EPA NEWS: FY 2017 Grant Announcement: FY 2017 Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program

Request For Proposals

2017 Pollution Prevention (P2) Source Reduction Assistance Grant Request for Proposal for EPA Region 1

RFP# EPA-Region10-P2-2017-001

Open Date: June 16, 2017

Closing Date: Wednesday July 26, 2017, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (8:59pm Pacific Daylight Time)

P2 Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) awards support pollution prevention through source reduction and resource conservation work. You can read a description of SRA awards in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 66.717.

  • Eligibility: The fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the U.S., local governments, city or township governments, independent school district governments, state controlled institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations (other than institutions of higher education), private institutions of higher education, community-based grassroots organizations, and federally-recognized tribes and intertribal consortia.
  • Match requirement: 5%
  • Range of possible award amounts: $20,000 – $95,000.
  • Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov “FY 2017 Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program for Region 10″
  • For more information, contact Robert Drake (drake.robert@epa.gov), 206-553-4803
Related information:

Ecology News: Opportunity to comment on the EPA Performance Partnership Agreement

Ecology has a partnership with EPA that is revisited every two years. This year Ecology has requested $11 million from EPA for numerous environmental efforts. The partnership provides funds that support Ecology’s participation in the Task Force.The comment period for this partnership grant agreement with EPA ends on May 31st. 

Task Force members are encouraged to provide feedback for the drafting of this plan. To provide comment go to http://www.ecy.wa.gov/ppa.html 

 

 

EPA Announces Public Regulatory Reform Meetings on TSCA, TRI and Lead Exposure Reduction — May 1, 2017

Consistent with Executive Order 13777, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is hosting two meetings on May 1, 2017, to solicit input on regulations promulgated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome.

On February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda. The Executive Order (EO) establishes the “policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.” Among other things, it requires each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and to identify regulations that should be repealed, replaced, or modified.

OCSPP is holding two public meetings (both of which the public is invited to participate in person or via teleconference) on May 1, 2017 so that we can listen and learn from those directly impacted by our regulations.

The first meeting will be held from 9am to 12pm and will address regulations promulgated under TSCA Subchapters I (Control of Toxic Substances), II (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response), VI (Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products), as well as EPCRA Subchapter II §11023 (Toxic chemical release forms), commonly referred to as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). These are regulations addressing chemical risk review and reduction programs including new and existing chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos, mercury and formaldehyde, as well as regulations implementing the TRI.

The second meeting will be held from 1pm to 2:30pm and will address regulations promulgated under TSCA Subchapter IV (Lead Exposure Reduction). These regulations address implementation of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, Lead Abatement Program, Residential Lead-based Paint Disclosure Rule, and Residential Hazard Standards for Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil.

We invite you to provide input on these actions during the public meeting/teleconference or by submitting written comments to the EPA-wide docket using docket number: EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190. The docket, which is accessible through www.regulations.gov,  will remain open through May 15, 2017. OCSPP will give equal consideration to input provided through either of these methods.

Additional information on joining the meetings (in person and via teleconference) and submitting written comments through the docket is below. For questions about this process, please contact Darlene Leonard at leonard.darlene@epa.gov. For more information about this effort, please visit https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform.

Participating in the Meetings:

Persons interested in attending the meeting on TSCA Subchapters I, II and VI, and EPCRA Subchapter II §11023, either in person or remotely, may register at https://tsca-tri.eventbrite.com.

Those interested in participating in the meeting on TSCA Subchapter IV, either in person or remotely, may register at https://tsca-pb.eventbrite.com.

Participants must indicate their interest in speaking when registering. To attend the meeting in person or to receive remote access, please register no later than April 27, 2017.  While on-site registration will be available, seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to pre-registrants, until room capacity is reached. The Agency anticipates that approximately 150 people will be able to attend the meeting in person. For registrants not able to attend in person, the meeting will also provide remote access capabilities; registered participants will be provided information on how to connect to the meeting prior to its start.

 Providing Input through the Docket:

Comments can be submitted to the public docket, EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190, which is available at www.regulations.gov. The docket will be open until May 15, 2017.

Detailed instructions on how to submit comments to the docket are available at: https://www.regulations.gov/help. Also, EPA’s Tips for Effective Comments can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets#tips.

We also recommend that you clearly include the subject area on which you are providing input at the beginning of your comment. The subject area could include, but is not limited to, a reference to any of the following:

  • Code of Federal Regulations regulatory cite or Part/Subpart;
  • Federal Register citation;
  • Regulatory program or rulemaking title;
  • Title of guidance document.

