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.
December 01, 2020
The USFWS recently proposed to change the status of the red-cockaded woodpecker from "endangered" to "threatened." The Service also proposed a "4(d) rule" – new regulations that will govern how landowners can manage their forests when this species is present. In this webinar, the General Counsel & Director of Regulatory Affairs at Forest Landowners Association will provide an overview of the USFWS proposal, an analysis of how it affects forest landowners, a summary of the key issues.
During this webinar, EPA will explore the Hazardous Waste Facility Search and Hazardous Waste State Dashboard. They will demonstrate how the Hazardous Waste Facility Search provides RCRA-specific evaluation, compliance, enforcement, and penalty data through step-by-step examples and practical use cases. EPA will answer questions such as: How can I find Hazardous Waste compliance information for facilities in my community? How can I identify facilities with TRI (Toxics Release Inventory) land releases or waste transfers? How can I use ECHO to prepare for a hazardous waste facility inspection? How can I use the new Hazardous Waste Dashboard to understand compliance and enforcement activities in my state?
EPA will host a webinar to educate stakeholders on the risk management process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the findings in the final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride. The webinar also provides the opportunity for the public to provide input on considerations the agency should take into account for managing risks.
November 30, 2020
The EPA is amending the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulations by extending the submission deadline for 2020 reports to 29 January 2021. This is the final extension for the 2020 submission period only. The CDR regulations require manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) to report data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical substances. This final rule is effective 25 November 2020. POC is Susan Sharkey, Data Gathering and Analysis Division (7406M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; tel: (202) 564-8789; email: email@example.com. (Federal Register 25 November 2020 [Rule] Pages 75235-75238)
NMFS, proposes to designate critical habitat for the threatened Caribbean corals: Orbicella annularis, O. faveolata, O. franksi, Dendrogyra cylindrus, and Mycetophyllia ferox pursuant to section 4 of the ESA. Twenty-eight mostly overlapping specific occupied areas containing physical features essential to the conservation of all these coral species are being proposed for designation as critical habitat; these areas contain approximately 15,000 square kilometers (km\2\; 5,900 square miles (mi\2\)) of marine habitat. They have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designations, and they propose to exclude one area from the critical habitat designations due to anticipated impacts on national security. They are soliciting comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including our identification of the geographical area and depths occupied by the species, the physical and biological feature essential to the coral species' conservation and identification, areas not included and excluded, and consideration of impacts of the proposed
action. Comments on this proposal must be received by 26 January 2021. POC is Jennifer Moore, NMFS, SERO, 727-824-5312, Jennifer.Moore@noaa.gov.
(Federal Register: 27 November 2020 [Proposed Rules] Pages 76302-76357)
NMFS, proposes to designate critical habitat for the seven threatened corals in U.S. waters in the Indo-Pacific (Acropora globiceps, Acropora jacquelineae, Acropora retusa, Acropora speciosa, Euphyllia paradivisa, Isopora crateriformis, and Seriatopora aculeata) pursuant to section 4 of the ESA. Seventeen specific occupied areas containing physical features essential to the conservation of these coral species are being proposed for designation as critical habitat; these areas contain approximately 600 square kilometers (km\2\; 230 square miles) of marine habitat. They have considered positive and negative economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designations, and we propose to exclude two areas from critical habitat designations due to anticipated impacts on national security. They are soliciting comments from the public all aspects of the proposal, including our identification of the geographical area and depths occupied by the species, the physical and biological feature essential to the coral species' conservation and identification, areas not included and excluded, and consideration of impacts of the proposed action. Comments on this proposal must be received by 26 January 2021. POC is Lance Smith, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808-725-5131, firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Federal Register: 27 November 2020 [Proposed Rules] Pages 76262-76299)
On the Office of Federal Sustainability website CEQ reports annually the Federal Government-wide progress on sustainability goals and OMB scorecards. Users can view and explore interactive graphs on Federal government-wide progress on energy, water, renewable electricity, investments, fleets, and sustainable buildings.
