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The Week Ahead

EPA is hosting a public meeting this week on its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) evaluation of perchloroethylene (perc or PCE). Meanwhile, the agency is seeking comment on its guidance on when Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for groundwater are necessary.

Perc Meeting

The agency will hold a Jan. 14 webinar to educate stakeholders on the TSCA risk management process and the agency’s final risk evaluation for perc that found 59 of 61 evaluated uses pose unreasonable risks that the agency must regulate. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for public comment on considerations the agency should take into account for managing these unreasonable risks.

Groundwater Guidance

The public comment period closes Jan. 11 for the Trump EPA’s proposed guidance on implementing a landmark Supreme Court ruling on when pollutants that travel through groundwater to surface water require a CWA discharge permit.

Radioactive Materials

EPA’s Science Advisory Board is holding a webcast meeting Jan. 11-14 on revisions to the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual, developed by the technical staff of the four agencies with authority over control of radioactive materials. The manual offers information on planning, conducting, evaluating, and documenting environmental radiological surveys of surface soil and building surfaces for demonstrating compliance with rules.

A National Academy of Sciences panel is holding online information gathering meetings Jan. 11 and 13 on nuclear fuel cycles. The panel has invited representatives from various advanced reactor companies to address aspects on baseline reactor design and supporting fuel cycle, including resource utilization, nuclear waste management and disposal, nuclear safety, and more.

CWA Enforcement

The comment period ends Jan. 13 on EPA’s proposed changes to regulatory language governing the requirements for the negligence standard states must use for criminal enforcement of delegated CWA programs.

EPA is holding a virtual roundtable meeting with states Jan. 13 to give an update on EPA’s Integrated Planning efforts, explain technical assistance opportunities, and provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer exchange among states and EPA. Integrated planning, codified into the CWA in 2019, allows municipalities to balance CWA requirements in a manner that addresses the most pressing public health and environmental protection issues first.

2021 Economic Outlook

The American Petroleum Institute is holding its annual State of American Energy event virtually Jan. 13 to discuss the natural gas and oil industry’s priorities for the year ahead and examine energy’s consequential role in restoring the economy, strengthening national security and innovating for continued environmental progress.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of American Business event Jan. 12 will explore how a united business community can “rally a divided nation around a widespread economic recovery, restore good governance, and rebuild our economy for the future.”

World Resources Institute President and CEO Andrew Steer will share his insights on the big moments, themes and trends on the environment, climate, human development and economics for the year ahead during a Jan. 13 Stories to Watch presentation.

The Waterfront Alliance’s regional symposium Jan. 14 will explore the intersection of economics and recovery in the New York and New Jersey area.

Natural Disasters

The Environmental Law Institute is holding a Jan. 12 virtual event where EPA experts will outline for local governments Clean Air Act requirements that may be triggered during post-disaster recovery efforts.

PFAS Regulation

The comment period ends Jan. 15 on EPA’s draft guidance on which imported articles are covered by a July 2020 final rule barring companies from manufacturing, importing, processing, or using certain long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) without prior EPA review and approval. EPA says the guide aims to provide additional clarity for stakeholders that are importers of articles that may contain long-chain PFAS as part of a surface coating.

Pesticide Regulation

The comment period on a proposed settlement agreement between EPA and environmental groups over alleged Endangered Species Act violations of several EPA pesticide registrations ends Jan. 14. Environmentalists alleged EPA failed to appropriately consider the effects to listed species when approving pesticides containing flupyradifurone, bicyclopyrone, benzovindiflupyr, cuprous iodide, and haluaxifen-methyl. If finalized, the agreement would require EPA to complete evaluations for each substance while consulting with other agencies as appropriate.

Climate Change

The Gas Technology Institute is holding a Jan. 12 webinar on renewable natural gas, a type of biogas that is interchangeable with natural gas. The webinar will discuss how gas quality is assessed, how renewable natural gas compares with pipeline natural gas, where it is being used, and how it can help with decarbonization.

Innovative Technology

The Environmental Law Institute is holding a webinar Jan. 14 on improving collaboration between large corporations and start-ups on new environmental technologies.

Waste Collection

The Solid Waste Association of North America will hold a webinar Jan. 14 on the benefits of automated waste collection.