[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 250 (Thursday, December 31, 2009)]
[Pages 69335-69337]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-31100]



[FRL-9086-6; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2009-0855]

An Assessment of Decision-Making Processes: The Feasibility of 
Incorporating Climate Change Information Into Land Protection Planning

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Public Comment Period.


SUMMARY: EPA is announcing a 30-day public comment period for the draft 
document titled, ``An Assessment of Decision-Making Processes: The 
Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change Information into Land 
Protection Planning'' (EPA/600/R-09/142a). The document was prepared by 
the National Center for Environmental Assessment within EPA's Office of 
Research and Development. This draft document is a review of decision-
making processes of selected land protection programs. The goal of this 
document is to assess the feasibility of incorporating climate change 
impacts information into the evaluation of these programs. The 
assessment revealed that there are several strategies that might be 
useful for incorporating climate change information into decision 
making. As part of a portfolio of adaptation strategies, land 
protection may become more important for jurisdictions, particularly to 
ameliorate climate change impacts on watersheds and wildlife.
    The public comment period and the external peer review, which will 
occur after the public comment period, are separate processes that 
provide opportunities for all interested parties to comment on the 
document. EPA intends to forward the public comments that are submitted 
in accordance with this notice to the external peer reviewer panel 
prior to the meeting for their consideration. When finalizing the draft 
document, EPA intends to consider any public comments that EPA receives 
in accordance with this notice.
    EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of pre-
dissemination peer review under applicable information quality 
guidelines. This document has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It 
does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency 
policy or determination.

DATES: The 30-day public comment period begins December 31, 2009, and 
ends February 1, 2010. Technical

[[Page 69336]]

comments should be in writing and must be received by EPA by February 
1, 2010.

ADDRESSES: The draft ``An Assessment of Decision-Making Processes: The 
Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change Information into Land 
Protection Planning'' is available primarily via the Internet on the 
National Center for Environmental Assessment's home page under the 
Recent Additions and the Publications menus at http://www.epa.gov/ncea. 
A limited number of paper copies are available from the Information 
Management Team, NCEA; telephone: 703-347-8561; facsimile: 703-347-
8691. If you are requesting a paper copy, please provide your name, 
your mailing address, and the document title, ``An Assessment of 
Decision-Making Processes: The Feasibility of Incorporating Climate 
Change Information into Land Protection Planning''.
    Comments may be submitted electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, by mail, by facsimile, or by hand delivery/
courier. Please follow the detailed instructions provided in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the public comment 
period, contact the Office of Environmental Information Docket; 
telephone: 202-566-1752; facsimile: 202-566-1753; or e-mail: 
[email protected].
    For technical information, contact Britta Bierwagen, NCEA; 
telephone: 703-347-8613; facsimile: 703-347-8694; or e-mail: 
[email protected].


I. Information About the Project/Document

    The document, ``An Assessment of Decision-Making Processes: The 
Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change Information into Land 
Protection Planning'' describes a review of the decision-making 
processes of selected programs that protect land to assess the 
feasibility of incorporating climate-change impacts information into 
the evaluation of land protection programs. The review focused on a 
sample of programs with goals to protect wildlife and watersheds. Most 
programs reviewed use quantitative evaluation criteria and a bottom-up 
process for selecting parcels. Almost all programs have one or more 
advisory committees. The assessment revealed that strategies that might 
be useful for incorporating climate-change information into decision 
making include new decision-support tools for advisory committees, 
promulgation of different land protection models (e.g., purchase as 
opposed to transfer of development rights), and educational outreach 
for elected officials.
    Because land protection decisions are long-term, hard to reverse, 
and resource intensive, these decisions are important to consider in 
the context of climate change. Climate change may directly affect the 
services intended for protection and parcel selection can exacerbate or 
ameliorate certain impacts. Therefore, when considering long-term 
acquisition strategies, land protection programs should be considering 
both the mitigation potential of land through carbon sequestration and 
the adaptation potential of the land for preserving wildlife migration 
routes, protecting water resources, and buffering infrastructure and 
development from storm events. As jurisdictions learn more about 
possible climate change impacts, certain land protection strategies may 
become more desirable and feasible as part of a portfolio of adaptation 
strategies that ameliorate impacts on watersheds and wildlife.

II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at http://www.regulations.gov

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2009-
0855, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected].
     Fax: 202-566-1753.
     Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket 
(Mail Code: 2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-
     Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center, Room 3334 EPA West Building, 1301 
Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center's Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is 202-566-1744. Such deliveries are only accepted during 
the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should 
be made for deliveries of boxed information.
    If you provide comments by mail or hand delivery, please submit 
three copies of the comments. For attachments, provide an index, number 
pages consecutively with the comments, and submit an unbound original 
and three copies.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-
2009-0855. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the 
specified comment period. Comments received after the closing date will 
be marked ``late,'' and may only be considered if time permits. It is 
EPA's policy to include all comments it receives in the public docket 
without change and to make the comments available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless a comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-
mail. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous 
access'' system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact 
information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you 
send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your e-mail address will be automatically captured 
and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket 
and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic 
comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact 
information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you 
submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties 
and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to 
consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special 
characters or any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or 
viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the 
EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: Documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other materials, 
such as copyrighted material, are publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the 
EPA Headquarters Docket Center.

[[Page 69337]]

    Dated: November 19, 2009.
Rebecca Clark,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. E9-31100 Filed 12-30-09; 8:45 am]