Nov. 30, 2023
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is pleased to announce the release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5). Led by USGCRP and its 14 member agencies, NCA5 draws on the expertise of nearly 500 authors and 250 contributors from every state, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCA5 is the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of climate change in the United States, providing authoritative, decision-relevant information on how people across the country are experiencing climate change, the risks we face now and in the future, and actions underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience. USGCRP is providing a series of webinars led by the authors of key chapters of this report. These chapter webinars are an opportunity for you to hear about the findings of a particular chapter from the authors themselves. Each virtual one-hour event is expected to include some time for Q&A.
Nov. 16, 2023
On October 23, 2023, EPA announced a new rulemaking effort to improve the recycling and management of end-of-life solar panels and lithium batteries. EPA is developing a proposed rule to add solar panels to the universal waste regulations and to add tailored universal waste standards for lithium batteries. EPA is working on this rulemaking in part in response to a petition submitted by a broad coalition of industry associations to regulate solar panels as universal waste. EPA is also working on adjustments within the universal waste regulations to improve safety standards and reduce fires from mismanaged end-of-life lithium batteries. Read about this effort on our website.
Nov. 16, 2023
EPA announced proposed updates to the Safer Choice Standard, which identifies the requirements that products and their ingredients must meet to earn EPA's Safer Choice label or Design for the Environment (DfE) logo. On 19 December 2023, from 2:00-3:00 PM (Eastern), EPA will hold a webinar to provide further information on the proposed updates to the Standard. The webinar may be of interest to stakeholders interested in commenting on the updates, including manufacturers and distributors, retailers, community groups and representatives from states, Tribal Nations, non-profit organizations, trade associations, and others.
Nov. 15, 2023
GSA announced a new MOU between GSA and Southern Company to develop carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) options for federal facilities in Southern Company's service territories. The MOU documents the intent of GSA and Southern Company to collaborate on development of a roadmap that, when executed, will lead to federal agencies in that region buying more CFE and achieving reliability and resiliency objectives outlined in Executive Order 14057.
Nov. 14, 2023
The Federal Environmental Planning Committee is happy to announce that the new dates for the Federal Environmental Symposium are March 11-14, 2024. This Symposium will now be a fully virtual event, so all presenters and participants can enjoy from the comforts of their own home.
If you had registered for the event that was supposed to be held in October 2023, there is no need to re-register. All registration will be carried over to the new event. For everyone who didn't register for the event that was supposed to be held in October 2023, we are now re-opening registration through February 26, 2024.
If you are interested in presenting at this virtual Symposium, you can still submit your abstract through FedCenter until December 29, 2023. If you had been selected to present at the event in October, you will still be presenting. Feel free to reach out to your track leads if you have any questions.
If you are unable to make it to the Symposium due to the date change, we do apologize can take you off the registration list by emailing Mike Stefan (email@example.com).
Nov. 7, 2023
This edition highlights fostering sustainability as a way of life, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #1. Content includes commentary from Mr. Pete Perez, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering and Construction Division chief, discussing how USACE is engineering solutions to address a changing climate. This issue also features initiatives from across the Army environmental community that are providing sustainable solutions that support our environment and the global communities we serve.
Nov. 6, 2023
The Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking environmental research and development proposals for funding beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025. Projects will be selected through a competitive process. The Core Solicitation provides funding opportunities for basic and applied research and advanced technology development. All Core pre-proposals are due 9 January 2024. The SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation provides funding opportunities for work that will investigate innovative environmental approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept. Funding is limited to not more than $250,000 and projects are approximately one year in duration. SERDP is requesting SEED proposals for the Weapons Systems and Platforms program area. SEED proposals are due 14 March 2024.
Oct. 25, 2023
DOE published the "2023 Better Buildings Initiative Progress Report," which summarizes the achievements of DOE's Better Buildings public and private sector partners since the initiative's inception in 2011. The report shows that partnering entities, including more than 900 businesses, state and local governments, utilities, housing authorities, and other public and private organizations, to date have collectively saved $18.5 billion through efficiency improvements and cut harmful carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 190 million metric tons-- an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of 24 million homes. This report also includes the results of the Better Climate Challenge, an initiative that challenges major building portfolio owners and industrial partners to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% within 10 years. In year one of the Challenge, partners have reported on nearly 1 billion square feet of buildings and 1,500 industrial plants. Through the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE aims to improve energy efficiency in the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors and accelerate cost-effective decarbonization solutions across the economy--supporting the Administration's efforts to lower energy costs for American families and businesses while addressing the climate crisis.
Oct. 25, 2023
EPA announced a proposal to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE) an extremely toxic chemical known to cause serious health risks including cancer, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity. TCE is used in cleaning and furniture care products, degreasers, brake cleaners, and tire repair sealants, and a variety of safer alternatives are readily available for many uses. This action, taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would protect people from these health risks by banning the manufacture, processing, and distribution of TCE for all uses. EPA's proposed risk management rule would take effect in one year for consumer products and most commercial uses and would implement stringent worker protections on the limited remaining commercial and industrial uses that would be phased down over a longer period.
Oct. 25, 2023
EPA is announcing the winners of the 2023 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for new and innovative green chemistry technologies. Through the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances, this year's winners have developed solutions to significant environmental challenges such as climate change and spur innovation and economic development. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2023 submissions and made recommendations to EPA.
Oct. 23, 2023
EPA finalized a rule that improves reporting on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) by eliminating an exemption that allowed facilities to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals were used in small concentrations. Often referred to as "forever chemicals," PFAS are used at low concentrations in many products, and as a result of removing this reporting exemption, covered industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, and chemical manufacturing, as well as federal facilities that make or use any of the 189 TRI-listed PFAS, will no longer be able to avoid disclosing the quantities of PFAS they manage or release into the environment.
Oct. 23, 2023
EPA is issuing a supplemental proposed rule to reduce the spread of invasive species that occurs with normal operation of large marine vessels. Following public input on EPA's 2020 proposed rule--including meetings with states, Tribes, and other stakeholders--the agency is now issuing a Supplemental Notice to share new data and control options raised by stakeholders. This supplemental proposal will bolster the development of a final rule to stem the spread of invasive species and better protect our nation's aquatic ecosystems.
Oct. 18, 2023
This year's Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners come from 15 states and the District of Columbia. They were recognized for achievements in the design, manufacture, and the selection and use of cleaners, detergents and other products with safer chemicals. Applicants for this year's awards were encouraged to show how their work promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, improves drinking water quality or advances innovation in packaging.
Oct. 17, 2023
EPA is announcing the availability of reporting instructions for entities required to report on their use of asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In July 2023, EPA finalized a rule that requires comprehensive reporting on all six fiber types of asbestos as the agency continues its work to address exposure to this known carcinogen and strengthen the evidence that will be used to further protect people from this dangerous chemical. Importantly, the rule also covers asbestos-containing products (including products that contain asbestos as an impurity, such as asbestos-containing talc) and asbestos that is present as a component of a mixture. Manufacturers (including importers) and processors subject to the rule must submit all required information to EPA during the three-month data submission period beginning February 24, 2024, and ending 24 May 2024. Reporters must use the asbestos section 8(a)(1) reporting tool on EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) to submit information. EPA will not accept paper submissions or electronic media. EPA has released a detailed set of instructions to help potential reporters determine if they need to report and how to use the CDX-based tool to submit their data. While the submission period doesn't begin until February, EPA encourages entities that are required to report or who believe they may be required to report to read the instructions as soon as possible and register with CDX if necessary.
