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The Week Ahead

The Senate environment panel is holding a confirmation hearing this week on the nomination of North Carolina environment chief Michael Regan to be EPA administrator. Meanwhile, a subcommittee of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) is meeting to review implementation of a chemical safety for sustainability research action plan.

Regan Hearing

Michael Regan, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead EPA, will speak at his confirmation hearing Feb. 3 in the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. Democrats and Republicans will have the opportunity to quiz Regan about a host of Biden administration environmental plans, including EPA climate rules, environmental justice (EJ), and more.

While Regan, if confirmed, is expected to focus on Biden’s top priorities of climate and EJ while reversing Trump-era deregulatory actions, environmentalists from his home state are also expecting the nominee to take strong positions on coal ash and pipeline issues after he made them top priorities at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

BOSC Subcommittee

The BOSC Chemical Safety for Sustainability and Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (CSS-HERA) Subcommittee plans to hold a virtual public meeting Feb. 2-5 to review implementation of research and development outlined in the CSS strategic research action plan for fiscal years 2019-22.

Ozone Emissions

EPA will host a virtual public hearing Feb. 2 on the Ozone Transport Commission’s (OTC) petition for the agency to directly impose tighter limits on ozone-forming nitrogen oxides from utilities in Pennsylvania, which is an OTC member state. Other Northeastern states in OTC want to impose stricter air pollution limits on power plants in Pennsylvania in order to reduce persistently high ozone levels in some East Coast locations.

Clean Air Act Settlement

EPA will close public comment Feb. 3 on a proposed settlement with Wyoming and PacifiCorp that would resolve their challenges to EPA’s final rule partially disapproving elements of the state’s regional haze state implementation plan.

Renewable Fuel Standards

EPA is taking public comment until Feb. 3 on a proposed consent decree reached in United Refining Co. v. Wheeler. The consent decree would set a deadline for EPA to act on United’s petition for a small refinery hardship exemption from its 2019 obligations under the Clean Air Act’s Renewable Fuel Standards program.

1,4-Dioxane

EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Feb. 2 will host a public webinar offering an overview of the unreasonable risk findings EPA made in its final risk evaluation for 1,4-dioxane, and providing an opportunity for public input into how the agency should manage those risks.

Decarbonization

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host a Feb. 2 webcast on accelerating decarbonization in the U.S. energy system, discussing a new report on the primary technological and socio-economic goals that would have to be reached to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Mine Cleanup

The Environmental Law Institute is hosting a Feb. 4 webcast titled, “Restoring Abandoned Mines: Good Samaritans or Risky Policy?”

Nitrogen Impacts

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. 4 will host a webcast focusing on farm-level actions that could be taken to address nitrogen issues.

Ecological Toxicity

EPA’s Office of Research and Development Feb. 4 will host a public training webinar on the ECOTOXicology Knowledgebase (ECOTOX), a publicly available database that provides curated single-chemical toxicity data for aquatic life, terrestrial plants, and wildlife.

Food Waste

The non-profit group ReFED Feb. 2 will host a webcast on its “Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50%."

Bankruptcy and Environmental Law

The Maryland State Bar Association Feb. 2 will host a webcast titled, “Key Considerations when Practicing at the Intersection of Bankruptcy and Environmental Law."

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