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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.

October 18, 2018
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is removing Deseret milkvetch (Astragalus desereticus) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants due to recovery. Based on the best available scientific and commercial data, threats to Deseret milkvetch identified at the time of listing are not as significant as originally anticipated and are being adequately managed, the species' population is much greater than was known at the time of listing, and threats to this species have been sufficiently minimized such that it no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This is final rule is effective 19 November 2018. POC is Larry Crist, Field Supervisor, tel: 801-975-3330 ( Federal Register; 18 October 2018 [Rules and Regulations], pages 52775-52786).
October 17, 2018
4th REMINDER: if you have not already done so....Join EPA's National Webinar on common RCRA non-compliance issues at federally-owned medical facilities. EPA is conducting this webinar to help federal agencies that own or operate medical facilities or hospitals better understand their responsibilities under RCRA. In this webinar, EPA RCRA experts and inspectors will focus on the most common RCRA violations identified during EPA inspections around the nation, provide insights from a regulator's perspective, and allow an opportunity for the federal agencies to ask questions about their RCRA requirements. The webinar is open to federal facilities and states. Federal facility contractors may also participate if they have sponsorship from their federal agency. To register for the webinar, please click here: https://www.fedcenter.gov/training/rcra_noncompliance/rcra_webinar_application/.
This August 2018 EPA case study demonstrates the environmental and health benefits of green roofs for Kansas City, Missouri. The case study lays out a replicable analytical framework using free quantitative tools created by EPA and others that state and local decision-makers and practitioners can use to assess the multiple benefits of green roofs.
October 16, 2018
The Northern Review of Legislative & Regulatory Actions provides current information on government affairs, energy and environment relevant to Department of Defense interests in the 22 states and territories in Federal Regions 1, 2, 3 and 5. The Review is intended to be a tool useful to DoD and Army leaders, planners, and program managers in carrying out their responsibilities. The Northern Review of Legislative & Regulatory Actions monitors and targets proposed and final regulations and legislation that may affect Army or DoD operations. See attached.
The Southern Review of Legislative & Regulatory Actions, published by the U.S. Army's Regional Environmental and Energy Office--Southern (REEO-S), is designed to provide current information to environmental decision makers, planners, and program managers regarding environmental actions and events throughout Federal EPA Region 4 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Information listed may be relevant to the U.S. Army and other Military Services' activities and operations. See attached.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to close 62 campground pit toilets, considered to be large capacity cesspools, at seven national forests across California. USFS, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will have until December 2020 to comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act's ban on large capacity cesspools (LCC). USFS will be closing 62 pit toilets in seven national forests across California: Angeles, Eldorado, Inyo, Los Padres, Plumas, Sierra, and Tahoe National Forests. USFS has estimated the costs to close and remove the non-compliant systems and install new toilets is over $1.1 million dollars. The agreement also includes specific reporting requirements and allows for penalties should USFS fail to meet deadlines.
October 15, 2018
Agenda for the Interagency Forum on Climate Risks, Impacts & Adaptation held on September 20, 2018, from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at NASA HQ in Washington DC.
Architectural historians, art historians, architects, museum professionals, and preservationists from around the world will convene to present new research on the history of the built environment and explore the architecture and landscape of Providence and nearby areas. The conference will include 38 paper sessions, roundtable and panel discussions, architecture tours, workshops, networking receptions, special events, and more.
The theme of the Winter Conference is "The CWA/SDWA Nexus...Conflict or Collaboration."
Agenda for the Interagency Forum on Climate Risks, Impacts & Adaptation to be held on September 31, 2018, from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at NASA HQ in Washington DC.
October 12, 2018
EPA is announcing the Agency's approval of alternative testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water and determining compliance with national primary drinking water regulations. The EPA is making 100 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 12 October 2018. 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: smith.glynda@epa.gov (Federal Register; 12 October 2018 [Rules and Regulatins], pages 51636-51652).