Oct. 16, 2023
EPA announced the selection of 24 recipients across the country that will collectively receive nearly $16 million in pollution prevention grants through the Investing in America agenda. The funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support two grant programs for states and state-sponsored colleges to provide businesses with technical assistance to develop and adopt practices that prevent pollution at the source in local communities. The Environmental Justice in Communities grant program will provide pollution prevention technical assistance to businesses to improve human health and the environment in disadvantaged communities. The Environmental Justice Through Safer and More Sustainable Products grant program will assist businesses to increase the supply, demand, and use of safer and more sustainable products, such as those certified by EPA's Safer Choice program, or that conform to EPA's Recommendations for Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing.
Oct. 12, 2023
The Land Use and Green Infrastructure Scorecard guides municipalities through a review of local plans, policies, and municipal practices to illuminate opportunities to better protect water resources. The goal of the scorecard is to help municipalities protect water resources while maximizing the additional community benefits available through green infrastructure, including flood mitigation, public health, and climate resilience. Local government staff can use the Scorecard to improve their understanding of how local plans, policies, and practices impact water resources and ecosystem services. The Scorecard cuts across multiple departments and scales within a jurisdiction (municipal, neighborhood, and site), to ensure that these plans, policies, and practices work together to protect water resources.
Oct. 11, 2023
EPA announced the latest actions to phase down climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, building on the Biden-Harris Administration's progress in accomplishing an initial 10% reduction and helping achieve an 85% reduction by 2036. The first new action is a final rule to accelerate the ongoing transition to more efficient and climate-safe technologies in new refrigeration, heating and cooling systems and other products by restricting the use of HFCs where alternatives are already available. The second action is a proposed rule to better manage and reuse existing HFCs, including by reducing wasteful leaks from equipment and supporting a growing American industry for HFC recycling and reclamation. Under the AIM Act, the Biden-Harris Administration is phasing down HFCs to achieve a 40% reduction of HFCs starting in 2024 and an 85% reduction by 2036. Today's actions will support the national phasedown, including through an additional $4.5 billion in estimated savings for industry and consumers, while supporting good-paying American manufacturing jobs to produce the next generation of equipment and HFC alternatives.
Oct. 5, 2023
The innovative NASA Langley Research Center team developed and piloted a Section 889 compliance tool to help acquisition professionals verify compliance before purchase card transactions or contract awards. Because it could affect federal acquisitions, NASA and GSA made the Section 889 Compliance Tool governmentwide.
This compliance tool supports effective implementation of Section 889, paragraphs (a) (1)(A) (Part A) and (a)(1)(B) (Part B) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Pub. L. 115- 232), Prohibition on Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment.
The remarkable and practical results of the Section 889 Compliance Tool include: 1) simplifying the process of verifying vendor compliance with Section 889, Parts A & B; 2) delivering fast and dependable confirmation of a vendor's adherence to Section 889; 3) eliminating the need for acquisition professional/other users to navigate the complexities of DUNS numbers or sift through extensive FAR clauses/reps & certs on SAM.gov; 4) reducing market research time; and 5) minimizing risks associated with awarding to noncompliant vendors or contractors.
Oct. 2, 2023
EPA finalized a rule that will provide EPA, its partners, and the public with the largest-ever dataset of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) manufactured and used in the United States. This rule builds on over two years of progress on the Administration's action plan to combat PFAS pollution, safeguarding public health and advancing environmental justice, and is a key action in EPA's PFAS Strategic Roadmap. PFAS are a category of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. PFAS have characteristics that make them useful in a variety of products, including nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and firefighting foam, as well as in certain manufacturing processes. The reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is a statutory requirement under the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that requires all manufacturers (including importers) of PFAS and PFAS-containing articles in any year since 2011 to report information related to chemical identity, uses, volumes made and processed, byproducts, environmental and health effects, worker exposure, and disposal to EPA.
Oct. 2, 2023
EPA is adding 10 chemicals to the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL). The SCIL is a living list of chemicals that EPA's Safer Choice program has evaluated and determined meet Safer Choice criteria. With this update, there are a total of 1,071 chemicals on the SCIL, which are among the safest for their functional use. The SCIL provides increased transparency in safer chemistry, helps companies find safer chemical alternatives and increases innovation and growth of safer products. In support of the Administration's goals, the addition of chemicals to the SCIL incentivizes further innovation in safer chemistry, which can promote environmental justice, bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change, and improve water quality.
Sep. 28, 2023
Due to the uncertainties of the current Federal government situation, the 2023 Symposium has been postponed until early Spring 2024, at which time the Call for Abstracts will be re-opened and the event will be held virtual-only. We thank you for your understanding.
Note: All current registrations will be honored for the next scheduled event.
to attend the 2023 Federal Environmental Symposium is now open! Federal employees and sponsored contractors are invited to attend the Symposium, a hybrid event to be attended October 23-27, 2023 either virtually or in-person at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. This year's theme for the Symposium "Environment: A Mission Asset" focuses on the sharing of best practices, success stories, partnerships, and challenges and achievements of the federal practitioner community as they apply to your Agency's mission. The event is FREE and registration will end Friday, September 29, 2023, so mark your calendar and register now.
For more information, please see FedCenter's Symposium website at https://www.fedcenter.gov/fes2023
Sep. 25, 2023
This fact sheet outlines new steps that will catalyze action across the federal government to account for climate change impacts in budgeting, procurement, and other agency decisions, and save hardworking families money. Specifically, the President is directing agencies to: 1) consider the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (SC-GHG) in the development and implementation of their budgets, 2) consider the SC-GHG in federal procurement processes, and 3) consider the SC-GHG in environmental reviews conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as appropriate.
Sep. 22, 2023
EPA announced an updated online P2 Hub Resources Center that features an expanded suite of tools and materials to help businesses and technical assistance providers implement P2 practices. The P2 Hub includes links to more than 3,200 case studies, articles and tools related to pollution prevention and, since 2019, EPA has responded to nearly 1,000 requests from P2 practitioners for help with technical assistance through the P2 Hub Helpline. P2 approaches can be applied to all potential and actual pollution-generating activities, including those found in the energy, agriculture, federal, consumer and industrial sectors.
Sep. 21, 2023
The goal of these reports is to provide a guide to a private sector-led, industry-wide decarbonization effort that is deeper and faster than it would otherwise be and that directly benefits fenceline communities by emphasizing environmental justice and the creation of good jobs. Key highlights from the reports: 1) The pressing need for deep decarbonization in carbon-intensive industrial sectors. 2) Current U.S. industrial strategies risk falling behind net-zero targets. 3) Potential pathways for industries to remain on track with decarbonization targets. 4) A call to action for significant capital investment and robust technological adaptation across sectors. The release of these reports underscores the DOE's commitment to providing actionable insights and strategies to drive the U.S. towards a more sustainable industrial future.
