U.S.C. 553(e). The AHAM petition is available in the 
docket to this rulemaking, EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002, at https://www.regulations.gov.
    \5\ A notation in this form provides a reference for information 
that is in the specified docket, which is available at https://www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement 
preceding the reference is included in document number 001 of that 
docket at page 2.
    \6\ NRDC also submitted its petition pursuant to the APA, 5 
U.S.C. 553(e), to repeal the final rule. The NRDC petition is 
available in the docket to this rulemaking, EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002, 
at https://www.regulations.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Residential Clothes Washers and Consumer Clothes Dryers
    Prior to the December 2020 Final Rule, product classes for 
residential clothes washers were based on clothing container capacity 
and axis of loading--i.e., front-loading or top-loading. 10 CFR 
430.32(g)(4) (Dec. 15, 2020). And, prior to the December 2020 Final 
Rule, product classes for consumer clothes dryers were based on fuel 
source (120V electric, 240V electric, or gas), venting configuration 
(vented or ventless), capacity, and integration with a clothes washer 
(combination washer-dryer). 10 CFR 430.32(h)(3) (as effective Dec. 15, 
2020). Each product class was subject to a specific energy or energy 
and water conservation standard that applied regardless of the cycle 
time.
    In August 2020, DOE proposed to replace existing product classes 
with new product classes based on cycle time for top-loading standard 
residential clothes washers (30 minutes or greater; less than 30 
minutes), front-loading standard residential clothes washers (45 
minutes or greater; less than 45 minutes), and consumer clothes dryers 
(30 minutes or greater; less than 30 minutes). 85 FR 49297, 49311-49312 
(Aug. 13, 2020) (``August 2020 NOPR''). Unlike the dishwasher product 
class rulemaking, this rulemaking was not initiated in response to a 
petition, but instead relied on particular similarities between 
consumer use of dishwashers and clothes washers and clothes dryers as 
the basis for proposing the rulemaking. Id. at 85 FR 49298. Shortly 
thereafter, on December 16, 2020, DOE published the December 2020 Final 
Rule that replaced the product classes with new product classes based 
on cycle time and kept the existing energy conservation standards for 
the new product classes with longer cycle times, while declaring the 
short-cycle product classes are not currently subject to any energy or 
water conservation standards, thus allowing for unlimited water and 
energy usage. 85 FR 81359, 81375-81376.
    On January 19, 2021, the States of California, Connecticut, 
Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, 
Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the City of

[[Page 43973]]

New York filed a petition for review of the December 2020 Final Rule in 
the Second Circuit. California v. U.S. Dep't of Energy, No. 21-108 (2d 
Cir.). Shortly thereafter, two other groups of petitioners filed 
petitions for review of the December 2020 Final Rule. The Alliance for 
Water Efficiency, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and 
Environment America (collectively, ``AWE'') filed a petition for review 
of that final rule in the Seventh Circuit on January 17, 2021, and the 
Sierra Club filed a petition for review of that final rule in the Ninth 
Circuit on February 12, 2021. Alliance for Water Efficiency v. U.S. 
Dep't of Energy, No. 21-428 (2d Cir.); Sierra Club v. U.S. Dep't of 
Energy, No. 21-564 (2nd Cir.). After transfer of the Seventh and Ninth 
Circuit petitions for review, all three cases were consolidated in the 
Second Circuit. In its court filings, AWE has raised the following 
issues with the December 2020 Final Rule: that DOE lacks authority to 
exempt a product group from water conservation standards; DOE failed to 
comply with the requirements for a section 325(q) rule; DOE violated 
EPCA's anti-backsliding provision; and DOE violated the National 
Environmental Policy Act. Briefing on the merits is currently stayed 
through October 1, 2021, while DOE reviews the December 2020 Final 
Rule.
    On April 2, 2021, AHAM further petitioned DOE to reconsider the 
December 2020 Final Rule that established and amended standards for 
short-cycle residential clothes washers and dryers. ``AHAM petition for 
reconsideration-2''; Docket EERE-2021-BT-STD-0002, No. 002 at 2.\7\ 
AHAM argued that the short-cycle product classes were neither justified 
nor needed for three reasons. First, AHAM stated that many clothes 
washers and clothes dryers already offer cycles that are within the 
December 2020 Final Rule's cycle time goal and that meet the existing 
standards. Id. at 7-8, 12. Second, AHAM argued that the cycle times in 
the December 2020 Final Rule were arbitrary because DOE lacked the data 
necessary to demonstrate a consumer desire for the times adopted. Id. 
at 13. Third, AHAM specified that establishing the separate product 
classes would likely cause negative, unintended consequences such as 
strand manufacturer investments; create new regulation; introduce 
manufacturer uncertainty until standards for the new product classes 
are developed; increase test burden; and potentially cause disharmony 
in North America for clothes washer and clothes dryer standards. Id. at 
8-9, 16-18. For these reasons, AHAM requested that DOE withdraw the 
December 2020 Final Rule. Id. at 19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ As with its first petition, AHAM submitted its second 
petition pursuant to the APA. The AHAM petition for reconsideration-
2 is available in the docket to this rulemaking, EERE-2021-BT-STD-
0002, at https://www.regulations.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Like its petition regarding the short-cycle product class for 
residential dishwashers, AHAM requested that, while DOE considers its 
petition, DOE stay the effectiveness of the final rule as it allows for 
unlimited energy and water use by these products and issue a statement 
to the market that these new product classes cannot reliably be used as 
the basis for new products. Id. at 2.

