Comment. Three peer reviewers and several commenters suggested inclusion of several specific areas (additional lands on Gulf Islands National Seashore, St. Andrew State Park, and Tyndall AFB; the area on St. Joseph Peninsula from Cape San Blas to Money Bayou, several small areas near Grayton Beach and Lake Powell). One peer reviewer suggested the inclusion of additional private lands, but did not specify where.Our Response: All of the areas suggested by the commenters were considered for inclusion. We added the areas on Tyndall Air Force Base and Gulf Islands National Seashore. We concluded, however, that the other areas did not meet the criteria for designation of critical habitat. Many of the suggested areas did not include beach mouse habitat or contain the PCE’s, or were not of sufficient size to provide any long- term conservation benefits.Critical habitat designations do not signal that habitat outside the designation is unimportant or may not be required for recovery. However, a critical habitat designation is limited to areas occupied by the species at the time of listing on which PCE’s are found, or areas that are essential to the conservation of the species. The designation of critical habitat may not include all of the habitat areas that may eventually be determined to be necessary for the recovery of the species. Please note that when beach mice occupy such areas, they are still consulted on under the Act, regardless of their inclusion within critical habitat.
Comment. Two peer reviewersdiscussed the geography of the Weches Formation and wondered how it may influence the range of the Texas golden gladecress. One reviewer indicated that it is a common misconception that the Weches Formation centers on Nacogdoches and San Augustine Counties. He pointed out that the Weches Formation also extends over 100 miles (161 km) to the north into Smith, Wood, Upshur, Marion, and Cass Counties in Texas, and even across into Miller County, Arkansas. A second reviewer described the Weches formation as consisting of Eocene age deposits lying mostly in an east-west band. This reviewer further pointed out a northeast to southwest trend in Cherokee County, Texas, proceeding northeastward toward Tyler, Texas.Referencing the U.S. Department ofAgriculture’s soils surveys of Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Houston, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties, the reviewer indicated that most acreage of Weches Outcrop may occur in Cherokee County. The former reviewer indicated that he was not aware of any systematic surveys of these widely dispersed outcrops for the presence of the endemic glade plants. He recommended that some attention and resources be directed at exploring the other Weches outcrops that stretch north to Cass County and suggested that any ruling by the Service or subsequent recovery plan for Texas golden gladecress include provisions for surveying these areas.Our Response: The Service recognizesthe extent of the Weches Formation reaches the above referenced counties. However, the Service has not found or received any data indicating that the species is present in these othercounties. The Service is required to use the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of listing. We relied on all available information regarding the known occurrences of the Texas golden gladecress at the time of listing; none of the known occurrences was reported from outside Sabine and San Augustine Counties (with the exception of the introduced population in Nacogdoches County). Further analysis of geological correlations with the Texas golden gladecress is an issue to be addressed in recovery planning.Furthermore, as a federally listed endangered species, the Texas golden gladecress will be afforded the protections of the Act wherever found.
Comment. Concerning Clause 10.1: It is here specified what portion of the Leased Object the parties have as per contract signing assumed will be included in the lessor’s voluntary real estate lease registration in the Value Added Tax Register. In order for an area to be included in the lessor’s voluntary registration, such area must be used in one of the following ways:
Comment. LICENSOR shall use reasonable efforts to provide COMPANY with copies of all filings and official correspondence pertaining to such Prosecution and Maintenance of the Licensed Patents at least thirty days prior to any deadline so as to give COMPANY an opportunity to advise and cooperate with LICENSOR in such Prosecution and Maintenance. In the event LICENSOR desires to transfer the prosecution of any of the Licensed Patents to new patent counsel, LICENSOR shall be responsible for costs associated with effecting the transfer and COMPANY’s written consent shall be obtained, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
Comment. A professor from a law school writes in opposition to the proposed rule. The commenter states that the “responsibility for education of their children is the prerogative of the parent, not the state. The Chassidic lifestyle rejects much of the current culture. Our views on morality are often diametrically opposed to what has now become standard in society.” The commenter states that “[w]e have done a magnificent job in educating our children. The commenter asserts that the proposed rule “is an assault on the Orthodox and Chassidic communities. You have, to date, rejected the evaluation of our Talmudic studies as ’equivalent.’ As a law professor for over five decades, I can tell you that the intellectual rigor of Talmudic studies exceeds by far the standard fare in public education. Our children are taught how to read text critically and are schooled in the Socratic method. They enter the world of commerce with the skills to be problem solvers and their successes are notable.” The commenter continues stating, “I would think that before undertaking such a serious assault on our communities, you would take the trouble to truly understand our educational system. That has not happened. No one has reviewed the outstanding accomplishments of our students. They far exceed that of students in the public schools.” RESPONSE: See the Department’s response above which addresses the right of parents to direct the education of their children, the success of nonpublic schools, consideration of religious studies, and stakeholder engagement. No changes to the proposed rule are needed.
