[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 90 (Tuesday, May 11, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26226-26227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-11143]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0761; FRL-9149-8]


Executive Order 13508 Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration 
Section 203 Final Coordinated Implementation Strategy

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of a final strategy for 
restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay that was prepared 
pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13508 of May 12, 2009, Chesapeake Bay 
Protection and Restoration. The purpose of this strategy is to describe 
federal actions to protect and restore the health, heritage, natural 
resources, and social and economic value of the nation's largest 
estuarine ecosystem and the natural sustainability of its watershed. 
The EO requires that the final strategy be published within one year of 
the date of the EO.

DATES: Effective May 12, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Loop, USEPA, Region 3, 
Chesapeake Bay Program Office, Annapolis City Marina, 410 Severn 
Avenue, Suite 109 (3CB10), Annapolis, MD 21403; telephone number: (410) 
267-5758; fax number: (410) 267-5777; e-mail: loop.travis@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. General Information

    Executive Order 13508, Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, 
dated May 12, 2009 (74 FR 23099, May 15, 2009), established a Federal 
Leadership Committee, chaired by EPA, and including senior 
representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, 
Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation. EO 13508 directed these 
agencies to prepare and publish a strategy for coordinated 
implementation of existing programs and projects to guide efforts to 
protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. The draft strategy was released 
for public comment on November 9, 2009 (74 FR 57675, November 9, 2009). 
This final strategy incorporates revisions resulting from public 
comments and ongoing consideration by the federal agencies.

Why was this document prepared?

    Executive Order 13508, Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, 
dated May 12, 2009 (74 FR 23099, May 15, 2009), required a Federal 
Leadership Committee composed of seven Federal agencies to (1) prepare 
and publish a set of reports on key challenges to protecting and 
restoring the Chesapeake Bay, (2) prepare and publish a draft strategy 
for coordinated implementation of existing programs and projects to 
guide efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay within 180 days 
of the date of the EO, and (3) prepare and publish a final strategy for 
coordinated implementation of existing programs and projects to guide 
efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay within one year of 
the date of the EO.
    The federal agency draft reports required by EO 13508 Sections 
202(a) through (g) were released to the public for review on September 
10, 2009. The draft reports were reviewed by the Federal Leadership 
Committee, in consultation with relevant state agencies. The reports 
were revised to reflect consideration of the comments received during 
state consultation and preliminary public input. The revised final 
reports were released on November 24, 2009.
    The draft strategy for coordinated implementation of existing 
programs and projects to guide efforts to protect and restore the 
Chesapeake Bay required by EO 13508 Section 203 was released for public 
comment on November 9, 2009 (74 FR 57675, November 9, 2009). The 
Federal Leadership Committee established a docket for public comments 
(EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0761). Several hundred individual comments were 
received, along with about 45,000 comments provided through mass-
mailing campaigns. The Federal Leadership Committee has prepared a 
summary of its responses to public comments on the draft strategy. The 
summary is available at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net.
    The final strategy for restoration and protection of the Chesapeake 
Bay incorporates revisions resulting from public comments and ongoing 
consideration by the federal agencies. This final strategy meets the EO 
requirement to publish the final strategy within one year of the EO.

How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    Docket: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket 
ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0761. The final EO 13508 Section 203 strategy 
document is available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov, as 
well as at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net. Assistance and tips 
for accessing the docket can be found at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net. For

[[Page 26227]]

additional information about the public docket visit the EPA Docket 
Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. Publicly 
available docket materials are available electronically either through 
http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, 
(EPA/DC) EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, 
DC. The telephone number for this docket is 202-566-2426. 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. Certain material, such 
as copyrighted materials, will be publicly available only in hard copy 
at the Docket Center.

What information does the final strategy contain?

    The Executive Order directed federal agencies to develop a strategy 
that (a) defines environmental goals for the Chesapeake Bay and 
describes milestones for making progress toward attainment of these 
goals; (b) identifies key measurable indicators of environmental 
condition and changes that are critical to effective federal 
leadership; (c) describes the specific programs and strategies to be 
implemented; (d) identifies the mechanisms that will assure that 
governmental and other activities, including data collection and 
distribution, are coordinated and effective; and (e) describes a 
process for the implementation of adaptive management principles, 
including a periodic evaluation of protection and restoration measures.
    For the final strategy, federal agencies have focused on achieving 
the most essential priorities for a healthy Chesapeake ecosystem: 
Restore Clean Water, Recover Habitats, Sustain Fish and Wildlife, and 
Conserve Land and Increase Public Access. Chapters on each of these 
goals describe the overall goal and explain why it is vital to the 
Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Specific measures of progress supporting the 
goal, including numerical targets for future progress compared to 
current conditions, are also presented. Each chapter also includes a 
description of the actions federal agencies will take to accomplish the 
goal.
    Federal agencies also developed 12 key environmental outcomes that 
will be achieved through expanded federal actions described in the 
strategy and ongoing state activities, and will reflect progress toward 
attainment of the overall goals. The environmental outcomes are related 
to water quality, stream restoration, agriculture conservation, wetland 
restoration, forest buffers, fish passage, oysters, blue crabs, brook 
trout, black ducks, land conservation, and public access.
    The strategy also features four chapters on supporting strategies 
that provide invaluable cross-cutting support to achieving 
environmental goals or are critical complementary efforts in the 
restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and watershed. The 
supporting strategy chapters are: Expand Citizen Stewardship, Develop 
Environmental Markets, Respond to Climate Change, and Strengthen 
Science.
    The final chapter of the strategy outlines the role and 
responsibilities of the Federal Leadership Committee in implementing 
the strategy, as well as the federal government's commitment to 
increase accountability by establishing milestones every two years for 
taking action. The final chapter also outlines a series of 
accountability tools and processes to promote transparency in the 
planning, tracking, reporting, evaluating and adapting of restoration 
activities. These tools include an Annual Action Plan, an Annual 
Progress Report, Independent Evaluation, and an Adaptive Management 
process.

What are the next steps in responding to EO 13508?

    After release of this final strategy, the Federal Leadership 
Committee will implement the actions described in the strategy. The 
Federal Leadership Committee will continue to work with the 
jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to better align actions 
to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.
    EO 13508 also requires the Federal Leadership Committee to publish 
an annual Chesapeake Bay Action Plan describing how federal funding 
proposed in the President's Budget will be used to protect and restore 
the Chesapeake Bay during the upcoming fiscal year. The Federal 
Leadership Committee plans to release the first annual Chesapeake Bay 
Action Plan in early fall 2010.
    EO 13508 also requires the Federal Leadership Committee to publish 
an annual Progress Report reviewing indicators of environmental 
conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, assessing implementation of the 
Action Plan during the preceding fiscal year, and recommending steps to 
improve progress in restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay. The 
Federal Leadership Committee plans to release the first annual Progress 
Report in the first quarter of calendar year 2012.
    The Federal Leadership Committee plans to consult with state 
agencies, local governments, other stakeholders, and the general public 
in the development of the annual Action Plan and Progress Report. The 
details of this consultation process will be made available at http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net.

    Dated: May 6, 2010.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2010-11143 Filed 5-10-10; 8:45 am]
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