Apr. 14, 2021
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
Aug. 18, 2020
This edition of The Corps Environment highlights creating mutually supporting economic and environmentally sustainable solutions, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #3. It features articles that illustrates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers efforts to advance Army readiness through environmental compliance and stewardship, including projects to improve waterway navigation, protecting historic sites while managing ever-changing training missions, improving hazardous material management, protecting endangered species, reducing energy costs, leveraging alternate water sourcing, recycling initiatives, bee pollinators, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for the 2020 hurricane season, and more.
Aug. 7, 2020
FEMP recently released the FY 2019 annual data for federal energy, water, and associated performance metrics. The data were released to coincide with the White House Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ's) posting of its FY 2019 progress update, which includes agency progress charts and the FY 2019 Office of Management and Budget's Scorecards for Efficient Federal Operations/Management.
Aug. 4, 2020
EPA released preliminary Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data about chemical releases, waste management, and pollution prevention activities that took place during 2019 at more than 20,000 federal and industrial facilities across the country. EPA plans to publish a revised snapshot of the TRI dataset in October 2020, which will be used to develop the 2019 TRI National Analysis. The agency expects to publish the 2019 TRI National Analysis in early 2021.
Aug. 4, 2020
EPA announced a Workshop on Federal Government Human Health PFAS Research. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the federal family engaged with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to coordinate the two-day virtual public workshop to review federal agency research on PFAS and identify research and data gaps.
Jul. 24, 2020
EPA issued the first update on the collaborative implementation of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) that was launched on February 27, 2020. The update highlights expeditious and meaningful progress that EPA and its partners across the water user community have made to advance consideration of water reuse and ensure the security, sustainability and resilience of our nation's water resources. The first update on the collaborative implementation of the National Water Reuse Action Plan is available at
Jul. 24, 2020
EPA finalized a rule that streamlines and modernizes the review of permits by the Agency's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) for the first time in nearly three decades. Additionally, the final rule provides more flexibility to regulated parties, states and tribes, and the public.
Jul. 23, 2020
EPA proposed emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This action will align U.S. standards with the international carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), making domestically manufactured aircraft competitive in the global marketplace.
Jul. 16, 2020
EPA announced an update to its Drinking Water Treatability Database with new treatment options and scientific references for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The database update will further help states, tribes, and local governments, as well as water utilities, make better decisions to manage PFAS in their communities.
Jul. 9, 2020
On 7 July 2020, the DOE announced a solicitation for energy and water saving contracts to private-sector companies that will help improve the efficiency and address the infrastructure needs of federal facilities. DOE's will award IDIQ ESPC to multiple vendors.
Jun. 30, 2020
On 29 June 2020 FEMP issued a Federal Agency Call titled, "Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) 2020." The AFFECT 2020 FAC (DE-EE0002329) will provide funding to strengthen energy and water infrastructure across federal agencies. Projects will improve the energy efficiency of federal operations while stimulating economic development and creating jobs in construction, building trades, and other sectors.
Jun. 19, 2020
WASHINGTON (June 18, 2020) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final action regarding the regulation of perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Considering the best available science and the proactive steps that EPA, states and public water systems have taken to reduce perchlorate levels, the agency has determined that perchlorate does not meet the criteria for regulation as a drinking water contaminant under the SDWA. Therefore, the agency is withdrawing the 2011 regulatory determination and is making a final determination to not issue a national regulation for perchlorate at this time.
May. 19, 2020
EPA took the next step to implement an important per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) requirement of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA added 172 PFAS to the list of chemicals required to be reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and established a 100-pound reporting threshold for these substances. The agency is publishing a final rule that officially incorporates these requirements into the Code of Federal Regulations for TRI. Per the NDAA requirements, the PFAS additions became effective as of January 1, 2020. Reporting forms for these PFAS will be due to EPA by July 1, 2021, for calendar year 2020 data.
May. 15, 2020
The Department of Defense (DoD) has announced the 2020 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards winners. The awards recognize installations, teams, and individuals for their accomplishments in innovative and cost-effective environmental management strategies supporting mission readiness.
May. 15, 2020
The Corps Environment is an online quarterly news magazine published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is intended to provide information about USACE and Army environmental initiatives, policies and technologies. This edition highlights protecting and preserving the environment, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #4. The content within this issue showcases the extraordinary environmental stewardship efforts across the Army. Content includes: Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Alex Beehler's Army Earth Day message; highlights the five installations and three teams recognized as winners in the 2020 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards program; and celebrates some of our environmental heroes, who have spent their careers championing environmental stewardship across different disciplines, including scientific research and geology.
Apr. 30, 2020
DOE has released a notice of intent to issue the "Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) 2020" Federal Agency Call, which will help fund the development of federal energy efficiency, resilience, and security projects that use energy performance contracting
Apr. 24, 2020
FedCenter has developed a page at https://www.fedcenter.gov/covid19
that consolidates federal, agency-specific, and non-federal environmentally-related guidance and recommendations with respect to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The page provides up-to-date, currently available COVID-19 information as it pertains to the environment to help organizations who may be planning on developing additional guidance.
