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The Week Ahead

The Senate environment panel will vote this week on the nominations of Brenda Mallory to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Janet McCabe to be deputy EPA chief. Meanwhile a House appropriations panel will hold a hearing on the remediation and impact of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at military sites.

Biden Nominations

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s (EPW) March 24 business meeting includes a vote on Mallory to chair CEQ and McCabe to be EPA’s deputy administrator. McCabe has vowed to bolster protections for career staff at the agency against unsafe conditions and political interference when working on rules. Mallory has said she will seek ways to speed National Environmental Policy Act infrastructure permits while reversing Trump-era moves to loosen the environmental review process.

The committee will also vote on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure legislation that EPW Chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) has pledged to move quickly.

PFAS Cleanups

The House Appropriations military construction, veterans affairs, and related agencies subcommittee is scheduled to hold a March 24 hearing on the remediation and impact of PFAS. In addition to Defense Department and Veterans Affairs officials, the witnesses include toxicologist Jamie DeWitt and environmental activist Erin Brockovich.

Environmental Justice

The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) is holding a virtual meeting March 24. The agenda includes discussion of Biden administration priorities for EPA, and discussions and deliberations of a charge related to the reuse and revitalization of Superfund and other contaminated sites.

Nominations to fill seven vacancies on NEJAC are also due March 24.

Baker Botts is holding a March 25 webinar titled “Environmental Justice Spotlight: What You Need in Your Corporate Toolkit.”

Biden EPA Priorities

The law firm Gibson Dunn is holding a March 23 webinar examining the Biden EPA’s first 60 days and beyond. Panelists will discuss anticipated agency rulemakings, enforcement targets and initiatives, action on climate change and tips for identifying and addressing key environmental compliance risks.

Infrastructure Investment

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing March 22 on Democratic legislation to invest $312 billion in clean energy, energy efficiency, drinking water, broadband, and health care infrastructure.

Circular Economy

The GreenTech Conference is holding a March 24 webinar on the emerging circular economy. A roundtable discussion of expert panelists will provide insights on innovative waste-to-product businesses and illuminate the need for a revamped sustainability-focused legal and policy framework.


Comments are due March 25 on the Trump EPA’s proposed revisions to the rule setting user fees for chemical evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Air Sensors

EPA is holding a March 24 webinar on air sensor performance targets. The webinar will highlight two reports developed by the agency’s Office of Research and Development on recommended performance testing protocols, metrics, and target values for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) air sensors used for non-regulatory supplemental and monitoring purposes.

Air Risk Reviews

The comment period closes March 24 on a number of Clean Air Act residual risk and technology reviews (RTRs), which help EPA determine whether stricter emissions controls are needed for specific industries years after the agency first issued air toxics rules for the targeted sectors. The RTRs for which EPA is seeking comments are mercury cell chlor-alkali plants, primary magnesium refining, flexible polyurethane foam fabrication operations, refractory products manufacturing, carbon black production and cyanide chemicals manufacturing.

Textile Recovery

The Solid Waste Association of North America is holding a March 24 webinar on the future of textile recovery management, discussing programs and policies in New York, Massachusetts and California that seek to end the disposal of textiles.

Hazardous Waste

Comments are due March 25 on an EPA proposal to modify an exclusion from the lists of hazardous waste previously granted to a Texas chemical facility. American Chrome and Chemical in Corpus Christi, TX, petitioned EPA to exclude up to 1,450 cubic yards per year of K006 chromic oxide solids from the list of federal hazardous wastes when disposed of in an on-site surface impoundment in lieu of disposal in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle D landfill. EPA is proposing to grant the petition based on an evaluation of waste-specific information provided by the petitioner.