Legislative Activity

Waters of the U.S.

Last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a joint hearing to discuss the “Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the United States Rule on State and Local Governments.” The hearing addressed concerns with the proposed rule including costs, definitions and proposed jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The majority of the Congressional members present at the hearing stated their support for the withdrawal of the proposed rule. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy of the Army both stated that isolated puddles, isolated ponds not connected to other bodies of water, artificially irrigated areas, reflecting pools, summer pools and water filled repressions incidental to construction will all continue to be exempt from federal jurisdiction in the proposed rule.

Power Plant Emissions Proposed Rules

On Wednesday, February 11, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an oversight hearing to question the EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules for power plants. Janet McCabe, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, will testify.

Regulatory Activity

Clean Air Standards

EPA is seeking nominations for national and international experts to provide scientific input for the agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee concerning air quality criteria and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). Nominations are due by February 25.