Sep. 16, 2021
This notice announces issuance by all 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions of the final 2021 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP)--the 2021 PGP. The 2021 PGP, which has an effective date of 31 October 2021, replaces the existing permit (2016 PGP) that expires at midnight on 31 October 2021, and authorizes certain point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA is issuing this permit for five (5) years in all areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. For further information on the final permit, contact the appropriate EPA Regional office listed in the federal register.
(Federal Register 16 September 2021 [Notice] Pages 51665-51669)
Sep. 9, 2021
EPA is soliciting information and requesting comments to assist in the potential development of regulations for pyrolysis and gasification units that are used to convert solid or semi-solid feedstocks, including solid waste (e.g., municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial waste, hospital/medical/infectious waste, sewage sludge, other solid waste), biomass, plastics, tires, and organic contaminants in soils and oily sludges to useful products such as energy, fuels and chemical commodities. Pyrolysis and gasification are often described as heat induced thermal decomposition processes. Through recent requests for applicability determinations, it appears that pyrolysis and gasification processes are more widely being used to convert waste into useful products or energy. Comments must be received on or before 8 November 2021. POC is Nabanita Modak Fischer, Fuels and Incineration Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-05), EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tele: (919) 541-5572; email address: email@example.com. (Federal Register 8 September 2021 [Proposed Rules] Pages 50296-50303
Sep. 8, 2021
PA's Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model helps policy makers, researchers, and communities explore data on releases of toxic substances from industrial and federal facilities. RSEI incorporates information from the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) on the amount of toxic chemicals released, together with factors such as the chemical's fate and transport through the environment, each chemical's relative toxicity, and potential human exposure. RSEI model results can be used to help establish priorities for further investigation and to look at changes in potential human health impacts over time. Click on the "Register for the webinar" link from EPA page: https://www.epa.gov/rsei
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).
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. 10, 2021
PHMSA proposes to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international regulations and standards by adopting various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. Additionally, PHMSA proposes an amendment to the Hazardous Materials Regulations that would allow for better alignment with Transport Canada's Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Comments must be received by 12 October 2021. POC is Candace Casey, Standards and Rulemaking, or Aaron Wiener, International Program, at (202) 366-8553, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, East Building, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
(Federal Register 10 August 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 43844-43898)
Jul. 28, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is amending the requirements in Subpart J of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) that govern the use of dispersants, other chemicals and other spill mitigating substances when responding to oil discharges into waters of the United States. Specifically, this action establishes monitoring requirements for dispersant use in response to major oil discharges and/or certain dispersant use situations in the navigable waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines, the waters of the contiguous zone, and the high seas beyond the contiguous zone in connection with activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, activities under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, or activities that may affect natural resources belonging to, appertaining to, or under the exclusive management authority of the United States, including resources under the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 ("navigable waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. This final rule is effective on 24 January 2022. For more detailed information on this final rule contact Gregory Wilson at 202-564-7989 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Federal Register 27 July 2021 [Rule] Pages 40234-40264).
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.
Jun. 23, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delaying until 16 December 2021, the effective date of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), which was published in the Federal Register on 15 January 2021. EPA is also delaying the 16 January 2024 compliance date established in the LCRR to 16 October 2024. The delay in the effective date is consistent with presidential directives issued on 20 January 2021, to the heads of Federal agencies to review certain regulations, including the LCRR. The delay in the compliance date of the LCRR ensures that any delay in the effective date will not reduce the time provided for drinking water systems and primacy states to take actions needed to assure compliance with the LCRR. This final rule is effective 16 December 2021. As of 16 June 2021, the effective date of the final rule published on 15 January 2021, at 86 FR 4198, and then delayed in a rule published 12 March 2021, at 86 FR 14003, is furthered delayed until 16 December 2021. Jeffrey Kempic, Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Mail Code 4607M, Washington, D.C. 20460; tel: (202) 564-4880; email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 16 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 31939-31948)
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
This action announces the EPA's approval of alternative testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water to determine compliance with national primary drinking water regulations. The Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes EPA to approve the use of alternative testing methods through publication in the Federal Register. EPA is using this streamlined authority to make 17 additional methods available for analyzing drinking water samples. This expedited approach provides public water systems, laboratories, and primacy agencies with more timely access to new measurement techniques and greater flexibility in the selection of analytical methods, thereby reducing monitoring costs while maintaining public health protection. This action is effective 26 May 2021. POC is Glynda Smith, Technical Support Center, Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (MS 140), EPA, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268; tel: (513) 569-7652; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Federal Register 26 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 28277-28290
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.
