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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.

September 18, 2019
A bill to establish centers of excellence for innovative stormwater control infrastructure. (Congressional Record: 10 September 2019) [Senate] Page S5407)
A bill to amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to modify a provision relating to acquisition of beach fill. (Congressional Record: 11 September 2019 [Senate] Pages S5447-S5448)
September 17, 2019
Held in partnership with the University of Hawai?i at Manoa, this international conference encourages academics and scholars to meet and exchange ideas and views in a forum stimulating respectful dialogue, by bringing together university scholars working throughout Hawai'i, the United States, Asia, and beyond to share ideas and research at the intersection of education and sustainability.
September 16, 2019
Registration to attend the 2019 Federal Environmental Symposium has been extended to Monday, September 30! Federal employees and sponsored contractors are invited to attend the Symposium, to be held at the Natcher Conference Center, NIH Bethesda Campus on October 30-31, 2019. The theme of the event is Federal Facilities Leading Environmental Change, and it will bring together federal staff and their contractors to discuss environmental regulations, successes and challenges, and, much more. The event is FREE and registration will end Friday, September 13, 2019, so mark your calendar and register now. For more information, please see the Symposium website at https://www.fedcenter.gov/fes2019.
A bill to establish centers of excellence for innovative stormwater control infrastructure. (Congressional Record: 10 September 2019 [House] Pages H7596-H7597)
September 13, 2019
USFWS are reopening the comment periods on their August 6, 2013, proposed rules to list Graham's beardtongue (Penstemon grahamii) and White River beardtongue (Penstemon scariosus var. albifluvis) as threatened species throughout their ranges and to designate critical habitat for these two plant species. USFWS are reopening the comment period for 30 days to give all interested parties further opportunity to comment on the proposed rules. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 15, 2019. POC is Larry Crist, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2369 West Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, UT 84119; telephone 801-975-3330. [Federal Register: 12 September 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 48090-48094)
A bill to encourage recycling and reduction of disposable plastic bottles in units of the National Park System. (Congressional Record: 6 September 2019 [House] Pages H7534-H7535)
USFWS are removing the Foskett speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.), a fish native to Oregon, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife on the basis of recovery. This determination is based on a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that the threats to the Foskett speckled dace have been eliminated or reduced to the point where it no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. This rule is effective October 15, 2019. POC is Paul Henson, State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; tele: 503-231-6179. (Federal Register: 13 September 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 48290-48308)
In this action, EPA and the Army jointly conclude that multiple substantive and procedural errors warrant a repeal of the 2015 Rule. With this final repeal, the agencies will implement the pre-2015 regulations, which are currently in place in more than half of the states, informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice. The final rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. In December 2018, EPA and the Army proposed a new definition--Step 2--that would clearly define where federal jurisdiction begins and ends in accordance with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court precedent. In the proposal, the agencies provide a clear definition of the difference between federally regulated waterways and those waters that rightfully remain solely under state authority.
September 12, 2019
The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) will be exhibiting at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Offshore WINDPOWER Conference. DOE National Laboratories will discuss offshore wind market analysis, cost reductions, environmental effects in offshore environments, and workforce development. In addition, there will be a status update on the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium.
The DOE has released annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for three sectors: utility-scale land-based, distributed wind, and offshore wind.
Climate scientists from NOAA join with leading architects to share information about building design and adaptation to a changing climate. Senior climate scientists and award-winning architects present in a day-long symposium that appeals to professional architects, planners, building designers, engineers, and those in energy efficient construction. This is the 5th annual forum. The forum is geared towards learning about climate change and ways to achieve energy efficiency in building design.
September 10, 2019
USFWS is proposes to reclassify the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) from endangered to threatened and to adopt a rule under section 4(d) of the ESA to provide for the conservation of the species. USFWS reopened the public comment period on the proposed rule for 30 days, to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed rule. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 9, 2019. POC is Jonna Polk, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office, 9014 East 21st St., Tulsa, OK 74129; tele: 918-382-4500. (Federal Register: 9 September 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 47231-47232)
EPA's Office of Water is hosting a webinar on the site selection and materials evaluation requirements for lead and copper tap water monitoring under the Lead and Copper Rule. The webinar will also discuss some general steps water systems can take to ensure robust sampling pools in terms of quantity, quality and accuracy by conducting periodic updates and verifying the presence of lead at any new sites added to pool. The goal of the webinar will be to provide a better understanding of the rule's requirements and how water systems can more effectively develop and maintain their sampling pools.