October 11, 2018
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening of the comment period on their 11 March 2015, proposed designation of critical habitat for the black pinesnake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are reopening the comment period to accept comments on our proposal, including revisions to proposed Units 7 and 8 that are described in this document. In addition, FWS announces two public informational meetings on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. New comments are due on or before 13 November 2018. POC is Stephen Ricks, Field Supervisor, Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Jackson, MS 39213; tel: 601-321-1122; or fax: 601-965-4340 (Federal Register; 11 October 2018, [Proposed Rules], pages 51418-51424).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). FWS also proposes to designate critical habitat under the Act. In total, approximately 542 river miles (872 river kilometers) in Virginia and North Carolina fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. A draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat is available. Comments must be received or postmarked on or before 10 December 2018. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel: 919-856-4520; or Fax: 919-856-4556 (Federal Register; 11 October 2018 [Proposed Rules], pages 51570-51609).
This webinar will showcase priority projects undertaken by the City of Cambridge Water Department (CWD) to protect its water supply and promote ecosystem restoration and recreation within Fresh Pond Reservation. Cambridge is an urban community bordered by the Charles River with 55% of its land area comprised of impervious surfaces such as roadways, rooftops, and parking lots. CWD sources drinking water from a 24-square mile watershed providing 13 million gal per day of finished water to residents and businesses in Cambridge. CWD is implementing the Fresh Pond Reservation Master Plan which provides the blueprint for future land use, recreational use, and natural resource management. CWD has created and restored 23 acres of habitat, installed 23 green stormwater management features, and installed over 11,000 linear feet of accessible pathways. The proximity of the Reservoir makes stormwater treatment an urgent priority. Webinar content will include interagency coordination, effective stakeholder involvement, accessibility, public safety, urban forestry, resiliency, healthy soils, integrating native plants into design, and sustainable landscape management practices.
October 10, 2018
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the slenderclaw crayfish (Cambarus cracens) as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, FWS finds that listing the slenderclaw crayfish is warranted. FWS also proposes a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the slenderclaw crayfish. FWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 December 2018. POC is William Pearson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, 1208-B Main Street, Daphne, AL 36526; tel: 251-441-5870 (Federal Register; 9 October 2018 [Proposed Rules], pages 50582-50610).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces a 12-month petition finding on a petition to list the eastern black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. FWS proposes to list the eastern black rail, a bird subspecies that occurs in as many as 35 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as a threatened species under the Act. FWS has determined that designation of critical habitat for the eastern black rail is not prudent at this time, but FWS is seeking public comment on that determination. FWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 December 2018. POC is Tom McCoy, Field Supervisor, South Carolina Ecological Services Field Office, 176 Croghan Spur Road, Suite 200, Charleston, SC 29407; tel: 843-727-4707 (Federal Register; 9 October 2018 [Proposed Rules], pages 50610-50630).
Briefly explore energy, power and power quality meters during this on-demand webinar. Different types of meters are discussed, as well as their features and applications. Common terminology is introduced and the growing importance of power quality and power quality monitoring is highlighted. Typical power quality events are reviewed, including causes of power quality disruptions and their average duration. Finally, the benefits of a system approach to power monitoring is shared, along with various power monitoring dashboards.
A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to address lead contamination in school drinking water; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce (Congressional Record; 27 September 2018 [House], page H9150).
A bill to reauthorize the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 through fiscal year 2021, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Congressional Record; 28 September 2018 [House], page H9405).
October 09, 2018
The "Fish and Shellfish Program Newsletter" is published monthly by EPA's Office of Water. It highlights current information about fish and shellfish -- providing a snapshot of recent advisories, federal agency activities, publications, awarded research, and future meetings and conferences. Click here for the August edition.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to list the black-capped petrel (Pterodroma hasitata), a pelagic seabird species that nests on the island of Hispaniola and forages off the coast of the eastern United States, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). FWS is also proposing a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act to provide for the conservation of this species. FWS has determined that designation of critical habitat for the black-capped petrel is not prudent at this time, but are seeking public comment on that determination. FWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 December 2018. POC is Edwin Muniz, Field Supervisor, U.S. FWS, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, P.O. Box 491, Road 301 Km 5.1, Boqueron, PR; tel: 787-851-7297 (Federal Register; 9 October 2018 [Proposed Rules], pages 50560-50574).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to list the coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific marten (Martes caurina), a mammal species from coastal California and Oregon, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (Act). The effect of this regulation will be to add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. FWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 10 December 2018. POC is Dan Everson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Ecological Services Field Office, 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521, or by telephone 707-822-7201 (Federal Register; 9 October 2018 [Proposed Rules], pages 50574-50582).