May. 27, 2021
This action announces the EPA approval of alternative testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water to determine compliance with national primary drinking water regulations. The Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes EPA to approve the use of alternative testing methods through publication in the Federal Register. EPA is using this streamlined authority to make 17 additional methods available for analyzing drinking water samples. This expedited approach provides public water systems, laboratories, and primacy agencies with more timely access to new measurement techniques and greater flexibility in the selection of analytical methods, thereby reducing monitoring costs while maintaining public health protection. This action is effective 26 May 2021. POC is Glynda Smith, Technical Support Center, Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (MS 140), Environmental Protection Agency, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268; tel: (513) 569-7652; email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 26 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 28277-28290)
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
EPA is promulgating a Federal plan to implement the Emission Guidelines (EG) and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills (2016 MSW Landfills EG) for existing MSW landfills located in states and Indian country where state plans or tribal plans are not in effect. This MSW Landfills Federal Plan includes the same elements as required for a state plan: Identification of legal authority and mechanisms for implementation; inventory of designated facilities; emissions inventory; emission limits; compliance schedules; a process for the EPA or state review of design plans for site-specific gas collection and control systems (GCCS); testing, monitoring, reporting and record keeping requirements; and public hearing requirements. Additionally, this action summarizes implementation and delegation of authority of the MSW Landfills Federal Plan. The final rule is effective on 21 June 2021. For questions about this final action, contact Andrew Sheppard, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-4161; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 21 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 27756-27790)
May. 25, 2021
OSHA is scheduling an informal public hearing on its proposed rule "Hazard Communication Standard." The public hearing will begin 21 September 2021 at 10:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET). The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on 16 February 2021. The initial public comment period was to end April 19, 2021, but was extended to 19 May 2021, in response to requests from the public. Informal public hearing: The hearing will begin 21 September 2021, at 10:00 a.m., ET, and will be held virtually using WebEx. If necessary, the hearing will continue from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., ET, on subsequent days. POC is Meilinger, Director, Office of Communications, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; tele: (202) 693-1999; email: email@example.com. Click
for more info.
May. 24, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing changes to its test procedures required to be used by industries and municipalities when analyzing the chemical, physical, and biological properties of wastewater and other environmental samples for reporting under EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to promulgate these test procedures (analytical methods) for analysis of pollutants. EPA anticipates that these changes will provide increased flexibility for the regulated community in meeting monitoring requirements while improving data quality. In addition, this update to the CWA methods is incorporating technological advances in analytical technology. This final rule is effective 19 July 2021. POC is Meghan Hessenauer, Engineering and Analysis Division (4303T), Office of Water, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; tel: 202-566-1040; email: Hessenauer.Meghan@epa.gov.
(Federal Register: 19 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 27226-27260)
May. 20, 2021
A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify when the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to prohibit the specification of a defined area, or deny or restrict the use of a defined area for specification, as a disposal site under section 404 of such Act.
(Congressional Record: 11 March 2021 [House] Pages H1351-H1356).
May. 19, 2021
A bill to amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to reduce the production and use of certain single-use plastic products and packaging, to improve the responsibility of producers in the design, collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal of their consumer products and packaging, to prevent pollution from consumer products and packaging from entering into animal and human food chains and waterways.
