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The Week Ahead

A subcommittee of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) is meeting this week to review the science used in air quality decisions and research that may aid in reducing the negative impacts of wildland fires. Meanwhile, with the Biden administration’s significant focus on environmental justice (EJ), EPA is restarting its public engagement calls on the matter.

BOSC Subcommittee

The BOSC Air and Energy Subcommittee plans to hold a virtual public meeting Feb. 17-19 to consider science used in air quality decisions and next generation methods for identifying and mitigating the health and environmental impacts of wildfires.

The two main topics for the meeting will be informing the development, review, and attainment of national ambient air quality standards, or NAAQS, and understanding health and ecological impacts from wildfires in order to help develop strategies for lowering their negative effects.

Environmental Justice

In relaunching national EJ public engagement calls, EPA will host the first of these Feb. 17, inviting EJ advocates to discuss the agency’s EJ work and increase opportunities for an open dialogue with advocates on the issue. The public engagement calls -- which were originally launched in 2010 -- come as the Biden administration plans to integrate EJ throughout EPA policies and programs.

Baker Botts and AlixPartners are hosting a webcast Feb. 18 titled “Environmental Justice Spotlight: Intersection of Environmental Justice and ESG Issues,” focused on discussing the intersection of EJ and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues on corporate governance.

EPA Risk Review

EPA closes its public comment period Feb. 19 on its draft nationwide biological evaluations for uses of the pesticides atrazine, simazine, and propazine, which looked at their potential effects on threatened and endangered species and critical habitat.

PFAS

EPA will highlight the results of its PFAS Innovative Treatment Team (PITT) findings on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) destruction technologies on a Feb. 17 webcast. Through the PITT, EPA researchers explored disposal and destruction options for PFAS-contaminated waste.

Chemicals and Waste Management

Indiana University continues its series of webinars examining 50 years of EPA with a Feb. 18 webinar featuring Penny Fenner-Crisp, Gene Lucero, and Marcia Williams discussing policy on chemicals and waste management.

Climate Change

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is beginning a new monthly webinar series, “Climate Conversations: Pathways to Action,” starting Feb. 18 with “Climate Conversations: Decarbonization,” which will discuss “the most actionable opportunities for decarbonization in the United States.”

Cost-Benefit Analysis

The Environmental Law Institute Feb. 17 will sponsor a webcast, “Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment,” featuring discussions on how cost-benefit analysis has changed in recent years, the impact on environmental projects, and future expectations.

Performance Partnership Grants

EPA Region 7 is holding online training Feb. 16-17 for EPA staff and state regulators to provide information about Performance Partnership Grants, including an overview of the grants, federal regulations and policies.

Nitrogen

As part of a series of workshops titled “Reducing the Health Impacts of the Nitrogen Problem,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Feb. 18 will host a webcast focusing on policies and markets that could be developed to respond to the nitrogen problem.

Artificial Intelligence

As part of its GreenTech webinar series, the Environmental Law Institute is hosting a Feb. 18 webcast on the uses and implications of artificial intelligence on environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adaption.

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