November 27, 2020
Examine the basics for compliance with Section 106 regulations under the National Historic Preservation Act in a timely and comprehensive manner. Establish that a project meets the criteria for engagement before moving into planning and construction phases. Consider consultant or contractor selection, proper documentation, and how to determine effects. Understand the purpose of a memorandum of agreement or programmatic agreement and the requirement for consultation. Explore the role of SHPOs, THPOs, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the conclusion of the Section 106 review process.
Look beyond current standards for identification of cultural resources for the purposes of compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and determination of historic properties. Examine how the methodology may be enhanced to produce a better analysis, both in the field and on paper. Understand ways to expand documentation efforts to include a greater variety of input, perspectives, and interpretation. Address who the experts and decisionmakers are and how to resolve cultural biases relative to identification.
November 24, 2020
A Smart Labs Program provides a proven approach to help enhance laboratory performance, mitigate safety and health risks, reduce energy, and improve ventilation. This webinar will share helpful publicly available tools for putting together a team, assessing laboratory functions, and optimizing operation. Attendees will also hear a case study from a university that successfully implemented a Smart Labs Program. Learn from Better Buildings Smart Labs partners experiences crossing the finish line, and what they expect is next for laboratory efficiency.
November 23, 2020
This edition highlights fostering sustainability as a way of life, in support of Environmental Operating Principle #1. Content includes: commentary from Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, discussing how sustainability ensures mission success in the present and future; and features sustainability initiatives across the Army environmental community. This issue also recognizes Mike Pomeroy, Detroit Dam Power Plant Operator with USACE Portland District, who in addition to protecting himself and our infrastructure during a wilderness wildfire, took additional action to protect the water supply for Salem, Oregon.
Often, energy-saving projects can yield extra benefits beyond reduced energy use and costs. These benefits can include reduced maintenance, improved productivity, waste reduction, and more. Join this webinar to learn about a new methodology to quantify the non-energy savings and revenues from energy efficiency projects.
November 20, 2020
This rule finalizes amendments to the General Provisions that apply to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). These amendments implement the plain language reading of the "major source" and "area source" definitions of section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and provide that a major source can be reclassified to area source status at any time upon reducing its potential to emit (PTE) hazardous air pollutants (HAP) to below the major source thresholds (MST) of 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP and 25 tpy of any combination of HAP. This rule also finalizes amendments to clarify the compliance dates, notification, and recordkeeping requirements that apply to sources choosing to reclassify to area source status and to sources that revert back to major source status, including a requirement for electronic notification. This final rule is effective on 19 January 2021. POC Ms. Elineth Torres, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D205-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, USEPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; tel: (919) 541-4347; and email address: email@example.com.
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Pollution Prevention Technical Assistance Programs, or P2 TAPs, know the importance of understanding their client's key environmental impacts – or "hotspots." But what if some of the most significant impacts are not in the facility itself but driven by procurement? From batteries to boxes to buildings, the products and services purchased by manufacturers/processors have vast supply chains with their own environmental impacts. This webinar will explore tools and resources to understand & prioritize your clients' supply chain impacts AND to identify and use robust product/service sustainability specs, standards, ecolabels to address them. Presented by EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and Sustainable Materials Management Program.
November 19, 2020
USDA, Forest Service is adopting a final rule amending its NEPA regulations. The final rule establishes new and revised categorical exclusions (pertaining to certain special use authorizations, infrastructure management activities, and restoration and resilience activities) and adds the determination of NEPA adequacy provision to the Agency's NEPA regulations. These amendments will increase efficiency in the Agency's environmental analysis and decision-making while meeting NEPA's requirements and fully honoring the Agency's environmental stewardship responsibilities. Public comment has informed and improved the final rule. This rule is effective 19 November 2020. POC is Christine Dawe; Director, Ecosystem Management Coordination; 406-370-8865.
(Federal Register: 19 November 2020 [Rule] Pages 73620-73632).
Join the U.S. Department of Energy and the Illuminating Engineering Society at the 18th annual Lighting R&D Workshop, where top lighting scientists and industry thought leaders will gather to share progress, challenges, ideas, and solutions to shape the future of lighting. The DOE Workshop will once again be co-sponsored by the IES, leveraging the long-term partnership between DOE and IES to advance the quality and efficiency of lighting through science and engineering.