Sep. 19, 2023
EPA is joining state and local partners to launch SepticSmart Week 2023, a week-long annual campaign to educate homeowners and renters on how to properly maintain their septic systems. When septic systems are well-functioning, the health of the nation's communities and ecosystems is better protected. By being SepticSmart, homeowners can also avoid thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs. Running from September 18 through September 22 this year, SepticSmart week is a partnership between EPA, state, Tribal, and local officials, wastewater professionals, and homeowners.
Sep. 18, 2023
EPA announced $19 million in new grant funding that will work to improve the climate resilience of the nation's water infrastructure. EPA's Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability grant program will support drinking water systems in underserved, small and disadvantaged communities that are working to prepare for and reduce vulnerability to impacts from climate change ranging from extreme flooding to extreme drought.
Sep. 18, 2023
USACE announced the 2023 Environmental and Sustainability Award winners! USACE's Environmental and Sustainability Awards Program provides the opportunity to mark our significant contributions towards protecting and preserving our environment. Environmental stewardship is ingrained in our culture here at USACE. It is indoctrinated in our Environmental Operating Principles and illustrated through the many actions being taken across our Military, Civil Works and R&D missions. This year's winners exemplify the strength in our collective efforts across the enterprise to shape a sustainable future for current and future generations. More information about these outstanding winners will be provided in future Environmental Community of Practice SITREPs, The Corps Environment, and on the Environmental Community of Practice SharePoint.
Sep. 15, 2023
EPA announced a final rule to restore the fundamental authority granted by Congress to states, territories, and Tribes to protect water resources that are essential to healthy people and thriving communities. The agency's final CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule will support clear, efficient, and focused water quality reviews of infrastructure and development projects that are key to economic growth. Clean Water Act Section 401 enables states, territories, and authorized Tribes to protect their water quality from adverse impacts of construction or operation of federally permitted projects. Under Section 401 of the Act, a federal agency may not issue a license or permit to conduct any activity that may result in any discharge into a water of the US, unless the appropriate state, territory, or authorized Tribe issues a CWA Section 401 water quality certification or waives certification. EPA's 2023 rule realigns the scope of Section 401 certification with decades of established practice and restores and strengthens the role of states, territories, and authorized Tribes. The rule enhances certification review and provides regulatory certainty to advance federally permitted projects. The rule emphasizes that states, territories, and Tribes may only consider the adverse water quality-impacts from the activity. The rule also provides a clear approach to defining the required contents in a request for certification.
Sep. 14, 2023
Join EPA on September 19, 2023, at 2:00 PM (Eastern) to announce and celebrate the 2023 Regional Pollution Prevention Recognition Awards. These awards recognize the pollution prevention (P2) best practices of companies that have worked with EPA P2 grantees to implement P2 projects at their facilities. The awards highlight P2 successes that other companies can consider implementing as part of their business to help save money and protect human health and the environment.
Sep. 14, 2023
EPA announced more than $100 million from President Biden's Investing in America agenda to expand recycling infrastructure and waste management systems across the country, representing EPA's largest recycling investment in 30 years. EPA has selected 25 communities to receive grants totaling more than $73 million under the newly created Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling funding opportunity. In addition, the agency is making available approximately $32 million for states and territories to improve solid waste management planning, data collection and implementation of plans. The recycling grants for communities will support improvements to waste management systems across the country and will range from $500,000 to $4 million per grant. Selected projects include purchasing new fleets of recycling collection vehicles and bins to provide curbside recycling services for communities currently lacking access; upgrades to material recovery facilities to reduce contamination; enhancements to composting and organics programs and infrastructure; and construction of various types of facilities that improve recycling, composting, and reuse infrastructure for materials such as plastics and food waste.
Sep. 14, 2023
EPA resolved longstanding litigation covering over 1,000 pesticide products, allowing EPA to fulfill its obligations to protect endangered species while conducting reviews and approvals of pesticides in a safe and protective manner. This agreement and the prior partial settlement include obligations for EPA, many of which are also described in the ESA Workplan. Those actions include: 1) Development of mitigation measures for listed species that are particularly vulnerable to exposures from pesticides and determine how to apply these mitigations to future pesticide actions, as well as whether this Vulnerable Species Pilot should be expanded to more species. 2) Development and implementation of an Herbicide Strategy, a Rodenticide Strategy, Insecticide Strategy, and Fungicide strategy which will identify mitigation measures for entire classes of pesticides to address their potential impacts to hundreds of ESA-listed species. 3) Completion of the ESA work for eight organophosphates and four rodenticides. 4) Host a workshop for stakeholders to explore how to offset pesticide impacts on ESA-listed species in situations where eliminating or modifying pesticide use may not be feasible.
Sep. 13, 2023
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $19 million in new grant funding that will work to improve the climate resilience of the nation's water infrastructure. The funding available under this competitive grant opportunity will assist public water systems in underserved communities, small or disadvantaged, that are working to prepare for and reduce vulnerability to impacts from climate change ranging from extreme flooding to extreme drought.
Sep. 13, 2023
EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2024 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards from companies or institutions that have developed a new green chemistry process or product that helps protect human health and the environment. EPA's efforts to speed the adoption of this revolutionary and diverse discipline have led to significant environmental benefits, innovation, and a strengthened economy. The awards program highlights green chemistry that helps prevent pollution before it is even created, making it a preferred approach for providing solutions to some of the nation's most significant environmental challenges. Nominations are due to EPA by Dec. 8, 2023. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute will formally judge the 2024 nominations and make recommendations to EPA for the 2024 winners. EPA anticipates giving awards to outstanding green chemistry technologies in six categories in fall 2024. Additionally, EPA is announcing a webinar to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT, to educate stakeholders on the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards and the nomination process.
Sep. 13, 2023
EPA released a new report that finds that President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act – the largest climate investment ever – spurs major carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions from the U.S. electricity sector and across the economy. The report, "Electricity Sector Emissions Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act: Assessment of projected CO2 emissions reductions from changes in electricity generation and use," relies upon results from state-of-the-art models to assess how the Inflation Reduction Act's investments in clean electricity and other climate solutions across sectors will reduce emissions. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, which is lowering energy costs for families, creating jobs across the country, and protecting lands and waters for future generations.
This report is consistent with, and incorporates results from, recent reports issued by the Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as results from a peer-reviewed analysis conducted by external, independent, energy and emissions modeling experts. The reports all show accelerated and significant reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions with the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Sep. 8, 2023
GSA has reported progress toward key sustainability goals in recent years across its buildings portfolio. In this report GSA's aggregated buildings portfolio data show it exceeded prior goals for energy efficiency, water efficiency, emissions reduction, and renewable electricity share in fiscal year 2021, however GSA officials cited lack of access to capital as a challenge it faces in meeting future federal sustainability goals. GSA officials said the scale and scope of the projects needed to achieve net-zero building emissions by 2045 will require resources beyond what has historically been available.
Aug. 31, 2023
EPA and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule amending the 2023 definition of "waters of the United States" to conform with the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA. The agencies are committed to following the law and implementing the Clean Water Act to deliver the essential protections that safeguard the nation's waters from pollution and degradation. This action provides the clarity that is needed to advance these goals, while moving forward with infrastructure projects, economic opportunities, and agricultural activities. The Supreme Court's Decision in Sackett v. EPA, issued on 25 May 2023, created uncertainty for Clean Water Act implementation. The agencies are issuing this amendment to the 2023 rule expeditiously--three months after the Supreme Court decision--to provide clarity and a path forward consistent with the ruling. With this action, the Army Corps of Engineers will resume issuing all jurisdictional determinations. Because the sole purpose of this rule is to amend specific provisions of the 2023 Rule that are invalid under Sackett, the rule will take effect immediately.
