Federal Register Summary: June 2018

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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Request for Feedback on BOEM's Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf

June 8, 2018 – BOEM issued a notice that it is reopening the comment period on its proposed path forward and factors affecting future renewable energy leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. The comment period will now close on July 5. [83 FR 26707]

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)

Update to the Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act

June 20, 2018 – CEQ is asking for comments on and recommendations for potential revisions to update and clarify its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. In particular, CEQ requests comments on a list of questions about specific aspects of these regulations relating to the NEPA process, scope of NEPA review, and revising procedural provisions to improve efficiency in general. The comment period will close on July 20. [83 FR 28591]

Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA Departmental Freedom of Information Act Regulations

June 11, 2018 – USDA is proposing revisions to its current implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to streamline FOIA processing procedures and incorporate changes in accordance with the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 and the OPEN Government Act of 2007. The comment period closes August 10. [83 FR 26865]

Department of Energy (DOE)

State Energy Advisory Board Meeting

June 12, 2018 – The State Energy Advisory Board will meet on July 12 and 13 to make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy regarding program goals, objectives, and priorities. The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board before or after the meeting via written comments. Requests to make oral comments must be received five days prior to the meeting; reasonable provision will be made to include requested topic(s) on the agenda. [83 FR 27317]

Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement

June 12, 2018 – The NEAC will hold a public meeting on July 9 to review recent developments and current status of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s research projects. Individuals may register to participate at https://www.eventbrite.com/​e/​nuclear-energy-advisory-committee-neac-meeting-tickets-46775873898. There will be approximately thirty minutes allotted for public comments. [83 FR 27317]

International Energy Agency Meetings

June 14, 2018 – DOE published a notice about a meeting of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Industry Advisory Board (IAB) on June 26 in Paris, France. The meeting will be held in connection with a joint meeting of the IEA’s Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM) on June 27. There will also be a meeting involving members of the IAB regarding the IEA's 9th Emergency Response Exercise (ERE9) on June 28 and 29. [83 FR 27764]

Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee

June 16, 2018 – The DOE Office of Science is holding a Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee meeting on July 12 and July 13 in Rockville, MD. This meeting is open to the public. Oral statements on agenda items during the meeting must be requested prior to the meeting and written statements will be accepted both before or after the meeting. [83 FR 29776]

Notice of Orders Issued Under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act During May 2018

June 25, 2018 – The DOE Office of Fossil Energy released a notice that it issued orders granting or vacating authority to import and export natural gas, liquified natural gas (LNG), and compressed natural gas (CNG) to various corporations. These orders are summarized in the appendix and may be found at https://www.energy.gov/​fe/​listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-issued-2018-0. [83 FR 29550]

Department of the Interior (DOI)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee; Call for Nominations 

June 25, 2018 – The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council is soliciting nominations for the Public Advisory Committee, which advises the Council on decisions related to the planning, evaluation, funds allocation, and conduct of injury assessment and restoration activities related to the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989. All nominations must be received by August 9. [83 FR 29566

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods; Designation of One New Reference Method

June 1, 2018 – EPA issued a notice that the agency has designated one new reference method for measuring concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in ambient air – an automated method (analyzer) utilizing the measurement principle based on gas phase chemiluminescence. EPA evaluates various methods for monitoring the concentrations of air pollutants regulated in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). [83 FR 25451]

Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Sulfur Oxides

June 8, 2018 – After conducting a review of air quality criteria addressing human health effects, EPA is proposing to retain the current national ambient air quality standard for sulfur oxides, without revision. The comments period on this proposed action will close July 23. [83 FR 26752]

Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process

June 13, 2018 – EPA posted an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, soliciting comments regarding perceived inconsistency and lack of transparency in how the agency considers costs and benefits in rulemaking, potential approaches for addressing these concerns, and the scope for issuing regulations to govern EPA's approach in future rulemakings. The comment period will close on July 13. [83 FR 27524]

Clean Water Act Hazardous Substances Spill Prevention 

June 25, 2018 – EPA announced it is not proposing to establish any new regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 311, which directs the president to issue regulations to prevent and contain discharges of oil and hazardous substances from onshore and offshore facilities. On July 21, 2015, EPA was sued for failing to comply with this alleged duty under Section 113 of the CWA. Based on an analysis of the frequency and impacts of reported hazardous substance discharges and the existing framework of EPA regulatory requirements, EPA is proposing no additional requirements at this time. Comments on this action must be received on or before August 24. [83 FR 29499]