(Congressional Record: 25 March 2021 [Senate] Pages S1813-S1816)
May. 17, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rescinding the final rule entitled "Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process." The EPA is rescinding the rule because the changes advanced by the rule were inadvisable, untethered to the CAA, and not necessary to effectuate the purposes of the Act. This rule is effective June 14, 2021. POC is Leif Hockstad, Office of Air Policy and Program Support, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA, Mail Code 6103A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; (202) 343-9432; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 14 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 26406-26419)
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.
Apr. 27, 2021
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued this guidance consistent with section 211 and 219 of Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, to direct Federal departments and agencies on reporting in accordance with the requirements of section 301 through 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 11001–11023).
Apr. 13, 2021
EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register on 26 March 2020, to complete the residual risk and technology review (RTR) for the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills source category as regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP). The final rule also made minor changes to the 2016 MSW Landfills New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for MSW Landfills to improve implementation of the sets of rules affecting MSW landfills. In this action, the EPA is proposing technical revisions and clarifications for the NESHAP for MSW Landfills established in the 26 March 2020, final rule. We are proposing further amendments to the 2016 MSW Landfills NSPS to clarify certain requirements of the 2016 MSW Landfills NSPS for existing MSW landfills that have modified but previously triggered the requirement to install a gas collection and control system (GCCS) under related MSW landfill rules. Comments must be received on or before 28 May 2021. POC is Mr. Andrew Sheppard, Natural Resources Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-4161; fax: (919) 541-0516; and email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 13 April 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 19176-19184).
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. 12, 2021
EPA's Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Fresh Waters helps waterbody managers evaluate all contributing waterbody and watershed information including water quality data, pollution source data, and land use data. The data from the App can be exported for use in predictive models and for sharing within or between agencies (e.g., public health and environmental).
Apr. 9, 2021
This advisory is directed to owners and operators of small publicly owned wastewater treatment works (POTWs) and small private wastewater treatment plants, both commonly referred to as wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). It is intended to provide small WWTPs with information that will help them comply with their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit effluent limits.
Apr. 7, 2021
EPA will host virtual engagements beginning in April 2021. The goal of the events is to obtain further public input on EPA's revision to the Lead and Copper rule (LCRR), particularly from individuals and communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water. For more information on each event, visit EPA's drinking water website: www.epa.gov/safewater. Public listening sessions will be held on 28 April 2021 and 5 May 2021, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Eastern). POC is Christina Wadlington, USEPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-1859; email address: LCRR@epa.gov.
(Federal Register: 6 April 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 17571-17572)
Mar. 29, 2021
This final rule establishes the initial air quality designations for certain areas in the United States (U.S.) for the 2010 primary sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is designating the areas as either nonattainment, attainment/unclassifiable, or unclassifiable. The designations are based on application of the EPA's nationwide analytical approach and technical analysis, including evaluation of monitoring data and air quality modeling, to determine the appropriate designation and area boundary based on the weight of evidence for each area. The Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) directs areas designated as nonattainment to undertake certain planning and pollution control activities to attain the SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. This is the fourth and final set of actions to designate areas of the U.S. for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS; there are no remaining undesignated areas in the U.S. for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. POC is Corey Mocka, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Policy Division, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Mail Code C539-04, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; tel: (919) 541-5142; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The final rule is effective on 30 April 2021.
(Federal Register: 26 March 2021 [Rule] Pages 16055-16075)
Mar. 25, 2021
USFWS announced 90-day findings on three petitions to add species to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the ESA. Based on their review, they find that the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, USFWS announce that we plan to initiate status reviews of the Rio Grande shiner (Notropis jemezanus), Shasta snow-wreath (Neviusia cliftonii), and threecorner milkvetch (Astragalus geyeri var. triquetrus) to determine whether the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the species and factors that may affect their status. Based on the status reviews, we will issue 12-month petition findings, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act. These findings were made on 24 March 2021.
