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Federal Register Summary for week of 20 April


  • Petition To List 83 Species of Coral as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

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

    ACTION: Notice of availability of reports, request for information, and notice of public listening sessions and scientific workshops.

    SUMMARY: We, NMFS, issue this document to request information from the public on a Status Review Report and a draft Management Report we prepared in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list 83 coral species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to notify the public about future public listening sessions and scientific workshops on this topic. The Status Review Report examines the biology of, threats to, and extinction risk of 82 coral species, while the draft Management Report describes existing regulatory mechanisms and ongoing conservation efforts to manage and conserve these species throughout the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific. Collectively, these two reports constitute the best available scientific and commercial information that we have compiled to date on the 82 species of coral under review.

    The review of the status of these species is a major undertaking because of the large number and geographically dispersed nature of coral species involved. Therefore, with the approval of a federal court, NMFS and CBD have agreed to an extension of the previously approved deadline for issuing the 12-month finding on this petition. We are using this extension to allow additional opportunity for the public to provide us with information that may further inform our 12-month finding as to whether the petitioned action is or is not warranted. In addition, we will hold two public listening sessions and two public scientific workshops, during which we will explain the evaluation process and the public and experts will have opportunity to provide any additional relevant information on this matter.

    DATES: Comments on the documents and additional papers, reports, and information must be received by July 31, 2012. Dates, times, and location information for public listening sessions and scientific workshops will be announced in a subsequent Federal Register document.

    ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the Status Review Report of 82 Candidate Coral Species Petitioned Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (Status Review Report) and the draft Management Report for 82 Corals Status Review under the Endangered Species Act: Assessment of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms and Conservation Efforts (Management Report) by visiting the internet at:

    The two reports may also be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at: NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814; or NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    You may submit information, identified by 0648-XT12, on the Status Review Report and the draft Management Report by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic information via electronic mail to

    Mail: Submit written comments to Regulatory Branch Chief, Protected Resources Division, National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814, Attn: 82 coral species; or to Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; Attn: 82 coral species.

    Fax: 808-973-2941; Attn: Protected Resources Regulatory Branch Chief, or 727-824-5309; Attn: Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chelsey Young, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808-944-2137; Lance Smith, NMFS, Pacific Island Regional Office, 808-944-2258; Jennifer Moore, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 727-824-5312; or Marta Nammack, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8469.

  • Executive Office of the President

  • Executive Order 13605--Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources

    Executive Order 13605 of April 13, 2012

    Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies responsible for overseeing the safe and responsible development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources and associated infrastructure and to help reduce our dependence on oil, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Policy. In 2011, natural gas provided 25 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Its production creates jobs and provides economic benefits to the entire domestic production supply chain, as well as to chemical and other manufacturers, who benefit from lower feedstock and energy costs. By helping to power our transportation system, greater use of natural gas can also reduce our dependence on oil. And with appropriate safeguards, natural gas can provide a cleaner source of energy than other fossil fuels.

    For these reasons, it is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised.

    While natural gas production is carried out by private firms, and States are the primary regulators of onshore oil and gas activities, the Federal Government has an important role to play by regulating oil and gas activities on public and Indian trust lands, encouraging greater use of natural gas in transportation, supporting research and development aimed at improving the safety of natural gas development and transportation activities, and setting sensible, cost-effective public health and environmental standards to implement Federal law and augment State safeguards.

    Because efforts to promote safe, responsible, and efficient development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources are underway at a number of executive departments and agencies (agencies), close interagency coordination is important for effective implementation of these programs and activities. To formalize and promote ongoing interagency coordination, this order establishes a high-level, interagency working group that will facilitate coordinated Administration policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.

    Sec. 2. Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources. There is established an Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources (Working Group), to be chaired by the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, or a designated representative.

    (a) Membership. In addition to the Chair, the Working Group shall include deputy-level representatives or equivalent officials, designated by the head of the respective agency or office, from:

    (i) the Department of Defense;

    (ii) the Department of the Interior;

    (iii) the Department of Agriculture;

    (iv) the Department of Commerce;

    (v) the Department of Health and Human Services;

    (vi) the Department of Transportation;

    (vii) the Department of Energy;

    (viii) the Department of Homeland Security;

    (ix) the Environmental Protection Agency;

    (x) the Council on Environmental Quality;

    (xi) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

    (xii) the Office of Management and Budget;

    (xiii) the National Economic Council; and

    (xiv) such other agencies or offices as the Chair may invite to participate.

