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.

March 30, 2020
The EPA is proposing to adopt three technical standards developed by SAE International (SAE) for equipment that recovers, recycles, and/or recharges the refrigerant 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoroprop-1-ene (HFO-1234yf or R-1234yf) in motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs). The three standards are SAE J2843, SAE J2851, and SAE J3030. This proposed rulemaking would adopt the most current versions of these standards by incorporating them by reference into the regulations related to the protection of stratospheric ozone. Comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking must be received on or before 14 May 2020. POC is Christina Motilall, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (Mail Code 6205T), EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; tele: 202-564-1287; email: motilall.christina@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 30 March 2020 [Proposed Rule] pages 17520-17527)
A bill to establish a process for State determinations with respect to Canis lupus reintroduction, to protect ungulate, stock animal, and dog populations. (Congressional Record: 12 March 2020 [House] Pages H1668-H1670)
Complex models, robust data sets, custom capabilities--now users can dig into the code behind the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) REopt Lite™ web tool. REopt Lite Open Source is the latest way for federal researchers and software developers to use REopt Lite for research, analysis, and project development. The REopt Lite web tool helps users evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected photovoltaics, wind, and battery storage at a site; identify system sizes and battery dispatch strategies to minimize energy costs; and estimate how long a system can sustain critical loads during a grid outage.
The Distributed Energy Resource Cybersecurity Framework (DERCF) provides U.S. federal agency sites with a tool to assess the cybersecurity posture (or health) of their distributed energy resource systems. The DERCF fills an important gap that expands upon existing cybersecurity frameworks for our nation's evolving energy networks.
While most of the ENERGY STAR program's business can continue as usual, there are some exceptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these cases, ENERGY STAR will strive to provide maximum flexibility while still maintaining the integrity of program and the health of all our team members and stakeholders. There will be impacts on applications for ENERGY STAR certification and ENERGY STAR scores and certification eligibility.
March 27, 2020
EPA has released the FY 2019 Progress Report for the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG). Established through Executive Order 12898, the EJ IWG provides a forum for federal agencies to collectively advance environmental justice principles. In FY 2019, the EJ IWG's activities focused on creating and fostering connections among federal agencies and partners to help communities with environmental justice concerns, including those impacted by natural disasters. See the report here.
FEMP invites agencies to nominate federal employees working to implement exceptional projects and programs that demonstrate the importance of collaboration and innovation and offer efficient, resilient, and secure energy and water management solutions. FEMP's FEDS Spotlight will recognize these champions as part of the 2020 Energy Exchange, being held in Atlanta, Georgia from August 11-13, 2020. Participating agencies are eligible to nominate up to three federal employees meeting the criteria described in the template guidance. All nominations must submitted to FEMP through the agency's headquarters level point of contact by Friday, May 1, 2020. Visit FEMP's website for more information.
EPA is announcing a temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy will apply retroactively beginning on 13 March 2020. Authorized states or tribes may take a different approach under their own authorities. The EPA will exercise the enforcement discretion specified in the this memo for noncompliance covered by this temporary policy and resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, if regulated entities take the steps applicable to their situations, as set forth in this policy.
March 26, 2020
This action finalizes the residual risk and technology review (RTR) conducted for the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills source category regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP). In addition, we are taking final action to correct and clarify regulatory provisions related to emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM); revise wellhead operational standards and corrective action to improve effectiveness and provide compliance flexibility; reorganize rule text to incorporate provisions from (NSPS) within this subpart; and add requirements for electronic reporting of performance test results. The EPA is also finalizing minor changes to the MSW Landfills NSPS and Emission Guidelines (EG) and Compliance Times for MSW Landfills. Specifically, the EPA is finalizing provisions to the most recent MSW Landfills NSPS and EG by following the corresponding requirements in the MSW Landfills NESHAP. This final rule is effective on 26 March 2020. POC is Andrew Sheppard, Natural Resources Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-4161 and email: Sheppard.Andrew@epa.gov. (Federal Register 26 March 2020 [Rules and Regulations] pages 17244-17282
The 2020 NAEP Conference and Training Symposium is hosting an impressive group of expert environmental professionals to share new information, discuss lessons learned, present approaches to environmental management, introduce new technologies, offer insights on regulatory changes, and so much more. Learn about best practices, life-saving environmental improvements, NEPA updates, environmental conservation and planning, and climate change.
