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Federal Register Summary for the Week of 13-17 March 2006

AGRICULTURE

Office of Energy Policy and New Uses

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 Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement, to add six sections to designate the following six items within which biobased products will be afforded Federal procurement preference, as provided for under section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002: Mobile equipment hydraulic fluids; roof coatings; water tank coatings; diesel fuel additives; penetrating lubricants; and bedding, bed linens, and towels. USDA also is establishing minimum biobased content for each of these items. Once USDA designates an item, procuring agencies are required generally to purchase biobased products within these designated items where the purchase price of the procurement item exceeds $10,000 or where the quantity of such items or of functionally equivalent items purchased over the preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more. However, USDA is deferring the effective date for two items (water tank coatings and bedding, bed linens, and towels) until such time that more than one manufacturer of products in these two items is identified. USDA additionally is revising section 2902.2 to add definitions for "biodegradability,'' "EPA-designated recovered content product,'' and "functional unit'' and section 2902.8 to adopt applicable ASTM International performance tests to verify biodegradability.

DATES: This rule is effective April 17, 2006. However, as to water tank coatings and bedding, bed linens, and towels, Federal agencies will not be required to grant those items a preference until USDA learns of the availability of two or more manufacturers of products within that item and announces that availability in a future Federal Register notice.

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: ; phone (202) 401-0461. Information regarding the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program is available on the Internet at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/06-2323.htm

EDUCATION

A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education

AGENCY: A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of open meeting.

SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of an upcoming open meeting of A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, (Commission). The notice also describes the functions of the Commission. Notice of this meeting is required by section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and is intended to notify the public of their opportunity to attend.

DATES: Thursday, April 6, 2006 and Friday, April 7, 2006.

Time: April 6, 2006: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; April 7, 2006: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The Commission will meet in Indianapolis, IN, at the Hilton Indianapolis, 120 West Market Street, Indianapolis, IN.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Oldham, Executive Director, A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-3510; telephone: (202) 205-8741.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/06-2459.htm

OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY

Meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

ACTION: Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the schedule and summary agenda for a 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).

Dates and Place: March 28, 2006, Washington, DC. The meeting will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the George Washington University Marvin Center Building, 800 21st St. NW., Washington DC 20052.

Type of Meeting: Open. Further details on the meeting agenda will be posted on the PCAST Web site at http://www.ostp.gov/PCAST/pcast.html

Proposed Schedule and Agenda: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is scheduled to meet in open session on Tuesday March 28, 2006, at approximately 9 a.m. The PCAST is tentatively scheduled to hear a presentation on the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program as part of its review of that program. The PCAST also is tentatively scheduled to hear presentations relating to its ongoing study of energy technologies and to discuss draft recommendations for a forthcoming report. An update of other PCAST topics (e.g., nanotechnology) and a briefing on the President's American Competitiveness Initiative and the National Science Foundation's 2006 Science and Engineering Indicators report are also tentatively scheduled to occur. This session will end at approximately 5 p.m. Additional information and the final agenda will be posted at the PCAST Web site at: http://www.ostp.gov/PCAST/pcast.html.

Public Comments: There will be time allocated for the public to speak on the above agenda items. This public comment time is designed for substantive commentary on PCAST's work topics, not for business marketing purposes. Please submit a request for the opportunity to make a public comment five (5) days in advance of the meeting. The time for public comments will be limited to no more than 5 minutes per person. Written comments are also welcome at any time following the meeting. Please notify Celia Merzbacher, PCAST Executive Director, at (202) 456-7116, or fax your request/comments to (202) 456-6021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding time, place and agenda, please call Celia Merzbacher at (202) 456-7116, prior to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 24, 2006. Information will also be available at the PCAST Web site at: http://www.ostp.gov/PCAST/pcast.html. 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/2006/06-2542.htm

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