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What's New at FedCenter


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 22, 2021
U.S. industrial organizations are increasingly looking to renewable power and fuel sources to reduce fossil fuel demand and carbon emissions. This webinar will navigate the renewable energy market by providing background on renewable technologies and their benefits, as well as a wide range of purchasing options. It will also highlight tools and resources for evaluating renewable energy projects and introduce Better Plants' new guide, "Renewable Energy Guidance for Industry."
September 21, 2021
Building materials and construction represent 11% of global CO2 emissions. In this webinar, move from theoretical assessment and reduction to practice as panelists share real-world examples of tackling embodied carbon. Join us as we explore life-cycle assessments and building design and renovation to reduce CO2 emissions.
September 20, 2021
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing transdisciplinary research to analyze environmental problems at the intersection of climate change, environmental justice (EJ), and vulnerable populations and life stages. Applications are due 16 November 2021. An informational webinar will occur 5 October 2021.
On January 2015, EPA, states, and the motor vehicle industry signed an agreement to reduce the use of copper and other materials in motor vehicle brake pads. The agreement calls for reducing copper in brake pads nationwide to no more than 0.5 percent by weight by 2025 roads into the nation's streams, rivers, and lakes. The webinar will explore how this voluntary initiative and these partnerships developed, the roles of the signatories, and the progress made so far. Speakers will highlight lessons learned and considerations for organizations considering future voluntary source control partnerships. For more information about the copper-free brake initiative, visit Copper-Free Brakes
September 17, 2021
Many cities and municipalities have adopted green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) practices to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and meet water quality standards. GSI practices can also yield many co-benefits, including flood risk reduction, improved air quality and related health benefits, energy savings, climate resilience, enhanced community livability, and more. This webcast will summarize the results of Economic Framework and Tools for Quantifying and Monetizing the Triple Bottom Line Benefits of Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Presenters will describe a rigorous economic framework to quantify and monetize individual benefit categories for green stormwater infrastructure through triple bottom line analysis. In addition, the presenters will conduct a live demo on a supporting tool, along with utility case studies for tool applications in different climate regions and municipalities (e.g., Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York City).
This award is given to recognize efforts to ensure mission accomplishment and protection of human health through implementation of environmental management systems, pollution prevention, and environmental compliance that promotes sustainability in the areas of environmental planning, waste management, and land, air and water resource protection. These are annual awards celebrating the previous years' accomplishments/innovations. Nominations are typically accepted until March and the awards given in June.
In preparation for the American Rescue Plan's enhanced air monitoring competitive grant competition, EPA is hosting a general grants training for community organizations, tribes, and air agencies. This webinar will cover: Available EPA Grant Resources and Trainings; Applying to Opportunities using Grants.gov; Preparing Grant Applications; The Competitive Grant Process; and Audience Questions & Answers.
For most of us, recycling is something we do without much thought. In other words, we have "operationalized" the routine to the point it is almost a reflex. Although society has not operationalized water efficiency to the same extent, proven success with notable Fortune 500 companies and a developing municipal water conservation program in Spokane, WA shows how a simple change in traditional water efficiency audits could be the missing link to a future where water efficiency is as common as recycling is today. Attendees will learn how to: 1. Emphasize lowering total operational costs; 2. Diagnose water efficiency opportunities at a Commercial, Institutional, or Industrial (CII) property; 3. Simplify the initial steps required to make water efficiency routine across CII Properties; and 4. Integrate proven "tricks of the trade" to make water efficiency part of daily routines.
September 16, 2021
This notice announces issuance by all 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions of the final 2021 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP)--the 2021 PGP. The 2021 PGP, which has an effective date of 31 October 2021, replaces the existing permit (2016 PGP) that expires at midnight on 31 October 2021, and authorizes certain point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA is issuing this permit for five (5) years in all areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. For further information on the final permit, contact the appropriate EPA Regional office listed in the federal register. (Federal Register 16 September 2021 [Notice] Pages 51665-51669).
