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The Environmental Protection Agency is requesting comment on its previous statements that the Agency, under the Clean Water Act, may regulate 'pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via... a direct hydrologic connection' to surface waters already regulated under the Clean Water Act. Comments are requested 'from tribes, states, members of the public, and other interested stakeholders regarding whether the Environmental Protection Agency should review and potentially revise its previous statements concerning the applicability of the Clean Water Act' to these type of pollutant discharges. More specific requests for comment related to this issue can be found here.
This notice announces the availability of the Environmental Protection Agency's draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of glyphosate, in addition to the following pesticides:
"Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment."
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a proposed repeal of the 2015 regulation known as the "Clean Power Plan" (officially the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units). The Clean Power Plan established measures to cut power sector emissions to 32% of 2005 levels by 2030. In a review of the 2015 regulation, initiated by the March 2017 Executive Order 13783, the Environmental Protection Agency found that the Clean Power Plan 'exceeds the Agency's statutory authority', primarily regarding the interpretation of a section of the Clean Air Act that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to establish 'emission guidelines for existing sources that reflect the best system of emission reduction.'
*On November 8, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency published a notice extending the comment period to January 16, 2018.
*On February 1, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency published a notice reopening the public comment period until April 26, 2018; this notice also announced three public listening sessions.
The Environmental Protection Agency is requesting comments on 'benefits of neonicotinoid insecticide use in cotton and citrus. 'While [the Environmental Protection Agency] typically releases benefits assessments along with the proposed interim decisions, [the Agency] is releasing and obtaining public comment on these two benefits assessments at an earlier stage of the registration review process. These benefits assessments will help... evaluate the impacts of potential measures to reduce certain risks to pollinators identified' in previous preliminary assessments.'
This notice also announces the availability of Environmental Protection Agency's 'draft ecological non-pollinator risk assessment for the registration review of imidacloprid, along with draft human health and non-pollinator ecological risk assessments for the registration review of clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran' (previously announced here). 'Finally, [the Environmental Protection Agency] is releasing a response to public comments on the Agency's 2014 assessment of the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments to soybean production.'
On January 9, 2017 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. OSHA concluded that employees exposed to beryllium and beryllium compounds at the preceding permissible exposure limits were at significant risk of material impairment of health. They therefore issued separate permissible exposure limits, short-term exposure limits, and a number of ancillary provisions for (1) general industry, (2) shipyards, and (3) construction. OSHA is now proposing to revoke the January 9 ancillary provisions for the construction and the shipyard sectors, but retain the new lower permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 0.2 μg/m3 and the short term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 μg/m3 for each sector. OSHA will not enforce the January 9, 2017 shipyard and construction standards without further notice while this new rulemaking is underway. This proposal does not affect the general industry beryllium standard published on January 9, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency is 'planning to renew an Information Collection Request on 'Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule and Revised Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan Rule.' 'The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act requires local education agencies to conduct inspections, develop management plans, and design or conduct response actions with respect to the presence of asbestos-containing materials in school buildings. The [Act] also requires states to develop model accreditation plans for persons who perform asbestos inspections, develop management control plans, and design or conduct response actions.' This particular information collection will address ' the burden associated with recordkeeping requirements imposed on local education agencies by the asbestos in schools rule, and reporting and recordkeeping requirements imposed on states and training providers related to the model accreditation plan rule.' The Environmental Protection Agency has provided a list of information which they are interested in receiving from public comment.
The Environmental Protection Agency `is announcing a 30-day public comment period associated with the Systematic Review Protocol for the IRIS Chloroform Assessment.' The IRIS Program 'is a human health assessment program that evaluates... risk information on effects that may result from exposure to chemicals found in the environment.' The Protocol for the IRIS Chloroform Assessment 'describes the systematic review procedures and other methodology planned for use in developing the chloroform assessment.'
The Environmental Protection Agency `is announcing a 30-day public comment period associated with release of the draft IRIS Assessment Plan for Uranium.` The IRIS Program 'is a human health assessment program that evaluates... risk information on effects that may result from exposure to chemicals found in the environment.' The Environmental Protection Agency has identified 'scoping needs' and 'the IRIS Program's initial problem formulation activities. Specifically, the assessment plan outlines the objectives for each assessment and the type of evidence considered most pertinent to address the scoping needs.' The Environmental Protection Agency will also be holding 'a public science webinar planned on March 22, 2018' to review this draft IRIS Assessment Plan.
The Environmental Protection Agency is reporting 'the names, addresses, and professional affiliations of persons recently nominated by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to serve on the Scientific Advisory Panel established under ... the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).' Nominee biographical sketches are also available online. The FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel will 'serve as a scientific peer review mechanism of EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.' The Environmental Protection Agency 'anticipates selecting four new members to serve on the panel as a result of membership terms that will expire in 2018. Public comments on the current nominations are invited, as these comments will be used to assist the [Environmental Protection Agency] in selecting the new chartered Panel members.'
'This notice announces the availability of Environmental Protection Agency's draft ecological non-pollinator risk assessment for the registration review of imidacloprid, along with draft human health and non-pollinator ecological risk assessments for the registration review of clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, and opens a public comment period on these assessments.' The Environmental Protection Agency is also releasing 'assessments of benefits of neonicotinoid insecticide use in cotton and citrus' in the anticipation that 'early input and information from the public on the risks and benefits of these compounds will be helpful' in the risk assessment's evaluation.
