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The Week Ahead

Congress returns from its break with a busy agenda. A Senate Appropriations panel will examine the Biden administration’s request to significantly increase EPA’s budget in fiscal year 2022. Meanwhile, a House committee plans to mark up legislation boosting EPA’s clean water infrastructure program. And several committees are also holding separate hearings examining PFAS contamination, climate resilience and DDT dumping.

EPA Budget

EPA Administrator Michael Regan is slated to testify June 9 before the Senate Appropriations interior subcommittee on the agency’s FY22 budget request.

Under Regan’s leadership, EPA is seeking $11.2 billion for the agency in the coming year, a boost of $2 billion across the board, but which the agency says in today’s dollars would return EPA to similar levels from FY10 and the early 2000s.

Background Reading: Biden EPA’s FY22 Budget Hike Seeks To Reverse Years Of ‘Level’ Funding

Water Infrastructure

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is holding a June 9 meeting to mark up H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, which reauthorizes EPA’s clean water infrastructure programs. The committee is also slated to mark up its $547 billion surface transportation bill.

Background Reading: Despite Common Ground, House Hearing Underscores Infrastructure Battle

PFAS Contamination

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will hold a June 9 hearing on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, focusing on affected citizens and states.

The hearing comes as a bipartisan group of House lawmakers are pushing to create a major new EPA research and remediation strategy to address PFAS contamination as part of any upcoming infrastructure package.

Background Reading: Lawmakers Seek Major New EPA Program On PFAS In Infrastructure Bill

In addition to the Senate hearing, the state-led group known as the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council will sponsor a virtual June 10 roundtable to discuss a variety of topics related to PFAS, including human and ecological health effects, site risk assessment, regulations, risk communication and stakeholder perspectives.

And the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association will host a webinar June 8 titled, “PFAS in Water: Removal, Treatment & Destruction."

Air Quality

EPA is hosting a June 8 webinar, titled, “Strategic Shutdowns of Air Quality Monitors: Evidence from Jersey City and Across the U.S.” The forum will feature a paper that offers a framework for testing “whether local governments skip pollution monitoring in expectation of a looming air quality deterioration,” the agency says on its website.

DDT Dumping

The House Natural Resources water, oceans, and wildlife subcommittee will hold a hearing June 8 titled, “DDT Dumping Off the Southern California Coast: Ecological Impacts, Scientific Needs, and Next Steps.” The hearing comes following scientific findings that have mapped more than 25,000 barrels of what are believed to contain DDT-waste sitting on the seafloor in southern California, prompting calls from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for federal action to tackle the contamination.

Background Reading: Study confirms 25,000 barrels at DDT dump site off California coast

Climate Resilience

The House Homeland Security Committee’s emergency preparedness panel is hosting a June 8 hearing on how climate change is a “threat to the homeland.”

In addition, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is holding a June 11 hearing on “building climate-resilient communities,” which will feature testimony from mayors of “cities on the front lines of the climate crisis.”

Recycling Policy

Politico is hosting a June 8 discussion about how efforts to create a “circular economy” to reduce waste can be aligned with steps to combat climate change.

Environmental Justice

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Clean Energy Business Network are holding a June 9 webinar to discuss the link between environmental justice efforts and steps to deploy higher levels of clean energy.