(Federal Register 24 March 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 15637-15639).
Mar. 25, 2021
EPA is adopting three technical standards developed by SAE International (SAE) for equipment that recovers, recycles, and/or recharges the refrigerant 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoroprop-1-ene (HFO-1234yf or R-1234yf) in motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs). The three standards are SAE J2843, SAE J2851, and SAE J3030. This rule adopts the most current versions of these standards by incorporating them by reference into the regulations under Title VI of the Clean Air Act (CAA). This will provide additional flexibility for industry stakeholders that wish to select recovery and recycling equipment certified to these standards. This final rule is effective on 23 April 2021. POC is Chenise Farquharson, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (Mail Code 6205T), EPA 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; tel: 202-564-7768; email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 24 March 2021 [Rule] Pages 15587-15596).
Mar. 12, 2021
EPA is proposing to delay until 16 December 2021, the effective date of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), which was published in the Federal Register on 15 January 2021. EPA is also proposing to delay the 16 January 2024, compliance date established in the LCRR to 16 September 2024. The proposed delay in the effective date is consistent with presidential directives issued on 20 January 2021, to heads of Federal agencies to review certain regulations, including the LCRR. The delay will allow sufficient time for EPA to complete its review of the rule in accordance with those directives and conduct important consultations with affected parties. The proposed delay in the compliance date of the LCRR ensures that any delay in the effective date will not reduce the time provided for drinking water systems and primacy states to take actions needed to assure compliance with the LCRR. Comments must be received on or before 12 April 2021. POC is Jeffrey Kempic, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Standards and Risk Management Division, at (202) 564-3632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 12 March 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 14063-14066).
Mar. 12, 2021
EPA is issuing a short delay of the 16 March 2021, effective date of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), published in the Federal Register on 15 January 2021. The LCRR will now become effective on 17 June 2021. This final rule does not change the compliance date of 16 January 2024. This delay in the effective date is consistent with Presidential directives issued on 20 January 2021, to heads of Federal agencies to review certain regulations, including the LCRR. The sole purpose of this delay is to enable EPA to take public comment on a longer extension of the effective date for EPA to undertake its review of the rule in a deliberate and thorough manner consistent with the public health purposes of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the terms and objectives of recent Presidential directives and in consultation with affected stakeholders. As of 12 March 2021, the effective date of the final rule published 15 January 2021, at 86 FR 4198, is delayed until 17 June 2021. POC is Jeffrey Kempic, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Standards and Risk Management Division, at (202) 564-3632 or email email@example.com.
(Federal Register 12 March 2021 [Rule] Pages 14003-14006).
Mar. 12, 2021
The EPA is proposing a Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) rule that would require public water systems to collect national occurrence data for 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium. This proposed rule would require all community and non-transient non community water systems serving 3,300 or more people, and a representative sample of smaller water systems, to conduct monitoring. PFAS and lithium are not currently subject to national primary drinking water regulations, and EPA is proposing to require the collection of drinking water occurrence data to inform EPA decisions. This proposal fulfills a key commitment in "EPA's 2019 Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan" (https://www.epa.gov/pfas/epas-pfas-action-plan) by proposing the collection of more drinking water occurrence data for a broader group of PFAS. EPA is also announcing two public meetings (via webinar) to discuss this proposal of the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). Comments must be received on or before 10 May 2021. POC is Brenda D. Bowden, Standards and Risk Management Division (SRMD), Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) (MS 140), Environmental Protection Agency, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268; tel: (513) 569-7961; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 11 March 2021 [Proposed Rule] pages 13846-13872)
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. 16, 2021
OSHA is proposing to modify the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform to the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Revision 7 (GHS, Rev. 7), to address issues that arose during the implementation of the 2012 update to the HCS, and provide better alignment with other U.S. agencies and international trading partners, without lowering overall protections of the standard. OSHA has preliminarily determined that the proposed revisions to the HCS will reduce costs and burdens while also improving the quality and consistency of information provided to employers and employees regarding chemical hazards and associated protective measures. The proposed modifications to the standard include revised criteria for classification of certain health and physical hazards, revised provisions for updating labels, new labeling provisions for small containers, technical amendments related to the contents of safety data sheets (SDSs), and related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard. Comments and other information must be submitted by 19 April 2021. POC is Contact Maureen Ruskin, Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor; tel: (202) 693-1950 or email: email@example.com. (Federal Register: 16 February 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 9576-9831)
Feb. 4, 2021
This biannual update to the public TSCA Inventory is part of EPA's regular posting of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data. The Inventory contains 86,557 chemicals of which 41,864 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).
