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Apr. 11, 2018
A reminder of important FedCenter information and services that FedCenter offers to its federal and partner members.
Sep. 17, 2021
In preparation for the American Rescue Plan's enhanced air monitoring competitive grant competition, EPA is hosting a general grants training for community organizations, tribes, and air agencies. This webinar will cover: Available EPA Grant Resources and Trainings; Applying to Opportunities using Grants.gov; Preparing Grant Applications; The Competitive Grant Process; and Audience Questions & Answers.
Sep. 17, 2021
This award is given to recognize efforts to ensure mission accomplishment and protection of human health through implementation of environmental management systems, pollution prevention, and environmental compliance that promotes sustainability in the areas of environmental planning, waste management, and land, air and water resource protection. These are annual awards celebrating the previous years' accomplishments/innovations. Nominations are typically accepted until March and the awards given in June.
Sep. 13, 2021
The DOE released the Solar Futures Study detailing the significant role solar will play in decarbonizing the nation’s power grid. The study shows that by 2035, solar energy has the potential to power 40% of the nation’s electricity, drive deep decarbonization of the grid, and employ as much as 1.5 million people—without raising electricity prices. The study’s findings call for massive and equitable deployment of clean energy sources, underscoring the Biden Administration’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis and rapidly increase access to renewable power throughout the country.
Sep. 3, 2021
EPA report that shows the most severe harms from climate change fall disproportionately upon underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts. EPA's analysis indicates that racial and ethnic minority communities are particularly vulnerable to the greatest impacts of climate change. This report is one of the most advanced environmental justice studies to date that looks at how projected climate change impacts may be distributed across the American public.
Sep. 2, 2021
Congress.gov allows users to search the legislation records for specific bills introduced in Congress since 1973. Bills may be searched by number or keyword from the search bar. After results are returned, one can narrow the set by selecting additional criteria from the filters. Filters available for legislation include: Congress, Bill Type, Status of Legislation, Subject – Policy Area, and others.
Sep. 2, 2021
The latest TSCA Inventory is now available. The TSCA Inventory is a list of all existing chemical substances manufactured, processed, or imported in the U.S. This biannual update to the public TSCA Inventory is part of EPA's regular posting of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data. The next regular update of the Inventory is planned for winter 2022. The Inventory contains 86,607 chemicals of which 41,953 are active in U.S commerce. Other updates to the TSCA Inventory include new chemical substance additions, commercial activity data and regulatory flags, such as polymer exemptions, TSCA section 4 test orders and TSCA section 5 significant new use rules (SNURs).
Sep. 1, 2021
EPA has announced the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to deliver Brownfields Job Training (JT) programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment across a spectrum of brownfield-related activities. The application submission deadline is 5 October 2021.
Aug. 25, 2021
This August 2021 edition of The Corps Environment highlights considering the environment when employing a risk management and systems approach, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #5. Content includes commentary from Mr. Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment and Energy Resilience), and highlights initiatives across the Army environmental community. Content includes:
  • U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) discusses their formation of a tiger team to tackle climate change
  • U.S. Army Environmental Command highlights how the Army's commitment to endangered species is enhancing training lands
  • USACE Far East District shares how they are leading biodiversity efforts for American forces in Korea
  • USACE Omaha District discusses how they are leveraging an innovative approach to clean up and restore a formerly used defense site
  • ERDC highlights how USACE and its partners received an international award for the Tyndall Coastal Resilience Study.
  • Aug. 24, 2021
    EPA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the launch of its first climate partnership program, Green Lights. Learn more about the legacy and impacts of climate partnership programs at EPA, and be sure to watch the video for a conversation between EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and former Administrator William Reilly, who launched the Green Lights program in 1991.
    Aug. 16, 2021
    WASHINGTON – (August 16, 2021) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing expanded efforts to drive energy efficiency improvements among U.S. data centers. Through its ENERGY STAR program, EPA has launched an updated specification for ENERGY STAR certification of data storage products, unveiled a brand-new website experience designed to serve as the go-to place for data center energy efficiency resources, and will be updating its 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for data centers.
    Aug. 13, 2021
    EPA added 36 chemicals to the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL). The SCIL is a living list of chemicals, by functional-use class, that EPA's Safer Choice program has evaluated and determined meet Safer Choice criteria. Chemicals on the SCIL are among the safest for their functional use. The addition of chemicals to the SCIL enables further innovation in safer chemistry, which can promote environmental justice, bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change, and improve water quality. EPA is committed to updating the SCIL with safer chemicals on a regular basis. This SCIL is a critical resource that can be used by many different stakeholders: product manufacturers use the SCIL to help them make high-functioning products that contain safer ingredients; chemical manufacturers use this list to promote the safer chemicals they manufacture; retailers use the list to help shape their sustainability programs; and environmental and health advocates use the list to support their work with industry to encourage the use of the safest possible chemistry.
    Aug. 9, 2021
    President Biden's Build Back Better Agenda and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal invest in the infrastructure, manufacturing, and incentives that we need to grow good-paying, union jobs at home, lead on electric vehicles around the world, and save American consumers money. The President announced a set of new actions aimed at advancing these goals and increasing the impact of his proposed Build Back Better investments – positioning America to drive the electric vehicle future forward, outcompete China, and tackle the climate crisis.
    Aug. 6, 2021
    Continued growth in biobased product sector benefits every state and the environment. The Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry report finds the biobased is industry responsible for 4.6 million American jobs. The report demonstrates that the biobased industry is a substantial generator of economic activity and jobs, and that it has a significant positive impact on the environment. Established in the 2002 Farm Bill and reauthorized in 2018, USDA Rural Development's BioPreferred Program is intended to spur economic development, create jobs and provide new markets for farm commodities.
    Aug. 5, 2021
    EPA is sharing Federal Facilities these enforcement highlights to raise awareness within the federal community of the types of issues that have contributed to non-compliance and EPA enforcement, along with relevant compliance assistance information.