November 18, 2020
The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative's (NWCC's) 13th biennial Wind Wildlife Research Meeting provides a forum for wind-wildlife stakeholders--wind energy developers, academics, research biologists, environmental consultants, non-governmental organizations, and officials from local, state, and federal governmental agencies--to share the latest scientific findings related to addressing impacts to wildlife from wind energy. The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) provides support for developing the meeting proceedings.
November 17, 2020
Standardization of Polymeric Sampling for Measuring Freely Dissolved Organic Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment Porewater. This webinar will (1) introduce the standardized polymeric sampler methods for quantifying polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Cfree in sediment porewater, (2) present results of the interlaboratory method demonstration performed using replicates of a single homogenized sediment sample, (3) compare polymeric sampler-determined Cfree results to porewater concentrations measured via two alternative methods (airbridge and manual porewater extraction with flocculation to remove sediment colloids prior to analysis), and (4) summarize lessons learned.
Long-Term Monitoring of Activated Carbon Amendment to Reduce PCB Bioavailability in Sediments at an Active Shipyard
This research effort involves comprehensive monitoring for seven years following implementation of the AC remedy at Pier 7 to assess the long-term effectiveness and stability of the amendment, and long-term potential for adverse impacts to the benthic community. This presentation will compare long-term monitoring results with baseline and short-term post placement results using similar assessment tools, and will offer considerations towards additional methods to support verification of AC presence over time.
November 16, 2020
USFWS recently proposed to reclassify the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates borealis) as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA. They announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, ending 7 December 2020. POC is Aaron Valenta, Chief, Division of Restoration and Recovery, USFWS, Southeast Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30345; tel: 404-679-4144.
(Federal Register: 16 November 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 73012-73013)
November 13, 2020
The Interagency Agreement (IA) establishes a cooperative natural resource conservation partnership between the Army and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to support the management of natural resources on and near Army controlled lands. With the establishment of this formal agreement, the Army will be able to sustain and enhance its ranges, ensuring the attainment of its training/testing capabilities, meeting its mission readiness goals, and directly support the Secretary's priorities and National Defense Strategy. Through the IA, the Army will have assistance in meeting its Federal stewardship requirements and ensure the continued availability of installation lands to support Army readiness by providing a mechanism under which the Army can request reimbursable support from the FWS for the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats on and near Army installations and lands.
USFWS announces a 12-month finding on a petition to list the sickle darter (Percina williamsi), a fish species from the upper Tennessee River drainage in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, as a threatened species under the ESA. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the sickle darter as a threatened. If they finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the ESA's protections to the species. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 11 January 2021. POC is Lee Andrews, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Kentucky Ecological Services Field Office, 330 West Broadway, Suite 265, Frankfort, KY 40601; tel: 502-695-0468.
(Federal Register: 12 November 2020 [Proposed Rule] pages 71859-71873].
This webinar is third in a six-part series providing insights on the history of native lands and their management ranging from treaties to wildlife, fisheries, forestry, fire management and more.
This short course provides a practical introduction to the concept and practice of enterprise resilience--defined as the capacity for organizations to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of turbulent change. Natural and biological systems have evolved a variety of resilience mechanisms. Likewise, designing for resilience can help business enterprises to overcome disruptions--whether from human or natural causes--and to improve their adaptability to changing conditions. Resilience principles can be incorporated into the design of new technologies, products, processes, and competitive strategies. The course draws extensively on case studies of companies that have adopted resilience strategies and provides tools and methods for implementing "design for resilience."
A key to understanding resilience is to know how the electric grid works and how renewable energy fits into it. This course provides participants with a grounding in the electric power grid and the knowledge needed to oversee, plan, finance and implement renewable energy projects.
The realities of climate change are already starting to affect corporate bottom lines, forcing C-Suite executives to seek new ways to mitigate risk in their business operations and supply chains. This short course turns random acts of greenness into a metrics driven strategy. We introduce strategies, practices and tools available to leaders at various levels of management that can reduce energy use, improve carbon footprint, and increase competitive advantage. Through over 20 case studies, we will examine strategies that worked across small businesses to the Fortune500 as well as cities to non-profits.