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. 1, 2021
Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
January 27, 2021
The EO has three overarching objectives 1) promote safe global temperature, 2) increase climate resilience, and 3) support financial a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. The EO reinstates the Presidential Memorandum of September 21, 2016 (Climate Change and National Security), establishes the Climate Policy Office within the Executive Office of the President and establishes a National Climate Task Force. In addition, the EO aims to use Federal procurement to support robust climate action including a carbon pollution-free electricity sector, no later than 2035 and clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets.
Jan. 28, 2021
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in Anchorage, Alaska, announced a settlement for violations of federal laws governing the handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes. JBER self-disclosed that approximately 200,000 pounds of expended small-arms cartridge casings (ESACCs) had been stockpiled and were determined to be toxic from lead contamination. The Base had successfully recycled all its brass casings until 2017, when the recycling was discontinued. The resolution of this case sets the stage for a resumption of the ESACC recycling program, and the proceeds will fund other base-wide recycling efforts at JBER. The Base has paid a $61,554 penalty as part of the settlement.
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. 19, 2021
EPA currently requires fuel dispenser labels for gasoline-ethanol blends of greater than 10 volume percent (vol%) ethanol and up to 15 vol% ethanol (E15). The label was designed to alert consumers to the appropriate and lawful use of the fuel. EPA is co-proposing to either modify the E15 label or remove the label requirement entirely and seeking comment on whether state and local governments may be preempted from requiring different labels on fuel dispensers. To facilitate the proper storage of E15 in underground storage tank systems (USTs), EPA is proposing to modify the UST regulations to grant certain allowances for compatibility demonstration for storage of ethanol blends. EPA is also proposing compatibility requirements for future UST installations or component replacements that would ensure compatibility with higher blends of ethanol. Comments must be received on or before 19 April 2021. POC is Lauren Michaels, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division, EPA, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; tel: (734) 214-4640; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 19 January 2021 [Proposed Rule] pages 5094-5104).
Jan. 19, 2021
EPA is publishing final regulatory revisions to the NPDWR for lead and copper under the authority of the SDWA. These revised requirements provide greater and more effective protection of public health by reducing exposure to lead and copper in drinking water. The rule will better identify high levels of lead, improve the reliability of lead tap sampling results, strengthen corrosion control treatment requirements, expand consumer awareness and improve risk communication. This final rule requires, for the first time, community water systems to conduct lead-in-drinking-water testing and public education in schools and child care facilities. In addition, the rule will accelerate lead service line replacements by closing existing regulatory loopholes, propelling early action, and strengthening replacement requirements. This final rule is effective as of 16 March 2021. For judicial review purposes, this final rule is promulgated as of 15 January 2021. POC is Jeffrey Kempic, Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Mail Code 4607M, Washington, DC 20460; tel: (202) 564-4880; email: Kempic.Jeffrey@EPA.gov.
(Federal Register: 15 January 2021 [Rule] Pages 4198-4312).
