[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 41 (Friday, March 1, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13874-13875]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04807]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9786-5; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0879]


Watershed Modeling To Assess the Sensitivity of Streamflow, 
Nutrient, and Sediment Loads to Climate Change and Urban Development in 
20 U.S. Watersheds

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Public Comment Period and Letter Peer-Review.

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SUMMARY: EPA is announcing a 45-day public comment period for the draft 
document titled Watershed Modeling to Assess the Sensitivity of 
Streamflow, Nutrient, and Sediment Loads to Climate Change and Urban 
Development in 20 U.S. Watersheds (EPA/600/R-12/058). EPA also is 
announcing that an EPA contractor for external scientific peer review 
will select an independent group of experts to conduct a letter peer 
review of the draft document. The document was prepared by the National 
Center for Environmental Assessment within EPA's Office of Research and 
Development and is intended to characterize the sensitivity of 
streamflow, nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus), and sediment loading to 
a range of plausible mid-21st century climate change and urban 
development scenarios. The study also provides an improved 
understanding of methodological challenges associated with integrating 
existing tools and datasets to assess the potential effects of climate 
change and urban development on stream flow and water quality.
    EPA intends to forward the public comments that are submitted in 
accordance with this notice to the external peer reviewers for their 
consideration during the letter review. When finalizing the draft 
document, EPA intends to consider any public comments received in 
accordance with this notice. EPA is releasing this draft assessment for 
the purposes of public comment and peer review. This draft assessment 
is not final as described in EPA's information quality guidelines and 
it does not represent and should not be construed to represent Agency 
policy or views. The draft document is available via the Internet on 
the NCEA home page under the Recent Additions and the Data and 
Publications menus at www.epa.gov/ncea.

DATES: The 45-day public comment period begins March 1, 2013 and ends 
April 15, 2013. Technical comments should be in writing and must be 
received by EPA by April 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The draft document, Watershed Modeling to Assess the 
Sensitivity of Streamflow, Nutrient, and Sediment Loads to Climate 
Change and Urban Development in 20 U.S. Watersheds, is available 
primarily via the Internet on the National Center for Environmental 
Assessment's home page under the Recent Additions and the Data and 
Publications menus at 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.
    Comments may be submitted electronically via www.regulations.gov, 
by mail, by facsimile, or by hand delivery/courier. Please follow the 
detailed instructions 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 email: 
ORD.Docket@epa.gov.
    For technical information, contact Thomas Johnson, NCEA; telephone: 
703-347-8618; facsimile: 703-347-8694; or email: 
johnson.thomas@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Information About the Project/Document

    There is growing concern about the potential effects of climate 
change on water resources. Watershed modeling was conducted in 20 
large, U.S. watersheds to characterize the sensitivity of streamflow, 
nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) loading, and sediment loading to a 
range of plausible mid-21st century climate change and urban 
development scenarios. The study also provides an improved 
understanding of methodological challenges associated with integrating 
existing tools (e.g., climate models, downscaling approaches, and 
watershed models) and datasets to assess the potential effects of 
climate change and urban development on stream flow and water quality. 
Study sites were selected to represent a range of geographic, 
hydrologic, and climatic characteristics throughout the nation. 
Watershed simulations were conducted using the Soil Water Assessment 
Tool (SWAT) and Hydrologic Simulation Program--FORTRAN (HSPF) models.

[[Page 13875]]

    Simulation results illustrate a high degree of variability in the 
response of different streamflow and water quality attributes to 
climate change throughout the nation. Results also illustrate 
sensitivity to methodological choices such as different approaches for 
downscaling global climate change simulations and use of different 
watershed models. This understanding may lead to improvements in how 
existing models and datasets can be used to assess climate change 
impacts on watersheds.
    This report presents a summary of simulation results. The report is 
technical in nature but results are of broad interest to water and 
watershed managers, urban or regional planners, government officials, 
and scientists and engineers interested in the potential implications 
of climate change on streamflow and water quality in different regions 
of the nation.

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

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2012-
0879, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments;
     Email: 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 Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-
566-1752. If you provide comments by mail, please submit one unbound 
original with pages numbered consecutively and three copies of the 
comments. For attachments, provide an index, number pages consecutively 
with the comments, and submit an unbound original and three copies; or
     Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center's 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 
hand delivery, please submit one unbound original with pages numbered 
consecutively and 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-
2012-0879. 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 
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 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 comment 
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 
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 www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: 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 materials, 
such as copyrighted material, are 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.

    Dated: December 3, 2012.
Debra B. Walsh,
Acting Deputy Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2013-04807 Filed 2-28-13; 8:45 am]
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