Our What's New page tells you what information has been recently added or updated at FedCenter.gov. Stop back here periodically to stay current on all recent activity at FedCenter.
October 23, 2019
October 22, 2019
A bill to amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to prohibit the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, receipt, acquisition, and purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, or in a manner substantially affecting interstate or foreign commerce, of any live animal of any prohibited wildlife species. (Congressional Record: 26 September 2019 [Senate] Pages S5747-S5748)
October 21, 2019
Since 1995, EPA's Audit Policy has provided penalty mitigation and other incentives to qualifying regulated entities that self-police and self-disclose violations of environmental laws. EPA's eDisclosure portal makes self-reporting even easier. See how your federal facility may qualify under this policy.
The overarching goal of the National Compliance Initiatives is to increase compliance using EPA's full range of compliance assurance tools. The goal of the NPDES National Compliance Initiative (Initiative) is to reduce by half the rate of significant noncompliance across the country, while assuring that the worst violations are timely and appropriately addressed. EPA is making federal facilities aware of this Initiative so they can take steps to address any significant noncompliance.
One of EPA's National Compliance Initiatives focuses on reducing significant noncompliance with Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits at private and federally-owned facilities. Read more
about this EPA National Compliance Initiative.
EPA will discuss this initiative and current progress at the 2019 Federal Environmental Symposium, to be held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on October 30 and 31, 2019. See the Symposium site for more details.
Federal facilities that self-disclose violations of environmental laws may be eligible for penalty mitigation and other incentives under the EPA policy "Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction and Prevention of Violations" (commonly referred to as the Audit Policy). Read more
about how your facility may benefit from using EPA's Audit Policy, and the eDisclosure portal.
EPA will conduct a session on its Audit Policy and eDisclosure portal at the 2019 Federal Environmental Symposium at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD on October 30, 2019.
October 18, 2019
October 17, 2019
Updated Guidance for Applicants Requesting to Treat/Dispose of PCBs Using Incineration or an Alternative Method. This guidance is to assist applicants, facility owners and operators applying to EPA for approval to dispose of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) using incineration or alternative thermal and non-thermal methods. The update modernizes the format of the document and puts the relevant existing policies in one place.
EPA launched a webpage that brings together content, resources, and tools aimed at assisting permit writers and the regulated community with understanding the RCRA Organic Air Emission Standards.
E-Manifest User Fees for October 1, 2019- September 30, 2021 Are Now in
October 16, 2019
Resilience Week is an annual symposium organized by DOE's Idaho National Laboratory, where private and public partners discuss how they can work together to ensure a secure and reliable flow of energy across the nation. The strategically applied use of renewable energy can increase the resilience of distribution and transmission systems; however, it is important to consider all the aspects of resilience, including the most cost-effective and resilient integration of assets to adapt to and recover from natural disasters and cyber-attack. One of the projects to be discussed at Resilience Week is called Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Advanced Controls Launchpad (MIRACL), a WETO-funded project targeted at accelerating distributed wind technology development for increased microgrid resilience.
October 11, 2019
One-day regional training session, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), is designed to provide federal fleet managers, fleet coordinators, and facility managers with the skills and knowledge to become subject matter experts in electric vehicle (EV) implementation. These training sessions are offered free of charge for federal fleet managers, fleet coordinators, and facility managers. Additional regional sessions will be scheduled to satisfy demand and located to minimize agency travel expenses.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the United States will host the 2020 SolarPACES conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In October 2020, SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems), a program of the International Energy Agency, will bring together researchers from around the world to talk about the latest research developments in CSP and visit one of the leading CSP research sites in the world at DOE's Sandia National Laboratories.
Employee engagement is often essential for achieving energy improvements in buildings. Join a panel of Energy Star partners to learn how they encouraged employees to pursue energy efficiency and recognized their participation and accomplishments
Achieving significant water savings can often require going beyond the low-hanging fruit. Find out how to take the information collected during a facility water assessment to evaluate and prioritize larger-scale projects to maximizing water, energy, and cost savings. Get the information you need to include water efficiency in capital improvements through equipment retrofits and replacements during a renovation or when designing a new facility or space.
October 10, 2019
USFWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to delist the Bone Cave harvestman as an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, USFWS are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the species. Based on the status review, USFWS will issue a 12-month finding that will address whether or not delisting the Bone Cave harvestman is warranted. This finding was made on October 10, 2019. USFWS seek any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species or its habitat and relevant conservation measures in place. POC is Adam Zerrenner, tel: 505-761-4781, email: email@example.com. (Federal Register: 10 October 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 54542-54543)
October 09, 2019
EPA announced a settlement with the Department of the Navy for improperly managing hazardous waste at the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake. Under the agreement, the federal facility will pay a $23,700 penalty. The Naval Air Weapons Station - China Lake is in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles. Operations at the facility include research and development of explosive materials and weapons, aircraft maintenance, facilities maintenance operations, metal fabrication operations, and storage of hazardous materials and waste. EPA's 2018 inspections identified violations of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. RCRA rules require the safe management of hazardous waste to protect public health and the environment and to prevent the need for costly and extensive cleanups. Violations identified during the inspection included: Failure to comply with a permit condition that requires deteriorating containers to be replaced or put inside larger containers in good condition at the point of generation. Failure to keep hazardous waste containers closed. Failure to properly manage universal wastes. The facility has resolved the identified violations and is now in compliance with the RCRA requirements.
