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The Week Ahead

EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) will meet this week to advance its report on EPA’s new computer modeling tool for calculating the benefits of air rules. Meanwhile, House Democrats are holding a forum that aims to build support for sweeping environmental justice (EJ) legislation.

SAB

The SAB panel reviewing EPA’s “reduced form tool” computer modeling framework for calculating the benefits of Clean Air Act rules will meet Sept. 10 to discuss its draft report. That report finds more data are needed to determine whether the models are useful; it calls for the agency to provide “more information that would allow reviewers to reproduce the results of EPA’s evaluation, such as providing regional results directly, rather than as summary statistics.”

Environmental Justice

The House Natural Resources Committee is continuing its “Environmental Justice Now Tour” with a Sept. 8 forum featuring speakers from New Mexico and national groups. The panel is looking to build momentum for Democrats’ pending Environmental Justice For All Act that would add EJ principles to the Civil Rights Act, as part of the party’s push to elevate environmental equity as a key issue in the 2020 presidential election.

EPA will host a Sept. 10 webinar on information systems that can advance EJ through “refined information on environmental emissions and exposures, health effects, and social determinants of health.”

Superfund Litigation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear oral argument Sept. 9 in Troy Chemical Corporation v. EPA, where the firm is challenging the addition of the Newark, NJ, area of Pierson’s Creek to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Troy is arguing that the hazards EPA invoked to justify its listing lack any plausible link to the site, and says that if the designation stands it would allow the agency to add many other manufacturing sites near waterbodies to the NPL based on generalized concerns over downstream impacts.

EPA At 50

Former EPA administrators William Reilly and Lisa Jackson will speak at the Washington State University William D. Ruckelshaus Center’s annual luncheon on Sept. 11. Jackson and Reilly were among the six former agency chiefs who signed the recent call for a “reset” at EPA that would aid its work in the face of 21st-century threats like climate change.

Climate Change

The Export-Import Bank of the United States, which helps finance U.S. companies’ export deals, will host panel discussions on the domestic clean-energy industry and prospects for selling those technologies abroad as part of its annual conference, which runs Sept. 9-11.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a webcast titled “A New Spin on Conservation Corps” Sept. 9, as part of its month-long briefing series on workforce policies and programs “that can support a low-carbon recovery from the COVID-19 economic crisis."

FRRCC

EPA’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC) will meet Sept. 10-11. No agenda for the session has been posted, but it marks the first meeting of the FRRCC since 2016, after agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a new 33-member roster for the panel on June 17.

E-Waste

EPA will host a Sept. 10 webinar demonstrating its Alternative Disposition of Electronics Planning Tool that predicts electronic waste (e-waste) impacts from the consumer market.

Plastics

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a Sept. 9 online workshop on its recently passed limits on single-use plastic carryout bags and mandate for stores to collect and recycle bags. Several states are pushing forward with bag bans as a way to limit plastic waste and production.

BOSC

The Homeland Security Subcommittee of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) will meet Sept. 9 to review EPA’s implementation of its homeland security Strategic Research Action Plan for fiscal years 2019-22.

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