* Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in June 2016 expanded the categories of people to whom EPA may disclose confidential business information (CBI). Authorization now extends to state, tribal, and local governments; environmental, health, and medical professionals; and emergency responders, under certain conditions, including consistency with guidance that EPA is required to develop. Accordingly, last week EPA made available draft guidance for each of three new expanded TSCA CBI access provisions. The guidance covers the content and form of the agreements and statements of need required under each provision and includes some basic logistical information on where and how to submit requests to EPA. The Agency is seeking comments on the drafts; comments are due by April 16.
* The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will conduct a 5-year review of populations of threatened sturgeon – from the of Gulf of Maine to the New York bight, the Chesapeake Bay, Carolinas and the South Atlantic; pretty much the whole eastern seaboard. This 5-year review is required by the Endangered Species Act “to ensure that the listing classification of the species remains accurate.” The framework for the review depends on five critical factors: (1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat or range; (2) overuse for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or, (5) other natural or manmade factors affecting continued existence. The Agency seeks comments that can help inform this study, particularly new information since the last review in 2012.
* On March 28, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and EPA will participate in a free webinar sponsored by the Center for Resource Solutions. “Renewable Energy Markets 101.” The webinar will provide an introduction to voluntary green power markets in the US. This is a partnership with EPA’s Green Power Partnership. NREL will discuss market trends using up-to-date data from NREL’s voluntary green power procurement research. Topics will include definitions of eligible resources, relevant regulations and policies, and a primer on best practices for renewable energy accounting and claims. Presentations will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.