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.
June 18, 2021
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.
FEMP intends to distinguish federal employees who developed and implemented exemplary, cost-effective projects and programs that cut energy waste and advance America's progress toward energy independence, resilience, and security, while also advancing federal agency missions.
The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards honor outstanding achievements in:
Energy and water efficiency and conservation
Energy and water resilience and cybersecurity
Distributed energy generation
Fleet and transportation management.
June 17, 2021
A bill to amend the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to clarify ambiguous provisions, align the Act with relevant case law, reflect modern technologies, optimize interagency coordination, and facilitate a more efficient, effective, and timely environmental review process.
(Congressional Record: 14 April 2021 [House] Pages H1788-H1790)
June 15, 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: 26 March 2021 [House] Pages H1687-H1692)
June 14, 2021
Having previously granted a public petition to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting information that will aid in addressing the impacts of the regulatory action. This is the first time that a substance will be added to the HAP list since the initial list was established by the 1990 CAA Amendments. The addition of 1-BP to the HAP list could have immediate regulatory compliance impacts to facilities that emit 1-BP. The EPA is soliciting data and information on 1-BP usage, emission controls, and costs to inform the process to address the implementation of the upcoming listing action and to ensure that the regulatory infrastructure is in place to effectively and efficiently control the emissions of 1-BP. The EPA is not soliciting comments on the decision that granted petitions to list 1-BP as a HAP and has not reopened that decision for comments. Comments must be received on or before 26 July 2021. For questions about this action, contact Susan Miller, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D205-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. EPA Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-2443 and email: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 11 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 31225-31233)
Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation account for about 28 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. As we work together to address the profound climate crisis, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center's new speaker series, Innovation for a Sustainable, Equitable Transportation System, will explore how to transition to a low-/no-carbon transportation system--one that enables disadvantaged communities to gain access to mobility, jobs, and economic opportunity.
Spending on bike infrastructure? Make more confident decisions by fine-tuning how you assess exposure. Identify the right spots for safety upgrades, and measure the results by using three types of analysis shared in this webinar: Measure all bike activity on any road, for any time period, to capture more than sensors and surveys can; Move beyond per-capita safety data: Calculate total bike miles traveled to understand exposure; and Access historical activity for "before-and-after" studies to measure infrastructure and policy impact.
June 11, 2021
To help deliver on the EPA commitment to help reduce the potential risks to the public from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the agency is announcing three important actions that will better protect all communities from pollution. The Agency's actions include issuing a proposed rule that is designed to gather comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in the United States, withdrawing guidance that weakened EPA's?July 2020 Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) restricting certain long-chain PFAS, and publishing a final rule that officially incorporates three additional PFAS into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
Coastal places face a series of climate change threats from sea level rise, stronger storms, warmer temperatures and other stressors. Preparing for impacts such as coastal erosion and ecological change requires understanding climate change risks and selecting responses. Yet, planning and making important decisions when facing uncertainty about the future is one of the most difficult management responsibilities. Join this webinar to learn about methodologies and tools currently available and how they are being used to develop adaptation strategies. This webinar will feature presentations from scientists and managers whose organizations are making decisions and moving to action in the face of uncertainty.
June 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.
USFWS proposes to designate critical habitat for the Texas hornshell (Popenaias popeii), a freshwater mussel, ESA. In total, the proposed critical habitat designation includes approximately 463.6 river miles (745.9 kilometers) in Eddy County, New Mexico, and in Culberson, Brewster, Terrell, Val Verde, Kinney, Maverick, and Webb Counties, Texas. If finalized this rule as proposed, would extend the Act's protections to this species' critical habitat. The effect of this regulation is to designate critical habitat for the Texas hornshell under the Act. They also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat. They also are notifying the public that we have scheduled an informational meeting followed by a public hearing on the proposed rule. They will accept comments on this proposed rule or draft economic analysis that are received or postmarked on or before 9 August 2021.
(Federal Register 10 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 30888-30909)
June 09, 2021
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed two North Carolina species, the Carolina madtom (Noturus furiosus) as endangered, and the Neuse River waterdog (Necturus lewisi) as threatened, under the ESA. They also issue a rule under section 4(d) of the Act for the Neuse River waterdog, to provide for the conservation of this species. In addition, they designate critical habitat for both species under the Act. For the Carolina madtom, approximately 257 river miles (mi) (414 river kilometers (km)) fall within 7 units of critical habitat in Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Johnston, Jones, Nash, Orange, Vance, Warren, and Wilson Counties, North Carolina. For the Neuse River waterdog, approximately 779 river mi (1,254 river km) fall within 18 units of critical habitat in Craven, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Orange, Person, Pitt, Wake, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson Counties, North Carolina. This rule extends the Act's protections to these species and their designated critical habitats. This rule is effective 9 July 2021. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel 919-816-6408.
(Federal Register 9 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 30688-30751)
June 08, 2021
Streams throughout the U.S. and world-wide have increased in salinity due to multiple processes, including road salt and human-accelerated weathering of impervious surfaces, reductions in acid rain, and other anthropogenic legacies. This freshwater salinization, in turn, mobilizes chemical cocktails via ion exchange and other biogeochemical processes. This webinar will examine fate and transport of salts and chemical cocktails, describe environmental impacts, and discuss the use of real-time sensor data to characterize trends of nutrients and metals using long-term data from urban streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In addition, approaches to managing this growing environmental and health problem will be discussed.
