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 23, 2020
USFWS proposes to remove the Nashville crayfish (Orconectes shoupi) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This determination is based on the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the ESA. They announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending 27 January 2020. They now reopen the public comment period on the proposed rule to allow all interested parties additional time to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. (Federal Register: 23 September 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 59732-59734)
September 22, 2020
USFWS announced the reopening of the comment period on their 11 October 2018, proposed rule to list the Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) as a threatened species with a section 4(d) rule, and to designate critical habitat for the species, under the ESA. In this document, They present revisions to the section 4(d) rule language and to the critical habitat designation they proposed for the species on 11 October 2018. As a result of the critical habitat revisions, they now propose to designate a total of 566 miles (910 kilometers) as critical habitat for the Atlantic pigtoe across 18 units within portions of 14 counties in Virginia and 17 counties in North Carolina. USFWS is reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties the opportunity to comment on the 11 October 2018, proposed rule, as well as the revisions described in this document. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule. The comment period for the proposed rule published 11 October 2018, at 83 FR 51570 is reopened. So that USFWS can fully consider your comments in our final determination, submit them on or before 22 October 2020. POC is Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; tel: 919-856-4520. (Federal Register 22 September 2020 [Proposed Rule] pages 59487-59511)
Join others in learning about the high diversity of plant species characteristics of the longleaf pine ecosystem and how it supports the many common and unique wildlife species in these open forests dominated by a single tree. Participants will also learn how to maximize wildlife management goals through active management of early successional plant communities. Commonly referred to as early successional habitat, these plant communities benefit a vast array of wildlife species including the northern bobwhite quail, monarch butterfly, and red-cockaded woodpecker. This webinar will address active management techniques and discuss some specific tips to reach one's property objectives.
September 21, 2020
EPA's Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) Research Program hosts this webinar series to share current research activities and research results. Through innovative science and engineering, EPA's researchers are developing cost-effective, sustainable solutions to 21st century complex water issues. The scientific results and innovative technologies developed support EPA's mandate to protect the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our Nation's water resources, and to ensure safe drinking water and water systems.
September 18, 2020
A bill to require the Administrator of General Services to issue guidance to clarify that Federal agencies may pay by charge card for the charging of Federal electric motor vehicles. (Congressional Record: 8 September 2020 [House] Page H4330).
A bill to direct the Secretary of Defense to ensure that removal and remedial actions relating to PFOS or PFOA contamination result in levels meeting or exceeding certain standards. (Congressional Record: 11 September 2020 [House] Pages H4334-H4336)
September 17, 2020
USFWS proposes to list two Missouri species, the Big Creek crayfish (Faxonius peruncus) and the St. Francis River crayfish (Faxonius quadruncus), as threatened species under the ESA. If they finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the ESA's protections to both species. They also propose a species-specific rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule") that provides for the protection of the Big Creek crayfish and the St. Francis River crayfish and to designate critical habitat for both species under the ESA. In total, approximately 1,069 river miles (1,720 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the Big Creek crayfish, and approximately 1,043 river miles (1,679 river kilometers) fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation for the St. Francis River crayfish. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 16 November 2020. POC is Karen Herrington, Field Supervisor; USFWS; Columbia, Missouri Ecological Services Field Office; 101 Park DeVille Drive, Suite A; Columbia, MO 65203-0057; tel: 573-234-2132. (Federal Register 17 September 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 58192-58222)
USFWS proposes to list Astragalus schmolliae (hereafter referred to by the common name Chapin Mesa milkvetch), a plant species from southwestern Colorado, as a threatened species under the ESA, and to designate critical habitat. If they make this rule final as proposed, the effect of this rule will be to add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and to designate critical habitat for the species. In total, we propose to designate approximately 3,635 acres (1,471 hectares) in Montezuma County in southwestern Colorado as critical habitat for the species. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 16 November 2020. POC is Ann Timberman, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office, 445 W. Gunnison Ave., Suite 240, Grand Junction, CO 81501-5711; tel:970-628-7181. click here for more info
Agenda for the Inter-Agency Forum on Climate Risks, Impacts & Adaptation to be held on September 24, 2020, from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern Time.