March 25, 2020
A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to digitize and make publicly available geographic information system mapping data relating to public access to Federal land and waters for outdoor recreation. (Congressional Record: 10 March 2020 [Senate] Page S1672)
The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) hosts the annual National Outdoor Recreation Conference (NORC). This event showcases creative and innovative approaches to outdoor recreation research, planning, policy development, and management. The conference offers participants the opportunity to learn best practices, network with other outdoor recreation professionals, celebrate excellence in outdoor recreation, and mentor the next generation of outdoor recreation professionals.
"Igniting the Science of Outdoor Recreation" is a multi-agency effort led by the USDA Forest Service that has engaged over one hundred outdoor recreation and tourism researchers, practitioners, and advocates to strategize about how research programs can better serve the evolving needs of sustainable recreation and tourism managers on public lands. In this webinar, the presenters will set the stage for the need for a new research strategy with key arguments from a recent report authored by 17 recreation thought leaders. They will then take the audience on an annotated tour through the research strategy, highlighting the interdisciplinary and cross-sector research areas and partnerships prioritized for a reinvigorated national recreation and tourism research program. Finally, they will share upcoming opportunities to engage with an expanding and evolving community of practice dedicated to implementing the research prioritized in the strategy.
Climate change is already affecting the ability of individuals to participate in outdoor recreation. In the coming decades these impacts are expected to become more noticeable. Some geographic regions and outdoor recreation activities will see increased participation rates while others will be negatively impacted, potentially significantly. These impacts will have numerous ripple effects, including shifts in the economic vitality of recreation-dependent communities to the sustainability of existing management approaches used by local, state, and federal agencies. This webinar will present the state- of-the science about what is known about how climate change will affect outdoor recreation across the United States. The presentation will highlight specific geographic regions and outdoor recreation activities that will continue to be impacted in the near future. The presentation will finish with a discussion of solutions that local, state, and federal management agencies can put in place to adapt to future impacts.
Overview of the milestones and opportunities that have led to the formation of the "Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Partnership", a unique and replicable public/public partnership between Federal land management agencies and local governments to advance opportunities for local gateways communities and public land managers.
March 24, 2020
The eighth annual Building Technologies Office (BTO) Peer Review encompasses many of BTO's active research, development, validation, and systems integration projects. Independent experts will assess the progress and contributions of projects and portfolio activities toward BTO's mission and goals. These assessments will be used to enhance the management of existing efforts, gauge the effectiveness of projects, and design future programs. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to promote collaborations and partnerships. Out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. Department of Energy is postponing the Building Technologies Office's 2020 Peer Review (May 4-7, 2020) in Arlington, Virginia. If you have any questions, please email Jeremiah Freeman at btopeerreview@ee.doe.gov.
Join us for three days of informative sessions, interactive discussions, and educational opportunities. The National Energy Codes Conference is the only national technical assistance event dedicated solely to building energy codes, providing attendees a great opportunity to network with peers, engage with leading industry experts, and learn about the latest innovative technologies and solutions in the buildings sector.
A bill to require operators of oil and gas production facilities to take certain measures to protect drinking water. [Congressional Record: 6 March 2020 [House] PagesH1534-H1536)
A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to digitize and make publicly available geographic information system mapping data relating to public access to Federal land and waters for outdoor recreation. [Congressional Record: 10 March 2020 [House] Pages H1586-H1587]
A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to publish a national strategic action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. [Congressional Record: 10 March 2020 [House] Pages H1586-H1587]
March 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
March 18, 2020
A bill to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking and importation by extending State Department reporting on foreign wildlife trafficking activity. [Congressional Record: 2 March 2020 [House] Pages H1437-H143)
March 17, 2020
Join this conference to share ideas, initiatives, practices and policies to optimize building performance and sustainability. Don't miss a compelling program, focusing on a new topic each day--resilience, technology and the workforce.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OASD) for Sustainment with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Headquarters, Environmental Management, will celebrate Earth Day's 50th anniversary and launch the 2020 DLA Sustainability Awareness Campaign on April 22, 2020 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the McNamara Building, Headquarters Complex, McNamara Auditorium located at 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA. 22060. The program event will consist of special guest speakers from the EPA, GSA, DLA, and OASD. OASD will host manufacturer's exhibiting Sustainable Products for the DoD community and partnering agencies such as NASA, USDA, and others. They will provide participants and visitors with information awareness and benefits of Sustainability and Sustainable Products that support the DoD and DLA mission world-wide. For more information, please see the event flyer and installation security procedures for entry, or contact Reginald Mack at Reginald.Mack@dla.mil or 571-767-8296.