September 09, 2019
September 06, 2019
USFWS announced a 90-day findings on three petitions to add species to the list of TES, or to revise the critical habitat designation for a listed species. Based on their review, USFWS announces that they plan to initiate a review of the status of Mojave poppy bee (Perdita meconis) to determine whether the petitioned action is warranted. USFWS is not initiating a status review of Yellowstone National Park bison (population of Bison bison bison) in response to the petition. Lastly, USFWS finds that the third petition--a petition to revise the critical habitat designation for the currently listed Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis)--presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. These findings were made on September 6, 2019. POC for each species is provided in the federal register. (Federal Register: 6 September 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 46927-46931)
EPA's Water Quality Modeling Workgroup is hosting a series of webinars to help water quality professionals better understand surface water quality modeling and how models can be used to solve common problems that face water quality regulators. The webinars are focused on modeling as it applies to the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), Standards, and Water Quality Permitting Programs, but they are applicable to a wide range of audiences. These two-hour webinars cover everything from modeling basics (e.g., model setup and calibration) to applied water quality modeling of different pollutants. This webinar will introduce SWAT+, a watershed model that has been applied to a wide range of hydrology, water quality, land use, and land management problems. SWAT was developed jointly by USDA-ARS and Texas A&M and has contributed to more than 4,000 peer-reviewed publications.
September 05, 2019
This tool helps agencies create an NOO that complies with federal requirements and meets agency needs. It is a standard NOO template that is easily tailored via the tool. The tool produces an NOO in Word format that is further editable as needed. The tool also generates an editable NOO response evaluation form that incorporates the evaluation factors identified in the NOO.
This webinar will focus on how the State of California is developing and implementing a Human Right to Water Framework to address overburdened and disadvantaged communities, particularly those in rural areas. This framework involves policies, analytical tools and resources to ensure safe, accessible and affordable water for all. The panel will discuss progress and challenges, including those related to climate change. As lack of safe, accessible and affordable water persists as a critical problem throughout rural America, a second webinar on model programs from other states.
September 04, 2019
Environmental, safety and occupational health analyses are critical components of the Department of Defense's System Engineering Process. This presentation will describe the role of these analyses within the DoD's acquisition lifecycle framework. It will also discuss the benefits of phased assessments, beginning early in development in an effort to identify and mitigate corresponding risks. Additionally, the data developed by employing the phased approach is intended for utilization when preparing the Programmatic Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Evaluation as well as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessments.
The historical use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) formulations containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for firefighting and training activities by the Department of Defense (DoD) has led to concern over the potential for contamination of groundwater at hundreds of sites. This presentation will present viable approaches for treating recalcitrant PFAS and recent related research activity. Technologies of particular focus include sorption, ion exchange, oxidation, sonolysis, and plasma treatment. Challenges and limitations of these approaches, including the presence of precursors and co-contaminants and generation of byproducts will be discussed. The presentation will also highlight research activity at Clarkson University to advance and optimize PFAS treatment technologies, with a particular emphasis on treatment trains for more efficient and effective remediation.
September 03, 2019
Join us as we celebrate the 2019 GEC Catalyst Awards Winners achievements in the field of the smart cities, sensors, and sustainability! The winners of these awards will provide an overview of their path to success and share how other organizations can adopt these groundbreaking practices. The Catalyst Awards winners will be announced and presented with their awards at the Ecocity World Summit 2019, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, on October 7-11, 2019.
August 30, 2019
A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit treatment of certain non-native, non-indigenous hoofstock born within the borders of the United States as an endangered species, a threatened species, an essential experimental population, or a nonessential experimental population. (Congressional Record: 23 August 2019 [House] Page H7520).