Aug. 30, 2023
This edition highlights collaboration and partnership, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #6. Content includes commentary from Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor, discussing how innovation is being advanced through collaboration and partnerships. This issue also features initiatives from across the Army environmental community that are shaping a sustainable future for current and future generations.
Aug. 23, 2023
The EPA announced its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives for 2024-2027, including for the first time initiatives to mitigate climate change, address exposure to PFAS contamination, and protect communities from cancer-causing coal ash. To advance the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to protect disadvantaged communities, EPA also will integrate environmental justice considerations into each of its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives. Every four years, across administrations, EPA selects enforcement and compliance priorities so that the agency and its state partners can prioritize resources to address the most serious and widespread environmental problems facing the United States. In addition to climate change, PFAS contamination, and coal ash initiatives, EPA is modifying its Clean Air Act initiative to focus on hazardous toxic air pollution in overburdened communities in each EPA region and is continuing its drinking water and chemical accident prevention initiatives that began under prior administrations.
Aug. 22, 2023
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to ensure the standards reflect the most current, relevant science and protect people's health from these harmful pollutants. EPA Administrator Michael Regan reached this decision after carefully considering advice provided by the independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). In October 2021, EPA announced a reconsideration of the previous Administration's decision to retain the NAAQS for ozone. EPA is incorporating the ongoing reconsideration into the review announced today and will consider the advice and recommendations of the CASAC in that review. The Agency will move swiftly to execute this new review of the underlying science and the standards – prioritizing transparency, scientific integrity, inclusive public engagement, and environmental justice.
Aug. 21, 2023
EPA is releasing the first set of data collected under the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). In the latest action to deliver on EPA's PFAS Strategic Roadmap, UCMR 5 will provide new data that will improve EPA's understanding of the frequency that 29 PFAS and lithium are found in the nation's drinking water systems, and at what levels. The monitoring data on PFAS and lithium will help the Agency make determinations about future actions to protect public health under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This action advances the Administration's commitment to combat PFAS pollution and safeguard drinking water for all people.
Aug. 16, 2023
Registration is now open for FEMP 50, a special two-day celebration organized by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) to commemorate 50 years of federal energy management. FEMP invite you to join them for a virtual training session on 12 and 13 September 2023.
FEMP 50 is an opportunity for all energy and water management enthusiasts to come together, learn, collaborate, and celebrate the remarkable achievements made in the realm of federal energy management over the past five decades. This event will feature engaging training sessions, insightful discussions, and the chance to interact with leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and FEMP.
Aug. 9, 2023
DOE unlocked billions of dollars in private capital to improve the efficiency and sustainability of federal facilities. DOE competitively awarded contracts to 20 energy service companies (ESCOs) to provide Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) for federal agencies, marking the fourth generation of such contracts awarded by DOE since 1998. Energy and water infrastructure projects financed through DOE's ESPC indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract offer guaranteed cost savings for federal sites. With a ceiling of $5 billion per ESCO contract, they require no upfront government funding and are designed to pay for themselves over time. Federal agencies interested in initiating their next ESPC project are encouraged to contact the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) to get started. Stakeholders, including federal agencies, ESCOs, and the public can visit FEMP's ESPC program page to view the awarded contracts and access further information about ESPCs
Aug. 7, 2023
The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) today announced the members of the Electric Vehicle Working Group (EVWG), a collection of EV industry experts and leaders who will help guide the widespread adoption of EVs across the country and solidify America's position as a global leader of clean energy jobs and manufacturing. The EVWG, which will make recommendations directly to the secretaries of Energy and Transportation, includes experts with experience and knowledge across the entire EV ecosystem, including manufacturers of vehicles, components, and batteries; public utility representatives; local and regional elected officials; state energy planners; and labor officials representing transportation industry workers. The committee also includes leadership from the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. General Services Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service.
Jul. 21, 2023
EPA is hosting three informational webinars on the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) expected to be issued under the Inflation Reduction Act's Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) Grant Program in 2023. These webinars will provide information on the NOFO and the ECJ Grant Program including who is eligible for the grants, eligible projects, and more. The Agency is seeking public input on the NOFO during the webinars and hopes to hear ideas on potential projects and the types of resources applicants may need.?These webinars are intended for potential applicants and other interested parties.
Jul. 20, 2023
DOE proudly announced the third round of signatories to the Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), demonstrating the ongoing commitment and collaboration between the public and private sectors in fostering innovative vehicle technologies.
Jul. 18, 2023
EPA announced the latest action to phase down the use of climate super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), issuing a final rule to implement a 40% reduction below historic levels from 2024 through 2028. The rule aligns with the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act's goals to reduce the production and consumption of these climate-damaging chemicals by 85% by 2036 and help avoid up to 0.5 ?C of global warming by 2100.
The final rule builds on the success of the 10% phasedown step implemented for 2022 and 2023, by establishing a similar allowance methodology to provide regulatory certainty to industry and stakeholders, ensuring the most efficient implementation under the ongoing phasedown.
The United States began this historic phasedown on January 1, 2022, with a reduction of HFC production and imports to 10% below historic baseline levels. Since then, allowances are needed to import and produce HFCs. Starting in 2024 the phasedown will be 40% below historic levels, a significant decrease in the number of available production and consumption allowances compared to previous years. HFC allowances for calendar year 2024 will be allocated by September 29, 2023. The phasedown schedule under this program is consistent with the schedule laid out in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which the United States ratified in October 2022.
Jul. 18, 2023
On October 17 and 18, 2023, the EPA and HUD will hold a virtual public workshop to receive stakeholder input on the detection, measurement and characterization of lead-based paint to support efforts to reduce lead exposure. EPA and HUD will use information received during the workshop to inform their joint effort to revisit the federal definition of lead-based paint and propose and finalize a revised definition, if necessary. The workshop will cover several topics related to low levels of lead in existing paint, including the potential health effects, the relationship between lead-based paint and dust-lead, possible exposure pathways (e.g., renovation and maintenance, deteriorating paint and direct ingestion), and emerging detection and measurement technologies used to quantify lead in paint. Additionally, EPA and HUD also seek any available new information on lead-based paint characteristics and medical evidence related to low levels of lead in paint to help with EPA and HUD's reevaluation of the definition of lead-based paint. The information shared will increase awareness of exposure pathways that must be considered, inform models that examine the exposure to lead at various concentrations and provide greater context for the impacts a lower definition may have.
Jul. 17, 2023
EPA announced the launch of two Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) for $20 billion across two grant competitions under the historic $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, an Inflation Reduction Act program central to President Biden's Investing in America Agenda and environmental justice goals. The $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund will provide grants to support two-to-three national clean financing institutions, enabling them to partner with the private sector to provide accessible, affordable financing for tens of thousands of clean technology projects nationwide. The $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator will provide grants to support up to seven hub nonprofit organizations, enabling them to provide funding and technical assistance to public, quasi-public, not-for-profit, and non-profit community lenders working in communities with environmental justice concerns--supporting the goal that every community in the country has access to the resources they need to fund clean technology projects. Please find the National Clean Investment Fund NOFO here and the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator NOFO here.