    (b) Functions. Consistent with the authorities and responsibilities of participating agencies and offices, the Working Group shall support the safe and responsible production of domestic unconventional natural gas by performing the following functions:

    (i) coordinate agency policy activities, ensuring their efficient and effective operation and facilitating cooperation among agencies, as appropriate;

    (ii) coordinate among agencies the sharing of scientific, environmental, and related technical and economic information;

    (iii) engage in long-term planning and ensure coordination among the appropriate Federal entities with respect to such issues as research, natural resource assessment, and the development of infrastructure;

    (iv) promote interagency communication with stakeholders; and

    (v) consult with other agencies and offices as appropriate.

    Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

    (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

    (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

  • Interior

  • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Final Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of availability of final report.

    SUMMARY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Framework Agreement for Early Restoration Addressing Injuries Resulting from the DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill (Framework Agreement), notice is hereby given that the Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies (Trustees) have approved the Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (Phase I ERP/EA) describing the first eight restoration projects selected by the Trustees to commence the process of restoring natural resources and services injured or lost as a result of the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill, which occurred on or about April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Phase I ERP/EA.

    ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the Phase I ERP/EA and the Framework Agreement at or Alternatively, you may request a CD of the document (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also review hard copies of the Phase I ERP/EA at any of the public repositories listed at


  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Special Rule for the Polar Bear

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Proposed rule; availability of draft environmental assessment.

    SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to amend the regulations at 50 CFR part 17, which implement the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), to create a special rule under authority of section 4(d) of the ESA that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). The Secretary has the discretion to prohibit by regulation with respect to the polar bear any act prohibited by section 9(a)(1) of the ESA.

    DATES: We will consider comments we receive on or before June 18, 2012. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by June 4, 2012.


    Document availability: You can view this proposed rule and the associated draft environmental assessment on under Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2012-0009.

    Written comments: You may submit comments on the proposed rule and associated draft environmental assessment by one of the following methods:

    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2012-0009; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203; or

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-R7- ES-2012-0009.

    Please indicate to which document, the proposed rule or the draft environmental assessment, your comments apply. We will post all comments on This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles Hamilton, Marine Mammals Management Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 7, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503; telephone 907-786-3309. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Invasive Species Advisory Committee

    AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice of Public Meetings of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY: Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of meetings of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). Comprised of 30 nonfederal invasive species experts and stakeholders from across the nation, the purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the National Invasive Species Council, as authorized by Executive Order 13112, on a broad array of issues related to preventing the introduction of invasive species and providing for their control and minimizing the economic, ecological, and human health impacts that invasive species cause. The Council is co-chaired by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce. The duty of the Council is to provide national leadership regarding invasive species issues.

    Purpose of Meeting: The meeting will be held on May 22-24, 2012 in Portland, Oregon, and will focus primarily on invasive species in the Pacific Northwest. A "systems thinking'' approach to this meeting in both ecological and management contexts, will center on topics that: (1) Pertain to invasive species issues at the community and ecosystem level; or that, (2) holistically address prevention, eradication, control and restoration activities within the region. A copy of the meeting agenda is available on the NISC Web site,

    DATES: Meeting of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 and Thursday, May 24, 2012; beginning at approximately 8 a.m., and ending at approximately 5 p.m. each day. Members will be participating in an off-site field tour on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The field tour is closed to the public.

    ADDRESSES: The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97205. The general session on May 22, 2012 and May 24, 2012 will be held in the Crystal Ballroom.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelsey Brantley, National Invasive Species Council Program Specialist and ISAC Coordinator, (202) 513- 7243; Fax: (202) 371-1751.

  • Invasive Species Advisory Committee; Request for Nominations

    AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, National Invasive Species Council.

    ACTION: Request for Nominations for the Invasive Species Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, on behalf of the interdepartmental National Invasive Species Council, proposes to appoint new members to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). The Secretary of the Interior, acting as administrative lead, is requesting nominations for qualified persons to serve as members of the ISAC.

    DATES: Nominations must be postmarked by June 18, 2012.

    ADDRESSES: Nominations should be sent to Lori Williams, Executive Director, National Invasive Species Council (OS/NISC), Regular Mail: 1849 C Street NW., (MS 1201 EYE), Washington, DC 20240; Express Mail: 1201 Eye Street NW., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20005.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelsey Brantley, Program Specialist and ISAC Coordinator, at (202) 513-7243, fax: (202) 371-1751, or by email at

  • National Science Foundation

  • Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Public Law 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources (1119).

    Date/Time: May 9, 2012; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 10, 2012; 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Place: NSF Headquarters, Room 375, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Contact Person: YeVonda McIlwaine, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230 (703) 292-8600,

    Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice with respect to the Foundation's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and human resources programming.


    May 9, 2012

    Morning Refreshments/Introductions, 2013 Budget and Planning, EHR's R&D Core Launch, E2 Joint Committee with MPS, Moving Forward-- New Direction, Committee Business with Director and Deputy Director, Reception

    May 10, 2012

    STEM Education: A Matter of Priority, Program Review, Discussion with Director.

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