Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent From a National Cemetery, 7402-7404 [2022-02682]

Download as PDF 7402 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 27 / Wednesday, February 9, 2022 / Proposed Rules PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order JO 7400.11F, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 10, 2021, and effective September 15, 2021, is amended as follows: ■ Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. * * * * * AEA PA E5 Greenville, PA [Amended] Greenville Municipal Airport, PA (Lat. 41°26′48″ N, long. 80°23′28″ W) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Greenville Municipal Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 3, 2022. Martin A. Skinner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center. [FR Doc. 2022–02619 Filed 2–8–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 38 RIN 2900–AR43 Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent From a National Cemetery Department of Veterans Affairs. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend regulations governing disinterment of eligible decedents interred in VA national cemeteries. The amendment is necessary to clarify the requirements that must be met before VA can decide a disinterment request. Clarification of the requirements will help ensure consistent administration of disinterment requests at all VA national cemeteries. Current regulations permit disinterment only when all living immediate family members of the decedent, and the person who initiated the interment (whether or not such person is a member of the immediate family), all give their written consent, or lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:39 Feb 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 when VA receives an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction directing the disinterment. We propose to clarify that if the individual who initiated the interment does not consent, or is not alive to provide consent, or all living immediate family members are not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an eligible decedent must obtain an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction to direct the disinterment. This clarification will support the regulatory principle that all burials in national cemeteries are considered permanent and final and that a disinterment will be permitted only for cogent reasons, preserve the intent of the individual who initiated the interment, and ensure that a court or other appropriate entity rather than VA will adjudicate family disputes. DATES: Comments must be received by VA on or before April 11, 2022. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘RIN 2900–AR43— Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent from a National Cemetery.’’ Comments received will be available at www.regulations.gov for public viewing, inspection, or copies. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Amelinckx, Management and Program Analyst, National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420. Email: Alan.Amelinckx@va.gov. Telephone: 202–461–5658 (this is not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 2400(a) of title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.), provides that NCA is responsible for the interment of deceased servicemembers and veterans. The authority to disinter, if appropriate, is a necessary and corresponding component of VA’s responsibility to inter eligible veterans or other eligible persons in a national cemetery. Interment of an eligible decedent in a national cemetery is considered permanent and final, and disinterment is approved only in limited circumstances. Currently, VA disinterment request and review criteria are codified in 38 CFR 38.621, which states that ‘‘[d]isinterment from a national cemetery will be approved only when all living immediate family members of the decedent, and the person who initiated the interment (whether or not he or she is a member of the immediate family), give their written consent, or PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 when a court order or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction directs the disinterment.’’ 38 CFR 38.621(a). The regulation is not clear whether the condition of ‘‘living’’ also extends to the person who initiated the interment, as it does to immediate family members. Therefore, it could be interpreted that if the individual who initiated the interment is deceased and thus cannot provide written consent, VA could consider a family’s disinterment request without a court order or direction from a State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction if all living immediate family members of the decedent give their written consent. To eliminate ambiguity, VA proposes to clarify in § 38.621(a) and (b) that if the individual who initiated the interment does not consent, or is not alive to provide consent, or all living immediate family members are not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an eligible decedent must seek a court order or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction to direct the disinterment. This change supports the regulatory principle that all burials in national cemeteries are considered permanent and final and that a disinterment will be permitted only for cogent reasons, preserves the intent of the individual who initiated the interment, and ensures a deliberative court or administrative process that is better suited than VA to adjudicate family disputes. In addition to revising the regulatory text for disinterment requests, VA would revise VA Form 40–4970, Request for Disinterment, to reflect the changes to the regulatory text. VA also proposes to add a provision in § 38.621(b)(2) stating: ‘‘If the person provides a false certification on VA Form 40–4970, he or she may be subject to penalties, to include fine or imprisonment or both.’’ VA would revise VA Form 40–4970 to include such a penalty statement. This change is necessary because VA Form 40–4970 does not contain this penalty statement, which appears on most other burial and memorialization forms. In addition to making it consistent with other forms, the addition of the penalty statement to VA Form 40–4970 would help dissuade requestors from submitting the form without the required endorsement of the individual who initiated the interment and all living family members. We also note the current version of 38 CFR 38.621 uses the title ‘‘National Cemetery Area Office Director,’’ but since 1998, that title has not been used and has been replaced by the current title ‘‘National Cemetery District E:\FR\FM\09FEP1.SGM 09FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 27 / Wednesday, February 9, 2022 / Proposed Rules Executive Director,’’ which would be used in the updated regulation. tribal governments, or on the private sector. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Paperwork Reduction Act This proposed rule includes provisions that would amend a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3521) that is currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 2900–0365. Accordingly, under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), VA has submitted a copy of this rulemaking to OMB for review and approval. OMB assigns control numbers to collections of information it approves. VA may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. If OMB does not approve the collection of information as requested, VA will immediately remove the provisions containing the collection of information or take such other action as is directed by OMB. Proposed § 38.621 would require revision of the instructions on VA Form 40–4970 to require an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction if a living immediate family member will not provide consent to the disinterment, or if the person who initiated the decedent’s burial request will not provide consent to the disinterment or is deceased and cannot provide consent to the disinterment. The proposed rule would also revise the form to add a penalty statement for false certifications on the form. The proposed revision to the form instructions and addition of a penalty statement would not increase or decrease the number of respondents using VA Form 40–4970. Therefore, these proposed revisions would not result in any increase or decrease in respondents, respondent burden hours, or respondent burden costs. Comments on the revised collection of information contained in this rulemaking should be submitted through www.regulations.gov. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘RIN 2900– AR43, Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent from a National Cemetery’’ and should be sent within 60 days of publication of this rulemaking. The collection of information associated with this rulemaking can be viewed at: www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information contained in this rulemaking between 30 and 60 days after publication of this rulemaking in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. The Regulatory Impact Analysis associated with this rulemaking can be found as a supporting document at www.regulations.gov. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612). This certification is based on the fact that most disinterment requests are submitted by families. Although local courts and State instrumentalities may be involved if family members differ on a contemplated disinterment action, processing and adjudicating those requests for a court-ordered disinterment would likely be rare and would be conducted as part of that entity’s routine operations. VA cannot estimate the number of entities that may be affected by this proposed rule given that each disinterment case is based on the unique needs of families. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not apply. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:39 Feb 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 7403 assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. This does not affect the deadline for the public to comment on the provisions of this rulemaking. The Department considers comments by the public on a revised collection of information in— • Evaluating whether the revised collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluating the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the revised collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimizing the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The collection of information associated with this rulemaking contained in 38 CFR 38.621 is described immediately following this paragraph, under its respective title. Title: Request for Disinterment. OMB Control No: 2900–0365. CFR Provision: 38 CFR 38.621. • Summary of collection of information: The revised collection of information in proposed 38 CFR 38.621 would require an individual requesting disinterment to obtain consent from all living immediate family members of an eligible decedent and from the individual who originally requested the decedent’s burial. If a living immediate family member will not provide consent to the disinterment, or the individual who requested the decedent’s burial will not provide consent to the disinterment or is deceased and cannot provide consent to the disinterment request, the requester would be required to obtain an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction to direct disinterment. The proposed rule would also revise the form to include a penalty statement for false certifications. • Description of need for information and proposed use of information: The information will be used by VA to determine whether to approve a disinterment request. • Description of likely respondents: Personal representatives and family members of eligible Veterans and other E:\FR\FM\09FEP1.SGM 09FEP1 7404 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 27 / Wednesday, February 9, 2022 / Proposed Rules eligible individuals who are interred in national cemeteries. • Estimated number of respondents: 1,777 in FY2019. • Estimated frequency of responses: One time per application as needed by families. • Estimated average burden per response: 10 minutes for respondents. • Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: VA estimates the total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden to be 296 hours. • Estimated cost to respondents per year: VA estimates the annual cost to respondents to be $8,012 (296 burden hours for respondents × (multiplied by) $27.07 per hour). Assistance Listing The Assistance Listing number and title for the programs affected by this document are 64.201, National Cemeteries. List of Subjects in 38 CFR part 38 Administrative practice and procedure, Cemeteries, Claims, Crime, Veterans. Signing Authority Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on February 1, 2022, and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Luvenia Potts, Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 38 CFR part 38 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 38—NATIONAL CEMETERIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 1. The authority citation for part 38 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 38 U.S.C. 107, 501, 512, 2306, 2400, 2402, 2403, 2404, 2407, 2408, 2411, 7105. ■ 2. Revise § 38.621 to read as follows: lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 § 38.621 Disinterments. (a) Interments of eligible decedents in national cemeteries are considered permanent and final. Disinterment will be permitted only for cogent reasons and with the prior written authorization of the National Cemetery District Executive Director or Cemetery Director responsible for the cemetery involved. Disinterment from a national cemetery will be approved only when: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:21 Feb 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 (1) A court order or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction directs the disinterment; or (2) All living immediate family members of the decedent, and the individual who initiated the interment (whether or not the individual is a member of the immediate family), give their written consent. (i) If the individual who initiated the interment does not consent, or is not alive to provide consent, or all living immediate family members are not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an eligible decedent must provide VA with an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction to direct the disinterment as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. (ii) For purposes of this section, ‘‘immediate family members’’ are defined as surviving spouse, whether or not he or she is or was remarried; all adult children of the decedent; the appointed guardian(s) of minor children; and the appointed guardian(s) of the surviving spouse or of the adult child(ren) of the decedent. If the surviving spouse and all of the children of the decedent are deceased, the decedent’s parents will be considered ‘‘immediate family members.’’ (b)(1) All requests to disinter remains as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section must be submitted on VA Form 40–4970, Request for Disinterment, and must include the following information: (i) A full statement of reasons for the proposed disinterment. (ii) Notarized statement(s) by all living immediate family members of the decedent, and by the person who initiated the interment (whether or not the individual is a member of the immediate family), that all parties consent to the proposed disinterment. (iii) A notarized statement by the person requesting the disinterment that those who supplied affidavits comprise all the living immediate family members of the deceased and the individual who initiated the interment. (2) If the person provides a false certification on VA Form 40–4970, he or she may be subject to penalties, to include fine or imprisonment or both. (c) Any VA-approved disinterment in this section must be accomplished without expense to the Government. (The reporting and recordkeeping requirements contained in paragraph (b) of this section have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under OMB control number 2900–0365) (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2404) [FR Doc. 2022–02682 Filed 2–8–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R04–OAR–2021–0010; FRL–9539–01– R4] Air Plan Approval; Alabama; Birmingham Limited Maintenance Plan for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AGENCY: ACTION: Proposed rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), via a letter dated September 15, 2020. The SIP revision includes the 1997 8hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) Limited Maintenance Plan (LMP) for the Birmingham, Alabama Area (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Birmingham Area’’ or ‘‘Area’’). The Birmingham Area is comprised of Jefferson and Shelby Counties. EPA is proposing to approve the Birmingham Area LMP because it provides for the maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS within the Birmingham Area through the end of the second 10-year portion of the maintenance period. The effect of this action would be to make certain commitments related to maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the Birmingham Area federally enforceable as part of the Alabama SIP. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before March 11, 2022. DATES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R04– OAR–2021–0010 at https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\09FEP1.SGM 09FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 27 (Wednesday, February 9, 2022)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7402-7404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-02682]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 38