Apr. 21, 2020
General guidance to advise building HVAC operators to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Apr. 20, 2020
EPA is updating its coronavirus website to include new resources for state, local, and tribal agencies and intergovernmental associations. The website contains important information on grants, enforcement and compliance programs, water infrastructure, and a host of other issues important to effective environmental program delivery. These resources will help EPA and its partners continue to provide the environmental protection the nation depends on without interruption during the coronavirus public health emergency.
Apr. 17, 2020
This Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) online document includes the PFAS Technical and Regulatory Guidance Document, PFAS Fact Sheets and Explainer Videos, Training Module Videos and external tables of data and information prepared by the ITRC PFAS Team. The document is designed specifically to support state and federal environmental staff, as well as others (including stakeholders, project managers, and decision makers), to gain a working knowledge of the current state of PFAS science and practice. The guidance document can be downloaded as a PDF.
Apr. 14, 2020
The U.S Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue a funding opportunity to strengthen energy and water infrastructure across federal agencies. Projects will improve the energy efficiency of federal operations while stimulating economic development and creating jobs in construction, building trades, and other sectors.
Apr. 10, 2020
WASHINGTON (April 10, 2020) -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued interim guidance to the Agency's regional offices to ensure that decisions about new or ongoing cleanup activities at sites across the country are made with the health and safety of communities, state and tribal partners, EPA staff, and contractors as the priority. The interim guidance focuses on decision making at emergency response and longer term cleanups sites where EPA is the lead agency or has direct oversight of, or responsibility for, the cleanup work. This includes, but is not limited to, Superfund cleanups, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective actions, Toxic Substance and Control Act PCB cleanups, Oil Pollution Act spill responses, and Underground Storage Tank Program actions. In addition, EPA is sharing this guidance with states to take into consideration as they encounter similar issues at state-lead RCRA cleanup sites.
Apr. 8, 2020
U.S. EPA announces it is seeking comment on the current list of items that are or can be made from recovered materials and its recommendations to federal agencies on purchasing these items. Since 1995, EPA has designated 61 items made from recovered materials in eight product categories.
Mar. 30, 2020
While most of the ENERGY STAR program's business can continue as usual, there are some exceptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these cases, ENERGY STAR will strive to provide maximum flexibility while still maintaining the integrity of program and the health of all our team members and stakeholders. There will be impacts on applications for ENERGY STAR certification and ENERGY STAR scores and certification eligibility.
Mar. 27, 2020
EPA is announcing a temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy will apply retroactively beginning on 13 March 2020. Authorized states or tribes may take a different approach under their own authorities. The EPA will exercise the enforcement discretion specified in the this memo for noncompliance covered by this temporary policy and resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, if regulated entities take the steps applicable to their situations, as set forth in this policy.
Mar. 4, 2020
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 light of the agency's GHG emissions standards. This annual report is part of EPA's commitment to provide the public with information about new light-duty vehicle GHG emissions, fuel economy, technology data, and auto manufacturers' performance in meeting the agency's GHG emissions standards.
Feb. 20, 2020
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the U.S. Navy has completed Phase I of significant upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant and sewage collection system at Naval Base Guam. These updates were made following a 2011 Federal Facility Compliance Agreement (FFCA) between the EPA and the Navy.
Feb. 20, 2020
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center-Environmental Laboratory's Unmanned Aircraft Systems team has created a comprehensive map for a 700-acre installation. The UAS team has conducted numerous geophysical data collections and has utilized UAS for coastal monitoring applications, assessing plant health, identifying cracks in airfield pavements and other aerial applications.
Feb. 18, 2020
The Winter 2020 edition of the DoD Cultural Resources Program newsletter, "Cultural Resources Update," is attached. Highlights include partnerships with the CESU Network, 2019 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award winners, ANG NAGRPA repatriation, NPS Story Maps, announcements, training, and more.
Feb. 14, 2020
In Fiscal Year 2019, the EPA continued to strengthen its collaborative partnership with state and tribal programs to assure compliance with federal environmental laws. EPA continued to focus its resources in areas that will have a major environmental or human health impact, support the integrity of our environmental regulatory programs, create a deterrent effect, or promote cleanups. In FY 2019, EPA also continued to encourage entities to self-disclose and correct violations, resulting in an increase of entities that used this option to return to compliance.
Feb. 13, 2020
EPA announced the availability of $2.7 billion for State Revolving Funds (SRFs). This funding assists states, tribes and territories with infrastructure projects that help protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to communities across the United States. In 2020, EPA is providing approximately $1.6 billion in new federal grant funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). This funding is available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling and addressing stormwater. EPA is also making available more than $1.07 billion in new federal grant funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). This funding can be used for loans that help drinking water systems install treatment for contaminants, improve distribution systems by removing lead service lines and improve system resiliency to natural disasters such as floods.
Feb. 13, 2020
EPA released its 2018 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis. Findings from this publicly available report show an increase in recycling of TRI chemical wastes nationwide and indicate that companies continue to find ways to implement new source reduction activities and reduce the quantities of TRI chemicals they release into the environment. This year's National Analysis expands the focus on geographical trends in chemical waste management across the country. New features include profiles exploring the diversity of industrial operations in each EPA region and a closer look at data from the hazardous waste management sector and the aerospace manufacturing sector.
