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National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); Assistance to Private Sector Property Insurers; Extension of Term of Arrangement

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Interim final rule.

SUMMARY:

FEMA is changing the current Financial Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement (the Arrangement) to extend its term of October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2003, to a term of October 1, 2002, through December 31, 2003. The Arrangement defines the duties and responsibilities of insurers that sell and service insurance under the Write Your Own (WYO) program. It also identifies the responsibilities of the Government to provide financial and technical assistance to these insurers.

DATES:

Effective October 1, 2003. Comments on this interim final rule, should be received on or before October 6, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comments to the Rules Docket Clerk, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW., Room 840, Washington, DC 20472, (facsimile) 202-646-4536, or (e-mail) rules@fema.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Edward L. Connor, FEMA, 500 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20472, 202-646-3429 (Phone), 202-646-3445 (facsimile), or Edward.Connor@dhs.gov (e-mail).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On August 9, 2002, FEMA published in the Federal Register, 67 FR 51768, a final rule to revise the effective date of the Arrangement to agree with the new Arrangement year beginning October 1, 2002, and ending September 30, 2003.

FEMA had planned to make significant changes in the Arrangement regarding litigation issues effective October 1, 2003. However, as the proposed rule for these changes has not yet been published in the Federal Register, it is not feasible to complete the rulemaking for an effective date of October 1, 2003. WYO insurers need to receive an offer to enter into the Arrangement each year well in advance of the beginning of the Arrangement year. By extending the current Arrangement for an additional 3 months, the revised Arrangement with the litigation changes can be effective January 1, 2004, instead of postponing these changes to October 1, 2004. WYO insurers can always elect to cease participation in the WYO program at any time, so any insurer not desiring to participate for the additional 3 months of this extension may cease participation as of October 1, 2003.

Under this extension of the current Arrangement, the expense allowance provided for in Article III, Section B of APPENDIX A TO PART 62—FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION, FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE/SUBSIDY ARRANGEMENT will remain the same for the additional 3 months as it is now, except there will be no additional expense allowance of up to two percentage points for meeting marketing goals for the three-month extension. This additional expense allowance will be based on the period October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2003. Start Printed Page 52701

National Environmental Policy Act

This interim final rule falls within the exclusion category 44 CFR part 10.8(d)(2)(ii), which addresses the preparation, revision, and adoption of regulations, directives, and other guidance documents related to actions that qualify for categorical exclusions. Qualifying for this exclusion and because no other extraordinary circumstances have been identified, this interim final rule will not require the preparation of either an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

We have prepared and reviewed this rule under the provisions of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. Under Executive Order 12866, 58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993, a significant regulatory action is subject to an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and the requirements of the Executive Order. The Executive Order defines “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:

(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;

(2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

(3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

(4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

For the reasons that follow we have concluded that this interim final rule is neither an economically significant nor a significant regulatory action under the Executive Order. The interim final rule will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, the insurance sector, competition, or other sectors of the economy. It will create no serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. It will not materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof. Nor does it raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

OMB has not reviewed this rule under the principles of Executive Order 12866.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This interim final rule does not contain a collection of information and it is therefore not subject to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

Executive Order 13132, Federalism, dated August 4, 1999, sets forth principles and criteria that agencies must adhere to in formulating and implementing policies that have federalism implications, that is, regulations that have substantial direct effects on the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Federal agencies must closely examine the statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States, and to the extent practicable, must consult with State and local officials before implementing any such action.

We have reviewed this rule under E.O. 13132 and have concluded that the rule does not have federalism implications as defined by the Executive Order. We have determined that the rule does not significantly affect the rights, roles, and responsibilities of States, and involves no preemption of State law nor does it limit State policymaking discretion.

Executive Order 12778, Civil Justice Reform

This interim final rule meets the applicable standards of section 2(b)(2) of E.O. 12778.

Administrative Procedure Act Statement

In general, FEMA publishes a rule for public comment before issuing a final rule, under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 533 and 44 CFR 1.12. The Administrative Procedure Act, however, provides an exception from that general rule where the agency for good cause finds the procedures for comment and response contrary to the public interest. The public benefit of this rule is the continuation of the WYO arrangement without interruption. Therefore, we believe it is contrary to the public interest to delay the benefits of this rule. In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), we find that there is good cause for the interim final rule to be published without prior public comment and without a full 30-day delayed effective date.

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List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 62

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Accordingly, we amend

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PART 62—SALE OF INSURANCE AND ADJUSTMENT OF CLAIMS

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1. The authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 43 FR 41943, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 329; E.O. 12127 of Mar. 31, 1979, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 376.

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2. In Appendix A to part 62, revise the first sentence of Article V, Section A to read as follows:

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Appendix A to part 62—Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Insurance Administration, Financial Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement.

Article V * * *

A. This Arrangement shall be effective for the period October 1, 2002 through December 31, 2003. * * *

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Dated: August 29, 2003.

Michael D. Brown,

Under Secretary, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security.

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[FR Doc. 03-22659 Filed 9-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6718-03-P