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 21, 2023
EPA finalized regulatory changes that address several key issues in the Polychlorinated Biphenyls Cleanup and Disposal program under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This final rule expands the available options for extraction and determinative methods used to characterize and verify the cleanup of PCB waste, which would greatly reduce the amount of solvent used in PCB extraction processes. EPA also finalized more flexible provisions to facilitate cleanup of waste during emergencies (e.g., hurricanes or floods), strengthened protections for the performance-based disposal option for PCB remediation waste, and made other updates to the regulations. EPA's revisions are based on the emergence of new science and information about PCBs, the advancement of analytical methods and technology, and requests from the regulated community to address concerns and improve the clarity of the regulations.
The goal of these reports is to provide a guide to a private sector-led, industry-wide decarbonization effort that is deeper and faster than it would otherwise be and that directly benefits fenceline communities by emphasizing environmental justice and the creation of good jobs. Key highlights from the reports: 1) The pressing need for deep decarbonization in carbon-intensive industrial sectors. 2) Current U.S. industrial strategies risk falling behind net-zero targets. 3) Potential pathways for industries to remain on track with decarbonization targets. 4) A call to action for significant capital investment and robust technological adaptation across sectors. The release of these reports underscores the DOE's commitment to providing actionable insights and strategies to drive the U.S. towards a more sustainable industrial future.
Priorities in material selection have changed. From global environmental objectives to specific federal policy changes, the way we go about material selection and justifications must check several boxes. This presentation will outline how climate resilience, low-embodied carbon materials objectives, and LCCA intersect while also providing separate important data points in the evaluation of materials for each client project. The panelists' significant experience on federal and private sector projects will provide valuable lessons learned to improve the sustainability impact and performance of all buildings.
September 20, 2023
warranted for listing as endangered or threatened species under ESA. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that it is not warranted at this time to delist the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). We also find that is not warranted at this time to list the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae), plains spotted skunk (Spilogale interrupta, formerly recognized as one of three subspecies of eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius interrupta)), sicklefin chub (Macrhybopsis meeki), sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida), Tennessee cave salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus), and Yazoo crayfish (Faxonius hartfieldi, formerly Orconectes hartfieldi). However, they ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of any of the species mentioned above or their habitats. The findings in this document were made on 20 September 2023. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this finding to the appropriate person listed in the Federal Register. (Federal Register 19 September 2023 [Proposed Rule] Pages 64870-64880)
USFWS propose to list the Miami cave crayfish (Procambarus milleri), a crayfish species from Miami-Dade County, Florida, as a threatened species under ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the Miami cave crayfish. 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 Miami cave crayfish as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized this proposed rule 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 20 November 2023. POC is Lourdes Mena, Division Manager, Florida Classification and Recovery, USFWS, Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256–7517; tele 904–731–3134. (Federal Register 19 September 2023 [Proposed Rule] Pages 64870-64880)
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is adopting the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Categorical Exclusion (CE) under the National Environmental Policy Act to use in DOT programs and funding opportunities administered by DOT. This notice describes the categories of proposed actions for which DOT intends to use DOE's CEs and describes the consultation between the agencies. This action is effective upon publication. POC is April Marchese, Deputy Director, P–30, Office of Environment, by phone at 202–366–2074, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA's National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs) advance the Agency Strategic Plan's objectives to improve air quality, provide for clean and safe water, ensure chemical safety, and improve compliance with our nation's environmental laws while enhancing shared accountability between the EPA and states and tribes with authorized environmental programs.
September 19, 2023
EPA is kicking-off the 25th Pollution Prevention (P2) Week with a series of events and activities to advance practices that reduce, eliminate or prevent pollution at its source. P2 practices, prior to recycling, treatment or disposal, can help reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources and reduce cleanup and financial costs for businesses. It is essential for protecting public health and improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities that have long been overburdened by pollution. During P2 Week, EPA will hold several events to help businesses and P2 practitioners.
EPA is joining state and local partners to launch SepticSmart Week 2023, a week-long annual campaign to educate homeowners and renters on how to properly maintain their septic systems. When septic systems are well-functioning, the health of the nation's communities and ecosystems is better protected. By being SepticSmart, homeowners can also avoid thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs. Running from September 18 through September 22 this year, SepticSmart week is a partnership between EPA, state, Tribal, and local officials, wastewater professionals, and homeowners.
