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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard Solicitation for Revisions

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The Department of Commerce will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, on or after the date of publication of this notice. We invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on February 27, 2020, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments.

Agency: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Title: Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard Solicitation for Revisions.

OMB Control Number: 0648-XXXX.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Request: Regular submission (new information collection).

Number of Respondents: 100.

Average Hours per Response: 1.

Total Annual Burden Hours: 100.

Needs and Uses: NOAA's Office of Coastal Management (OCM) is proposing a new information collection that will allow interested parties to submit requests for revisions to update the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). CMECS was approved by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) in August 2012 and provides a national standard for consistent descriptions of coastal and marine ecological features. The primary uses of CMECS are in mapping and classifying the geological, physical, biological, and chemical components of the environment. Among other applications, the CMECS framework can be used to integrate data from disparate sources, facilitate comparisons among sites, and organize data for regional assessment. Since its publication in 2012, the CMECS has been used to characterize habitats ranging from coastal wetlands and estuaries to the deep ocean and at local to global scales. Benefits of CMECS include: Data collected by different sensors and methods can be integrated into a single database; all the physical, biological, and chemical-forcing functions that collectively determine a habitat type can be captured; and the system has the flexibility to accommodate new units as additional information becomes available.

The CMECS was developed as a dynamic standard to allow periodic revisions to continue to meet the needs of the user community and as such, the CMECS can be updated to accommodate the requirements of evolving scientific practices, technology, and coastal and marine resource management. The review process allows the CMECS to retain its consistency, credibility, and rigor through periodic reviews and an orderly, authoritative, and transparent updating process as required by the Federal Geographic Data Committee. Anyone can propose changes, which can include minor edits, such as grammatical or typographical corrections, clarifications of definitions and meaning, or more substantial changes to the hierarchy within components. The CMECS Implementation Group, through the Office for Coastal Management, has determined it is necessary to initiate the dynamic standard process to revise the CMECS. We are soliciting recommendations for revisions to the CMECS through a form to be posted on the CMECS website. All recommendations collected will be reviewed and revisions will be made to the CMECS to reflect those recommendations found to be valuable for implementation of the CMECS and supportive of the user community needs.

Affected Public: Coastal scientists and managers throughout the United States responsible for characterization of coastal and marine habitats or ecosystems more broadly. This may include academia; non-governmental organizations; State, Local or Tribal government; Federal government; and for profit environmental support businesses.

Frequency: On occasion.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority:

This information collection request may be viewed at Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of this notice on the following website​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function and entering the title of the collection.

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Sheleen Dumas,

Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.

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[FR Doc. 2020-10469 Filed 5-14-20; 8:45 am]