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Federal Register Summary for week of 27 November


  • Antarctic Marine Living Resources; Use of Centralized-Vessel Monitoring System and Importation of Toothfish; Re-export of Toothfish; Applications for Krill Fishing; Regulatory Framework for Annual Conservation Measures

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

    ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY: This regulation proposes to facilitate conservation and management of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR). It would: further detail current U.S. requirements to only allow importation and/ or re-exportation of frozen toothfish or toothfish product with verifiable documentation that the harvesting vessel participated in the Centralized-Vessel Monitoring System (C-VMS) regardless of where the fish was harvested; revise the NMFS catch-documentation requirements for re-exporting toothfish and add requirements for exporting U.S.- caught toothfish; require applicants for an AMLR harvesting permit for krill to apply to NMFS no later than June 1 preceding the harvesting season for krill; and rescind the existing regulatory framework for annual management measures. The intent of the rule is to further detail requirements for importing and re-exporting toothfish, to facilitate enforcement, to fulfill U.S. obligations in the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and to simplify the process for informing the public of annual conservation measures.

    DATES: Comments must be submitted in writing on or before December 28, 2009.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by 0648-AX80 by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal;

    Fax: 301-713-1193, Attn: Robert Gorrell; or

    Mail: Alan Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, Attn: CCAMLR Rulemaking, 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 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). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Send comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule to Robert B. Gorrell at the address specified above and also to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Washington, DC 20503 (Attention: NOAA Desk Officer) or e-mail to, or fax to (202) 395- 7825.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Gorrell at 301-713-2341.

  • Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans

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

    ACTION: Extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY: On October 7, 2009, we, NMFS, announced the release of the Draft Central Valley Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan (Draft Plan) for public review and comment. The Draft Plan addresses the Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), the Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) ESU, and the Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Central Valley Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Draft Plan. As part of that proposal, we provided a 60- day comment period, ending on December 5, 2009. We have received requests for an extension of the public comment period. In response to these requests, we are extending the comment period for the proposed action an additional 60 days.

    DATES: Information and comments on the subject action must be received by February 3, 2009.

    ADDRESSES: Please send written comments to Brian Ellrott, National Marine Fisheries Service, 650 Capitol Mall, Suite 8-300, Sacramento, CA 95816. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to: Include in the subject line of the e- mail comment the following identifier: Comments on Central Valley Salmon and Steelhead Draft Plan. Comments may be submitted via facsimile (fax) to (916) 930-3629.

    Persons wishing to review the Draft Plan can obtain an electronic copy (i.e., CD-ROM) from Aimee Diefenbach by calling (916) 930-3600 or by e-mailing a request to with the subject line "CD-ROM Request for Central Valley Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Draft Plan.'' Electronic copies of the Draft Plan are also available on-line on the NMFS website

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Howard Brown, NMFS Sacramento River Basin Branch Chief at (916) 930-3608 or Brian Ellrott at (916) 930- 3612.

  • International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Fishing Restrictions in the Longline and Purse Seine Fisheries in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in 2009, 2010, and 2011

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

    ACTION: Final rule.

    SUMMARY: NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950 (Act) to implement a decision of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). That decision requires, among other things, that members of the IATTC, including the United States, ensure that catches in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) by longline vessels greater than 24 meters in length do not exceed specified levels in each of the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, and that purse seine vessels class size 4-6 do not fish in the EPO during established closure periods. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations under the 1949 Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.

    DATES: These regulations become effective on November 21, 2009.

    ADDRESSES: Copies of supporting documents that were prepared for this final rule, including the environmental assessment (EA) and proposed rule, are available via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal, at Those documents are also available from the Regional Administrator, Rodney R. McInnis, NMFS Southwest Regional Office, 501 W. Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. The initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) prepared for this rule are included in the proposed rule and this final rule, respectively.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heidi Hermsmeyer, NMFS SWR, 562-980- 4036.

  • Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan

    AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION: Notice.

    SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a procedure under which an application will be advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination if the applicant files a petition to make special with the appropriate showing. The USPTO is providing an additional temporary basis under which a small entity applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined application. This procedure will allow small entity applicants having multiple applications currently pending before the USPTO to have greater control over the priority with which their applications are examined while also stimulating a reduction of the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO.

    DATES: Effective Date: November 27, 2009.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at 571- 272-7726; or by facsimile transmission to 571-273-7726, marked to the attention of Pinchus M. Laufer; or by mail addressed to: Box Comments Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313- 1450.

  • Education

  • Student Assistance General Provisions; Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program; Federal Pell Grant Program; Academic Competitiveness Grant Program and National Science and Mathematics Access To Retain Talent

    AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION: Final regulations.

    SUMMARY: The Secretary is adopting as final, with changes, interim final regulations for the Academic Competitiveness (ACG) and National Science and Mathematics to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) programs; Student Assistance General Provisions; Federal Pell Grant Program; and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. These final regulations are needed to implement provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 (ECASLA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The new statutory provisions became effective July 1, 2009.

    DATES: These regulations are effective January 22, 2010.


    Topic: Contact person and information

    General information and information related to rigorous secondary school programs and eligible majors: Sophia McArdle. Telephone: (202) 219-7078 or via the Internet:

    Information related to grade level progression: Fred Sellers. Telephone: (202) 502-7502 or via the Internet:

    Information related to payments for part-time students: Jacquelyn Butler. Telephone: (202) 502-7890 or via the Internet:

    Information related to prior enrollment: Carney McCullough. Telephone: (202) 502-7639 or via the Internet:

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

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the first contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • A Framework for Categorizing the Relative Vulnerability of Threatened and Endangered Species to Climate Change

    AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION: Notice of public comment period.

    SUMMARY: EPA is announcing a 30-day public comment period for the draft document titled, "A Framework for Categorizing the Relative Vulnerability of Threatened and Endangered Species to Climate Change'' (EPA/600/R-09/011). The document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment within EPA's Office of Research and Development. This draft document describes an evaluative framework that may be used to categorize the relative vulnerability of species to climate change. To illustrate the use of this framework, it was applied to five U.S. threatened and endangered species: The golden-cheeked warbler, the salt marsh harvest mouse, the Mount Graham red squirrel, the Lahontan cutthroat trout, and the desert tortoise. A sixth species, the bald eagle which is no longer listed as threatened or endangered, except for the southwest population, was also evaluated.

    An external peer review of this report has been completed. The public comment period and the external peer review are separate processes. The public comment period provides an opportunity for all interested parties to comment on the document. When finalizing the draft document, EPA will consider any public comments received in accordance with this notice.

    EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of pre- dissemination review and comment under applicable information quality guidelines. This document has not been formally disseminated by EPA and does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency policy or determination. The first draft of this report was reviewed in 2002 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of the Interior. This final draft is being released to the public as well as to other federal agencies who may wish to comment.

    DATES: The 30-day public comment period begins November 25, 2009, and ends December 28, 2009. Technical comments should be in writing and must be received by EPA by December 28, 2009.

    ADDRESSES: The draft "A Framework for Categorizing the Relative Vulnerability of Threatened and Endangered Species to Climate Change'' is available primarily via the Internet on the National Center for Environmental Assessment's home page under the Recent Additions and the Data and Publications menus at A limited number of paper copies are available from the Information Management Team, NCEA; telephone: 703-347-8561; facsimile: 703-347-8691. If you are requesting a paper copy, please provide your name, your mailing address, and the document title, "A Framework for Categorizing the Relative Vulnerability of Threatened and Endangered Species to Climate Change.''

    Comments may be submitted electronically via, by mail, by facsimile, or by hand delivery/ courier. Please follow the detailed instructions provided in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the public comment period, contact the Office of Environmental Information Docket; telephone: 202-566-1752; facsimile: 202-566-1753; or e-mail:

    For technical information, contact Susan Julius, NCEA; telephone: 703-347-8619; facsimile: 703-347-8694; or e-mail:

  • Clean Water Act and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Common Effects Aquatic Life Assessment for Pesticides Using Available Data: Regional Stakeholder Meetings

    AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION: Notice of Public Meetings.

