Federal Register Opportunities
The Federal Register
The Federal Register is a daily publication by the United States Government, known as the newspaper of the federal government. It includes executive orders, public notices, proclamations, and proposed and final administrative regulations for federal agencies. It also provides opportunities for the public to comment on proposed rules before they are finalized. Public comments can be submitted in writing, orally at a hearing, or, in some cases, online via e-mail. Comment periods are typically between 30 and 90 days, though they do vary. Instructions on how, when, and where to submit comments for each proposed regulation are available in the Register and agencies are required to list the name and telephone number of a spokesperson to contact for more information. Agencies are also required to address significant issues introduced in comments and publicize changes made in response.
See below for upcoming meetings and current public comment opportunities on issues relevant to ecology.
Upcoming Public Meetings:
- BLM – Farmington District Resources Advisory Council Meeting (July 10 & 11)
- BLM – Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (July 26-27)
- Department of Health and Human Services – Meeting of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (June 21)
- Department of the Interior – National Invasive Species Council Meeting (July 19)
- EPA – Public Meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Scientific Advisory Panel (July 17-20)
- NOAA NMFS – Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Public Meeting (June 18-21)
- NOAA NMFS – Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review Meeting (June 25-29)
- NOAA NMFS – Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop and Stock Assessment Review Committee Meeting (June 26-29).
- NOAA NMFS – Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting (June 26-27)
- NOAA NMFS – Permanent Advisory Council to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (June 29, conference call, public comments accepted)
- NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research – Science Advisory Board Meeting (July 17)
- NPS – Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee (July 10, September 11, November 7)
- NSF – National Science Board Meeting (June 22)
- State Department – Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement Environmental Affairs Council Meeting (June 21)
- State Department – Meeting of the US National Commission for UNESCO (June 28)
- USGS – Public Meeting of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (June 26)
Opportunities for Public Comment and Nominations:
- Bureau of Reclamation – Request for Nominations: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group
The Department of the Interior is seeking nominations for members of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Working Group (AMWG). The AMWG to provides recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior in carrying out the responsibilities of the Grand Canyon Protection Act to protect, mitigate adverse impacts to, and improve the values for which Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreational Area were established, including but not limited to, natural and cultural resources and visitor use. Nominations due July 6, 2018.
- Bureau of Reclamation – Request for Nominations: Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group
The Department of the Interior is seeking nominations for the Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group. Nominations due July 20, 2018.
- BLM – Notice of Proposed Withdrawal of Extension and Opportunity for Public Meeting for the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Winter Range, Wyoming
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) application to extend the duration of Public Land Order (PLO) No. 7434 for an additional 20-year term to protect the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Winter Range and capital investments in Fremont County, Wyoming. Comment on the application for the proposed withdrawal extension and to request a public meeting on this issue. Comments and requests for a public meeting must be received by July 25, 2018.
- BLM — Environmental Impact Statements and Resource Management Plans for Greater-sage grouse conservation.
The Bureau of Land Management has prepared six revised draft Environmental Impact Statements and Resource Management Plans for greater-sage grouse conservation. The BLM is requesting comments on these plans on the agency’s website. The comment period is open until August 2, 2018.
- BLM – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Yellow Pine Solar Project, Clark County, NV
The BLM Las Vegas Field Office will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed solar project located approximately 32 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada. The BLM is soliciting scoping comments on this project until August 30, 2018.
- BLM – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Burning Man Event 10-Year Special Recreation Permit
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential impacts of approving a 10-year Special Recreation Permit for the Burning Man Event in Pershing County, Nevada. This Notice initiates public scoping period for the EIS. The public scoping process will assist the BLM with determining the issues to be addressed in the EIS. Comments are due August 6, 2018.
- Council on Environmental Quality – Update to the Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is considering updating its implementing regulations for the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ solicits public comment on potential revisions to update the regulations and ensure a more efficient, timely, and effective NEPA process. Comments due are July 20, 2018.
- Department of Education — Fulbright Applications
The Department of Education is inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship program (applications due July 2, 2018) and the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program (application due July 5, 2018).
- EPA – Biological Opinion on Pesticide Effects on Threatened or Endangered Species
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on the final Biological Opinion (BiOp) issued under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), regarding the potential effects of chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon on federally listed threatened or endangered species (listed species) and their designated critical habitats. Submit comments by July 23, 2018.