III. Discussion

    In issuing the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules, DOE 
relied on its authority under EPCA to establish product classes with 
higher or lower levels of energy use or efficiency when prescribing, by 
rule, an energy conservation standard. 42 U.S.C. 6295(q). In so doing, 
the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules also amended the energy 
conservation standards for short-cycle products by stating they were no 
longer subject to energy and water conservation standards. 85 FR 68733; 
85 FR 81366. But the 2020 Final Rules did not address any of EPCA's 
requirements for amending an energy conservation standard, including an 
analysis of whether the amended standards are designed to achieve the 
maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically 
feasible and economically justified. 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A); see 85 FR 
81361. DOE also did not, among other things, adequately consider 
whether the amended standards violated EPCA's prohibition against 
prescribing an amended standard that increases the maximum allowable 
energy use or decreases the energy efficiency of a covered product. 42 
U.S.C. 6295(o)(1). Because the October 2020 and December 2020 Final 
Rules were contrary to EPCA, DOE proposes to revoke them through this 
rulemaking.
    As an initial matter, as support for establishing product classes 
without associated energy conservation standards, the October 2020 and 
December 2020 Final Rules asserted that those rules were simply 
deferring the issuance of new conservation standards. 85 FR 68723, 
68733; 85 FR 81359, 81368. EPCA does not, however, allow DOE to simply 
defer the establishment of new energy conservation standards for 
regulated products or equipment that already have energy conservation 
standards. Even if EPCA authorized deferrals in some instances, any 
creation of the new product classes here would have needed to follow 
the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6295(q), which frames the development of 
a product class within the context of an energy conservation standard 
rulemaking. But the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules did not 
develop the new product classes in the context of an energy 
conservation standard rulemaking. Instead, by stating that the new 
product classes were not subject to any energy conservation standards 
without following 42 U.S.C. 6295(q), the October 2020 and December 2020 
Final Rules were an amendment in violation of EPCA.
    EPCA requires, as stated previously, that an amended conservation 
standard must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy 
efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 
42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). The plain meaning of the statutory term 
``amend'' is to ``alter formally by adding, deleting or rephrasing.'' 
(American Heritage Dictionary for the English Language 42 (1981)). As 
explained above, the 2020 Final Rules altered the existing energy and 
water conservation standards for the short cycle products by removing 
the standards applicable to those products to allow for unlimited 
energy and water use. This activity clearly fits within this scope of 
the definition of ``amend'' because DOE deleted the applicable 
standards altogether.
    Even assuming that EPCA were ambiguous in this regard, DOE's 
position--that the 2020 Final Rules improperly amended the energy and 
water conservation standards for the short-cycle products--is the 
better understanding of the statute. Prior to the 2020 Final Rules, the 
short-cycle products belonged to product classes subject to specific 
energy and/or water conservation standards. The 2020 Final Rules 
separated the products that met the classification for the new short-
cycle product classes from their regulated counterparts to establish 
product classes not subject to any standard and that could operate with 
unlimited energy and water use. Those products now do not have any 
applicable standard, which effectively amended the prior energy or 
water conservation standards for those products to zero. But the 2020 
Final Rules did so without considering any of EPCA's requirements for 
such action.
    Relatedly, the October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules 
inaccurately cited DOE's 2007 distribution transformer and 2009 
beverage vending machine (``BVM'') energy conservation standards 
rulemakings as support. 85 FR

