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Federal Register Summary for the Week of April 19-23 2004

AGRICULTURE

Office of the Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics Notice of Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture

AGENCY: Agricultural Research Service. ACTION: Notice of appointment to the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture.

SUMMARY: The Office of the Secretary of Agriculture announces members appointed to fill 9 vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, in accordance with the

Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. Those appointed are as follows: Daryl Buss, Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; Leon Corzine, Farmer/President, LPC Farms, Assumption, IL; Carole Cramer, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; Michael Dykes, Vice President, Government Affairs, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO; Carol Tucker Foreman, Director, Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America; Randal Giroux, Scientific Lead, Corporate Agricultural Biotechnology, Cargill, Inc., Wayzata, MN; Margaret Mellon, Director, Food and Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington, DC; Ronald Olson, Vice President, Grain Division, General Mills, Minneapolis, MN; and Jerome Slocum, Farmer/President, North Mississippi Grain Company, Coldwater, MS.

DATES: Appointments by the Secretary are for a two-year term, effective February 13, 2004 until February 12, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, 202B Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 12th and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250; Telephone (202) 720-3817; Fax (202) 690-4265; E-mail .

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The members of the committee cover a broad range of agricultural disciplines and interests. The duties of the committee are solely advisory. The Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) is charged with examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system and USDA, and providing guidance to USDA on pressing individual issues, identified by the Office of the Secretary, related to the application of biotechnology in agriculture.

The AC21 was first appointed in February 2003 and at the time half of the appointments were for a one-year term and half for a two-year term. Due to the staggered appointments, the terms for 9 of the 18 members expired on February 12, 2004. Members of the AC21 may be reappointed by the Secretary of Agriculture but no member may serve more than six consecutive years. Members serve without pay, but with reimbursement of travel expenses and per diem for attendance at AC21 and subcommittee functions for those committee members who require assistance in order to attend the meetings.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-8847.htm

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Request for Obtaining Feedback on Public Involvement Activities and Processes; Reopening of Comment Period

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency is reopening the comment period for its Information Collection Request for Obtaining Feedback on Public Involvement Activities and Processes, published on February 13, 2004 (69 FR 7213).

DATES: Comments will be accepted until May 20, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, referencing docket ID number OA-2003-0009, to EPA online using EDOCKET at http://www.epa.gov/edocket, by e-mail to , or by mail to EPA Docket Center, OEI Docket MC 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia Bonner at (202) 566-2204 or by e-mail: .

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 13, 2004, EPA published a 60-day request for comment on an ICR for Obtaining Feedback on Public Involvement Activities and Processes with the incorrect closing date of March 15, 2004. The ICR presents draft questionnaires and plans to survey participants in EPA's public involvement activities. To review the ICR or submit comments, use the detailed instructions provided in the initial paragraphs of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the February 13, 2004, Federal Register notice. If you have questions, please contact theperson listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-8909.htm

Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Request for Nominations for Additional Expertise on the Science Advisory Board's Ecological Processes and Effects Committee to Review a Model for Predicting Ecological Significance at the Landscape Scale

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office is requesting nominations to add expertise to the SAB Ecological Processes and Effects Committee to review EPA's Critical Ecosystem Assessment Model (CrEAM). The CrEAM was developed to predict ecological significance at the landscape scale.

DATES: Nominations should be submitted by May 12, 2004 per the instructions below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any member of the public wishing further information regarding this Request for Nominations may contact Dr. Thomas Armitage, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), via telephone/voice mail at (202) 343-9995; via e-mail at ; or at the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board (1400F), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. General information about the SAB can be found in the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: EPA Region V has requested that the SAB conduct a review of the CrEAM. The CrEAM is a spatially explicit model developed by EPA Region V for predicting the ecological significance of undeveloped land using ecological theory, existing data sets, and geographic information system (GIS) technology. The EPA Region V Critical Ecosystems Team developed the CrEAM to assess the ecological significance of land areas across the states of EPA Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). The model may potentially be used to identify significant ecosystems in order to target protection and restoration efforts in EPA Region V. The CrEAM identifies ecologically significant areas by integrating three important conditions: (1) Ecosystem diversity, (2) ecological self sustainability, and (3) species and land cover rarity. A geographic information system was selected as the analysis platform for the CrEAM in order to aggregate multiple geographically referenced data sets and conduct landscape scale analysis. The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) was used as the base data layer in the model and twenty relevant data sets were used as indicators to predict the potential for ecosystem diversity, ecological self sustainability, and species and land cover rarity at a scale of 300m x 300m. This information can be used to prioritize ecologically significant areas in EPA Region V.