    Jul. 29, 2021
    DOD conducted an evaluation to determine what are needed to identify, mitigate, and remediate contamination from perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at DoD installations; and identify populations exposed to PFAS at DoD installations and inform them of the associated health and safety concerns. DOD is recommending that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment revise DoDI 4715.18 to include requirements for Emerging Chemical Program officials to initiate proactive risk management actions based on measurable risks to the DoD areas of concern to mitigate contaminant effects of emerging chemicals at DoD installations, develop risk management options and initiate proactive risk management actions which may be warranted to identify and mitigate the contaminant effects of emerging chemicals as early as possible in the Emerging Chemical Process, regardless of whether an emerging chemical is on the Emerging Chemical Watch List or the Emerging Chemical Action List; and formally inform DoD users of emerging chemicals and of their status in the Emerging Chemical Process.
    Jul. 28, 2021
    On Thursday, July 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar to demonstrate the "Power Plants and Neighboring Communities" web resource. This webpage includes interactive maps and supporting materials that combine information on air pollution emitted by fossil fuel-fired power plants with key demographical data on nearby communities. The Power Plants and Neighboring Communities web resource advances the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to environmental justice by empowering the public and policymakers with information and tools to better understand the disproportionate impacts of air pollution in overburdened communities. EPA officials and Office of Air and Radiation staff will announce this new web resource and provide a detailed visual briefing via webinar.
    Jul. 8, 2021
    FedCenter has added 2 new program areas to its lineup of environmental topics. The newly released Environmental Justice program area includes information on federal efforts to integrate environmental justice into all policies, programs, and activities. PFAS Resources consolidates information on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for federal agencies. This page includes information from federal, state, local and tribal governments, and non-governmental and private organizations, regarding health effects on people, regulatory actions being taken, scientific research being conducted, and its effects on the environment.
    Jul. 7, 2021
    EPA announced important policy changes surrounding risk evaluations issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by the previous administration and the path forward for the first 10 chemicals to undergo risk evaluation. After agency review to ensure these risk evaluations follow science and the law, EPA announced actions to ensure these chemicals are used safely and all communities are protected. This review was done in accordance with the Biden-Harris Administration's Executive Orders and other directives, including those on environmental justice, scientific integrity, and regulatory review.
    Jul. 2, 2021
    EPA it will provide $50 million dollars for Environmental Justice (EJ) initiatives through funds allocated to EPA under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress designated this funding for grants, contracts, and other agency activities that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities through a range of local initiatives. Moving forward, EPA will also work to award an additional $50 million provided under the ARP for enhanced air quality monitoring, including plans to use a portion of these funds to solicit proposals from community groups, state, local and tribal air agencies to conduct monitoring of pollutants of greatest concern in communities with health outcome disparities.
    Jun. 30, 2021
    Learn how U.S. GSA's SFTool Product Search has collected and curated brand and product performance attributes to support your green procurement and project needs. The training will also cover how SFTool.gov consolidates high-performance building guidance into a single powerful resource and how the Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) organizes product category requirements and recommendations. This training is offered July 8 & 22, August 12 & 26, September 9, October 14 & 28, November 9 & 23, and December 9, 2021.
    Jun. 24, 2021
    EPA is now accepting applications for a total of $9 million in grants to fund about 24 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects to address stormwater runoff pollution from land into water bodies. The funding is made possible by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
    Jun. 11, 2021
    To help deliver on the EPA commitment to help reduce the potential risks to the public from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the agency is announcing three important actions that will better protect all communities from pollution. The Agency's actions include issuing a proposed rule that is designed to gather comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in the United States, withdrawing guidance that weakened EPA's?July 2020 Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) restricting certain long-chain PFAS, and publishing a final rule that officially incorporates three additional PFAS into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
    Jun. 10, 2021
    EPA and Department of the Army announced their intent to revise the definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) to better protect our nation's vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. As described in an EPA declaration requesting remand of the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a broad array of stakeholders--including states, Tribes, local governments, scientists, and non-governmental organizations--are seeing destructive impacts to critical water bodies under the 2020 rule. As a result of these findings, today, the Department of Justice is filing a motion requesting remand of the rule. Today's action reflects the agencies' intent to initiate a new rulemaking process that restores the protections in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation, and anticipates developing a new rule that defines WOTUS and is informed by a robust engagement process as well as the experience of implementing the pre-2015 rule, the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, and the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
    Jun. 7, 2021
    The EPA announced the availability of Multipurpose Grant (MPG) funding to support states, Tribes and territories in addressing high-priority environmental issues, including PFAS, environmental justice and climate change. The multipurpose grants are intended to be used at state and Tribal discretion to complement those programs funded under established environmental laws and regulations. Recognizing that environmental challenges vary from region to region, the funding supports a wide range of initiatives. These may include: addressing contaminants such as PFAS and lead, advancing environmental justice, tackling climate change, improving air and water quality monitoring, testing for radon in schools, and conducting outreach and education activities.
    Jun. 3, 2021
    On 4 December 2019, EPA published its Sodium Cyanide Interim Registration Review Decision ("Interim Decision"). The Interim Decision established necessary label changes under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for sodium cyanide devices, also known as M-44s, which are restricted-use pesticides used for controlling coyotes and other wild predators. FIFRA requires applicators of restricted-use pesticides to be trained and certified. Only the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state agriculture departments of South Dakota, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico hold registrations for sodium cyanide products. In addition to registration and applicator certification requirements, federal agencies are reminded that they--as with all M-44 users--must follow EPA's revised requirements for the use of sodium cyanide devices as directed by the product labels. Revisions to the label include requirements that sodium cyanide devices not be placed within 600 feet of residences unless specific criteria are met and that the applicator notify occupants of all residences within a 0.5-mile radius prior to device placement. The revised labels also include several modified use restrictions, which now require that devices be placed at least 300 feet from public roads and pathways and that two elevated signs facing the most likely directions of approach be erected within 15 feet of the device.
