Legislative Activity

Waters of the U.S.

On Wednesday, February 4, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in conjunction with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, will hold a hearing to examine the impacts of the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule on state and local governments.

Liquid Natural Gas

On Thursday, January 29, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to hold a full committee hearing on the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (S.33). The hearing is expected to explore Department of Energy decisions concerning the time it takes to approve or deny applications to export natural gas. The Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Christopher Smith, will testify.

Regulatory Activity

New Financing For Water Infrastructure

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center with the goal of improving community wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems by using P3 financing. EPA has committed the center to helping explore public-private partnerships solutions for communities, municipal utilities and private entities seeking to address water infrastructure needs with limited budgets.

Environmental Goods Agreement: Removal of Tariffs on Environmentally Sound Goods

Next week, the Obama Administration will participate in the fourth round of negotiations to establish a new Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The EGA aims to eliminate tariffs on environmentally beneficial goods. This round of negotiations will focus on clean/renewable energy and energy efficient products. Negotiators are continuing to compile lists of products for consideration, providing U.S. manufacturers, purchasers and traders of environmental goods an opportunity to advocate for goods to be included in the EGA. For advice on participating in the shaping of the EGA and related trade negotiations, contact Frank Samolis (frank.samolis@squirepb.com) or Joshua Greene (joshua.greene@squirepb.com).

Off Shore Wind Leases

The Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), has announced the opening of the public comment period on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for a commercial wind lease on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf offshore North Carolina. Comments are due by February 23.