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Federal Register Summary for week of 11 December

    Commerce

  • Fisheries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; Southeastern Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR)

    AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice of SEDAR Methods and Procedures Workshop 4: Evaluating Assessment Uncertainty.


    SUMMARY: SEDAR procedural workshops provide an opportunity for focused discussion and deliberation on topics that arise in multiple assessments and are structured to develop best practices for addressing common issues across assessments. The SEDAR Steering Committee agreed that the three completed procedural workshops were effective and that similar workshops should be held to address other issues that affect multiple assessments. Continuing to address such global issues is recognized as an important to continuing improvements in efficiency and quality.

    The 4th procedural workshop will consider methods of addressing uncertainty in SEDAR assessments, including topics such as developing appropriate confidence intervals in both parameter estimates and projection outputs, methods of characterizing and expressing assessment uncertainty beyond that reflected in confidence intervals, use of sensitivity analyses and recommendations on standard sensitivities, and relating uncertainty to overall risk evaluation and especially the risk of overfishing occurring. Participants will prepare a SEDAR procedures document addressing their recommendations that will be used to guide future SEDAR assessments. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES: The SEDAR Uncertainty Procedural Workshop will take place February 22-26, 2010; SEDAR Uncertainty Procedural Workshop

    Schedule: February 22, 2008: 1 p.m. - 8 p.m.; February 23-25, 2010: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; February 26, 2010: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    ADDRESSES: The SEDAR Uncertainty Procedural Workshop will be held at the Charlotte Marriott SouthPark, 2200 Rexford Road, Charlotte, NC 28211; telephone: (800) 228-9290 or (704) 364-8220.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; telephone: (843) 571-4366.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29386.htm

  • Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard 2--Scientific Information

    AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Commerce.

    ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.


    SUMMARY: NMFS proposes revisions to the guidelines for National Standard 2 (NS2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) regarding scientific information. This action is necessary to provide guidance on the use of best scientific information available (BSIA) for the effective conservation and management of the nation's marine living resources. NMFS proposes to modify the existing NS2 guidelines on BSIA and establish new guidelines for scientific peer review to ensure the reliability, credibility, and integrity of the scientific information used in fishery conservation and management measures. Further, NMFS is proposing to add language to the guidelines regarding the role of the Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs) of the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils), and the relationship of SSCs to the peer review process. The proposed NS2 guidelines will also clarify the content and purpose of the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report and related documents. These actions are necessary to ensure the use of BSIA in the development of fishery management plans and plan amendments, as required by NS2 of the MSA. The intended effect of these actions is to ensure that scientific information, including its collection and analysis, has been validated through formal peer review or other appropriate review, is transparent, and is used appropriately by SSCs, Councils, and NMFS in the conservation and management of marine fisheries. These guidelines are designed to provide quality standards for the collection and provision of biological, ecological, economic, and sociological information to fishery managers, Councils, and the public, while recognizing regional differences in fisheries and their management.

    DATES: Written comments must be received by March 11, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by 0648-AW62, by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.

    Fax: Attn: William Michaels 301-713-1875.

    Mail: William Michaels, NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Science and Technology, F/ST4, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Michaels, 301-713-2363 x136.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29589.htm

  • Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Regional Fishery Management Councils; Operations

    AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION: Supplementary proposed rule; request for comments.


    SUMMARY: NMFS proposes changes to the regulations that address the operations and administration of Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils). The regulatory changes are needed to clarify which Council documents should be available to the public, clarify Council member nomination procedures, clarify financial disclosure requirements for Council members, and revise the security assurance procedures for nominees to and members of the Councils.

    DATES: Written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. e.d.t. on January 6, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by "RIN 0648-AW18,'' by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.

    Fax: 301-713-1175.

    Mail: Alan Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Please mark the outside of the envelope "Council Operations.``

    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter n/a in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe pdf file formats only.

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to the Office of Sustainable Fisheries at the mailing address or fax number specified above and by e-mail to David_Rostker@omb.eop.gov, or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Chappell, at 301-713-2337.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29062.htm

  • Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction

    AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice.


    SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing a pilot program in which an applicant may have an application advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination, for applications pertaining to green technologies including greenhouse gas reduction (applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas emission reduction). Currently, an application pertaining to environmental quality, or energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas reduction will not be advanced out of turn for examination unless it meets the requirements of the accelerated examination program. Under the Green Technology Pilot Program, applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy, or greenhouse gas emission reduction, will be advanced out of turn for examination without meeting all of the current requirements of the accelerated examination program (e.g., examination support document). The USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions to make special in previously filed new applications, provided that the petitions meet the requirements set forth in this notice.