RIN 2900-AR43


Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent From a National 
Cemetery

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend 
regulations governing disinterment of eligible decedents interred in VA 
national cemeteries. The amendment is necessary to clarify the 
requirements that must be met before VA can decide a disinterment 
request. Clarification of the requirements will help ensure consistent 
administration of disinterment requests at all VA national cemeteries.
    Current regulations permit disinterment only when all living 
immediate family members of the decedent, and the person who initiated 
the interment (whether or not such person is a member of the immediate 
family), all give their written consent, or when VA receives an order 
from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction 
directing the disinterment. We propose to clarify that if the 
individual who initiated the interment does not consent, or is not 
alive to provide consent, or all living immediate family members are 
not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an eligible decedent 
must obtain an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent 
jurisdiction to direct the disinterment. This clarification will 
support the regulatory principle that all burials in national 
cemeteries are considered permanent and final and that a disinterment 
will be permitted only for cogent reasons, preserve the intent of the 
individual who initiated the interment, and ensure that a court or 
other appropriate entity rather than VA will adjudicate family 
disputes.

DATES: Comments must be received by VA on or before April 11, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov. 
Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 
2900-AR43--Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent from a 
National Cemetery.'' Comments received will be available at 
www.regulations.gov for public viewing, inspection, or copies.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alan Amelinckx, Management and Program 
Analyst, National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420. Email: 
[email protected]. Telephone: 202-461-5658 (this is not a toll-free 
number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 2400(a) of title 38, United States 
Code (U.S.C.), provides that NCA is responsible for the interment of 
deceased servicemembers and veterans. The authority to disinter, if 
appropriate, is a necessary and corresponding component of VA's 
responsibility to inter eligible veterans or other eligible persons in 
a national cemetery. Interment of an eligible decedent in a national 
cemetery is considered permanent and final, and disinterment is 
approved only in limited circumstances.
    Currently, VA disinterment request and review criteria are codified 
in 38 CFR 38.621, which states that ``[d]isinterment from a national 
cemetery will be approved only when all living immediate family members 
of the decedent, and the person who initiated the interment (whether or 
not he or she is a member of the immediate family), give their written 
consent, or when a court order or State instrumentality of competent 
jurisdiction directs the disinterment.'' 38 CFR 38.621(a).
    The regulation is not clear whether the condition of ``living'' 
also extends to the person who initiated the interment, as it does to 
immediate family members. Therefore, it could be interpreted that if 
the individual who initiated the interment is deceased and thus cannot 
provide written consent, VA could consider a family's disinterment 
request without a court order or direction from a State instrumentality 
of competent jurisdiction if all living immediate family members of the 
decedent give their written consent.
    To eliminate ambiguity, VA proposes to clarify in Sec.  38.621(a) 
and (b) that if the individual who initiated the interment does not 
consent, or is not alive to provide consent, or all living immediate 
family members are not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an 
eligible decedent must seek a court order or State instrumentality of 
competent jurisdiction to direct the disinterment. This change supports 
the regulatory principle that all burials in national cemeteries are 
considered permanent and final and that a disinterment will be 
permitted only for cogent reasons, preserves the intent of the 
individual who initiated the interment, and ensures a deliberative 
court or administrative process that is better suited than VA to 
adjudicate family disputes.
    In addition to revising the regulatory text for disinterment 
requests, VA would revise VA Form 40-4970, Request for Disinterment, to 
reflect the changes to the regulatory text. VA also proposes to add a 
provision in Sec.  38.621(b)(2) stating: ``If the person provides a 
false certification on VA Form 40-4970, he or she may be subject to 
penalties, to include fine or imprisonment or both.'' VA would revise 
VA Form 40-4970 to include such a penalty statement. This change is 
necessary because VA Form 40-4970 does not contain this penalty 
statement, which appears on most other burial and memorialization 
forms. In addition to making it consistent with other forms, the 
addition of the penalty statement to VA Form 40-4970 would help 
dissuade requestors from submitting the form without the required 
endorsement of the individual who initiated the interment and all 
living family members.
    We also note the current version of 38 CFR 38.621 uses the title 
``National Cemetery Area Office Director,'' but since 1998, that title 
has not been used and has been replaced by the current title ``National 