    Jun. 2, 2021
    Lawmakers want to know how to budget for environmental clean-ups of military installations, but Defense leaders insist it's going to be a drawn-out process. In a hearing for the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) this week, officials from the services and the Pentagon told the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense where DoD stands on removing hazardous Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) chemicals and unexploded ordinances from military bases. DERP addresses two categories of sites: The Installation Restoration Program manages the cleanup of chemicals released to the environment, including PFAS, while the Military Munitions Response Program addresses former military range sites known or suspected to contain unexploded ordinances, discarded military munitions, or munitions constituents.
    May. 28, 2021
    Leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirming their joint commitment to collaborate on climate mitigation and adaptation at DHS facilities across the nation.
    May. 26, 2021
    EPA invites environmental justice communities and stakeholders to participate in Environmental Justice Consultations regarding the development of proposed risk management actions under section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address unreasonable risks presented by trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). The environmental justice consultation period will extend through 20 August 2021. The agency will hold identical two consultation webinars, one on 16 June 2021 and the other on 6 July 2021. EPA is offering these repeated sessions to increase opportunities for participation. Both sessions will provide an overview of the TSCA risk management requirements, the findings from the final risk evaluations, the tools available to manage the unreasonable risks from TCE and PCE, and an opportunity for EPA to obtain input on environmental justice concerns. These consultations are open to the public, and EPA is inviting national, local and non-governmental organizations, communities, and other interested stakeholders to participate.
    May. 26, 2021
    Program will close on 1 June 2021.Approximately 100 projects under the EJSG program for up to $75,000 for one-year projects and 46 EJCPS projects for up to $200,000 for two-year projects can potentially be awarded nationwide. Potential additional funding is specifically targeted for additional air quality and safe drinking water workforce training projects and will be added to the approximately $6 million of EJ funding detailed in the original funding announcements. Applicants interested in either funding opportunity must submit grant proposal packages by 1 June 2021 to be considered for the available funding. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on 1 October 2021.
    May. 25, 2021
    DOE in partnership with the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI), announced a $6.5 million request for proposals (RFP) to develop new technologies for purifying non-traditional water sources. The advancements in desalination technologies will help propel the modernization of America's water infrastructure, increase access to clean, potable water and move the country towards net-zero emissions by 2050.
    May. 14, 2021
    EPA issued an interim final rule to rescind the previous administration's rule entitled "Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process," also known as the Benefit-Cost Rule. In response to President Biden's Executive Order 13990, "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis," EPA reviewed the Benefit-Cost Rule and found that it imposed procedural restrictions and requirements that would have limited EPA's ability to use the best available science in developing Clean Air Act regulations, and would be inconsistent with economic best practices.
    May. 7, 2021
    The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released its final toxicological profile for several per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). There twelve perfluoroalkyl compounds discussed in the profile. The perfluoroalkyls discussed in the profile primarily consist of perfluorinated aliphatic carboxylic acids and perfluorinated aliphatic sulfonic acids.
    May. 7, 2021
    The Biden-Harris administration outlined a vision for how the United States can work collaboratively to conserve and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife that support and sustain the nation. The recommendations are contained in a report outlining a locally led and voluntary nationwide conservation goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The report calls for a decade-long effort to support locally led and voluntary conservation and restoration efforts across public, private, and Tribal lands and waters in order to create jobs and strengthen the economy's foundation; tackle the climate and nature crises; and address inequitable access to the outdoors.
    May. 5, 2021
    EPA invites Environmental Justice (EJ) advocates to participate in the second National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call taking place on 19 May 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM (Eastern). These calls are free and open to the public. The purpose of these calls is to inform the community and other stakeholders about EPA's EJ work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with EJ advocates. The calls first began in 2010 and were a valuable tool for EPA to learn about EJ needs in communities around the country. The first re-launched call was held on 17 February 2021 and had nearly 700 participants.
    May. 4, 2021
    EPA is proposing its first rule under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020 to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and many other applications. The AIM Act directs EPA to sharply reduce production and consumption of these harmful pollutants by using an allowance allocation and trading program. This phasedown will decrease the production and import of HFCs in the United States by 85% over the next 15 years. A global HFC phasedown is expected to avoid up to 0.5 °C of global warming by 2100. The AIM Act is among the most significant environmental laws from the U.S. Congress in recent years – co-sponsored and passed with strong, bipartisan support. Backed by a broad coalition of industry and environmental groups, it provides regulatory certainty across the United States for phasing down HFCs and ushers in the use of more climate friendly and efficient alternatives that will save consumers money while improving the environment. American companies are at the forefront of developing HFC alternatives and the technologies that use them, and the AIM Act allows these companies to continue to lead and innovate internationally. EPA will accept comments on this proposal for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register and hold a public hearing. The agency plans to finalize this rule later this year.
    Apr. 28, 2021
    U.S Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) issued a $13 million solicitation for new energy projects that will help federal facilities improve the efficiency of their operations and reduce their carbon footprint. Through this Federal Agency Call (FAC), entitled, "Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT),” DOE will help ensure that the federal government is leading by example in the effort to achieve the Biden Administration’s goal of a 100% clean-energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050.
    Apr. 28, 2021
    To help deliver on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment, today Administrator Michael S. Regan issued a memorandum to EPA's senior leadership calling for the creation of a new "EPA Council on PFAS" that is charged with building on the agency's ongoing work to better understand and ultimately reduce the potential risks caused by these chemicals. The ECP's work will build on the important steps the Biden-Harris Administration has already taken to address these chemicals, including pulling down and updating a PFBS toxicity assessment that had been politically compromised and issued a new assessment backed by career scientists. EPA has also taken action to begin to develop a national primary drinking water regulation, to collect new data critically needed to improve EPA's understanding of 29 PFAS, and to solicit data on the presence and treatment of PFAS in wastewater discharges. The agency also strongly supports President Biden's American Jobs Plan, which calls for investing billions of dollars to monitor and treat PFAS in drinking water.