    DATES: Effective Date: December 8, 2009.

    Duration: The Green Technology Pilot Program will run for twelve months from its effective date. Therefore, petitions to make special under the Green Technology Pilot Program must be filed before December 8, 2010. The USPTO may extend the pilot program (with or without modifications) depending on the feedback from the participants and the effectiveness of the pilot program.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer and Joni Y. Chang, Senior Legal Advisors, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at 571-272-7726 or 571-272-7720; by facsimile transmission to 571-273- 7726, marked to the attention of Pinchus M. Laufer; or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29207.htm

  • Request for Comments on Enhancement in the Quality of Patents

    AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION: Request for comments.

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    SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has in place procedures for measuring the quality of patent examination, including the decision to grant a patent based on an application and of other Office actions issued during the examination of the application. The USPTO in conjunction with the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) has undertaken a project related to overall patent quality. This notice is one element in that endeavor. As part of this effort to improve the quality of the overall patent examination and prosecution process, to reduce patent application pendency, and to ensure that granted patents are valid and provide clear notice, the USPTO would like to focus, inter alia, on improving the process for obtaining the best prior art, preparation of the initial application, and examination and prosecution of the application. The USPTO is seeking public comment directed to this focus with respect to methods that may be employed by applicants and the USPTO to enhance the quality of issued patents, to identify appropriate indicia of quality, and to establish metrics for the measurement of the indicia. This notice is not directed to patent law statutory change or substantive new rules. It is directed to the shared responsibility of the USPTO and the public for improving quality and reducing pendency within the existing statutory and regulatory framework.

    Comment Deadline Date: To be ensured of consideration, written comments must be received on or before February 8, 2010. No public hearing will be held.

    ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to patent_quality_comments@uspto.gov. Comments may also be submitted by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Kenneth M. Schor and Pinchus M. Laufer. Although comments may be submitted by mail, the USPTO prefers to receive comments via the Internet.

    The written comments will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, and will be available via the USPTO Internet Web site (address: http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: By telephone: Pinchus M. Laufer, Legal Advisor, at (571) 272-7726, or Kenneth M. Schor, Senior Legal Advisor, at (571) 272-7710; by mail addressed to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mail Stop Comments--Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Pinchus M. Laufer and Kenneth M. Schor; or by electronic mail (e-mail) message over the Internet addressed to pinchus.laufer@uspto.gov or kenneth.schor@uspto.gov.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29328.htm

  • Council on Environmental Quality

  • Draft Principles and Standards Sections of the "Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies''; Initiation of Revision and Request for Comments

    AGENCY: Council on Environmental Quality.

    ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


    SUMMARY: Section 2031 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-114) directs the Secretary of the Army to revise the "Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies,'' (P&G) dated March 10, 1983, consistent with a number of considerations enumerated in the statute. The Administration has initiated the development of uniform planning standards for the development of water resources that would apply to water resources development programs and activities government-wide, to agencies in addition to the traditional water resources development agencies covered under the current Principles and Guidelines: the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation (Interior), Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA), and Tennessee Valley Authority. Therefore, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget, has implemented a two phase interagency process revising the planning guidance. The first phase focused on facilitating interagency revisions to the "Principles and Standards'' (Chapter I of the existing P&G) of Principles and Guidelines for planning water resources projects. The second phase will address revisions to the Procedures (Chapters II through IV of the 1983 P&G)

    Upon approval of the revised "Principles and Standards'' and the future revision of the Procedures, the entire revision will apply to Federal water resources implementation studies including project reevaluations and modifications except those commenced prior to the issuance of the revised guidance. The purpose of this notice is to provide an opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to submit comments on the revised "Principles and Standards''. Using these comments and those from the National Academy of Sciences, CEQ will lead an interagency effort to finalize the Principles and Standards and draft the Procedures sections of the Principles and Guidelines.

    Draft Document for Review: The draft "Principles and Standards'' for review can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/PandG/ or, upon request, will be provided by mail or e-mail.

