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The Week Ahead

EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) is meeting this week to review draft reports on water quality and homeland security. Meanwhile, Sierra Club and other environmental groups are holding events to propose an ambitious range of climate policies for EPA and Congress.

BOSC Executive Committee

The BOSC Executive Committee is meeting Jan. 27 to review the draft reports of its Homeland Security and Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) subcommittees. Early draft recommendations from the SSWR panel included urging EPA to focus its research efforts on outcomes that will help decisionmakers, praising the agency’s approach to microplastics and seeking to narrow its focus on mapping waters and developing new recreational water quality criteria.

Climate Policy

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Jan. 26 will unveil detailed recommendations for the Biden administration and the new Congress on climate action, with top corporate leaders explaining why they support bipartisan climate action.

Sierra Club’s Executive Director Mike Brune and senior staff members Leslie Fields and Melinda Pierce will discuss Jan. 28 the group’s legal, legislative, and programmatic priorities, including pressing for “bold action to address the climate crisis.”

McCarthy Speech

White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, who was EPA administrator during President Barack Obama’s second term, is scheduled to speak Jan. 27 to the Society of Environmental Journalists, the same day that President Joe Biden is expected to sign executive orders aimed at combating climate change domestically and elevating the issue as a national security priority.

Environmental Rollbacks

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment is hosting a webinar Jan. 27 on reversing the environmental rollbacks of the Trump administration.


The Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice and Natural Disaster Subcommittee is hosting a virtual town hall meeting Jan. 27 to focus on the Southeast and Caribbean Basin Region and gain a better understanding of how natural disasters and COVID-19 impact minority, low-income, overburdened, and underserved communities. The meeting will also seek to address how the federal government can better provide support to these communities to prepare and respond to their needs before, during, and after natural disasters.

EPA researchers will present a webinar Jan. 27 on the performance and efficacy of different types of masks or modifications on existing face coverings in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

A Jan. 26 webinar will guide attorneys through emerging rationales for both extending or denying insurance coverage or applying specific exclusions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Particulate Matter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is scheduled to hear oral argument Jan. 28 in Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, et al., v. EPA, which challenges EPA’s 2015 new source performance standards rule setting particulate matter limits for wood stoves.

EPA will host a Jan. 28 webinar on the science behind the AirNow Sensor Data Pilot, which aimed to provide the public with air sensor information on fine particulate matter during smoke events from fires.

Nitrogen Pollution

The National Academy of Sciences’ Environmental Health Matters Initiative begins a weekly webinar series Jan. 28 on Reducing the Health Impacts of the Nitrogen Problem.

Human Studies

EPA’s Human Studies Review Board is meeting Jan. 26-28 to advise the agency on the ethical and scientific review of research involving human subjects.

Waste Management

The Solid Waste Association of North American holds WASTECON virtually Jan. 26-28, an executive leadership summit for the solid waste and recycling industries.

The Air & Waste Management Association holds its 38th International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies and Hazardous Waste Combusters Jan. 27-28.

Energy Outlook

The United States Energy Association hosts its 17th annual State of the Energy Industry forum Jan. 28.

Regulating Gas Stations

The Environmental Law Institute will host a webinar Jan. 28 on policy proposals for state and local regulation of gas stations to advance climate goals, reduce pollution of air, soil, and groundwater, improve public health, and save taxpayers money.