Cemetery District

[[Page 7403]]

Executive Director,'' which would be used in the updated regulation.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that 
this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 
12866. The Regulatory Impact Analysis associated with this rulemaking 
can be found as a supporting document at www.regulations.gov.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601-612). This certification is based on the fact that most 
disinterment requests are submitted by families. Although local courts 
and State instrumentalities may be involved if family members differ on 
a contemplated disinterment action, processing and adjudicating those 
requests for a court-ordered disinterment would likely be rare and 
would be conducted as part of that entity's routine operations. VA 
cannot estimate the number of entities that may be affected by this 
proposed rule given that each disinterment case is based on the unique 
needs of families. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the initial 
and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 
and 604 do not apply.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such 
effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private 
sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule includes provisions that would amend a 
collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3521) that is currently approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 2900-0365. 
Accordingly, under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), VA has submitted a copy of this 
rulemaking to OMB for review and approval.
    OMB assigns control numbers to collections of information it 
approves. VA may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. If OMB does not approve the 
collection of information as requested, VA will immediately remove the 
provisions containing the collection of information or take such other 
action as is directed by OMB.
    Proposed Sec.  38.621 would require revision of the instructions on 
VA Form 40-4970 to require an order from a court or State 
instrumentality of competent jurisdiction if a living immediate family 
member will not provide consent to the disinterment, or if the person 
who initiated the decedent's burial request will not provide consent to 
the disinterment or is deceased and cannot provide consent to the 
disinterment. The proposed rule would also revise the form to add a 
penalty statement for false certifications on the form.
    The proposed revision to the form instructions and addition of a 
penalty statement would not increase or decrease the number of 
respondents using VA Form 40-4970. Therefore, these proposed revisions 
would not result in any increase or decrease in respondents, respondent 
burden hours, or respondent burden costs.
    Comments on the revised collection of information contained in this 
rulemaking should be submitted through www.regulations.gov. Comments 
should indicate that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AR43, 
Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent from a National 
Cemetery'' and should be sent within 60 days of publication of this 
rulemaking. The collection of information associated with this 
rulemaking can be viewed at: www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of 
information contained in this rulemaking between 30 and 60 days after 
publication of this rulemaking in the Federal Register. Therefore, a 
comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB 
receives it within 30 days of publication. This does not affect the 
deadline for the public to comment on the provisions of this 
rulemaking.
    The Department considers comments by the public on a revised 
collection of information in--
     Evaluating whether the revised collection of information 
is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 
Department, including whether the information will have practical 
utility;
     Evaluating the accuracy of the Department's estimate of 
the burden of the revised collection of information, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
     Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Minimizing the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting 
electronic submission of responses.
    The collection of information associated with this rulemaking 
contained in 38 CFR 38.621 is described immediately following this 
paragraph, under its respective title.
    Title: Request for Disinterment.
    OMB Control No: 2900-0365.
    CFR Provision: 38 CFR 38.621.
     Summary of collection of information: The revised 
collection of information in proposed 38 CFR 38.621 would require an 
individual requesting disinterment to obtain consent from all living 
immediate family members of an eligible decedent and from the 
individual who originally requested the decedent's burial. If a living 
immediate family member will not provide consent to the disinterment, 
or the individual who requested the decedent's burial will not provide 
consent to the disinterment or is deceased and cannot provide consent 
to the disinterment request, the requester would be required to obtain 
an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent 
jurisdiction to direct disinterment. The proposed rule would also 
revise the form to include a penalty statement for false 
certifications.
     Description of need for information and proposed use of 
information: The information will be used by VA to determine whether to 
approve a disinterment request.
     Description of likely respondents: Personal 
representatives and family members of eligible Veterans and other

