Posted: December 8, 2017
More: energy

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is promulgating a final rule (2017 final delay rule) to temporarily suspend or delay certain requirements contained in the rule published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2016, entitled, “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation” (2016 final rule) until January 17, 2019. The BLM has concerns regarding the statutory authority, cost, complexity, feasibility, and other implications of the 2016 final rule, and therefore intends to avoid imposing likely considerable and immediate compliance costs on operators for requirements that may be rescinded or significantly revised in the near future. The 2017 final delay rule does not substantively change the 2016 final rule, but simply postpones implementation of the compliance requirements for certain provisions of the 2016 final rule for 1 year.


The BLM's onshore oil and gas management program is a major contributor to our nation's oil and gas production. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of Federal land and 700 million acres of subsurface estate, making up nearly a third of the nation's mineral estate. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, sales volumes from Federal onshore production lands accounted for 9 percent of domestic natural gas production, and 5 percent of total U.S. oil production. Over $1.9 billion in royalties were collected from all oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids transactions in FY 2016 on Federal and Indian lands. Royalties from Federal lands are shared with States. Royalties from Indian lands are collected for the benefit of the Indian owners.


In response to oversight reviews and a recognition of increased flaring from Federal and Indian leases, the BLM developed the 2016 final rule entitled, “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation,” which was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2016. See 81 FR 83008 (Nov. 18, 2016). The rule replaced the BLM's existing policy at that time, Notice to Lessees and Operators of Onshore Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases, Royalty or Compensation for Oil and Gas Lost (NTL-4A). The 2016 final rule was intended to: Reduce waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production activities on onshore Federal and Indian leases; clarify when produced gas lost through venting, flaring, or leaks is subject to royalties; and clarify when oil and gas production may be used royalty free on-site. The 2016 final rule became effective on January 17, 2017. Many of the 2016 final rule's provisions are to be phased in over time, and are to become operative on January 17, 2018.


Since late January 2017, the President has issued several Executive Orders that necessitate a review of the 2016 final rule by the Department. On January 30, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13771, entitled, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” which requires Federal agencies to take proactive measures to reduce the costs associated with complying with Federal regulations. In addition, on March 28, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13783, entitled, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Section 7(b) of Executive Order 13783 directs the Secretary of the Interior to review four specific rules, including the 2016 final rule, for consistency with the policy articulated in section 1 of the Order and, “if appropriate,” to publish proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding those rules. Among other things, section 1 of Executive Order 13783 states that “[i]t is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.”



Posted: November 30, 2017
More: information collection

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Indian Health Service (IHS) is submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for an extension of a previously approved collection of information titled, “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery: IHS Customer Service Satisfaction and Similar Surveys” (OMB Control Number 0917-0036), which expires July 30, 2018. This proposed information collection project was recently published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2017, and allowed 60 days for public comment. The IHS received no comments regarding this collection. The purpose of this notice is to allow 30 days for public comment to be submitted directly to OMB.


Title: OMB Control No. 0917-0036, Fast Track Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery: IHS Customer Service Satisfaction and Similar Surveys. Abstract: The IHS will be engaging in information collection activities that will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery within Federal Agencies. Qualitative feedback is information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insight into customer or stakeholder perceptions, opinions, experiences and expectations, and provide an early warning of issues with service. Also, the collection of qualitative feedback will assist IHS to focus its attention on areas where communication, training, or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. Furthermore, the collection activity will allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.



Posted: November 30, 2017
More: information collection

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, which requires 60 days for public comment on proposed information collection projects, the Indian Health Service (IHS) invites the general public to take this opportunity to comment on the information collection Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number 0917-XXXX, titled, Information Security Ticketing and Incident Reporting. The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment to be submitted directly to OMB. A copy of the draft supporting statement is available at www.regulations.gov (see Docket ID IHS_FRDOC_001).


The IHS Office of Information Technology is submitting the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques of other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.



Posted: November 21, 2017
More: arizona, liquor, salt river

This notice publishes an amendment to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's Chapter 14, Alcoholic Beverage Control Ordinance.


Pursuant to the Act of August 15, 1953, Public Law 83-277, 67 Stat. 586, 18 U.S.C. 1161, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Rice v. Rehner, 463 U.S. 713 (1983), the Secretary of the Interior shall certify and publish in the Federal Register notice of adopted liquor control ordinances for the purpose of regulating liquor transactions in Indian country. On June 7, 2017, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community Council duly adopted the amendment to the Community's Chapter 14, Alcoholic Beverage Control Ordinance by Ordinance SRO-492-2017. This Federal Register notice amends the existing Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's Chapter 14, Alcoholic Beverage Control Ordinance, enacted by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council, which was published in the Federal Register on January 21, 2016 (81 FR 3453). By the delegated authority contained in 3 IAM 4.4, the Western Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, approved the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's amendment on August 9, 2017.