The Science Advisory Board is a chartered Federal advisory committee, which reports directly to the EPA Administrator. The panel being formed will provide advice to the Agency, as a part of the SAB's mission to provide independent scientific and technical advice, consultation, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the technical bases for EPA positions and regulations. The Panel will provide advice to the EPA through the chartered SAB. The Panel will comply with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and all appropriate SAB procedural policies, including the SAB process for panel formation described in the Overview of the Panel Formation Process at the Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, which can be found on the SAB's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab/pdf/ec0210.pdf.

The Panel will hold a two-day meeting to review the CrEAM.

Tentative Charge to the Panel: EPA is seeking comment on the scientific validity of the conceptual framework and methodology used to identify ecologically significant ecosystems and on the scientific defensibility of the results generated from CrEAM queries. Specifically, EPA seeks advice from the panel on: (1) The appropriateness of the term ``ecological significance'' as defined in the CrEAM; (2) the scientific validity of the use the selected data sets and indicators to generate ratings of ecological significance; (3) the scientific validity of nesting and compositing of multiple indicator data sets to rate ecosystems; (4) relevant data sets consistently collected across the 6-state Region that should have been used but were not; and (5) the scientific and technical sufficiency of CrEAM queries for use in strategic planning and priority setting.

Request for Nominations: The SAB Staff Office is requesting nominations to add expertise to the Ecological Processes and Effects Committee to form an SAB panel to review the CrEAM. To supplement expertise on the Ecological Processes and Effects Committee, the SAB Staff Office is seeking individuals who have expertise in ecology and the use of geographic information system technology to evaluate data and conduct landscape scale analyses.

Process and Deadline for Submitting Nominations: Any interested person or organization may nominate individuals qualified in the areas of expertise described above to serve on the Subcommittee. Nominations should be submitted in electronic format through the Form for Nominating Individuals to Panels of the EPA Science Advisory Board provided on the SAB Web site, http://www.epa.gov/sab. The form can be accessed through a link on the blue navigational bar on the SAB Web site, http://www.epa.gov/sab. To be considered, all nominations must include the information required on that form.

Anyone who is unable to submit nominations using this form, and any questions concerning any aspects of the nomination process may contact the DFO, as indicated above in this notice. Nominations should be submitted in time to arrive no later than May 12, 2004. Any questions concerning either this process or any other aspects of this notice should be directed to the DFO.

The SAB will acknowledge receipt of the nomination and inform nominators of the panel selected. From the nominees identified by respondents to this Federal Register notice (termed the ``Widecast''), SAB Staff will develop a smaller subset (known as the ``Short List'') for more detailed consideration. Criteria used by the SAB Staff in developing this Short List are given at the end of the following paragraph. The Short List will be posted on the SAB Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab, and will include, for each candidate, the nominee's name and biosketch. Public comments on the Short List will be accepted for 21 calendar days. During this comment period, the public will be requested to provide information, analysis or other documentation on nominees that the SAB Staff should consider in evaluating candidates for the Panel.

For the SAB, a balanced review panel (i.e., committee, subcommittee, or panel) is characterized by inclusion of candidates who possess the necessary domains of knowledge, the relevant scientific perspectives (which, among other factors, can be influenced by work history and affiliation), and the collective breadth of experience to adequately address the charge. Public responses to the Short List candidates will be considered in the selection of the panel, along with information provided by candidates and information gathered by SAB Staff independently of the background of each candidate (e.g., financial disclosure information and computer searches to evaluate a nominee's prior involvement with the topic under review). Specific criteria to be used in evaluation of an individual subcommittee member include: (a) Scientific and/or technical expertise, knowledge, and experience (primary factors); (b) absence of financial conflicts of interest; (c) scientific credibility and impartiality; (d) availability and willingness to serve; and (e) ability to work constructively and effectively in committees.

Short List candidates will also be required to fill-out the ``Confidential Financial Disclosure Form for Special Government Employees Serving on Federal Advisory Committees at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency'' (EPA Form 3110-48). This confidential form allows Government officials to determine whether there is a statutory conflict between that person's public responsibilities (which includes membership on an EPA Federal advisory committee) and private interests and activities, or the appearance of a lack of impartiality, as defined by Federal regulation. The form may be viewed and downloaded from the following URL address: http://www.epa.gov/sab/pdf/epaform3110-48.pdf.

In addition to reviewing background material, Panel members will be asked to attend one public face-to-face meeting over the anticipated course of the advisory activity.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-9047.htm

Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Request for Nominations for the Science Advisory Board Formaldehyde Review Panel

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces the formation of a new SAB review panel known as the Formaldehyde Review Panel (FRP), and is soliciting nominations for members of the Panel.