EPA NEWS: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting public comments on its evaluation of existing regulations per Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”

All public comments will be accessible online in our docket on the regulations.gov website ( https://www.regulations.gov/?tab=search ) identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190 at (https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190).
You may offer public comment regarding implementation of regulatory reforms to programs including the Superfund cleanup program. The EPA Headquarters office that oversees the Superfund program, the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) (https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-land-and-emergency-management), will host a public meeting to obtain public feedback on May 9, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in Arlington, VA.  Additionally, the Office of Water (OW) (https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-water) will hold a virtual listening session for the public on May 2, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
For more information about the public participation in regulatory reform, please visit https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform#Public 

EPA Launches New Program With $1 Billion in Loans Available for Water Infrastructure Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2017

EPA Launches New Program With $1 Billion in Loans Available for Water Infrastructure Projects

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of approximately $1 billion in credit assistance for water infrastructure projects under the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.

EPA’s WIFIA program will provide long-term, low-cost credit assistance in the form of direct loans and loan guarantees to creditworthy water projects. WIFIA provides another option for financing large infrastructure projects – generally at least $20 million – in addition to the State Revolving Funds and bond market. WIFIA is available to state, local, and tribal governments; private entities; partnerships; and State Revolving Fund programs. EPA estimates that funds appropriated to the WIFIA program can be leveraged at a ratio greater than 50 to one, which means the $17 million program budget could allow EPA to make approximately $1 billion in loans and stimulate about $2 billion in total infrastructure investment.

“The launch of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program marks a huge step forward for modernizing our nation’s aging water infrastructure,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “WIFIA gives us a new opportunity to provide billions of dollars in low-interest loans to communities to build large infrastructure projects, significantly accelerating investments that benefit our nation’s public health and water security for generations to come.”

Some of the projects that WIFIA enables EPA to provide assistance for include:

  • drinking water treatment and distribution projects
  • wastewater conveyance and treatment projects
  • enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities
  • desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling projects
  • drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects

EPA will evaluate projects using criteria such as the extent to which the project is nationally or regionally significant, helps maintain or protect public health or the environment, protects against extreme weather, and serves regions with significant water resource challenges. EPA will make selections on a competitive basis.

EPA estimates that the U.S. needs about $660 billion in investments for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure over the next 20 years.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/wifia

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IDAHO News: Final Rule Package Submittal to EPA – WQS/Fish Consumption Rates in Human Health Criteria, Docket No. 58-0102-1201

Idaho has submitted their State adopted Human Health Water Quality Criteria (HHWQC) to EPA for approval.

Final Rule Package Submitted to EPA

This submittal also includes documents that exist as part of the rulemaking record and posted at www.deq.idaho.gov/58-0102-1201.

SRRTTF Sends Letter to Staff and Directors of the U.S. EPA and Other Parties Regarding TSCA

The Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (SRRTTF) has sent a letter (via Ruckelshaus Center on December 9th, 2016)  to Staff and Directors at EPA as well as State legislators concerning the regulation of PCBs under the Toxic Substances Control Act and its link to Washington Water Quality Standards for PCBs recently submitted by EPA. The SRRTTF developed the letter(s), and agreed on the contents, by consensus.

Letter:
–  srrttf-letter-concerning-wa-wqs-and-tsca_12-9-16

Previous letter sent to EPA and their response:
–  SRRTTF Letter to EPA-Final-approved-10.23.13
–  EPA Response to SRRTTF Letter_pcbs_2.24.15

 

Federal Register publication of the Washington Water Quality Standards MORE INFORMATION

The final rule was published in the Federal Register today, which means it will take effect on 12/28/16. All the information has been posted on EPA’s website here: https://www.epa.gov/wqs-tech/water-quality-standards-regulations-washington#fed

The docket is also now available (which is also available on the main link above) here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0174. The docket includes the response to comments and economic analysis – direct links to these documents below.

Response to comments: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0174-0427

Econ analysis: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0174-0300

EPA to Host Upcoming WIFIA Informational Webinars

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) is a new loan program, which is targeted at large projects $20 million for large communities and $5 million for small communities (population of 25,000 or less).

Over the next month, EPA will be hosting a series of informational sessions about WIFIA program.

Eligible projects include wastewater and drinking water facilities as well as energy efficiency projects at these facilities and other large projects. The WIFIA program is separate from State Revolving Fund programs, but will coordinate with them.

