Billfish Conservation Act Passes U.S. Senate, Heads to President’s Desk

After four years of work, recreational anglers and ocean conservationists can today celebrate a rare feat: the Billfish Conservation Act passed the Senate and is now headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature. Very few bills have become law this Congress due to partisan disagreements, but the Billfish Conservation Act has been overwhelmingly supported by both parties in both chambers.

NOAA Fisheries Posts Statistical Report Card for U.S. Fisheries in 2011

Each year NOAA Fisheries compiles key fisheries statistics from the previous year into an annual snapshot documenting fishing’s importance to the nation. The 2011 report provides landings totals for both domestic recreational and commercial fisheries by species and allows us to track important indicators such as annual seafood consumption and the productivity of top fishing ports.

Reopening of Public Comment Period for National Standard 1

NMFS is reopening the comment period on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) published on May 3, 2012, on potential adjustments to the National Standard 1 Guidelines, one of 10 national standards for fishery conservation and management contained in Section 301 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The current comment period is scheduled to end on September 15, 2012. Because of the importance of NS1 to U.S. fishery management and the complexity of the issues, NMFS feels reopening the comment period will provide for a fuller range of public input on the NS1 Guideline issues. 

The comment period will close on October 12, 2012.

Medical Waivers for Merchant Mariner Credential Applicants With Anti-Tachycardia Devices or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

The Coast Guard is seeking public comment regarding criteria for granting medical waivers to mariners who have anti-tachycardia devices or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Current Coast Guard guidance found in Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 04-08, Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials (NVIC 04-08), states that anti-tachycardia devices or ICDs are generally not waiverable. The Coast Guard is considering changing that policy. Prior to issuing a policy change on whether to grant waivers for anti-tachycardia devices or ICDs and the criteria for such waivers, the Coast Guard will accept comments from the public on whether the proposed criteria would adequately address safety concerns regarding merchant mariners with ICDs.

Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via on or before October 9, 2012 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

Agencies Propose to Simplify Critical Habitat Proposal Review Process under Endangered Species Act

Agencies Propose to Simplify Critical Habitat Proposal Review Process under Endangered Species Act

Regulation changes would require the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation to be available for public comment concurrent with the publication of the proposed critical habitat designation. Comment on these proposed changes through Oct. 23.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Approval for National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use Report

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. They summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. They may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

You must submit comments on or before September 28, 2012.

Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) Upcoming Meeting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) on November 19, 1990, to provide independent advice and counsel to EPA on policy issues associated with implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990. The Committee advises on economic, environmental, technical, scientific, and enforcement policy issues.

Notice is hereby given that the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee will hold its next open meeting on September 20, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport located at 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.

Revisions to the Regulations for Impact Analyses of Critical Habitat

Critical Habitat Can Affect Your Access to Resources

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the ``Services'' or ``we''), propose to revise our regulations pertaining to impact analyses conducted for designations of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). These changes are being proposed as directed by the President's February 28, 2012, memorandum, which directed us to take prompt steps to revise our regulations to provide that the economic analysis be completed and made available for public comment at the time of publication of a proposed rule to designate critical habitat.

We will accept comments from all interested parties until October 23, 2012. Please note that if you are using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES below), the deadline for submitting an electronic comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on this date.

Changes to Inland Navigation Rules

Vessels affected by this proposed rule would be vessels traveling on inland waters of the United States. At this time, we anticipate a small additional cost for future WIG craft to install a light. We estimate that there would not be additional costs or burden from the other harmonizing or discretionary provisions. A benefit of the harmonizing provisions is complying with COLREGS and the Presidential memo,. Both harmonizing and discretionary provisions would also provide regulatory flexibility to certain vessels. Some of the discretionary changes may help to reduce risk of collision.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection 30-Day Notice and Request for Comments

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: 

User Fees. This is a proposed extension of an information collection that was previously approved. CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with a change to the burden hours. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.