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The Week Ahead

A two-day virtual legal forum this week will highlight key Clean Water Act (CWA) issues, including the landmark high court ruling on groundwater pollution. Meanwhile, former EPA and other agency officials will debate the future of environmental policy in the coming years.

Clean Water Act

American Law Institute-Continuing Legal Education (ALI-CLE) in conjunction with the Environmental Law Institute are hosting “Clean Water Act 2020: Law and Regulation,” a two-day virtual meeting Dec. 3-4 on current legal issues in the CWA realm.

The forum will include discussions on litigation related to EPA’s “waters of the United States” CWA jurisdiction policy and possible paths forward, the repercussions of the Supreme Court groundwater pollutant discharge ruling in County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, impacts from the 2020 election, and what to expect next on environmental justice issues.

Post-Election Outlook

The law firm Beveridge & Diamond Dec. 2 will host a post-election outlook for environmental law and policy, featuring former Department of Homeland Security General Counsel Lucy Clark Dougherty, Obama Justice Department official John Cruden and former EPA Region 10 Counsel Allyn Stern.

Waste Management

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), which represents private and public entities in municipal solid waste management, on Dec. 1 is hosting a webinar to provide viewers information on the financing of international waste management projects by the five multilateral development banks.

Drinking Water

EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) will host a virtual meeting on Dec. 2, where EPA will provide an overview of its drinking water programs for fiscal year 2021 and hear input from NDWAC members. Topics will include potential revisions to microbial and disinfection byproducts rules and support for the water sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

Radiation Survey

An EPA Science Advisory Board radiation advisory panel will host a public teleconference Dec. 3 to receive an agency briefing, review charge questions and obtain public comments on a revision to the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual.

Storage Vessels

Comments are due Nov. 30 on EPA’s proposed amendments to standards of performance for volatile organic liquid storage vessels for which construction, reconstruction, or modification commenced after July 23, 1984.

Water Infrastructure

The law firm Crowell & Moring on Dec. 2 is hosting the first of a two-part webinar series on water infrastructure opportunities and risks. The first session will look at issues affecting the funding of water infrastructure projects, including how potential infrastructure legislation and appropriations could affect the sector.

Federal Facilities

EPA Region 3 and the Maryland Department of the Environment will host a two-day environmental compliance training virtual forum for federal facilities Dec. 2-3. The regulatory agencies will review the most significant problems observed during regulators’ inspections in the areas of air, waste, water, and lead-based paint, among others.

Air Pollution

EPA is hosting a training webinar Dec. 3 (https://www.epa.gov/research-states/epa-science-training-webinar-speciate) to offer an overview of its SPECIATE database, its repository of organic gas and particulate matter chemical speciation profiles of air pollution sources. The agency will discuss how the database is used and summarize updates made to it.

Computational Toxicology

EPA Dec. 3 is hosting a “CompTox Communities of Practice” webinar on its online screening tool known as Sequence Alignment to Predict Across Species Susceptibility, or SeqAPASS, which allows researchers and regulators to extrapolate toxicity information across species.

Emergency Response

The National Environmental Health Association is hosting a Dec. 3 webinar that provides an overview of EPA work to fill research gaps in the sampling and cleanup approaches of fentanyl contaminated materials.


The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Dec. 3 is hosting a virtual forum on energy efficiency policies to address climate change, exploring ways in which the United States can cut in half its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The United States Energy Association, Alliance to Save Energy and Johnson Controls Dec. 2 will host the 30th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum, which will include presentations on energy efficiency and the resulting impacts on environment, national security and economic growth.

The Environmental Law Institute and Energy Bar Association Dec. 2 are sponsoring a webinar on power system modeling, which the groups say is being used more often in studies to explore grid changes that would be needed to incorporate large quantities of renewable energy and allow for the retirement of fossil fuel generation.


EPA’s New England office Dec. 3 is hosting a webinar, “The Green Connector: Building Municipal Resiliency Through Nature-based Approaches,” which will highlight how nature-based approaches can fit into the resiliency-building efforts of local governments involved in the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program.