A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior to issue a final rule relating to the delisting of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. (Congressional Record: 28 February 2020 [House] Pages H1422-H1423)
March 16, 2020
This webinar will cover information on biochar related to slash pile building, on-site conversion (including small mobile units), bioenergy facilities, sawmills, compost facilities and more.
If you are an owner or operator of a TNC system serving groundwater or purchased treated water this workshop will help you comply with the rules and regulations associated with producing and distributing drinking water. Topics covered during the workshop include: recordkeeping requirements, disinfectant residual monitoring, Coliform sampling, monitoring plan, plant operations manual, distribution map, Public Notice, maintenance, plans & specifications, and how to use drinking water watch.
March 13, 2020
This notice announces the Department of the Interior's (Department) proposal to revise the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing procedures for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at Chapter 11 of Part 516 of the Departmental Manual (DM) with a proposed new categorical exclusion (CX). Comments must be received no later than 13 April 2020. POC is Heather Bernier, Acting Division Chief, Decision Support, Planning, and NEPA, at (202) 912-7282, or hbernier@blm.gov. (Federal Register;13 March 2020 [Notice] Pages 14700-14702)
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are derived from natural populations of plants or fungi, or farmed in forests. Although numerous and varied users harvest, trade, and consume NTFPs, relatively little is known about the organization of the markets for these products and the market value or contribution to local and regional economies. We will explore past research and gaps in current understanding related to the access, production, markets, and market values of NTFPs in the United States, including the continuum of production from wild-harvesting to forest farming of NTFPs
March 12, 2020
USFWS proposes to remove Lepanthes eltoroensis (no common name), an orchid species from Puerto Rico, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (List) (i.e., to "delist" the species), due to recovery. This proposed action is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which 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 threatened species under the ESA. USFWS seek information, data, and comments from the public regarding this proposal. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 11 May 2020. POC is Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office. Mailing address: P.O. Box 49, Boquerón, Puerto Rico 00622. Tele: (787) 851-7297. (Federal Register: 10 March 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 13844-13856)
March 11, 2020
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make regulatory determinations every five years on at least five unregulated contaminants. The unregulated contaminants included in a regulatory determination are chosen from the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), which the SDWA requires the EPA to publish every five years. The EPA published the fourth CCL in the Federal Register on 17 November 2016. This document presents the preliminary regulatory determinations and supporting rationale for the following eight of the 109 contaminants listed on CCL 4: (PFOS),(PFOA), 1,1-dichloroethane, acetochlor, methyl bromide (bromomethane), metolachlor, nitrobenzene, and (RDX). The Agency is making preliminary determinations to regulate two contaminants and to not regulate six contaminants The EPA seeks comment on these preliminary determinations. The EPA is also presenting an update on three other CCL 4 contaminants. Comments must be received on or before 11 May 2020. POC is Richard Weisman, Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, MC: 4607M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; tele: (202) 564-2822; email: weisman.richard@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 10 March 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 14098-14142)
The Clean Air Act prohibits knowingly venting or releasing ozone-depleting and substitute refrigerants in the course of maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances or industrial process refrigeration. In 2016, the EPA amended the regulatory refrigerant management requirements and extended requirements that previously applied only to refrigerants containing an ozone-depleting substance to substitute refrigerants that are subject to the venting prohibition (i.e., those that have not been exempted from that prohibition) such as hydrofluorocarbons. Based on changes to the legal interpretation that supported that 2016 rule, this action revises some of those requirements--specifically, the appliance maintenance and leak repair provisions--so they apply only to equipment using refrigerant containing an ozone-depleting substance. This final rule is effective on 10 April 2020. POC is Jeremy Arling by regular mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Stratospheric Protection Division (6205T), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; by tele: (202) 343-9055; or by email: arling.jeremy@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 11 March 2020 [Final Rule] Pages 14150-14171)
March 10, 2020
This webinar will present an overview of opportunities for using energy saving performance contracts (ESPCs) as a mechanism to finance energy improvements in data centers. First, an industry expert will explain ESPCs. Next, the training will review what makes data center efficiency improvements uniquely positioned and well-suited for an ESPC. It will explore considerations unique to ESPCs for data centers including important questions and practical considerations to advance data center inclusion in an ESPC project. Finally, this training will explore examples of successful data center ESPC projects.