    SUMMARY: EPA will conduct six public meetings to solicit input on methods being evaluated by the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and the Office of Water (OW), with the support of the Office of Research and Development (ORD) to characterize effects from pesticides on fish, other aquatic organisms, and aquatic plants in aquatic ecosystems. These public meetings will be held in Chicago, IL (Region 5), Edison, NJ (Region 2), Kansas City, KS (Region 7), Atlanta, GA (Region 4), San Francisco, CA (Region 9), and Seattle, WA (Region 10), starting in January 2010. At the public meetings, EPA will provide presentations that detail its initial thinking on how to ensure that pesticide effects are characterized consistently by both OPP and OW.

    DATES: The public meetings will be held on the following dates: January 11, 2010; January 12, 2010; January 14, 2010; January 19, 2010; January 21, 2010; and January 22, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the following locations and times:

    Date, Time, Location

    January 11, 2010: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. EPA Region 2, 2890 Woodbridge Ave., Building 205 Main Conference Room, Edison, NJ 08837

    January 12, 2010: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. EPA Region 4, Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Augusta Conference Room, 61 Forsyth St., SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

    January 14, 2010: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EPA Region 5, Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, Valdas V. Adamkus Resource Center - 12th Floor, Lake Michigan Room, 77 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604

    January 19, 2010: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EPA Region 7, 901 North 5th St., Room 2240 A, Kansas City, KS 66101

    January 21, 2010: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101

    January 22, 2010: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., EPA Region 9, Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, Edward R. Roybal Auditorium and Conference Center, 1301 Clay St., Oakland, CA 94612

    Additional information concerning these meetings will be available on December 1, 2009 at the following web site:

    To request accommodation of a disability, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATON CONTACT, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Hopkins, Field and External Affairs Division (7506P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20460; telephone number: (703) 305-7195; e-mail address:

  • Health and Human Services

  • Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Institutes of Health Peer Review Advisory Committee.

    The meeting will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    Name of Committee: National Institutes of Health Peer Review Advisory Committee.

    Date: February 1, 2010.

    Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Agenda: Provide technical and scientific advice and recommendations to the NIH Director, the Deputy Director for Extramural Research, and the Director of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) on all procedures and policies related to the process of peer review by which the scientific and technical merit of NIH grant applications is assessed.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Montgomery County Conference Center Facility, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Cheryl A. Kitt, PhD, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3030, MSC 7776, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1112,

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

  • Screening Framework Guidance for Synthetic Double-Stranded DNA Providers

    AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary.

    ACTION: Notice.

    Authority: Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 241, Section 301; HSPD-10.

    SUMMARY: To reduce the risk that individuals with ill intent may exploit the commercial application of nucleic acid synthesis technology to access genetic material derived from or encoding Select Agents or Toxins, the U.S. Government has developed recommendations for a framework for synthetic nucleic acid screening. This document is intended to provide guidance to producers of synthetic genomic products regarding the screening of orders so that these orders are filled in compliance with current U.S. regulations and to encourage best practices in addressing potential biosecurity concerns. Following this guidance is voluntary, though many specific recommendations serve to remind providers of their obligations under existing regulations. The target audience for this guidance is the gene and genome synthesis industry, because the technical hurdles for de novo synthesis of Select Agents and Toxins from double-stranded DNA are much lower than for de novo synthesis of these agents from single-stranded oligonucleotides. This guidance proposes a screening framework for commercial providers of synthetic double-stranded DNA 200 base pairs (bps) or greater in length to address concerns associated with the potential for misuse of their products. The framework includes customer screening and sequence screening, follow-up screening as necessary, and consultation with U.S. Government contacts, as needed.