This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focuses on DoD-funded research efforts on transitioning from active to passive remedies at DoD sites. Specifically, investigators will talk about the development of a quantitative framework for predicting abiotic attenuation under natural and transitional site management scenarios and a web-based application to perform a site-specific transition assessment. First presenter will discuss the development of a web-based application to assist site managers in assessing transition from active remedies to natural attenuation. Second presenter will talk about the development of a quantitative framework for predicting abiotic attenuation under natural and transitional site management scenarios.
September 18, 2023
USACE announced the 2023 Environmental and Sustainability Award winners! USACE's Environmental and Sustainability Awards Program provides the opportunity to mark our significant contributions towards protecting and preserving our environment. Environmental stewardship is ingrained in our culture here at USACE. It is indoctrinated in our Environmental Operating Principles and illustrated through the many actions being taken across our Military, Civil Works and R&D missions. This year's winners exemplify the strength in our collective efforts across the enterprise to shape a sustainable future for current and future generations. More information about these outstanding winners will be provided in future Environmental Community of Practice SITREPs, The Corps Environment, and on the Environmental Community of Practice SharePoint.
EPA announced $19 million in new grant funding that will work to improve the climate resilience of the nation's water infrastructure. EPA's Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability grant program will support drinking water systems in underserved, small and disadvantaged communities that are working to prepare for and reduce vulnerability to impacts from climate change ranging from extreme flooding to extreme drought.
September 15, 2023
DOE announced more than $6.3 million for six research and development projects to improve fish passage and protection technologies and reduce the environmental impacts of hydropower on species and ecosystems. Fish passage and protection technologies provide a way for fish to navigate barriers such as dams and impoundments and provide river connectivity by enabling fish movement and migrations. These selections support an increasingly important role for hydropower in providing grid reliability as the United States transitions to a clean energy system with more variable resources like wind and solar. These projects were selected as part of the Water Power Technologies Office's Advancing Fish Passage and Protection Technologies funding opportunity. Learn more about this and other water power funding opportunities.
EPA announced a final rule to restore the fundamental authority granted by Congress to states, territories, and Tribes to protect water resources that are essential to healthy people and thriving communities. The agency's final CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule will support clear, efficient, and focused water quality reviews of infrastructure and development projects that are key to economic growth. Clean Water Act Section 401 enables states, territories, and authorized Tribes to protect their water quality from adverse impacts of construction or operation of federally permitted projects. Under Section 401 of the Act, a federal agency may not issue a license or permit to conduct any activity that may result in any discharge into a water of the US, unless the appropriate state, territory, or authorized Tribe issues a CWA Section 401 water quality certification or waives certification. EPA's 2023 rule realigns the scope of Section 401 certification with decades of established practice and restores and strengthens the role of states, territories, and authorized Tribes. The rule enhances certification review and provides regulatory certainty to advance federally permitted projects. The rule emphasizes that states, territories, and Tribes may only consider the adverse water quality-impacts from the activity. The rule also provides a clear approach to defining the required contents in a request for certification.
September 14, 2023
EPA announced more than $100 million from President Biden's Investing in America agenda to expand recycling infrastructure and waste management systems across the country, representing EPA's largest recycling investment in 30 years. EPA has selected 25 communities to receive grants totaling more than $73 million under the newly created Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling funding opportunity. In addition, the agency is making available approximately $32 million for states and territories to improve solid waste management planning, data collection and implementation of plans. The recycling grants for communities will support improvements to waste management systems across the country and will range from $500,000 to $4 million per grant. Selected projects include purchasing new fleets of recycling collection vehicles and bins to provide curbside recycling services for communities currently lacking access; upgrades to material recovery facilities to reduce contamination; enhancements to composting and organics programs and infrastructure; and construction of various types of facilities that improve recycling, composting, and reuse infrastructure for materials such as plastics and food waste.
