Monday - October 23, 2017
Federal Independent Agencies

News releases, reports, statements and associated documents from federal independent agencies.

Featured Stories

Smithsonian Scientists Reconstruct the Hope Diamond As It Appeared in the 17th Century
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- The Smithsonian Institution issued the following news release:

A team of scientists from the Smithsonian and the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris has reconstructed the original Tavernier and French Blue diamonds, the stones from which the Hope Diamond was fashioned. The replicas are the result of a decade-long research project conducted by the Smithsonian's Jeffrey Post, in collaboration with Professor Francois Farges, from the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, and renowned lapidary, John Hatleberg (New York), and reveal the visual history of the world's ... Show Full Article

Smithsonian Accepts First Lady Melania Trump's Inaugural Gown
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- The Smithsonian Institution issued the following news release:

First Lady Melania Trump formally presented the gown she wore to the 2017 inaugural balls to the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection, Friday, Oct. 20, during a ceremony at the National Museum of American History. The gown will be displayed in the center of the museum's popular exhibition, "The First Ladies," beginning today.

Mrs. Trump's dress is a vanilla silk crepe off-the-shoulder gown with a slit skirt, ruffled accent trim from neckline to hem and a claret ribbon around the waist designed by Herv­e Pierre ... Show Full Article

Preferred Language Question to Be Added to the Redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- Federal Housing Finance Agency issued the following news release:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced its decision to add a preferred language question to the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA). This question will enable borrowers who prefer to communicate in a language other than English to identify that language. It also provides clear disclosures that the mortgage transaction is likely to be conducted in English and that language resources may not be available.

The addition of this question is part of a broader, multiyear effort ... Show Full Article

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Landsat 9 Mission
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- NASA issued the following news release:

NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC (ULS) of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the Landsat 9 mission. The mission is currently targeted for a contract launch date of June 2021, while protecting for the ability to launch as early as December 2020, on an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The total cost for NASA to launch Landsat 9 is approximately $153.8 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.

Landsat 9 is a partnership ... Show Full Article

Federal Reserve Chairman Yellen Delivers Speech at National Economists Club
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- Federal Reserve Chairman Janet L. Yellen issued the following speech at the 2017 Herbert Stein Memorial Lecture before the National Economists Club:

"I am delighted to address the National Economists Club, and I am also honored on this occasion to be associated with Herb Stein, whose public service and scholarship - characterized by careful analysis, clear-eyed pragmatism, and sharp wit - exemplified the best in our profession.

"Herb was willing to consider new ideas and new approaches to government policy, and that openness fits with the subject of my remarks today. Namely, ... Show Full Article

EPA Hurricane Maria Update for Friday, October 20th
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- The Environmental Protection Agency issued the following news release:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Pete Lopez concluded his five-day trip to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as the agency continues its round-the-clock response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma in close coordination with federal, commonwealth, territory, and local partners. EPA is focused on environmental impacts and potential threats to human health as well as the safety of those in the affected areas. Regional Administrator Lopez met with government officials and ... Show Full Article

EPA Awards Nearly $900K in Wetlands Grants to Help Grow State and Tribal Wetland Programs in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska
SEATTLE, Oct. 20 -- The Environmental Protection Agency issued the following news release:

EPA has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to strengthen state, tribal and local government capacity in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska to protect and restore wetlands. These Wetland Program Development Grants provide tribes, interstate agencies and local governments with funding to develop and refine comprehensive state, tribal, and local wetlands programs.

"Healthy wetlands provide important benefits including buffering from storms and flooding, filtering stormwater, protecting fish and wildlife habitat ... Show Full Article