On November 15, 2012, OHA issued a decision granting an Application for Exception filed by Ascent Battery Supply, LLC (Ascent) for relief from the provisions of 10 C.F.R. Part 430, Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for General Service Fluorescent Lamps and Incandescent Reflector Lamps (Lighting Efficiency Standards). In its exception request, Ascent asserted that it will suffer a serious hardship, gross inequity and an unfair distribution of burdens if required to adhere to the new Lighting Efficiency Standards, effective July 14, 2012 (2009 Final Rule), with respect to its 700 series T8 General Service Fluorescent Lamps (GSFL). Specifically, Ascent cited a previous OHA decision in which OHA granted exception relief to Philips Lighting Company (Philips), GE Lighting (GE) and OSRAM SYLVANIA, Inc. (OSI), as well as several subsequent cases granting similar relief to other manufacturers, and maintained that Ascent will be at an unfair competitive disadvantage if relief is granted to Philips, GE, and OSI, and other manufacturers, but not to Ascent. In this case, OHA determined that the rare earth market remains volatile, and, as a result, domestic manufacturers remain subject to fluctuations in rare earth supply and prices for the foreseeable future. OHA further concluded that these circumstances, which compelled our initial approval of exception relief for Philips, GE, and OSI, have by consequence created a gross inequity for domestic manufacturers like Ascent because the three companies may continue to market 700 series T8 GSFLs for a period of two years while other manufacturers may not do so. This would give Philips, GE, and OSI an additional competitive advantage over smaller domestic manufacturers, an unintended consequence of both the existing regulations and of our subsequent exception relief to the three companies. Therefore, OHA determined that granting Ascent exception relief was warranted in order to prevent inequities among the domestic lighting manufacturers. Accordingly, OHA granted exception relief to the Applicant authorizing it to continue to manufacture 700 series T8 GSFLs subject to the currently applicable efficiency standards for a period of two years from the effective date of the regulations, until July 14, 2014.