    DATES: CEQ is inviting written comments and they will be accepted through March 5, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted in writing to the Council on Environmental Quality, Attn: Terry Breyman, 722 Jackson Place, NW., Washington, DC 20503, via e-mail to P&G@ceq.eop.gov, FAX 202-456-6546, or submitted via the CEQ Web page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/PandG/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terry Breyman, Deputy Associate Director for Natural Resources, at 202-456-9721.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29270.htm

  • Education

  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education--European Union-United States Atlantis Program; Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education; United States-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program; United States-Russia Program

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) Numbers: 84.116J (European Union (EU)-United States (U.S.) Atlantis Program), 84.116N (Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education), 84.116M (U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program), 84.116S (U.S.-Russia Program: Improving Research and Educational Activities in Higher Education).

    AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION: Notice of final priorities.


    SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education announces one absolute priority for each of the four special focus competitions conducted by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE): The EU-U.S. Atlantis Program, the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education, the U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program, and the U.S.-Russia Program: Improving Research and Educational Activities in Higher Education competitions.

    The Assistant Secretary may use these priorities for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2010 and in later years. We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified need in the area of postsecondary education. We intend these absolute priorities to improve postsecondary education opportunities by supporting the formation of international educational consortia and encouraging cooperation in the coordination of curricula, the exchange of students, and the opening of educational opportunities between the U.S. and the countries involved in these programs.

    DATES: Effective Date: These priorities are effective January 11, 2010.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Beaton, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6154, Washington, DC 20006-8544. Telephone: (202) 502-7621 or by e-mail: Sarah.Beaton@ed.gov.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29584.htm

  • Interior

  • Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement Related to Experimental Removal of Barred Owls for the Conservation Benefit of Threatened Northern Spotted Owls

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.


    SUMMARY: Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), this notice advises the public that we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), intend to gather information necessary to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for barred owl (Strix varia) removal experiments designed to determine if the species' presence is affecting northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) population stability and growth, and to test the feasibility of removing barred owls from specific locations. We furnish this notice to advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to include in the EIS.

    DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by January 11, 2010. Interested parties may contact us for more information at the addresses and phone numbers listed in ADDRESSES.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit information by one of the following methods:

    1. You may mail written comments and information to Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE. 98th Ave., Ste. 100, Portland, OR 97266.

    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to the above address.

    3. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to BarredOwlEIS@fws.gov. Please see the "Request for Information'' section below for file format and other information about electronic filing.

    4. You may fax your comments to 503-231-6195.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robin Bown, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE. 98th Ave., Ste. 100, Portland, OR 97266; telephone, 503-231-6179; facsimile, 503-231-6195.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29447.htm

  • Office of Management and Budget

  • Introduction To The Fall 2009 Regulatory Plan

    It is . . . the policy of the United States that . . . agencies shall prioritize actions based on a full accounting of both economic and social benefits and costs and shall drive continuous improvement by annually evaluating performance, extending or expanding projects that have net benefits, and reassessing or discontinuing under-performing projects.

    Executive Order 13514 on Environmental,

    Energy, and Economic Performance

    (Oct. 5, 2009)

    Some of the nation's most important policies are implemented through regulation. In domains as diverse as energy efficiency, environmental protection, health care, occupational safety, civil rights, communications, homeland security, and many more, the government attempts to protect its citizens through regulations.

    In a memorandum signed on January 30, 2009, President Obama emphasized that as a result of many years of experience, "Far more is now known about regulation - not only about when it is justified, but also about what works and what does not.'' He explicitly directed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, to evaluate the regulatory review process and, among other things, to "clarify the role of the behavioral sciences in formulating regulatory policy'' and "identify the best tools for achieving public goals through the regulatory process.''

    Director Orszag has written that behavioral economics is "one of the most important intellectual developments of the past several years. . . . By taking the insights of psychology and observed human behavior into account, we now have a fuller picture of how people actually behave - instead of just reducing them to the hyper-rational utility-maximizers of Econ 101.''

    A behavioral approach to regulation is straightforward. It draws on evidence of people's actual behavior. It favors approaches that are clear, simple, and easy to understand. It attempts to ensure that regulations will have good consequences.

    These goals have many implications for regulatory policy. In the domain of savings for retirement, consider these words from the President's Fiscal Year 2010 Budget:

    "Research has shown that the key to saving is to make it automatic and simple. Under this proposal, employees will be automatically enrolled in workplace pension plans--and will be allowed to opt out if they choose. . . . Experts estimate that this program will dramatically increase the savings participation rate for low and middle-income workers to around 80 percent.''

    In September 2009, the President expanded on this theme by offering a series of initiatives for increasing automatic enrollment. He said, "We know that automatic enrollment has made a big difference in participation rates by making it simpler for workers to save - and that's why we're going to expand it to more people.''

