Environmental Management Systems and the National Environmental Policy Act, 40520-40521 [06-6251]

Download as PDF 40520 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 136 / Monday, July 17, 2006 / Notices Dated: June 29, 2006. De’Lyntoneus Moore, Acting Chief, Superfund Enforcement & Information Management Branch, Waste Management Division. [FR Doc. E6–11237 Filed 7–14–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Environmental Management Systems and the National Environmental Policy Act Council on Environmental Quality. ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) used an interagency work group to develop a guide to Federal agencies in aligning their Environmental Management Systems (EMS) with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ invites comments on the proposed guide before publishing and distributing a final guide. The proposed guide, ‘‘Aligning the Complementary Processes of Environmental Management Systems and the National Environmental Policy Act’’, is available at www.nepa.gov in the Current Developments section. DATES: Written comments should be submitted on or before September 1, 2006. Hardcopies of the proposed guide can be requested from CEQ. Electronic or facsimile requests for a copy of the proposed guide and comments on the proposed guide are preferred because federal offices experience intermittent mail delays from security screening. Electronic requests and written comments can be sent to NEPA modernization (EMS– NEPA) at horst_greczmiel@ceq.eop.gov. Written requests and comments may be faxed to NEPA Modernization (EMS– NEPA) at (202) 456–0753. Written requests and comments may also be submitted to NEPA Modernization (EMS–NEPA), Attn: Associate Director for NEPA Oversight, 722 Jackson Place NW, Washington DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Horst Greczmiel at (202) 395–5750. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) established a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Task Force and is now implementing recommendations designed to modernize the implementation of NEPA and make the NEPA process more rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:41 Jul 14, 2006 Jkt 208001 effective and efficient. Additional information is available on the task force Web site at http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/ ntf. A guide, ‘‘Aligning the Complementary Processes of Environmental Management Systems and the National Environmental Policy Act’’, was developed to assist agencies with linking the NEPA process with Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and CEQ requests public input and comments on the proposed guide available at www.NEPA.gov and from CEQ (see ADDRESSES). The guide will be provided to all Federal agencies to help Federal agencies recognize the complementary relationship of EMS and NEPA and to assist them in aligning EMS elements with the NEPA statement of policy in Section 101 and the analysis and decision processes of Section 102 and incorporating the EMS approach into the NEPA process when establishing, implementing, and maintaining their EMS. CEQ recognizes the benefits of aligning these complementary processes and encourages Federal agencies to do so where appropriate. The guide states that it is conceivable that a well constructed EMS can include all the elements of the NEPA process and serve as the basis for complying with NEPA requirements. CEQ specifically solicits public comment on this idea. The guide encourages the integration of EMS and NEPA as a means to bring substantial benefits to an agency’s environmental performance and to further our national environmental policy. For example: Commitments and mitigation measures established in NEPA decision documents (e.g., Findings of No Significant Impact and Records of Decision) can be implemented, tracked and monitored through the EMS because the EMS provides a framework to improve environmental performance in ongoing day-to-day operations. The implementation, tracking and monitoring of commitments and mitigation measures can assist in training, internal auditing, identification of appropriate corrective actions and communication with interested parties. A major component of the NEPA process is communicating and involving the interested public. An EMS can provide numerous opportunities for communicating with the public and serve a major role in providing information about the proposal under consideration and thereby help focus the public involvement. The guide also describes specific ways EMS and NEPA processes can complement one another to improve how Federal agencies manage their impacts on the environment: PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • The NEPA process generally approaches environmental management decisions on a case-by-case basis, and mainly focuses on identifying and mitigating ‘‘significant’’ environmental impacts. An EMS addresses the full range of ongoing activities (and products and services) the agency has decided to implement with the intent to continually improve environmental performance by minimizing the adverse effects of its environmental aspects. • The identification of environmental aspects in the development of an EMS can build on the environmental aspects identified in a previous NEPA analysis of a facility, activity, program or policy. Conversely, a new NEPA analysis can consider the identified environmental aspects in an EMS when assessing potential environmental impacts of a proposed action. The EMS can provide a platform for using the information collected and analyses performed in the NEPA process on a going forward basis in the actual implementation of proposed actions. • The performance measurements and monitoring conducted as part of an EMS may provide comparable and verifiable data to improve environmental impact predictions in an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS). • An EMS provides a systematic framework for an agency to monitor and continually improve its environmental performance. Agencies with an EMS may be able to use data generated through their EMS to establish a record of environmental performance to support, for example (a) identifying categories of actions that normally require an EIS, (b) finding no significant impact when incorporated into an EA, which would preclude the need to prepare an EIS, or (c) establishing a categorical exclusion under NEPA which would reduce the need to prepare EAs. Further, where