A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to include a prohibition on the listing of a living nonnative species as a threatened species or an endangered species. (Congressional Record: 31 July 2019 [Senate] Pages S5247-S5249)
A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to modify the requirements for permits for dredged or fill material. (Congressional Record: 31 July 2019 [Senate] Pages S5247-S5249)
A bill to provide an exemption from certain requirements for federally funded projects and activities in areas not in metropolitan statistical areas. (Congressional Record: 1 August 2019 [Senate] Page S5311)
CMAQ is an active open-source development project of the U.S. EPA that consists of a suite of programs for conducting air quality model simulations. CMAQ combines current knowledge in atmospheric science and air quality modeling, multi-processor computing techniques, and an open-source framework to deliver fast, technically sound estimates of ozone, particulates, toxics and acid deposition.
August 28, 2019
A bill to prohibit the closure, consolidation, or elimination of offices of the Environmental Protection Agency. (Congressional Record: 2 August 2019 [House] Pages H4787-H4789)
Oak decline is a slow-acting disease complex that involves the interaction of biotic and abiotic factors such as climate, site quality and advancing tree age. Oak decline occurs more commonly among red oak species, but white oaks are susceptible as well. Oak decline can occur in forested and urban settings. Trees affected by oak decline show a reduction in growth, dieback, epicormic sprouting, yellowing leaves, sparse foliage and early leaf drop. Mature trees (>70 years) growing on dry sites with shallow or rocky soils on ridgetops are most affected. Once weakened with oak decline, trees are often more susceptible to secondary insects and pathogens (e.g. cankers) that can more easily defoliate or colonize a stressed tree. Management methods include those that promote tree health and vigor.
Participants will learn about a new one-stop resource for air quality, dust mitigation, wind erosion and available resources to support on-the-ground conservation. An introduction to the newly published Dust Mitigation Handbook – a collaborative project between the USDA Southern Plains and Southwest Climate Hubs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The webinar will cover some of the highlights of the handbook including: impacts of particulate matter, climate considerations, wind erosion models, conservation planning, wind erosion on cropland and wind erosion on rangeland, natural areas and unpaved surfaces, and USDA programs available to address wind erosion.
August 27, 2019
EPA Regions issued a final modification to the 2017 NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities, also referred to as the ``2017 Construction General Permit (CGP)' or ``2017 CGP,' which became effective on February 16, 2017. The modified permit, hereinafter known as the ``modified 2017 CGP' or ``final modified permit,' replaces several conditions in the original 2017 CGP and relevant fact sheet sections. For further information on the permit, contact the appropriate EPA Regional office. (Federal Register: 28 May 2019 [Notices] Pages 24503-24506).
USFWS designated critical habitat for the spring pygmy sunfish (Elassoma alabamae) under the Endangered Species Act. In total, approximately 10.9 kilometers (6.7 miles) of streams and 1,330 acres (538 hectares) in Limestone and Madison Counties, Alabama, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. POC: William Pearson, Field Supervisor, USFWS tele: 251-441-5184. (Federal Register 30 May 2019 [Rules and Regulations]Pages 24987-25009).
The EPA is amending the release notification regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) to add the reporting exemption for air emissions from animal waste at farms provided in section 103(e) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). This final rule is effective 15 July 2019. POC: Sicy Jacob, EPA, Office of Land and Emergency Management, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, (Mail Code 5104A), Washington, DC 20460; tele: (202) 564-8019; email: jacob.sicy@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 13 June 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 27533-27542)
USFWS issued a final rule to comply with a court order that reinstated the regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This action is effective July 31, 2019. However, the court order had legal effect immediately upon being filed on September 24, 2018. POC Dr. Hilary Cooley, Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, USFWS, University Hall, Room #309, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812; tel: 406-243-4903. (Federal Register: 31 July 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 37144-37145).
