[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 108 (Friday, June 5, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32111-32113]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-13674]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9928-73-OA]


Notification of Teleconferences and a Public Meeting of the 
Science Advisory Board Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a 
public meeting and three teleconferences of the SAB Hydraulic 
Fracturing Research Advisory Panel to conduct a review of the EPA draft 
report, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for 
Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, (May, 2015 External Review 
Draft, EPA/600/R-15/047).

DATES: The public teleconferences will be held from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
(Eastern Time) on the following dates: Wednesday September 30, 2015; 
Thursday October 1, 2015; and Monday October 19, 2015. The public face-
to-face meeting will be held on Wednesday October 28, 2015 from 9 a.m. 
to 5:30 p.m., Thursday October 29, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 
and Friday October 30, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Eastern Time).

ADDRESSES: The October 28 through 30, 2015 public meeting will be held 
at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW., Washington, DC 
20005. Teleconference lines also will be available for members of the 
public unable to attend in person.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Members of the public who wish to 
obtain further information regarding these public meetings may contact 
Edward Hanlon, Designated Federal Officer, by telephone: (202) 564-2134 
or email at [email protected]. The SAB mailing address is: U.S. EPA 
Science Advisory Board (1400R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. General information 
about the SAB, including information concerning the SAB meeting and 
teleconferences announced in this notice, may be found on the SAB Web 
site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.
    Technical Contact for EPA's Draft Report: Any technical questions 
concerning EPA's draft report should be directed to Dr. Jeffrey 
Frithsen, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of 
Research and Development, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Mail 
Code 8601P, Washington, DC 20460, telephone (703) 347-8623 or via email 
at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental 
Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), 
codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and 
technical advice to the Administrator on the technical basis for Agency 
positions and regulations. The SAB is a Federal Advisory Committee 
chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., 
App. 2. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all 
appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies. Pursuant to FACA and 
EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB Hydraulic Fracturing 
Research Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting and three 
teleconferences to conduct a review of the EPA draft report, Assessment 
of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on 
Drinking Water Resources, (May, 2015 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-
15/047).
    The EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) has developed a 
draft assessment report concerning the relationship between hydraulic 
fracturing and drinking water in the United States. The purpose of the 
report, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for 
Oil

[[Page 32112]]