Jan. 19, 2021
EPA is finalizing amendments to the Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels (Including Petroleum Liquid Storage Vessels) for Which Construction, Reconstruction, or Modification Commenced After 23 July 1984. EPA is finalizing specific amendments that would allow owners or operators of storage vessels subject to the Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels and equipped with either an external floating roof (EFR) or internal floating roof (IFR) to voluntarily elect to comply with the requirements specified in the National Emission Standards for Storage Vessels (Tanks)--Control Level 2, as an alternative standard, in lieu of the requirements specified in the Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels, subject to certain caveats and exceptions for monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting. The final rule is effective on 19 January 2021. POC Mr. Neil Feinberg, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-01), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: number: (919) 541-2214 and email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 19 January 2021 [Rule] pages 5013-5019).
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 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. 11, 2021
Reducing childhood lead exposure is a priority for the EPA. As part of EPA's efforts to reduce childhood lead exposure, and in coordination with the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, EPA reevaluated the 2001 dust-lead clearance levels (DLCL). Clearance levels indicate the amount of lead in dust on a surface following the completion of an abatement activity. Surface dust is collected via dust wipe samples that are sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine whether clearance has been achieved. The post-abatement dust-lead levels are evaluated against, and must be below, the applicable clearance levels. The DLCL have not changed since they were issued in 2001. EPA is finalizing its proposal to lower the DLCL from 40 micrograms of per square foot (µg/ft2) to 10 µg/ft2 for floors, and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg/ft2 for window sills. This final rule is effective 8 March 2021. POC is Claire Brisse, Existing Chemicals Risk Management Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (Mailcode 7404T), EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; tele: (202) 564-9004; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 7 January 2021 [Rule] Pages 983-994).
Jan. 4, 2021
HMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to revise certain requirements applicable to the manufacture, use, and requalification of DOT-specification cylinders. PHMSA is taking this action in response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by stakeholders and agency review of compressed gas cylinder regulations. Specifically, PHMSA is incorporating by reference or updating the references to several Compressed Gas Association publications, amending the filling requirements for compressed and liquefied gases, expanding the use of salvage cylinders, and revising and clarifying the manufacture and requalification requirements for cylinders. Effective date is 27 January 2021. POC is Eamonn Patrick, Standards and Rulemaking Division, USDOT, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, tele: (202) 366-8553.
(Federal Register 28 Dec 2020 [Rule] Pages 85380-85437).
Jan. 4, 2021
Based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) review of the air quality criteria and the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for photochemical oxidants including ozone (O3), the EPA is retaining the current standards, without revision. This final action is effective 31 December 2020. POC is Dr. Deirdre Murphy, Health and Environmental Impacts Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Mail Code C504-06, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; tele: (919) 541-0729; email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 31 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 87256-87351).
Dec. 31, 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. The Clearinghouse expands on the concept of the original Water Finance Clearinghouse, launched in 2017, that served as the one-stop shop for communities researching ways to fund and finance their water infrastructure needs to assist in local decision-making. The new Clearinghouse includes over 1,800 funding and financing opportunities and information resources from EPA's air, water, and land programs. Communities can use this system to access information on funding and financing opportunities for environmental projects as well as financial research, such as case studies, white papers, and webinars.