[[Page 43974]]

68723, 68733; 85 FR 81361, 81368. In the 2007 distribution transformers 
rulemaking, DOE established a separate equipment class for underground 
mining distribution transformers without establishing associated energy 
conservation standards. 72 FR 58190 (Oct. 12, 2007). Similarly, in the 
2009 BVM rulemaking, DOE established a separate equipment class for 
combination BVMs without establishing associated energy conservation 
standards. 74 FR 44914 (Aug. 31, 2009). But the October 2020 and 
December 2020 Final Rules failed to note the key distinction between 
these examples and the short-cycle product class rulemakings. Both the 
2007 and 2009 rulemakings were the first instance of energy 
conservation standards being promulgated for distribution transformers 
and BVMs. As such, not setting standards for those equipment classes 
simply maintained the status quo--that is, underground mining 
distribution transformers and combination BVMs were not subject to 
energy use or efficiency restrictions either before or after those 
rulemakings. As a result, DOE was not required to satisfy any of the 
criteria in EPCA for amending a standard for these equipment classes.
    In contrast, short-cycle residential dishwashers, residential 
clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers were all subject to energy 
conservation standards prior to the October 2020 and December 2020 
Final Rules. By stating that short-cycle products were no longer 
subject to energy or water conservation standards, the October 2020 and 
December 2020 Final Rules changed the status quo in a direction that 
would allow for unlimited energy and water use by these short-cycle 
products. Thus, DOE was required to satisfy the requirements in EPCA 
for issuing an amended standard.
    In addition, DOE has made a policy judgment that EPCA's express 
purposes of energy and water conservation (42 U.S.C. 6201(4), (5), (8)) 
would be thwarted if DOE could avoid restrictions on amending existing 
standards by nominally characterizing a regulatory change in the energy 
conservation standards applicable to a covered product as something 
other than an amendment. The October 2020 and December 2020 Final Rules 
contravened EPCA by failing to consider these criteria when they 
amended the existing standards for short-cycle products in the 2020 
Final Rules.
    This review is also consistent with the direction provided in 
Executive Order 13990 of January 20, 2021, ``Protecting Public Health 
and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate 
Crisis.'' 86 FR 7037 (Jan. 25, 2021). While E.O. 13990 triggered the 
Department's re-evaluation, DOE is relying on the analysis presented in 
this NOPR, based upon EPCA, to re-examine the October and December 2020 
Final Rules.

IV. Conclusion

    After careful consideration, DOE proposes to revoke the October 
2020 and December 2020 Final Rules that improperly amended standards 
and to reinstate the prior product classes and applicable standards for 
these covered products. DOE acknowledges that these rules will remain 
in effect while the Department considers whether to revoke the earlier 
rulemakings through notice and comment.

V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (``OIRA'') in the 
Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') has waived review of this 
rule pursuant to Executive Order (``E.O.'') 12866, ``Regulatory 
Planning and Review.''

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires 
preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (``IRFA'') 
for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless 
the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
As required by E.O. 13272, ``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in 
Agency Rulemaking,'' 67 FR 53461 (Aug. 16, 2002), DOE published 
procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the 
potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly 
considered during the rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its 
procedures and policies available on the Office of the General 
Counsel's website (https://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel). DOE 
has prepared the following IRFA for the products that are the subject 
of this rulemaking.
    DOE reviewed this proposed rule under the provisions of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on 
February 19, 2003. DOE has initially concluded that this rule, if made 
final, would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows:
    The Small Business Administration (``SBA'') considers a business 
entity to be a small business, if, together with its affiliates, it 
employs less than a threshold number of workers or earns less than the 
average annual receipts specified in 13 CFR part 121. The threshold 
values set forth in these regulations use size standards and codes 
established by the North American Industry Classification System 
(``NAICS'') that are available at https://www.sba.gov/document/support-tablesize-standards. The threshold number for NAICS classification code 
335220, ``Major Household Appliance Manufacturing,'' which includes 
residential dishwasher, residential clothes washer, and consumer 
clothes dryer manufacturers, is 1,500 employees.
    Most of the companies that manufacture residential dishwashers are 
large multinational corporations. Most of the manufacturers supplying 
residential clothes washers and consumer clothes dryers into the United 
States are large multinational corporations. DOE collected data from 
DOE's compliance certification database \8\ to identify potential 
manufacturers of residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, 
and consumer clothes dryers. DOE then consulted publicly available 
data, such as Dun and Bradstreet, to determine whether they meet the 
SBA's definition of a ``small business manufacturer'' and have their 
manufacturing facilities located within the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ https://www.regulations.doe.gov/certificationdata.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on this analysis, DOE identified two manufacturers of 
residential dishwashers that are potential small businesses, but 
initially determined that this proposed rule would not impose any 
compliance or other requirements on any manufacturers of residential 
dishwashers, including small businesses. This rulemaking would 
eliminate the separate product class for residential dishwashers with a 
``normal'' cycle of 60 minutes or less from washing through drying as 
described in the preamble. As discussed, DOE did not identify any 
residential dishwashers on the market--let alone any manufactured by 
small businesses--that offer a normal cycle of less than 60 minutes 
from washing through drying.
    DOE did not identify any small businesses that manufacture 
residential

