Science-Based Methods for Entity-Scale Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks From Agriculture and Forestry Practices, 52898-52899 [2013-20701]

Download as PDF 52898 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2013 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE [Docket Number: USDA–2013–0003] Science-Based Methods for EntityScale Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks From Agriculture and Forestry Practices Office of the Chief Economist, USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability for public comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has prepared a report containing methods for quantifying entity-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from the agriculture and forestry sectors. The purpose of this notice is to seek input from the public on the proposed methods. This report was prepared in part to meet requirements of Section 2709 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. The report was prepared by 38 technical experts and reviewed by 29 scientific reviewers. USDA anticipates that the methods will be used by landowners and USDA to improve management practices and identify actions to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration. The guidelines and methods could also be used by farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to facilitate their participation in voluntary state and regional GHG registries and programs. Notice of the project was announced in the Federal Register in February, 2011 (FR Doc. 2011–3731, p. 9534, Feb 18 2011). Comments received under this notice will be used to further refine the methods report in preparation for publication as a USDA Technical Bulletin. Comments submitted will help USDA to gauge the appropriateness and completeness of the proposed methods as well as methodological or data concerns that should be considered. A series of questions have been provided in the supplementary information below to aid review. When submitting responses, please annotate comments using the report section number designations. All information received will be included in the public docket and made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Do not include any information that might be considered proprietary or confidential. DATES: Responses to this notice should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 11, 2013. ADDRESSES: The report is available for download from the project Web site at www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/ tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:54 Aug 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 estimation.htm, and within the Federal Docket as noted below. If you are unable to access the report from one of these Web sites, contact the Climate Change Program Office via the contact details below. Responses to this notice must be submitted electronically through the regulations.gov portal at http:// www.regulations.gov, Docket #USDA– 2013–0003. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Http://www.regulations.gov is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means USDA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you are unable to submit your responses through the web portal, consider these alternative submission methods: • Via email to techguide@ oce.usda.gov; • Via fax to 202–401–1176; or, • Via courier delivery to Marlen Eve, USDA Climate Change Program Office, 1400 Independence Ave SW., Room 4407 South Bldg, Washington, DC 20250. Responses submitted through email, fax or courier will be recorded in full, including any identity and contact information. Any questions about the content of this notice should be sent to Marlen Eve, USDA Climate Change Program Office, via Email techguide@oce.usda.gov, Telephone 202–401–0979, or Fax 202– 401–1176. Additional information on the project can be found at www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/ estimation.htm. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Climate Change Program Office (CCPO) operates within the Office of the Chief Economist at USDA and functions as the Department-wide focal point on agriculture, rural, and forestry-related climate change activities. The CCPO ensures that USDA is a source of objective, analytical assessments of the effects of climate change and proposed response strategies. This project addresses the need for scientificallysound, Department-wide guidelines for quantifying GHG emissions and carbon sequestration at the farm-, forest- and entity-scale. The report and other products developed by this project will be useful in assessing the carbon and GHG related environmental service benefits of various agricultural and forestry management practices and technologies. Supplementary information on the project is included below. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Project scope. USDA has created a comprehensive set of GHG inventory methods that builds upon existing estimation and inventory efforts with the aim of providing transparent and robust inventory guidelines and reporting tools. The methods address direct greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration from agriculture and forest management at the farm, ranch or forest boundary. This report does not establish a GHG crediting framework or address policy issues related to crediting GHG reductions such as additionality or leakage. The following GHG sources and sinks are addressed in the report: Croplands/Grazing Lands • Biomass carbon stock changes; • Soil organic carbon stocks for mineral soils; • Soil organic carbon stocks for organic soils; • Direct nitrous oxide emissions from mineral soils; • Direct nitrous oxide emissions from drainage of organic soils; • Indirect nitrous oxide emissions; • Methane uptake by soils; • Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice cultivation; • Carbon dioxide emissions from liming; • Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from biomass burning; and • Carbon dioxide emissions from urea fertilizer application. Managed Wetlands • Biomass carbon stock changes; • Soil carbon stock changes; and • Methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Animal Production Systems • Enteric fermentation and animal housing emissions; • Solid manure storage and treatment emissions; • Liquid manure storage and treatment emissions; and • Manure application emissions. Forestry • Forest carbon stock changes; • Establishing, re-establishing, and clearing forests; • Forest management; • Harvested wood products; • Urban forestry; and • Natural disturbances. Land Use Change • Dead wood carbon; • Carbon in litter; and • Soil organic carbon in mineral soils. Methods have not been delineated for all of the sources considered. In some E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2013 / Notices cases, the authors note that more research, additional data and/or extrapolation of current information are needed in order to establish a method. These research and data gaps are highlighted in the report. An approach to uncertainty assessment is also proposed. Specifically, USDA requests comments on: 1. Are sources of GHG emissions or sinks missing? Are the methods provided complete? Are there potential inconsistencies in and across the methods? 