EPA resolved longstanding litigation covering over 1,000 pesticide products, allowing EPA to fulfill its obligations to protect endangered species while conducting reviews and approvals of pesticides in a safe and protective manner. This agreement and the prior partial settlement include obligations for EPA, many of which are also described in the ESA Workplan. Those actions include: 1) Development of mitigation measures for listed species that are particularly vulnerable to exposures from pesticides and determine how to apply these mitigations to future pesticide actions, as well as whether this Vulnerable Species Pilot should be expanded to more species. 2) Development and implementation of an Herbicide Strategy, a Rodenticide Strategy, Insecticide Strategy, and Fungicide strategy which will identify mitigation measures for entire classes of pesticides to address their potential impacts to hundreds of ESA-listed species. 3) Completion of the ESA work for eight organophosphates and four rodenticides. 4) Host a workshop for stakeholders to explore how to offset pesticide impacts on ESA-listed species in situations where eliminating or modifying pesticide use may not be feasible.
USFWS proposes to list the Quitobaquito tryonia (Tryonia quitobaquitae), a springsnail species from Arizona, as an endangered species under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the Quitobaquito tryonia. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. We also propose to designate critical habitat for the Quitobaquito tryonia under the Act. In total, approximately 6,095 square feet (566 square meters) across 2 subunits in Pima County, Arizona, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. They also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Quitobaquito tryonia. If finalize this rule would extend the Act's protections to this species and its designated critical habitat. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 13 November 2023. POC is Heather Whitlaw, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Ave #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051–2517; tele 602–242–0210. (Federal Register 13 September 2023 [Proposed Rule] Pages 62725-62747)
EPA is proposing to amend the General Provisions for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) to address applicability and compliance issues resulting from the addition of a compound to the list of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This action focuses on issues related to newly applicable standards for sources that become major sources solely from the addition of a compound to the CAA HAP list. This action also includes a discussion of the impacts of a newly listed HAP on the federal operating permit program. Comments must be received on or before 13 November 2023. POC is Susan Miller, Mail Drop: D205–02, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12055, RTP, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541–2443; email: email@example.com. (Federal Register 13 September 2023 [Proposed Rule] Pages 62711-62725)
The Spatial Environmental Assessment Toolkit (SEAT) connects results from state-of-the-science marine energy (ME) adapted numerical model with site-specific environmental data to assess and communicate the risk of ME converter induced changes, supporting compliance and ecosystem balanced power production. This webinar will outline the modeling tools and interface to assess site- and technology-specific factors in the deployment of marine energy arrays.
During this webinar OES-E Environmental will provide updates on progress to date and what's to come in the 2024 State of the Science report. OES-Environmental will talk about the important role of coordinating and disseminating research on environmental effects of MRE and practical applications of OES-Environmental resources. Joe Haxel from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's (PNNL) Triton initiative and Doug Gillespie from the University of St. Andrew's Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) will join OES-Environmental to discuss their efforts to expand our understanding by highlighting examples from their research around two key stressor-receptor interactions - underwater noise and collision risk.
Join EPA on September 19, 2023, at 2:00 PM (Eastern) to announce and celebrate the 2023 Regional Pollution Prevention Recognition Awards. These awards recognize the pollution prevention (P2) best practices of companies that have worked with EPA P2 grantees to implement P2 projects at their facilities. The awards highlight P2 successes that other companies can consider implementing as part of their business to help save money and protect human health and the environment.
September 13, 2023
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $19 million in new grant funding that will work to improve the climate resilience of the nation's water infrastructure. The funding available under this competitive grant opportunity will assist public water systems in underserved communities, small or disadvantaged, that are working to prepare for and reduce vulnerability to impacts from climate change ranging from extreme flooding to extreme drought.
EPA released a new report that finds that President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act – the largest climate investment ever – spurs major carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions from the U.S. electricity sector and across the economy. The report, "Electricity Sector Emissions Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act: Assessment of projected CO2 emissions reductions from changes in electricity generation and use," relies upon results from state-of-the-art models to assess how the Inflation Reduction Act's investments in clean electricity and other climate solutions across sectors will reduce emissions. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, which is lowering energy costs for families, creating jobs across the country, and protecting lands and waters for future generations.
This report is consistent with, and incorporates results from, recent reports issued by the Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as results from a peer-reviewed analysis conducted by external, independent, energy and emissions modeling experts. The reports all show accelerated and significant reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions with the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.
EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2024 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards from companies or institutions that have developed a new green chemistry process or product that helps protect human health and the environment. EPA's efforts to speed the adoption of this revolutionary and diverse discipline have led to significant environmental benefits, innovation, and a strengthened economy. The awards program highlights green chemistry that helps prevent pollution before it is even created, making it a preferred approach for providing solutions to some of the nation's most significant environmental challenges. Nominations are due to EPA by Dec. 8, 2023. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute will formally judge the 2024 nominations and make recommendations to EPA for the 2024 winners. EPA anticipates giving awards to outstanding green chemistry technologies in six categories in fall 2024. Additionally, EPA is announcing a webinar to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT, to educate stakeholders on the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards and the nomination process.
September 12, 2023
NMFS have rescheduled a public hearing related to the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Rice's whale under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). They are also extending the public comment period for this proposed rule to 6 October 2023. A virtual public hearing on the proposed rule will be held online on 28 September 2023, from 3:00 -5:00 PM (Eastern). The proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Rice's whale under the ESA was published on 24 July 2023 (88 FR 47453), and provided for a public comment period to 22 September 2023. The comment period is now extended to 6 October 2023. Comments must be received by 6 October 2023. POC is Grant Baysinger, NMFS Southeast Region, (727) 551–5790. (Federal Register 12 September 2023 [Proposed Rule] Pages 62522-62523)
As an outdoor recreation planner, manager, or consultant, do you wonder what your role is in outdoor recreation policy? Do you sometimes feel like laws and policies have no relevance to what you actually do? This training will help you understand what it takes to get legislation passed and what influence you can have when you work for a federal, state, or local agency.
Primarily intended for NRCS staff, this webinar will focus on enhanced IPM technologies, including precision application equipment and variable rate & smart sprayer technologies to help staff better serve our customers. Technology continues to provide opportunities for precision application of pesticides, leading to reduced volumes of products used and reduced potential of pesticide losses to the environment. Alternatives to pesticides will also be presented. Join us as we discuss some of the latest technologies available and how it relates to implementing NRCS CPS Pest Management Conservation System (Code 595). Pesticide application techniques have improved, and new ones continue to be developed. Precision sprayers, aerial applications including drones, robots use artificial intelligence to detect non-crop pests and apply a direct treatment of pesticides, lasers, heat etc. These options have evolved pest management options from: total farm or field prescriptions or "programs" to: plant by plant evaluations and treatments. Prevention, Avoidance, and Monitoring for pests and applying the most effective treatment while reducing environmental hazards is the hallmark of NRCS Pest Management Conservation System CPS Code 595. Learn some of the latest high tech management strategies, plus a reminder of existing important strategies.
September 11, 2023
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army ("the agencies") are amending the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to conform the definition of "waters of the United States" to a 2023 Supreme Court decision. This conforming rule amends the provisions of the agencies' definition of "waters of the United States" that are invalid under the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Clean Water Act in the 2023 decision. This final rule is effective on 8 September 2023. POC is Whitney Beck, Oceans, Wetlands and Communities Division, Office of Water (4504T), EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; tele: (202) 564–2281; email: CWAwotus@epa.gov. citation(Federal Register 8 September 2023 [Rule] Pages 61964-61969)
The WHEJAC is interested in receiving public comments relevant to current charges, topics, and questions currently under consideration: The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool; The Environmental Justice Scorecard; Carbon Management; Ways that the WHEJAC could recommend advancing environmental justice through a whole-government approach; Examples of environmental hazards of particular concern for Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Nations related to Federal activities that may affect sacred sites and areas of cultural significance, cultural or other traditions or practices, subsistence, and ways of life; Ways in which the Federal government can address community impacts, and concerns of Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Nations; and Ways in which the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge into Federal decision-making could help address environmental hazards and environmental justice concerns.
September 08, 2023
GSA has reported progress toward key sustainability goals in recent years across its buildings portfolio. In this report GSA's aggregated buildings portfolio data show it exceeded prior goals for energy efficiency, water efficiency, emissions reduction, and renewable electricity share in fiscal year 2021, however GSA officials cited lack of access to capital as a challenge it faces in meeting future federal sustainability goals. GSA officials said the scale and scope of the projects needed to achieve net-zero building emissions by 2045 will require resources beyond what has historically been available.