Since 1991, EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program has collected pollution prevention information from more than 22,000 industrial facilities. Each year manufacturers implement projects to eliminate or reduce the creation of chemical waste, and they must report these activities to the TRI Program. Community members, local government representatives, facility personnel, and others can access this information through multiple resources and use it to further the identification and advancement of pollution prevention opportunities. Join this webinar to learn about TRI P2 data, including: TRI P2 reporting requirements and available data; Examples of implemented P2 projects at facilities; A live demo of how to find P2 data for specific chemicals or industry sectors; and Resources for and benefits of implementing P2 projects at facilities.
On August 31, 2021, EPA and DOJ issued an updated version of its CERCLA model remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) consent decree (CD) and accompanying statement of work (SOW). These documents serve as the basis for negotiating cleanup work agreements with potentially responsible parties at Superfund sites. This presentation will provide an overview of the updated model documents, an explanation of the key revisions including some enhanced community involvement provisions, and a demonstration of new tools that will allow drafting attorneys to easily modify the consent decree for particular situations (e.g., operable unit v. site wide CD). Superfund practitioners, community groups, and other interested stakeholders will gain important insight into the development of these new models and the impact on the negotiation process.
September 15, 2021
Join SERDP and ESTCP for a webinar on DoD-funded research to manage the impacts of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) by destroying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater and developing PFAS-free firefighting foams. The first presentation will discuss sustainable, cost-effective groundwater treatment technologies for PFAS removal. The second presentation will discuss modular design strategies used to design novel formulations for PFAS-free firefighting foams.
September 14, 2021
COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors; Improvement Efforts
September 9 2021
This EO promotes economy and efficiency in Federal procurement by ensuring that the parties that contract with the Federal Government provide adequate COVID-19 safeguards to their workers performing on or in connection with a Federal Government contract or contract-like instrument. These safeguards will decrease the spread of COVID-19, which will decrease worker absence, reduce labor costs, and improve the efficiency of contractors and subcontractors at sites where they are performing work for the Federal Government.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination; Requirement for Federal Employees (Final)
September 9 2021
It is the policy of the Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Each agency shall implement, to the extent consistent with applicable law, a program to require COVID-19 vaccination for all of its Federal employees, with exceptions only as required by law.
September 13, 2021
The DOE released the Solar Futures Study detailing the significant role solar will play in decarbonizing the nation’s power grid. The study shows that by 2035, solar energy has the potential to power 40% of the nation’s electricity, drive deep decarbonization of the grid, and employ as much as 1.5 million people—without raising electricity prices. The study’s findings call for massive and equitable deployment of clean energy sources, underscoring the Biden Administration’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis and rapidly increase access to renewable power throughout the country.
This webinar features EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a powerful online tool that can help you track and manage your system's energy usage and energy savings from efficiency projects, including related greenhouse gas emissions for your inventories. We will discuss how Portfolio Manager benefits water and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) systems, and demonstrate how you can create an account and benchmark your systems at no cost to you. Discussion will include some of the most common energy-saving recommendations. Other topics may include additional energy and cost saving recommendations such as composting sludge and selling it as fertilizer, biogas generation from sludge, demand shifting, electricity rate plan changes, switching to LEDs, replacing motors with high efficiency ones, etc.
EPA is hosting a virtual environmental justice webinar series. This webinar and series are free and open to the public. During this webinar attendees will learn practical tips on successful grant-writing and how to access community-based funding (i.e., federal, state grants, foundations, other community-based funding sources).
EPA estimates the benefits of preserving aquatic resources using the water quality index (WQI). The WQI focuses on metrics related to human use, such as recreation, but fails to fully capture aspects important to nonuse values of aquatic ecosystems, such as existence values. Stated preference surveys can quantify the nonuse values of streams and lakes but require an appropriate index of biological health to be able to measure and compare biological condition. In a recent effort, EPA researchers identified an appropriate biological health index to be applied in a forthcoming national stated preference survey that will estimate nonuse values of streams and lakes throughout the conterminous United States (CONUS). Through a literature review and focus groups, researchers compared two aquatic indices that are regularly used to quantify biological health by EPA's National Aquatic Resources Surveys: 1) multimetric indices (MMIs) and 2) the observed-to-expected ratio of taxonomic composition (O/E). This webinar will discuss this comparison, implications for estimating benefits of preserving aquatic resources, and forthcoming work to link O/E with water quality and habitat models, which would forecast changes in O/E resulting from future regulatory action.