September 16, 2020
USFWS announces 12-month findings on a petition to remove the distinct population segment (DPS) of the western yellow-billed cuckoo from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (i.e., to "delist" that DPS) and a petition to list a DPS of the U.S. population of northwestern moose under the ESA. After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that it is not warranted at this time to delist the DPS of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. However, they ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of the DPS of the western yellow-billed cuckoo or its habitat. They also find that the U.S. population of northwestern moose does not meet the criteria for discreteness as a DPS and the petitioned northwestern moose DPS is not a listable entity under the Act. POC is provided in the federal register posting. (Federal Register: 16 September 2020 [Proposed Rule] 57816-57818)
A bill to ensure climate and environmental justice accountability. A bill to ensure climate and environmental justice accountability. (Congressional Record: 6 August 2020 [Senate] Pages S5269-S5271)
Join SERDP and ESTCP for a webinar featuring results from DoD-funded research efforts to model munitions mobility and burial in underwater environments. Dr. Joseph Calantoni of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory will present results of field and laboratory experiments performed using surrogate and inert certified munitions in underwater environments, summarize a conceptual understanding of the science behind the modeling, and discuss the design of future demonstrations of modeling technologies for site management. Register Now!
In this first webinar in a three part series focused on monarchs in the southeast, NRCS planners and community conservationists will learn about monarch biology basics (food requirements, other habitat factors, natural enemies, migration, etc.), their phenology (when to find them in the southeast), their status (how monarchs populations are doing) and what we know about habitats that best support them regionally.
September 15, 2020
USFWS is revising their proposed designation of critical habitat for the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis) in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. Based on published genetic analyses, they are revising the distribution of the Georgetown and Salado salamanders and are adjusting previously proposed critical habitat units accordingly. They also propose changes to our description of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. They propose a total of approximately 1,519 acres (ac) (622 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat for the species in Bell and Williamson Counties, Texas. The total amount of critical habitat we are proposing for both salamanders has increased by approximately 116 ac (47 ha). The reasons for this increase are the addition of a new occupied site for the Salado salamander and refined mapping of previously proposed critical habitat units based on more precise spring locations. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 16 November 2020. Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512-490-0057. (Federal Register 15 September 2020 (Proposed Rule) Pages 57578-57613)
In this webinar titled "Behind the Scenes" of ECHO, EPA will answer questions about environmental data such as: • From which EPA systems does ECHO retrieve data? • How frequently are the data updated, and how do I make corrections? • How can I download ECHO data? • What are the ECHO web services? Examples are drawn from user questions. If you are interested in a specific topic or would like to suggest a question to answer during the webinar, please send feedback to ECHO Support.
New Mexico State water quality officials announced that they approved a settlement agreement with the U.S. Defense Department over groundwater violations at Cannon Air Force Base in eastern New Mexico. The agreement addresses a compliance order that was issued over Cannon's lack of a groundwater discharge permit. The base also was accused of not providing state environmental regulators with information about chemicals left behind by past military firefighting activities. The state Environment Department had initially fined the Air Force almost $1.7 million for failing to monitor the contaminants discharged at Cannon and for letting its permit expire.
September 14, 2020
A bill to amend the ESA to exclude the gray wolf from the authority of such Act, to remove the gray wolf from the lists of threatened species and endangered species published pursuant to such Act. (Congressional Record: 4 September 2020 [House] Pages H4324-H4325)
Detritus material in forest watersheds is the major terrestrial source of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors in water bodies used as drinking water sources and is also a fuel that can ignite wildfires. In these watersheds, hot temperatures and dry conditions increase the likelihood of high-severity wildfires. To help reduce this risk, low-severity prescribed burning is used as a forest management practice to reduce fuel loads from forest floor detritus material. In either high- or low-severity fires, DOM exported to source waters from managed watersheds is likely to have different characteristics and treatability compared to DOM exported from unburned watersheds. These potential source water quality changes may require that drinking water utilities adapt their treatment processes to account for these changes. Modeling and decision support tools can help explore treatability and adaptation strategies for these impacted water systems.