    In many other domains, it is possible to promote regulatory goals by selecting the appropriate default rules. And where it is not possible or best to change the default, we can have a similar effect merely by easing and simplifying people's choices. Several of the rules discussed in this Plan reflect this aspiration. One such rule, involving hazard communication to workers and proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2009, is expected to increase simplicity, to reduce costs, and at the same time to save dozens of lives each year.

    In the same vein, the Administration is taking a series of steps toward simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), reducing the number of questions and allowing electronic retrieval of information. Use of a simpler and shorter form is accompanied by measures designed to permit online users to transfer data previously supplied electronically on their tax forms directly onto their FAFSA application.

    To achieve regulatory goals, it is important to understand that people are often affected by the behavior of their peers: If people learn that they are using more energy than similarly situated others, their energy use declines - saving money while also reducing pollution. In the domain of seatbelt usage, real change occurred as regulation worked hand-in-hand with emerging social norms. The Administration is well aware that if safety is to increase significantly on the highways, it must be in part because of social norms that discourage distracted driving (and other risky behavior). In October 2009, the President issued an Executive Order banning texting while driving by Federal employees; the Department of Transportation is embarking on a range of initiatives to reduce distracted driving.

    Scientific integrity is critically important, in the sense that regulators cannot decide how to proceed without having a sense of what is known and what remains uncertain. Of course some risks are large and others are small. Some regulations are burdensome and some are not. Some regulations have unintended bad consequences; others have unintended good consequences.

    In his January 30, 2009, memorandum, President Obama pointed to the importance of "a dispassionate and analytical 'second opinion' on agency actions.'' He also asked the Director of OMB to address the role of three factors that are not always fully included in cost-benefit analysis: the interests of future generations; distributional considerations; and fairness. If regulation is to be data-driven and evidence-based, it must include, rather than neglect, the concerns of future generations.

    Many of the regulations in this Plan reflect these concerns. In particular, environmental regulations, designed to combat the risks associated with climate change, are attentive to the interests of future generations and those who are least well-off. The Administration has recently developed interim figures for the social cost of carbon-figures that have been used for several different regulations in this Plan, involving energy efficiency in vending machines and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The figures are based in part on a recognition of the well- established view that a high discount rate for long- term damage could lead to action that might harm future generations.

    In addition, President Obama has placed a great deal of emphasis on open government. In his first weeks in office, he quoted the words of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.'' President Obama explained that 'accountability is in the interest of the Government and the citizenry alike.'' He emphasized that "[k]nowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge.'' President Obama has stressed that transparency can ensure that data is available to all - and with available data, we can greatly improve our practices.

    The Environmental Protection Agency has built on these ideas with its Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule, requiring disclosure by the most significant emitters. The data will allow businesses to track their own emissions and compare them to similar facilities; it will also provide assistance in identifying cost-effective ways to reduce emissions in the future.

    All this is merely a start. For example, the Executive Order on environmental, economic, and energy performance will attempt to track progress in meeting crucial goals - including greenhouse gas emissions reductions - and disclose both costs and benefits to the public.

    Regulatory decisions often require complex tradeoffs, especially in the current economic environment. We are committed to ensuring that those tradeoffs reflect the best available information, respect scientific integrity, and benefit from public participation - and are rooted in a clear and transparent understanding of the human consequences.

    Cass R. Sunstein

    Administrator

    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-28608.htm

  • Office of Science and Technology Policy

  • President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

    Notice of Meeting: Partially Closed Meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

    ACTION: Public notice.


    SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the schedule and summary agenda for a partially closed meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and describes the functions of the Council. Notice of this meeting is required under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App.

    DATES: January 7, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the National Academy of Sciences building, 2100 C Street, NW., Lecture Room, Washington, DC.

    Type of Meeting: Open and closed.

    Proposed Schedule and Agenda: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is scheduled to meet in open session on January 7, 2010 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with a lunch break from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

    Open Portion of Meeting: During this open meeting, PCAST is tentatively scheduled to hear presentations from representatives of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce, as well as an expert in healthcare policy. Speakers will address the following issues: Energy research, development, and demonstration; homeland security science and technology; agriculture research; science, technology, and innovation; and healthcare policy. Additional information and the agenda will be posted at the PCAST Web site at: http://www.ostp.gov/cs/pcast.

    Closed Portion of the Meeting: PCAST may hold a closed meeting of approximately 1 hour with the President on January 7, 2010, which must take place in the White House for the President's scheduling convenience and to maintain Secret Service protection. This meeting will be closed to the public because such portion of the meeting is likely to disclose matters that are to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1). The precise date and time of this potential meeting has not yet been determined.

