[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 245 (Monday, December 22, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76239-76241]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-29868]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

48 CFR Parts 1509, 1527, and 1552

[EPA-HQ-OARM-2013-0224; FRL-9920-80-OARM]


Acquisition Regulation: Incorporation of Class Deviation to 
Notification of Conflicts of Interest Regarding Personnel and Project 
Employee Confidentiality Agreement

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the EPA 
Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) to incorporate a class deviation to 
clause 1552.209-73, Notification of Conflicts of Interest Regarding 
Personnel, and 1552.227-76, Project Employee Confidentiality Agreement, 
and their respective prescriptions, to include Alternate 1 for the 
subcontract flow-down requirements for other than Superfund work. The 
class deviation to the two clauses was executed to address the 
increased use of these conflict of interest (COI) clauses in non-
Superfund contracts to better protect the Agency from COI. The 
Superfund flow-down language in the basic clauses does not apply or 
relate to non-Superfund contracts and would likely be confusing if the 
Superfund specific language was not deleted. The rule also provides for 
minor administrative edits.

DATES: This final rule is effective on January 21, 2015.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2013-0224. All documents in the docket are listed on 
the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be 
publicly available only in hard copy form.
    Publicly available docket materials are available either 
electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA 
Docket Center, OEI Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open 
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket Center is (202) 
566-1752.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jared F. Van Buskirk, Policy, 
Training, and Oversight Division, Office of Acquisition Management 
(3802R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-3010; email address: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    EPA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 79 FR 
49033, August 19, 2014, to update the EPAAR to incorporate a class 
deviation that was executed to add subcontract flow-down requirements 
for other than Superfund work to the two clauses: 1552.209-73 and 
1552.227-76. The Agency's COI clauses are generally written to address

[[Page 76240]]

COI for the Superfund programs. These two clauses are increasingly 
included in non-Superfund contracts to better protect the Agency from 
COI. No comments were received and no other changes were made to the 
proposed rule.

II. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is 
therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 
(76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 
No information is collected under this action.
C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as Amended by the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice 
and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure 
Act or any other statute; unless the agency certifies that the rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small 
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impact of today's final rule on small 
entities, ``small entity'' is defined as: (1) A small business that 
meets the definition of a small business found in the Small Business 
Act and codified at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental 
jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school 
district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and 
(3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is 
independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.
    After considering the economic impacts of this rule on small 
entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This action 
revises a current EPAAR provision and does not impose requirements 
involving capital investment, implementing procedures, or record 
keeping. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on small 
entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public 
Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on State, Local, and Tribal 
governments and the private sector.
    This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory 
provisions of the Title II of the UMRA) for State, Local, and Tribal 
governments or the private sector. The rule imposes no enforceable duty 
on any State, Local or Tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, 
the rule is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 205 of 
the UMRA.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132, entitled ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 
10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure 
``meaningful and timely input by State and Local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' 
``Policies that have federalism implications'' is defined in the 
Executive Order to include regulations that have ``substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.''
    This rule does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government as 
specified in Executive Order 13132.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175, entitled ``Consultation and Coordination 
with Indian Tribal Governments'' (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful 
and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory 
policies that have tribal implications.'' This rule does not have 
tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks

    Executive Order 13045, entitled ``Protection of Children from 
Environmental Health and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), 
applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically 
significant as defined under Executive Order 12886, and (2) concerns an 
environmental health or safety risk that may have a proportionate 
effect on children. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 
because it is not an economically significant rule as defined by 
Executive Order 12866, and because it does not involve decisions on 
environmental health or safety risks.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, ``Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution of Use'' (66 FR 28335 (MAY 22, 2001), because it is not a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA)

    Section 12(d) (15 U.S.C 272 note) of NTTA, Public Law 104-113, 
directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTA directs EPA to provide 
Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use 
available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards. Therefore, 
EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994) establishes 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision 
directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and 
permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission 
by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or

[[Page 76241]]

environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on 
minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.
    EPA has determined that this rule will not have disproportionately 
high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or 
low-income populations because it does not affect the level of 
protection provided to human health or the environment. This rulemaking 
does not involve human health or environmental affects.

K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. Section 804 exempts from section 801 the following types 
of rules--(1) rules of particular applicability; (2) rules relating to 
agency management or personnel; and (3) rules of agency organization, 
procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or 
obligations of non-agency parties. EPA is not required to submit a rule 
report regarding today's action under section 801 because this is a 
rule of agency organization, procedure, or practice that does not 
substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1509, 1527, and 1552

    Government procurement.

    Dated: December 1, 2014.
John R. Bashista,
Director, Office of Acquisition Management.
    Therefore, 48 CFR Chapter 15 is amended as set forth below:

PART 1509--CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1509 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 
486(c).


0
2. Section 1509.507-2 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) and 
in paragraph (c) introductory text by removing the term ``simplified 
acquisition procedures'' and adding in its place ``simplified 
acquisitions''.
    The revisions read as follows:


1509.507-2  Contract clause.

    (a) The Contracting Officer shall include the clause at 1552.209-
71, in all Superfund contracts in excess of the simplified acquisition 
threshold and, as appropriate, in simplified acquisitions for Superfund 
work. Contracts for other than Superfund work shall include Alternate I 
in this clause in lieu of paragraph (e).
    (b) The Contracting Officer shall include the clause at 1552.209-
73, in all solicitations and contracts for Superfund work in excess of 
the simplified acquisition threshold and, as appropriate, in simplified 
acquisitions for Superfund work. Contracts for other than Superfund 
work shall include Alternate I in this clause in lieu of paragraph (d).
* * * * *

PART 1527--PATENTS, DATA, AND COPYRIGHTS

0
3. The authority citation for part 1527 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 
486(c).


0
4. Revise section 1527.409 to read as follows:


1527.409  Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause in 1552.227-76 in 
all Superfund solicitations and contracts in excess of the simplified 
acquisition threshold and, as appropriate, in simplified acquisitions 
for Superfund work. The clause may be used in other contracts if 
considered necessary by the Contracting Officer. Contracts for other 
than Superfund work shall include Alternate I in this clause in lieu of 
paragraph (d).

PART 1552--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

0
5. The authority citation for part 1552 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 
40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.


0
6. Section 1552.209-73 is amended by removing the term ``Project 
Officer'' in paragraphs (b) and (c) and adding in its place 
``Contracting Officer's Representative'' and adding Alternate I.
    The addition reads as follows:


1552.209-73  Notification of conflicts of interest regarding personnel.

* * * * *
    Alternate I. Contracts for other than Superfund work shall include 
Alternate I in this clause in lieu of paragraph (d).
    (d) The Contractor agrees to insert in each subcontract or 
consultant agreement placed hereunder provisions which shall conform 
substantially to the language of this clause, including this paragraph 
(d), unless otherwise authorized by the Contracting Officer.


0
7. Section 1552.227-76 is amended by adding Alternate I to read as 
follows:


1552.227-76  Project employee confidentiality agreement.

* * * * *
    Alternate I. Contracts for other than Superfund work shall include 
Alternate I in this clause in lieu of paragraph (d).
    (d) The Contractor agrees to insert in each subcontract or 
consultant agreement placed hereunder provisions which shall conform 
substantially to the language of this clause, including this paragraph 
(d), unless otherwise authorized by the Contracting Officer.

[FR Doc. 2014-29868 Filed 12-19-14; 8:45 am]
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