Fallout From Sackett Continues, States Grapple With Ozone Emissions
State and other officials continue to grapple with the effects of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Sackett v. EPA that scaled back the reach of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Eastern states are meeting to discuss measures to curb ozone emissions as EPA’s Good Neighbor Rule faces significant challenges.
The National Association of Wetland Managers (NAWM) is holding a June 14 webinar to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s landmark Sackett ruling for protection of wetlands and other waterbodies. In its 5-4 ruling, the high court narrowed the test for determining when wetlands are “waters of the United States” under the CWA, holding generally that the term only applies to waters that have a “relatively permanent” connection to navigable waters.
Many environmentalists have warned that the ruling will gut protections for wetlands as well as many other waters. Speakers include Jon Devine, director of federal water policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Donna Downing, NAWM’s senior legal policy advisor who previously served as jurisdiction team leader in EPA’s Office of Water, and Pat Parenteau, professor of law emeritus at Vermont Law School.
The Environmental Law Institute will also host a discussion of WOTUS issues during its June 15 webinar on CWA “basics.”
The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), the group of air officials from 12 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, will meet virtually June 14 at its annual meeting to discuss mobile and stationary source emissions driving ozone pollution in the region. At an April stakeholder meeting, the group discussed heavy-duty vehicle standards and catalytic converter standards, emissions inventories and reasonably available control technology (RACT) for stationary sources, among other issues. Officials may also discuss EPA’s newly expanded Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which is facing significant legal challenges that are raising doubts about the agency’s ability to craft a unified national policy.
EPA is slated to receive comments through June 16 on its “Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution,” which seeks to implement bipartisan congressional mandates for reducing plastics in waterways and overall environmental harms from that waste. Industry groups have already raised significant concerns the agency is stretching its statutory basis by focusing more on cutting use of plastic goods and reworking their design than disposal, while raising new concerns about potential tightening of controls on pyrolysis, a controversial destruction technology.
The Senate environment committee’s Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight subcommittee is holding a June 15 hearing on the impacts of plastic production and disposal on environmental justice communities.
Comments are due June 16 on EPA’s GHG standards for heavy-duty vehicles beginning in model year 2027, one of several closely watched vehicle standards proposed in recent months.
EPA recently rebuffed multiple requests to extend the comment deadline for the truck GHG proposal, and in a similar dynamic it rejected calls for more time to comment on its separate multi-pollutant proposal for passenger vehicles. Comments are due July 5 for that plan.
Resources for the Future on June 12 and 13 will host a workshop on zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) sales mandates, discussing research for effective, efficient, and equitable policy implementation.
A special panel of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) will meet in person and virtually in Raleigh, NC, June 13 and 14 to discuss EPA’s draft integrated science assessment (ISA) supporting its review of the lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The ISA, published March 31, finds that scientific evidence for several of lead’s harmful health effects is stronger than before, in addition to identifying some new effects, even as air exposures have fallen.
Public comments on the ISA are also due by June 13.
The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) is meeting June 13-15 in Phoenix where its members will hear updates from EPA and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on key issues and will also discuss draft recommendations on EPA’s pending NAAQS for particulate matter and ozone, as well as for climate planning, preparedness, response, recovery and impacts.
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee is holding a June 14 hearing entitled, “Death by a Thousand Regulations: The Biden Administration’s Campaign to Bury America in Red Tape.”
The House Rules Committee meets June 12 to again consider several bills including two that would prohibit rules affecting gas stoves and others curbing agency regulations more broadly. The House Republican majority is trying again to bring the measures to the floor after a group of conservative lawmakers last week blocked a procedural vote that would have allowed them to advance, in response to the recent debt ceiling law.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) is holding a June 16 event to release a long-awaited report on chemical tests that officials hope will help build “confidence” in new approach methods (NAMs) of testing, like computational toxicology. According to the committee’s description of the report, it “reviews the variability and relevance of existing mammalian toxicity tests, specifically when it comes to human health risk assessment,” and includes “findings for data-driven and science-based expectations” for NAMs.