If you are interested in this new funding program, then you are encouraged to attend one or more of the Webinars, particularly the first one, which is scheduled for November 29th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern Time and will overview the WIFIA Program, loan terms and conditions, and credit policies.

The webinars are targeted at prospective WIFIA borrowers including municipal entities, corporations, partnerships, State Revolving Fund programs, non-governmental organizations, and organizations that support prospective borrowers. In each session, EPA will focus on a specific topic and provide participants the opportunity to ask questions.

Webinar 1 Tuesday, November 29 (1:00-3:00 pm ET)
WIFIA Program Overview; loan terms and conditions; and credit policies
Register

Webinar 2 Tuesday, December 6 (1:00-3:00 pm ET)
WIFIA Project Selection; letter of interest components; EPA’s selection process; and the selection criteria weighting
Register

Webinar 3 Monday, December 12 (1:00-3:00 pm ET)
WIFIA Project approval and closing; and term sheet development.
Register

Learn More.

News Releases from Region 10: EPA updates standards for toxic pollutants in Washington waters

NEWS Release from EPA :

Partnership with Washington will improve water quality and protect fish consumers, regulatory flexibility will help control costs

11/15/2016

Contact Information: 

Mark MacIntyre (macintyre.mark@epa.gov)

206-553-7302

(Seattle – November 15, 2016) Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced actions to update the limits for toxic pollutants in Washington’s surface waters, which will protect water quality and people who eat fish from those waters.

The Clean Water Act sets clear expectations for the nation’s water quality and calls for establishing health-based standards using the best available science to ensure that all people can safely fish and swim in U.S. waters.  Today’s actions set standards aimed at protecting those who eat salmon and other fish and shellfish from Washington waters.

Specifically, EPA approved 45 of the pollution standards the Washington Department of Ecology adopted earlier this year and finalized updates to 144 additional federal standards. For a complete list of the pollutants addressed in this action go to: https://www.epa.gov/wqs-tech/water-quality-standards-regulations-washington#fed

As part of today’s actions, EPA also approved Ecology’s revisions to its variance and compliance schedule provisions, which give the state and affected industries and municipalities needed flexibility and time to implement these new standards while making reasonable progress in improving water quality.

“Washington maintains one of the strongest water programs in the entire nation,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran. “Now, the state will have updated standards on the books and the needed flexibility to make progress meeting these more protective standards over time.”

Surveys of local residents in the Pacific Northwest, including tribes with treaty-protected rights, reflect that Washingtonians eat fish and shellfish at levels much higher than the rate that was previously used to set standards for toxics in Washington’s waters.  EPA and Ecology have been working to establish these new water quality standards based on a far more realistic estimate of the amount of fish Washingtonians eat.

“We applaud the Governor and Ecology’s decision to increase the fish consumption rate recognized in the standards and to retain the state’s protective one-in-a-million cancer risk level. The fish consumption rate and risk level in the standards match those established in Oregon and clearly recognize that greater protection of people who eat larger amounts of fish is appropriate in the Pacific Northwest where fishing is a part of our heritage,” McLerran said.

Most of Washington’s human health standards for toxics in surface water haven’t been updated since 1992. This new set of standards is based on the latest science about health protection and fish consumption rates.  Today’s actions ensure that water quality standards are now in place at levels that will adequately protect fish consumers in Washington, including tribes with treaty-protected rights, from exposure to toxic pollutants.

The region’s tribes helped both the EPA and the state better understand the particular health risks that tribal members have long faced due to their consumption of large amounts of fish. In establishing a fish consumption rate that better reflects the amount of fish people eat, the Ecology and EPA standards will help to lower health risks from eating fish for all Washingtonians, even those, such as tribal members, who regularly consume large amounts of fish and shellfish. EPA’s final rule incorporates Washington’s 175 grams per day fish consumption rate and a one-in-one million cancer risk level.

In practice, Ecology and EPA will continue to work together to determine the right level of regulatory flexibility and the feasibility of meeting the new standards when incorporating the new pollution limits into state permits and in other Clean Water Act programs. Flexibility in implementing these new standards will be important as pollutant detection and control technologies are developed.

EPA’s rule and Washington’s approved water quality standards will take effect 30 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register. The rule was signed today (November 15) and is expected to be published in the Federal Register in one to two weeks.

# # #

For more information about EPA’s action on Washington’s water quality standards: https://www.epa.gov/wqs-tech/water-quality-standards-regulations-washington#fed

– Washington Rule_Water Quality Standards-part-131-2040-af56-final-rule
–  EPAs Partial-Approval Partial-disapproval_WA HH WQC Impl-tools_Bellon