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Geoscience Policy Monthly Review: July 2013

The Monthly Review is part of a continuing effort to improve communications about the role of geoscience in policy. Current and archived monthly reviews are available online.

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Federal Register

EPA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is implementing a policy requiring organizations generating or using environmental data under certain Agency-funded assistance agreements to submit documentation of their competency prior to award of the agreement. Because implementation tools are currently being developed by the Agency, EPA is delaying the required effective date of the Policy to October 1, 2013.  [Monday, July 1, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 126)]

EPA – On May 9, 2013 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued for public comment a document entitled, “Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis.” The purpose of this notice is to extend the public comment period to September 6, 2013. [Monday, July 1, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 126)]

EOP – The Executive Office of the President (EOP) issued a memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a new proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from power plants by September 20, 2013. [Monday, July 1, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 126)]

FCC – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a proposal rule to make certain spectrum allocations to federal space operations and seeks comment on the future spectrum needs of the commercial space sector. [Monday, July 1, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 126)]

NOAA – The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Program Office, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the lead agency for, proposes rules to implement provisions of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009. The Act calls for the establishment of a National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System to gather and disseminate data on key coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes variables. [Tuesday, July 2, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 127)]

NRC – The Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) is issuing a draft report for public comment, titled Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor. The purpose of this study was to examine if faster removal of older, colder spent reactor fuel from pools to dry cask storage significantly reduces risks to public health and safety in the case of a severe earthquake. [Tuesday, July 2, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 127)]

DOD – The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will participate in a survey of students and parents of DoDEA schools on how these groups are using and would like to use technology for learning in and out of school. Broad areas of information gathered via the surveys include: The benefits of using technology for learning; attitudes and interest in math and science, as well as career aspirations; how respondents self-assess their 21st century skills competencies. [Monday, July 8, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 130)]

DOI – The Department of the Interior is seeking nominations to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The Committee provides advice and recommendations related to the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, reviews and comments upon geospatial policy and management issues, and provide a forum for views of non-Federal stakeholders in the geospatial community. [Monday, July 8, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 130)]

NIFA – The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) intends to initiate a new challenge area within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to address water issues. The program will focus on developing solutions for water management that link food, water, climate change, energy, and environmental issues. NIFA's approach will link social, economic, and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical sciences and engineering to address watershed- or aquifer-scale problems. [Monday, July 8, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 130)]

DOE – The Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice that the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee will be renewed for a two-year period beginning on July 1, 2013. The Committee will provide advice to the Director, Office of Science (DOE), on the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program managed by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research. [Tuesday, July 9, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 131)]

DOE – The Loan Programs Office of the Department of Energy (DOE) announces a draft of a potential future solicitation announcement for Federal Loan Guarantees for Advanced Fossil Energy Projects. DOE may make up to $8 billion Dollars in loan guarantee authority available to fossil fuel projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or greenhouse gases. [Tuesday, July 9, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 131)]

DOE – The Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of the 2013 Annual Plan for the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program on the DOE Web site. This plan continues to reflect the program's focus on safety and environmental sustainability that was initiated in the 2011 plan. [Tuesday, July 9, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 131)]

PHMSA – The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced a series of public meetings of the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee. The purpose of the meetings is to keep the committee members up-to-date on the Department of Transportation’s pipeline safety program. The meetings will be held on August 8th and 9th. More information is available in the posting. [Wednesday, July 10, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 132)]

OSM - The Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office announced its intention to collect data on State Processes for Designating Areas Unsuitable for Surface Coal Mining Operations. This has a 60 day comment period that ends September 9, 2013. [Wednesday, July 10, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 132)]

FRA – The Federal Railroad Administration announced a public meeting regarding the transportation of hazardous material by rail. The meeting will discuss plans and hear comments regarding operational factors that affect the safety of transportation of hazardous materials by rail. The public meeting is scheduled for August 27-28, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. More information is available in the posting. [Thursday, July 18, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 138)]

BLM – the Land Management Bureau has announced the intent to prepare a Resources Management Plan and associated Environmental Impact Survey for the Bering Sea-Western Interior Planning Area. This notice marks the beginning of a public scoping process which will be open to comments until December 16, 2013. More information is available in the posting. [Thursday, July 18, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 138)]

FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a final rule on Base Flood Elevation (BFE) determinations (1% annual chance) for the communities listed in the document. BFEs are the basis for floodplain management measures that are required for each community to adopt to qualify for the National Flood Insurance Program. [Monday, July 22, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 140)]

FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a final rule on Base Flood Elevation (BFE) determinations (1% annual chance) for the communities listed in the document. BFEs are the basis for floodplain management measures that are required for each community to adopt to qualify for the National Flood Insurance Program. [Monday, July 22, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 140)]

FEMA – This notice seeks comments concerning the application for the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS) program. This program allows communities to become eligible for discounts on the cost of flood insurance when they undertake activities to mitigate anticipated damage due to flooding. CRS credits have been added in numerous areas that contribute to the protection of salmonid habitat. [Monday, July 22, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 140)]

DOE – The Loan Programs Office of the Department of Energy (DOE) will hold a series of public meetings to receive comments on the draft of a potential future solicitation announcement for Federal Loan Guarantees for Advanced Fossil Energy Projects. The public meetings will be held in Room 6E-069 at DOE's Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC on July 31, 1:30- 3:30 PM; August 14, 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM; and August 27 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. [Tuesday, July 23, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 141)]

EPA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had published the Spring 2013 semiannual regulatory agenda online at http://www.reginfo.gov. The agenda includes information about a proposed rule on the financial responsibility requirements under CERCLA Section 108(b) for classes of facilities in the hard rock mining industry. [Tuesday, July 23, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 141)]

NSF – The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces plans for an information collection for the Advancing Informal Science Learning (AISL) program evaluation. AISL supports innovation in lifelong learning, through investments in research, development, infrastructure, and capacity-building for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning outside formal school settings. [Tuesday, July 23, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 141)]

EPA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a regulation that would require electronic reporting for current paper-based National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) reports required under the Clean Water Act. [Tuesday, July 30, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 146)]

FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a final rule on Base Flood Elevation (BFEs) determinations (1% annual chance) for the communities listed in the document. The BFEs are the basis for floodplain management measures that are required for each community to adopt. [Tuesday, July 30, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 146)]

FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a final rule on Base Flood Elevation (BFEs) determinations (1% annual chance) for the communities listed in the document. The BFEs are the basis for floodplain management measures that are required for each community to adopt. [Tuesday, July 30, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 146)]

DOI – The Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of the Secretary, Wildland Fire Executive Council (WFEC) will meet on September 10, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on September 10, 2013 at the Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street, Room 2654 NW., Washington, DC 20240. [Tuesday, July 30, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 146)]

OSTP – The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announces a workshop to be held on September 10-11 by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to engage stakeholders in discussion of perspectives on the perception, assessment, and management of the potential risks of nanotechnology. The workshop will be held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Conference & Training Center, Patriots Plaza III, 355 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20024. [Tuesday, July 30, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 146)]

USGS – The United States Geological Survey is requesting comments concerning an Information Collection Request regarding the funding of National Map and other national geospatial databases. The comment period will close on August 30, 2013. [Tuesday, July 31, 2013 (Volume 78, Number 147)]


 

 

 

 

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Monthly Review prepared by: Maeve Boland, Geoscience Policy Director; Abby Seadler, Geoscience Policy Associate; and Brittany Huhmann, Clinton Koch, and John Kemper 2013 AGI/AIPG Summer Interns.

Sources: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, Bureau of Land Management, the Congressional Research Service, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Environment and Energy Daily, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Register, Fire Adapted Communities, Government Accountability Office, the House of Representatives, National Academies Press, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Atlas, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, Politico, Science Magazine, Stanford University, Thomas, University of Hawaii at Hilo Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Government Printing Office, U.S. Senate, the White House

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This monthly review goes out to members of the AGI Geoscience Policy Committee, the leadership of AGI's member societies, and others as part of a continuing effort to improve communications about the role of geoscience in policy. More information on these topics can be found on the Geoscience Policy Current Issues pages. For additional information on specific policy issues, please visit the web site or contact us at govt@agiweb.org or (703) 379-2480, ext. 228.

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Compiled August 6, 2013