Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, June 4: The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a full committee hearing intended to identify ways to improve federal wildland fire management.
  • Tuesday, June 4: The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a full committee hearing to address species conservation concerning tribal, state and local stewardship in conjunction with federal “sue-and-settle” practices.
  • Wednesday, June 5: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, will hold a hearing to examine the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the renewable fuel standard. The specific focus will be on fuel blends.
  • Wednesday, June 5: The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a joint subcommittee hearing by the Subcommittee on Research and Subcommittee on Technology concerning federal efforts to reduce the impacts of windstorms. Witnesses will include Dr. Ernst Kiesling, Research Faculty, National Wind Institute, Texas Tech University; Ms. Debra Ballen, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety; Dr. David Prevatt, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida.
  • Thursday, June 6: The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a full committee hearing to review programs and activities of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

Regulatory Activity

Gulf Coast Restoration

The U.S Department of Commerce, the lead agency for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, has issued its “Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy” and accompanying “Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment” for public comment. The Draft Plan provides a framework to implement a region-wide restoration effort in order to restore the Gulf Coast region following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Council is also hosting a series of public engagement sessions in each of the five impacted Gulf States from Monday, June 3 to June 17 for public input on the Draft Plan. Comments are due June 24.

Public Water Systems

The following information pertains to states, local and tribal governments, private and municipal owners or operators of public water systems. EPA has released a final rule approving alternative testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water and compliance with national primary drinking water regulations. EPA is making 84 additional methods available for analyzing drinking water samples. The EPA intends for this to be an expedited approach in order to provide public water systems, laboratories and primacy agencies with more timely access to new measurement techniques and greater flexibility in the selection of analytical methods. The new methods, along with previously expedited methods in 40 CFR Part 141 Appendix A to Subpart C and on EPA’s drinking water methods, are listed here.

Motor Vehicles

The EPA is extending the public comment period to July 1, which previously was to end on June 13, for its proposed rule concerning “Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards.”