- EPA – Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science
Comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation stating that when the EPA develops regulations, with regard to the scientific studies that are pivotal to the action being taken, the EPA should ensure that the data is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. Comments on this proposed regulation must be received on or before August 16, 2018.
- EPA – Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process
EPA issues regulations under authority provided in the federal environmental statutes such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and many others. Most statutory provisions require or allow some consideration of cost and benefits when setting pollution standards, but there is variation in terminology and specificity provided in each law regarding the nature and scope of the cost and benefit considerations. The EPA is soliciting comment on whether and how EPA should promulgate regulations that provide a consistent and transparent interpretation relating to the consideration of weighing costs and benefits in making regulatory decisions in a manner consistent with applicable authorizing statutes. EPA is also soliciting comment on whether and how these regulations could also prescribe specific analytic approaches to quantifying the costs and benefits of EPA regulations. Comments due July 13, 2018.
- EPA – Washington Regional Haze Plan
The EPA is proposing to approve a revision to the regional haze Washington’s State Implementation Plan (SIP). Washington submitted its Regional Haze 5-Year Progress Report and a negative declaration stating that further revision of the existing regional haze implementation plan is not needed at this time. Comments due July 2, 2018.
- EPA – Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides
The EPA has released draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of acephate, biobor, diflubenzuron, prohexadione calcium, pyridaben, thiobencarb, and zinc borate. Comments due on July 23, 2018.
- EPA – Proposed Interim Decisions for Several Pesticides
The EPA has released proposed interim registration review decisions for the following pesticides: Acibenzolar, Aspergillus flavus,Asulam, Bacillus licheniformus, Chloroxylenol, Coumaphos, Dried fermentation solids and Dolubles of Myrothecium verrucaria, EPTC (S-Ethyl dipropylthiocarbamate), Ethylene, Fenhexamid, Fludioxonil, Formic acid, Methyl nonyl ketone, N6-Benzyladenine, Niclosamide, Potassium silicate, Propamocarb hydrochloride, Putrescent whole egg solids, Sodium carbonate, and TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol). Public comments are due July 23, 2018.
- EPA – Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act
The EPA is requesting public comments on several proposed changes to the final Risk Management Program Amendments rule issued on January 13, 2017. EPA is proposing to rescind amendments relating to safer technology and alternatives analyses, third-party audits, incident investigations, information availability, and several other regulatory changes. EPA is also proposing to modify amendments relating to local emergency coordination and emergency exercises, and to change the compliance dates for these provisions. Comments due July 30, 2018.
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluations of the California State Coastal Management Plan
NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management is soliciting comments on the performance evaluation of the California Coastal Commission. Public comments are due June 22, 2018.
- NOAA NMFS – Identification of Nations Engaged in Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated Fishing, Bycatch, or Shark Fishing
NMFS is seeking information regarding nations whose vessels are engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, by-catch of protected living marine resources, and/or fishing activities in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks. This information will be reviewed for the purposes of the identification of nations pursuant to the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and ongoing implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act Import Provisions. There will be a webinar on June 26 and information is due on or before December 31, 2018.
- NOAA NESDIS – Notice of Availability of a NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture Study Draft Report and Public Meeting
NOAA has released the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture Study draft report and is seeking comments from the public on the report, including information on how NOAA should engage with the research community on this project. A public meeting on this topic will be held June 21, 2018. Comments are due July 2, 2018
- NPS – Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves in Alaska
The National Park Service is proposing to amend its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska. This proposed rule would remove a regulatory provision issued by the National Park Service in 2015 that prohibited certain sport hunting practices that are otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska. Comments are due by July 23, 2018.
- NSF – Request for Information-Environmental Research and Education, National Security, and Economic Competitiveness
NSF is asking for input from the public on possible future directions for fundamental environmental science and education. This request for information intends to gather views from external stakeholders on what environmental research and education is needed to further advance national security and economic competitiveness. NSF’s Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education will use the input to develop a report on these topics to inform NSF and the community.
- State Department – Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Mainline Alternative Route in Nebraska
The State Department will prepare an Environmental Assessment as requred by the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the Mainline Alternative Route in support of the Bureau of Land Management’s review of TransCanada’s application for a right-of-way. Public comments due by June 25, 2018.
- U.S. ACE – Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Pebble Project
The Alaska District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to assess the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed Pebble open pit mine in the wetlands, streams and Ocean near Cook Inlet. The EIS will also assess the potential effects of multiple alternatives. Public comment on the Pebble Project is also available, with comments due by June 29, 2018.