[[Page 7404]]

eligible individuals who are interred in national cemeteries.
     Estimated number of respondents: 1,777 in FY2019.
     Estimated frequency of responses: One time per application 
as needed by families.
     Estimated average burden per response: 10 minutes for 
respondents.
     Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: 
VA estimates the total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden to be 
296 hours.
     Estimated cost to respondents per year: VA estimates the 
annual cost to respondents to be $8,012 (296 burden hours for 
respondents x (multiplied by) $27.07 per hour).

Assistance Listing

    The Assistance Listing number and title for the programs affected 
by this document are 64.201, National Cemeteries.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR part 38

    Administrative practice and procedure, Cemeteries, Claims, Crime, 
Veterans.

Signing Authority

    Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on February 1, 2022, and authorized the undersigned to sign 
and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for 
publication electronically as an official document of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs.

Luvenia Potts,
Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & 
Management, Office of General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 38 CFR part 38 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 38--NATIONAL CEMETERIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

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1. The authority citation for part 38 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  38 U.S.C. 107, 501, 512, 2306, 2400, 2402, 2403, 
2404, 2407, 2408, 2411, 7105.

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2. Revise Sec.  38.621 to read as follows:


Sec.  38.621  Disinterments.

    (a) Interments of eligible decedents in national cemeteries are 
considered permanent and final. Disinterment will be permitted only for 
cogent reasons and with the prior written authorization of the National 
Cemetery District Executive Director or Cemetery Director responsible 
for the cemetery involved. Disinterment from a national cemetery will 
be approved only when:
    (1) A court order or State instrumentality of competent 
jurisdiction directs the disinterment; or
    (2) All living immediate family members of the decedent, and the 
individual who initiated the interment (whether or not the individual 
is a member of the immediate family), give their written consent.
    (i) If the individual who initiated the interment does not consent, 
or is not alive to provide consent, or all living immediate family 
members are not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an 
eligible decedent must provide VA with an order from a court or State 
instrumentality of competent jurisdiction to direct the disinterment as 
provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (ii) For purposes of this section, ``immediate family members'' are 
defined as surviving spouse, whether or not he or she is or was 
remarried; all adult children of the decedent; the appointed 
guardian(s) of minor children; and the appointed guardian(s) of the 
surviving spouse or of the adult child(ren) of the decedent. If the 
surviving spouse and all of the children of the decedent are deceased, 
the decedent's parents will be considered ``immediate family members.''
    (b)(1) All requests to disinter remains as described in paragraph 
(a)(2) of this section must be submitted on VA Form 40-4970, Request 
for Disinterment, and must include the following information:
    (i) A full statement of reasons for the proposed disinterment.
    (ii) Notarized statement(s) by all living immediate family members 
of the decedent, and by the person who initiated the interment (whether 
or not the individual is a member of the immediate family), that all 
parties consent to the proposed disinterment.
    (iii) A notarized statement by the person requesting the 
disinterment that those who supplied affidavits comprise all the living 
immediate family members of the deceased and the individual who 
initiated the interment.
    (2) If the person provides a false certification on VA Form 40-
4970, he or she may be subject to penalties, to include fine or 
imprisonment or both.
    (c) Any VA-approved disinterment in this section must be 
accomplished without expense to the Government.
    (The reporting and recordkeeping requirements contained in 
paragraph (b) of this section have been approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget under OMB control number 2900-0365)

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2404)

[FR Doc. 2022-02682 Filed 2-8-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P