[[Page 43975]]

clothes washers or consumer clothes dryers.
    As a result, DOE certifies that the proposed rule would not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. DOE will 
transmit the certification and supporting statement of factual basis to 
the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for 
review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Manufacturers of covered products/equipment, such as residential 
dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers, 
must certify to DOE that their products comply with any applicable 
energy conservation standards. In certifying compliance, manufacturers 
must test their products according to the DOE test procedures for 
residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer 
clothes dryers, including any amendments adopted for those test 
procedures. DOE has established regulations for the certification and 
recordkeeping requirements for all covered consumer products and 
commercial equipment, including residential dishwashers, residential 
clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers. 76 FR 12422 (Mar. 7, 
2011); 80 FR 5099 (Jan. 30, 2015). The collection-of-information 
requirement for the certification and recordkeeping is subject to 
review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (``PRA''). 
This requirement has been approved by OMB under OMB control number 
1910-1400. Public reporting burden for the certification is estimated 
to average 35 hours per response, including the time for reviewing 
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number.

D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    DOE is analyzing this proposed regulation in accordance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (``NEPA'') 
and DOE's NEPA implementing regulations (10 CFR part 1021). DOE's 
regulations include a categorical exclusion for rulemakings 
interpreting or amending an existing rule or regulation that does not 
change the environmental effect of the rule or regulation being 
amended. 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, appendix A5. DOE anticipates that 
this rulemaking qualifies for categorical exclusion A5 because it is an 
interpretive rulemaking that does not change the environmental effect 
of the rule and otherwise meets the requirements for application of a 
categorical exclusion. See 10 CFR 1021.410. DOE will complete its NEPA 
review before issuing the final rule.

E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    E.O. 13132, ``Federalism,'' 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 10, 1999), imposes 
certain requirements on Federal agencies formulating and implementing 
policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism 
implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the 
constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would 
limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess 
the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires 
agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely 
input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory 
policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE 
published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental 
consultation process it will follow in the development of such 
regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE has examined this proposed rule and has 
tentatively determined that it would not have a substantial direct 
effect on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. EPCA governs 
and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy 
conservation for the products that are the subject of this proposed 
rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the 
extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. 42 U.S.C. 6297. No 
further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the 
promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of E.O. 12988, ``Civil 
Justice Reform,'' imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to 
adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and 
ambiguity, (2) write regulations to minimize litigation, (3) provide a 
clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general 
standard, and (4) promote simplification and burden reduction. 61 FR 
4729 (Feb. 7, 1996). Regarding the review required by section 3(a), 
section 3(b) of E.O. 12988 specifically requires that Executive 
agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: 
(1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any, (2) clearly 
specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation, (3) 
provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting 
simplification and burden reduction, (4) specifies the retroactive 
effect, if any, (5) adequately defines key terms, and (6) addresses 
other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship 
under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of 
Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations 
in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to 
determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or 
more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined 
that, to the extent permitted by law, this proposed rule meets the 
relevant standards of E.O. 12988.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (``UMRA'') 
requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal 
regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the 
private sector. Public Law 104-4, section 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 
1531). For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that 
may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any 
one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA 
requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates 
the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national 
economy. 2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b). The UMRA also requires a Federal agency 
to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected 
officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed 
``significant intergovernmental mandate,'' and requires an agency plan 
for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially 
affected small governments before establishing any requirements that 
might significantly or uniquely affect them. On March 18, 1997, DOE 
published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental 
consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820. DOE's policy statement is also 
available at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/gcprod/documents/umra_97.pdf.

