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:
- Arctic Research Commission – 110th U.S. Arctic Research Commission Meeting (September 4 & 5)
- Army Corps of Engineers – Inland Waterways Users Board Meeting (August 30)
- BLM – John Day-Snake Resource Advisory Council (Oregon) Meeting (September 20)
- Delaware Basin River Commission – Public Business Meeting (September 13)
- Department of Energy – Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (August 23)
- EPA – Environmental Finance Advisory Board (August 21)
- EPA – Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee – Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur (September 5-6)
- Interior Department – Royalty Policy Committee (September 13)
- NASA – NASA Advisory Council Science Committee Meeting (August 27-28)
- NASA – NASA Advisory Council Meeting (August 29 – 30)
- NOAA NMFS – Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Meeting (August 20 -23)
- NOAA NMFS – Meeting of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (August 22)
- NOAA NMFS – North Pacific Fishery Management Council Ecosystem Committee Meeting (August 20)
- NOAA NMFS – Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Consultative Committee Meeting (August 27)
- NOAA NMFS – New England Fishery Management Council Habitat Committee Meeting (August 28)
- NOAA NMFS – Caribbean Fishery Management Council Meeting (September 28-30)
- NOAA NMFS – Meeting of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel (September 5 & 6)
- NOAA NMFS – Pacific Fishery Management Council Meetings (September 5 – 12)
- NOAA NMFS – Meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (September 6)
- NOAA NMFS – North Pacific Fishery Management Council Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting (September 10)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluation of Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve (meeting August 8, comments due August 17)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluation of Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (meeting August 21, comments due August 31)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council (August 22)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee (August 28)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting (August 28 – 30)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluation of Hawaii State Coastal Management Programs (meeting August 29, comments due September 7)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs – South Carolina (September 11, comments due 9/21)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (September 19)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluation of Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (Meeting September 19, comments due September 28)
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Evaluation of Mississippi State Coastal Management Programs (September 25, comments due October 5)
- NOAA – Meetings on NOAA’s Implementation of the Department of Commerce 2018-2022 Strategic Plan (August 30 – November 9)
- NPS – Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee (September 11, November 7)
- NPS – Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee (September 7)
- NPS – National Park Service Alaska Region Subsistence Resource Commission Program Meeting (various, September 9 – November 6)
- NSF – STEM Education Advisory Panel Meeting (September 12)
- State Department – Town Hall Meeting on Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty Regime (September 6)
Opportunities for Public Comment and Nominations:
- Agricultural Research Service – Request for Nominations of Members for the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces the opening of the solicitation for nominations to fill vacancies on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its subcommittees. Nominations are due August 24, 2018.
- BLM – Call for Nominations and Comments for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska 2018 Oil and Gas Lease Sale
- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Alaska State Office is issuing a call for nominations and comments on all available tracts for leasing for the upcoming National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) 2018 Oil and Gas Lease Sale. Comments due August 20, 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 Availability of the Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the BLM Carlsbad Field Office, New Mexico
The BLM has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Carlsbad Field Office (New Mexico) and is requesting comments on these documents.
- BLM – Draft San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (AZ) Resource Management Plan and Associated Environmental Impact Statement
The Bureau of Land Management Tucson Field Office has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Comments on this plan are open for 90 days, until September 27, 2018.
- BLM – Notice of Availability of the Draft Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek and Shash Jáa Units Monument Management Plans
The Bureau of Land Management Canyon Country District Office has prepared Draft Monument Management Plans and an Environmental Impact Statement for the Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek and Shash Jáa Units and is soliciting public comments.
- BLM – Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Land Use Plan Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan for the Desert Quartzite Solar Project
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Bureau of Land Management has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Quartzite Solar Project. A draft Land Use Plan Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan is also included. Comments due November 8, 2018.
- Coast Guard – Environmental Impact Statement for the Polar Icebreaker Program
The U.S. Coast Guard announces the availability of a draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act for the Polar Icebreaker Program’s design and build of up to six polar icebreakers. Comments due September 20, 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 are due August 20, 2018.
- EPA Request for Nominations of Experts for the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Ozone Review Panel
The Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board Staff Office requests public nominations for scientific experts to form a CASAC ad hoc panel to provide advice through the chartered CASAC on the scientific and technical aspects of air quality criteria and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Nominations due August 17, 2018.