    This guidance is submitted for public consideration and comment for a period of 60 days. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is submitting this document for public consideration as the lead agency in a broad interagency process to draft the guidance.

    DATES: The public is encouraged to submit written comments on this proposed action. Comments may be submitted to HHS/ASPR in electronic or paper form at the HHS/ASPR e-mail address, mailing address, and fax number shown below under the heading FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All comments should be submitted by January 26, 2010. All written comments received in response to this notice will be available for review by request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jessica Tucker, Ph.D., Office of Medicine, Science, and Public Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 330 C Street, SW., Room 5008B, Washington, DC 20201; phone: 202-260-0632; fax: 202-205-8494; e-mail address:

  • Interior

  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Intent to Conduct a Status Review of Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus)

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of intent to conduct status review.

    SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), give notice of our intent to conduct a status review of Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). We conduct status reviews to determine whether the species should be listed as endangered or threatened under the Act. Through this notice, we encourage all interested parties to provide us information regarding Gunnison sage-grouse.

    DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that we receive information on or before December 23, 2009. After this date, you must submit information directly to the Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below). Please note that we may not be able to address or incorporate information that we receive after the above requested date.

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

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: 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 faxed comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Al Pfister, Western Colorado Field Office; telephone (970) 243-2778, ext. 29. Individuals who are hearing- impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1- 800-877-8339.

  • Minerals Management, Nonfederal Oil and Gas Development

    AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY: We are seeking comments to assist us in developing proposed a proposed rule to revise regulations governing nonfederal oil and gas development within the boundaries of units of the National Park System. The regulations have been in effect for over thirty years and have not been substantively updated during that period. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input on how to bring exempted operations under the scope of the regulations, and on how to improve resource protection aspects of the regulations while accounting for advances in oil and gas technology and industry practices.

    DATES: Comments must be received by January 25, 2010.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1024-AD78, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Fax: 303-987-6792. Attn: 9B Rulemaking Team. Include RIN 1024-AD78 on cover page.

    Mail: Department of the Interior; National Park Service; Attention: 9B Rulemaking Team, Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, P.O. Box 25287, Denver, Colorado 80225-0287.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the "Public Participation'' heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol McCoy, Chief, Planning, Evaluation & Permits Branch, Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, (303) 969-2096; P.O. Box 25287, Denver, Colorado 80225-0287.

  • National Park Service Benefits-Sharing Final Environmental Impact Statement

    AGENCY: National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Servicewide Benefits-Sharing Final Environmental Impact Statement.

    SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service announces the availability of the Benefits-Sharing Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) covering all units of the National Park System. The NPS requested and considered comments from sources including the public and other agencies in completing the FEIS. Three alternatives were evaluated in the FEIS, each of which would clarify the rights and responsibilities of researchers and National Park Service (NPS) management in connection with the use of valuable discoveries, inventions, and other developments that result from research involving specimens lawfully collected from units of the National Park System. The No Action Alternative allows scientists to conduct research that may lead to commercial products but without any obligation to share the benefits with NPS. Another alternative prohibits scientific research in national parks that is in any way associated with the development of commercial products. A third alternative, the Environmentally Preferred Alternative, requires researchers who study material obtained under a Scientific Research and Collecting Permit to enter into benefits-sharing agreements with the NPS before using their research results for any commercial purpose. This Environmentally Preferred Alternative has three potential variations regarding the disclosure of royalty rate or related information: Always disclose, never disclose, or comply with confidentiality laws regarding disclosure. The Preferred Alternative implements the benefits-sharing agreement requirement, while complying with confidentiality laws regarding disclosure of royalty rate or related information.

    DATES: The National Park Service will execute a Record of Decision (ROD) no sooner than 30 days following publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of the Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

    ADDRESSES: Information will be available for public inspection online at (select "Washington Office'' from the park menu and then follow the link for benefits-sharing), in the office of the National Park Service Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC, and in the office of the Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Mills, Benefits-Sharing EIS, Center for Resources, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190, (307) 344-2203,