September 10, 2021
September 09, 2021
EPA is soliciting information and requesting comments to assist in the potential development of regulations for pyrolysis and gasification units that are used to convert solid or semi-solid feedstocks, including solid waste (e.g., municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial waste, hospital/medical/infectious waste, sewage sludge, other solid waste), biomass, plastics, tires, and organic contaminants in soils and oily sludges to useful products such as energy, fuels and chemical commodities. Pyrolysis and gasification are often described as heat induced thermal decomposition processes. Through recent requests for applicability determinations, it appears that pyrolysis and gasification processes are more widely being used to convert waste into useful products or energy. Comments must be received on or before 8 November 2021. POC is Nabanita Modak Fischer, Fuels and Incineration Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-05), EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tele: (919) 541-5572; email address: modak.nabanita@epa.gov. (Federal Register 8 September 2021 [Proposed Rules] Pages 50296-50303).
USFWS determined endangered species status under the ESA, for the slenderclaw crayfish (Cambarus cracens), a cryptic freshwater crustacean that is endemic to streams on Sand Mountain within the Tennessee River Basin in DeKalb and Marshall Counties, Alabama. This rule adds this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. In addition, they designate approximately 78 river miles (126 river kilometers) in DeKalb and Marshall Counties, Alabama, as critical habitat for the species under the Act. This rule is effective 8 October 2021. POC is William Pearson, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, 1208-B Main Street, Daphne, AL 36526; tele 251-441-5870. (Federal Register 8 September 2021 [Rule] Pages 50264-50287)
September 08, 2021
Laboratory fume hoods are energy-intensive. This calculator estimates annual fume hood energy use and costs for user-specified climates and assumptions about operation and equipment efficiencies. To create comparative energy-use scenarios, vary inputs in the Assumptions panel as desired. The fume hood calculator is sponsored by the DOE and FEMP.
The Smart Labs Toolkit has been updated with a new quick reference Smart Labs Checklist , two new webinar recordings, and five new Best Practice Guides from I2SL, the host of the Toolkit.
Data centers are energy-intensive and opportunities exist to reduce energy use, but significant knowledge, training, and skills are required to perform accurate data center energy assessments. In order to accelerate energy savings, the data center industry and DOE partnered to develop the Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP) Program. The DCEP training program certifies energy practitioners qualified to evaluate the energy status and efficiency opportunities in data centers.
This webinar will educate attendees (federal employees, utility and ESCO representatives) who work with performance contracts about how to follow the FEMP guidance on escalation rates and how to use the Energy Escalation Rate Calculator (EERC). It will focus on the importance of setting escalation rates responsibly (i.e., not unduly low, which raises interest costs and potentially sacrifices project scope, or high, which exposes the customer to the risk that actual monetary savings will fall short of contractor payments). In addition, this webinar will train attendees on the proper use of the online NIST/FEMP EERC tool, including the handling of carbon pricing.
Federal agency staff are facing increasing pressure to defend operational technologies against cyber intrusion. This webinar will provide an overview of new cybersecurity self-assessment tools focused specifically on facility related control systems (FRCS) funded by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). This webinar will focus on a new architecture generation interactive tool (ArcGen) that helps users to architect the operational technology (OT) network and discover security gaps and needed enhancements.