Dec. 29, 2020
EPA is promulgating this final rule to adjust the level of the maximum (and minimum) statutory civil monetary penalty amounts under the statutes the EPA administers. This action is mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended through the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 ("the 2015 Act"). The 2015 Act prescribes a formula for annually adjusting the statutory maximum (and minimum) amount of civil monetary penalties to reflect inflation, maintain the deterrent effect of statutory civil monetary penalties, and promote compliance with the law. The rule does not establish specific civil monetary penalty amounts the EPA may. The EPA's civil penalty policies, which guide enforcement personnel on how to exercise the EPA's discretion within statutory penalty authorities, take into account a number of fact-specific considerations. This final rule is effective 23 December 2020. POC is David Smith-Watts, Office of Civil Enforcement, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Mail Code 2241A, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, tel: (202) 564-4083; email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register 23 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 83818-83821)
Dec. 23, 2020
EPA is promulgating this final rule to adjust the level of the maximum (and minimum) statutory civil monetary penalty amounts under the statutes the EPA administers. This action is mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended through the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 ("the 2015 Act"). The 2015 Act prescribes a formula for annually adjusting the statutory maximum (and minimum) amount of civil monetary penalties to reflect inflation, maintain the deterrent effect of statutory civil monetary penalties, and promote compliance with the law. The rule does not establish specific civil monetary penalty amounts the EPA may seek, as appropriate given the facts of particular cases and applicable agency penalty policies. The EPA's civil penalty policies, which guide enforcement personnel on how to exercise the EPA's discretion within statutory penalty authorities, take into account a number of fact-specific considerations. This final rule is effective 23 December 2020. POC is David Smith-Watts, Office of Civil Enforcement, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Mail Code 2241A, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, tel: (202) 564-4083; email:email@example.com.
(Federal Register 23 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 83818-83821)
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. 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. 11, 2020
In September 2020 TCEQ provided webinars about how to use the TNC Notebook as a recordkeeping tool for documenting compliance during an investigation.
• Webinar recording on TCEQ's YouTube channel
• TNC notebook Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
The Small Business and Local Government Assistance (SBLGA) Section hosted these webinars to help owners and operators of transient noncommunity public water systems that provide drinking water from groundwater or purchased treated water sources. The webinars also included a short demonstration on how to use Drinking Water Watch to find sample schedule information for your system.
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. 4, 2020
This action updates many of EPA's existing gasoline, diesel, and other fuel quality programs to improve overall compliance assurance and maintain environmental performance, while reducing compliance costs for industry and EPA. EPA is streamlining existing fuel quality regulations by removing expired provisions, eliminating redundant compliance provisions (e.g., duplicative registration requirements that are required by every EPA fuels program), removing unnecessary and out-of-date requirements, and replacing them with a single set of provisions and definitions that applies to all gasoline, diesel, and other fuel quality programs. This action does not change the stringency of the existing fuel quality standards. This rule is effective on 1 January 2021, except for amendatory instructions 48, 51, and 52, which are effective on 4 December 2020, and amendatory instructions 16, 18, and 19, which are effective on 1 January 2022. POC is Nick Parsons, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division, Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; tel: 734-214-4479; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register: 4 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 78412-78538)
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
SPECIATE is the EPA's repository of organic gas and particulate matter (PM) speciation profiles of air pollution sources. Among the many uses of speciation data, these emission source profiles are used to: create speciated emissions inventories for regional haze, PM, greenhouse gas (GHG), and photochemical air quality modeling; estimate hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from PM and organic gas emissions; provide input to the Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) receptor model; and, verify profiles derived from ambient measurements by multivariate receptor models (e.g., factor analysis and positive matrix factorization).
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. 30, 2020
The EPA is amending the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulations by extending the submission deadline for 2020 reports to 29 January 2021. This is the final extension for the 2020 submission period only. The CDR regulations require manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) to report data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical substances. This final rule is effective 25 November 2020. POC is Susan Sharkey, Data Gathering and Analysis Division (7406M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; tel: (202) 564-8789; email: email@example.com. (Federal Register 25 November 2020 [Rule] Pages 75235-75238)
Nov. 20, 2020
This rule finalizes amendments to the General Provisions that apply to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). These amendments implement the plain language reading of the "major source" and "area source" definitions of section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and provide that a major source can be reclassified to area source status at any time upon reducing its potential to emit (PTE) hazardous air pollutants (HAP) to below the major source thresholds (MST) of 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP and 25 tpy of any combination of HAP. This rule also finalizes amendments to clarify the compliance dates, notification, and recordkeeping requirements that apply to sources choosing to reclassify to area source status and to sources that revert back to major source status, including a requirement for electronic notification. This final rule is effective on 19 January 2021. POC Ms. Elineth Torres, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D205-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, USEPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-4347; and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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. 2, 2020
EPA is publishing this final rule to postpone the compliance deadlines for implementation of Phase 2 of the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule ("NPDES eRule"). The NPDES eRule requires EPA and states to modernize CWA reporting. This final rule also provides states with additional flexibility to request additional time as needed. Further, this final rule promulgates clarifying changes to the NPDES eRule and eliminates some duplicative or outdated reporting requirements. Taken together, these changes are designed to save the NPDES authorized programs considerable resources, make reporting easier for NPDES-regulated entities, streamline permit renewals, ensure full exchange of NPDES program data between states and EPA, enhance public transparency, improve environmental decision-making, and protect human health and the environment. The final rule is effective on 4 January 2021. POC is Mr. Carey A. Johnston, Office of Compliance (mail code 2222A), EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; tel: 202-566-1014; or email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register: 2 November 2020 [Rule] pages 69189-69206).