Jul. 12, 2023
WASHINGTON (July 12, 2023) -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 buildings and child care facilities, known as abatement activities, to better protect children and communities from the harmful effects of exposure to dust generated from lead paint, advancing President Biden's whole-of-government approach to protecting families and children from lead exposure. If finalized, this rule is estimated to reduce the lead exposures of approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children under age six per year.
Jul. 11, 2023
WASHINGTON (July 11, 2023) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the latest action to phase down the use of climate super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), issuing a final rule to implement a 40% reduction below historic levels from 2024 through 2028. The rule aligns with the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act's goals to reduce the production and consumption of these climate-damaging chemicals by 85% by 2036 and help avoid up to 0.5 ?C of global warming by 2100.
Jul. 11, 2023
EPA announced a final rule to require comprehensive reporting on all six fiber types of asbestos as the agency continues its work to address exposure to this known carcinogen and strengthen the evidence that will be used to further protect people from this dangerous chemical. The rule, issued under section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), requires asbestos manufacturers (including importers) and processors to report certain use and exposure information from the past four years, including information on asbestos-containing products (including as an impurity). Under the reporting rule, manufacturers (including importers) or processors of asbestos between 2019 and 2022 with annual sales above $500,000 in any of those years are required to report exposure-related information, including quantities of asbestos manufactured or processed, types of use, and employee data. Importantly, the rule also covers asbestos-containing products (including products that contain asbestos as an impurity) and asbestos that is present as a component of a mixture. Manufacturers (including importers) and processors subject to the rule will have nine months following the effective date of the final rule to collect and submit all required information to EPA.
Jul. 3, 2023
EPA announced its framework for addressing new and new uses of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The framework outlines EPA's planned approach when reviewing new PFAS and new uses of PFAS to ensure that, before these chemicals are allowed to enter into commerce, EPA will undertake an extensive evaluation to ensure they pose no harm to human health and the environment. The framework supports the Administration's commitment to address the impacts of these forever chemicals and advances EPA's PFAS Strategic Roadmap to confront the human health and environmental risks of PFAS pollution.
Jun. 29, 2023
EPA seeking applications through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to bring solar to millions of homes in low-income and disadvantaged communities, funded by the President's Inflation Reduction Act. Residential distributed solar energy will lower energy costs for families, create good-quality jobs in communities that have been left behind, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis. The Solar for All competition, which was created by the Inflation Reduction Act's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), will expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential solar investment by awarding up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and eligible nonprofits to create and expand low-income solar programs that provide financing and technical assistance, such as workforce development, to enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from residential solar. The deadline to apply to this competitive grant competition is 26 September 2023. Eligible applicants to Solar for All include states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and eligible nonprofit recipients.
Jun. 29, 2023
Join the EPA for a webinar on the Agency's proposal to ban all consumer uses and many industrial and commercial uses of perchloroethylene (PCE), a majority of which would be fully implemented in 24 months after the rule is finalized, except for dry cleaning which would be subject to a 10-year phaseout with compliance dates depending on the type of machine in which PCE is used. For uses in industrial manufacturing, industrial processing, and certain commercial uses important for national security, aviation, and other critical infrastructure that EPA is not proposing to prohibit, EPA is proposing a workplace chemical protection program with strict exposure limits and workplace controls for laboratory use to better protect workers. This webinar will be useful for anyone looking for an overview of the proposed regulatory action or to provide input on the proposed program, including industry groups, nonprofit organizations, Tribes, and other stakeholders. EPA is particularly looking for participation from employers and workers who can give perspective on the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed requirement for worker protections.
Jun. 26, 2023
The Summer 2023 edition of the DoD Cultural Resources Program newsletter, "Cultural Resources Update," is attached
. This edition highlights the Department's efforts on climate change. Highlights include articles on Climate Modeling and Archaeological Site Monitoring at Tyndall Air Force Base, a Solar Enhanced Lease Use Project at Edwards Air Force Base, a Climate Adaptation Guide for Cultural Resources, the 2023 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards, announcements, training, and more.
Jun. 26, 2023
EPA is issuing a final rule to update the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemical list to identify nine additional PFAS subject to reporting requirements. TRI data are reported to EPA annually by facilities in certain industry sectors, including federal facilities, that manufacture, process, or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities. The data collected help to support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public. The data collected also help inform EPA's efforts to better understand the listed substances. As part of EPA's PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the Agency also proposed a rule in December 2022 to enhance PFAS reporting to TRI by eliminating an exemption that allows facilities to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals are used in small, or de minimis, concentrations. Because PFAS are used at low concentrations in many products, that rule would ensure that covered industry sectors and federal facilities that make or use TRI-listed PFAS will no longer be able to rely on the de minimis exemption to avoid disclosing their PFAS releases and other waste management quantities for these chemicals
Jun. 22, 2023
EPA issued a final rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program that establishes the biofuel volume requirements for 2023 to 2025. This final rule builds on the RFS program's progress over the previous two years and reflects the Administration's commitment to strengthen the nation's energy independence, advance low-carbon fuels, and support agricultural communities. The final rule strengthens U.S. energy security by reducing reliance on foreign sources of oil by roughly 130,000 to 140,000 barrels of oil per day over the time frame of the final rule, 2023–2025. The final rule also discusses EPA's intent to monitor the ongoing implementation of the RFS program and its impacts on domestic refineries, which have a critical role to play in our energy security. The Set Rule establishes the biofuel volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel (BBD), advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2023–2025. It also completes EPA's response to a court remand of the 2016 annual rule by establishing a supplemental volume requirement of 250 million gallons of renewable fuel for 2023.
Jun. 21, 2023
GSA announced plans to use $975 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to upgrade federal buildings across the country with emerging and sustainable technologies. These plans will include electrifying the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center – one of the largest in GSA's portfolio – through up to $13.5 million that will use clean energy technologies to lower energy costs, create good-paying local jobs, and reduce harmful carbon pollution. The Administration is leading by example to tackle the climate crisis through the Federal Sustainability Plan, which establishes an ambitious path to achieve net-zero emissions from federal buildings by 2045.
Jun. 16, 2023
DOE announced six grand prize winners of the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. The prize seeks to foster a just and equitable clean energy future by investing in community-led innovation and entrepreneurship programs in areas historically underserved by federal funding. This prize is part of the Administration's Justice40 initiative to deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits from certain federal investments in clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The winning teams in this first-of-its-kind competition will receive $250,000 each for their entrepreneurship, job-training, mentorship, and other solutions to expand clean energy and economic opportunities in underserved communities.
Jun. 15, 2023
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Environmental Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program announced a new Notice of Funding Opportunity, Supporting Communities to Reduce Lead Poisoning (CDC-RFA-EH-23-005). Applications are due by July 31, 2023. The new 3-year, community-based cooperative agreement will fund approximately 10 local organizations for a period of performance from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2026. Through this cooperative agreement, funded applicants will help families avoid the dangers of lead in their homes through community engagement, prevention education, and family support. An informational call for the new funding opportunity will take place June 14, 2023, 2:00-3:00PM ET.
