EPN In Action September-October 2021

 

Welcome to your EPN In Action newsletter

Highlights

  • EPN sent a letter to EPA providing recommendations on the use of herbicide products containing the active ingredient dicamba, a letter to EPA providing recommendations on the implementation of the chlorpyrifos final rule, and a letter to EPA on new chemicals subject to premanufacture notification (PMN) under section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

  • EPN member Dr. Betsy Southerland provided testimony at a Congressional hearing on “The Clean Water Act (CWA) and Emerging Contaminants.”

  • EPN sent a letter to EPA regarding the Trump administration’s decision on the Yazoo Area Pumps Project in Mississippi’s South Delta.

  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s proposal to revise the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for light-duty vehicles for Model Years 2023 through 2026.

  • EPN presented testimony at a virtual public hearing held by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on their proposal to generally restore regulatory provisions for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

EPN Announcements

EPN’s Work on Pesticides and Toxics

EPN Letter on Dicamba Herbicide

EPN sent a letter to EPA with recommendations to better understand and prevent the serious harm being caused by herbicide products containing the active ingredient dicamba.

EPN Letter on Chlorpyrifos Final Rule

EPN sent a letter to EPA with recommendations on the implementation of the final chlorpyrifos rule, which revoked all food tolerances for the pesticide effective February 28, 2022. EPN also urged the agency to take quick and aggressive actions to protect the public from unsafe chlorpyrifos residues in food and drinking water. 

EPN Letter on Revising New Chemical Review Process

EPN sent a letter to EPA expressing concerns raised regarding the process by which EPA makes scientific judgments about the risks of new chemicals subject to PMN under section 5 of the TSCA. EPN recommended revisions to the new chemical review process to enhance transparency, facilitate dispute resolution, and ensure the scientific integrity of new chemical safety decisions.

Pesticides and Toxics in the News

Biden Administration Launches Roadmap to Tackle Pollution from Widely Used ‘Forever Chemicals’

October 18, 2021 / by

Betsy Klein and Nadia Kounang /

CNN

Betsy Southerland, former Director, Office of Science and Technology, EPA Office of Water, was quoted in this article about the release of EPA’s PFAS Roadmap, the agency’s plan of actions across multiple statutes to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Betsy was quoted in similar articles appearing in Inside EPA, Bloomberg Law, E&E News, and Chemical Watch.

EPA Targets ‘Part 2’ Asbestos Evaluation for 2024 with Draft Scope This Year

October 13, 2021 / by

David LaRoss /

Inside EPA

Bob Sussman, counsel to Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), former Senior Policy Counsel to the EPA Administrator, and former EPA Deputy Administrator, was quoted in this article regarding a settlement agreement EPA has reached with ADAO that sets a schedule for the agency to conduct risk evaluations for legacy asbestos use. Bob was quoted in a similar article in Chemical & Engineering News.

EPN’s Work on Clean Water

EPN Letter on 2008 CWA Final Determination for Mississippi’s Yazoo River Backwater Pumps

EPN sent a letter to EPA's Office of Water on the Trump administration's determination that the proposed 2020 Yazoo Area Pump Project was not subject to the 2008 CWA Section 404(c) Final Determination. EPN urged EPA to reverse its decision and recommended that the agency develop appropriate regulations that clearly define the process for modifying a Section 404(c) Final Determination.

Clean Water in the News

Michigan Community Faces Water Crisis, Calls for Lead Pipe Replacement

October 8, 2021 / by

Lily Bohlke /

Detroit Metro Times

Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation; former EPA Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization; and former EPA Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice, was quoted in this article discussing the positive health, educational, and wealth impacts lead-pipe replacement would have on Black and brown communities and the harm that comes from disinvestment in these communities. This article also appeared on News/Talk 95.3 MNC.

In Texas High Country, Biden’s Effort to Expand Federal Water Protection Meets Resistance

September 20, 2021 / by

James Osborne /

Houston Chronicle

Mike Shapiro, former Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Water, was quoted and EPN was mentioned in this article discussing the importance of including ephemeral and intermittent streams in the definition of “waters of the US” and the need to clarify to farmers which waters are jurisdictional.

Federal Judge Throws Out Trump Administration Rule Allowing the Draining and Filling of Streams, Marshes and Wetlands

August 31, 2021 / by

Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennis /

The Washington Post

Mark Ryan, former EPA Regional Counsel, EPA Region 10, and former Special Assistant US Attorney, was quoted in this article about the recent repeal of the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule, an action that will afford more protections to drinking-water sources and wetlands. Mark was also quoted in similar articles appearing in E&E News, The New York Times, and S&P Global.