September 07, 2021
USFWS announce their 90-day finding in response to a petition to revise critical habitat for the jaguar (Panthera onca) pursuant to the ESA. The petition requests the Service to revise the existing critical habitat designation by removing approximately 20,234 hectares (50,000 acres) of land in the northern Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona and an adjoining critical habitat subunit, including land containing the proposed Rosemont Mine. Their 90-day finding is that the petition does not present substantial scientific information indicating that the requested revision to the critical habitat designation may be warranted. The finding announced in this document was made on 7 September 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office; Arizona Ecological Services Field Office at 9828 North 31st Ave. C3, Phoenix, AZ; tele 602-242-0210. (Federal Register: 7 September 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 49985-49989)
USFWS proposes to designate critical habitat for the Miami tiger beetle (Cicindelidia floridana) under the ESA. In total, approximately 1,977 acres (ac) (800 hectares (ha)) in Miami-Dade County, Florida, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. If they finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species' critical habitat. They also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Miami tiger beetle. they will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 8 November 2021.POC is Roxanna Hinzman, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; tele 772-562-3909. (Federal Register: 7 September 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 49945-49985)
USFWS announces their 12-month finding on a petition to list the pyramid pigtoe (Pleurobema rubrum), a freshwater mussel species from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia, as an endangered or threatened species under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the pyramid pigtoe as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalizes this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 8 November 2021. POC is Janet Mizzi, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Asheville Ecological Services Field Office, 160 Zillicoa St, Asheville, NC 28801; tele 828-258-3939. (Federal Register: 7 September 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 49989-50011)
Document recommends the use of eProject Builder, which carries additional value in its simplification of federal agency reporting by dovetailing with the Federal Energy Management Program's EISA 432 Compliance Tracking System.
September 03, 2021
EPA report that shows the most severe harms from climate change fall disproportionately upon underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts. EPA's analysis indicates that racial and ethnic minority communities are particularly vulnerable to the greatest impacts of climate change. This report is one of the most advanced environmental justice studies to date that looks at how projected climate change impacts may be distributed across the American public.
September 02, 2021
A bill to amend title 46, United States Code, with respect to prohibited acts by ocean common carriers or marine terminal operator. (Congressional Record 10 August 2021 [House] Pages H4324-H4325)
Congress.gov allows users to search the legislation records for specific bills introduced in Congress since 1973. Bills may be searched by number or keyword from the search bar. After results are returned, one can narrow the set by selecting additional criteria from the filters. Filters available for legislation include: Congress, Bill Type, Status of Legislation, Subject – Policy Area, and others.
The latest TSCA Inventory is now available. The TSCA Inventory is a list of all existing chemical substances manufactured, processed, or imported in the U.S. This biannual update to the public TSCA Inventory is part of EPA's regular posting of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data. The next regular update of the Inventory is planned for winter 2022. The Inventory contains 86,607 chemicals of which 41,953 are active in U.S commerce. Other updates to the TSCA Inventory include new chemical substance additions, commercial activity data and regulatory flags, such as polymer exemptions, TSCA section 4 test orders and TSCA section 5 significant new use rules (SNURs).
September 01, 2021
USFWS, determined threatened species status under the ESA, for Bartram's stonecrop (Graptopetalum bartramii), a plant known from Arizona and Mexico. They also issue a final rule under the authority of section 4(d) (a "4(d) rule") of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of Bartram's stonecrop. They have determined that designation of critical habitat for Bartram's stonecrop is not prudent. This rule is effective 30 September 2021. POC is Jeff Humphrey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Avenue, #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051-2517. (Federal Register 31 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 48545-48569)
USFWS proposes to remove the snail darter (Percina tanasi), a small freshwater fish native to the Tennessee River watershed, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). Their review of the best available scientific and commercial data indicates that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or a threatened species under the ESA. If finalized this rule as proposed, the prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act, particularly through sections 7 and 9, would no longer apply to the snail darter. They request information and comments from the public regarding this proposed rule to remove the snail darter from the List (i.e., "delist" the species). They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 1 November 2021. POC is Daniel Elbert, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, TN 38506; tele (931) 528-6481 (Federal Register 1 September 2021 [Rule] Pages 49035-49037)
EPA has announced the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to deliver Brownfields Job Training (JT) programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment across a spectrum of brownfield-related activities. The application submission deadline is 5 October 2021.
