• Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board

    AGENCY: Research, Education, and Economics, USDA.

    ACTION: Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, Section 1408 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123), and the Agricultural Act of 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces a meeting of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

    DATES: December 16-18, 2015. The public may file written comments before or up to January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES: Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Building 005, Room 020, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. Written comments may be sent to: The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 332A, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Mail Stop 0321, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0321.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michele Esch, Executive Director or Shirley Morgan-Jordan, Program Support Coordinator, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board; telephone: (202) 720-3684; fax: (202) 720-6199; or email: or

  • Request for Information (RFI) Regarding Involving the Public in the Formulation of Forest Service Directives

    AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION: Request for Information.

    SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Business Operations, Office of Regulatory and Management Services (ORMS) is preparing to revise a portion of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) governing public participation requirements and procedures related to the issuance or revision of internal Agency directives. The Forest Service is committed to ensuring that a broad and representative cross- section of the interested public is provided advance notice and a full and fair opportunity to comment upon the formulation of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. In keeping with this commitment, the Agency is interested in enhancing its public engagement and expanding its approach for public notice and comment beyond just formal rulemaking. The Agency has identified a need to update the relevant regulations to reflect the varied media consumption patterns of key Forest Service stakeholders and the public at large. These potential regulatory revisions are also necessary to ensure that written policies align with the Agency's current practices, which have changed to ensure compliance with recent court orders.

    The Agency is hosting a webinar for all interested members of the general public to inform the public of these changes to the Forest Service's public participation procedures. This session will include additional information on the need for these changes and the outcomes the Agency is seeking to achieve. It will also include an outline of a potential path forward and provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions, provide input, and suggest ideas.

    DATES: A webinar will be held for interested members of the general public on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

    ADDRESSES: The webinar will be held via Adobe Connect web conferencing software. To access the presentation, enter the following URL into any Flash-enabled web browser: Audio- only access is available toll-free by calling (888) 844-9904 and entering the following access code: 4909819.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Earnest Rawles, Acting Assistant Director, Office of Regulatory and Management Services--Directives and Regulations Branch (202) 205-2601, Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

  • Energy

  • President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

    AGENCY: Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION: Notice of solicitation for comments.

    SUMMARY: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is interested in hearing from stakeholders on a series of questions related to forensic science.

    DATES: Please submit all responses by December 23, 2015, 12:00 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES: input must be submitted electronically using the Web-based form available at

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Specific questions about this notice should be sent via email to Ms. Jennifer Michael at

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the Nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House, Cabinet Departments, and other Federal agencies. See the Executive Order at PCAST is consulted about and provides analyses and recommendations concerning a wide range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation may bear on the policy choices before the President. PCAST is co-chaired by Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, The White House; and Dr. Eric S. Lander, President, Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

    Please note that because PCAST operates under the provisions of FACA, all public comments and/or presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including being posted on the PCAST Web site.

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Request for Scientific Views on the Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Cadmium--2015

    AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION: Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its draft recommended aquatic life water quality criteria for cadmium for public comment. EPA is updating its national recommended ambient water quality criteria for cadmium in order to reflect the latest scientific information, and current EPA policies and methods. Following closure of this public comment period, EPA will consider scientific views from the public on this draft document as well as any new data or information received. EPA will then publish a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the final cadmium criteria. Once finalized, EPA's water quality criteria for cadmium will provide recommendations to states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. In adopting water quality standards, states set exposure protections for aquatic life; chronic exposure to cadmium negatively impacts growth, development, behavior, reproduction, and immune and endocrine systems in aquatic life.

    DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW- 2015-0753, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Elias, Health and Ecological Criteria Division, Office of Water (Mail Code 4304T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-0120; email address:

  • Interior

  • Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Seventeenth Regular Meeting: Proposed Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items Being Considered; Observer Information

    AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION: Notice.

    SUMMARY: The United States, as a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), may submit proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration at meetings of the Conference of the Parties to CITES. The United States may also propose amendments to the CITES Appendices for consideration at meetings of the Conference of the Parties. The seventeenth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) is scheduled to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 to October 5, 2016. With this notice, we describe proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items that the United States is considering submitting for consideration at CoP17; invite your comments and information on these proposals; and provide information on how non-governmental organizations based in the United States can attend CoP17 as observers.

    DATES: We will consider all information and comments you submit concerning proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items that the United States is considering submitting for consideration at CoP17, if we receive them on or before February 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES: You may submit comments pertaining to proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP17 by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-HQ- IA-2014-0018 (the docket number for this notice).

    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-IA-2014-0018; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041.

    We will not consider comments sent by email or fax, or to an address not listed in the ADDRESSES section. Comments and materials we receive in response to this notice will be posted for public inspection on, or by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 5275 Leesburg Pike, 2nd Floor, Falls Church, VA 22041; telephone 703-358-2095.

    Requests for approval to attend CoP17 as an observer should be sent to the Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: IA, Falls Church, VA 22041; or via email at:; or via fax at: 703-358-2298.

    For the latest news and information regarding U.S. preparations for CoP17, please visit our Web site at

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information pertaining to resolutions, decisions, and agenda items, contact: Craig Hoover, Chief, Division of Management Authority, at 703-358-2162 (phone); 703-358-2298 (fax); (email). For information pertaining to species proposals contact: Rosemarie Gnam, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority, at 703-358-1708 (phone); 703-358-2276 (fax); or (email). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

  • Office of Science and Technology Policy

  • Public Input on the Triennial Update to the USGCRP Strategic Plan

    ACTION: Request for public comment.

    SUMMARY: The U.S. Global Change Research Program is three years into the implementation of its National Global Change Research Plan 2012- 2021 ( hereafter called the Strategic Plan. That decadal Strategic Plan remains the continuing blueprint for USGCRP, with its strategic directions guiding the Program. There are areas, however, where the landscape has changed by virtue of significant progress, changing scientific or societal urgencies, or challenges. This Triennial Update to the Strategic Plan (hereafter simply "Update'') addresses these areas and their implications for USGCRP. In accordance with the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (Sec 104, P.L. 101-606), this public comment period invites the public to provide comments and feedback on the Update.

    DATES: Public comments will be accepted through January 30, 2016.

    ADDRESSES: Comments from the public may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronically via Instructions for submitting comments are on the Web site.

    If you are unable to submit electronically, comments may be submitted by mail to Attn: Benjamin DeAngelo, U.S. Global Change Research Program, 1800 G Street NW., Suite 9100, Washington, DC 20006. Information submitted by postal mail should allow ample time for processing.

    Instructions: Response to this Request for Public Comment is voluntary. Mailed comments should be less than 10 pages. Responses to this Request for Public Comment may be posted without change online. OSTP therefore requests that no business proprietary information, copyrighted information, or personally identifiable information be submitted in response to this Request for Public Comment. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response preparation, or for the use of any information contained in the response.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin DeAngelo, (202) 419-3474,, U.S. Global Change Research Program.

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