2. Are the proposed methods suitable for estimating GHG emissions at the farm-, forest- or entity-scale while meeting the selection criteria of transparency, consistency, comparability, completeness, accuracy, cost effectiveness, and ease of use? 3. Are new (or additional) data sources available for calculating emission factors? 4. Are there additional management practices for which the science and data are clear, and which should be addressed in the methods report? If yes, please provide details. 5. Are the methods appropriate across a variety of farm and forest entities as well as applicable to operations of any size? 6. Are the research gaps clearly identified? Are there additional gaps to note, or new data sources that significantly address any of the listed gaps? Persons with disabilities who require alternate means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA’s Target Center at (202) 720– 2600 (voice and TDD). Dated: August 20, 2013. Joseph Glauber, Chief Economist. [FR Doc. 2013–20701 Filed 8–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–38–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Enhancing Retail Food Store Eligibility—Listening Sessions Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This Notice announces 5 listening sessions to support the Request for Information (RFI) published by FNS regarding Supplemental Nutrition SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:54 Aug 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer eligibility requirements (78 FR 51136, August 20, 2013). As explained in the RFI, FNS is re-examining SNAP retailer eligibility requirements in part because of concerns raised in a recent FNS report examining the trafficking rates at different types of retail food stores and a 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report suggesting that the minimal stocking requirements in SNAP contribute to corrupt retailers entering the program. The FNS report is available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/menu/ Published/SNAP/FILES/ ProgramIntegrity/Trafficking2009_ Summary.pdf. The GAO report is available at: http://www.gao.gov/ products/GAO-07-53. Information on SNAP retailer eligibility requirements is available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ snap/retailers/store-eligibility.htm. The scheduled listening sessions provide an opportunity for FNS to seek public input on potential changes to retailer authorization requirements. DATES: Listening sessions are scheduled in 5 cities: Wednesday, August 28 in Ames, Iowa; Monday, September 9 in Baltimore, Maryland; Tuesday, September 10 in Greenville, Mississippi; Wednesday, September 11 in Chicago, Illinois; and Monday, September 16 in Los Angeles, California. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically. Written comments can also be mailed or delivered to: Shanta Swezy, Chief, Retailer Management and Issuance Branch, Retailer Policy and Management Division, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 426, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact information is listed under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Complete information for the five scheduled listening sessions is as follows: 1. City/State: Ames, Iowa; Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013; Time: 4 p.m.–7 p.m.; Location: Iowa State University, Scheman Building Room 275; Address: 400 Beach Ave Iowa State Center, Ames, IA 50011; Contact: Bart Bushman (303) 844– 0310. 2. City/State: Baltimore, MD; Date: Monday, September 9, 2013; Time: 4 p.m.–7 p.m.; Location: Enoch Pratt Central Library; Address: 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52899 21201; Contact: Margarita Maisterrena (609) 259–5091. 3. City/State: Greenville, MS; Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013. Time: 5 p.m.–8 p.m. Location: Greenville Higher Education Center. Address: 2900 A Highway 1 South, Greenville, MS; Contact: Debbie Smoot (404) 562–1810. 4. City/State: Chicago, IL; Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013; Time: 4 p.m.–7 p.m.; Location: Walter Payton College Preparatory High School; Address: 1034 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60610; Contact: Alan Shannon (312) 353– 1045. 5. City/State: Los Angeles, CA; Date: Monday, September 16, 2013; Time: 4 p.m.–7 p.m.; Location: East Los Angeles Community Service Center; Address: 133 N. Sunol Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90063; Contact: Julie Yee (415) 705–1311. All sessions are open to the public and will be recorded. Each forum will begin with opening remarks from the USDA official charged with moderating the session. Both a sign language and a Spanish language interpreter will be available. Speakers’ time will be limited to four minutes. Written comments will also be accepted at every session. Each session location is accessible to persons with disabilities. The Agency is seeking public input regarding the following questions, with particular attention to impacts of each on program integrity, healthy food choices, access to food, and retailer operations. Listening session attendees will be provided with a list of these questions at the forum site: 1. Is ensuring that SNAP retailers provide SNAP clients access to healthy food choices a reasonable priority for establishing SNAP store eligibility criteria? 2. Are there store types that clearly meet all of the Program goals and, consequently, should always be eligible for SNAP participation? 3. Conversely, are there store types that do not effectively improve access to food choices (e.g., stores that sell low amounts of food when compared to the amounts of distilled liquor, tobacco and/or lottery tickets sold) and, therefore, should always be ineligible for SNAP participation? 4. Would a different definition of the ‘‘staple foods’’ required in SNAP authorized stores help to ensure that these stores offer more healthy food choices? If so, what kinds of changes would be most effective? Specifically, almost all foods can be counted towards meeting staple food requirements, E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 166 (Tuesday, August 27, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52898-52899]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20701]