Comment. One commenter provided information on the potential benefits of the proposed critical habitat designation, stating that the Service should take into consideration the economic benefits of protecting habitat for the sunfish, such as ecosystem services and preservation of riparian buffers.Our Response: As detailed in section 2.5 of the FEA, the Service does not forecast additional conservation efforts being implemented due to critical habitat designation for the sunfish. As a result, no changes in economic activity or land or water management are expected to result from this critical habitat designation. Absent these changes, the FEA does not forecast incremental economic benefits from this rulemaking. Comments from StatesSection 4(i) of the Act states, “the Secretary [of the Interior] shall submit to the State agency a written justification for his failure to adopt regulations consistent with the agency’s comments or petition.” We received two comments from individuals who are employees of a State agency (Geological Survey of Alabama). One of these individualswas also a peer reviewer (see “Peer Reviewer Comments,” above). The State provided additional information on the species’ habitat, specifically related to hydrology, but did not state a position on the critical habitat designation. State comments regarding the species’ habitat in general and the efficacy of CCAAs as a conservation instrument given the threat of urban growth were addressed in our final listing rule published on October 2, 2013 (78 FR 60766).Summary of Changes from Proposed Rule In preparing this final rule, we reviewed and fully considered comments from the public and peer reviewers that we received concerning the proposed critical habitat designation. Based on information we received from a private landowner and the discovery of a boundary error in Unit 1, followed by further biological examination of the land, we removed approximately 67.6 acres (ac) (27.3 hectares (ha)) from proposed Unit1. The rationale for this change is described in more detail in our April 29, 2013, Federal Register publication (78 FR 25033).Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we are excluding from critical habitat designation areas in Unit 1 that are covered under the Belle Mina Farms Ltd., McDonald Farms, and Horton Farm CCAAs, as proposed in our February 5, 2014, Federal Register document (79 FR 6871), because the Secretary finds that the benefits of excluding these areas outweigh the benefits of including them ...
Comment. Commenters who generally support the proposed regulation stated that the regulation should be strengthened in several ways. Some commenters stated that LSA review should be increased to every three years (more in line with daycares and restaurants) and that existing schools should be reviewed every year through standardized assessments. Commenters suggested that, following a final determination that a school is not substantially equivalent, punitive measures should be taken against the heads of nonpublic schools who knowingly and intentionally deny children an education. Some commenters suggested that all schools should be required to be accredited through certain bodies, such as Middle States or Tri States. Another commenter stated that Cognia must be included on the approved list, which the commenter opines is too limited. Other commenters suggested that all nonpublic schools should be required to submit BEDS information annually and/or be given a state report card that is publicly and easily accessible. RESPONSE: The Department believes that the proposed rule's substantial equivalency review cycles are reasonable. Additionally, the proposed rule provides numerous safeguards to ensure that substantial equivalency determinations are fair and accurate. These safeguards include: (1) the ability for the Commissioner to review evidence submitted to the LSA from the nonpublic school demonstrating that it meets a pathway pursuant to section 130.3(b) of the proposed rule; (2) the complaint procedure outlined in section 130.11 of the proposed rule; (3) the option for those considering themselves aggrieved by an LSA’s substantial equivalency determination to file an Education Law § 310 appeal to the Commissioner pursuant to section 130.12 of the proposed rule; (4) the Commissioner’s ability to review records and/or documentation that an LSA used to make its substantial equivalency determination; and (5) the Commissioner’s ability to initiate review of the determination to determine whether it is supported and issue a decision on such pursuant to section 130.13 of the proposed rule. The Department does not have any statutory authority to (i) take punitive measures against heads of nonpublic schools that do not provide substantially equivalent instruction; (ii) require that all nonpublic schools be accredited through an accrediting body; or (iii) require all nonpublic schools to submit BEDS information annually and/or be given a state report card that is publicly an...