    Apr. 28, 2021
    In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to tackling pollution from Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and protecting human health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing important policy shifts in its review of new PFAS before they can enter the market. Due to the scientific complexities associated with assessing PFAS, and the hazard potential associated with various sub-classes of PFAS, it is challenging to conduct an appropriately robust review of low volume exemptions (LVE) requests for PFAS in the 30 days the regulations allow. The regulations provide for the denial of LVE requests when EPA finds the chemical in question may cause serious human health effects or significant environmental effects, or when issues concerning toxicity or exposure require review that can't be completed in 30 days. These policy changes will ensure that if new PFAS are allowed to enter commerce, EPA will have reviewed all intended, known, and reasonably foreseen conditions of use and that these chemicals will not enter commerce absent appropriate and enforceable protections for human health, including that of workers, and the environment.
    Apr. 27, 2021
    As directed in President Biden's Executive Order 13990 on "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis," and in response to requests by states and other stakeholders, today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input on its reconsideration of the Agency's 2019 action titled The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule Part One: One National Program Rule (SAFE-1) for the purposes of rescinding the action taken by the prior administration.
    Apr. 23, 2021
    (WASHINGTON, April 22, 2021) The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the eight winners of the 2021 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. 23, 2021
    WASHINGTON (April 23, 2021) -- Today, in conjunction with President Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced three significant initiatives to support community-driven solutions in North America and in many countries around the world. Through cooperation and partnership, the United States can catalyze meaningful international climate action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution while also unleashing economic opportunities, creating good jobs, and advancing environmental justice. Read more about the 3 initiatives...
    Apr. 16, 2021
    The Spring 2021 edition of the DoD Cultural Resources Program newsletter, "Cultural Resources Update," highlights include the DoD Climate Assessment Tool, Streamlined Determinations of Eligibility (DOEs) for Historic Farmsteads and Ranches, Bellwood-Richmond Quartermaster Historic District and Elk Herd, an introduction to the new FPO, announcements, training, and more.
    Apr. 16, 2021
    WASHINGTON (April 16, 2021) Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today issued two Secretarial Orders to prioritize action on climate change throughout the Department and to restore transparency and integrity in the Department's decision-making processes. SO 3399 establishes a Climate Task Force to coordinate work across the Department, including accelerating renewable energy development and identifying actions to foster investments in energy communities. SO 3398 revokes a series of Secretarial Orders issued in recent years that are inconsistent with the Department's commitment to protect public health; conserve land, water, and wildlife; and elevate science.
    Apr. 15, 2021
    EPA released its 28th 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 2019. Net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 5,769 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, a 1.7 percent decrease in emissions between 2018 and 2019. While many long-term and short-term factors influence annual greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, the downward GHG emissions trend can be largely attributed to falling emissions in the electric power sector. The GHG Inventory covers seven key greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. In addition to tracking U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the inventory also calculates carbon dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere through the uptake of carbon in forests and other vegetation. Public review of this year's report occurred from 12 February to 15 March 2021 and comments received are posted to the docket EPAHQ-OAR-2021-0008. Responses to comments will be posted to EPA's website within 2-4 weeks following publication of this report.
    Apr. 14, 2021
    Register now for the U.S. Department of Energy's annual Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit taking place May 17-20, 2021. This engaging, interactive virtual symposium brings together energy, finance, and sustainability professionals in the commercial, public, industrial, and residential building sectors. Industry leaders who partner with DOE will share their insights, expertise, and approaches for achieving organizational goals around energy efficiency, resilience, workforce development, low-carbon targets, and more.
    Apr. 12, 2021
    EPA released an improved web-based app to help communities identify potential sources of pollution to recreational waters. This science-based and data-informed tool empowers communities and supports engagement in local decisions in protecting the health of swimmers and recreators from contaminants at lakes, rivers, and beaches while supporting the vitality of water-based economies. EPA's new Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Fresh Waters is designed to help protect swimmers and other recreators while improving management decisions that can help keep recreational waters open for use. EPA recognizes the role of community participation in supporting robust water quality datasets. This tool can help citizen scientists provide data on sources of pollution in a watershed and information on potential harmful algal blooms in surface waters that public health officials need to protect a community. These efforts can also ultimately promote safe public access to urban waterways and lead to aquatic ecosystem restoration.
    Apr. 9, 2021
    EPA released an updated toxicity assessment for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), a member of a larger group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFBS assessment is part of EPA's commitment to restore scientific integrity to all of the agency's actions and increase the amount of research and information available to the public on PFAS chemicals. EPA, federal agencies, states, tribes, and local communities can use the PFBS toxicity assessment, along with specific exposure and other relevant information, to determine if and when it is necessary to take action to address potential health risks associated with human exposures to PFBS under appropriate regulations and statutes.
    Apr. 7, 2021
    The Urban Waters Program works with urban and metropolitan areas, particularly those that are under-served and economically distressed, connect with their watersheds and work to improve them. Environmental justice remains a central principal of the program by ensuring community-based organizations and non-profits working in underserved and under-resourced communities are connected to our federal partnership locations and online resources. EPA Urban Waters is pleased to share the latest Progress Report from the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. The progress report summarizes the accomplishments and significant milestones of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) which carries out this critical work through location Ambassadors, local coordinators. Ambassadors facilitate on-the-ground collaboration working to improve water quality, revitalize local communities and provide education and outreach.
    Mar. 19, 2021
    New as of 18 March 2021, EPA's Climate Change website will guide the public to a range of information, including greenhouse gas emissions data, climate change impacts, scientific reports, and existing climate programs within EPA and across the federal government.
    Mar. 18, 2021
    The DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced its intent to issue three sustainable transportation technologies funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) in Spring 2021. These potential funding opportunities seek innovative research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) in the pursuit of technologies that will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the transportation sector, the highest source of emissions in the United States.
