[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 91 (Wednesday, May 11, 2011)]
[Pages 27315-27316]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-11560]




EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Invitation to a Session on 
Public Involvement in EPA Advisory Activities Supported by the SAB 
Staff Office

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a 
public session on public involvement in activities related to the 
Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis (the Council), Clean 
Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), and the SAB.

DATES: The public session will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 from 
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).

ADDRESSES: The session will be held at Potomac Yard Conference Center, 
One Potomac Yard, 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, Fourth Floor 
Conference Center South (S-4370-80).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Members of the public who wish to 
attend must register by contacting Dr. Angela Nugent, Designated 
Federal Officer (DFO), EPA Science Advisory Board (1400R), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; via telephone/voice mail (202) 564-2218, fax 
(202) 565-2098; or e-mail at [email protected], by May 27, 2011. 
Persons unable to attend the public session may send written comments 
to Dr. Angela Nugent by May 27, 2011.

    Background: The SAB Staff Office provides management and technical 
support to the Council, CASAC, and the SAB and their committees and 
panels. The SAB Staff also provides information to the public about 
committee activities and how the public can provide input into the 
science advice process. As part of its effort to continuously 
strengthen policies and procedures for informing the public and 
involving them in advisory processes, the SAB Staff Office is holding a 
public session to receive public input and feedback on current 
processes. The SAB Staff Office will consider this feedback as it 
develops additional policies and procedures to support Council, CASAC, 
and SAB advisory activities.
    Established by statute, the Council (42 U.S.C 7612), the CASAC (42 
U.S.C. 7409), and the SAB (42 U.S.C. 4365) are EPA's chartered Federal 
Advisory Committees that provide independent scientific and technical 
peer review, consultation, advice and recommendations directly to the 
EPA Administrator on the scientific bases for EPA's actions and 
programs. Members of the SAB, CASAC, and the Council are appointed by 
the EPA Administrator. As Federal Advisory Committees, the Council, 
CASAC, and SAB conduct business in accordance with the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and related regulations. 
Generally, Council, CASAC and SAB meetings are announced in the Federal 
Register, conducted in public view, and provide opportunities for 
public input during deliberations. Additional information about these 
Federal Advisory Committees may be found at http://www.epa.gov/advisorycouncilcaa, http://www.epa.gov/casac and http://www.epa.gov/sab, respectively.
    The SAB Staff Office is holding a public session to receive public 
input and feedback in four areas: (1) The public access Web sites 
supporting the Council, CASAC and SAB; (2) public involvement in 
nomination of experts for committees and panels; (3) public involvement 
in meeting and report development; and (4) other topics of interest to 
the public.

Public Access Web Sites Supporting the Council, CASAC and SAB

    Three inter-related public access Web sites (http://www.epa.gov/advisorycouncilcaa, http://www.epa.gov/casac and  http://www.epa.gov/sab) have been developed to communicate current information about the 
membership, activities, and reports of the Council, CASAC and SAB and 
to facilitate public involvement in advisory activities.
    The Web sites were designed with the following features: (1) 
Integration of all information relevant to a specific advisory activity 
on a single page (e.g. key information related to Agency requests for 
advice, advisory committee or panel membership, Federal Register 
Notices, related meetings, draft and final reports, Agency responses to 
advice); (2) integration of all information relevant for a specific 
meeting on a single page (e.g. Federal Register Notices, meeting 
agendas, materials, and minutes); (3) a calendar of meetings that can 
be organized by day, week, month, or year; (4) ``Recent Happenings'' 
and ``Recent Additions'' sections and related ``really simple 
syndication'' (RSS) feeds that highlight opportunities for public 
input, most recent draft and final reports, and recent Agency 
responses; (5) a search function that identifies Council, CASAC, and 
SAB final reports, draft reports, advisory activities, Federal Register 
notices, meetings, committees and panels, and special-purpose Web 
pages; and (6) electronic nomination of experts for committees and 
panels. The SAB Staff Office is seeking public comment on strengthening 
the clarity, navigability, and usefulness of the Web sites.