Jun. 14, 2023
EPA has ongoing cleanup and property transfer responsibilities at nearly 2,400 federal facility sites including 175 federal facilities on the Superfund National Priorities List, which are some of the largest and most complex cleanup sites in the U.S. The Agency also promotes innovative, cost-effective cleanups at other federal facilities by working with federal agencies, Tribes, state and local governments, and community representatives to ensure that facilities meet environmental standards and undergo redevelopment for both public and private-sector reuse. To recognize outstanding collaborative outcomes at federal facility sites, EPA created the National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse award. The 2023 Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Award winners are: Middlesex Sampling Plant, Middlesex, New Jersey (Department of Energy – Office of Legacy Management) and Former Bannister Federal Complex, Kansas City, Missouri (Department of Energy - National Nuclear Security Administration).
Jun. 13, 2023
As part of the Administration's efforts to protect communities from childhood lead exposure and advance environmental justice, the EPA is announcing a series of free educational sessions on the dangers of lead and ways to reduce and prevent lead exposure. These sessions are based on the Lead Awareness Curriculum, an adaptable resource to protect communities from potential lead exposure, and will be held in English and Spanish. EPA will work with community partners to host two types of community lead awareness sessions:
1. "Understanding Lead" sessions for community members: EPA invites members of the general public to learn about lead, its impacts, actions to reduce and prevent lead exposure and the importance of testing children's blood lead levels. Parents, grandparents, community leaders, Tribal leaders, child care workers, healthcare providers, youth (ages 12 and up) and anyone else interested in learning more about lead are invited to attend.
2. "Train-the-Trainer" sessions for community leaders: These sessions equip community leaders -- with or without prior knowledge about lead -- to educate their communities about lead and preventing lead exposure using the Lead Awareness Curriculum.
Jun. 13, 2023
EPA announced another action to protect public health under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), proposing a ban on most uses of perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical known to cause serious health risks such as neurotoxicity and cancer. This proposal would protect people from these risks by banning all consumer uses while allowing for many industrial/commercial uses to continue only where strict workplace controls could be implemented, including uses related to national security, aviation and other critical infrastructure, and the Agency's efforts to combat the climate crisis. EPA's proposed risk management rule would rapidly phase down manufacturing, processing and distribution of PCE for all consumer uses and many industrial and commercial uses, most of which would be fully phased out in 24 months. The uses subject to the proposed prohibitions represent less than 20% of the annual production volume of PCE. For most of the uses of PCE that EPA is proposing to prohibit, EPA's analysis also found that alternative products with similar costs and efficacy to PCE are reasonably available.
May. 26, 2023
This edition highlights protecting and preserving our environment, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #4. Content includes commentary from Maj. Gen. Kimberly Colloton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, discussing how collaboration is essential to addressing climate change. This issue also features initiatives from across the Army environmental community that are protecting and preserving our environment for current and future generations.
May. 24, 2023
EPA released its annual interactive report tracking America's progress in controlling air pollution. "Our Nation's Air: Trends Through 2022" offers readers an opportunity to learn about the health and environmental impacts of air pollution; track trends in air quality and emissions data, explore efforts to improve visibility in treasured national parks; and explore community-level health impacts of air toxics emissions reported for 2020. EPA examines long-term trends to track the nation's progress toward clean air. The report released today shows that, between 1970 and 2022, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 78%, while the U.S. economy remained strong -- growing 304% over the same time. The report spotlights the projects selected as part of EPA's Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring Competitive Grants, providing information for each project as of November 2022 when selections were announced. These funds will enhance air quality monitoring in communities across the United States particularly those that are underserved, historically marginalized, and overburdened by pollution. The report includes interactive graphics that enable citizens, policymakers and stakeholders to view and download detailed information by pollutant, geographic location and year.
May. 23, 2023
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the nine winners of the 2022 DoD Fire and Emergency Services Awards. The awards recognize the exceptional achievements of Military Service and Defense Agency fire departments, fire officers, and firefighters in emergency response, customer service, public outreach, innovativeness, quality-of-life initiatives, and health and safety initiatives. DoD applaud the winners' heroic commitments to protecting the lives of military personnel and their families, and supporting DoD's mission to safeguard our Nation!
May. 19, 2023
The Administration announced a $51 million Ride and Drive Electric funding opportunity through President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to accelerate the electrification of the nation's transportation sector and spur private sector investments in clean transportation. The administration also announced the launch of the National Charging Experience Consortium to advance rapid, on-the-ground solutions that ensure a convenient, reliable, equitable, and easy-to-use charging experience for all Americans with chargers that are made in America. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) will administer the Ride and Drive Electric program and has funded DOE's Idaho National Laboratory to lead the National Charging Experience Consortium. Managed by the DOE and DOT, the Joint Office was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build a national electric vehicle charging network that will spark public confidence in EV adoption and fill charging gaps in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach locations. The announcements support President Biden's Investing in America agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and middle out--rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, creating good paying jobs, and building a clean energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
May. 17, 2023
EPA proposed amendments to the regulations that govern the Agency's review of new chemicals under the TSCA to improve efficiency and align with the 2016 bipartisan TSCA amendments under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Under TSCA, EPA plays an important gatekeeper role by reviewing the potential risks of new chemicals before they can enter U.S. commerce and, when necessary, putting safeguards in place to protect human health and the environment. Today's proposal also eliminates eligibility for exemptions from the full safety review process for new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals.
May. 15, 2023
The EPA has announced the availability of $30 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for restoration projects that advance environmental justice in underserved and overburdened communities across the Great Lakes. Thanks to President Biden's Investing in America Agenda, EPA has published a request for applications for the newly created Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program that will fund implementation of environmental protection and restoration projects that will further the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in communities with environmental justice concerns.
Many communities in the Great Lakes Basin lack the resources needed to apply for, obtain, and oversee the implementation of federal grant projects. EPA's new Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program will ease these administrative barriers by funding "principal recipients" who will help underserved communities effectively access federal funding for important local projects. In addition, this investment will encourage even greater environmental, economic, health, and recreational benefits for underserved Great Lakes communities, including those near severely degraded sites, known as "areas of concern."
EPA's Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program was made possible by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests $1 billion in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to accelerate Great Lakes restoration and protection.
May. 11, 2023
EPA proposed new carbon pollution standards for coal and natural gas-fired power plants that will protect public health, reduce harmful pollutants and deliver up to $85 billion in climate and public health benefits over the next two decades. The proposal for coal and new natural gas power plants would avoid up to 617 million metric tons of total carbon dioxide (CO2) through 2042, which is equivalent to reducing the annual emissions of 137 million passenger vehicles, roughly half the cars in the United States. Through 2042, EPA estimates the net climate and health benefits of the standards on new gas and existing coal-fired power plants are up to $85 billion. The proposals would also result in cutting tens of thousands of tons of particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide, harmful air pollutants that are known to endanger people's health, especially in communities that for too long have disproportionally shouldered the burden of high pollution and environmental injustice.
May. 11, 2023
In 2021, EPA's Office of Research and Development initiated the Wildfire Smoke Air Monitoring Response Technology (WSMART) Pilot, loaning air monitoring technologies to state, local, and tribal air organizations to support supplemental air monitoring in areas affected by wildfire smoke and with observational data coverage gaps. During 2023, this pilot technology loan program will continue to provide several technology types – including stationary air sensor systems and a compact vehicle add-on mobile monitoring system (VAMMS) – to state and local air agency monitoring staff and professional tribal air quality staff members upon request. The equipment is not available for general public use.