    Mar. 11, 2021
    As part of the comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program called for in Executive Order 14008, the Interior Department will host a virtual forum on 25 March 2021. The day-long forum will feature several panels to highlight perspectives from industry representatives, labor and environmental justice organizations, natural resource advocates, and other experts. The information gathered at the forum, which will be livestreamed, will help inform an interim report from the Department that will be completed in early summer. The report will include initial findings on the state of the federal conventional energy programs, as well as outline next steps and recommendations for the Department and Congress to improve stewardship of public lands and waters, create jobs, and build a just and equitable energy future.
    Mar. 9, 2021
    The Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed the environmental analysis of the proposed Vineyard Wind I offshore wind project. This represents major progress in the Biden-Harris administrations goal to accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters as a key component of tackling the climate crisis and creating jobs. Vineyard Wind is proposing what is expected to be the first project developed in their lease area, an 800-megawatt wind energy project offshore Massachusetts. The proposed project would be located approximately 12 nautical miles offshore Martha's Vineyard and 12 nautical miles offshore Nantucket in the northern portion of Vineyard Winds lease area. If approved, it would be the first commercial scale offshore wind project in the United States.
    Mar. 8, 2021
    As EPA pursues its mission to protect human health and the environment, addressing risks related to PFAS is a priority. To this end, EPA is making available new testing data related to PFAS found in fluorinated containers in which a mosquito control product was packaged and sold. EPA is also announcing its planned next steps to further characterize and address this potential source of contamination.
    Mar. 3, 2021
    EPA has announced the availability of up to $6 million in grant funding under The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program. EPA will be giving special consideration to the following focus areas: • Addressing COVID-19 concerns faced by low-income communities and communities of color • Climate Change and Natural Disaster Resiliency outreach and planning • New applicants to either opportunity • Ports Initiative to assist people living and working near ports across the country • Small non-profits For more information on environmental justice grants, funding, and technical assistance.
    Feb. 19, 2021
    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is rescinding its "Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions" consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 13990, "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis." POC is Jomar Maldonado, Associate Director for the National Environmental Policy Act, 730 Jackson Place NW, Washington, DC 20503, jomar.maldonadovazquez@ceq.eop.gov or (202) 395-5750. (Federal Register: 19 February 2021 [Notice] Pages 10252)
    Feb. 17, 2021
    This edition highlights proactively considering environmental consequences and acting accordingly, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #2. Content includes commentary from Dr. Edmond Russo, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory Director, and highlights initiatives across the Army environmental community.
    Feb. 4, 2021
    (UPDATE 02/04/21 - repeat Energy & Water Efficiency webinar added for March 3): Join your fellow colleagues in attending any number of four virtual training webinars being offered in 2021 by the 2022 Federal Environmental Symposium Planning Committee. Topics include Environmental Compliance, Energy & Water Efficiency, Sustainability, and Environmental Management Systems. Please go to https://www.fedcenter.gov/fes2022 for more information or click the attachment below.
    Feb. 3, 2021
    To protect the health of those who live, work and visit our national parks and facilities, and in support of the Presidents Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing , the National Park Service (NPS) implemented a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners and contractors. Face masks are now required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes. Additional public health measures are in place across the service, from capacity limits to one-way trails, or even temporary closures in response to local conditions.
    Jan. 28, 2021
    This advisory is intended to notify federal facilities with NPDES permits about an EPA-State enforcement and compliance initiative focused on improving permit compliance and to help permittees with compliance problems achieve or maintain compliance.
    Jan. 25, 2021
    This Executive Order directs all executive departments and agencies to immediately review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take action to address the promulgation of Federal regulations and other actions during the last 4 years that conflict with these important national objectives, and to immediately commence work to confront the climate crisis. In addition, this EO revokes several EOs including: • EO 13834, except for Section 6. Duties of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, Section 7. Duties of Heads of Agencies, and Section 11. General Provisions. • Executive Order 13778 Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the "Waters of the United States" Rule • Executive Order 13783 Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth • Executive Order 13807 Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects
    Jan. 25, 2021
    This Executive Order directs on-duty or on-site Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands to wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.
    Jan. 20, 2021
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to make addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment an active and ongoing priority. As part of these efforts, today, EPA is issuing a final guidance document that outlines which imported articles are covered by the agency's?July 2020 final rule?that prohibits companies from manufacturing, importing, processing, or using certain long-chain PFAS without prior EPA review and approval. There are no significant changes between the final guidance document and the draft document, which was released for public comment in December.
    Jan. 15, 2021
    EPA released the 2020 Year in Review outlining major accomplishments and environmental progress over the past FY, calendar year, and four years.
    Jan. 14, 2021
    EPA released its 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that EPA and companies that manage chemicals continue to make progress in preventing pollution. The report shows that between 2018 and 2019 total releases of TRI chemicals decreased by 9 percent. For the first time in five years, industrial and federal facilities reported an increased number of new source reduction activities that aim to reduce or eliminate the amount of chemical-containing waste facilities create. Facilities also avoided releasing 89 percent of the chemical-containing waste they created and managed during 2019 into the environment by using preferred practices such as recycling, treatment, and energy recovery. This 2019 Analysis includes new features such as a dynamic and interactive report summary, an infographic illustrating how the TRI fits into the bigger picture of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and a profile of the fabricated metals manufacturing sector. Additionally, the 2019 Analysis showcases industry best practices for managing waste and reducing pollution at nearly 22,000 facilities that submitted TRI data for calendar year 2019. EPA encourages facilities to learn from their counterparts' best practices and adopt additional methods for reducing pollution.