[[Page 52898]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

[Docket Number: USDA-2013-0003]


Science-Based Methods for Entity-Scale Quantification of 
Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks From Agriculture and Forestry 
Practices

AGENCY: Office of the Chief Economist, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability for public comment.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has prepared a 
report containing methods for quantifying entity-scale greenhouse gas 
(GHG) emissions and removals from the agriculture and forestry sectors. 
The purpose of this notice is to seek input from the public on the 
proposed methods. This report was prepared in part to meet requirements 
of Section 2709 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. The 
report was prepared by 38 technical experts and reviewed by 29 
scientific reviewers. USDA anticipates that the methods will be used by 
landowners and USDA to improve management practices and identify 
actions to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration. The 
guidelines and methods could also be used by farmers, ranchers, and 
forest owners to facilitate their participation in voluntary state and 
regional GHG registries and programs. Notice of the project was 
announced in the Federal Register in February, 2011 (FR Doc. 2011-3731, 
p. 9534, Feb 18 2011). Comments received under this notice will be used 
to further refine the methods report in preparation for publication as 
a USDA Technical Bulletin. Comments submitted will help USDA to gauge 
the appropriateness and completeness of the proposed methods as well as 
methodological or data concerns that should be considered. A series of 
questions have been provided in the supplementary information below to 
aid review.
    When submitting responses, please annotate comments using the 
report section number designations. All information received will be 
included in the public docket and made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Do 
not include any information that might be considered proprietary or 
confidential.