NMFS is proposing to designate critical habitat for the endangered Western North Pacific distinct population segment (DPS), the endangered Central America DPS, and the threatened Mexico PS of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Areas proposed as critical habitat include specific marine areas located off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. NMFS is soliciting comments on all aspects of the proposed critical habitat designations and will consider information received prior to making final designations. Comments must be received by 9 December 2019. Requests for public hearings must be made in writing by 25 November 2019. POC is Lisa Manning, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources 301-427-8466. (Federal Register: 9 October 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 54354-54391)
USFWS are removing the Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) from the Federal
List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) due to recovery. This rule also announces availability of a post-delisting monitoring plan for Kirtland's warbler. This rule is effective November 8, 2019. POC is Scott Hicks, Field Supervisor, Michigan Ecological Services Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 101, East Lansing, MI 48823; tel: 517-351-2555. (Federal Register: 9 October 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 54436-54463)
October 07, 2019
USFWS announced findings that 12 species are not warranted for listing as endangered or threatened species under the ESA. USFWS finds that it is not warranted at this time to list the Berry Cave salamander, cobblestone tiger beetle, Florida clamshell orchid, longhead darter, Ocala vetch, Panamint alligator lizard, Peaks of Otter salamander, redlips darter, Scott riffle beetle, southern hognose snake, yellow anise tree, and yellow-cedar. However, USFWS ask the public to submit any new information relevant to the status of any of the species mentioned above or their habitats. The findings in this document were made on 7 October 2019. POCs for the species listed can be located on the federal registrar.
(Federal Register: 7 October 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 53336-53343)
USFWS proposes to remove the plant Howellia aquatilis (water howellia) from the Federal
List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. The best available scientific and commercial data indicate that threats to water howellia identified at the time of listing in 1994 are not as significant as originally anticipated and are being adequately managed. USFWS are seeking information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule and the draft post-delisting monitoring (PDM) plan for water howellia. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 6 December 2019. POC: Jodi Bush, USFWS, Montana Ecological Services Field Office, 585 Shepard Way, Suite 1, Helena, MT 59601; tele: 406-449-5225.
(Federal Register: 7 October 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 53380-53397)
October 03, 2019
USFWS is removing the Monito gecko (Sphaerodactylus micropithecus) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to recovery. This rule is effective November 4, 2019. POC: Edwin Mu[ntilde]iz, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office Road 301, Km. 5.1, Boquer[oacute]n, Puerto Rico 00622; P.O. Box 491, Boquer[oacute]n, Puerto Rico 00622; or by tel: (787) 851-7297 (Federal Register: 3 October 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 52791-52800)
October 02, 2019
USFWS determined endangered species status under the ESA, for the southern mountain caribou distinct population segment (DPS) of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). This determination amends the current listing of the southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou by defining the southern mountain caribou DPS. This rule is effective November 1, 2019. POC is Greg Hughes, State Supervisor, USFWS, Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Room 368, Boise, ID 83709; tel: 208-378-5243. (Federal Register: 2 October 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 52598-52661)
October 01, 2019
USFWS announced a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list the Bi-
State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the ESA. USFWS is reopening, for an additional 30 days, the comment periods for the proposed rule to list the species and the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the species. USFWS will submit a final listing determination to the Federal Register on or before
April 1, 2020. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 2019 October 31. POC: Lee Ann Carranza, Deputy Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Reno Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; tele: 775-861-6300. (Federal Register: 1 October 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 52058-52059
September 30, 2019
Laws and regulations related to cultural and natural resources often require participatory processes that can be mired in conflict and misunderstanding. Projects frequently can be more effectively navigated when stakeholders use collaborative processes and mutual gains negotiation during consultation to resolve problems and develop win-win solutions. Through interactive exercises and role plays, learn to understand conflict management styles, practice negotiation skills, and design a stakeholder consultation process to address issues in a timely manner and prevent conflict from escalating.
Historic property management combines preservation maintenance with modern systems management. Learn how to read your building, search for solutions, and then care for the building envelope by maintaining its historic materials. Explore how to balance the environmental needs of the building with its users. Understand the impacts on historic properties of pest management practices and mechanical building systems--HVAC, plumbing, fire, security, and lighting. Discuss how to train in-house staff and when to hire a specialist to identify a problem or a contractor to handle a specific task.
Learn about environmental impact analysis, cultural resource management, and historic preservation responsibilities and relationships. Assess practical applications for effectively integrating the analyses required by the National Environmental Policy Act, related environmental regulations, and the National Historic Preservation Act.
September 26, 2019
September 25, 2019
USFWS and the NMFS are delaying the effective date of a rule we published on August 27, 2019. On August 27, 2019, a final rule was published to revise portions of our regulations that implement section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The revisions to the regulations clarify, interpret, and implement portions of the Act concerning the interagency cooperation procedures. The rule was to be effective on September 26, 2019. USFWS and NMFS are delaying the effective date of the rule published on August 27, 2019, at 84 FR 44976 to ensure a smooth transition and allow for additional coordination and training prior to the final rule becoming effective. POC is Gary Frazer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240, tele: 202/208-4646. (Federal Register: 25 September 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Page 50333)
EPA's Office of Research and Development's National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) organizes and hosts this international conference on decontamination research and development. Decontamination is one of the critical challenges that the United States and EPA would face in recovering from a major chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) incident. The conference is designed to facilitate presentation, discussion, and further collaboration on research and development focused on an all-hazards approach to cleaning up contaminated buildings (both interior and exterior), infrastructure, and other areas/materials. The conference continues to focus strongly on matters involving CBR threat agents, but also includes all hazard elements.
September 24, 2019
NCSE 2020 will explore the various ways that science serves and contributes to the decision-making process, highlighting cases in which science has helped improve environmental decisions, as well as examples in which a lack of science has compromised the efficacy of decisions and policies. The Annual Conference will bring together scientists, decision-makers, industry leaders, and subject-matter experts to effectively bridge the cultures of science and policymaking toward a more resilient and sustainable future and societal well-being.