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The Week Ahead

The House and Senate environment committees will examine EPA’s fiscal year 2022 budget request during hearings this week. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral argument in a suit over Superfund settlements and a renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers case.

EPA Budget

Congressional committees in the Senate and House with jurisdiction over environmental laws are scheduled to hold hearings this week examining the Biden administration’s FY22 budget request for EPA, which aims to boost its funding. President Joe Biden is seeking $11.2 billion overall for the agency in FY22 -- a $2 billion, or 21.3 percent, increase from the FY21 enacted level.

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will hold a hearing April 28 on EPA’s budget request.

And the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on environment and climate change April 29 will host a hearing on the same topic.

Supreme Court Arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument April 26 in Guam v. United States. The Superfund law case is expected to provide clarity on whether non-Superfund settlements can trigger contribution rights and therefore start the clock on the statute of limitations for responsible parties to file cleanup cost recovery claims.

And on April 27, the justices will weigh whether to uphold an appellate ruling that could significantly curb the agency’s ability to issue renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers. The court will hear argument in HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC, et al. v. Renewable Fuels Association, et al., the oil sector’s appeal of the lower court ruling.

100-Day Address

President Joe Biden is scheduled to give an address to a joint session of Congress April 28, one day before his 100th day in office. He will likely highlight his comprehensive plan for the United States to address global warming, coming on the heels of last week’s Climate Leaders Summit and his setting of a national goal to cut greenhouse gases 50-52 percent economy-wide by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Environmental Justice

The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which aims to boost the federal government’s efforts to address environmental injustice, will hold an April 28 virtual public meeting.

The Health Effects Institute, a research organization jointly funded by EPA and the auto industry, on April 27 will host the fourth in a series of webinars it is conducting in lieu of its annual conference. The webinar will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution and health, discussing potential links between air pollution and increased susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 as well as evidence of racial inequalities in exposures to air pollution and COVID-19 outcomes.

Law firm Beveridge & Diamond will join the Retail Industry Leaders Association in a webcast April 28 on environmental justice, evaluating risks and opportunities for retailers.

Drinking Water

EPA April 28 will host a virtual public listening session on its lead and copper rule revisions, seeking further public input on the regulatory changes, particularly from individuals and communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.

Environmental Law

The American Bar Association’s Environment, Energy, and Resources Section will host its 50th spring conference on environmental law from April 27-30. It will feature keynote presentations from former Clinton EPA Administrator Carol Browner, former Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and former Clinton Secretary of Energy and Transportation Federico Peña.

Climate Change

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s subcommittee on clean air, climate, and nuclear safety April 27 will host a hearing on S. 283, the National Climate Bank Act.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold an April 27 hearing titled, “Climate Challenges: The Tax Code’s Role in Creating American Jobs, Achieving Energy Independence, and Providing Consumers with Affordable, Clean Energy."

As part of a webinar series on the Biden administration, law firm Beveridge & Diamond April 29 will sponsor a webcast on air and climate change initiatives in the Biden administration.

The Society for Environmental Journalists will hold an April 26 webinar titled, “The U.S. Climate Summit: What Comes Next?” featuring among its speakers Sue Biniaz, senior advisor to the special presidential envoy for climate at the Department of State.

Law firm Sidley Austin will hold an April 27 webinar titled, “U.S. Is In, Emissions Are Out -- Unpacking U.S. Climate Targets and the Paris Agreement After the White House Climate Summit.”

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute April 30 will sponsor the fourth in a webinar series on Congress and climate change, with this session titled, “Federal Policies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Win-Wins."

Clean Air Act

EPA April 30 will close the window for nominating candidates to its Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC), which advises the agency on policy and technical issues related to implementation of the Clean Air Act.

The Sidley Austin law firm April 28 will sponsor a webinar providing a mobile source update, including speaker Evan Belser, deputy director of EPA’s Air Enforcement Division.

EPA will host an informational webinar April 29 offering an overview and application information for the Measurement and Monitoring Methods for Air Toxics and Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Atmosphere Request for Applications.

PFAS Discussions

Law firm K&L Gates will hold an April 27 webcast on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which will feature Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), the sponsor of comprehensive legislation aimed at mandating regulation of PFAS.

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association will hold a webinar April 27 on PFAS and aqueous film forming foams, which typically contain PFAS, and alternatives.

Watershed Management

EPA will host an April 29 “Tools & Resources Training Webinar” on its Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST), a decision-support tool that facilitates integrated water management at the watershed and community levels.

The agency’s Water Finance Center will hold an April 29 webinar, “The Forest Resilience Bond,” discussing its technical report on the first forest resilience bond.

OSTP Nominee Hearing

The Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee will convene a hearing April 29 to consider the nomination of Eric Lander to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OTSP).

Sustainability Efforts

The Nobel Foundation will host the first Nobel Prize Summit, “Our Planet, Our Future,” April 26-28, featuring former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore. The summit aims to bring together Nobel Prize laureates, scientists, policymakers, business leaders and youth leaders exploring potential actions this decade “to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future."

EPA April 29 will present a sustainable materials management webinar titled, “Safe Transportation of Lithium Batteries: What You Need to Know in 2021,” discussing recycling lithium batteries and the safe transportation of lithium batteries for recycling, disposal and reuse.

Engineering and environmental consulting firm Antea Group April 27 will sponsor a webcast on corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG), “The ESG Evolution: A Firsthand Look at How (and Why) Two Tech Companies Are Tackling ESG."

Energy Issues

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing April 27 about energy development on federal lands, focusing on the Interior Department’s onshore oil and gas leasing program.

The Wilson Center will sponsor a webcast on April 26 titled, “Energy Efficiency Buildings as a Pathway to Carbon Neutrality in the US and China.”

Environmental Claims

The Environmental & Emerging Claims Managers Association will host its annual conference April 29-30, including sessions on climate change, Superfund law and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

EPA Regional Operations

EPA’s Region 9 will hold its spring 2021 Regional Tribal Operations Committee meeting virtually April 27-29.

Wildfire Impacts

The Air & Waste Management Association April 28 will sponsor a webcast on the health effects of wildfire smoke intrusions as part of a series on wildfires and their public health effects and air quality impacts.

Food Waste

The non-profit Food Tank will hold an April 28 webcast aimed at exploring solutions in curbing food waste.

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