[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 19 (Friday, January 28, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5154-5156]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1920]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9259-5; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-1077]


Availability of Draft Report, Biofuels and the Environment: First 
Triennial Report to Congress

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of peer review meeting and public comment period.

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SUMMARY: EPA is announcing that it will convene an independent panel of 
experts to review the external review draft document titled, Biofuels 
and the Environment: The First Triennial Report to Congress (EPA/600/R-
10/183A). The peer review meeting will be organized by Versar, Inc., an 
EPA contractor for external scientific peer review. The EPA also is 
announcing a 30-day public comment period for the draft document. The 
draft document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental 
Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development. The 
2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates increased 
production of biofuels (fuels derived from organic materials) from 9 
billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons per year by 
2022. EISA (Section 204) also requires the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) to assess and report to Congress every three 
years on the current and potential future environmental and resource 
conservation impacts associated with increased biofuel production and 
use. Biofuels and the Environment: First Triennial Report to Congress 
is the first report on this issue.
    The public comment period and the external peer review meeting 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 
notice.
    EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of 
obtaining public comment and peer review under applicable information 
quality guidelines. This document does not represent and should not be 
construed to represent any Agency policy or determination.
    EPA, through its Peer Review contractor, Versar, Inc., invites the 
public to register to attend the peer review meeting. In addition, EPA 
through Versar, Inc., invites the public to give oral and/or provide 
written comments during the meeting regarding the draft document under 
review. The draft document and EPA's charge to the peer reviewers are 
available primarily via the Internet on NCEA's home page under the 
Recent Additions and Publications menus at http://www.epa.gov/ncea. In 
preparing a final report, EPA will consider the comments and 
recommendations from the external peer review meeting and any public 
comments that EPA receives in accordance with this notice.

DATES: The peer review panel meeting will begin on March 14, 2011, at 9 
a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The 30-day public comment period begins January 
28, 2011, and ends February 28, 2011. Technical comments should be in 
writing and must be received by EPA by February 28, 2011.

ADDRESSES: The peer review meeting will be held at the Marriott 
Courtyard Arlington Crystal City/Reagan National Airport, 2899 
Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202, telephone: 703-549-3434. 
The EPA contractor, Versar, Inc., is organizing, convening and 
conducting the peer review meeting. To attend the meeting, register by 
March 7, 2011, by contacting Versar, Inc. via e-mail: 
saundkat@versar.com (subject line: Biofuels Report to Congress Peer 
Review Meeting), by telephone: 703-750-3000, ext. 545, or toll free at 
1-800-2-VERSAR (1-800-283-7727), ask for Kathy Coon, the Biofuels 
Report to Congress Meeting Coordinator, or by faxing a registration 
request to 703-642-6809 (please reference the Biofuels Report to 
Congress Peer Review Meeting and include your name, title, affiliation, 
full address and contact information).
    Information on Services for Individuals with Disabilities: EPA 
welcomes the attendance of the public at the Biofuels Report to 
Congress Peer Review Meeting and will make every effort to accommodate 
persons with disabilities. For information on access or services for 
individuals with disabilities, please contact Versar, Inc. via e-mail: 
saundkat@versar.com (subject line: Biofuels Report to Congress Peer 
Review Meeting), by telephone: 703-750-3000, ext. 545, or toll free at 
1-800-2-VERSAR (1-800-

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283-7727), ask for Kathy Coon, the Biofuels Report to Congress Meeting 
Coordinator, or by faxing a registration request to 703-642-6809 
(please reference the Biofuels Report to Congress Peer Review Meeting 
and include your name, title, affiliation, full address and contact 
information). To request accommodation of a disability, please contact 
Versar, Inc., preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give 
EPA as much time as possible to process your request.
    The draft report, Biofuels and the Environment: First Triennial 
Report to Congress, is available primarily via the Internet on the 
National Center for Environmental Assessment's home page under the 
Recent Additions and 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, 
mailing address, and the document title, Biofuels and the Environment: 
First Triennial Report to Congress. Copies are not available from 
Versar, Inc.
    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: Questions regarding information, 
registration, access or services for individuals with disabilities, or 
logistics for the external peer-review meeting should be directed to 
Versar, Inc., 6850 Versar Center, Springfield, VA 22151, by e-mail: 
saundkat@versar.com (subject line: Biofuels Report to Congress Peer 
Review Meeting), by telephone: 703-750-3000, ext. 545 or toll free at 
1-800-2-VERSAR (1-800-283-7727), ask for Kathy Coon, the Biofuels 
Report to Congress Meeting Coordinator. To request accommodation of a 
disability, please contact Versar, Inc. preferably at least 10 days 
prior to the meeting, to give as much time as possible to process your 
request.
    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: ORD.Docket@epa.gov.
    If you need technical information about the document, please 
contact Bob Frederick, National Center for Environmental Assessment 
(NCEA); telephone: 703-347-5308; facsimile: 703-347-8694; e-mail: 
frederick.bob@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Information About the Report to Congress

    Many different feedstocks can be used to produce different types of 
biofuels. This report focuses on impacts from production and use of six 
feedstocks: Corn and soybeans, which together account for the vast 
majority of biofuel feedstock currently in use, and four others (corn 
stover, perennial grasses, woody biomass and algae) that represent a 
range of feedstocks under development.
    Two biofuels, ethanol (both conventional and cellulosic) and 
biomass-based diesel, are emphasized in this report because they are 
the most commercially viable in 2010 and/or projected to be the most 
commercially available by 2022.
    As required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (Section 
204) of 2007, the report covers impacts on air and water quality, soil 
quality and conservation, water availability, ecosystem health and 
biodiversity; the potential invasiveness of feedstocks; and 
international environmental impacts. This report reviews impacts and 
mitigation tools across the entire biofuel supply chain, including 
feedstock production and logistics, and biofuel production, 
distribution, and use.
    Throughout the biofuel supply chain, activities take place and 
materials are used that have the potential to impact the environment or 
affect resource use and availability. The specific impacts associated 
with a particular feedstock or biofuel will vary depending on many 
factors, including the type, source and method of feedstock production; 
the technology used to convert the feedstock to fuel; methods used and 
distances traveled to transport biofuels; the types and quantities of 
biofuels used; and, controls in place to avoid or mitigate any impacts. 
EPA's ability to assess environmental and resource conservation impacts 
is constrained by substantial uncertainties. Since many feedstock 
technologies are in the early stages of research and development, data 
relevant to impacts are limited and projections of their potential 
future use are highly speculative.

II. Meeting Information

    Members of the public may attend the peer review meeting as 
observers and there will be a limited time of no more than five minutes 
for individual comments from the public during the meeting. Please let 
Versar, Inc. know if you wish to make comments during the meeting. 
Space is limited, and reservations will be accepted on a first-come, 
first-served basis.

III. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at 
www.regulations.gov

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-
1077, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: ORD.Docket@epa.gov.
     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-
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.
    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-
2010-1077. 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://

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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: January 24, 2011.
Darrell A. Winner,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2011-1920 Filed 1-27-11; 8:45 am]
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