Regulatory Activity

Clean Water Proposed Rule

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has announced a proposed rule that would allow “changes to pollutant analysis methods that are used by industries and municipalities to analyze the chemical, physical, and biological components of wastewater and other environmental samples that are required by regulations under the Clean Water Act.” Comments are due April 20.

International Air Quality Monitoring

EPA and the Department of State will launch a new initiative to measure air quality around the world. The effort will use EPA’s existing domestic online AirNow system and will include a fellowship for U.S. experts to visit participating sites overseas.

Legislative Activity

Congress to Review FY 2016 Proposed Budgets for EPA, Interior and Forest Service 

On Wednesday, February 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power and Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, will hold a joint hearing to review the President’s proposed FY 2016 budget for EPA. Also next week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold two full committee hearings to review the President’s proposed budgets for the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. Those hearings will be held Tuesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 26 respectively. Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, and Chief, U.S. Forest Service, Thomas Tidwell, will testify.

Congress to Review FY 2016 Proposed Budget for NRCS

On Friday, February 27, the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Department of Agriculture’s proposed FY 2016 budget for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Jason Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, will testify.

Executive Activity

National Parks and Public Lands

Last week, President Obama announced his Every Kid in a Park initiative which encourages visits to U.S. national parks and public lands. The initiative comes with lesson plans and transportation grants for schools and a promise that “starting in September, every fourth-grader in the nation will receive a pass for free admission to all of America’s federal lands and waters.” The pass will apply to kids and their families for one year.