May. 4, 2023
EPA announced proposed federal baseline water quality standards for waterbodies on Indian reservations that do not have Clean Water Act standards, ensuring protections for over half a million people living on Indian reservations as well as critical aquatic ecosystems. Fifty years ago, Congress established a goal in the Clean Water Act (CWA) that waters should support fishing and swimming wherever attainable. All states and 47 Tribes have established standards consistent with that goal. However, the majority of U.S. Tribes with Indian reservations lack such water quality standards. This proposal would extend the same framework of water quality protection that currently exists for most other waters of the United States to waters of over 250 Tribes and is the result of decades of coordination and partnership with Tribes.
Apr. 24, 2023
EPA released the draft "National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution" for public comment, a significant step forward in the Administration's efforts to reduce pollution and build a circular economy for all. EPA's draft strategy includes ambitious actions to eliminate the release of plastic and other waste from land-based sources into the environment by 2040. This is a domestic strategy that identifies strategic objectives and voluntary actions that all U.S. organizations can implement to reduce, reuse, collect, and prevent plastic and other waste from entering the environment.?The actions are not limited to EPA's authority or jurisdiction but are actions where EPA can work collaboratively with entities – non-governmental organizations, governments, tribes, and others – to address plastic pollution. The strategy targets post-consumer materials, especially those items that are expected to make their way through the municipal solid waste stream but are leaked or littered, such as single-use plastics. Additionally, the strategy recognizes the harmful impacts associated with the production, manufacture and transport of plastic products on communities from air and water pollution associated with those processes. The proposed actions under each objective create opportunities for all to reduce the amount of plastic and other pollution in communities, parks, waterways and oceans.
Apr. 21, 2023
EPA released its 30th annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), which presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2021. Net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 5,586 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2021, a 6% increase in emissions from 2020. The increase is largely due to a rebound in economic activity following the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, emissions have declined overall since 2005 (17%), which reflects the combined impacts of several factors, including energy market trends, technological changes including energy efficiency improvements, and the carbon intensity of energy fuel choices. For this latest release, EPA has made several important improvements, including updates to estimates for oil and gas and for flooded lands such as hydroelectric and agricultural reservoirs.
Apr. 19, 2023
EPA is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) asking the public for input regarding potential future hazardous substance designations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as "Superfund." This request for input and information follows EPA's September 2022 proposed rule to designate two PFAS -- perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and?perfluorooctanesulfonic?acid (PFOS), and their salts and structural isomers -- as hazardous substances under CERCLA. EPA is currently reviewing comments received on this proposed rule.
Apr. 19, 2023
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the nine winners of the 2023 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards. The awards have honored installations, teams, and individuals each year since 1962 for outstanding achievements in DoD environmental programs. These accomplishments include outstanding conservation activities, innovative environmental practices, and partnerships that improve quality of life and promote efficiencies without compromising DoD's mission success.
Apr. 13, 2023
EPA announced new proposed federal vehicle emissions standards that will accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean vehicles future and tackle the climate crisis. The proposed standards would improve air quality for communities across the nation, especially communities that have borne the burden of polluted air. Together, these proposals would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to more than twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022, while saving thousands of dollars over the lives of the vehicles meeting these new standards and reduce America's reliance on approximately 20 billion barrels of oil imports.
Apr. 11, 2023
The EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) ecolabel now includes criteria focused on reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from the supply chain for solar panel production. EPEAT was developed using a grant from EPA and is owned and managed by the Global Electronics Council. It is the first global ecolabel to set threshold criteria for embodied carbon in photovoltaics. Embodied carbon refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the extraction, production, transport and manufacturing of materials.
Apr. 10, 2023
REMINDER: On or about May 15, 2023, FedCenter will be integrating two-factor authentication into its login process. This will be a fundamental change in the way users will log into FedCenter.gov moving forward. It will require use of GSA's Login.gov authentication services, and there are things you need to do now to prepare for this action. Please read the attached information notice
for all the details on what this means to you.
Apr. 4, 2023
EPA is issuing a decision that grants two requests for waivers of preemption regarding four California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations related to California's heavy-duty vehicle and engine emission standards. Under the Clean Air Act, California is afforded broad discretion to adopt emissions requirements to meet their significant air quality challenges, but they must seek waivers from EPA for new motor vehicle emission standards. In this instance, CARB requested two waivers for regulations relating to heavy duty vehicles and engines. After reviewing the technical information provided by CARB, reviewing comments submitted by the public, and applying the limited authority for review under section 209 of the Clean Air Act, EPA determined it appropriate to grant the waiver and authorization requests.
Mar. 29, 2023
The EPA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint letter to governors to encourage state and local governments to use federal funding to reduce and remove lead in drinking water in early care and education settings, like elementary schools and daycare facilities.
EPA and HHS are delivering on the White House's Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan by encouraging federal, state, and local governments to use every tool to deliver clean drinking water, replace lead pipes, and remediate lead paint. Funding for this collaborative initiative can come from the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, among other federal resources. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is dedicating $15 billion to remove lead from drinking.
States can also take administrative measures to support the health and safety of children in early care and education settings by establishing or strengthening licensing and monitoring requirements or improving blood lead screening programs. In addition, states can provide technical assistance and resources to meet lead testing and remediation requirements, including use of the EPA 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Taking Action) voluntary program to help schools and childcare facilities in reducing lead in drinking water
Mar. 24, 2023
The Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced $250 million in funding from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help federal agencies implement net-zero building projects and set an example in sustainability as the nation works to transition to clean energy and combat climate change. More energy efficient buildings will also save taxpayers money. The funding program--Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT)--is part of the Administration's Investing in America agenda that is addressing the climate crisis in a way that creates good-paying jobs, grows industries, and makes the country more economically competitive.
Mar. 23, 2023
The Presidential Federal Sustainability Awards Program celebrates the extraordinary leadership, innovation, and achievement of Federal agencies and their employees toward the President's charge for Federal climate action and the ambitious sustainability goals established in the Federal Sustainability Plan and Executive Order 14057. Federal programs, projects, project teams, facilities, and individuals are eligible for nomination by their agency.
Mar. 14, 2023
EPA announced the availability of $16 million for two new grant opportunities to support states and Tribes in providing technical assistance to businesses seeking to develop and adopt pollution prevention (P2) practices that advance environmental justice in underserved communities. EPA has published two Request for Applications for P2 investments, which were made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice in Communities, and the Pollution Prevention Grant: Environmental Justice Through Safer and More Sustainable Products programs.
Mar. 14, 2023
(WASHINGTON, March 14, 2023) Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced it is proposing the first-ever national drinking water standard for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the latest action under President Biden's plan to combat PFAS pollution
and Administrator Regan's PFAS Strategic Roadmap
. Through this action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a major step to protect public health from PFAS pollution, leveraging the latest science and complementing state efforts to limit PFAS by proposing to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS known to occur in drinking water.