Electric vehicle are leading the way to electrification of the economy. Students will learn about the types of electric vehicles, the EV market and factors driving market growth, and barriers to growth and how the market may overcome them. Key to the modernization of the energy system is the integration of electric vehicles into the grid system.
EPA released an update to a report highlighting the economic benefits of recycling. By converting waste materials into valuable raw materials, recycling creates jobs, builds more competitive manufacturing industries, and significantly contributes to the U.S. economy.
EPA released the most recent Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures data on national municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition debris for the year 2018. The Agency began analyzing data on waste and materials recycling more than three decades ago, and EPA has data tables that go back to the 1960s. The combined recycling and composting rate increased from less than 10 percent of generated MSW (trash) in 1980 to 35 percent in 2017, but then dipped to 32 percent, as measured in 2018. Specifically, in 2018, 292.4 million tons of MSW were generated. About 93.9 million tons of MSW were recycled and composted, resulting in a 32 percent recycling rate. An additional 17.7 million tons were managed through other food management pathways.
For the Facts and Figures data, EPA enhanced its food measurement methodology to more fully account for all the ways in which wasted food is managed throughout the food system. Finally, EPA added construction and demolition debris management data, so both generation and management of construction and demolition debris are included.
This month, as part of its 50th anniversary commemoration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is highlighting the historic contributions of its programs. Ensuring compliance with environmental laws is a central part of EPA's Strategic Plan to protect human health and the environment. During the month of November, EPA social media posts will highlight historic enforcement policies and cases and compliance achievements. The posts will include landmark cases of civil, criminal, Superfund, and federal facility enforcement. These cases represent important milestones in the Agency's efforts to hold violators accountable, increase compliance with environmental regulations and clean up contaminated sites. The posts also will highlight the significant contributions of the enforcement and compliance assurance programs.
November 10, 2020
EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) has released greenhouse gas data for the 2019 Reporting Year. Over 8,000 facilities and suppliers across the country report their annual GHG data to EPA each year.
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Customized Search retrieves data from the GHF database in Envirofacts. GHG Customized Search allows the user to create a report on multiple subject areas using the most comprehensive set of GHG data elements. The report is viewable as an HTML tabular report or downloadable as a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file.
This page provides an interactive fact sheet summarizing GHGRP emissions for the current year. Choose a state or EPA Region to view maps, charts, and tables summarizing emissions. Data download options are available at the bottom of the page.
Learn more about EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and viewing published GHG data using EPA's GHGRP resources.
November 09, 2020
A bill to require the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct surveys to collect data regarding the prevention, reduction, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon sequestration, and forest wood and tree carbon sequestration.
(Congressional Record: 22 October 2020 [Senate] Page S6403)
Georgia's water resources include 44,056 miles of perennial streams, 4.8 million acres of wetlands and hundreds of thousands of acres of impoundment. This talk will explore the ways in which integrated watershed management can benefit forest landowners. We will explore water quality BMPs and how they relate to management objectives including fisheries, aesthetics and sustainability.
Native insects like bark beetles, pine tip moth, and Deodar weevil can cause problems in pine stands. The distinction of when a native insect becomes a pest insect be highlighted. Management options including habitat management, thinning, burning, and pesticide use will be discussed
November 06, 2020
An invasive species is a non-native species (including seeds, eggs, spores, or other propagules) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic harm, environmental harm, or harm to human health. The term "invasive" is used for the most aggressive species. These species grow and reproduce rapidly, causing major disturbance to the areas in which they are present. In addition to the threats to production agriculture and forestry. Invasive species can decrease your ability to enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and other outdoor recreational activities. The United States suffers from $120 billion per year in economic losses due to invasive species. Approximately 42% of Threatened or Endangered species are at risk due to non-native, invasive species. The presentation introduce the problem, why you should care, and tools to help identify, monitor and prevent the spread of invasive species.
Advanced building controls and energy management strategies could result in an average of nearly 30% energy savings. Unfortunately, there is an industry-wide knowledge gap on how to utilize advanced controls to capitalize on energy savings and to ensure that buildings run at peak performance. The objective of this ESTCP-funded technology transfer project is to develop and deliver a comprehensive training and education platform for disseminating building controls basics and advanced building controls concepts to Department of Defense (DoD) stakeholders and decision-makers including energy managers, engineers and building operators.
