Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and Commercial Water Heaters: Notification of Proposed Interpretive Rule, 53014-53015 [2021-20759]

Download as PDF 53014 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 183 / Friday, September 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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 September 21, 2021. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2021–20756 Filed 9–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 430 and 431 [EERE–2018–BT–STD–0018] RIN 1904–AE39 Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and Commercial Water Heaters: Notification of Proposed Interpretive Rule Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notification of proposed interpretive rule; extension of public comment period. AGENCY: On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) published in the Federal Register a final interpretive rule determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products or equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a performance-related ‘‘feature’’ under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA), that cannot be eliminated through the adoption of an energy conservation standard. On August 27, 2021, DOE published in the Federal Register a notification of proposed interpretive rule (NOPIR) that proposes to return to its previous and long-standing interpretation, under which the technology used to supply heated air or hot water is not a performance related ‘‘feature’’ that provides a distinct consumer utility under EPCA. The NOPIR provided an opportunity for submission of written comments, data, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Sep 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 and information to the DOE no later than September 27, 2021. Prior to the end of that comment period, several stakeholders submitted a joint request seeking additional time to consider the issues raised in the NOPIR. In light of this request, DOE is extending the comment period on the subject NOPIR for an additional 15 days. The comment period for the NOPIR published in the Federal Register on August 27, 2021 (86 FR 48049) is extended to October 12, 2021. Written comments, data, and information are requested and will be accepted on and before October 12, 2021. DATES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested persons may submit comments by email to the following address: Email: ResFurnace CommWaterHeater2018STD0018@ ee.doe.gov. Include docket number EERE–2018–BT–STD–0018 and/or RIN 1904–AE39 in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. Although DOE has routinely accepted public comment submissions through a variety of mechanisms, including postal mail and 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. 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, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available. ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The docket web page can be found at: www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=EERE-2018-BT-STD0018. The docket web page contains instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Catherine Rivest, 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. Telephone: (202) 586– 7335. Email: ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC–33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–5827. Email: Eric.Stas@hq.doe.gov. For further information on how to submit a comment or review other public comments and the docket, contact the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 287– 1445 or by email: ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) published in the Federal Register a final interpretive rule determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products or equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a performance-related ‘‘feature’’ under EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.), as amended, that cannot be eliminated through the adoption of an energy conservation standard. 86 FR 4776. On August 27, 2021, DOE published in the Federal Register a NOPIR that proposes to return to its previous and long-standing interpretation (in effect prior to the January 2021 final interpretive rule), under which the technology used to supply heated air or hot water is not a performance related ‘‘feature’’ that provides a distinct consumer utility under EPCA. 86 FR 48049. The NOPIR provided an opportunity for submission of written comments, data, and information to the Department no later than September 27, 2021. Prior to the end of the comment period for the NOPIR, DOE received a joint comment from the American Gas Association (AGA), the American Public Gas Association (APGA), Spire Inc. and Spire Missouri (Spire), and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), E:\FR\FM\24SEP1.SGM 24SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 183 / Friday, September 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules collectively referred to as the ‘‘Gas Industry