August 31, 2021
A bill to direct the Secretary of Defense to ensure that removal and remedial actions relating to PFAS contamination result in levels meeting or exceeding certain standards. (Congressional Record 6 August 2021 [House] Pages H4318-H4320)
August 30, 2021
A bill to prohibit the procurement, purchase, and sale by the Department of Defense of certain items containing a perfluoroalkyl substance or polyfluoroalkyl substance. (Congressional Record 6 August 2021 [House] Pages H4318-H4320)
Despite numerous studies evaluating mesocarnivore population reduction as a tool for managing wild prey populations, there remains mush more controversy associated with efficacy of the practice. This webinar will explore existing data to better understand this controversy. Important questions for determining when predators may limit a population will be discussed. Finally, the webinar will provided criteria that may be useful for predicting efficacy of predator population manipulations for increasing prey populations.
August 27, 2021
A bill to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to affirm that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act's prohibition on the unauthorized take or killing of migratory birds includes incidental take by commercial activities, and to direct the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to regulate such incidental take. (Congressional Record: 29 July 2021 [House] Pages H4289-H4293)
A bill to reestablish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control in the Environmental Protection Agency. (Congressional Record 30 July 2021 [House] Pages H4304-H4306)
To assist agencies with the incorporating 50001 Ready requirements to ISO 14001:2015 principles, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed a crosswalk guidance document. Using an Energy Management System (EnMS) enables an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. This means an EnMS, like an environmental management system (EMS) per ISO 14001, manages energy as a resource through a process-based approach rather than a project-based approach. DOE's Adaptation Guide lists actions you can take within your EMS to meet the requirements of DOE's 50001 Ready program. In addition, DOE Crosswalk identifies requirements that differ between ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 50001:2018 and provides tips and recommended actions to implement an energy management system (EnMS) that conforms to ISO 50001.
August 26, 2021
USFWS proposes to list six Central Texas mussel species: The Guadalupe fatmucket (Lampsilis bergmanni), Texas fatmucket (Lampsilis bracteata), Texas fawnsfoot (Truncilla macrodon), Guadalupe orb (Cyclonaias necki), Texas pimpleback (Cyclonaias petrina), and false spike (Fusconaia mitchelli) as endangered or threatened under ESA. After review they find that listing Guadalupe fatmucket, Texas fatmucket, Guadalupe orb, Texas pimpleback, and false spike as endangered species is warranted, and listing Texas fawnsfoot as a threatened species is warranted. Proposed arule issued under section 4(d) of the Act (``4(d) rule') for Texas fawnsfoot. If finalized this rule would add these species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. They also propose to designate critical habitat for six species under the Act. Approximately 1,944 river miles (3,129 river kilometers) in Texas fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designations, and the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 25 October 2021. POC is Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; tele (512) 490-0057. (Federal Register 26 August 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 47916-48011).
August 25, 2021
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis) under the ESA. They designate a total of approximately 1,315 acres (538 hectares) of critical habitat for these species in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. This rule extends the Act's protections to the Georgetown salamander's and Salado salamander's designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 17 September 2021. POC is Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; tele 512-490-0057. [Federal Register 18 August 2021 [Rule] Pages 46536-46578).
This August 2021 edition of The Corps Environment highlights considering the environment when employing a risk management and systems approach, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #5. Content includes commentary from Mr. Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment and Energy Resilience), and highlights initiatives across the Army environmental community. Content includes:
  • U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) discusses their formation of a tiger team to tackle climate change
  • U.S. Army Environmental Command highlights how the Army's commitment to endangered species is enhancing training lands
  • USACE Far East District shares how they are leading biodiversity efforts for American forces in Korea
  • USACE Omaha District discusses how they are leveraging an innovative approach to clean up and restore a formerly used defense site
  • ERDC highlights how USACE and its partners received an international award for the Tyndall Coastal Resilience Study.
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    Last Updated: July 08, 2021