Oct. 13, 2020
EPA is correcting a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register on 26 March 2020. The EPA finalized the residual risk and technology review (RTR) conducted for the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills source category regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP). This action corrects inadvertent errors in the cross-referencing and formatting in the Federal Register; as well as clarifies two operational and reporting requirements in the final rule. This action also revises the heading of 40 CFR part 60, subpart WWW as described in the final rule. The corrections and clarifications described in this action do not affect the substantive requirements of the regulations or the results of the RTR conducted for the MSW Landfills source category. This final rule is effective on 12 November 2020. POC is Andrew Sheppard, Natural Resources Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-4161; fax: (919) 541-0516; and email: Sheppard.Andrew@epa.gov.
(Federal Register: 13 October 2020 [Rule] Page 64398-64401).
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.
Sep. 15, 2020
New Mexico State water quality officials announced that they approved a settlement agreement with the U.S. Defense Department over groundwater violations at Cannon Air Force Base in eastern New Mexico. The agreement addresses a compliance order that was issued over Cannon's lack of a groundwater discharge permit. The base also was accused of not providing state environmental regulators with information about chemicals left behind by past military firefighting activities. The state Environment Department had initially fined the Air Force almost $1.7 million for failing to monitor the contaminants discharged at Cannon and for letting its permit expire.
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. 9, 2020
EPA is finalizing amendments to the electronic reporting requirements for the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (also known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)). This action revises and streamlines the electronic data reporting requirements of MATS, increases data transparency by requiring use of one electronic reporting system instead of two separate systems, and provides enhanced access to MATS data. No new monitoring requirements are imposed by this final action; instead, this action reduces reporting burden, increases MATS data flow and usage, makes it easier for inspectors and auditors to assess compliance, and encourages wider use of continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) for MATS compliance. In addition, this final action extends the current deadline for alternative electronic data submission via portable document format (PDF) files through 31 December 2023. This final rule is effective on 9 September 2020. Mr. Barrett Parker, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D243-05), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; tel: (919) 541-5635; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register: 9 September 2020 [Rule] Pages 55744-55780)
Sep. 8, 2020
EPA is taking final action to update a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area (COA), as mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA). The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources subject to requirements of the State of Alaska. The State of Alaska's requirements discussed in this document and listed in the appendix to the Federal OCS air regulations, are approved for incorporated into the compilation of state provisions that is incorporated by reference. This rule is effective on 8 October 2020. POC is Natasha Greaves, (206) 553-7079, or by email at email@example.com.
(Federal Register 8 September 2020 [Final] Pages 55377-55380)
Aug. 27, 2020
EPA announces the release of How's My Waterway. How's My Waterway is a tool that assembles publicly available water quality data into a user-friendly package that provides information on water quality in our nation's waters. Map-centric and mobile-friendly, How's My Waterway works on all different screen sizes, from desktop computers and tablets to mobile phones