[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 51 (Thursday, March 17, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Page 13028]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-5323]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-7885-3]


Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Notification of an Upcoming 
Science Advisory Board Meeting

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a 
public teleconference meeting of the SAB Quality Review Committee (QRC) 
to discuss the review of the draft SAB report, Review of EPA Region 5 
Critical Ecosystem Assessment Model.

DATES: April 4, 2005. A public telephone conference meeting to discuss 
the draft SAB report will be held on April 4, 2005 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 
p.m. (Eastern Time).

ADDRESSES: The meeting for this review will be held by telephone only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Members of the public who wish to 
obtain further information regarding this teleconference meeting may 
contact Mr. Thomas O. Miller, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), U.S. 
EPA Science Advisory Board via phone (202-343-9982) or e-mail at 
miller.tom@epa.gov.
    The SAB mailing address is: U.S. EPA, Science Advisory Board 
(1400F), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. General 
information about the SAB, as well as any updates concerning the 
meeting announced in this notice, may be found on the SAB Web site at: 
http://www.epa.gov/sab.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background: EPA Region V requested that the SAB conduct a review of 
the Critical Ecosystem Assessment Model (CrEAM). The CrEAM is a 
spatially explicit model developed by EPA Region V for predicting the 
ecological significance of undeveloped land using ecological theory, 
existing data sets, and geographic information system (GIS) technology. 
The model identifies ecologically significant areas by integrating 
three important conditions: (1) Ecosystem diversity, (2) ecological 
self sustainability, and (3) species and land cover rarity. The CrEAM 
was developed to assess the ecological significance of land areas 
across the states of EPA Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). EPA Region V asked the SAB to comment 
on the scientific validity of the conceptual framework and methodology 
used in the CrEAM to identify ecologically significant ecosystems, and 
on the scientific defensibility of the results generated from the 
CrEAM. To conduct this review, the SAB Staff Office formed the Critical 
Ecosystem Assessment Review Panel. The Panel was formed by augmenting 
the SAB's Ecological Processes and Effects Committee with experts in 
ecology and the use of geographic information system technology to 
conduct landscape scale analyses. The Panel has completed a draft 
report that is now being submitted to a Quality Review Committee (QRC) 
of the chartered Science Advisory Board for review. The review was 
conducted as part of the SAB's mission, established by 42 U.S.C. 4365, 
to provide independent scientific and technical advice, consultation, 
and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the technical bases for 
EPA policies and regulations. Background information on SAB's review of 
the CrEAM was provided in Federal Register Notices published on June 7, 
2004 (69 FR 31819-31820) and April 21, 2004 (69 FR 21524-21525).
    The purpose of an SAB QRC meeting is to conduct a public review and 
discussion of the SAB draft report. The focus of the discussion will be 
on whether: (i) The original charge questions to the SAB review panel 
have been adequately addressed, (ii) the report is clear and logical, 
and (iii) any conclusions drawn, or recommendations provided, are 
supported by the body of information in the review report. The outcome 
of the QRC review will be one, or a combination of one or more, of the 
following: (i) recommend SAB approval of the report without substantive 
change, (ii) return the report to the review panel for further work, or 
(iii) reject the work of the review panel and request a reconsideration 
and a revised report in the future.
    Availability of Review Material for the Board Meeting: Documents 
that are the subject of this meeting are available on the SAB Web site 
at: http://www.epa.gov/sab/.
    Procedures for Providing Public Comment: The SAB Staff Office 
accepts written public comments of any length, and accommodates oral 
public comments whenever possible. The SAB Staff Office expects that 
public statements presented at SAB meetings will not be repetitive of 
previously submitted oral or written statements. Oral Comments: In 
general, each individual or group requesting an oral presentation at a 
teleconference meeting will usually be limited to no more than three 
minutes per speaker and no more than fifteen minutes total. Interested 
parties should contact the DFO noted above in writing via e-mail at 
least one week prior to the meeting in order to be placed on the public 
speaker list for the meeting. Speakers should provide an electronic 
copy of their comments for distribution to interested parties and 
participants in the meeting. Written Comments: Although written 
comments are accepted until the date of the meeting (unless otherwise 
stated), written comments should be received in the SAB Staff Office at 
least one week prior to the meeting date so that the comments may be 
made available to the committee for their consideration. Comments 
should be supplied to the DFO at the address/contact information above 
in the following formats: one hard copy with original signature, and 
one electronic copy via e-mail (acceptable file format: Adobe Acrobat, 
WordPerfect, Word, or Rich Text files (in IBM-PC/Windows 98/2000/XP 
format).
    Meeting Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodation 
to access these meetings, should contact the DFO at least five business 
days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Dated: March 11, 2005.
Vanessa T. Vu,
Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
[FR Doc. 05-5323 Filed 3-16-05; 8:45 am]
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