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Federal Register Summary for week of 12 February

    Agriculture

  • Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION: Proposed rule.


    SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) proposes regulations to implement the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). BCAP is intended to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with the establishment and production of eligible crops including woody biomass in selected project areas for conversion to bioenergy, and the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. This rule specifies the requirements for eligible participants, biomass conversion facilities, and biomass crops and materials. It also provides notice of final termination of the existing Notice of Funds Availability.

    DATES: We will consider comments that we receive by April 9, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on this proposed rule. In your comment, include the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    E-Mail: cepdmail@wdc.usda.gov.

    Fax: 202-720-4619.

    Mail: Director of CEPD, USDA FSA CEPD, Stop 0513, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-0513.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to Director of CEPD, Room 4709-S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Comments may be inspected at the mail address listed above between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. A copy of this rule is available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) home page at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Stephenson at USDA, FSA, CEPD, STOP 0513, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-0513; telephone 202-720-6221; e-mail: cepdmail@wdc.usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2556.htm

  • Compliance With NEPA

    AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION: Final rule.


    SUMMARY: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) published an interim final rule on July 13, 2009, that identified additional categorical exclusions, which are actions that NRCS has determined do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, thus, should not require preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This final rule responds to comments received on the interim final rule and makes final the provisions set forth in the interim final rule. NRCS' categorical exclusions encompass actions that promote restoration and conservation activities related to past natural or human induced damage, or alteration of floodplains and watershed areas. For projects being funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), this final rule will assist NRCS in meeting mandates set forth in ARRA for undertaking actions in the most expeditious manner and in compliance with NEPA.

    DATES: Effective Date: The rule is effective February 10, 2010.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Harrington, National Environmental Coordinator, Ecological Sciences Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 6158 South Building, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720-4925; Fax: (202) 720-2646; or e-mail NEPA2008@wdc.usda.gov, and identify in the subject line, "Information Requested.'' This final rule may be accessed via Internet. Users can access the final rule at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/Env_Assess/index.html. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at: (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2815.htm

  • Healthy Forests Reserve Program

    AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION: Final rule.


    SUMMARY: This final rule amends Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regulations for the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Act) amended provisions of HFRP that changed the duration, type, and funding allocation of program agreements, and NRCS published a proposed rule for these changes on January 14, 2009. This final rule responds to the comments received on the proposed rule and amends NRCS regulations for HFRP to incorporate changes associated with enactment of the 2008 Act.

    DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective February 10, 2010.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Glover, Branch Chief, Easement Programs Branch, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 6811 South Building, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720-5477; Fax: (202) 720-9689. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2812.htm

  • Commerce

  • Deposit of Biological Materials

    ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.


    SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 12, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    E-mail: Susan.Fawcett@uspto.gov. Include "0651-0022 Deposit of Biological Materials comment'' in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-273-0112, marked to the attention of Susan K. Fawcett.

    Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to the attention of Brian Hanlon, Director, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571- 272-5047; or by e-mail at Brian.Hanlon@uspto.gov.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2764.htm

  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List 83 Species of Corals as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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

    ACTION: 90-day petition finding; request for information.


    SUMMARY: We (NMFS) announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list 83 species of corals as threatened or endangered under the ESA. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted for 82 species; we find that the petition fails to present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for Oculina varicosa. Therefore, we initiate status reviews of 82 species of corals to determine if listing under the ESA is warranted. To ensure these status reviews are comprehensive, we solicit scientific and commercial information regarding these coral species.

    DATES: Information and comments must be submitted to NMFS by April 12, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, information, or data, identified by the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN), 0648-XT12, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814 (for species occurring in the Pacific Ocean); or Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (for species occurring in the Atlantic Ocean).

    Facsimile (fax): (907) 586-7012 (for species occurring in the Pacific Ocean); (727) 824-5309 (for species occurring in the Atlantic Ocean).

    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 (e.g., 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. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Interested persons may obtain a copy of this coral petition from the above addresses or online from the NMFS HQ website: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/invertebrates/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lance Smith, NMFS Pacific Islands Region, (808) 944-2258; Jennifer Moore, NMFS Southeast Region, (727) 824-5312; or Marta Nammack, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 713-1401.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2939.htm

  • Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean

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

    ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; request for comments.


    SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of issuing Incidental Take Authorizations (ITAs) pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to the oil and gas industry for the taking of marine mammals incidental to offshore exploration activities (e.g., seismic surveys and exploratory drilling) in Federal and state waters of the U.S. Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska.

    DATES: All comments, written statements, and questions regarding the scoping process and preparation of the EIS must be received no later than April 9, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: Written comments and statements should be addressed to Mr. P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20190-3225. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is arcticeis.comments@noaa.gov. Comments sent via e-mail, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10-megabyte file size. Comments and statements may also be submitted via fax to (301) 713- 0376. Information on this project can also be found on the Protected Resources webpage at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Payne, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 713-2289 ext. 110.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2681.htm

  • Energy

  • Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee

    AGENCY: Department of Energy; Office of Science.

    ACTION: Notice of open meeting.


    SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES: Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., E.S.T.

    ADDRESSES: Hilton Hotel, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. David Thomassen, Designated Federal Officer, BERAC, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, SC-23/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290. Phone 301-903-9817; fax (301) 903-5051 or e-mail: david.thomassen@science.doe.gov. The most current information concerning this meeting can be found on the Web site: http://www.science.doe.gov/ober/berac/announce.html.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2933.htm

  • Interior

  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-month Finding on a Petition to List the American Pika as Threatened or Endangered

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.


    SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the American pika, at the species level or any of the five recognized subspecies (O. p. princeps, O. p. saxatilis, O. p. fenisex, O. p. schisticeps, and O. p. uinta), is not warranted at this time. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the threats to the American pika, the five subspecies, or its habitat at any time.

    DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on February 9, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R6-ES-2009-0021. Supporting documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2369 W. Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, UT 84119. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this finding to the above address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Crist, Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES); by telephone at 801- 975-3330; or by facsimile at 801-975-3331. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2405.htm

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