[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 37 (Friday, February 24, 2012)]
[Page 11111]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4325]




Assessment of Potential Large-Scale Mining on the Bristol Bay 
Watershed of Alaska: Nomination of Peer Reviewers

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Call for nominations.


SUMMARY: EPA anticipates releasing a draft report for public comment 
and external peer review describing impacts associated with potential 
large-scale mining development in the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds 
of Bristol Bay, Alaska. An external, independent panel of experts will 
be formed to review and provide comments on EPA's draft report. EPA 
invites the public to nominate qualified experts to be considered for 
this external peer review panel.

DATES: Nominations will be accepted starting February 24, 2012 and the 
nomination period will close on March 9, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Nominations of potential members of the Bristol Bay 
Assessment peer review panel are being accepted and evaluated by an 
independent EPA contractor. Nominations are being accepted online 
through an Internet Web site only. Those interested in submitting 
nominations should complete the online form found at http://www.versar.com/epa/bristolbaynominationform.html. Questions concerning 
the online form should be directed to the EPA contractor, Versar, Inc., 
at 6850 Versar Center, Springfield, VA 22151; by email 
[email protected] (subject line: Bristol Bay Assessment Nomination 
Form); or by phone: (703) 642-6727 (ask for Betzy Colon, the Peer 
Review Coordinator).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information concerning 
the Bristol Bay Assessment peer review panel nominations, contact Dr. 
Kate Schofield, Office of Research and Development, The National Center 
for Environmental Assessment. Telephone: 703-347-8533; or email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed provides 
habitat for one of the largest wild salmon populations in the world. In 
February 2011, EPA began a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay 
watershed to understand how large-scale mining activities might affect 
water quality and habitat. EPA will focus primarily on the Kvichak and 
Nushagak River drainages, the primary areas in the watershed open to 
large-scale development.
    This assessment was launched in response to concerns from federally 
recognized tribes and others, who petitioned the agency to evaluate 
potential impacts of large-scale mining on aquatic resources. The 
assessment will evaluate the potential for large-scale mining 
development to have adverse effects on salmon and resident fish 
populations of the Kvichak and Nushagak River drainages, and if these 
effects are likely to affect wildlife and human populations in the 
region. Additional information describing the assessment, progress to 
date, and status can be found at: www.epa.gov/region10/bristolbay.
    Expertise Sought: EPA is seeking nominations of experts to serve on 
the external peer review panel for the Bristol Bay Assessment. Nominees 
should possess, and demonstrate, background knowledge and experience in 
one or more of the following areas: (1) Metals (particularly porphyry 
copper) mining, (2) salmon fisheries biology, (3) surface, subsurface, 
or watershed hydrology, (4) aquatic ecology, (5) biogeochemistry, (6) 
seismology, (7) ecotoxicology, (8) wildlife ecology, and/or (9) 
indigenous Alaskan cultures.
    Selection Criteria: Selection criteria for members of the external 
review panel include the following: (1) Demonstrated expertise through 
relevant peer reviewed publications; (2) professional accomplishments, 
and recognition by professional societies; (3) demonstrated ability to 
work constructively and effectively in a committee setting; (4) absence 
of financial conflicts of interest; (5) no actual conflicts of interest 
or the appearance of impartiality; (6) willingness to commit adequate 
time for the thorough review of the assessment report commencing in 
late April 2012; and (7) availability to participate in-person in a 
peer review panel meeting in Anchorage, Alaska during August 2012.
    Nominee Information: Any interested person or organization may 
nominate qualified persons to be considered for appointment to the peer 
review panel. Self-nominations will also be accepted. Nominations 
should be submitted online using the following URL: http://www.versar.com/epa/bristolbaynominationform.html. The following 
information should be provided on the nomination form: contact 
information for the person making the nomination; contact information 
for the nominee; the disciplinary and specific areas of expertise of 
the nominee; the nominee's curriculum vita; and a biographical sketch 
of the nominee indicating current position, educational background, 
past and current research activities, and recent service on other 
advisory committees or professional organizations. Persons having 
questions about the nomination procedures should contact the designated 
contact above.
    Notification of nominees: EPA's contractor, Versar, Inc., will 
notify candidates of selection or non-selection. The Contractor may add 
additional experts to the list of nominees to develop a balanced panel 
representing the expertise needed to fully evaluate EPA's draft 
assessment report. After the peer review panel has been finalized, a 
list of panel members will be posted on the project Web site at 
www.epa.gov/region10/bristolbay. Compensation of non-federal peer 
review panel members will be provided by EPA's contractor.

    Authority: Clean Water Act Section 404.

    Dated: February 17, 2012.
Darrell A. Winner,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2012-4325 Filed 2-23-12; 8:45 am]