Public Involvement in Nomination of Experts for Committees and Panels

    The EPA Administrator appoints members to the Council, CASAC, the 
chartered SAB and SAB Standing Committees. Members of advisory 
committees and panels are non-EPA scientists, engineers, and economists 
and other social scientists who are recognized experts in their 
respective fields. They may come from academia, industry, state, and 
tribal governments, research institutes and non-governmental 
organizations throughout the United States. EPA chooses them for their 
demonstrated ability to examine and analyze environmental issues with 
objectivity and integrity and for their interpersonal, oral and written 
communication, and consensus-building skills.
    The SAB Staff annually requests nominations from the public for 
membership on the chartered SAB and SAB Standing Committees. The latest 
request was published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2011 (76 FR 
21349-21350). Members of the public may nominate experts as part of 
this annual process through the ``Nomination of experts'' link on the 
blue navigation bar at http://www.epa.gov/sab.
    The SAB Staff Office also forms ad hoc subcommittees and panels 
under the auspices of the Council, CASAC, and SAB on environmental 
science topics. As additional expertise is needed, the SAB Staff Office 
requests for nominations are published in the Federal Register and 
posted on the public access Web sites. Members of the public may 
nominate experts for ad hoc sub committees and panels, again through 
the ``Nomination of experts'' link on the blue navigation bar at http://www.epa.gov/sab and may comment on candidates being considered for ad 
hoc committees and panels.
    To describe these processes, the SAB Staff has developed: (1) A 

[[Page 27316]]

overview of the panel formation process [Overview of the Panel 
Formation Process at the Environmental Protection Agency Science 
Advisory Board, September 2002 (EPA-SAB-EC-02-010), on the Web at 
$File/ec02010.pdf)]; and (2) ``Frequently Asked Questions about SAB, 
CASAC, and Council Membership and Establishment of Ad Hoc Panels and 
Committees'' (on the Web at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/WebSABSO/QsandAsRefMembership?OpenDocument).
    The SAB Staff Office is seeking public comment on the current 
process regarding public nomination of experts.

Public Involvement in Meeting and Report Development

    FACA and General Services Administration regulations mandate public 
involvement in committee activities primarily by open access to 
meetings and records and by providing the public opportunity to submit 
comments to the advisory committee or panel. Public comment for 
consideration by EPA's Federal advisory committees and panels has a 
different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. 
Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a Federal advisory 
committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an 
EPA program office. Members of the public can submit comments for a 
Federal advisory committee to consider as it develops advice for EPA. 
Public comments are sent to the Designated Federal Officer. The contact 
information for the Designated Federal Officer is identified in the 
Federal Register notice for committee meetings and is made publicly 
available on the public access Web site.
    To participate in advisory activities of the SAB, CASAC, and 
Council, members of the public can: (1) Contact the appropriate 
Designated Federal Officer (DFO) or the SAB Staff Office to obtain 
information on or provide comments about committee activities; (2) 
attend and observe public meetings and teleconferences; (3) review 
materials used by committee members in their deliberations; (4) provide 
written comments for consideration by committee member; (5) present 
oral statements for consideration by committee members at public 
meetings during time periods set aside for that purpose; and (6) review 
minutes of committee meeting and deliberations. The SAB Staff has 
developed a description of how SAB, CASAC, and Council committees work 
and how the public can participate through the steps outlined above (A 
Report of the Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Advisory Committee 
Meetings and Report Development: Process for Public Involvement, EPA-
SABSO-04-001, available on the Web at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/SABPRODUCT.NSF/WEBSABSO/participatemeetingsreports?OpenDocument).
    The SAB Staff Office is seeking public comment on ways to 
strengthen public access to information about and public involvement in 
advisory meetings and report development.
    Availability of Meeting Materials: A meeting agenda and other 
materials for the meeting will be placed on the SAB Web site at http://epa.gov/sab.
    Accessibility: For information on access or services for 
individuals with disabilities, please contact Dr. Nugent at the phone 
number or e-mail 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: May 4, 2011.
Anthony F. Maciorowski,
Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
[FR Doc. 2011-11560 Filed 5-10-11; 8:45 am]