U.S. EPA for its next Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) webinar series on the NPDES Noncompliance Report or NNCR. The first of six webinars in this training series will begin September 13, 2023 and run through November 16, 2023. The times and topics are listed:
September 13, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET
September 26, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET
Quarterly NNCR: DMR Reporting Violations
October 11, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET
Quarterly NNCR: Effluent Violations
October 19, 2023, 1:30 - 3:00 pm ET
Quarterly NNCR: Schedule Violations
November 1, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
Quarterly NNCR: Single Event/Other Violations
November 16, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET
September 06, 2023
to attend the 2023 Federal Environmental Symposium is now open! Federal employees and sponsored contractors are invited to attend the Symposium, a hybrid event to be attended October 23-27, 2023 either virtually or in-person at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. This year's theme for the Symposium "Environment: A Mission Asset" focuses on the sharing of best practices, success stories, partnerships, and challenges and achievements of the federal practitioner community as they apply to your Agency's mission. The event is FREE and registration will end Friday, September 29, 2023, so mark your calendar and register now.
For more information, please see FedCenter's Symposium website at https://www.fedcenter.gov/fes2023
During this webinar, attendees will learn how a green lab program can reduce resource use, emissions, and waste and promote sustainable science. The speaker will challenge attendees to rethink the way research is conducted--and funded--to better drive the changes needed to promote energy efficiency, resource management, in waste reduction in individual labs and throughout the research community. This presentation will provide an overview of what a green lab program is and how to implement one at your university, as well as some of the best practices for working with principal investigators on promoting sustainable scientific research in academic institutions.
September 05, 2023
September 01, 2023
PHMSA, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to suspend authorization of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation in rail tank cars pursuant to a final rule published on 24 July 2020, pending the earlier of either completion of a companion rulemaking evaluating potential modifications to requirements governing rail tank car transportation of LNG, or 30 June 2025. This final rule is effective on 31 October 2023. POC is Alexander Wolcott, Transportation Specialist, Standards and Rulemaking Division, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, (202) 366–8553, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. (Federal Register 31 October 2023 [Rule] Pages 60356-60375
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has implemented a comprehensive assessment to prioritize electric vehicle (EV) charging stations projects. In addition to considering vehicle locations, USACE developed a site prioritization tool that accounts for various factors such as emissions, energy costs, access to public charging, and environmental justice concerns.
Learn how the Veterans Affairs Ridesharing Program has facilitated more than 700,000 rides, offering reliable, same-day transportation to veterans across 90% of the United States. The platform is driven by artificial intelligence (AI), which conducts analyses for each ride based on the ZIP code, day of the week, hour, and cost. By leveraging historical data, the AI calculates the most efficient rideshare company to fulfill the request, considering time and location, and then schedules the ride accordingly.
The Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity (CFE) Program Availability Map is a searchable database of clean energy purchasing programs offered by vertically integrated utilities (i.e., those responsible for generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in their service territory). It is published by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and is intended to assist federal stakeholders with identifying CFE options that meet E.O. 14057 requirements.
August 31, 2023
EPA and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule amending the 2023 definition of "waters of the United States" to conform with the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA. The agencies are committed to following the law and implementing the Clean Water Act to deliver the essential protections that safeguard the nation's waters from pollution and degradation. This action provides the clarity that is needed to advance these goals, while moving forward with infrastructure projects, economic opportunities, and agricultural activities. The Supreme Court's Decision in Sackett v. EPA, issued on 25 May 2023, created uncertainty for Clean Water Act implementation. The agencies are issuing this amendment to the 2023 rule expeditiously--three months after the Supreme Court decision--to provide clarity and a path forward consistent with the ruling. With this action, the Army Corps of Engineers will resume issuing all jurisdictional determinations. Because the sole purpose of this rule is to amend specific provisions of the 2023 Rule that are invalid under Sackett, the rule will take effect immediately.