- EPA – Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances
EPA is proposing significant new use rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act for 145 chemical substances which were the subject of premanufacture notices. Comments due by August 31, 2018.
- EPA – Draft Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides
The EPA announces the availability of EPA’s draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration reviews of dithiopyr, fluthiacet-methyl, hydramethylnon (pyrimidinone), and trifluralin. Comments due October 9, 2018.
- EPA – Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting and request for nominations of Ad Hoc Expert Members
There will be a 4-day, in-person meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel December 4-7, 2018 to consider and review the Evaluation of a Proposed Approach to Refine the Inhalation Risk Assessment for Point of Contact Toxicity: A Case Study Using a New Approach Methodology. In addition, EPA is requesting nominations of prospective candidates for service as ad hoc members of FIFRA SAP for this meeting. Nominations due November 16, 2018.
- Office of Management and Budget – Request for Information: Establishing a Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center
The White House Office of Management and Budget is seeking input from across sectors and disciplines on capabilities that already exist as well as key considerations in pursuing the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center initiative through a request for information now available on www.Performance.gov/GEARcenter.
- NSF – Request for Feedback on the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee’s Draft Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic
The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), chaired by the National Science Foundation, is seeking comment from the public on newly revised Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic. A U.S. IARPC Principles Revision Working Group prepared these draft revised Principles after conducting a comprehensive literature review and seeking and receiving diverse input from Alaska Natives, Federal and State and local agency representatives. The Working Group seeks public comment on the draft revised Principles, which will be finalized after approval of the IARPC agencies. Comments due by September 4, 2018.
- NOAA – Request for Nominations for the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing
The Department of Commerce is seeking highly qualified individuals who are knowledgeable about the commercial space-based remote sensing industry and uses of space-based remote sensing data to serve on the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES). The Committee is comprised of leaders in the commercial space-based remote sensing industry, space-based remote sensing data users, government, and academia.
- NOAA NMFS – Proposed Plan Amendments for Ecosystem Component Species – Pacific Island Fisheries
NMFS announces that the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council proposes to amend the Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEP) for American Samoa, the Mariana Archipelago, and Hawaii. Amendment 4 to the American Samoa FEP, Amendment 5 to the Marianas FEP, and Amendment 5 to the Hawaii FEP would reclassify certain management unit species as ecosystem component species. Comments due October 9, 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. Information is due on or before December 31, 2018.
- NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research – Request for Comments – Science and Technology for America’s Oceans: A Decadal Vision
NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research requesting input on the content of a report, Science and Technology for America’s Oceans: A Decadal Vision. This report identifies pressing research needs and areas of opportunity within the ocean S&T enterprise for the coming decade, 2018-2028. This report aims to provide guidance for U.S. Federal agencies and non-federal sectors to align their resources and areas of expertise, and further build the scientific and technological foundation that will improve our knowledge and stewardship of the ocean, address issues of national and global importance, and inform decision-making for the coming decade. NOAA has prepared a draft report and seeks public comments on this draft. Public comments will inform NOAA and the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology as they develop the final report. Public comments are due August 27, 2018.
- NOAA National Ocean Service – Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Coral Reef Conservation Program
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management will prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act for its Coral Reef Conservation Program. Preliminary, scoping comments are due August 15, 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 September 6, 2018.
- NPS – Request for Nominations for the Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee
The National Park Service is requesting nominations for qualified persons to serve as members of the Committee, including members of the scientific community. Nominations due by August 30, 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. Comments due August 20, 2018. The committee has also created a survey.
- State Department – Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Mainline Alternative Route
The Department of State announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Mainline Alternative Route in Nebraska for public review and comment. The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the proposed Keystone XL Mainline Alternative Route. Comments due August 29, 2018.
- USFS – Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Inyo National Forest
The Forest Service is revising the Inyo National Forest’s forest plan (CA and NV). The Forest Service has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for its revised forest plan and a draft Record of Decision. This notice is to inform the public that the Inyo National Forest is initiating a 60-day period where individuals or entities with specific concerns about the Inyo’s revised forest plan and the associated FEIS may file objections for Forest Service review prior to the approval of the revised forest plan. This is also an opportunity to object to the Regional Forester’s list of species of conservation concern for the Inyo National Forest. Objections are due Oct. 2, 2018.