Previously-Incurred Costs in the WIFIA Program

June 26, 2018 – EPA published a notice of an interim final rule amending the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to clarify the process and conditions for a recipient of WIFIA credit to include previously incurred costs for reimbursement with WIFIA loan proceeds. The rule becomes effective on June 26, and the comment period is open until August 27. [83 FR 29691]

Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act

June 26, 2018 – The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act was enacted on March 23, 2018, reauthorizing the Brownfields Program and making amendments to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) that affect brownfields grants, ownership and liability provisions, and State & Tribal Response Programs. EPA is soliciting comments specifically on three provisions of the BUILD Act: the authority to increase the per-site cleanup grant amounts to $500,000, the new multi-purpose grant authority, and the new small community assistance grant authority. Comments will be accepted through July 10. [83 FR 29782]

Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone-Call for Scientific and Policy-Relevant Information

June 26, 2018 – EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) and Office of Research and Development's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) are preparing to review the air quality criteria and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone (O3) and related photochemical oxidants. The agency is soliciting comments and information regarding significant new O3 research and policy-relevant issues for consideration to assist in this review by August 27. [83 FR 29785]

Call for Information on Adverse Effects of Strategies for Attainment and Maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards

June 26, 2018 – The EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) is soliciting information to facilitate the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee's (CASAC) consideration of any adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, or energy effects which may result from various strategies for attainment and maintenance of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Any comments and information should be received by October 24. [83 FR 29784]

Final Strategic Plan to Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Supporting the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Notice of Availability

June 27, 2018 – EPA announced the availability of a document entitled Strategic Plan to Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Supporting the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The plan specifically concerns “alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine or replace vertebrate animal testing and provide information of equivalent or better scientific quality and relevance.” [83 FR 30167]

Execute Office of the President

Great Outdoors Month

June 4, 2018 – The administration published Proclamation 9757, issued by President Donald Trump on May 30, 2018, recognizing June 2018 as “Great Outdoors Month” to celebrate the opening of public lands for public enjoyment and encourage Americans to enjoy the outdoors while practicing good stewardship. [83 FR 25545]

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations

June 7, 2018 – FEMA is looking for comments on additions or modifications to the proposed flood hazard determinations for various counties across Illinois, Indiana, and Oregon. [83 FR 26494]

Notice Maine; Major Disaster and Related Determinations

June 14, 2018 – FEMA issued a notice of the presidential declaration on May 30 of a major disaster in Maine. This declaration was made in the wake of the severe storm and flooding events that occurred on March 2 through 8. [83 FR 27791]

Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations

June 19, 2018 – FEMA issued a notice listing communities in the United States that qualify for the addition or modification of base flood elevation, base flood depths, and flood hazard zones. These alterations were made in response to new scientific data and will be used to calculate flood insurance rates. [83 FR 28435]

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Notice of Planetary Science Advisory Committee Meeting

June 8, 2018 – The NASA Planetary Science Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on July 2 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. to solicit scientific and technical information relevant to program planning from the planetary science community and others. [83 FR 26708]

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction (ACEHR) Meeting

June 13, 2018 – On November 7 and 8, 2018, ACEHR will hold open meetings to review National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) agency updates and receive the NEHRP agency responses to the Committee's 2017 biennial and 2018 interim Reports on the Effectiveness of the NEHRP. [83 FR 27544]

Smart Grid Advisory Committee Charter Renewal

June 27, 2018 – NIST published a notice that the Smart Grid Advisory Committee has received a renewed charter after the Department of Commerce Acting Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary for Administration and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration determined that the charter renewal is necessary and in the public interest. [83 FR 30116]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Licensing Private Remote Sensing Space Systems

June 29, 2018 – NOAA published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the licensing of private remote sensing space systems. The proposed revisions seek to update regulations to address technological advancements, business models, and levels of foreign competition since the last revisions to the regulation were made in 2006. Public comments must be received by August 28. [83 FR 30592]

National Park Service (NPS)

National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions

June 13, 2018 – NPS is soliciting comments on the significance of properties nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. NPS will be accepting comments various properties, including properties in California, Oregon, and Kansas, which werenominated before May 19, 2018. The comment period ends on the June 28, 2018. [83 FR 27625]