March 09, 2020
On March 11, 2020, FEMP held a publically available ESPC ESA workshop, with the main audience being ESCOs, renewable energy developer, and financier staff as well as federal agency champions. The workshop included discussion panels and breakout groups to exchange information on overcoming common barriers related to topics such as financing and the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). During this webinar, FEMP will summarize information shared during this workshop, especially for stakeholders that were unable to participate in person.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is helping agencies improve facility operations, upgrade infrastructure, and save taxpayer dollars by offering training and partnership opportunities with their serving utilities that explore contracting options available including UESCs. A UESC, ideal for any size project, is a limited–source contract between a federal agency and serving utility for energy management and demand–reduction services. This two–day advanced UESC training examines strategies and methods used by experienced contracting officers and their technical teams from project development to contract award and post–acceptance. Attendees will work through exercises designed to develop a project using templates and samples.
March 06, 2020
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region III and the Maryland Department of the Environment are hosting an environmental compliance training for Federal facilities. This 2-day training will review the most significant problems observed during our inspections in the following areas: Clean Air Act, Underground Storage Tanks, Hazardous Waste, Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC), TSCA-led based paint, CWA-NPDES and Stormwater requirements. The training will take place at the USEPA Environmental Science Center located at Fort Meade, Maryland. On the first day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on the second day from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m
EPA has developed a series of educational videos designed to give the public information about air quality, health and lower-cost sensors. The videos are available in English and Spanish and can be used to learn how EPA collects and uses air quality data, how air quality health risks are communicated and how to interpret data collected using air sensors.
March 05, 2020
NMFS has determined that a designation of critical habitat under the ESA for the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) is not prudent at this time. Based on a comprehensive review of the best scientific data available, NMFS finds there are no identifiable physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the oceanic whitetip shark within areas under U.S. jurisdiction. NMFS also finds that there are no areas outside of the geographical area occupied by the species under U.S. jurisdiction that are essential to its conservation. As such, NMFS finds there are no areas within the jurisdiction of the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat for the oceanic whitetip shark. This finding is made on March 5, 2020. Adrienne Lohe, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8403. (Federal Register: 5 March 2020 [Notice] Pages 12898-12905)
The SPLC's 2020 Summit + Connect brings together visionary purchasing and sustainability professionals, suppliers of sustainable solutions, researchers, students and NGO experts to collaborate, align and grow sustainable purchasing best practices and drive change throughout global markets. Join sustainable procurement leaders and learners, convening to network, confer, celebrate, and build this vitally important movement!
March 04, 2020
A bill to preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans (Congressional Record: 27 February 2020 [House] Pages H1249-H1251)
EPA released its annual Automotive Trends Report, which provides the public with a single source of information about new light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fuel economy, technology data, and auto manufacturers' performance in light of the agency's GHG emissions standards. This annual report is part of EPA's commitment to provide the public with information about new light-duty vehicle GHG emissions, fuel economy, technology data, and auto manufacturers' performance in meeting the agency's GHG emissions standards.
March 03, 2020
EPA published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule ("NPDES eRule") on 22 October 2015. The 2015 rule required EPA and states to modernize Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting. The NPDES eRule included a phased implementation schedule. In this notice, EPA proposes postponing the compliance deadlines for Phase 2 implementation by three years and providing states with additional flexibility to request additional time as needed. Further, this notice proposes changes to the NPDES eRule that would clarify existing requirements and eliminate some duplicative or outdated reporting requirements. Taken together, these changes are designed to save the NPDES authorized programs considerable resources, make reporting easier for NPDES-regulated entities, streamline permit renewals, ensure full exchange of NPDES program data between states and EPA, enhance public transparency, improve environmental decision-making, and protect human health and the environment. Comments must be received on or before April 28, 2020. POC is Mr. Carey A. Johnston, Office of Compliance (mail code 2222A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-1014; or email: johnston.carey@epa.gov. (Federal Register: 28 February 2020 [Proposed Rule] pages 11909-11927)
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