Tree of Heaven is common throughout the much of the eastern U.S. This rapidly-growing tree can reach heights of 80', and can quickly dominate plant communities. Tree of Heaven produces chemicals in its roots that prevent other plant species from growing around it, thereby creating monocultural Tree of Heaven stands. This tree will grow most anywhere, including cracks in the sidewalk and in very dry areas. Tree of Heaven is very difficult to control, as it spreads both by seed (it is a prolific seed producer) and by root suckering and resprouting. When cut, the tree sends up large numbers of smaller shoots and root sprouts. Tree of Heaven can be controlled with herbicides. The biological control of Tree of Heaven has been a topic of interest since the discovery of a destructive naturally occurring Verticillium wilt disease of Tree of Heaven in 2002. The pathogen Verticillium nonalfalfae is currently being studied as a potential biological control agent of Tree of Heaven.
September 11, 2020
The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EERE) is launching a new website that will replace eXCHANGE for funding opportunity announcements and application submissions. Beginning November 2, 2020, organizations interested in responding to EERE Fiscal Year 2021 opportunities will use the EERE Program Information Center to view open opportunities and submit applications. To help prepare applicants for the transition from eXCHANGE to the EERE Program Information Center, the Energy Department is hosting a live demo to preview the new submissions and registration process.
DOE, DOC, DoD, and Department of State launched the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) to accelerate the development of a robust, secure, domestic industrial base for advanced batteries. The Consortium provides a framework for cooperation and coordination among federal agencies having a stake in developing advanced battery technology and establishing a domestic supply of lithium batteries.
September 10, 2020
A bill to prohibit the Secretaries of Commerce and of the Interior from issuing grants for the conservation of a species that is listed as endangered under a State law that is not consistent with certain Federal standards. (Congressional Record: 18 August 2020 [House] Page H4245)
A bill to establish a cost of greenhouse gases for carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide to be used by Federal agencies. (Congressional Record: 4 September 2020 [House] Pages H4324-H4325)
September 09, 2020
EPA announced a broad public engagement and outreach effort to discuss how the agency will approach the rulemaking process to address unreasonable risks found in the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations. After issuing the first two final risk evaluations, methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane, EPA is moving into the risk management phase and is hosting a robust process to gain important feedback from stakeholders on the options for managing those risks. EPA is holding two public webinars in September 2020 to kick off this outreach effort. Each will provide an overview of the TSCA risk management process and the tools available to manage the unreasonable risks. The first webinar, scheduled for 16 September 2020, will feature a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride. The second webinar, scheduled for 30 September 2020, will include a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane. Under TSCA, there are several actions EPA can take to address unreasonable risks including banning a chemical, restricting the manufacturing, processing, distribution or use, warning labels /testing, and requiring manufacturers to notify distributors of any unreasonable risks. EPA has up to one year after issuing a final risk evaluation to propose and take public comments on any risk management actions.
EPA is finalizing amendments to the electronic reporting requirements for the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (also known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)). This action revises and streamlines the electronic data reporting requirements of MATS, increases data transparency by requiring use of one electronic reporting system instead of two separate systems, and provides enhanced access to MATS data. No new monitoring requirements are imposed by this final action; instead, this action reduces reporting burden, increases MATS data flow and usage, makes it easier for inspectors and auditors to assess compliance, and encourages wider use of continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) for MATS compliance. In addition, this final action extends the current deadline for alternative electronic data submission via portable document format (PDF) files through 31 December 2023. This final rule is effective on 9 September 2020. Mr. Barrett Parker, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D243-05), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; tel: (919) 541-5635; email: parker.barrett@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 9 September 2020 [Rule] Pages 55744-55780)
A bill to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to update the modeling used for lifecycle greenhouse gas assessments for corn-based ethanol and biodiesel. (Congressional Record: 6 August 2020 [Senate] Pages S5269-S5271)
September 08, 2020
EPA is taking final action to update a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area (COA), as mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA). The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources subject to requirements of the State of Alaska. The State of Alaska's requirements discussed in this document and listed in the appendix to the Federal OCS air regulations, are approved for incorporated into the compilation of state provisions that is incorporated by reference. This rule is effective on 8 October 2020. POC is Natasha Greaves, (206) 553-7079, or by email at greaves.natasha@epa.gov. (Federal Register 8 September 2020 [Final] Pages 55377-55380)
USFWS propose to amend portions of our regulations that implement section 4 of the ESA. The proposed revisions set forth a process for excluding areas of critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, which mandates their consideration of the impacts of designating critical habitat and permits exclusions of particular areas following a discretionary exclusion analysis. They want to articulate clearly when and how USFWS will undertake an exclusion analysis, including identifying a non-exhaustive list of categories of potential impacts for USFWS to consider. The proposed rulemaking would respond to applicable Supreme Court case law, reflect agency experience, codify some current agency practices, and make some modifications to current agency practice. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to provide greater transparency and certainty for the public and stakeholders. We will accept comments from all interested parties until 8 October 2020. POC is DOI, USFWS, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240, tel: 202/208-4646. (Federal Register 8 September 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 55398-55407)
September 04, 2020
This spreadsheet is a compilation of sustainable acquisition training resources developed or hosted by federal agencies that are available to government employees, businesses and non-governmental organizations. The courses listed have been compiled by the interagency Federal Sustainable Acquisition & Materials Management Practices Workgroup (SAMM) as of August 2020.
