[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 76 (Friday, April 21, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18721-18722]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-08033]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

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

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Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 76 / Friday, April 21, 2017 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 18721]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 1051

[Docket No. AO-15-0071; AMS-DA-14-0095]


Proposed California Federal Milk Marketing Order; Producer 
Ballots

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Request for public comments.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 
this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) 
intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget 
for a new information collection: Proposed California Federal Milk 
Marketing Order; Referendum Procedures.

DATES: Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the 
information collection burden that would result from the conduct of a 
referendum must be received by June 20, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Comments should reference the docket number, title of 
action, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and 
can be viewed and submitted at the Federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Taylor, Acting Director, Order 
Formulation and Enforcement Division, USDA/AMS/Dairy Program, STOP 
0231, Room 2969-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-
0231, (202) 720-7311, email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This announcement is issued pursuant to the 
PRA. This document invites comments on the proposed ballots to be used 
in conducting a referendum to determine whether the issuance of a 
Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in 
California is favored by producers and cooperative associations. The 
Recommended Decision on the issuance of a FMMO in California was 
published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2017 (82 FR 10634). 
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is accepting comments on this 
Recommended Decision until May 15, 2017, and, following review, will 
issue a Final Decision on promulgating a California FMMO. Sections 
900.300 through 900.311 of title 7 of the CFR outline procedures to 
conduct a referendum to determine producer approval of FMMO 
promulgation or amendatory proceedings. These referendum procedures 
would apply to the proposed California FMMO, should the Final Decision 
continue to recommend its adoption. AMS would conduct the referendum 
using the proposed ballot forms for which this document invites 
comments. Once these ballots are approved, they will also be used to 
determine producer approval for future FMMO promulgation and amendatory 
proceedings, including any subsequent referenda under the proposed 
California FMMO.
    In accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
regulations (5 CFR part 1320) that implement the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) (PRA), the information collection 
requirements associated with the FMMO program have been previously 
approved by OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581-0032 collection, ``Report 
Forms under the Federal Milk Marketing Order Program.''
    7 U.S.C. 608c(9) provides two options for determining industry 
approval of a new FMMO: (1) By two-thirds of those persons voting; or 
(2) by two-thirds of the milk represented in the referendum. The AMAA 
lays out the statutory authority for conducting a referendum to 
determine industry approval of a new FMMO. 7 CFR 900.300 outlines 
procedures for conducting a referendum, to include: Definitions; 
associations eligible to vote; conduct of referendum; who may vote; 
duties of referendum agent; notice of the referendum; time for voting; 
tabulation of ballots; confidential information; supplementary 
instructions; and submittals or requests. This document invites 
comments for the proposed ballots used to conduct a producer referendum 
regarding promulgation of a California FMMO. Upon approval, these 
ballots will also be used to determine producer and cooperative 
association approval for future FMMO promulgation and amendatory 
proceedings, including any subsequent referenda under the proposed 
California FMMO.
    In accordance with the PRA, this document announces AMS' intention 
to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 
for an information collection totaling 363.25 hours for the 
requirements contained in the ballots to carry out the referendum 
procedures for promulgating a California FMMO.
    A new information collection package is being submitted to OMB for 
approval of 363.25 total burden hours to cover this new collection for 
conducting a producer referendum on the proposed California FMMO. Upon 
OMB's approval of this new information collection, AMS intends to merge 
this new information collection into the approved OMB No. 0581-0032 
collection.
    In accordance with 5 CFR part 1320, we have included below a 
description of the collection and recordkeeping requirements and an 
estimate of the annual burden on entities who would participate in the 
California producer referendum. As with all mandatory regulatory 
programs, reporting and recordkeeping burdens are periodically reviewed 
to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and 
public sector agencies. The PRA provides authority for this action.
    Title: Proposed California Federal Milk Marketing Order; Referendum 
Procedures.
    OMB Number: 0581-NEW.
    Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from date of approval.
    Type of Request: This is a NEW collection.
    Abstract: FMMO regulations (7 CFR 900.300 through 900.311) 
authorized under the AMAA of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674, and 
7253), outline procedures for conducting referenda to determine 
producer approval of milk marketing orders. These referendum procedures 
would be used to determine approval for the proposed California FMMO.
    The information collection requirements in this document concern 
the ballots to carry out a referendum to determine industry approval of 
the

[[Page 18722]]

proposed California FMMO. Upon issuance of a Final Decision, producers 
and/or cooperative associations potentially affected by the proposed 
California FMMO would be authorized to vote in the referendum regarding 
their support of the Final Decision. Under this referendum, cooperative 
associations would be able to elect to bloc vote on behalf of their 
members; in this case, cooperative associations would submit to AMS a 
Cooperative Ballot in addition to a Certificate of Resolution and an 
Intent to Bloc Vote indicating the cooperative association's decision 
to vote on behalf of its members. Cooperative associations that either 
check ``no'' or who do not return their Intent to Bloc Vote form to AMS 
promptly would be designated as not bloc voting on behalf of their 
members. In this case, a Milk Producer's Ballot would be sent to each 
producer associated with that cooperative. Producers who are not 
associated with a cooperative would be sent a Milk Producer's Ballot to 
indicate their support for or against the promulgation of the proposed 
California FMMO. These same ballots will be used by USDA to carry out 
future referendum procedures to determine support for promulgation or 
amendatory proceedings in other FMMO rulemakings.
    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 0.25 hours per response.
    Respondents: Milk producers and cooperative associations.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,443.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 1,453.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 363.25.
    As with all FMMOs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to 
reduce information requirements and duplication by industry. USDA has 
not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with this document. USDA has performed this initial RFA 
analysis regarding the impact of this document on small businesses.
    An estimated 1,453 responses would provide information to AMS. The 
estimated cost of providing the information to AMS by respondents would 
be $12,205.20. This total has been estimated by multiplying 363.25 
total hours required for reporting and recordkeeping by $33.60, the 
average mean hourly earnings of Farmers, Ranchers, and Other 
Agricultural Managers, as denoted by the U.S. Department of Labor 
Statistics National Compensation Survey.
    The proposed California FMMO's referendum procedures have been 
carefully reviewed, and every effort has been made to minimize any 
unnecessary recordkeeping costs or requirements, including efforts to 
utilize procedures already administered by USDA.

Request for Public Comment Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    Comments are invited on: (1) The accuracy of the agency's estimate 
of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (2) ways to enhance 
the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; 
and (3) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.
    Comments concerning the information collection requirements 
contained in this action should reference OMB No. 0581-NEW. In 
addition, the docket number, date, and page number of this issue of the 
Federal Register also should be referenced. Comments should be sent to 
the same addresses referenced in the ADDRESSES section of this 
document.
    A 60-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to 
comment on this proposed information collection. All written comments 
received will be summarized and included in the request for OMB 
approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: April 17, 2017.
Bruce Summers,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-08033 Filed 4-20-17; 8:45 am]
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