DATES: Responses to this notice should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. 
Eastern Time on October 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The report is available for download from the project Web 
site at www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/estimation.htm, and within the 
Federal Docket as noted below. If you are unable to access the report 
from one of these Web sites, contact the Climate Change Program Office 
via the contact details below.
    Responses to this notice must be submitted electronically through 
the regulations.gov portal at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket 
USDA-2013-0003. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Http://www.regulations.gov is an ``anonymous access'' system, 
which means USDA will not know your identity or contact information 
unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you are unable to 
submit your responses through the web portal, consider these 
alternative submission methods:
     Via email to techguide@oce.usda.gov;
     Via fax to 202-401-1176; or,
     Via courier delivery to Marlen Eve, USDA Climate Change 
Program Office, 1400 Independence Ave SW., Room 4407 South Bldg, 
Washington, DC 20250.
    Responses submitted through email, fax or courier will be recorded 
in full, including any identity and contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any questions about the content of 
this notice should be sent to Marlen Eve, USDA Climate Change Program 
Office, via Email techguide@oce.usda.gov, Telephone 202-401-0979, or 
Fax 202-401-1176. Additional information on the project can be found at 
www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/estimation.htm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Climate Change Program Office (CCPO) 
operates within the Office of the Chief Economist at USDA and functions 
as the Department-wide focal point on agriculture, rural, and forestry-
related climate change activities. The CCPO ensures that USDA is a 
source of objective, analytical assessments of the effects of climate 
change and proposed response strategies. This project addresses the 
need for scientifically-sound, Department-wide guidelines for 
quantifying GHG emissions and carbon sequestration at the farm-, 
forest- and entity-scale. The report and other products developed by 
this project will be useful in assessing the carbon and GHG related 
environmental service benefits of various agricultural and forestry 
management practices and technologies. Supplementary information on the 
project is included below.
    Project scope. USDA has created a comprehensive set of GHG 
inventory methods that builds upon existing estimation and inventory 
efforts with the aim of providing transparent and robust inventory 
guidelines and reporting tools. The methods address direct greenhouse 
gas emissions and carbon sequestration from agriculture and forest 
management at the farm, ranch or forest boundary. This report does not 
establish a GHG crediting framework or address policy issues related to 
crediting GHG reductions such as additionality or leakage.
    The following GHG sources and sinks are addressed in the report:

Croplands/Grazing Lands

     Biomass carbon stock changes;
     Soil organic carbon stocks for mineral soils;
     Soil organic carbon stocks for organic soils;
     Direct nitrous oxide emissions from mineral soils;
     Direct nitrous oxide emissions from drainage of organic 
soils;
     Indirect nitrous oxide emissions;
     Methane uptake by soils;
     Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice cultivation;
     Carbon dioxide emissions from liming;
     Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from biomass burning; 
and
     Carbon dioxide emissions from urea fertilizer application.

Managed Wetlands

     Biomass carbon stock changes;
     Soil carbon stock changes; and
     Methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

Animal Production Systems

     Enteric fermentation and animal housing emissions;
     Solid manure storage and treatment emissions;
     Liquid manure storage and treatment emissions; and
     Manure application emissions.

Forestry

     Forest carbon stock changes;
     Establishing, re-establishing, and clearing forests;
     Forest management;
     Harvested wood products;
     Urban forestry; and
     Natural disturbances.

Land Use Change

     Dead wood carbon;
     Carbon in litter; and
     Soil organic carbon in mineral soils.
    Methods have not been delineated for all of the sources considered. 
In some

[[Page 52899]]

cases, the authors note that more research, additional data and/or 
extrapolation of current information are needed in order to establish a 
method. These research and data gaps are highlighted in the report. An 
approach to uncertainty assessment is also proposed.
    Specifically, USDA requests comments on:
    1. Are sources of GHG emissions or sinks missing? Are the methods 
provided complete? Are there potential inconsistencies in and across 
the methods?
    2. Are the proposed methods suitable for estimating GHG emissions 
at the farm-, forest- or entity-scale while meeting the selection 
criteria of transparency, consistency, comparability, completeness, 
accuracy, cost effectiveness, and ease of use?
    3. Are new (or additional) data sources available for calculating 
emission factors?
    4. Are there additional management practices for which the science 
and data are clear, and which should be addressed in the methods 
report? If yes, please provide details.
    5. Are the methods appropriate across a variety of farm and forest 
entities as well as applicable to operations of any size?
    6. Are the research gaps clearly identified? Are there additional 
gaps to note, or new data sources that significantly address any of the 
listed gaps?
    Persons with disabilities who require alternate means for 
communication of program information (Braille, large print, audio tape, 
etc.) should contact the USDA's Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice 
and TDD).

    Dated: August 20, 2013.
Joseph Glauber,
Chief Economist.
[FR Doc. 2013-20701 Filed 8-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-38-P