The Summer 2020 edition of the DoD Cultural Resources Program newsletter, "Cultural Resources Update," is attached. Highlights include the AFCEC CR Conference, 2020 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award winners, Fort Leonard Wood Black Officers Club Restoration Project, an introduction to the new DFPO, announcements, training, and more. If you have questions about the newsletter or would like to contribute a future article, please contact Courtney Williams at 703-414-4533 or Williams_Courtney2@bah.com.
U.S. Secretary of Energy announced the launch of the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) platform at NREL. Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) is a research platform that can match the complexity of the modern energy system and conduct integrated research to support the development of groundbreaking new energy technologies.
Presentation will discuss research focused on bio-based product's system analysis including techno-economic analysis (TEA), lifecycle assessment (LCA), machine learning and big data, and design and simulation of sustainable bioenergy/bioproduct supply chain.
September 03, 2020
ITRC's PFAS Team is excited to host the second session of their "Ask the Experts" roundtable discussion series. The Roundtable provides environmental and public health professionals the opportunity to communicate directly with ITRC's internationally-renowned PFAS experts. This Roundtable is an interactive session, using questions received through the registration process to generate live discussion and response from our panel of experts. This PFAS Roundtable session will focus on: PFAS fate and transport in the environment; Available physical and chemical properties of PFAS; and Unique considerations for PFAS site characterization.
The SECARMY Environmental Awards Program recognizes outstanding performance and excellence in environmental stewardship and sustainability by Army installations, teams, and individuals. The awards emphasize innovation and accomplishments in sustainable practice, installation environmental management, and community enhancement. The period of performance for these awards is 01 October 2018 through 30 September 2020.
The COR Toolkit provides a comprehensive set of links to policies, resources, training, and communities of practice for acquisition community members, all in one place and in an easy to use format.
September 02, 2020
USFWS have reconsidered whether designating critical habitat for the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) would be prudent. On 11 January 2017, they published a final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the ESA. In that final rule, they stated that designation of critical habitat may be prudent, but not determinable. They have now determined that such a designation would not be prudent. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat is not the primary threat to the species, and the availability of habitat does not limit the conservation of the rusty patched bumble bee now, nor will it in the future. The determination announced in this document was made on 1 September 2020. POC is Sarah Quamme, Field Supervisor, Minnesota-Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4101 American Blvd. E, Bloomington, MN 55425; tel: 952-252-0092. (Federal Register: 1 September 2020 [Rule] Pages 54281-54285)
A bill to restore, reaffirm, and reconcile environmental justice and civil rights, provide for the establishment of the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice Compliance and Enforcement. (Congressional Record: 3 August 3, 2020 [Senate] Pages S4667-S4668)
Design-level performance of each energy conservation measure (ECM) in an awarded utility energy service contract (UESC) is fundamental to sustaining projected energy savings through the term of the contract and over the life of the measure. Because the authority for a UESC does not require contractual guarantees of energy, water, or cost savings, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has developed a protocol for emphasizing sustained performance to help ensure projected savings are realized. This webinar will discuss requirements and recommendations for performance assurance plans and performance-focused project development principles. Participants will also learn about the resources and UESC project assistance available from FEMP.