an EIS is needed, the EMS approach of keeping environmental data up-to-date should facilitate the preparation of an EIS. • Where an EMS has established environmental objectives and targets relevant to resource areas subject to NEPA mitigation measures, the EMS can ensure implementation and performance of mitigation measures through applicable measurement and monitoring programs. • An EMS can support the implementation of a NEPA ‘‘adaptive management’’ approach when there are uncertainties in the prediction of the impacts or outcome of project implementation, or the effectiveness of proposed mitigation. The adaptive management approach can provide E:\FR\FM\17JYN1.SGM 17JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 136 / Monday, July 17, 2006 / Notices managers with the flexibility to make necessary corrections or adjustments in project implementation, possible without needing new or supplemental NEPA analyses. Public comments are requested on or before September 1, 2006. Dated: July 12, 2006. James L. Connaughton, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality. [FR Doc. 06–6251 Filed 7–14–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3125–01–M FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR Part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below. The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The application also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States. Additional information on all bank holding companies may be obtained from the National Information Center website at www.ffiec.gov/nic/. Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than August 11, 2006. A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Andre Anderson, Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309: 1. Florida Gulf Bancorp, Inc., Fort Myers, Florida; to become a bank VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:04 Jul 14, 2006 Jkt 208001 holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Florida Gulf Bank, Fort Myers, Florida. B. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Donna J. Ward, Assistant Vice President) 925 Grand Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001: 1. TriCentury Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Nine Tribes Bancshares, Inc., and The Bank of Quapaw, Quapaw, Oklahoma. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 12, 2006. Robert deV. Frierson, Deputy Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. E6–11223 Filed 7–14–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210–01–S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; American Health Information Community Consumer Empowerment Workgroup Meeting ACTION: Announcement of meeting SUMMARY: This notice announces the seventh meeting of the American Health Information Community (‘‘Community’’) Consumer Empowerment Workgroup in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463, 5 U.S.C., App.). DATES: July 27, 2006 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Place: Hubert H. Humphrey building (200 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201), Conference Room 800 (you will need a photo ID to enter a Federal building). Status: Open. Purpose: at this meeting, the Community Consumer Empowerment Workgroup will receive information on personal health records and related matters. The meeting will be conducted in hearing format, in which the Workgroup will gather information about personal health records’ (PHRs) functions, features, current usage, interoperability capabilities, and importance to health care. The Workgroup will invite representatives who can provide information about these matters. The format for the meeting will include multiple invited panels and time for questions and discussion. The meeting will include a time period during which members of the public may deliver brief (3 minutes or less) oral public comment. To be included on the public comment PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40521 portion of the agenda, please contact Vernette Roberts at (202) 205–8550, by e-mail at Venette.Roberts@hhs.gov or postal address at the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), 330 C Street, SW., Suite 4090, Washington, DC 20201. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public input, in the form of written testimony, is sought on the following issues: • What is needed to increase consumer awareness and engagement in Personal Health Records (PHRs)? • What are the most valuable features and functions of a PHR from the patient perspective? Please summarize the real world experience or evidence to support this part of the testimony. • Would a minimum set of PHR elements ensure that consumers have the features and options most important to them when choosing a PHR? • Who should identify the most important elements of a PHR? • If applicable to your testimony, please comment on how health and HIT literacy needs should be addressed through PHRs. • How can interoperability be achieved between PHRs and electronic health records (EHRs)? Please also comment on when this could be accomplished. • How can interoperability be achieved between PHRs and all of the providers from whom the patient receives health care services? Please also comment on when this could be accomplished. • Should the market be left alone for innovation or could vendors compete around a minimum criteria set for PHRs? • If you think certification is necessary for privacy and security, interoperability or a minimum set of functionality, is the timing important and is there a sense of urgency given the diversity, complexity and mobility of today’s population and the demand for availability of PHRs at the point of care? Persons wishing to submit written testimony only (which should not exceed five double-spaced typewritten pages) should endeavor to submit it by July 27, 2006. Unfilled slots for oral testimony will be filled on the day of the meeting as time permits. Please consult Ms. Roberts for further information about these arrangements. Further information about the Community’s Consumer Empowerment Workgroup may be found at: http:// www.hhs.gov/healthit/ahic/ ce_main.html. If you have special needs for the meeting, please contact (202) 690–7151. E:\FR\FM\17JYN1.SGM 17JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 136 (Monday, July 17, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40520-40521]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-6251]