Feb. 12, 2020
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the 2019 Year in Review outlining major accomplishments and environmental progress during the Trump administration.
Feb. 3, 2020
This February 2020 edition of The Corps Environment is an online quarterly news magazine published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is intended to provide information about USACE and Army environmental initiatives, policies and technologies.
Jan. 29, 2020
GSA recently updated their leasing documents, including the sustainability requirements. The Leasing Alert briefly describes background for the sustainability modifications. The updated leasing document can be found under Contract/Procurement Language in the Acquisitions Program area on FedCenter (look under Green Lease Policies and Procedures for Lease Acquisition, GSA Realty Services Letter, RSL-2007-12)
Jan. 22, 2020
EPA announced that it issued eight Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) enforcement orders to federal facilities in Fiscal Year 2019. The SDWA enforcement orders were issued to ensure public health protection through compliance with federal drinking water standards at public water systems operated by federal facilities. EPA issued five orders to federal facilities for violations of the public water system requirements. These orders addressed different violations at each facility and include orders to monitor lead and copper, nitrate and total coliform bacteria; to lower copper levels; and to address system deficiencies. EPA also issued three orders to federal facilities for imminent and substantial endangerment. An order was issued to one facility to address a main water break, to another facility to address an e-coli positive sample; and a third facility to repair and replace piping in imminent danger of failing. EPA continues to work with these federal facilities to address violations of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations and ensure public health protection. EPA has identified protection of drinking water as a National Compliance Initiative (NCI), indicating that it is an enforcement and compliance priority.
Jan. 8, 2020
WASHINGTON (Jan. 7, 2020) -- Aggressively addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is an active and ongoing priority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Read more ...
Dec. 20, 2019
On December 18th, EPA announced the new validated Method 533 for testing additional short chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. Method 533 measure PFAS by isotope dilution anion exchange solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The lowest concentration minimum reporting levels (LCMRLs) for the method analytes are provided in a table and range from 1.4 to 16 nanograms/L ((ng/L) or parts per trillion (ppt)). The combination of this new method and existing EPA methods can now measure 29 different PFAS compounds in drinking water.
Dec. 12, 2019
USDA published a rule designating 30 additional product categories for preferred federal procurement, bringing the total number of product categories to 139. These 30 categories contain finished products that are made from the intermediate ingredients that have been designated. Additionally, many of these categories are made up of products that already participated in the Program's voluntary labeling initiative. By designating these product categories, USDA is taking a step toward merging the two initiatives of the Program, with an eye towards ultimately making all products certified through the BioPreferred Program qualify for preferred federal procurement.
Dec. 9, 2019
FEMP recently presented its 39th annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. These annual awards honor federal personnel and highlight their outstanding achievements related to energy and water cost savings, optimized energy and water use, and distributed energy at our nation's federal facilities.
Nov. 25, 2019
EPA is asking the public for input on potentially adding certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of chemicals companies are required to report to the agency as part of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). EPA's TRI is an important tool that provides the public with information about the use of certain chemicals by tracking their management and associated activities. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. TRI helps support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public. Currently, no PFAS chemicals are included on the list of chemicals that are required to be reported to TRI.
Nov. 20, 2019
WASHINGTON (November 20, 2019) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the rest of the federal government, released the Fall 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and Regulatory Plan (Fall Regulatory Agenda and Annual Regulatory Plan), which provides updates to the public about regulatory activity. "EPA's Fall Regulatory Agenda and Annual Regulatory Plan continue to advance the agency's core mission of protecting human health and the environment through regulatory reform and modernization," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Under President Trump, EPA has finalized 47 deregulatory actions, saving Americans nearly $5 billion in regulatory costs. By creating a climate of regulatory certainty, we're able to breathe new life into local economies around the country." EPA's Fall Regulatory Agenda includes information on the agency's regulatory and deregulatory activities under development within the next 12 months. The Agenda includes 56 actions that are expected to be deregulatory and 37 actions appearing for the first time. The Annual Regulatory Plan includes EPA's statement of regulatory priorities and additional information about 34 priority actions that the agency plans to propose or complete in the coming year.
Nov. 18, 2019
November 2019 version of the quarterly publication of "The Corps Environment" newsletter published by the USACE Environmental Community of Practice. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information about USACE and Army environmental actions, issues, policies and technologies. This edition highlights how the Corps fosters sustainability as a way of life, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #1. Content includes commentary from Col. Isaac Manigault, Commander of U.S. Army Environmental Command, about setting conditions for Army readiness. This edition also highlights a variety of projects and initiatives from across the Army enterprise that are setting conditions for a sustainable future.
Nov. 18, 2019
This handbook provides an overview of the federal hazardous waste regulations and helps small-business owners and operators understand how best to comply with federal hazardous waste management regulations. It was updated in October 2019 to incorporate new requirements from the 2016 Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, the 2018 e-Manifest Rule, the 2019 Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule, and other recent rulemakings.