The EPA is amending the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (``MSW Landfills EG'). The general requirements for state and federal plans implementing emission guidelines (EG) are referred to as implementing regulations, which are cross-referenced in the MSW Landfills EG. In a separate regulatory action titled ``Revisions to Emission Guidelines Implementing Regulations,' the EPA finalized changes to modernize the implementing regulations governing EG under a new subpart. This action updates the cross-references to the implementing regulations in the MSW Landfills EG to harmonize with the new requirements for state and federal plans. The final rule is effective on September 6, 2019 and States must submit state plans by August 29, 2019. POC: Allison Costa, Sector Policies and Programs Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tele: (919) 541-1322 and email: costa.allison@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 26 August 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 44547-44556)
The USFWS and the NMFS, revised portions of their regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act. The revisions to the regulations clarify, interpret, and implement portions of the Act concerning the procedures and criteria used for listing or removing species from the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and designating critical habitat. This final regulation is effective on September 26, 2019. These revised regulations apply to classification and critical habitat rules for which a proposed rule was published after September 26, 2019. POC: Gary Frazer, USFWS, Washington, DC 20240, tele: 202.208.4646. (Federal Register: 27 August 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 45020-45053)
USFWS revised regulations related to threatened species to remove the prior default extension of most of the prohibitions for activities involving endangered species to threatened species. For species already listed as a threatened species, the revised regulations do not alter the applicable prohibitions. The revised regulations provide that the Service, pursuant to section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, will determine what protective regulations are appropriate for species added to or reclassified on the lists of threatened species. This final regulation is effective on September 26, 2019. POC Bridget Fahey, USFWS, Division of Conservation and Classification, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803, telephone 703.358.2171. (Federal Register: 27 August 2019 [Rules and Regulations] Pages 44753-44760)
USFWS, proposes to remove the Trifolium stoloniferum (running buffalo clover) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, due to recovery. USFWS is seeking information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before October 28, 2019. POC Barbara Hosler, Ecological Services, Midwest Regional Office, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 900, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458, telephone 517.351.6326. (Federal Register: 27 August 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 44832-44841)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for three sectors: utility-scale land-based, distributed wind, and offshore wind.
August 26, 2019
This conference is hosted by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation focus on green infrastructure implementation and resilience. The conferences explore the latest science on green infrastructure performance, economic valuation, public policy developments, new technological developments, financing, and best practices.
This conference is hosted by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation focus on green infrastructure implementation and resilience. The conferences explore the latest science on green infrastructure performance, economic valuation, public policy developments, new technological developments, financing, and best practices.
Smoke from wildfires in the United States is adversely affecting air quality and potentially putting more people at health risk from smoke exposure. EPA, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and other federal, state and community agencies and organizations are working together to identify ways the public can prepare to reduce their health risk before a wildfire. Public health officials and others can use the resources in the Smoke-Ready Toolbox to help educate people about the risks of smoke exposure and actions they can take to protect their health.
August 23, 2019
WASHINGTON (August 21, 2019) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes federal facilities for conserving resources and saving taxpayers' money as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). The challenge is a national effort under the EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, which encourages federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the federal government's environmental impact. Read more....
EPA is publishing for public comment a proposed rule providing updates and clarifications to the substantive and procedural requirements for water quality certification under Clean Water Act (CWA or the Act) section 401. CWA section 401 is a direct grant of authority to states (and tribes that have been approved for ``treatment as a state' status) to review for compliance with appropriate federal, state, and tribal water quality requirements any proposed activity that requires a federal license or permit and may result in a discharge to waters of the United States. This proposal is intended to increase the predictability and timeliness of section 401 certification by clarifying timeframes for certification, the scope of certification review and conditions, and related certification requirements and procedures. Comments must be received on or before October 21, 2019. POC: Lauren Kasparek, Oceans, Wetlands, and Communities Division, Office of Water (4504-T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; tele: (202) 564-3351; email: cwa401@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 22 August 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 44080-44122)
August 22, 2019
The EPA proposes a federal plan to implement the Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste 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. Comments must be received on or before October 7, 2019. POC: Andrew Sheppard, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tele: (919) 541-4161; and email: sheppard.andrew@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 22 August 2019 [Proposed Rules] Pages 43745-43757)
August 21, 2019
A bill to require the Secretary of Agriculture to direct a study on soil health of Federal lands. (Congressional Record: 30 July 2019) [House] Pages H7479-H7481)
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Last Updated: March 08, 2017