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COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY


Environmental Management Systems and the National Environmental 
Policy Act

AGENCY: Council on Environmental Quality.

ACTION:  Notice and Request for Comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) used an interagency 
work group to develop a guide to Federal agencies in aligning their 
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) with the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ invites comments on the proposed guide before 
publishing and distributing a final guide. The proposed guide, 
``Aligning the Complementary Processes of Environmental Management 
Systems and the National Environmental Policy Act'', is available at 
www.nepa.gov in the Current Developments section.

DATES: Written comments should be submitted on or before September 1, 
2006.

ADDRESSES: Hardcopies of the proposed guide can be requested from CEQ. 
Electronic or facsimile requests for a copy of the proposed guide and 
comments on the proposed guide are preferred because federal offices 
experience intermittent mail delays from security screening. Electronic 
requests and written comments can be sent to NEPA modernization (EMS-
NEPA) at horst_greczmiel@ceq.eop.gov. Written requests and comments 
may be faxed to NEPA Modernization (EMS-NEPA) at (202) 456-0753. 
Written requests and comments may also be submitted to NEPA 
Modernization (EMS-NEPA), Attn: Associate Director for NEPA Oversight, 
722 Jackson Place NW, Washington DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Horst Greczmiel at (202) 395-5750.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 
established a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Task Force and 
is now implementing recommendations designed to modernize the 
implementation of NEPA and make the NEPA process more effective and 
efficient. Additional information is available on the task force Web 
site at http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/ntf.
    A guide, ``Aligning the Complementary Processes of Environmental 
Management Systems and the National Environmental Policy Act'', was 
developed to assist agencies with linking the NEPA process with 
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and CEQ requests public input 
and comments on the proposed guide available at www.NEPA.gov and from 
CEQ (see ADDRESSES).
    The guide will be provided to all Federal agencies to help Federal 
agencies recognize the complementary relationship of EMS and NEPA and 
to assist them in aligning EMS elements with the NEPA statement of 
policy in Section 101 and the analysis and decision processes of 
Section 102 and incorporating the EMS approach into the NEPA process 
when establishing, implementing, and maintaining their EMS. CEQ 
recognizes the benefits of aligning these complementary processes and 
encourages Federal agencies to do so where appropriate.
    The guide states that it is conceivable that a well constructed EMS 
can include all the elements of the NEPA process and serve as the basis 
for complying with NEPA requirements. CEQ specifically solicits public 
comment on this idea.
    The guide encourages the integration of EMS and NEPA as a means to 
bring substantial benefits to an agency's environmental performance and 
to further our national environmental policy. For example:

    Commitments and mitigation measures established in NEPA decision 
documents (e.g., Findings of No Significant Impact and Records of 
Decision) can be implemented, tracked and monitored through the EMS 
because the EMS provides a framework to improve environmental 
performance in ongoing day-to-day operations. The implementation, 
tracking and monitoring of commitments and mitigation measures can 
assist in training, internal auditing, identification of appropriate 
corrective actions and communication with interested parties.
    A major component of the NEPA process is communicating and 
involving the interested public. An EMS can provide numerous 
opportunities for communicating with the public and serve a major 
role in providing information about the proposal under consideration 
and thereby help focus the public involvement.

    The guide also describes specific ways EMS and NEPA processes can 
complement one another to improve how Federal agencies manage their 
impacts on the environment:
     The NEPA process generally approaches environmental 
management decisions on a case-by-case basis, and mainly focuses on 
identifying and mitigating ``significant'' environmental impacts. An 
EMS addresses the full range of ongoing activities (and products and 
services) the agency has decided to implement with the intent to 
continually improve environmental performance by minimizing the adverse 
effects of its environmental aspects.
     The identification of environmental aspects in the 
development of an EMS can build on the environmental aspects identified 
in a previous NEPA analysis of a facility, activity, program or policy. 
Conversely, a new NEPA analysis can consider the identified 
environmental aspects in an EMS when assessing potential environmental 
impacts of a proposed action. The EMS can provide a platform for using 
the information collected and analyses performed in the NEPA process on 
a going forward basis in the actual implementation of proposed actions.
     The performance measurements and monitoring conducted as 
part of an EMS may provide comparable and verifiable data to improve 
environmental impact predictions in an environmental assessment (EA) or 
environmental impact statement (EIS).
     An EMS provides a systematic framework for an agency to 
monitor and continually improve its environmental performance. Agencies 
with an EMS may be able to use data generated through their EMS to 
establish a record of environmental performance to support, for example 
(a) identifying categories of actions that normally require an EIS, (b) 
finding no significant impact when incorporated into an EA, which would 
preclude the need to prepare an EIS, or (c) establishing a categorical 
exclusion under NEPA which would reduce the need to prepare EAs. 
Further, where an EIS is needed, the EMS approach of keeping 
environmental data up-to-date should facilitate the preparation of an 
EIS.
     Where an EMS has established environmental objectives and 
targets relevant to resource areas subject to NEPA mitigation measures, 
the EMS can ensure implementation and performance of mitigation 
measures through applicable measurement and monitoring programs.
     An EMS can support the implementation of a NEPA ``adaptive 
management'' approach when there are uncertainties in the prediction of 
the impacts or outcome of project implementation, or the effectiveness 
of proposed mitigation. The adaptive management approach can provide

[[Page 40521]]

managers with the flexibility to make necessary corrections or 
adjustments in project implementation, possible without needing new or 
supplemental NEPA analyses.
    Public comments are requested on or before September 1, 2006.

    Dated: July 12, 2006.
James L. Connaughton,
Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality.
[FR Doc. 06-6251 Filed 7-14-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3125-01-M