October 05, 2018
October 04, 2018
Energy Awareness month is celebrated each October to promote operational energy resilience and security. Explore how the federal government is providing leadership in energy management and building optimization, energy resilience and security, and the use of advanced and distributed energy technologies at the FEMP website. The website also provides ideas on how to promote energy awareness in your organization.
This determination of acceptability expands the list of acceptable substitutes pursuant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. This action lists as acceptable additional substitutes for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, fire suppression, cleaning solvents, and aerosols sectors. This determination is applicable on 4 October 2018. POC is Gerald Wozniak; tel: 202-343-9624; email: wozniak.gerald@epa.gov; or by mail at U.S. EPA, Mail Code 6205T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
October 03, 2018
This course emphasizes the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) process for both the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA). The course includes practical exercises and is intended as a basic level course. Participants should expect that additional skill building will be needed before they will be prepared to conduct NRDA's independently. Personnel from natural resource trustee agencies (Federal, state, and tribes) whose responsibilities include evaluating and participating in the NRDAR process. Due to the legal sensitivity of some cases discussed, this course is not open to the private sector. This course is offered by the U.S. FWS National Conservation Training Center.
This 8 week online course is designed to cover the fundamentals of climate science, provide an overview of tools and resources for climate adaptation, and increase climate literacy and communication skills. Beginning in January 2019, a webinar session with leading experts in these topics, will be held every week for 8 weeks, for a total of 8 sessions. There is a break the week of February 12th. Pre-webinar assignments, class resources and discussion forums will be accessed through Moodle, a distance learning platform (no special software required). Course participants develop a final product addressing climate change in their management of natural resources. An estimated 3hrs/week will be spent towards participation in in lectures, discussions, and to complete reading assignments. Additional time for the final project will vary. The course was developed in partnership with staff from the USFWS's NCTC, The Wildlife Society (TWS), the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), the National Park Service (NPS), the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
October 02, 2018
A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit import and export of any species listed or proposed to be listed under such Act as a threatened species or endangered species, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned (Congressional Record; 25 September 2018 [House], page H8884).
A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to make changes with respect to water quality certification, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Congressional Record; 25 September 2018 [House], page H8884).
A bill to reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris, and for other purposes; considered and passed (Congressional Record; 26 September 2018 [Senate], page S6341).
The Green Electronics Council (GEC) has launched a mobile phone module, the first in a series of expansions and updates to the existing EPEAT Environmental Benefits Calculator, to support public and private sector purchasers in calculating the environmental benefits of purchasing EPEAT registered mobile phones. The mobile phone module of the EPEAT Environmental Benefits Calculator helps organizations quantify impacts such as reductions in energy use, greenhouse gases and water consumption, as well as cost savings. The EPEAT Environmental Benefits Calculator results can be used by organizations as part of their CDP and GRI reporting.
The Green Electronics Council (GEC) EPEAT Benefits calculator will support public and private sector purchasers in calculating the environmental benefits of purchasing EPEAT registered mobile phones, servers, and computers and displays. The calculator helps organizations quantify impacts such as reductions in energy use, greenhouse gases and water consumption, as well as cost savings. The EPEAT Environmental Benefits Calculator results can be used by organizations as part of their CDP and GRI reporting.
October 01, 2018
On 18 Nov 2016 EPA finalized a rule that updated the existing refrigerant management requirements and extended requirements previously applicable only to refrigerants containing an ODS to substitute refrigerants such as HFCs that are subject to the venting prohibition. EPA proposes revision of appliance maintenance and leak repair provisions so they apply only to equipment using refrigerant containing a class I or class II substance. Based on this proposed limitation, this document also proposes to revise the list of practices to be followed in order for refrigerant releases to be considered de minimis to clarify that the reference to following leak repair practices only applies to equipment that contains ODS refrigerant. EPA is taking comment on whether the 2016 Rule's extension of subpart F refrigerant management requirements to substitute refrigerants should be rescinded in full. EPA is proposing to extend by 6 to 12 mo the 1 Jan 2019 compliance date for when appliances containing only substitute refrigerants subject to the venting prohibition must comply with the appliance maintenance and leak repair provisions. Written comments must be received by 15 Nov 2018. POC is Jeremy Arling: USEPA, Stratospheric Protection Div (6205T), 1200 Penn Ave NW, Wash, DC 20460; tel: 202-343-9055; email: arling.jeremy@epa.gov (FR; 1 Oct 18 [Proposed Rules], pages pages 49332-49344).