and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, (May, 2015 External Review Draft, 
EPA/600/R-15/047), is to synthesize available scientific literature and 
data to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas 
to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and 
identify factors affecting the frequency or severity of any potential 
impacts.
    The SAB will hold teleconferences and a panel meeting as part of 
the peer review of the EPA draft assessment report. (1) The purpose of 
the teleconference on September 30, 2015 is for EPA to brief the Panel 
about the agency's draft report, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of 
Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, (May, 
2015 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-15/047) and hold a Panel 
discussion on the draft charge questions for the peer review of the 
agency's draft report. If all oral comments from registered public 
speakers cannot be accommodated at the September 30, 2015 
teleconference, an additional teleconference will be held on October 1, 
2015, for that purpose. (2) The purpose of the October 28-30, 2015 
face-to-face meeting is to conduct a peer review of the agency's draft 
report. If the SAB Staff Office determines that there will be 
insufficient time during the October 28-30, 2015 Panel meeting to 
accommodate the members of the public who registered in advance to 
provide oral public comments, the teleconference on October 19, 2015 
will be held to provide additional time for oral public comments.
    All draft reports developed by SAB panels, committees or workgroups 
are reviewed and approved by the Chartered SAB through a quality review 
process before being finalized and transmitted to the EPA 
Administrator. The quality reviews are conducted in a public meeting as 
required by FACA. Additional opportunities for the public to provide 
comments on the SAB's review of the agency's draft report, Assessment 
of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on 
Drinking Water Resources, (May, 2015 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-
15/047) will be provided in a separate Federal Register Notice 
announcing public meetings to discuss the draft Panel report.
    Availability of Meeting Materials: The draft EPA report, Assessment 
of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on 
Drinking Water Resources, (May, 2015 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-
15/047), is available on the SAB Web site at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/HF%20Drinking%20Water%20Assessment?OpenDocument. The charge, agenda and 
other materials for the teleconferences and meeting described in this 
notice will also be available on the above-noted Web site address and 
on the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab in advance of the 
teleconferences and meeting.
    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Federal advisory committees 
and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide 
independent advice to the EPA. Interested members of the public may 
submit relevant information on the topic of this advisory activity, 
and/or the group conducting the activity, for the SAB to consider 
during the advisory process. Input from the public to the SAB will have 
the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical 
information or analysis for SAB committees and panels to consider or if 
it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information.
    Throughout the Panel review process, there will be several 
opportunities for the public to provide comments. For example, the 
public will have opportunity to provide comments to the Docket on the 
SAB Panel's draft report, provide oral statements to the Panel during 
the Panel teleconferences and meeting, and in preparation for quality 
review of the SAB Panel's draft report by the Chartered SAB. Members of 
the public wishing to provide written comments may submit them to the 
EPA Docket electronically via www.regulations.gov, by email, by mail, 
by facsimile, or by hand delivery/courier. Please follow the detailed 
instructions provided in the written statements section of this notice. 
Members of the public wishing to provide oral statements to the SAB 
Panel should contact the DFO directly.
    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting to 
present an oral statement at a public teleconference will be limited to 
three minutes per speaker. To be placed on the public speaker list for 
the September 30, 2015 teleconference, interested parties should notify 
Mr. Edward Hanlon, DFO, by email no later than September 23, 2015. In 
general, individuals or groups requesting to present an oral statement 
at the face-to-face public meeting will be limited to five minutes. 
Interested parties should contact Mr. Edward Hanlon, DFO, in writing 
(preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by 
October 13, 2015 to be placed on the list of public speakers for the 
October 28-30, 2015 meeting.
    Written Statements: SAB Staff Office anticipates that a large 
number of written statements will be submitted for consideration by the 
SAB Panel. Therefore, written statements for the September 30, 2015 
teleconference and for the October 28-30, 2015 face-to-face meeting 
should be received in the EPA Docket by August 28, 2015, so that the 
information may be made available to the SAB Panel sufficiently in 
advance of the teleconferences and meeting for the Panel's 
consideration.
    Written statements should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-
2015-0245 and submitted to the Docket at www.regulations.gov by one of 
the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]: Include the docket number in 
the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket 
(Mail Code: 28221T), Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2015-0245, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is (202) 566-1752.
     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. Deliveries are only accepted during the 
docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be 
made for deliveries of boxed information.
     Fax: (202) 566-9744.
    Public comments submitted after August 28, 2015 will be marked 
late, and should be submitted to the Docket by email, mail, hand 
delivery or fax (see detailed instructions above). Consistent with SAB 
Staff Office general practice, comments received after August 28, 2015 
will be made available to the SAB Panel as soon as practicable.
    It is EPA's policy to include all comments received in the public 
docket without change and to make the comments available on-line at 
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 www.regulations.gov or email. The 
www.regulations.gov Web

[[Page 32113]]

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 email directly to EPA without going 
through www.regulations.gov, your email 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 comments due to technical 
difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the SAB Panel 
may not be able to consider your comments. Electronic files should 
avoid the use of special characters and 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 www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Documents in the docket are listed in the 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 material, such as copyrighted 
material will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly 
available docket materials are available either electronically at 
www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center.
    History of SAB Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel: In 
April 2012, the EPA's Office of Research and Development asked the SAB 
to conduct a peer review and provide advice to the agency on the 
scientific quality of its research study report on the potential 
impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. In 
response to that request, the SAB Staff Office formed the SAB Hydraulic 
Fracturing Research Advisory Panel. In 2013 the SAB panel members 
provided their individual expert comments in response to charge 
questions relating to the December 2012 progress report entitled, Study 
of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water 
Resources: Progress Report. The panel also held a teleconference call 
in 2013 to receive public comments on new and emerging information 
related to hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. 
Information on the formation of the panel and its previous activities 
is provided on the SAB Web site at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/HF%20and%20DW%20Progress%20Report?OpenDocument.
    Accessibility: For information on access or services for 
individuals with disabilities, please contact Mr. Edward Hanlon at the 
phone number or email address noted above, preferably at least ten days 
prior to the meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process 
your request.

    Dated: June 1, 2015.
Thomas H. Brennan,
Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
[FR Doc. 2015-13674 Filed 6-4-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P