    Public Comments: It is the policy of the PCAST to accept written public comments of any length, and to accommodate oral public comments whenever possible. The PCAST expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted oral or written statements.

    The public comment period for this meeting will take place on January 7, 2010 at a time specified in the meeting agenda posted on the PCAST Web site [http://www.ostp.gov//pcast]. This public comment period is designed only for substantive commentary on PCAST's work, not for business marketing purposes.

    Oral Comments: To be considered for the public speaker list at the January meeting, interested parties should register to speak at http://www.ostp.gov/pcast, no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 30, 2009. Phone or email reservations will not be accepted. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of 30 minutes. If more speakers register than there is space available on the agenda, PCAST will randomly select speakers from among those who applied. Those not selected to present oral comments may always file written comments with the committee. Speakers are requested to bring at least 35 copies of their oral comments for distribution to the participants and public at the meeting.

    Written Comments: Although written comments are accepted until the date of the meeting, written comments should be submitted to PCAST at least two weeks prior to each meeting date so that the comments may be made available to the PCAST members prior to the meeting for their consideration. Information regarding how to submit comments and documents to PCAST is available at http://www.ostp.gov/pcast in the section entitled "Connect with PCAST.''

    Please note that because PCAST operates under the provisions of FACA, all public comments and/or presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including being posted on the PCAST Web site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For Further Information: Information regarding the meeting agenda, time, location, and how to register for the meeting is available on the PCAST Web site at: http://www.ostp.gov/pcast. A live video webcast and an archive of the webcast after the event will be available at http://www.ostp.gov//pcast. The archived video will be available within one week of the meeting. Questions about the meeting should be directed to Dr. Deborah D. Stine, PCAST Executive Director, at dstine@ostp.eop.gov, (202) 456-6006. Please note that public seating for this meeting is limited and is available on a first- come, first-served basis.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29488.htm

  • Public Access Policies for Science and Technology Funding Agencies Across the Federal Government

    AGENCY: Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President.

    ACTION: Notice; request for public comment.


    SUMMARY: With this notice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President, requests input from the community regarding enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and technology agencies. This RFI will be active from December 10, 2009 to January 7, 2010. Respondents are invited to respond online via the Public Access Policy Forum at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open, or may submit responses via electronic mail. Responses will be re-posted on the online forum. Instructions and a timetable for daily blog topics during this period are described at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open.

    DATES: Comments must be received by January 7, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: Submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Public Access Policy Forum: http://www.whitehouse.gov/open.

    Via E-mail: publicaccess@ostp.gov.

    Mail: Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open Government Recommendations, 725 17th Street, Washington, DC 20502.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice could be made available to the public online or by alternative means. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. If you submit an e-mail comment, your e-mail address will be captured automatically and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Diane DiEuliis, Assistant Director, Life Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open Government, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20502, 202-456- 6059.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29322.htm

  • State

  • Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Open Competition for the Professional Fellows Program

    Announcement Type: New Grant.

    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C-10-01.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.415.

    Key Dates:

    Application Deadline: February 26, 2010.

    Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/PE/C) announces an open competition for grants to conduct a Professional Fellows Program in Africa, East Asia, Europe, the Near East, North Africa, South Central Asia and the Western Hemisphere.

    U.S. public and non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals that support the goals of the Professional Fellows Program. The goals of the program, which encompass both bureau and programmatic goals, are to: (1) Provide foreign participants from eligible countries the opportunity for professional development through four- to eight-week internships in the U.S.; (2) provide U.S. participants the opportunity to take part in reciprocal fellowships and/or to share their professional expertise with counterparts in eligible countries; (3) promote mutual understanding and partnerships between key professional groups in the United States and counterpart groups in eligible countries. Proposed projects should be two-way exchanges involving participants from both the U.S. and foreign countries.

    Projects should take place over the course of one to two years and target current or potential professional leaders who will effect positive change in their communities. Specific themes for consideration under this competition include: Climate change, education to employment, food security, global health, and legislative development. Eligible countries and guidance for each theme are provided in Section I.7 below. Proposals that target themes and countries not specifically authorized in this Request for Grant Proposals will be considered technically ineligible.

    Applicants may submit only one proposal under this competition. If multiple proposals are received from the same applicant, all submissions will be declared technically ineligible and receive no further consideration in the review process. No guarantee is made or implied that grants will be awarded in all themes or for all countries listed.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29538.htm