Commenters,’’ requesting an additional 60 days for public comment in order to consider the issues raised in the NOPIR.1 The Gas Industry Commenters requested additional time due to their assertion that DOE’s proposal raises various factual, technical, economic, regulatory, and administrative issues that require significant time to review and to respond in a meaningful manner. The Gas Industry Commenters also pointed out the length of the comment periods under the proceeding that culminated in the January 2021 final interpretive rule, as well as the comment extensions that DOE granted throughout that interpretive rulemaking process. Furthermore, the Gas Industry Commenters noted that stakeholders are currently engaged in multiple DOErelated proceedings, both before the agency and the court, and each matter requires sufficient engagement. The Gas Industry Commenters also argued that the COVID–19 emergency continues to adversely impact stakeholder engagement and expressed their belief that a sixty-day comment extension will not cause a significant delay in DOE’s consideration of the record and any next steps. In regard to the assertion that the August 2021 NOPIR raises various issues that require significant time to review and respond to, DOE notes the NOPIR does not raise new issues but rather proposes to return to DOE’s longstanding, historical interpretation. DOE further notes that the various factual, technical, economic, regulatory, and administrative issues are well understood, have been discussed at length, and have been documented in a number of rulemaking dockets.2 Also, as noted in the August 2021 NOPIR, Executive Order (E.O.) 13990, ‘‘Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,’’ 86 FR 7037 (Jan. 25, 2021), triggered the Department’s reevaluation of the January 2021 final interpretive rule. 86 FR 48049, 48050–48051 (August 27, 2021). After carefully reviewing the submission, DOE has considered the urgency required under E.O. 13990 along with the competing benefit to stakeholders in providing additional time to review and comment on the 1 Available at www.regulations.gov/comment/ EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018-0125. 2 Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, Docket No. EERE–2014–BT–STD–0031, and Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Water Heaters, Docket No. EERE–2014–BT–STD– 0042. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Sep 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 NOPIR. Accordingly, in seeking to balance the interests at issue, DOE has determined that it is appropriate to partially grant this request and to extend the comment period by 15 days, thereby allowing additional time for interested parties to prepare and submit comments. Therefore, DOE is extending the comment period for the NOPIR and will accept comments, data, and information on this matter received on and before October 12, 2021. Accordingly, DOE will consider any comments received by this date to be timely submitted. Signing Authority This document of the Department of Energy was signed on September 19, 2021, by Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 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 September 21, 2021. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2021–20759 Filed 9–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 53015 206L–1, 206L–3, and 206L–4 helicopters with certain Air Comm Corporation (Air Comm) air conditioning systems installed. This proposed AD would require visually inspecting the drive ring spline teeth and the mating area spline teeth on the oil cooler blower shaft for signs of deformation and fretting and depending on the results of the inspection, removing certain parts from service. This proposed AD would also require reinstalling certain parts, applying torque, and aligning certain bolt holes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of damage to the drive ring spline teeth and the mating spline teeth. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 8, 2021. You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Air Comm Corporation, 1575 Westminster, CO 80234; telephone (303) 440–4075; or at https://www.aircommcorp.com. You may view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. ADDRESSES: Federal Aviation Administration Examining the AD Docket 14 CFR Part 39 You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0830; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, any referenced service information, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Bryant, Aerospace Engineer, Denver ACO Branch, FAA, 26805 East 68th Avenue, Denver, CO 80249; [Docket No. FAA–2021–0830; Project Identifier AD–2020–00257–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\24SEP1.SGM 24SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 183 (Friday, September 24, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53014-53015]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20759]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 430 and 431

[EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018]
RIN 1904-AE39


Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Energy 
Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and Commercial Water 
Heaters: Notification of Proposed Interpretive Rule

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

ACTION: Notification of proposed interpretive rule; extension of public 
comment period.

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

SUMMARY: On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the 
Department) published in the Federal Register a final interpretive rule 
determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial 
water heaters, and similarly-situated products or equipment, use of 
non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a 
performance-related ``feature'' under the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA), that cannot be eliminated through 
the adoption of an energy conservation standard. On August 27, 2021, 
DOE published in the Federal Register a notification of proposed 
interpretive rule (NOPIR) that proposes to return to its previous and 
long-standing interpretation, under which the technology used to supply 
heated air or hot water is not a performance related ``feature'' that 
provides a distinct consumer utility under EPCA. The NOPIR provided an 
opportunity for submission of written comments, data, and information 
to the DOE no later than September 27, 2021. Prior to the end of that 
comment period, several stakeholders submitted a joint request seeking 
additional time to consider the issues raised in the NOPIR. In light of 
this request, DOE is extending the comment period on the subject NOPIR 
for an additional 15 days.

DATES: The comment period for the NOPIR published in the Federal 
Register on August 27, 2021 (86 FR 48049) is extended to October 12, 
2021. Written comments, data, and information are requested and will be 
accepted on and before 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. Alternatively, interested persons 
may submit comments by email to the following address: Email: 
[email protected]. Include docket number 
EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018 and/or RIN 1904-AE39 in the subject line of the 
message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, 
PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or 
any form of encryption. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.
    Although DOE has routinely accepted public comment submissions 
through a variety of mechanisms, including postal mail and 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.
    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, some 
documents listed in the index, such as those containing information 
that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.
    The docket web page can be found at: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018. The docket web page contains 
instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, 
in the docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    Ms. Catherine Rivest, 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. Telephone: 
(202) 586-7335. Email: [email protected].
    Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Telephone: (202) 586-5827. Email: [email protected].
    For further information on how to submit a comment or review other 
public comments and the docket, contact the Appliance and Equipment 
Standards Program staff at (202) 287-1445 or by email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of 
Energy (DOE or the Department) published in the Federal Register a 
final interpretive rule determining that, in the context of residential 
furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products or 
equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) 
constitutes a performance-related ``feature'' under EPCA (42 U.S.C. 
6291 et seq.), as amended, that cannot be eliminated through the 
adoption of an energy conservation standard. 86 FR 4776. On August 27, 
2021, DOE published in the Federal Register a NOPIR that proposes to 
return to its previous and long-standing interpretation (in effect 
prior to the January 2021 final interpretive rule), under which the 
technology used to supply heated air or hot water is not a performance 
related ``feature'' that provides a distinct consumer utility under 
EPCA. 86 FR 48049. The NOPIR provided an opportunity for submission of 
written comments, data, and information to the Department no later than 
September 27, 2021.
    Prior to the end of the comment period for the NOPIR, DOE received 
a joint comment from the American Gas Association (AGA), the American 
Public Gas Association (APGA), Spire Inc. and Spire Missouri (Spire), 
and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA),

[[Page 53015]]

collectively referred to as the ``Gas Industry Commenters,'' requesting 
an additional 60 days for public comment in order to consider the 
issues raised in the NOPIR.\1\ The Gas Industry Commenters requested 
additional time due to their assertion that DOE's proposal raises 
various factual, technical, economic, regulatory, and administrative 
issues that require significant time to review and to respond in a 
meaningful manner. The Gas Industry Commenters also pointed out the 
length of the comment periods under the proceeding that culminated in 
the January 2021 final interpretive rule, as well as the comment 
extensions that DOE granted throughout that interpretive rulemaking 
process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Available at www.regulations.gov/comment/EERE-2018-BT-STD-0018-0125.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Furthermore, the Gas Industry Commenters noted that stakeholders 
are currently engaged in multiple DOE-related proceedings, both before 
the agency and the court, and each matter requires sufficient 
engagement. The Gas Industry Commenters also argued that the COVID-19 
emergency continues to adversely impact stakeholder engagement and 
expressed their belief that a sixty-day comment extension will not 
cause a significant delay in DOE's consideration of the record and any 
next steps.
    In regard to the assertion that the August 2021 NOPIR raises 
various issues that require significant time to review and respond to, 
DOE notes the NOPIR does not raise new issues but rather proposes to 
return to DOE's long-standing, historical interpretation. DOE further 
notes that the various factual, technical, economic, regulatory, and 
administrative issues are well understood, have been discussed at 
length, and have been documented in a number of rulemaking dockets.\2\ 
Also, as noted in the August 2021 NOPIR, Executive Order (E.O.) 13990, 
``Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to 
Tackle the Climate Crisis,'' 86 FR 7037 (Jan. 25, 2021), triggered the 
Department's reevaluation of the January 2021 final interpretive rule. 
86 FR 48049, 48050-48051 (August 27, 2021).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, 
Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0031, and Energy Conservation Standards 
for Commercial Water Heaters, Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0042.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After carefully reviewing the submission, DOE has considered the 
urgency required under E.O. 13990 along with the competing benefit to 
stakeholders in providing additional time to review and comment on the 
NOPIR. Accordingly, in seeking to balance the interests at issue, DOE 
has determined that it is appropriate to partially grant this request 
and to extend the comment period by 15 days, thereby allowing 
additional time for interested parties to prepare and submit comments. 
Therefore, DOE is extending the comment period for the NOPIR and will 
accept comments, data, and information on this matter received on and 
before October 12, 2021. Accordingly, DOE will consider any comments 
received by this date to be timely submitted.

Signing Authority

    This document of the Department of Energy was signed on September 
19, 2021, by Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant 
Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy, 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 September 21, 2021.
Treena V. Garrett,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2021-20759 Filed 9-23-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P