    Jan. 14, 2021
    EPA expanded the availability of a proven, modern inspection method for finding and correcting air pollution leaks at large liquid storage tanks. EPA's final action offers regulatory flexibility to more than 3,500 petroleum, chemical, and coal products manufacturing facilities and petroleum bulk stations and terminals by allowing an alternate, less cumbersome mode of inspection of liquid storage tanks to show compliance with Clean Air Act regulations. These amendments will allow owner/operators of certain large tanks known as Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels to conduct less cumbersome "in-service" inspections of the tanks, without emptying and degassing the storage tank. Since 2018, EPA has received more than 300 requests from facilities seeking permission to conduct in-service inspections to demonstrate compliance with a 1987 Clean Air Act regulation. These one-off requests are time consuming and burdensome for both tank owners and operators and for EPA. The current inspection methods can also be expensive, labor intensive and results in volatile organic compound air emissions and other pollutants from venting and flaring.
    Jan. 13, 2021
    The Department of Energy's FEMP congratulates the 27 winners of the 2020 Federal Energy and Water Management and the two winners of the FEMP Directors Award. Through the annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards competition, FEMP recognizes outstanding achievements in energy and water efficiency, resilience, technology, distributed energy, cybersecurity, and fleet management across the federal government. The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards recognize individuals, teams and organizations that have taken initiatives to cut energy waste, reduce costs, optimize performance, and advance Americas progress towards energy independence, resilience, and security. This year's Federal Energy and Water Award winners represent a broad spectrum of agencies across the federal government: U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Army, U. S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and Defense Logistics Agency; U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Department of Transportation; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Office of Personnel Management; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Congratulations to the 2020 winners for demonstrating innovation and leadership! The award winners offer a rich opportunity to learn from examples and models and replicate successful strategies across the federal government.
    Jan. 13, 2021
    EPA and OSHA announced a MOU that advances collaboration and communication on EPA's review of new chemicals under the TSCA. This MOU provides a framework for coordination and communication between the two agencies on exposure to new chemicals in the workplace and will help achieve the agencies' shared goal of ensuring workers are protected from potential health and environmental risks. Highlights of the MOU include: Establishing designated staff and management points of contact from each agency to discuss and resolve workplace exposure issues related to EPA's review of new chemicals. Providing OSHA with regular updates on EPA's new chemical determinations, including any necessary worker protection identified during EPA's review. Documenting EPA's role in identifying and notifying OSHA of the need for formal consultation on EPA's review of new chemicals.
    Jan. 12, 2021
    EPA released its Fiscal Year 2020 Environmental Justice Progress Report highlighting the agency's progress in advancing environmental justice for minority, low-income, tribal, and indigenous communities across the country. The FY 2020 Report describes how the Agency is working to promote a cleaner, healthier environment, more effective partnerships, and greater certainty, compliance and effectiveness to meet the needs of vulnerable communities to address disproportionate environmental impacts, health disparities and economic distress.
    Jan. 11, 2021
    EPA released its annual Automotive Trends Report, which provides the public with a single source of information about new light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fuel economy, technology data, and auto manufacturers' performance in meeting the agency's GHG emissions standards. The report shows that fuel economy remains high but has slipped slightly from the record pace set in previous years and that reducing emissions through innovation remains a priority for automotive manufacturers.
    Dec. 30, 2020
    EPA's online database of land, air, and water information. This new Clearinghouse catalogues available funding, financing, and instructional resources to aid communities in their efforts to improve environmental conditions.
    Dec. 23, 2020
    EPA's online database of land, air, and water information. This new Clearinghouse catalogues available funding, financing, and instructional resources to aid communities in their efforts to improve environmental conditions.
    Dec. 22, 2020
    EPA announced a new action to better protect American children from the dangers of lead. This final rule will lower the clearance levels for the amount of lead that can remain in dust on floors and window sills after lead removal activities, known as abatement. These new clearance levels will reduce lead dust-related risks to children in pre-1978 homes and childcare facilities where lead abatement activities take place. After actions are taken to remove lead from a building, those buildings must then be tested to make sure that the cleaning activities were successful. These "clearance levels" indicate that lead dust was effectively removed at the end of the abatement work. EPA's new clearance levels are 10 micrograms (µg) of lead in dust per square foot (ft2) for floor dust and 100 µg/ft2 for window sill dust, significantly lower than the previous levels of 40 µg/ft2 for floor dust and 250 µg/ft2 for window sill dust.
    Dec. 21, 2020
    EPA aggressive efforts under the PFAS Action Plan, the agency is releasing new interim guidance on destroying and disposing of certain PFAS and PFAS-containing materials for public comment. Specifically, the new interim guidance outlines the current state of the science on techniques and treatments that may be used to destroy or dispose of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials from non-consumer products, including aqueous film-forming foam for firefighting. EPA will accept comments on the Interim Guidance for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA will then consider and incorporate comments, as appropriate, into a revised document. EPA will also review and revise the interim guidance, as appropriate, or at least once every 3 years.
    Dec. 18, 2020
    EPA announced that the State of Florida is the first state in more than 25 years to apply for and receive approval to implement a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 program, joining Michigan and New Jersey as the only states in the country with such authority. This action formally transfers permitting authority under CWA Section 404 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to the State of Florida for a broad range of water resources within the State. This action allows the State to more effectively and efficiently evaluate and issue permits under the CWA to support the health of Florida's waters, residents, and economy.
    Dec. 10, 2020
    EPA is releasing a notice seeking information and data related to the beneficial use and piles of coal combustion residuals (CCR, commonly known as coal ash). Coal ash can be beneficially used to make new products, such as wallboard or concrete. Due to the many potentially useful properties of coal ash, a vast array of businesses from construction to agriculture and manufacturing choose coal ash as a substitute for other materials. EPA has held technical discussions with a broad array of stakeholders and has decided to defer finalizing the rule to gather additional information and data, including: • Information on how coal ash is beneficially used to help the Agency distinguish among the different types of beneficial use applications. • Information on the management of coal ash at each point in its distribution system. • Information on federal, state and local program provisions and regulations related to beneficial use and piles of coal ash. EPA will use this new information to help inform the reconsideration of the beneficial use definition and provisions for piles of coal ash. There will be a 60-day comment period following Federal Register publication. All comments on the notice should be submitted by 60 days from publication and should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0463.
