[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 58 (Tuesday, March 26, 2013)]
[Page 18323]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06966]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 121203679-2679-01]
RIN 0648-XC386

Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental 
Assessment of the Proposed United States Regional Climate Reference 
Network (USRCRN)

AGENCY: National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Notice of Availability; Opportunity for comments.


SUMMARY: NOAA announces the public release of the Draft Programmatic 
Environmental Assessment (PEA) of the proposed USRCRN in accordance 
with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Council 
on Environmental Quality Regulations, and NOAA Administrative Order 
216-6, Environmental Review Procedures for Implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act. Written public comments on the Draft PEA are 
being accepted for a 30-day period following publication of this NOA. 
Comments received will be reviewed and taken into consideration during 
preparation of a Final PEA. The Draft PEA evaluates the environmental 
impacts from the Proposed Action to implement, operate, and manage the 
USRCRN Program and the No Action alternative.

DATES: Written comments and input will be accepted on or before April 
25, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Desiree Gordon, 
Environmental Engineer, NOAA, Safety and Environmental Compliance 
Office, 1305 East West Highway, SSMC-4; Room 11126, Silver Spring, MD 
20910, Email: seco@noaa.gov ATTN: USRCRN.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Desiree Gordon at the address 
provided above. A copy of the Draft PEA can be viewed or downloaded at 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Weather Service, in 
collaboration with the National Climatic Data Center, is proposing to 
implement, operate, and manage a USRCRN. With other climate monitoring 
efforts deployed at differing scales and density, the proposed USRCRN 
would provide a greater density of reliable, high-quality climate data 
for use in climate-monitoring activities and for placing current 
climate anomalies into a regional and historical perspective. Each 
USRCRN Web site is solar-powered and has a footprint of approximately 
24 feet by 24 feet with a 10-foot tall mast/tower. It is typically 
located away from tall objects and existing or anticipated future 
    Beginning with a pilot deployment and operation project in the 
Southwest region, 538 USRCRN stations would be deployed over multiple 
years in nine NOAA climate regions throughout the continental United 
States at an approximate 80-mile grid spacing. Key among the 
operational considerations is the placement of USRCRN Web sites on 
public lands not expected to undergo development for the foreseeable 
future (50 to 100 years). Preferred Web sites meeting these criteria 
are often on Federal lands, and selection would occur in coordination 
with the land managers within Federal agencies and bureaus. Other 
undeveloped properties meeting these criteria are present on state-
owned lands such as at parks, airports, or state university reserves. 
Unencumbered properties on Federal or state public lands that meet the 
spatial requirements for the USRCRN would be considered as candidate 

    Dated: March 20, 2013.
David Murray,
Director, Management and Organization Division, Office of the Chief 
Financial Officer, National Weather Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-06966 Filed 3-25-13; 8:45 am]