- 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.
- USFWS – Draft Long-Range Transportation Plans for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lands in Regions 2, 6, and 8
USFWS announces the availability of three draft long-range transportation plans for public review and comment. These draft long-range transportation plans outline strategies for improving and maintaining transportation assets that provide access to Service-managed lands in Region 2 (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas), Region 6 (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming), and Region 8 (California and Nevada) over the next 20 years. Comments due August 20, 2018.
- USFWS – Draft Recovery Plan for Coquí Llanero
The draft recovery plan for the endangered coquí llanero, a frog endemic to Puerto Rico, is not availible. The draft recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria that must be met in order for USFWS to remove this species from listing under the Endangered Species Act. Comments are due September 7, 2018.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of 19 Northeastern Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year reviews under the Endangered Species Act for 19 northeastern species. A 5-year review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the previous 5-year review for each species. Information due by September 7, 2018 for best consideration.
- USFWS – Draft Recovery Plan for the Southern California Distinct Population Segment of the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog (Rana muscosa)
USFWS announces the availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for the Southern California Distinct Population Segment of the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog (Rana muscosa) for public review and comment. The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria, and site-specific management actions as may be necessary to reclassify the species from endangered to threatened and also for removal from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Comments due by September 17, 2018.
- USFWS & NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of Regulations for Interagency Cooperation
SFWS and NOAA NMFS propose amending portions of the regulations that implement section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The agencies are proposing these changes to improve and clarify the interagency consultation processes and make them more efficient and consistent. Comments due September 24, 2018.
- USFWS & NOAA NMFS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of the Regulations for Listing Species and Designating Critical Habitat
USFWS and NOAA NMFS propose to revising portions of the regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The proposed revisions to the regulations clarify, interpret, and implement portions of the Act concerning the procedures and criteria used for listing or removing species from the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and designating critical habitat. We also propose to make multiple technical revisions to update existing sections or to refer appropriately to other sections. Comments due September 24, 2018.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of the Regulations for Prohibitions to Threatened Wildlife and Plants
USFWS proposes revising the regulations extending most of the prohibitions for activities involving endangered species to threatened species. For species already listed as a threatened species, the proposed regulations would not alter the applicable prohibitions. The proposed regulations would require USFWS, pursuant to section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, to determine what, if any, protective regulations are appropriate for species that the USFWS in the future determines to be threatened. Comments due September 24, 2018.
- USFWS – Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Texas Snowbells
USFWS is announcing the availability of thier draft revised recovery plan for Texas snowbells, listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Texas snowbells is a rare, endemic shrub of the Edwards Plateau, and is found in Real, Edwards, and Val Verde Counties, Texas. We provide this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. For best consideration, comments are due Oct. 2, 2018.
- USFWS – Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 11 Species in the Mountain-Prairie Region
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, of six animal and five 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 new information on these species that has become available since the last review of the species. Species inclue the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, Gunnison sage-grouse and the Black-footed ferret. For best consideration, comments and information are due October 9, 2018.
- USFWS – Draft Recovery Plan for Neosho Mucket
USFWS announces the availability of the draft recovery plan for the endangered Neosho mucket. The draft recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria that must be met in order for us to delist this species under the Endangered Species Act. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public. Comments due October 16, 2018.
- USFWS – 90-day Findings for Three Species (Dixie Valley toad, Oregon vesper sparrow and Yellow-billed cuckoo)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced 90-day findings on three petitions to add or remove species from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act. Based on the review, USFWS finds that the three petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. USFWS plans to initiate reviews of the status of these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that these status reviews are comprehensive, USFWS is requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding these species. Any information received during the reviews will be considered.
- USGS – Call for Nominations to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee
The Department of the Interior is seeking nominations to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The NGAC provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior through the Federal Geographic Data Committee related to management of Federal geospatial programs, development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906. The NGAC reviews and comments on geospatial policy and management issues and provides a forum for views of non-Federal stakeholders in the geospatial community. Nominations are due August 27, 2018.