This proposal builds on other key milestones to combat PFAS, including EPA's proposal to designate two PFAS as CERCLA hazardous substances; enhancing data on PFAS under EPA's National PFAS Testing Strategy and through nationwide sampling for 29 PFAS in public drinking water systems; using EPA's Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory programs to reduce PFAS pollution in the environment from industry; and initiating the distribution of $10 billion in funding to address emerging contaminants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
Mar. 13, 2023
The Administration announced it is proposing to strengthen wastewater discharge standards that apply to coal-fired power plants. The EPA proposal follows the latest science and applies EPA's longstanding authority under the Clean Water Act to reduce discharges of toxic metals and other pollutants from these power plants into lakes, streams, and other waterbodies. The proposed rule would help protect our nation's vital water resources that support safe drinking water, agriculture, and healthy communities while providing greater certainty for industry.
Mar. 13, 2023
Leaders from the DOE and the DHS reaffirmed their joint commitment to collaborate on climate mitigation and adaptation at DHS facilities across the nation, signing a memorandum of understanding to leverage DOE capabilities to cut carbon emissions, increase resilience, and reduce energy usage and spending at DHS facilities across the nation. This agreement will get DHS closer to meeting President Biden's goal of net-zero emissions from Federal operations by 2050, including a 65% reduction by 2030.
Mar. 7, 2023
The Federal sustainability community is cordially invited to attend the 2023 Federal Environmental Symposium, a hybrid event to be attended October 23-27, 2023 either virtually or in-person. This year's theme for the Symposium "Environment: A Mission Asset
" focuses on the sharing of best practices, success stories, partnerships, and challenges and achievements of the federal practitioner community as they apply to your Agency's mission. The event schedule, registration instructions, call for presentation abstracts and continuous updates to the event can be found on the Symposium website at https://www.fedcenter.gov/fes2023
Mar. 1, 2023
EPA announced $21,410,211 in grant funding to 16 institutions for community-based research to examine how climate change may compound adverse environmental conditions and stressors for vulnerable populations in underserved communities. The environmental and health effects of climate change are far reaching. Some communities are more vulnerable because they already face greater exposure to pollutants and lack the resources to respond to and cope with environmental stressors. These communities may be more likely to suffer sustained or even permanent damage from the impacts of climate change, further worsening health disparities. Additionally, children, older adults, and people with disabilities or pre-existing health conditions may be more susceptible. These grants will support research projects that will use community-based participatory research approaches that aim to empower the partnering underserved communities with science-based resilience-building solutions to protect their most vulnerable residents.
Mar. 1, 2023
This edition highlights proactively considering the environment and acting accordingly, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #2. Content includes commentary from Mr. Edward Belk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Director of Civil Works, sharing how the Civil Works mission is being advanced through environmental considerations and partnerships. This issue also features initiatives from across the Army environmental community that proactively consider the environment to shape a sustainable future for current and future generations.
Feb. 28, 2023
Every March, the NDCEE program requests that DoD personnel submit proposals of mature technology solutions and processes that address high-priority environmental, safety, occupational health, energy, and climate change challenges. Proposals should enhance readiness, meet sustainability goals, and support warfighters at home and abroad for the DoD. Selected proposals demonstrate, validate and transition commercially available off-the-shelf and recent laboratory innovations for military application at DoD installations. Once the technology has proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions, they are transitioned to the Services, and other federal agencies. NDCEE accepts proposals from academia, private industry, and non-DoD government agencies. However, a DoD agency must serve as the project lead and assist in acquiring a transition partner to ensure the technology is available to the warfighter as quickly as possible.
Feb. 27, 2023
EPA announced over $2.4 billion from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for states, Tribes, and territories through this year's Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The funding will support communities in upgrading essential water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure that protects public health and treasured water bodies across the nation. Nearly half of this funding will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans helping underserved communities across America invest in water infrastructure, while creating good-paying jobs. The $2.4 billion is the second wave of funding made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and builds on the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to invest in America. In May 2022, EPA announced the initial allotment of $1.9 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to states, Tribes and territories through the CWSRF. That money is supporting hundreds of critical water infrastructure projects around the country.
Feb. 14, 2023
WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced initial guidance on the design of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) program, created by President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act. EPA published two Federal Assistance Listings outlining key parameters of the grant competitions that will ultimately award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country. Federal Assistance Listings are the first public notice requirement to implement a federal grant program.
Feb. 8, 2023
GSA announced more than $300 million in construction and renovation projects funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August. This first set of projects aims to catalyze clean energy innovation and spur domestic clean manufacturing by incorporating emerging technologies and low-carbon materials into construction and renovation projects at federal facilities across America. The funds, the first of $3.4 billion in GSA investments, will also accelerate efforts to achieve President Biden's goal of a net-zero emissions federal building portfolio by 2045.
Feb. 2, 2023
EPA announced its updated Clean Water Act Financial Capability Assessment (FCA) Guidance to help communities ensure public health protections and financial feasibility as they make plans to comply with the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Guidance outlines strategies for communities to follow to support affordable rates while planning investments in water infrastructure essential to protecting our Nation's waters. When discharges from municipal wastewater treatment facilities violate the CWA, EPA sets a schedule for the municipality to implement control measures to address the discharges as soon as possible. When negotiating CWA compliance schedules, EPA considers public health, environmental protection, and a community's financial capability. The FCA Guidance outlines the financial information and formulas used to assess a community's financial ability to make the needed water infrastructure investments essential for CWA implementation. The FCA Guidance is also used to evaluate the economic impacts on public entities of certain water quality standards (WQS) decisions.
Jan. 20, 2023
EPA initiated a rulemaking that will consider revisions to the regulations that allow for the open burning and detonation (OB/OD) of waste explosives. The allowance or "variance" to the prohibition on the open burning of hazardous waste was established at a time when there were no safe alternatives to treatment of waste explosives by OB/OD. However, recent findings from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and EPA determined that safe alternatives are now available for many energetic/explosive waste streams. Because there are safe alternatives in use that capture and treat emissions prior to release, EPA is considering revising regulations to promote the broader use of these alternatives, where applicable.
Jan. 17, 2023
Section 110(h) of the National Historic Preservation Act establishes the Secretary of the Interior annual award program to recognize the outstanding contributions in historic preservation. The Secretary's award is distinguished from other historic preservation award programs because it: is statutorily mandated as a Cabinet-level recognition; focuses on the accomplishments of individual employees whose work enhanced and/or improved historic preservation in their agency, state, tribal, or local government; and recognizes the contributions of employees at multiple levels of government. The Secretary may present up to four awards annually, one for each level of government participating in the national preservation partnership program (federal, state, Tribal, and local) and each comes with a special citation and $1,000.
Jan. 11, 2023
The U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization is a landmark interagency framework of strategies and actions to remove all emissions from the transportation sector by 2050.
Jan. 10, 2023
EPA announced the automatic addition of nine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list. TRI data are reported to EPA annually by facilities in certain industry sectors and federal facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities. The data include quantities of such chemicals that were released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. Information collected through TRI allows communities to learn how facilities in their area are managing listed chemicals. The data collected also helps to support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public. These nine PFAS were added to the TRI list pursuant to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which provides the framework for the automatic addition of PFAS to TRI each year in response to certain EPA activities involving such PFAS. For TRI Reporting Year 2023 (reporting forms due by July 1, 2024), reporting is required for nine additional PFAS, bringing the total PFAS subject to TRI reporting to 189.