[[Page 43976]]

    This proposed rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate 
nor a mandate that may result in the expenditures of $100 million or 
more in any one year, so these requirements under the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act do not apply.

H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 
1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act, 1999 (Public Law 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a 
Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family 
well-being. This rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or 
integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has 
concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking 
Assessment.

I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    Pursuant to E.O. 12630, ``Governmental Actions and Interference 
with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights,'' 53 FR 8859 (Mar. 15, 
1988), DOE has determined that this proposed rule would not result in 
any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment 
to the U.S. Constitution.

J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 
2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for Federal agencies to review 
most disseminations of information to the public under information 
quality guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general 
guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 
(Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 
(Oct. 7, 2002). Pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-19-15, Improving 
Implementation of the Information Quality Act (April 24, 2019), DOE 
published updated guidelines which are available at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/12/f70/DOE%20Final%20Updated%20IQA%20Guidelines%20Dec%202019.pdf. DOE has 
reviewed this proposed rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has 
concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those 
guidelines.

K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    E.O. 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly 
Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,'' 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 
2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OIRA at OMB, 
a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy 
action. A ``significant energy action'' is defined as any action by an 
agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to promulgation of a 
final rule, and that (1) is a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a 
significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, 
the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on 
energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, 
and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected 
benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.
    This proposed rule, which would eliminate certain product classes 
for residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer 
clothes dryers would not have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy and, therefore, is not a 
significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a 
Statement of Energy Effects on this proposed rule.

VI. Public Participation

A. Participation in the Webinar

    The time and date the webinar meeting are listed in the DATES 
section at the beginning of this document. Webinar registration 
information, participant instructions, and information about the 
capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on 
DOE's website:https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/standards.aspx?productid=38&action=viewlive. 
Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible 
with the webinar software.

B. Procedure for Submitting Prepared General Statements for 
Distribution

    Any person who has an interest in the topics addressed in this 
NOPR, or who is representative of a group or class of persons that has 
an interest in these issues, may request an opportunity to make an oral 
presentation at the webinar. Such persons may submit requests to speak 
by email to [email protected]. Persons who wish to 
speak should include with their request a computer file in WordPerfect, 
Microsoft Word, PDF, or text (ASCII) file format that briefly describes 
the nature of their interest in this rulemaking and the topics they 
wish to discuss. Such persons should also provide a daytime telephone 
number where they can be reached.
    Persons requesting to speak should briefly describe the nature of 
their interest in this rulemaking and provide a telephone number for 
contact. DOE requests persons selected to make an oral presentation to 
submit an advance copy of their statements at least two weeks before 
the webinar. At its discretion, DOE may permit persons who cannot 
supply an advance copy of their statement to participate, if those 
persons have made advance alternative arrangements with the Building 
Technologies Office. As necessary, requests to give an oral 
presentation should ask for such alternative arrangements.

C. Conduct of the Webinar

    DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the webinar/public 
meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. 
The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, 
but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA (42 
U.S.C. 6306). A court reporter will be present to record the 
proceedings and prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to 
schedule the order of presentations and to establish the procedures 
governing the conduct of the webinar. There shall not be discussion of 
proprietary information, costs or prices, market share, or other 
commercial matters regulated by U.S. antitrust laws. After the webinar 
and until the end of the comment period, interested parties may submit 
further comments on the proceedings and any aspect of the rulemaking.
    The webinar will be conducted in an informal, conference style. DOE 
will present summaries of comments received before the webinar, allow 
time for prepared general statements by participants, and encourage all 
interested parties to share their views on issues affecting this 
rulemaking. Each participant will be allowed to make a general 
statement (within time limits determined by DOE), before the discussion 
of specific topics. DOE will permit, as time permits, other 
participants to comment briefly on any general statements.
    At the end of all prepared statements on a topic, DOE will permit 
participants to clarify their statements briefly. Participants should 
be prepared to answer questions by DOE and by other participants 
concerning these issues. DOE representatives may also ask

[[Page 43977]]

questions of participants concerning other matters relevant to this 
rulemaking. The official conducting the webinar/public meeting will 
accept additional comments or questions from those attending, as time 
permits. The presiding official will announce any further procedural 
rules or modification of the above procedures that may be needed for 
the proper conduct of the webinar.
    A transcript of the webinar will be included in the docket, which 
can be viewed as described in the Docket section at the beginning of 
this NOPR. In addition, any person may buy a copy of the transcript 
from the transcribing reporter.

