Regulatory Activity

Water Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced for public comment its draft “Updated National Recommended Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health.” The draft highlights 94 chemicals impacting water quality. Comments are due June 13.

Emissions Standards for Refineries

EPA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to require monitoring of air “at the fenceline” of refineries to make sure that “neighboring communities are not being exposed to unintended emissions.” The proposed rule titled, “Proposed Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk And Technology Review And New Source Performance Standards,” will also address related refinery emissions. Announced on May 15, the proposed rule is anticipated imminently for publication in the Federal Register. After publication there will be a 60 day public comment period.

New Mineral Leasing on Outer Continental Shelf

The Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval of an information collection request concerning establishing a leasing and regulatory program for minerals other than oil, gas and sulphur on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Comments are due June 13.


As highlighted in our February 24 issue of the Capital Thinking Report, the EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking concerning pesticide exposure. EPA is extending the comment period on the proposed rule until August 18. For background, if finalized, the proposed rule would revise the agricultural Worker Protection Standard which could impact two million farm workers. Changes are expected to impact personal protection equipment, frequency of trainings and signage postings. If adopted, the rule would also incorporate a “first time-ever minimum age requirement” barring children under the age of 16 from handling pesticides – with an exemption for family farms.

Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

Oil and Gas in National Wildlife Refuge System

Tuesday, May 20: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, will hold an oversight hearing titled, “Oil and Gas Activities within Our Nation’s Wildlife Refuge System.”

Minerals’ Importance to U.S. Manufacturing

Tuesday, May 20: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing that is expected to explore the importance of minerals, such as copper, in the U.S. renewable energy and manufacturing industries.  The hearing is titled, “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for American Manufacturing.”