EPN’s Work on NEPA and Air

EPN Presents Testimony on Proposed Revisions to Regulations Implementing NEPA

In response to the White House Council on Environmental Quality's proposal to restore regulatory provisions for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, EPN presented testimony in support of proposed revisions that will ensure federal NEPA assessments meet over five decades of well-established law and practice, and provide for addressing climate change and environmental injustice.

NEPA and Air in the News

Round Two of Environment Permit Change to Ask: Revert or Refine?

October 8, 2021 / by

Stephen Lee /

Bloomberg Law

Cheryl Wasserman, former Associate Director for Policy Analysis, EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, was quoted in this article discussing what may be included in a second rulemaking on NEPA that the White House Council on Environmental Quality intends to propose in 2022.

EPA Draft Science Supplement Bolsters Case for Tougher PM Standards

September 30, 2021 / by

Stuart Parker /

Inside EPA

John Bachmann, former Associate Director for Science/Policy and New Programs, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, was quoted and EPN was cited in this article discussing the recently released draft supplemental science assessment of particulate matter, which is part of EPA’s review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

White House Restoring Environmental Reviews for Big Projects

October 6, 2021 / by

Matthew Daly /

Associated Press

Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation; former EPA Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization; and former EPA Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice, was quoted in this article regarding the announcement from the White House Council on Environmental Quality that it will restore key provisions of the National Environmental Protection Act, federal regulations that regulate major infrastructure projects that had been dramatically overhauled by the Trump administration. Mustafa was quoted in related articles appearing in Reuters, Bloomberg Law, Courthouse News Service, and Common Dreams.

EPN Member Op-Eds

EPN members penned their own op-eds on an asbestos ban, corporate carbon pollution, and waters of the United States.

Asbestos Still Kills: Time for a Total Ban in the U.S.

October 22, 2021 / by

Linda Reinstein and Mustafa Santiago Ali /

Bloomberg Law

Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President for Environmental Justice, National Wildlife Federation; former EPA Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization; and EPA Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice, co-authored this op-ed emphasizing the continued risk of asbestos exposure, particularly in Black, brown, indigenous, and lower-wealth communities, and the need for a total ban on the chemical.

To Build Back Better, Put a Fee on Corporate Carbon Pollution

October 13, 2021 / by

Jeremy Symons /

The Hill

Jeremy Symons, former Climate Policy Advisor, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, penned this op-ed discussing how a corporate pollution fee should be included in the Build Back Better reconciliation plan to ensure corporations pay their fair share and to make innovation a central part of a climate change strategy.

Undoing the Trump Water Rule

September 3, 2021 / by

Mark Ryan and Betsy Southerland /

The Hill

EPN members Mark Ryan, former EPA Regional Counsel, EPA Region 10, and former Special Assistant US Attorney, and Betsy Southerland, former Director, Office of Research and Development, EPA Office of Water, penned this op-ed discussing the recent repeal of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and what EPA can do to ensure development of a lasting definition of waters of the United States that offers clean water protections for everyone.

More Examples of EPN in the News

In addition to the articles above, EPN members contributed to a range of articles on topics such as plastic pollution, GHG regulation, and reversing harmful environmental actions.

Plastics Destined to Create More Emissions Than Coal in the US, Study Finds

October 22, 2021 / by

Alexander C. Kaufman /

Mother Jones

Judith Enck, President of Beyond Plastics and former Regional Administrator, EPA Region 2, was quoted in this article discussing Beyond Plastics’ recent report that indicates that greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production will exceed that of the coal industry by 2030. Judith was also quoted in numerous other media outlets, including Reuters, E&E News, The Hill, and Rolling Stone.

EPA Targets Potent Greenhouse Gases, Bringing US Into Compliance With the Kigali Amendment

September 27, 2021 / by

Phil McKenna /

Inside Climate News

Cynthia Giles, former Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, was quoted in this article regarding a new rule implemented by the Biden administration that will allow for better tracking of chemical shipments containing hydrofluorocarbons.

Biden Makes Early Gains Eroding Trump’s Environmental Legacy

September 23, 2021 / by

Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk /

The Hill

Stan Meiburg, former EPA Acting Deputy Administrator and former Regional Administrator, EPA Regions 4 and 6, was quoted in this article about the progress the Biden administration has made and challenges they have encountered in reversing Trump-era environmental actions.

Read all recent EPN in the News items here