Regulatory Activity

Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have finally published for public comment their proposed rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). As we previously noted in the Capital Thinking Report, the proposed rule is potentially likely to have significant impact on businesses, agriculture, municipalities and recreational interests throughout the country. Comments on the 86-page proposed rule are due by July 21.


EPA has announced it will hold a public teleconference of its Chartered Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s Ozone Review Panel. The panel provides the agency with advice concerning the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. The panel is currently considering information to determine “whether it is appropriate to retain or revise the ozone standards.” The teleconference will be held on May 28.

Climate Change

The Department of State has issued a call for expert review of a draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC was created by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide “assessments of policy-relevant scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information for understanding the scientific basis of climate change, potential impacts, and options for mitigation and adaptation.” The IPCC provides assessments every six years. The draft report is available for review a here. Comments on the draft are being sought by relevant experts by May 19.

Legislative Activity

On Tuesday, April 29, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup to consider two pieces of legislation addressing energy efficiency:  H.R. 2689, the “Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act” and H.R. 4092, the “Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014.” It is expected that the markup will continue through Wednesday, April 30.

This Week’s Hearings:

FY 2015 Funding Requests for NOAA

Wednesday, April 30: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a hearing to consider the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. The Honorable Kathryn Sullivan, Department of Commerce Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, will testify.

Chemicals in Commerce Act

Tuesday, April 29: The House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, will mark up draft legislation titled, “Chemicals In Commerce Act” which aims to reform the current Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Water Regulation

Monday, April 28: The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a full committee hearing concerning the federal regulation of waters. The committee will hear from a variety of individuals interested in wetlands protection, the Marcellus Shale, permitting for the energy industry, home building and farming interests.