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The Week Ahead

EPA Advances TSCA Rules On Law’s Third Anniversary, House Eyes ‘Iconic’ Water Policy

Top EPA officials are detailing efforts to implement the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on the third anniversary of the bipartisan update to the law. Meanwhile, a House hearing will focus on the Trump administration’s policy for protecting “iconic” waterways, likely including its proposal to narrow the scope of Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction.


EPA toxics chief Alexandra Dunn and Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics director Jeffery Morris are among the speakers at a June 24 conference on the third anniversary of the reformed TSCA law, hosted in Washington, D.C., by the Environmental Law Institute, the law firm Bergeson & Campbell, and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. The conference includes three panel discussions focused on implementation, science and regulatory issues respectively, and a keynote from Dunn.

Meanwhile, the agency is also taking comment through June 24 on two key TSCA rule proposals: one setting out its procedure for reviewing claims of confidential business information in chemical notices of activity, and the latest iteration of the Chemical Data Reporting rule that it issues every four years to gather information on industrial chemicals and their use.

Water Protections

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s panel on water and the environment is hosting a June 25 hearing on “Protecting and Restoring America’s Iconic Waters.” The subcommittee has not announced a more-specific agenda for the session, but it could mirror a June 12 Senate hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed CWA jurisdiction rule.

Arsenic Assessment

Comments are due June 27 on EPA’s updated problem formulation for the long-pending Integrated Risk Information System assessment of inorganic arsenic.

Regulatory Rollbacks

Democratic Reps. David Cicilline (RI) and Pramila Jayapal (WA) will address a June 24 Coalition for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) briefing in Washington, D.C., on push-back by the House and citizen groups against EPA and other agencies’ deregulatory agendas under the Trump administration. According to the event announcement, the legislators will speak on “the importance of regulatory safeguards,” followed by a CSS panel about “progressive efforts to defend public protections.”


The Society of Toxicologic Pathology will hold its annual symposium June 24-26 in Raleigh, NC. The symposium covers “detection, characterization, mechanistic understanding, and regulatory implications of chemical and physical hazards” in the natural environment and man-made settings.

EPA’s Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice will meet June 27 to discuss the High Throughput Toxicokinetic R Package software, which combines four toxicokinetic models for use in a broader high-throughput chemical screening.

SAB Nominations

June 24 is the deadline for nominations to fill the next round of open seats on the Science Advisory Board (SAB), including the chartered board and four subcommittees covering agriculture, chemical assessments, drinking water and radiation. The nominations are set to arrive just weeks after the current board outlined an aggressive plan to review many proposed EPA rules.

A&WMA Meeting

EPA speakers are slated to address the Air & Waste Management Association’s (A&WMA) annual conference June 25-28 in Quebec City, Canada. The group represents “environmental professionals” in the United States and other countries, and its conference agenda covers a host of technical and regulatory issues such as climate change impacts and specific aspects of EPA’s air monitoring databases.


Comments are due June 24 on EPA’s planned information collection request for the next round of applications under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding program.


EPA and the Department of Agriculture will co-host a June 26 webinar on private financing options for nutrient reductions at farms, ranches and other agricultural sites.

Nuclear Waste

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will hold a June 27 hearing on S. 1234, a bipartisan bill that would set up a new “Nuclear Waste Administration” as an independent executive agency to tackle the long-stalled issue of setting up a repository for nuclear waste.

Environmental Justice

The House Natural Resources Committee and citizen groups will co-host a day-long June 26 “convening” on environmental justice in Washington, D.C. The agenda aims to elevate environmental justice as a focus of Democrats’ opposition to Trump EPA policies, and to coordinate lawmakers’ and equity groups’ efforts on the subject.

Air Toxics

Comments are due June 24 on EPA’s proposed risk-and-technology review (RTR) that would leave unchanged emissions limits in existing air toxics standards for engine tests. Following the model set by nearly all Trump-era RTRs, the proposal leaves numeric emissions limits for the sector unchanged but eliminates waivers for startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) events in line with an appellate court ruling that struck down such waivers.

Environmental Economics

EPA will host a June 27 environmental economics presentation at its Washington, D.C., headquarters from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs professor Alex Hollingsworth on the social costs of leaded gasoline.

BOSC Meeting

The executive committee of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), which advises the agency on its research agenda, will meet June 27-28 in Research Triangle Park, NC. The agenda includes reports from each of the board’s five subcommittees.

Air Mitigation

EPA, Trinity College and Cornell University will co-host a June 27 webinar on international best practices that can help achieve passive mitigation of air pollution in the “built environment.”

SSM Waivers

June 28 is the deadline for comments on EPA’s proposed approval of a Texas Clean Air Act state implementation plan that includes a waiver for industry emissions spikes during SSM events. The agency has proposed several such state-specific approvals rather than a national SSM policy in what observers say is a bid to keep litigation over the practice in regional circuit courts and avoid the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has previously rejected some SSM exemptions.

Good Neighbor Board

EPA’s Good Neighbor Environmental Board will meet June 27-28 in Imperial Beach, CA. The board advises EPA on environmental issues at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sanitary Surveys

EPA will host a June 25 webinar for small water systems on sanitary surveys.

Spill Prevention

EPA will host a June 25 webinar for tribal governments on the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure regulation and its application to tribes in particular.