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The Week Ahead

House Hearings Increase Focus On Climate, EPA Seeks Input On Ozone Designations

Two House committees will hold a series of hearings on climate change this week, increasing the Democratic majority’s focus on the issue amid Trump administration rollbacks of Obama-era climate rules. Meanwhile, EPA is preparing for a public hearing to seek input on its latest round of attainment designations under the 2008 ozone air standard.

Climate Hearings

Following on last week's rapid-fire House climate hearings, the House committees on science and natural resources are holding four more hearings on policies, science and impacts related to climate change.

The natural resources panel is holding three subcommittee hearings: a Feb. 12 hearing of the energy and mineral resources panel on “Preparing for the Energy Transition;” another Feb. 12 hearing before the subcommittee on indigenous people to discuss climate impacts on tribes; and a Feb. 13 hearing of the subcommittee on parks, forests and public lands titled “Examining Impacts and Considering Adaptation Opportunities.”

Meanwhile, the full science committee will meet Feb. 13 for a hearing on “The State of Climate Science and Why it Matters.”

Ozone NAAQS

EPA will host a Feb. 15 public hearing in Washington, D.C., on its most recent set of findings of attainment and nonattainment under the 2008 national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone.

NARUC Summit

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is holding its winter policy summit Feb. 10-13 in Washington, D.C. The agenda includes a range of energy and environmental issues including emissions, water, fuel-specific policies and more.

CWA Jurisdiction

The Association of State Wetland Managers is hosting a Feb. 13 webinar to showcase a new “spatial analysis” of the wetlands that will be affected by the Trump administration's proposal to narrow the universe of waterbodies subject to the Clean Water Act.

Nominees

The Senate Rules Committee will meet Feb. 13 to consider S. Res. 50, a GOP-backed rules change that would limit debate on nominees to just two hours following a cloture vote, instead of the current 30. If the full Senate adopts the change it would gut Democrats' ability to slow down confirmations for nominees they approve -- and thus weaken their ability to extract concessions in exchange for dropping those hurdles, which is a process currently playing out in the consideration of acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler's nomination to lead the agency permanently.

Wildfires

The Air & Waste Management Association will host a Feb. 13-14 conference in Santa Rosa, CA, on wildfire impacts on air quality and human health.

Electric Vehicles

The American Bar Association is holding a Feb. 13 webinar on regulatory developments surrounding electric vehicles, including power utilities' approach to the technology.

Superfund

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will host a Feb. 13 panel discussion in Houston, TX, on Superfund cleanups at Department of Defense sites, including how the department's cleanup process has evolved over the lifespan of the law.

Wood Heaters

Feb. 12 is the deadline for public comments on EPA's proposed rule that would allow a further two years beyond May 2020 for retailers to sell their stock of wood-burning hydronic heaters and forced-air furnaces that do not meet tougher "Step 2" particulate matter emissions limits that would otherwise apply on that date. A group of seven states is already hinting that it will challenge the rule in court if EPA finalizes it as proposed.

Sediment Cleanup

The International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments runs Feb. 11-14 in New Orleans, LA.

Climate Policy

ELI is hosting a Feb. 11 teleconference briefing on climate policy, including a broad range of state-level updates and EPA moves including Wheeler's likely confirmation.

Selenium

Comments are due Feb. 11 on EPA's proposed selenium criteria for California, which the agency issued under a judicial deadline.

Invasive Species

The full Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will hold a Feb. 13 hearing on dangers to wildlife, public health and infrastructure from invasive species.

SmartWay

EPA will host a Feb. 14 webinar through its SmartWay transportation program to highlight its Truck Carrier Tool for calculating and reporting company-wide vehicle emissions.

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