September 01, 2020
A bill to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to fully protect the safety of children and the environment, to remove dangerous pesticides from use. (Congressional Record: 4 August 2020 [Senate] Pages S4728-S4729)
August 31, 2020
NAHMMA's national conference is the foremost gathering of North America's hazardous waste management industry. Attendees get to connect with peers from around the nation, share their knowledge and experiences with others, and learn from some of the leading experts in the industry.
The American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) Convention is the Society's premiere membership event. It is the single annual opportunity where the entire Society joins together reflecting the diversity that ASCE encompasses. The Convention program is designed to have integrated, multi-disciplinary, technical, and educational components to meet the needs of the profession.
WETO plans to exhibit alongside DOE National Laboratories at the AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference, September 20–October 1, 2020. If you're at the conference, stop by the DOE booth to learn about DOE-funded R&D to better understand and mitigate wind's impacts on wildlife and air traffic, weather, and defense radars. DOE will also share community siting resources and information and demonstrate a range of tools. Register on the American Wind Energy Association's website.
The National Coastal and Estuarine Summit is an international gathering of coastal professionals. The Summit brings together a unique blend of people who are involved in policy, science, strategy, business, and on-the-ground restoration and management for a week of networking, learning, and hands-on opportunities. There are more than 100 sessions designed to engage and inspire, poster sessions, receptions, and more.
In accordance with requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA performed a periodic review of the emissions standards and other requirements for Other Solid Waste Incineration (OSWI) units, covering certain very small municipal waste combustion (VSMWC) and institutional waste incineration (IWI) units. Although the EPA is not proposing revisions to the OSWI New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and Emission Guidelines (EG) specifically based on its statutory periodic review, the EPA is otherwise--in accordance with its authority under the CAA--proposing changes to the OSWI NSPS and EG. Comments must be received on or before October 15, 2020. POC is Dr. Nabanita Modak Fischer, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-05), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-5572; fax: (919) 541-0516; and email: modak.nabanita@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 31 August 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 54178-54232)
A bill to amend the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 to include California in the program. (Congressional Record: 3 August 3, 2020 [Senate] Pages S4667-S4668)
August 28, 2020
A bill to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to fully protect the safety of children and the environment, to remove dangerous pesticides from use. (Congressional Record: 4 August 2020 [House] Pages H4218-H4219).
A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify certain activities that would have been authorized under Nationwide Permit 12 and other Nationwide Permits. (Congressional Record: 3 August 3, 2020 [Senate] Pages S4667-S4668)
August 27, 2020
CRTs are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass in CRTs typically contains enough lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. EPA has provided conditional exclusions from the federal hazardous waste management standards for CRTs and CRT glass destined for recycling.
This strategy, released on July 20, 2011, specifies Federal actions for ensuring electronic stewardship in the US. An interagency task force co-chaired by CEQ, EPA and GSA developed recommendations that focus on incentivizing design of greener electronics, ensuring the Federal government leads by example in acquiring, managing, reusing and recycling its electronics, increasing domestic recycling efforts, and reducing harm from US exports of electronic waste and improving safe handling of used electronics to developing countries.
The NWS Climate Services Division Seminar Series was created to build capacity in NWS field offices on climate-related topics. Speakers are chosen based on suggestions from NWS field offices for topics of interest. Topics previously addressed included: sea level rise, global warming issues, new tools/software, and communicating climate change to the public.
EPA encourages all electronics recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third-party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics. Currently two accredited certification standards exist: the Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) and the e-Stewards® standards. EPA also encourages customers to choose certified electronics recyclers. This web page provides an interactive map for locating a certified recycler.
The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) is offering a series of 2-day training academies to enable attendees to complete all required training CCO Training Bootcamps (including electives) for the Climate Governance Certificate. These academies will provide curriculum on topics including understanding climate science and variability, identifying climate hazards and conducting vulnerability assessments, basics of greenhouse gas accounting, the food-water-energy nexus, and fundamental governance and stakeholder engagement strategies.
