Legislative Activity

EPA Confirmation Hearings

On Thursday, July 18, Gina McCarthy was confirmed as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator in a 59-40 Senate vote. Hearings will be held this week on Wednesday, July 24, by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to examine the nominations for additional positions at the EPA including Kenneth Kopocis, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water; James Jones, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Administrator for Toxic Substances; and Avi Garbow, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the EPA.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Monday, July 22: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a full committee hearing to examine “Oversight of Army Corps of Engineers Water Management in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Systems.”
  • Tuesday, July 23: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing concerning the stream buffer zone rule in relation to surface mining.
  • Tuesday, July 23 through Wednesday, July 24: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a two-day hearing to examine the renewable fuel standard.
  • Tuesday, July 23: The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard will hold a hearing to examine New England and Mid-Atlantic perspectives on Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization. The Magnuson-Stevens Act governs fisheries management in the United States.
  • Thursday, July 25: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing to address funding the National Park System for the next century.
  • Thursday, July 25:  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing to address aging water resource infrastructure in the United States.

Regulatory Activity

Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program

The EPA has announced $884,000 in grants available for the U.S.-Mexico border region in Texas and New Mexico. Projects may include improving air quality monitoring networks; developing applications for reusing water; developing bilingual outreach campaigns to prevent illegal dumping; updating sister city plans; improving understanding of each country’s compliance and enforcement roles; and other projects that may fulfill the goals of the Border 2020 initiative. Eligibility is open to U.S. and Mexican non-governmental organizations; local and state government agencies; industry associations; universities; and U.S. tribes and Mexican indigenous communities. Proposal applications can be accessed via the EPA Border 2020 website. All proposals must be submitted by August 29.


The EPA is seeking nominations from individuals who represent small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profit organizations to provide input to a federal panel that will explore changes to existing uses of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This panel will focus on the agency’s development of a proposed rule to revise or end the existing authorized uses of PCBs as appropriate if the conditions under which they were authorized more than 30 years ago have changed. This rulemaking may address existing liquid-filled PCB use authorizations, PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts, PCBs in natural gas pipelines, and regulatory language clarifications. Nominations may be submitted via http://www.epa.gov/rfa/pcb.html by July 29.