NMFS, designate and authorize the release of nonessential experimental populations (NEPs or experimental populations) of Sacramento River (SR) winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Central Valley (CV) spring-run Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers upstream of Shasta Dam (the NEP Area), California, and, under the ESA, establish a limited set of take exceptions for the experimental populations. Successful reintroduction of populations within the species' historical ranges will contribute to viability and further conservation of these species. The issuance of limited protective regulations for the conservation of these species will provide assurances regarding the regulatory provisions of the ESA as they apply to SR winter-run and CV spring-run Chinook salmon to the people in the Upper Sacramento River and McCloud River watersheds. This final rule also announces the availability of a final environmental assessment (EA) that analyzed the environmental impacts of promulgating the experimental population rule and associated take exceptions. The final rule is effective 27 September 2023. POC is Steve Edmondson, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (916) 930–3600, or by mail at National Marine Fisheries Service, 650 Capitol Mall, Suite 5–100, Sacramento, CA 95814. (Federal Register 28 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 58511-58521)
EPA is finalizing an expanded set of extraction and determinative methods that can be used to characterize and verify the cleanup of PCBs waste under implementing regulations for PCB-related authority in the TSCA. These changes are expected to greatly reduce the amount of solvent used in PCB extraction processes, thereby conserving resources and reducing waste. In addition, the changes are expected to result in quicker, more efficient, and less costly cleanups, due to greater flexibility in the cleanup and disposal of PCB waste, while still being equally protective of human health and the environment. EPA is finalizing several other amendments to the PCB regulations, including the amendment of the performance-based disposal option for PCB remediation waste; the removal of the provision allowing PCB bulk product waste to be disposed of as roadbed material; the addition of more flexible provisions for cleanup and disposal of waste generated by spills that occur during emergency situations; harmonization of the general disposal requirements for PCB remediation waste; and other amendments to improve the implementation of the regulations. This rule is effective 26 February 2024. POC is Jennifer McLeod, Program Implementation and Information Division, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, (202) 566–0384; email address: email@example.com. (Federal Register 29 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 59662-59696)
USFWS determine endangered status for two distinct population segments (DPSs) and threatened status for two DPSs of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii), a stream-dwelling amphibian from Oregon and California. After review of the best scientific and commercial information available, they have determined endangered status for the South Sierra and South Coast DPSs and threatened status for the North Feather and Central Coast DPSs of the foothill yellow-legged frog under the ESA. This rule adds the four DPSs to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extends the Act's protections to these DPSs. They also finalize rules under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act for the North Feather and Central Coast DPSs that provide measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of these two DPSs. They have determined that designation of critical habitat for the four DPSs is not determinable at this time. This rule is effective 28 September 2023. POC is Michael Fris, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825; tele: 916–414–6700. (Federal Register 29 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 59698-59727)
NMFS are issuing a proposed rule to change the status of pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus) on the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species from threatened to endangered as recommended in the recent 5-year review of the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. They propose this action based on population declines and susceptibility to a recently emerged coral disease. Written comments must be received on or before 30 October 2023. POC is Alison Moulding, tele: 727–551–5607 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Federal Register 29 August 2023 [Proposed Rule] Pages 59494-59501)
August 30, 2023
This edition highlights collaboration and partnership, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #6. Content includes commentary from Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor, discussing how innovation is being advanced through collaboration and partnerships. This issue also features initiatives from across the Army environmental community that are shaping a sustainable future for current and future generations.
Well maintained landscaping can add value to properties, but often requires substantial water and energy consumption. Implementing strategies to minimize water use for irrigation can reduce water bills and create a more resilient environment. Join this webinar to learn from partners about best practices for curbing water use to cultivate sustainable landscapes.
Electric vehicle (EV) adoption in commercial buildings has game-changing potential to increase savings and sustainability in the built environment. Join the Renewables Integration Technology Research Team and Better Buildings partners as they discuss best practices for EV integration into existing infrastructure and share strategies to increase the number of EVs in fleets.
The 50001 Ready Program and 50001 Ready Navigator tool are designed to help organizations combine energy efficiency and decarbonization activities into one systematic, continuous improvement process. Join this webinar to learn more about the program and explore how buildings and facilities can utilize integrated guidance and resources to save more and achieve energy efficiency and decarbonization goals sooner.