'This notice announces the availability of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed interim registration review decisions and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions for the following pesticides: Cloransulam-methyl, cymoxanil, cyprodinil, diethylene glycol monomethyl ether (DGME), dimethomorph, fomesafen, kresoxim-methyl, metalaxyl & mefenoxam, and the mineral acids... Through this program, the Environmental Protection Agency is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.'
The Environmental Protection Agency is announcing 'two meetings to discuss implementation activities under the Toxic Substances Control Act as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century.' This will include discussion of the Agency's 'review process for new chemical substances under the amended statute,' as well as 'possible approaches for identifying potential candidate chemical substances for prioritization under the Toxic Substances Control Act.' The feedback from public meetings and comments will be used 'to improve policy and processes relating to the review of new chemicals' regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing reporting requirements for any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process. The information collected will be used to prepare an 'inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States.' This proposed action is per the Toxic Substances Control Act, and will ultimately allow the agency to 'identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and.. recommend actions... to achieve further reductions in mercury use.'
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which co-chairs the Lead Subcommittee of the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children requests public comment on a new federal lead strategy being developed by the Task Force. The key components of the strategy include: (1) 'A mission... to improve the health of children in the United States, through federal collaboration, by eliminating harm from lead exposure, (2) A background section on topics such as 'exposure sources, routes, and pathways; lead doses and blood-lead levels... and children's health effects,' and (3) a set of goals for each strategy, with a set of objectives for each goal. Public comments are encouraged 'from stakeholder groups, including the general public; non-governmental organizations, including philanthropic organizations; health care providers; the housing industry; the general aviation industry; health economics researchers; outcomes researchers; environmental firms, including certified lead professionals; and lead hazard control firms.' This notice lists specific requests for comments and data here.
The Environmental Protection Agency is 'taking direct final action on a revision' to a 2016 final rule on 'the formaldehyde standards for composite wood products.' 'The revision will update multiple voluntary consensus standards that have been updated, superseded, or withdrawn since publication of the notices of proposed rulemaking on June 10, 2013 and will amend an existing regulatory provision regarding the correlation of quality control test methods.'
The Environmental Protection Agency recently conducted a required residual risk and technology review of hazardous air pollutants from the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry, and is now proposing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants in response to the review. The review found risks due to emissions of air toxins from the Industry to be acceptable, and has identified no new cost-effective controls to achieve further emissions reductions. The Environmental Protection Agency is therefore 'proposing no revisions to the numerical emission limits.' The amendments to the National Emission Standards proposed in this document would 'result in improved monitoring, compliance, and implementation of the rule,' but will not 'result in reductions in emissions of hazardous air pollutants' from the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the availability of a draft of its Fiscal Years 2018-2022 Strategic Plan . The EPA's Strategic Plan must include 'a mission statement, set out long-term goals, objectives, and strategic measures, and describe strategies to achieve them over a four-year time horizon.' The 2018-2022 Strategic Plan reflects the EPA Administrator's priorities 'to advance the [EPA's] mission to protect human health and the environment by setting three strategic goals': (1) Core Mission - 'deliver real results to provide Americans with clean air, land, and water'; (2) Cooperative Federalism - 're-balance the power between Washington and the states to create tangible environmental results for the American people'; and (3) Rule of Law and Process - 'administer the law, as Congress intended, to refocus the Agency on its statutory obligations under the law.' The EPA 'is seeking comment from individual citizens, states, tribes, local governments, industry, the academic community, non-governmental organizations, and all other interested parties.'
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is requesting information 'on effective methods for achieving implementation of water management programs intended to reduce Legionella growth and transmission in buildings at increased risk.' The rate of reported cases of Legionnaires disease, caused by the bacterium Legionella, in the United States has increased 'more than four-fold since 2000... Water management programs identify hazardous conditions and take steps to minimize the growth and spread of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens in building water systems.' Information gathered from this comment period 'will inform efforts to prevent Legionnaires disease in the United States' and 'inform efforts to prevent disease due to other opportunistic waterborne pathogens (e.g., Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas, nontuberculous mycobacteria, fungi, Naegleria).' Comments are specifically requested on (1) local knowledge about Legionnaires disease and prevention strategies, (2) stakeholder engagement, (3) knowledge of and experience with water management plan implementation, and (4) possible unintended impacts of proposed solutions, such as degradation of plumbing infrastructure or pathogen substitution.
The comment period has been extended on the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft notice of the rationale for granting petitions to add n-propyl bromide (nPB), also known as 1-bromopropane (1-BP), (Chemical Abstract Service No. 106-94-5) to the list of hazardous air pollutants to the Clean Air Act. The Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation submitted petitions requesting that nPB be added to the list of hazardous air pollutants. Based on the EPA's evaluation of the petitioners' showing concerning potential hazards, emissions, and atmospheric dispersion modeling that provided estimates of ambient concentrations of nPB, the EPA has determined that there is adequate evidence to support a determination that emissions and ambient concentrations of nPB may reasonably be anticipated to cause adverse health effects. This draft notice contains a written explanation of the decision to grant the petition. Petitions and other supporting documents can be found in the docket folder.
*As of Tuesday, June 6, 2017, the EPA granted a full extension of the comment period from the June 8, 2017 deadline (an interim extension) to October 1, 2017, in order to allow for the review of data and information that would otherwise become available after the close of the comment period.