Regulatory Activity

Greenhouse Gas

Pursuant to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon propose to prohibit certain chemicals contributing to emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of greenhouse gases. According to EPA, the “proposed action would change the status of certain high-global warming potential (GWP) HFCs that were previously listed as acceptable under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program.” Products that are likely to be impacted by the proposed action would include: “aerosols, motor vehicle air conditioning, retail food refrigeration and vending machines, and foam blowing.” Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

EPA and Permitting

Tuesday, July 15: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, will hold a hearing titled, “EPA’s Expanded Interpretation of its Permit Veto Authority Under the Clean Water Act.”

EPA and Chemical Exposures

Wednesday, July 16: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a joint hearing to consider the “Status of Reforms to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).” IRIS is the agency’s assessment program that evaluates health effects that may result from exposure to environmental contaminants. The IRIS database contains more than 550 chemical substances. Dr. Kenneth Olden, Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment, will testify.

Forest Service Budget

Tuesday, July 15: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to consider wildland fire preparedness and President Obama’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 for the U.S. Forest Service.

Helium Action

Tuesday, July 15: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, will hold an oversight hearing to address the “Implementation and Administration of the 2013 Helium Stewardship Act.” Helium is used in the manufacture of computer chips and fiber optic cables, and for health care medical testing and national defense. The Federal Helium Reserve supplies 30 percent of the world’s helium, which has recently been opened to public auctions.