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Notice

Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Request for Nominations of Experts for Review of EPA's Draft Technical Report Pertaining to Uranium and Thorium In-Situ Leach Recovery and Post-Closure Stability Monitoring

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office is requesting public nominations for technical experts to augment the SAB's Radiation Advisory Committee (RAC) to review and provide advice on EPA's draft scientific and technical report on Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings.

DATES:

Nominations should be submitted by December 15, 2010 per instructions below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Any member of the public wishing further information regarding this Notice and Request for Nominations may contact Dr. K. Jack Kooyoomjian, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), SAB Staff Office, by telephone/voice mail at (202) 564-2064, or via e-mail at kooyoomjian.jack@epa.gov. General information concerning the EPA Science Advisory Board can be found at the EPA SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/​sab.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background: The SAB (42 U.S.C. 4365) is a chartered Federal Advisory Committee that provides independent scientific and technical peer review, advice, consultation, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the technical basis for EPA actions. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the SAB conducts business in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and related regulations. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies.

EPA is conducting a review of its regulatory standards in 40 CFR Part 192—Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings. In accordance with UMTRCA section 206, EPA is authorized to develop standards for the protection of public health, safety, and the environment from radiological and non-radiological hazards associated with residual radioactive materials. The Agency is currently undertaking a review to determine if the existing standards, last revised by EPA in 1995, should be updated. The expectation is that In-Situ Leach Recovery (ISL/ISR) operations will be the most common type of new uranium extraction facility in the U.S.. These facilities can affect groundwater. Accordingly, EPA is seeking scientific advice and relevant technical criteria to establish standards and procedures, including the relevant period of monitoring for ISL/ISR facilities, once uranium extraction operations are completed, in order to provide reasonable assurances of aquifer stability and groundwater protection.

The EPA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA) has requested the SAB to review a draft technical document pertaining to ISL/ISR post closure stability monitoring and evaluate what criteria, including site characteristics and integrity features, as well as other relevant factors and specific procedures that should be considered, to establish a specific period of monitoring for ISL/ISR facilities, once uranium extraction operations are completed. Among the issues to be considered is whether a time frame can be established, whether specific site characteristics, features or benchmarks can be used to aid in establishing a post-closure monitoring time period, and if there are other technical approaches EPA should consider in order to provide reasonable assurances of aquifer stability and groundwater protection.Start Printed Page 71703

The SAB Staff Office will form an expert panel by augmenting the RAC to review the EPA's draft technical report, which will be used as a basis to evaluate the technical and scientific issues pertaining to standards in 40 CFR part 192—Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings.

Request for Nominations: The SAB Staff Office is seeking nominations of nationally and internationally recognized scientists and engineers with demonstrated expertise and experience in one or more of the following areas: environmental statistics, geochemistry, geology, geostatistics, hydrogeology, environmental monitoring, and radiation health science.

Technical Contact: Technical background information pertaining to Uranium In-Situ Leach Recovery—Post-Closure Stability Monitoring can be found at the following hotlink: http://epa.gov/​radiation/​tenorm/​index.html, and, information pertaining to EPA's regulatory standards in 40 CFR part 192—Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/​opei/​rulegate.nsf/​byRIN/​2060-AP43?​opendocument. For questions concerning this topic, please contact Dr. Mary E. Clark of the U.S. EPA, ORIA by telephone at (202) 343-9348, fax at (202) 243-2395, or e-mail at clark.marye@epa.gov.

Process and Deadline for Submitting Nominations: Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals in the areas of expertise described above for possible service on this expert Panel. Nominations should be submitted in electronic format (which is preferred over hard copy) following the instructions for “Nominating Experts to Advisory Panels and Ad Hoc Committees Being Formed” provided on the SAB Web site. The instructions can be accessed through the “Nomination of Experts” link on the blue navigational bar on the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/​sab. To receive full consideration, nominations should include all of the information requested below.

EPA's SAB Staff Office requests contact information about the person making the nomination; contact information about the nominee; the disciplinary and specific areas of expertise of the nominee; the nominee's curriculum vita; sources of recent grant and/or contract support; and a biographical sketch of the nominee indicating current position, educational background, research activities, and recent service on other national advisory committees or national professional organizations.

Persons having questions about the nomination procedures, or who are unable to submit nominations through the SAB Web site, should contact Dr. K. Jack Kooyoomjian, DFO, as indicated above in this notice. Nominations should be submitted in time to arrive no later than December 15, 2010. EPA values and welcomes diversity. In an effort to obtain nominations of diverse candidates, EPA encourages nominations of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups.

The EPA SAB Staff Office will acknowledge receipt of nominations. The names and bio-sketches of qualified nominees identified by respondents to this Federal Register notice, and additional experts identified by the SAB Staff, will be posted in a List of Candidates on the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/​sab. Public comments on this List of Candidates will be accepted for 21 calendar days. The public will be requested to provide relevant information or other documentation on nominees that the SAB Staff Office should consider in evaluating candidates.

For the EPA SAB Staff Office, a review panel includes candidates who possess the necessary domains of knowledge, the relevant scientific perspectives (which, among other factors, can be influenced by work history and affiliation), and the collective breadth of experience to adequately address the charge. In forming this expert panel, the SAB Staff Office will consider public comments on the List of Candidates, information provided by the candidates themselves, and background information independently gathered by the SAB Staff Office. Selection criteria to be used for Panel membership include: (a) Scientific and/or technical expertise, knowledge, and experience (primary factors); (b) availability and willingness to serve; (c) absence of financial conflicts of interest; (d) absence of an appearance of a lack of impartiality; and (e) skills working in committees, subcommittees and advisory panels; and, (f) for the Panel as a whole, diversity of expertise and viewpoints.

The SAB Staff Office's evaluation of an absence of financial conflicts of interest will include a review of the “Confidential Financial Disclosure Form for Special Government Employees Serving on Federal Advisory Committees at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA Form 3110-48). This confidential form allows Government officials to determine whether there is a statutory conflict between that person's public responsibilities (which includes membership on an EPA Federal advisory committee) and private interests and activities, or the appearance of a lack of impartiality, as defined by Federal regulation. The form may be viewed and downloaded from the following URL address http://www.epa.gov/​sab/​pdf/​epaform3110-48.pdf.

The approved policy under which the EPA SAB Office selects subcommittees and review panels is described in the following document: Overview of the Panel Formation Process at the Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board (EPA-SAB-EC-02-010), which is posted on the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/​sab/​pdf/​ec02010.pdf.

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Dated: November 18, 2010.

Vanessa T. Vu,

Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.

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[FR Doc. 2010-29635 Filed 11-23-10; 8:45 am]

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