    Dec. 8, 2020
    EPA announced the agency's final decision to retain the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) set by the Obama-Biden Administration without changes. The decision to retain existing standards set by the Obama-Biden Administration, which applies to the NAAQS for both fine and coarse particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), comes after careful review and consideration of the most recent available scientific evidence and technical information, consultation with the agency's independent scientific advisors, and consideration of more than 60,000 public comments on the proposal.
    Dec. 8, 2020
    In recognition of America Recycles Day, this past November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held its second annual Recycling Innovation Fair and Summit. Content from these events are now accessible online through 18 December 2020. These engaging, free, virtual events focus on highly innovative technologies and strategies to create a more robust and sustainable recycling system in the U.S. and abroad. The America Recycles: Innovation Fair featured more than 40 innovators who are advancing the recycling system through strategies such as: deploying artificial intelligence robots to enhance operations at recycling facilities; using hard-to-recycle plastics in 3D printing materials; installing small system sorting units in stadiums and small communities; creating new construction materials from hard-to-recycle plastics; and using automated technology and recycled glass bottles to create new glassware.
    Dec. 3, 2020
    The EPA celebrates 50 years of protecting human health and the environment in the United States, on tribal lands, and around the world. As part of the 50th anniversary commemoration, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler hosted an event at EPA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he unveiled the new Ruckelshaus Conference Center in honor of EPA's first administrator, the late William D. Ruckelshaus, and highlighted the many accomplishments of the EPA over the past 50 years. Since 1970, EPA has made significant progress in protecting the nation's water, cleaning up our air and land, and safeguarding human health. Historic milestones include setting the nation's air quality standards to protect human health, regulating the quality of public drinking water, creating the Superfund program to clean up hazardous waste sites, protecting children from exposure to lead-based paint, and recently, launching the first ever United States Federal Strategy for Addressing the Global Issue of Marine Litter and new, modern National Recycling Goal of 50% by 2030.
    Dec. 2, 2020
    Addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment continues to be an active and ongoing priority for the EPA. The agency is announcing two important steps to address PFAS. First, EPA issued a memorandum detailing an interim National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting strategy for addressing PFAS in EPA-issued wastewater permits. Second, EPA released information on progress in developing new analytical methods to test for PFAS compounds in wastewater and other environmental media. Together, these actions help ensure that federally enforceable wastewater monitoring for PFAS can begin as soon as validated analytical methods are finalized.
    Nov. 23, 2020
    This edition highlights fostering sustainability as a way of life, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #1. Content includes: commentary from Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, discussing how sustainability ensures mission success in the present and future; and features sustainability initiatives across the Army environmental community. This issue also recognizes Mike Pomeroy, Detroit Dam Power Plant Operator with USACE Portland District, who in addition to protecting himself and our infrastructure during a wilderness wildfire, took additional action to protect the water supply for Salem, Oregon.
    Nov. 13, 2020
    This month, as part of its 50th anniversary commemoration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is highlighting the historic contributions of its programs. Ensuring compliance with environmental laws is a central part of EPA's Strategic Plan to protect human health and the environment. During the month of November, EPA social media posts will highlight historic enforcement policies and cases and compliance achievements. The posts will include landmark cases of civil, criminal, Superfund, and federal facility enforcement. These cases represent important milestones in the Agency's efforts to hold violators accountable, increase compliance with environmental regulations and clean up contaminated sites. The posts also will highlight the significant contributions of the enforcement and compliance assurance programs.
    Nov. 13, 2020
    EPA released an update to a report highlighting the economic benefits of recycling. By converting waste materials into valuable raw materials, recycling creates jobs, builds more competitive manufacturing industries, and significantly contributes to the U.S. economy. EPA released the most recent Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures data on national municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition debris for the year 2018. The Agency began analyzing data on waste and materials recycling more than three decades ago, and EPA has data tables that go back to the 1960s. The combined recycling and composting rate increased from less than 10 percent of generated MSW (trash) in 1980 to 35 percent in 2017, but then dipped to 32 percent, as measured in 2018. Specifically, in 2018, 292.4 million tons of MSW were generated. About 93.9 million tons of MSW were recycled and composted, resulting in a 32 percent recycling rate. An additional 17.7 million tons were managed through other food management pathways. For the Facts and Figures data, EPA enhanced its food measurement methodology to more fully account for all the ways in which wasted food is managed throughout the food system. Finally, EPA added construction and demolition debris management data, so both generation and management of construction and demolition debris are included.
    Nov. 5, 2020
    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) 2022. SERDP will host a online seminar "SERDP Funding Opportunities" on 10 November 2020, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET. This briefing will offer valuable information for those interested in new SERDP funding opportunities. During the online seminar, participants may ask questions about the funding process, the current SERDP solicitations, and the proposal submission process.
    Nov. 3, 2020
    The draft National Recycling Strategy identifies strategic objectives and actions needed to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system. The strategy, when finalized, will be aligned with and support implementation of the national recycling goals, which EPA intends to announce in November 2020. EPA is currently accepting comments on the draft National Recycling Strategy through 4 December 2020 in the federal docket.
    Oct. 30, 2020
    Army Directive the establishes requirements for Army instalations in the Strategic Support Area to protect critical assets and ensure mission resilience against threats caused by changing climate and extreme weather.
    Oct. 30, 2020
    The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation Hazardous Minimization and Green Products Branch in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment and Department of Defense (DoD) stakeholders demonstrated biobased multipurpose greases for use in non-tactical DoD and civilian federal agency equipment. USDA has designated biobased multipurpose grease for Federal use, with a minimum 72% biobased content. Multipurpose grease products were evaluated in vehicles and equipment at Military installations and civilian Federal Agency facilities. This demonstration validated biobased greases' performance and facilitated awareness of sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based greases and resulted in the assigning of National Stock Numbers (NSNs) for these sustainable products, thereby making them available for DoD and civilian Federal Agency procurement.