This May 2015 NPS report is focused on the challenge of rising sea levels on our national parks. To begin addressing these issues, the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University (WCU) has partnered with NPS to begin an assessment of the level of exposure that park owned assets will face during a period of rising sea level. The first phase of this collaborative project between WCU and NPS has focused on identifying NPS assets that may be threatened by a future 1 m rise in sea level within 40 coastal units. A 1 m rise in sea level can be expected to occur in the next 100 to 150 years. With over $40 Billion in Assets exposed to sea level and associated storm impacts, this value will increase when the next round of 30 more parks in the National Capitol and Alaska regions are included.
USFWS are proposing to list the marron bacora (Solanum conocarpum), a plant species from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, as an endangered species and designate critical habitat 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 marron bacora as an endangered species under the Act. If they finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and extend the Act's protections to the species. They also propose to designate critical habitat for the marron bacora under the Act. In total, approximately 2,549 acres (1,032 hectares) on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 26 October 2020. POC is Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, P.O. Box 491, Road 301 Km 5.1, Boquerón, PR 00622; tel: 787-851-7297. (Federal Register: 26 August 2020 [Proposed Rule] pages 52516-52540)
The EPA and USDA announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States. The competition includes two challenges that seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment. The first challenge, aims to identify existing Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEFs) that meet or exceed certain environmental and agro-economic criteria. EEF is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. The second challenge, aims to generate new concepts for novel technologies that can help address environmental concerns surrounding agriculture practices while maintaining or increasing crop yields. An informational webinar will be held on September 24, 2020 at 10:00 – 11:00 AM ET. More information about the challenges and the webinar is available on the EPA website.
EPA announces the release of How's My Waterway. How's My Waterway is a tool that assembles publicly available water quality data into a user-friendly package that provides information on water quality in our nation's waters. Map-centric and mobile-friendly, How's My Waterway works on all different screen sizes, from desktop computers and tablets to mobile phones
The EPA and partners are launching the Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge. The challenge asks solvers to submit detailed plans for a non-thermal way of destroying PFAS in concentrated film forming foam (AFFF), while creating the least amount of potentially harmful byproducts. The challenge opens today and closes on Nov. 23, 2020. Join EPA for an informational webinar on the challenge on September 16 at 2:00pm ET. Webinar attendees will receive an overview of the challenge and have the opportunity to ask questions. Click for more information Click below for Webinar link
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a Federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate Federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society. USGCRP facilitates collaboration and cooperation across its 13 Federal member agencies to advance understanding of the changing Earth system and maximize efficiencies in Federal global change research.
August 26, 2020
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has issued new guidance to advise federal decision makers regarding the requirements of Section 2(g) of Executive Order 13514 [revoked], which charges federal agencies to "Implement high performance sustainable federal building design, construction, operation and management, maintenance, and deconstruction including by...[among other considerations] ensuring that rehabilitation of federally owned historic buildings utilizes best practices and technologies in retrofitting to promote long-term viability of the buildings" This guidance was prepared by a work group comprising staff representatives of the ACHP, Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, and General Services Administration.
This toolkit provides downloadable and customizable outreach materials to use during an extreme heat event.
This watershed modeling system includes streamlined Hydrologic Simulation Program Fortran (HSPF) algorithms for simulating hydrology, sediment, and general water quality on land as well as a simplified stream transport model. LSPC is derived from the Mining Data Analysis System (MDAS), which was developed by EPA Region 3 and has been widely used for mining applications and TMDLs. A key data management feature of this system is that it uses a Microsoft Access database to manage model data and weather text files for driving the simulation. The system also contains a module to assist in TMDL calculation and source allocations. For each model run, it automatically generates comprehensive text-file output by subwatershed for all land-layers, reaches, and simulated modules, which can be expressed on hourly or daily intervals. Output from LSPC has been linked to other model applications such as EFDC, WASP, and CE-QUAL-W2. LSPC has no inherent limitations in terms of modeling size or model operations. The Microsoft Visual C++ programming architecture allows for seamless integration with modern-day, widely available software such as Microsoft Access and Excel.