August 29, 2023
USFWS list the sand dune phacelia (Phacelia argentea), a plant species from coastal southern Oregon and northern California, as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA. They also designate critical habitat for the species under the Act. In total, approximately 180.8 acres (73.2 hectares) within 13 units in Coos and Curry Counties in Oregon, and Del Norte County in California, fall within the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. This rule extends the protections of the Act to this species and its designated critical habitat. This rule is effective 21 September 2023. POC is Kessina Lee, State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; tele (503) 231–6988. (Federal Register 22 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 57180-57222)
USFWS propose to list the Brawleys Fork crayfish (Cambarus williami), a freshwater crayfish species from Tennessee, as a threatened species and designate critical habitat under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the Brawleys Fork crayfish. They propose to list the Brawleys Fork crayfish as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized it would add this 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 the Brawleys Fork crayfish under the Act. In total, approximately 86.6 river miles (139.4 river kilometers) in Cannon, Rutherford, and Warren Counties, Tennessee, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. They also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Brawleys Fork crayfish. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 23 October 2023. POC is Daniel Elbert, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Ecological Services Field Office, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, Tennessee, 38501; Tele 931–254–9617. (Federal Register 22 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 57292-57327)
USFWS propose to list the toothless blindcat (Trogloglanis pattersoni) and widemouth blindcat (Satan eurystomus), two cavefish species from the Edwards Aquifer in Bexar County, Texas, as endangered species under the ESA. This determination also serves as our 12-month finding on a petition to list the toothless blindcat and widemouth blindcat. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing both species is warranted. If finalized this rule would extend the Act's protections to these species. They have determined that designation of critical habitat is not prudent. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 23 October 2023. POC is Karen Myers, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 1505 Ferguson Lane, Austin, TX 78754; telephone 512–937–7371. (Federal Register 22 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 57046-57060)
USFWS propose to list the salamander mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua), a freshwater mussel species from the United States (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) and Canada (Ontario), as an endangered species under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the salamander mussel. They propose to list the salamander mussel as an endangered species under the Act. They also propose to designate critical habitat for the salamander mussel under the Act. In total, approximately 2,012 river miles (3,238 kilometers) in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. They announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the salamander mussel. If finalized this rule would extend the Act's protections to this species and its designated critical habitat. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 23 October 2023. POC is Scott Hicks, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Ecological Services Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Road, East Lansing, MI 48823; telephone 517–351–2555. (Federal Register 22 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 57224-57290)
USFWS propose to list three Tennessee and Cumberland River basin mussel species, the Tennessee clubshell (Pleurobema oviforme), Tennessee pigtoe (Pleuronaia barnesiana), and Cumberland moccasinshell (Medionidus conradicus), as endangered species under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the three species. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the Tennessee clubshell, Tennessee pigtoe, and Cumberland moccasinshell as endangered species is warranted. If finalize this rule would extend the Act's protections to these species. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 23 October 2023. 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 22 August 2023 [Rule] Pages 57060-57077)
August 28, 2023
In this session, we will share examples of community-based organizations that are investing in developing community leaders to build momentum for local water equity and climate resilience. We will highlight River Network's Fostering Community Leadership tool, and hear from representatives of local organizations that are helping community members build their leadership capacities and put them to use through citizen advisory boards, climate ambassador programs and other avenues, with the ultimate goal of making lasting change in their communities.
Community-led research is a powerful approach to gather and apply community generated data to inform climate resilience decisions such as green infrastructure plans and watershed restoration priorities. In the hands of those community members who are at greatest risk from climate change, CLR is a way to capture their wisdom and experiences and build an advocacy platform to ensure efforts to build community resilience address issues of justice and advance solutions that are based on community needs. We will highlight River Network's Community-Led Research tool and hear from local organizations that have deployed CLR as a tool for climate equity.
In this session, we will discuss how to engage and center the needs of the most vulnerable community members when developing climate resilience plans. We will share examples of community-driven plans that advance community priorities, drawing from the experience of members of the National Association of Climate Resilience Planners and the Community-Driven Climate Resilience Planning Framework.
Join us for an inspiring webinar on community-led environmental transformation through green jobs. Discover how communities have successfully built green workforce programs to transform vacant or contaminated lands while bridging communities' climate and economic goals. We'll hear from experienced practitioners and community leaders who have harnessed the power of green jobs to transform brownfields into community assets.
August 25, 2023
August 24, 2023