    Oct. 30, 2020
    As part of the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services, the USDA BioPreferred Program online catalog lists a range of supplies that are all certified biobased. This catalog will help you buy products that are derived from plants and other agricultural, marine, and forestry materials to support the business and economic development efforts of USDA Rural Development customers.
    Oct. 28, 2020
    EPA is releasing updated 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data, continuing the agency's commitment to providing the public with important data and information about chemicals in their communities. This dataset builds upon the preliminary data released in July, including revised submissions and additional data quality checks, and will be used to develop the 2019 TRI National Analysis. The 2019 data are available in the online TRI tools and data files, including the location-based TRI factsheets.
    Oct. 22, 2020
    The USDA Forest Service announced it is now accepting applications for approximately $10 million in funding through the 2021 Wood Innovations Grant and the 2021 Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation Grant. These grants seek to support local economies through wood products and wood energy innovations while reducing hazardous fuels and improving forest health.
    Oct. 8, 2020
    EPA proposed standards to reduce the environmental impact of discharges, such as ballast water, that are incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels. When finalized, this new rule will streamline the current patchwork of federal, state, and local requirements that apply to the commercial vessel community and better protect our nation's marine waters. EPA is proposing to establish national standards of performance for incidental discharges from commercial vessels as required under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). The proposed rule includes discharge-specific standards for 20 different types of vessel equipment and treatment systems, as well as general performance standards that would apply more broadly to the full range of incidental discharges. The proposed rule also outlines procedures for states working through EPA or the U.S. Coast Guard to seek more stringent requirements, request emergency orders, or apply for no-discharge zones for one or more of the incidental discharges in any or all state waters. EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 30 days, following publication in the Federal Register.
    Oct. 6, 2020
    The EPA announced that in FY 2020 the Agency deleted all or part of 27 sites from the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). EPA deletes sites or parts of sites from the NPL when no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment. Years, and sometimes decades, of complex investigation and cleanup work have gone into getting these sites to where they are today. While EPA encourages site reuse throughout the cleanup process, deletions from the NPL can help revitalize communities and promote economic growth by signaling to potential developers and financial institutions that cleanup is complete. Over the past several years, the EPA has placed special emphasis on deleting sites and portions of sites to demonstrate to communities that cleanup is complete
    Sep. 11, 2020
    DOE, DOC, DoD, and Department of State launched the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) to accelerate the development of a robust, secure, domestic industrial base for advanced batteries. The Consortium provides a framework for cooperation and coordination among federal agencies having a stake in developing advanced battery technology and establishing a domestic supply of lithium batteries.
    Sep. 9, 2020
    EPA announced a broad public engagement and outreach effort to discuss how the agency will approach the rulemaking process to address unreasonable risks found in the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations. After issuing the first two final risk evaluations, methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane, EPA is moving into the risk management phase and is hosting a robust process to gain important feedback from stakeholders on the options for managing those risks. EPA is holding two public webinars in September 2020 to kick off this outreach effort. Each will provide an overview of the TSCA risk management process and the tools available to manage the unreasonable risks. The first webinar, scheduled for 16 September 2020, will feature a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride. The second webinar, scheduled for 30 September 2020, will include a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane. Under TSCA, there are several actions EPA can take to address unreasonable risks including banning a chemical, restricting the manufacturing, processing, distribution or use, warning labels /testing, and requiring manufacturers to notify distributors of any unreasonable risks. EPA has up to one year after issuing a final risk evaluation to propose and take public comments on any risk management actions.
    Sep. 4, 2020
    U.S. Secretary of Energy announced the launch of the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) platform at NREL. Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) is a research platform that can match the complexity of the modern energy system and conduct integrated research to support the development of groundbreaking new energy technologies.
    Sep. 4, 2020
    The Summer 2020 edition of the DoD Cultural Resources Program newsletter, "Cultural Resources Update," is attached. Highlights include the AFCEC CR Conference, 2020 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award winners, Fort Leonard Wood Black Officers Club Restoration Project, an introduction to the new DFPO, announcements, training, and more. If you have questions about the newsletter or would like to contribute a future article, please contact Courtney Williams at 703-414-4533 or Williams_Courtney2@bah.com.
    Sep. 3, 2020
    The SECARMY Environmental Awards Program recognizes outstanding performance and excellence in environmental stewardship and sustainability by Army installations, teams, and individuals. The awards emphasize innovation and accomplishments in sustainable practice, installation environmental management, and community enhancement. The period of performance for these awards is 01 October 2018 through 30 September 2020.
    Aug. 27, 2020
    The EPA and USDA announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States. The competition includes two challenges that seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment. The first challenge, aims to identify existing Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEFs) that meet or exceed certain environmental and agro-economic criteria. EEF is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. The second challenge, aims to generate new concepts for novel technologies that can help address environmental concerns surrounding agriculture practices while maintaining or increasing crop yields. An informational webinar will be held on September 24, 2020 at 10:00 – 11:00 AM ET. More information about the challenges and the webinar is available on the EPA website.
    Aug. 27, 2020
    The EPA and partners are launching the Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge. The challenge asks solvers to submit detailed plans for a non-thermal way of destroying PFAS in concentrated film forming foam (AFFF), while creating the least amount of potentially harmful byproducts. The challenge opens today and closes on Nov. 23, 2020. Join EPA for an informational webinar on the challenge on September 16 at 2:00pm ET. Webinar attendees will receive an overview of the challenge and have the opportunity to ask questions. Click for more information Click below for Webinar link
    Aug. 25, 2020
    In celebration of Hydropower Day on August 24, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, and the Department of the Army through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance collaboration and leverage resources to ensure the continued strength of the federal hydropower fleet. Hydropower plays a critical role in the U.S. power system, as both a source of renewable, affordable energy and as a firm, flexible resource that ensures the reliability of the grid. This MOU builds on previous work between the agencies to support American hydropower through long-term coordination, prioritize similar goals, and align ongoing and future renewable energy development efforts.
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