Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  On April 30 EPA posted a 7-page proposed rule titled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.”  A core provision is that new EPA regulations should ensure that the data underlying related scientific studies are publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. EPA wanted comments on its proposal.  Careful what you ask for: the Agency received 251,046 comments at the close of the comment period on August 16.  One concerned citizen writes: “I write to speak out AGAINST your regulations to impose transparency in EPA science.  Such action is unconscionable and completely unacceptable to the American public.”  Uh, maybe being sarcastic?  Nope, this lady concludes: “This unnecessary, impractical plan is ill-conceived, shortsighted, and illegal, and obfuscates your sworn responsibility to protect public health and the environment. You must abandon this reckless plan.”  Could be from Georgina Orwell’s blog… I’m jus’ sayin’…
*  NOAA’s Climate Program Office, partnering with NOAA Fisheries, announced a call for proposals for interdisciplinary research on the social and economic impacts of changing oceans on northeast US fishing communities.  The funding opportunity is part of NOAA’s joint Climate and Fisheries Research Program to “better understand climate impacts on the nation’s valuable marine fish stocks and fisheries.”  In FY 2019, approximately $11.25 million will be available for approximately 90 new awards pending budget appropriations.  Most awards will likely be at a funding level between $50,000 and $300,000 per year with exceptions for larger awards.  This research covers a range of topics, from “Earth System Science and Modeling” to “Climate and Societal Interactions” to “Communication, Education Engagement: Building U.S. Communities’ and Businesses’ Resilience to Extreme Events.”  Letters of intent are due September 10 and full proposals are due November 20.
*  FHWA has a “Talking Freight Seminar” coming up on August 29 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET.  These seminars are part of a broader Freight Professional Development Program aimed at providing technical assistance, training, tools, and information to help the freight and planning workforce meet the transportation challenges of tomorrow. Seminars are held via web conference on a monthly basis throughout the year and are open at no cost to all interested parties in both the public and private sectors.  The upcoming seminar topic is on “Critical Urban and Critical Rural Freight Corridors Designation Process Overview.”  It will review the state DOT and MPO requirements for designating critical urban and rural freight corridors.  Contact Chip Millard via e-mail at Chip.Millard@dot.gov.

Tom Ewing
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