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Daily Archives: September 24, 2015

2015 Red Book

2015 Red Book – Synchronizing Environmental Reviews for Transportation and Other Infrastructure Projects, September 2015 Publication No. FHWA-HEP-15-047 Publication No. FHWA-HEP-15-047.
“The purpose of the Red Book is to function as a “how to” for synchronizing NEPA and other regulatory reviews. This handbook will be useful to Federal agencies that review permit applications, and Federal, State, and local agencies that fund or develop major transportation and other infrastructure projects. This document discusses the requirements of many statutes and regulations to facilitate the reader’s understanding of how compliance with those requirements can be fulfilled while implementing the synchronization concept discussed in the Red Book. By increasing the use of review synchronization, more effective and efficient regulatory reviews are anticipated that could result in projects with reduced impacts to the environment as well as savings of time and money. This handbook will capture lessons learned from previous review synchronization efforts, and break down the concurrent review procedure into easy to understand components, affording agencies the opportunity to replicate the procedure or portions of the procedure more widely and without having to execute a formal agreement. The Red Book explores the appropriate considerations for conducting a synchronized review, including those topics and areas where challenges may occur. The handbook also includes best practices such as the use of transportation liaisons, innovative mitigation practices, and communication technology.”

The 2015 Inspector General Survey

The Association of Government Accountants’ 2015 Inspector General Survey “…Our survey raised a number of concerns that continue to hamper the effectiveness of IGs and their work. Examples include: issues related to greater sharing and access to data; the IG community’s primary legislative priority; antiquated pay scales; and unfilled IG positions. Similarly, budget uncertainty, the… Continue Reading

Organization requests seeds from rare vault to renew growth away from Syrian war

“The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has requested the backup seed that they deposited in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to restart their collection away from the horrors of the Syrian Civil War. “The collection holds some of the world’s most important diversity of Wheat, Barley, Grasspea and other crops.… Continue Reading

NYT: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead

New York Times – The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead “The surprising resilience of print has provided a lift to many booksellers. Independent bookstores, which were battered by the recession and competition from Amazon, are showing strong signs of resurgence. The American Booksellers Association counted 1,712 member stores in… Continue Reading

Business in the United States: Who Owns it and How Much Tax They Pay

Business in the United States: Who Owns it and How Much Tax They Pay, September 20, 2015 “Pass-through” businesses like partnerships and S-corporations now generate over half of U.S. business income and account for over half of the post-1980 rise in the top- 1% income share. We use administrative tax data from 2011 to identify… Continue Reading

Twitter Language Use Reflects Psychological Differences between Political Parties

PLOS One: “Previous research has shown that political leanings correlate with various psychological factors. While surveys and experiments provide a rich source of information for political psychology, data from social networks can offer more naturalistic and robust material for analysis. This research investigates psychological differences between individuals of different political orientations on a social networking… Continue Reading

New Report Highlights Need for FOIA Reform

News release: “In its second National Action Plan (NAP) for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the White House committed to standardizing FOIA practices across federal agencies, improving agency FOIA processes by reducing backlogs and promoting proactive disclosure, and increasing FOIA trainings across the government. A new report from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS),… Continue Reading

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Via Quartz – This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of – “The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy may be the most interesting website on the internet. Not because of the content—which includes fascinating entries on everything from ambiguity to zombies—but because of the site itself Its creators have solved one of… Continue Reading