D. Submission of Comments

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this 
proposed rule before or after the public meeting, but no later than the 
date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this proposed 
rule. Interested parties may submit comments, data, and other 
information using any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section 
at the beginning of this document.
    Submitting comments via https://www.regulations.gov. The https://www.regulations.gov web page will require you to provide your name and 
contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE 
Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be 
publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization 
name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your 
comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, 
DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment.
    However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you 
include it in the comment itself or in any documents attached to your 
comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable 
should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to 
your comment. Persons viewing comments will see only first and last 
names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any 
documents submitted with the comments.
    Do not submit to https://www.regulations.gov information for which 
disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and 
commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as 
Confidential Business Information (``CBI'')). Comments submitted 
through https://www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments 
received through the website will waive any CBI claims for the 
information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the 
Confidential Business Information section.
    DOE processes submissions made through https://www.regulations.gov 
before posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of 
being submitted. However, if large volumes of comments are being 
processed simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to 
several weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that https://www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your 
comment.
    Submitting comments via email. Comments and documents submitted via 
email will also be posted to https://www.regulations.gov. If you do not 
want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not 
include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, 
provide your contact information in a cover letter. Include your first 
and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing 
address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it 
does not include any comments.
    Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, 
documents, and other information to DOE. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will 
be accepted.
    Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE 
electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or 
Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that 
are not secured, that are written in English, and that are free of any 
defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or 
any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the 
electronic signature of the author.
    Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the 
originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters 
per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters' names compiled 
into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting 
time.
    Confidential Business Information. Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any 
person submitting information that he or she believes to be 
confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via 
email two well-marked copies: One copy of the document marked 
``confidential'' including all the information believed to be 
confidential, and one copy of the document marked ``non-confidential'' 
with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make 
its own determination about the confidential status of the information 
and treat it according to its determination.
    It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public 
docket, without change and as received, including any personal 
information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be 
exempt from public disclosure).

VII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this notice of 
proposed rulemaking.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, 
Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small 
businesses.

Signing Authority

    This document of the Department of Energy was signed on July 30, 
2021, by Dr. Kathleen B. Hogan, Acting Under Secretary for Energy and 
Science, pursuant to delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. 
That document with the original signature and date is maintained by 
DOE. For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with 
requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the undersigned DOE 
Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to sign and submit 
the document in electronic format for publication, as an official 
document of the Department of Energy. This administrative process in no 
way alters the legal effect of this document upon publication in the 
Federal Register.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2021.
Treena V. Garrett,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, DOE proposes to amend 
part 430 of chapter II, subchapter D, of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 430--ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.


[[Page 43978]]


0
2. Section 430.32 is amended by:
0
a. Removing paragraph (f)(1)(iii); and
0
b. Revising paragraphs (g)(4) and (h)(3).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  430.32   Energy and water conservation standards and their 
compliance dates.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (4) Clothes washers manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, shall 
have an Integrated Modified Energy Factor no less than, and an 
Integrated Water Factor no greater than:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Integrated
                                             modified       Integrated
              Product class                energy factor   water factor
                                           (cu.ft./kWh/     (gal/cycle/
                                              cycle)          cu.ft.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Top-loading, Compact................            1.15            12.0
(less than 1.6 ft\3\ capacity)..........
(ii) Top-loading, Standard..............            1.57             6.5
(1.6 ft\3\ or greater capacity).........
(iii) Front-loading, Compact............            1.13             8.3
(less than 1.6 ft\3\ capacity)..........
(iv) Front-loading, Standard............            1.84             4.7
(1.6 ft\3\ or greater capacity).........
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (h) * * *
    (3) Clothes dryers manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall 
have a combined energy factor no less than:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Combined
                      Product class                        energy factor
                                                             (lbs/kWh)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Vented Electric, Standard (4.4 ft3 or greater                   3.73
 capacity)..............................................
(ii) Vented Electric, Compact (120V) (less than 4.4 ft3             3.61
 capacity)..............................................
(iii) Vented Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3            3.27
 capacity)..............................................
(iv) Vented Gas.........................................            3.30
(v) Ventless Electric, Compact (240V) (less than 4.4 ft3            2.55
 capacity)..............................................
(vi) Ventless Electric, Combination Washer-Dryer........            2.08
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2021-16830 Filed 8-10-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P