Comment. Three peer reviewersquestioned how, if northern spotted owl populations are declining across its range, can reducing the amount of critical habitat, as proposed, lead to recovery?Our Response: In determining whichareas to propose as critical habitat within the area occupied by the species at the time of listing, we consider the physical and biological features (i.e., PCEs) that are essential to the conservation of the species and that may require special management considerations and protection. Critical habitat addresses one component ofspotted owl recovery, but it is not intended to be the only tool for recovery. The species may continue to face non-habitat threats regardless of how much critical habitat is designated (e.g., Courtney et al. 2008, p. 120; USFWS 2008, p. VII). Population modeling indicates that the maintenance and restoration of habitat as described in the 2008 final recovery plan, upon which this critical habitat revision is based, is adequate to support well-distributed populations of reproducing spotted owl pairs over the long term to achieve recovery of the species (Marcot et al. 2008). An important element of the model for this reserve system is that it must assume a stable population (a finite rate of population growth, or λ, of 1), otherwise a declining population will eventually proceed to extinction no matter how large the reserves are (USFWS 2008, p. 77). Increasing adult survivorship appears to be the key factor in achieving population stability for the northern spotted owl (Anthony et al. 2006, p. 30; Courtney et al. 2008, p. 120; USFWS 2008, p. 47, p. 77). The most recent scientific review of the draft recovery plan acknowledges that there is no evidence to suggest that increasing the size of habitat reserves would alter adult survivorship, and points to control of barred owls as a more likely means of increasing the survivorship of spotted owls (Courtney et al. 2008, pp. 120 to 121). Reducing the currently observed population decline of the northern spotted owl is one of the key short-term strategies of the final recovery plan, which invokes recovery actions such as potential control of barred owls in addition to the protection of habitat to achieve this goal (USFWS 2008, pp. 12 to 15).
Comment. The basic premise of the NRC rule change fails to take into account ongoing industry-wide discovery of insufficient material fill, large voids and cracking in seals as the result of the problematic installation of the silicone foam penetration seal material in the field. In numerous cases, licensees have reported universal fire seal installation problems involving the silicone foam material. Such evidence documents improperly installed silicone-based penetration seals. The NRC also fails to take into account that licensees are using the same problematic material to replace inoperable fire seals. Given these recurring and what appears to be ongoing failures, the NRC does not offer any method for determining how it is achieving properly tested, configured, installed and maintained silicone-based penetration seals. Given the apparent lack of reasonable assurance that fire barrier seals are adequately inspected to determine that they have been properly tested, configured, installed and maintained, it is inappropriate to reduce the fire protection standard by removing the non- combustibility standard. Similarly, it is inappropriate to maintain a policy of enforcement discretion for the same noncombustibility standard.Response. The NRC disagrees with the commenter's implicit argument that historical problems with installation of silicone fire barrier penetration seals have not been rectified, such that the Appendix R non-combustibility requirement should be retained.The NRC disagrees with the commenter's assertion that improper installation and maintenance of fire barrier penetration seals is a reasonable basis for retaining the current noncombustibility requirement. First, proper installation of fire barrierpenetration seals is necessary in order for the seals to perform their intended safety function, regardless of whether the seals are made of combustible or noncombustible materials. Licensees must have appropriate procedures for installation of Appendix R-required fire barrier penetration seals and implement corrective action if improperly installed seals are discovered, regardless of the combustibility of the fire barrier penetration seal material. Thus, while improperly installed fire barrier penetration seals raise valid concerns with respect to their functionality, these concerns are not relevant to the issue of the need for a noncombustibility requirement.Second, the NRC disagrees with the commenter's implicit argument that there are widespread problems...
Comment. The commenter objects to the extension, from 15 to 20 days, after the postmark for customers to pay outstanding bills. The commenter notifies customers of outstanding balances on monthly invoices and then sends a separate notice, which provides customers with additional time to pay and provides proof(s) of their “pending disconnection” status for use when applying for agency assistance. Implementation of this change will require sufficient time to reprogram the commenter’s billing system after the new regulations are adopted; however, the commenter could implement the change in July 2022. (ACE) RESPONSE: Extending this period is beneficial for customers, especially in the current economic climate, providing customers additional time to obtain proper funds or to inquire into financial assistance. The Board believes that this benefit outweighs the cost of implementing this change. The Board notes that the commenter states that this change could be implemented in July 2022. However, should the commenter experience significant difficulties in implementing this aspect of the proposed rules, the commenter may file a waiver request for the Board’s consideration. The Board believes that the current and proposed rules adequately protect customers.