This notice is published in accordance with the authority delegated by the Secretary of the Interior to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. I certify that the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona, duly adopted this amendment to the Community's Chapter 14, Alcoholic Beverage Control Ordinance on June 7, 2017.



Posted: November 17, 2017
More: lending

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau or CFPB) is issuing this final rule establishing regulations creating consumer protections for certain consumer credit products and the official interpretations to the rule. First, the rule identifies it as an unfair and abusive practice for a lender to make covered short-term or longer-term balloon-payment loans, including payday and vehicle title loans, without reasonably determining that consumers have the ability to repay the loans according to their terms. The rule exempts certain loans from the underwriting criteria prescribed in the rule if they have specific consumer protections. Second, for the same set of loans along with certain other high-cost longer-term loans, the rule identifies it as an unfair and abusive practice to make attempts to withdraw payment from consumers' accounts after two consecutive payment attempts have failed, unless the consumer provides a new and specific authorization to do so. Finally, the rule prescribes notices to consumers before attempting to withdraw payments from their account, as well as processes and criteria for registration of information systems, for requirements to furnish and obtain information from them, and for compliance programs and record retention. The rule prohibits evasions and operates as a floor leaving State and local jurisdictions to adopt further regulatory measures (whether a usury limit or other protections) as appropriate to protect consumers.



Posted: November 16, 2017
More: information collection, probate

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to renew an information collection.


Abstract: The Secretary of the Interior probates the estates of individual Indians owning trust or restricted property in accordance with 25 U.S.C. 372-373. In order to compile the probate file, the BIA must obtain the family heirship data regarding the deceased from individuals and the tribe. This section contains the procedures that the Secretary of the Interior follows to initiate the probate of the trust estate for a deceased person who owns an interest in trust or restricted property. The Secretary must perform the necessary research of family heirship data collection requests in this part to obtain the information necessary to compile an accurate and complete probate file. This file will be forwarded to the Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) for disposition. Responses to these information collection requests are required to create a probate file for the decedent's estate so that OHA can determine the heirs of the decedent and order distribution of the trust assets in the decedent's estate.



Posted: November 13, 2017
More: fees, igra

The National Indian Gaming Commission proposes to amend its fee regulations. The proposed rule would require the Commission to adopt annual fee rates no later than November 1 of each year. In addition, the proposed rule defines the fiscal year of the gaming operation that will be used for calculating the fee payments. Finally, the proposed rule includes additional revisions intended to clarify the fee calculation and submission process for gaming operations.


Under the current fee regulations, the Commission adopts a preliminary fee rate by March 1 and a final fee rate by June 1 of every year. In addition, the NIGC annually reviews the costs involved in processing fingerprint cards and adopts a preliminary rate by March 1 and a final rate by June 1. The Commission believes that the current process would be improved by moving to an annual final fee rate announced on or before November 1 of each year. This change would improve the Commission's analysis and budgeting process and simplify the fee calculation and payment process for gaming operations, thereby reducing the frequency of error in fee calculation. Proposed changes to the fee regulations were therefore included as a topic in a November 22, 2016, letter to tribal leaders introducing the Commission's 2017 consultation series.



Posted: November 13, 2017
More: fees, igra

The National Indian Gaming Commission proposes to amend its fee regulations. The proposed rule would require the Commission to adopt annual fee rates no later than November 1 of each year. In addition, the proposed rule defines the fiscal year of the gaming operation that will be used for calculating the fee payments. Finally, the proposed rule includes additional revisions intended to clarify the fee calculation and submission process for gaming operations.


The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA or Act), Public Law 100-497, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., was signed into law on October 17, 1988. The Act establishes the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC or Commission) and sets out a comprehensive framework for the regulation of gaming on Indian lands. The IGRA established an agency funding framework whereby gaming operations licensed by tribes pay a fee to the Commission for each gaming operation that conducts Class II or Class III gaming activity that is regulated by IGRA. 25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(1). These fees are used to fund the Commission in carrying out its regulatory authority. Fees are based on the gaming operation's gross revenues. The rate of fees is established annually by the Commission and shall be payable on a quarterly basis. 25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(3). IGRA limits the total amount of fees imposed during any fiscal year to 0.08 percent of the gross gaming revenues of all gaming operations subject to regulation under IGRA. Failure of a gaming operation to pay the fees imposed by the Commission's fee schedule can be grounds for a civil enforcement action. 25 U.S.C. 2713(a)(1).


The purpose of Part 514 is to establish how the NIGC sets and collects those fees, to establish a basic formula for tribes to utilize in calculating the amount of fees to pay, and to advise of the consequences for failure to pay the fees. Part 514 further establishes how the NIGC determines and assesses fingerprint processing fees.


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