[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 168 (Tuesday, August 31, 2010)]
[Pages 53298-53299]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-21696]

[[Page 53298]]



[FRL-9195-4; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0709]

A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the 
Chesapeake Bay

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of public comment period.


SUMMARY: The EPA is announcing a 60-day public comment period for the 
draft document titled, ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decision: 
Application in the Chesapeake Bay'' (EPA/600/R-10/096a). The draft 
document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental 
Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development.
    In the 2010 Executive Order (EO) Strategy entitled, Protecting and 
Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, EPA has committed to ``minimize 
the vulnerability of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to adverse impacts 
from climate change.'' The EO Strategy also commits EPA to ensuring 
that ``TMDL allocations account for climate change impacts [by working] 
in conjunction with the states to conduct an analysis by 2017 to 
consider accounting for uncertainties of climate change in TMDL 
allocations.'' To accomplish this, it is necessary to understand the 
rates at which conditions are changing and are projected to change in 
the future; how various factors, such as land-use changes, interact 
with climate change impacts; and the likely consequences for water 
quality, habitats, fish and wildlife and communities. This draft report 
presents a systematic approach for evaluating these factors and 
practices for their relative potential effectiveness in ameliorating 
climate changes impacts. The report also includes the results of 
applying this approach in a pilot assessment of management practices in 
the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The practices evaluated could be used for 
both nutrient and sediment reductions, and also to ameliorate the 
effects of climate change on water quality that will ultimately inform 
the 2017 reassessment for Bay restoration.
    The public comment period and the external peer-review workshop, 
which will be scheduled at a later date and announced in the Federal 
Register, are separate processes that provide opportunities for all 
interested parties to comment on the document. EPA intends to forward 
public comments that are submitted in accordance with this notice to 
the external peer-review 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 
    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 60-day public comment period begins August 31, 2010, and 
ends November 1, 2010. Technical comments should be in writing and must 
be received by EPA by November 1, 2010.

ADDRESSES: The draft ``A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: 
Application in the Chesapeake Bay'' is available via the Internet on 
the National Center for Environmental Assessment's home page under the 
Recent Additions and the Data and Publications menus at http://www.epa.gov/ncea. A limited number of paper copies are available from 
the Information Management Team (IMT), NCEA; telephone: 703-347-8561; 
facsimile: 703-347-8691. If you are requesting a paper copy, please 
provide your name, mailing address, and the document title, ``A Method 
To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake 
    Comments may be submitted electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, by mail, by facsimile, or by hand delivery/
courier. Please follow the detailed instructions as 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].
    If you need technical information about the document, please 
contact Susan Julius, National Center for Environmental Assessment 
(NCEA); telephone: 703-347-8619; facsimile: 703-347-8694; e-mail: 
[email protected].


I. Summary of Information About the Project/Document

    Climate change is a global phenomenon that is affecting natural and 
human systems in all parts of the world. Some of the decisions and 
actions taken to manage these systems are likely to be affected by 
climate change and may likewise affect the vulnerability of the managed 
resource or ecosystem to climate change. The goal of this study is to 
formalize an approach to inventory and analyze management decisions in 
order to produce useful information targeted toward effective 
adaptation to climate change. The approach uses as its starting point 
ongoing planning processes and decisions geared toward achieving 
environmental management goals, and then collects information on 
decisions and prioritizes them according to specific attributes. The 
pilot study described in this report applies this approach and examines 
its usefulness to decision makers.
    The major steps of the approach are to (1) select a study area and 
compile a list of key decisions (2) develop criteria for evaluating the 
climate-relevance of decisions; (3) apply the criteria to select 
decisions that are potentially sensitive to climate change; (4) solicit 
expert judgment regarding those selections (and refine the selections 
accordingly); and (5) test alternative weighting schemes for 
prioritizing decisions most in need of decision support or additional 
research based on the selected attributes.

II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at 

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2010-
0709, 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 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 

[[Page 53299]]

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-
2010-0709. 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, 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.

    Dated: August 25, 2010.
Rebecca Clark,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2010-21696 Filed 8-30-10; 8:45 am]