Federal employees and sponsored contractors are invited to attend the 2019 Federal Environmental Symposium, to be held at the Natcher Conference Center, NIH Bethesda Campus on August 20-21, 2019. The theme of the event will be Federal Facilities Leading Environmental Change, and it will bring together federal staff and their contractors to discuss environmental regulations, success and challenges. The event is FREE so mark your calendar and stay tuned to FedCenter for more information in the coming weeks! See attached flyer.
September 30, 2018
Federally-owned hospitals, laboratories, and other medical facilities are located at federal facilities across the country. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has observed that many of these facilities have consistent and persistent compliance issues with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste regulations. These compliance issues have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties at federally-owned medical facilities over the years. EPA, in close collaboration with the states, is addressing this non-compliance through its full complement of compliance assurance tools, including inspections, enforcement, compliance assistance, and training. To help federally-owned medical facilities improve their compliance with the RCRA requirements, EPA is hosting a compliance assistance webinar focusing on the most common RCRA hazardous waste violations found at federally-owned and operated medical facilities. Read more ...
September 27, 2018
The Bureau of Reclamation has settled federal hazardous waste handling violations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at Grand Coulee Dam in Northeastern Washington. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations discovered during EPA's 2017 inspection included: failure to conduct weekly inspections of hazardous waste accumulation areas; improper container management and failure to follow waste labeling requirements; improper hazardous waste storage (beyond 180 days) without a permit; violations of used oil and universal waste management requirements; and failure to make a hazardous waste determination. The waste in question included ignitable and corrosive compounds, used oil, mercury light ballasts and lithium batteries. As part of the Consent Agreement and Final Order with EPA, a $115,500 penalty was assessed. None of the violations outlined above occurred in publicly accessible areas.
September 25, 2018
Energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) are long-term contracts, and over the years of a project's performance period, there will inevitably be changes (e.g. turnover in personnel, contract modifications, etc.) that could challenge the federal agency's ability to perform appropriate ESPC administration after the project is installed and accepted. This webinar addresses the responsibilities of both agency contracting and technical personnel for administering an ESPC task order as well as the energy service company's (ESCO) responsibilities during the post-acceptance performance period. This webinar will also address the types of U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) assistance available to agencies in managing their responsibilities.
ESPCs allow federal agencies to implement energy savings projects without up-front capital costs and special Congressional appropriations. An ESPC is a collaboration between a federal agency and an energy service company (ESCO). U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ESPCs can help federal agencies effectively meet their energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation goals. This 3-day training workshop provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the ESPC process and how to get started with a project at a site or facility. Training sections include exercises focusing on technical and contracting topics that provide the student with an opportunity to learn by doing. Video case studies offer viewers visual examples of projects at sites and facilities. Each training module contains ESPC best practices for each process. Registration is open to federal employees, DOE national labs, and state and local government employees. Others, such as DOE M&O contractors may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
September 24, 2018
Application page for EPA's October 23, 2018, 2:00-3:30pm, Common RCRA Non-Compliance Issues at Federal Medical Facilities training webinar.
A bill to encourage Federal agencies to enter into or amend cooperative agreements with States for removal and remedial actions to address PFAS contamination in drinking water, surface water, ground water, sediment, and soil, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned (Congressional Record; 17 September 2018 [House], page H8731)
September 21, 2018
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) sponsors the annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards to recognize individuals and organizations for significant contributions to energy and water efficiency within the federal government. Winners come from the Air Force, Army, Navy, VA, DOE, CDC, DHHS, DOI, and multiple other agencies.
A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to increase assistance for States, water systems, and disadvantaged communities; to encourage good financial and environmental management of water systems; and to strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce the requirements of the Act, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce (Congressional Record; 13 September 2018 [House], page H8725tion).
September 19, 2018
A bill to re-establish certain hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure rules, standards for well construction, and waste management rules, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned (Congressional Record; 10 September 2018 [House], page H8107).
A bill to provide for removal of the gray wolf in the contiguous 48 States from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; to the Committee on Natural Resources (Congressional Record; 12 September 2018 [House], page H8710).
A bill to improve processes for alternative wastewater systems, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned (Congressional Record; 13 September 2018 [House], page H8724).
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Last Updated: March 08, 2017