November 05, 2020
Georgia native plants support quality wildlife habitat for hunting, conservation, and ecological integrity. This can be demonstrated in management of longleaf pine ecosystems, where timber and understory management occur simultaneously to support both economic and ecological goals. The understory that can occur under these management systems supports diverse and abundant wildlife. Longleaf pine ecosystem management often includes prescribed fire use, mid-story removal/ reduction, wiregrass propagation, and encouragement of other understory herbaceous plants. In more traditional loblolly/ slash pine forest management, native plants that support wildlife and ecological integrity can be encouraged in buffer zones or marginal areas of a stand. In these areas, native plants that support wildlife habitat, such as fruit and nut-bearing native trees and shrubs and beneficial insect-attracting plants, can be encouraged.
The Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking environmental research and development proposals for funding beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. SERDP will host a online seminar "SERDP Funding Opportunities" on 10 November 2020, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET. This briefing will offer valuable information for those interested in new SERDP funding opportunities. During the online seminar, participants may ask questions about the funding process, the current SERDP solicitations, and the proposal submission process.
November 04, 2020
This online course contains an overview of Cal/EPA Boards, Departments and local agencies, environmental law, environmental science, the role of the environmental inspector and basic field health and safety.
This Navy Hazardous Waste Facility Operators course is a 40-hour course that provides information needed by personnel who work at, manage, or supervise activity hazardous waste (HW) Treatment, Storage, Disposal (TSD) facilities or less than 90-day accumulation facilities. Course trains personnel to perform their duties safely and in compliance with legal and Navy policy requirements.
This 24 hour course provides information needed by personnel who generate hazardous waste to perform their duties safely and in compliance with legal and Navy policy standards. The RCRA regulation 40 CFR 262 establishes standards for HW generators.
Hazardous Waste Annual Refresher is an 8-hour course that provides hazardous waste workers with updated regulatory and technical information needed to perform their duties safely and in compliance with legal and Navy policy requirements.
This presentation will cover management activities that will keep established pine and hardwood stands productive and healthy. Timing of these activities as well as when to use them will be covered. These activities include thinning, prescribed fire, and crop tree release.
November 03, 2020
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have evaluated the classification status of the gray wolf entities currently listed in the lower 48 United States and Mexico under the ESA. Based on that evaluation, they are removing the gray wolf entities in the lower 48 United States and Mexico, except for the Mexican wolf (C. l. baileyi), that are currently on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The effect of this rulemaking action is that C. lupus is not classified as a threatened or endangered species under the Act. This rule does not have any effect on the separate listing of the Mexican wolf subspecies (Canis lupus baileyi) as endangered under the Act. In addition, they announce a 90-day finding on a petition to maintain protections for the gray wolf in the lower 48 United States as endangered or threatened distinct population segments. Based on our review, they find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, they are not initiating status reviews of the petitioned entities in response to the petition. This rule is effective 4 January 2021. POC is Bridget Fahey, Chief, Division of Classification and Conservation, Ecological Services, USFWS, Headquarters Office, MS: ES, 5275, Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; tel: 703-358-2163.
(Federal Register: 3 November 2020 [Rule] Pages 69778-69895)
USFWS announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Canoe Creek clubshell (Pleurobema athearni), a freshwater mussel species endemic to a single watershed in north-central Alabama, as an endangered or threatened species and to 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 Canoe Creek clubshell as an endangered species under the Act. They also propose to designate critical habitat for the Canoe Creek clubshell under the ESA. In total, approximately 58.5 river kilometers (36.3 river miles) in St. Clair and Etowah Counties, Alabama, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 4 January 2021. POC is William J. Pearson, Field Supervisor, USFWS, Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, 1208 Main Street, Daphne, AL 36526; tel: 251-441-5181.
(Federal Register: 3 November 2020 [Proposed Rule] Pages 69540-69563)
The draft National Recycling Strategy identifies strategic objectives and actions needed to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system. The strategy, when finalized, will be aligned with and support implementation of the national recycling goals, which EPA intends to announce in November 2020. EPA is currently accepting comments on the draft National Recycling Strategy through 4 December 2020 in the federal docket.