- U.S. ACE – Solicitation for Applications for Stakeholder Representative Members of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting applications to fill vacant stakeholder representative member positions on the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC). Members are sought to fill vacancies on a committee to represent various categories of interests within the Missouri River basin. The MRRIC provides support to the Army Corps and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in meeting the requirements of the Endangered Species Act and the Water Resources Development Act. Applications due July 27, 2018.
- USFS – Request for Applications: The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
Qualifying nonprofits, local governments, and Indian tribes may now apply for grants to create and maintain community forests on purchased land under the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. Applications must be submitted to the State Forester by June 29, 2018.
- USFS – Amendments to Land Management Plans for Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation
The Forest Service is announcing its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for further amendments to land management plans for National Forests and Grasslands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming for sage-grouse. Comments are due July 20, 2018.
- USFWS – Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Indian Reservation and Ceded Lands for the 2018-2019 Season
As part of the Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) retrospective regulatory review, USFWS has developed a new schedule for migratory game bird hunting regulations. USFWS is proposing special bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season. Comments due June 22.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of Five Listed Animal Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 for five animal species. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species. For best consideration, information is due by June 25, 2018.
- USFWS – Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Arctic Grayling in Montana and related draft Environmental Assessment
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the availability of a Candidate Conservation Agreement for Arctic Grayling in the Centennial Valley, Montana (Centennial Valley CCAA) and a draft Environmental Assessment of the Centennial Valley CCAA (EA) for review and comment by the public. USFWS, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP), and local partners prepared the draft Centennial Valley CCAA to give non-Federal landowners the opportunity to voluntarily conserve Arctic grayling (a fish species) and its habitat in the Centennial Valley, Montana. The MFWP is applying for an enhancement of survival permit under the ESA to enroll landowners in the Centennial Valley CCAA. Comment period ends June 28, 2018.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 38 Species in the Southwest Region (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)
The USFWS is conducting 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 38 animal and plant species. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species. Species include the jaguar, the Mexican long-nose bat and the Mexican wolf. Information due July 2, 2018.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews for 35 Southeastern Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 for 35 wildlife, fish and plant species. The USFWS is requesting submissions of any information that has become available since the last review for the species. Species include the Ivory-billed woodpecker, the Bermuda Petrol and several species of freshwater mussels. See the Federal Register Notice for the full list. Comments and information are due July 6, 2018.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews for 156 Species in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Palau, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 for 156 wildlife, fish and plant species. The USFWS is requesting submissions of any information that has become available since the last review for the species. See the Federal Register Notice for the full list. Comments and information are due July 6, 2018.
- USFWS – Removing the Kirtland Warbler From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the Kirtland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to recovery. This decision was based on available scientific and commercial information, which indicate that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species has recovered and no longer meets the definition of endangered or threatened. Comments are due by July 11, 2018.
- USFWS – Proposed 2019-20 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2019-20 hunting season. Comments on the general harvest strategy and regulatory alternatives for the 2019-20 season are due July 18, 2018. Indivduals and organizations will have the opportunity in the future to comment on proposed frameworks by January 15, 2019. The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet July 10 to identify and discuss preliminary issues concerning the 2019-20 migratory bird hunting regulations. The SRC will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for the 2019-20 migratory game bird hunting seasons on October 16-17, 2018. These meeting are open to the public via teleconference.
- USFWS – Removing Oenothera coloradensis (Colorado Butterfly Plant) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the Colorado Butterfly Plant from the Endangered Species Act, based on the plants’ recovery. USFWS is seeking information and comments on this plant’s status and input on considerations for post-delisting monitoring of the Colorado butterfly plant. Comments due August 7, 2018.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of Five Listed Animal Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews of 50 species in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon under the Endangered Species Act. A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any new information on these species that has become available since the last review. Information must be received by August 17, 2018 for best consideration.
- USFWS – Updated Collision Risk Model Priors for Estimating Eagle Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses a collision risk model to predict the number of golden and bald eagles that may be killed at new wind facilities. The model incorporates existing information on eagle exposure and collision probability in the form of prior distributions. FWS has undertaken an analysis to update the priors using all available data that meet specific criteria for both species of eagle. This notice announces the availability of a summary report of that analysis, which generates new exposure and collision priors for both species of eagle. We are soliciting public comments on the summary report, which will be considered by FWS before using the new priors in the collision risk model. Comments due August 20, 2018.