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Federal Register Summary for week of 16 May

    Agriculture

  • Designation of Biobased Items for Federal Procurement

    AGENCY: Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, USDA.

    ACTION: Final Rule.

    SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending the guidelines for designating biobased products for Federal procurement, to add nine sections to designate items, including subcategories, within which biobased products will be afforded Federal procurement preference. USDA also is establishing minimum biobased content for each of these items and subcategories. In addition, USDA is amending the guidelines by providing exemptions to the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration from the preferred procurement requirements. USDA is also making minor technical amendments to several sections of the guidelines to update information on the applicable Web site citation and to provide additional information on products that may overlap with products designated for preferred procurement under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Comprehensive Procurement Guideline for Products Containing Recovered Materials.

    DATES: This rule is effective June 13, 2008.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marvin Duncan, USDA, Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Room 4059, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., MS-3815 Washington, DC 20250- 3815; e-mail: mduncan@oce.usda.gov; phone (202) 401-0461. Information regarding the Federal Procurement of Biobased Products (one part of the BioPreferred Program) is available on the Internet at http://www.biopreferred.gov.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-10107.htm

  • Interior

  • Announcement of National Geospatial Advisory Committee Meeting

    AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY: The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will meet on June 3-4, 2008 in the 2nd Floor Boardroom of the American Institute of Architects Building, 1735 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20006. The NGAC, which is composed of representatives from governmental, private sector, non-profit, and academic organizations, has been established to advise the Chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee on management of Federal geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16. Topics to be addressed at the meeting include: --Discussion of NGAC Bylaws/NGAC Mission --Geospatial Line of Business/OMB Circular A-16 --Imagery for the Nation --Subcommittee Reports --National Geospatial Strategy Design The meeting will include an opportunity for public comment during the morning of June 4. Comments may also be submitted to the NGAC in writing. While the meeting will be open to the public, seating may be limited due to room capacity.

    DATES: The meeting will be held on June 3-4, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 3, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 4.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Mahoney, U.S. Geological Survey (206-220-4621).

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-10928.htm

  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Special Rule for the Polar Bear

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Interim final rule.

    SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), amend the regulations at 50 CFR part 17, which implement the Endangered Species Act, as amended (ESA), to create a special rule under authority of section 4(d) of the ESA that provides measures that are necessary and advisable for the conservation of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, we have published a final rule listing the polar bear as a threatened species under the ESA. The special rule would adopt existing conservation regulatory requirements under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as the appropriate regulatory provisions for this threatened species. If an activity is not authorized or exempted under the MMPA or CITES and would result in an act that would be otherwise prohibited under the general prohibitions for threatened species (50 CFR 17.31), then the Sec. 17.31 prohibitions apply and we would require authorization under 50 CFR 17.32 of our regulations.

    DATES: This rule becomes effective on May 15, 2008. We will accept comments from all interested parties until July 14, 2008. The reasons for this accelerated implementation and for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register are described below in the section titled "Need for Interim Final Rule.''

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: 1018-AV79; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments Solicited section below for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kurt Johnson, Division of Conservation and Classification, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203, telephone 703-358-2171. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-11144.htm

  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Threatened Status for the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Throughout Its Range

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Final rule.

    SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine threatened status for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Polar bears evolved to utilize the Arctic sea ice niche and are distributed throughout most ice-covered seas of the Northern Hemisphere. We find, based upon the best available scientific and commercial information, that polar bear habitat--principally sea ice-- is declining throughout the species' range, that this decline is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, and that this loss threatens the species throughout all of its range. Therefore, we find that the polar bear is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all of its range. This final rule activates the consultation provisions of section 7 of the Act for the polar bear. The special rule for the polar bear, also published in today's edition of the Federal Register, sets out the prohibitions and exceptions that apply to this threatened species.

    DATES: This rule is effective May 15, 2008. The U.S. District Court order in Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne, No. C 08-1339 CW (N.D. Cal., April 28, 2008) ordered that the 30-day notice period otherwise required by the Administrative Procedure Act be waived, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    ADDRESSES: Comments and materials received, as well as supporting scientific documentation used in the preparation of this rule, will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management Office, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503. Copies of this final rule are also available on the Service's Marine Mammal website: http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/polarbear/issues.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Schliebe, Marine Mammals Management Office (see ADDRESSES section) (telephone 907-786-3800). Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-11105.htm

  • National Science Foundation

  • Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; Notice of Meeting

    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

    Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92- 463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (1171).

    Date/Time: June 5, 2008; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; June 6, 2008; 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Place: Hilton Arlington, 950 North Stafford Street, Second Floor--Master's Ball Room, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Contact Person: Ms. Lisa L. Jones, Office of the Assistant Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 905, Arlington, Virginia 22230, 703-292-8700.

    Summary Minutes: May be obtained from contact person listed above.

    Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice and recommendations to the National Science Foundation on major goals and policies pertaining to Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate programs and activities.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-10629.htm

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