This webinar will explore challenges and opportunities for food and beverage businesses related to waste management.? This event is part of a series of webinars hosted by UMass Lowell and supported by a pollution prevention (P2) grant from EPA Region 1 to help these businesses make improvements that save money and reduce their environmental impact.
June 07, 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.
June 04, 2021
EPA is adding three per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of chemicals subject to toxic chemical release reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). This action implements the statutory mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020 NDAA) enacted on December 20, 2019. As this action is being taken to conform the regulations to a Congressional legislative mandate, notice and comment rulemaking is unnecessary. This final rule is effective 6 July 2021. POC is Daniel R. Ruedy, Data Gathering and Analysis Division, Mail Code 7410M, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; tel: (202) 564-7974; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Federal Register 3 June 2021 [Rule] Pages 29698-29701
This webinar will feature presentations on key principles and practices for meaningful public engagement and involvement in environmental programs, highlighting tribal environmental programs' public participation practices and EPA public participation practices in Indian country and in indigenous communities.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list Tiehm's buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii) as an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. The Service has determined, after a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, that the petitioned action to list Tiehm's buckwheat, a plant species native to Nevada in the United States, is warranted. The Service, therefore, will promptly publish a proposed rule to list Tiehm's buckwheat under the Act. The finding in this document was made on 4 June 2021. POC is Marc Jackson, Reno Ecological Services Field Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; tel 775-861-6337. (Federal Register 4 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 29975-29977
June 03, 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.
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: email@example.com. (Federal Register 26 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 28277-28290
USFWS proposes to list two Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a grassland bird known from southeastern Colorado, western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the lesser prairie-chicken. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the Southern DPS as endangered is warranted, and that listing the Northern DPS as threatened is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the Southern DPS as an endangered species under the Act and the Northern DPS as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized it will add these two DPSs to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the ESA's protections to them. They also are notifying the public that we have scheduled informational meetings followed by public hearings on the proposed rule. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 2 August 2021. (Federal Register 1 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 29432-29482
June 02, 2021
Many water recycling success stories are in larger cities. These two identical outreach and listening webcasts will introduce water recycling opportunities that make sense for smaller communities. Equally important, we want to learn from you about your communities' interests in water recycling and your needs for support to enable you to pursue recycling projects. We will follow up these webcasts with online training tailored for small and disadvantaged communities and set up pilot projects to assist individual communities with recycling project development. Whether you are reusing water now or just thinking about it, this webcast is designed for you! To register for the June 10th webcast, please visit this link
Lawmakers want to know how to budget for environmental clean-ups of military installations, but Defense leaders insist it's going to be a drawn-out process. In a hearing for the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) this week, officials from the services and the Pentagon told the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense where DoD stands on removing hazardous Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) chemicals and unexploded ordinances from military bases. DERP addresses two categories of sites: The Installation Restoration Program manages the cleanup of chemicals released to the environment, including PFAS, while the Military Munitions Response Program addresses former military range sites known or suspected to contain unexploded ordinances, discarded military munitions, or munitions constituents.
June 01, 2021
US EPA Region 6 will host training, via Microsoft Teams, to address questions from the regulated community to help federal agencies meet their environmental regulatory compliance needs and improve performance. More information to follow in the coming days.
May 28, 2021
Leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirming their joint commitment to collaborate on climate mitigation and adaptation at DHS facilities across the nation.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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.
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: email@example.com.
(Federal Register 21 May 2021 [Rule] Pages 27756-27790)
Program will close on 1 June 2021.Approximately 100 projects under the EJSG program for up to $75,000 for one-year projects and 46 EJCPS projects for up to $200,000 for two-year projects can potentially be awarded nationwide. Potential additional funding is specifically targeted for additional air quality and safe drinking water workforce training projects and will be added to the approximately $6 million of EJ funding detailed in the original funding announcements. Applicants interested in either funding opportunity must submit grant proposal packages by 1 June 2021 to be considered for the available funding. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on 1 October 2021.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Click
for more info.
DOE in partnership with the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI), announced a $6.5 million request for proposals (RFP) to develop new technologies for purifying non-traditional water sources. The advancements in desalination technologies will help propel the modernization of America's water infrastructure, increase access to clean, potable water and move the country towards net-zero emissions by 2050.
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)
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to issue regulations to implement certain provisions of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, as enacted on 27 December 2020. This rulemaking proposes to: Establish the hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption baselines based on historical data; establish the allowance allocation program to phase down hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption; determine an initial methodology to allocating allowances and allowing for the transfer of those allowances; establish provisions for the international transfer of allowances; establish requirements to support compliance with phasing down hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption; establish recordkeeping and reporting requirements; release certain data to provide transparency and support implementation of the program; and, address certain other elements related to the effective implementation of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act. In addition to the proposed provisions, EPA is seeking advance input on how the Agency may alter its determination of company-specific allocations in later years. Comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking must be received on or before 6 July 2022021. POC is Andy Chang, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Stratospheric Protection Division, tel: 202-564-6658; or email: email@example.com. Click
for more info.
May 21, 2021
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).