DATES: Nominations should be submitted by May 12, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any member of the public requiring further information regarding this Request for Nominations, or a paper nomination form, may contact Dr. Suhair Shallal, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), by telephone/voice mail at (202) 343-9977, via e-mail at , or at the following address:

Suhair Shallal, PhD., Science Advisory Board Staff Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Mail Code 1400F), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. General information about the SAB can be found in the SAB Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For supplementary information view the complete listing at the address below.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-9045.htm

Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Environmental Economics Advisory Committee of the Science Advisory Board; Review of Upcoming Projects and Consultation on Mortality Risk Reduction Notification of a Public Advisory Committee Meeting

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office is announcing a public meeting of the SAB's Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC). The EEAC will convene to review upcoming project requests and to offer a day long consultation on the methods for the valuation of mortality risk reduction.

DATES: May 12-13, 2004. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 from 12:30 p.m. until approximately 5 p.m. eastern time, and on Thursday, May 13, 2004 from 9 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. eastern time.

MEETING LOCATION: The meeting will be held at the Science Advisory Board Conference Center located at 1025 F Street, NW., Suite 3705, Washington, DC 20004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any member of the public wishing further information regarding this meeting may contact Dr. Holly Stallworth, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), via telephone/voice mail at (202) 343-9867, via e-mail at , or by mail at U.S. EPA SAB (MC 1400F), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC, 20460. General information about the SAB can be found in the SAB Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) has requested the SAB conduct a consultation on ways to improve the metrics for the valuation of mortality risk reduction associated with EPA actions. The valuation of mortality risk reduction is an integral part of the economic analyses performed by EPA as recognized in its Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses (2000). However, because economic research on valuing health risk reductions is rapidly evolving, new information and approaches have become available since the release of the Guidelines. EPA is in the process of revisiting current estimates and methods used for valuing health risk reductions and plans to revise the Guidelines accordingly. This task is part of EPA's commitment to evaluate and revise components of EPA's Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses (2000) and to consult with the SAB as it does so.

The SAB was established by 42 U.S.C. 4365 to provide independent scientific and technical advice, consultation, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the technical basis for Agency positions and regulations. The SAB EEAC will conduct the requested consultation and will comply with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and all appropriate SAB procedural policies, and will report to the chartered SAB.

The SAB's EEAC will conduct the consultation on May 13, 2004. A roster of EEAC members, their biosketches, and the meeting agenda will be posted on the SAB Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab/ prior to the meeting.

Availability of Meeting Materials

A copy of the draft agenda for the meeting that is the subject of this notice will be posted on the SAB Web site prior to the meeting. Other materials that may be made available for this meeting may also be posted on the SAB Web site in this time-frame.

Procedures for Providing Public Comments

It is the policy of the SAB Staff Office to accept written public comments of any length, and to accommodate oral public comments whenever possible. The SAB expects that public statements presented at the meeting will not be repetitive of previously submitted oral or written statements. Oral Comments: In general, each individual or group requesting an oral presentation at a face-to-face meeting will be limited to a total time of ten minutes (unless otherwise indicated). Interested parties should contact the DFO in writing (e-mail, fax or mail--see contact information above) by close of business May 4, 2004 in order to be placed on the public speaker list for the meeting. Speakers should bring at least 35 copies of their comments and presentation slides 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 received in the SAB Staff Office at least one week prior to the meeting date so that the comments may be made available to the panel for their consideration. Comments should be supplied to the DFO at the address/contact information noted above in the following formats: one hard copy with original signature, and one electronic copy via e-mail (acceptable file format: Adobe Acrobat, WordPerfect, Word, or Rich Text files (in IBM-PC/Windows 95/98 format). Those providing written comments and who attend the meeting are also asked to bring 35 copies of their comments for public distribution.

Meeting Accommodations

Individuals requiring special accommodation to access this meeting, should contact the DFO at least five business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-9143.htm

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

National Science Board; Committee on Nominations

DATE AND TIME: April 21, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PLACE: National Science Foundation, Room 1220, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. STATUS: This meeting will be closed to the public.

MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: Wednesday, April 21, 2004; Closed Session (4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.); Discussion of candidates for NSB Chairman and Vice Chairman.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D., Director, National Science Board Office and Executive Officer, (703) 292-7000, http://www.nsf.gov/nsb.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-9369.htm

Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences;

AGENCY: National Science Foundation ACTION: Notices of Meeting

The National Science Foundation announces the following meeting.

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

DATE & TIME: May 5, 2004, 1:30 p.m.-5 p.m. (SRS Breakout) Room 970; May 6, 2004, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Room 1235; May 7, 2004, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Room 1235. PLACE: National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230.

TYPE OF MEETING: Open. CONTACT PERSON: Dr. Sally Kane, Senior Advisor, ACSBE, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 905, Arlington, VA 22230, (703) 292-8741. 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. AGENDA: Discussion on issues, role and future direction of the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-9293.htm

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