Geoscience Policy Monthly Review
february 2018

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federal register

Federal Register: February 2018

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM): BOEM will open and publicly announce bids received for blocks offered in the Gulf of Mexico Region-wide Oil and Gas Lease Sale 250 (GOM Region-wide Sale 250) on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. The bid submission deadline for the sale is 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. [83 FR 7070 (February 16, 2018)]

Department of Energy (DOE): The DOE Office of Science issued a notice announcing an open meeting of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) on March 22, 2018 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bethesda, 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814. The purpose of this committee is to make recommendation to the Office of Science with respect to the basic energy sciences research program. [83 FR 7463 (February 21, 2018)]

Department of Energy (DOE): The DOE Office of Science issued a notice announcing an open meeting of the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) to provide advice and guidance on scientific priorities within the field of basic nuclear science research. The meeting will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, VA. [83 FR 7468 (February 21, 2018)]

Department of Energy (DOE): The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) issued a request for information from the public on understanding, accessing, and utilizing the full potential of the hydropower fleet to contribute to electric grid resilience and reliability. This information will help WPTO develop a research portfolio that intends to lower system costs, bring insight to hydropower technology development and research investments, promote optimization of hydroelectric resources, and ultimately support a more secure and reliable electric power system. Information must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on April 6, 2018. [83 FR 8465 (February 27, 2018)]

Department of the Interior (DOI): DOI is seeking public comment by March 19, 2018 on a draft list of 35 minerals considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. A summary report describing the methodologies and data sources used to develop the draft critical minerals list may be accessed at​10.3133/​ofr20181021. Comments must be submitted before March 19, 2018. [83 FR 7065 (February 16, 2018)]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): On October 16, 2017, the EPA published a proposal to repeal the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan. In response to numerous requests for additional opportunities for the public to provide oral testimony regarding the proposal, the EPA announced three listening sessions will be held; the first will be held on February 21, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri, the second on February 28, 2018 in San Francisco, California, and the third on March 27, 2018 in Gillette, Wyoming. In addition, the EPA will reopen the public comment period until April 26, 2018. [83 FR 4620 (February 1, 2018)]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA issued a request for comment regarding the Clean Water Act (CWA) and whether pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to the jurisdictional surface water may be subject to CWA regulation. Comments must be received on or before May 21, 2018. [83 FR 7126 (February 20, 2018)]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: The EPA and the Department of the Army published a final rule adding an applicability date of February 6, 2020 to the Clean Water Rule: Definition of `Waters of the United States' published June 29, 2015. With this final rule, the agencies intend to maintain the status quo by adding an applicability date to the 2015 Rule and thus providing continuity and regulatory certainty for regulated entities, states and tribes, and the public, while the agencies continue to consider possible revisions to the 2015 Rule. This final rule is effective on February 6, 2018. [83 FR 5200 (February 6, 2018)]

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): FEMA issued a notice listing communities where the addition or modification of Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or the regulatory floodway is appropriate because of new scientific or technical data. The agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports have been revised to reflect these flood hazard determinations, where applicable. The current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community, which are the basis for floodplain management measures required for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at [83 FR 5451 (February 7, 2018)]

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): FEMA issued a request for qualified individuals interested in serving on the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC). TMAC makes recommendations on how to improve the accuracy, general quality, ease of use, and distribution and dissemination of flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) and risk data in the United States. Appointments will be for terms beginning October 1, 2018 and lasting two years. Applications will be accepted until March 12, 2018. [83 FR 5640 (February 8, 2018)]

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): FERC issued a notice of an upcoming technical conference to discuss the participation of distributed energy resource (DER) aggregations in Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) and Independent System Operator (ISO) markets, and to more broadly discuss the potential effects of distributed energy resources on the bulk power system. The technical conference will take place on April 10 and 11, 2018 beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. at the Commission's offices in Washington, DC. [83 FR 7703 (February 22, 2018)]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): NOAA issued a notice of charter renewal of the NOAA Science Advisory Board. The committee has successfully provided advice to the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. The Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration have determined that renewal of the NOAA Science Advisory Board is in the public interest, and the committee will continue to provide such advice and guidance in the future. [83 FR 5062 (February 5, 2018)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): NOAA announced the schedule and proposed agenda for a public meeting of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB) to be held on March 6 and 7, 2018. The meeting will focus on program evaluation, strategic planning, education, and extension, science and technology programs. [83 FR 5249 (February 6, 2018)]

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): NASA issued a notice for the Earth Science Advisory Committee (ESAC) meeting to solicit scientific and technical information relevant to program planning from the scientific community and others. The meeting will be held on March 14 and 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Agenda topics include Earth Science Division (ESD) updates, the Earth Science Decadal Survey, ESD approached for international coordination, the evolution of the ESD Airborne Science Program, and ensuring high impact research in ESD. [83 FR 5815 (February 9, 2018)]

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): NASA announced a meeting of the Science Committee of the NASA Advisory Committee (NAC) to solicit scientific and technical information relevant to program planning from the scientific community and others. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Agenda topics include Science Mission Directorate fiscal year 2019 budget overview, research and analysis programs, and ad hoc task forces on big data products. [83 FR 8507 (February 27, 2018)]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): NOAA is seeking nominations for members to serve on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel to fill five vacancies that occur on January 1, 2019. Panel members will advise NOAA on matters that include acquiring and disseminating hydrographic data, providing and promulgating standards for hydrographic services, ensuring comprehensive geographic coverage of hydrographic services, and developing technologies necessary to ensure safe navigation and maintain operational expertise in hydrographic data acquisition and services. Nominations should be submitted no later than May 25, 2018. [83 FR 6519 (February 14, 2018)]

National Science Foundation (NSF): The NSF will hold an open meeting for the Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education to provide advice, recommendations, and oversight concerning support for environmental research and education. The meeting will be held on April 18, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, VA. [83 FR 8116 (February 23, 2018)]

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of the Interior (DOI): The USGS issued notice for the public meeting of the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC) on March 5 and 6, 2018 in Pasadena, California. The SESAC advises the Director of the USGS on matters relating to the agency’s participation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). In this meeting, the SESAC will review the current activities of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program and discuss future priorities. [83 FR 7216 (February 20, 2018)]

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of the Interior (DOI): The USGS issued a notice of renewal of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) related to the management of federal geospatial programs, development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and implementation of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906. The Committee will review geospatial policy and management issues and will provide a forum to convey views representative of non-federal partners in the geospatial community. [83 FR 7216 (February 20, 2018)]

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