This is a climate-visualization website tool from the Interior Department's U.S. Geological Survey. The tool gives citizens and resource managers the opportunity to look at climate-driven impacts on watersheds and map projected changes at the local, regional, state and watershed levels. The tool includes the historical and future climate projections from 30 of the downscaled models for two of the RCP emission scenarios, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The tool also allows users to visualize projected changes in climate (maximum and minimum air temperature and precipitation) and the water balance (snow water equivalent, runoff, soil water storage and evaporative deficit) for any state, county and USGS Hydrologic Units (HUC).
his USGS tool gives you access to coastal-hazards information along America's coasts. Pick your favorite beach location, type in the name, zoom in, and view potential impacts of extreme storms, historic shoreline changes, and coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise. The tool runs on standard smartphone, tablet, and desktop web browsers, so you can overlay other geographic information easily without the need for GIS programs. Note: The tool may not load correctly for users using Internet Explorer.
This tool will help communities along the Great Lakes plan for, and adapt to climate change and changes in lake water levels. The viewer uses high-resolution elevation data, enabling users to display and visualize water levels associated with different lake level scenarios with a high degree of accuracy ranging from zero to six feet above and below average lake level. Users can view elevation models, determine lake water depths at specific locations, examine data confidence, and view societal and economic impacts. More than 4,900 miles of U.S. shoreline ring the Great Lakes, of which 3,800 miles are currently mapped on the Lake Level Viewer. The tool covers areas in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The tool was developed by the National Ocean Service's Office for Coastal Management as part of its Digital Coast initiative.
This tool provides an easy-to-use process for 12 coastal management issues, from climate change to land use planning. People are using the Coastal Planning Advisor to get teams on the same page, facilitate a collaborative process, assign tasks, and write grant proposals.
Developed by the Climate Ready Estuaries, this interactive online companion tool takes users through the steps of creating a vulnerability assessment. The tool automatically generates a consequence/probability matrix and formats a simple report based on user input.
The ACHP offers online courses on Section 106 topics. Each course offers self-paced interactive presentations and downloadable reference documents. Courses of 30 minutes or more offer a certificate of completion and incorporate knowledge checks that let you apply your learning to case scenarios or quiz questions.
A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act with respect to replacement of lead service lines. (Congressional Record: 31 July 2020 [House] Pages H4212-H4214)
Water use in restrooms and laundries can account for nearly 40 percent of water use within a facility. Join us to learn about water-efficient operation and maintenance practices and retrofit and replacement options that can help reduce water and energy use in public and private bathrooms and commercial laundries. Find out how using WaterSense labeled and ENERGY STAR qualified products in these areas can significantly reduce your facility operating costs.
Agenda for the Inter-Agency Forum on Climate Risks, Impacts & Adaptation to be held on September 3, 2020, from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern Time.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a Federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate Federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society. USGCRP facilitates collaboration and cooperation across its 13 Federal member agencies to advance understanding of the changing Earth system and maximize efficiencies in Federal global change research.
August 25, 2020
This edition of The Corps Environment highlights creating mutually supporting economic and environmentally sustainable solutions, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #3. It features articles that illustrates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers efforts to advance Army readiness through environmental compliance and stewardship, including projects to improve waterway navigation, protecting historic sites while managing ever-changing training missions, improving hazardous material management, protecting endangered species, reducing energy costs, leveraging alternate water sourcing, recycling initiatives, bee pollinators, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for the 2020 hurricane season, and more.
A bill to amend the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 to promote reforestation following unplanned events on Federal land. (Congressional Record: 29 July 2020 [House] Pages H3978-H3980)
What does resilience mean for a home? A nationally renowned expert shares best practices for leveraging energy efficiency, renewable energy, and good planning to help your home better withstand and bounce back from natural disasters.
DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office takes you on a tour of their coolest research projects: farming under solar panels, super-powered concentrating solar technology, community solar developments, and technology innovations for utility-scale solar.
In celebration of Hydropower Day on August 24, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, and the Department of the Army through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance collaboration and leverage resources to ensure the continued strength of the federal hydropower fleet. Hydropower plays a critical role in the U.S. power system, as both a source of renewable, affordable energy and as a firm, flexible resource that ensures the reliability of the grid. This MOU builds on previous work between the agencies to support American hydropower through long-term coordination, prioritize similar goals, and align ongoing and future renewable energy development efforts.
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