* In early December USEPA published a notice requesting public comments on nominees to serve as special expert advisers to EPA’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). These experts, on standby, so to speak, are specialists on chemicals requiring Agency review as set by the 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. EPA posted candidates’ biographical and professional summaries on a website. You may recall that EPA and its volunteer committee structure took a beating not long ago by some who said the Agency sold out, deliberately tilting toward Big Money. EPA’s roster shows expertise across a variety of backgrounds, from labor to community health to industry. The comment period was a chance to call out wolves in sheep’s clothing, so to speak. Apparently, that fox/hen-house thing is just like, you know, so whatever. There was no firestorm with this list; in fact, not even any interest, really. Just eight comments were sent to EPA; unfortunately, none is posted.
* The “Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change” is the new name for the US House Energy & Commerce Committee’s subcommittee, previously named “The Subcommittee on Environment.” Rep. Paul Tonko (NY) is Chairman. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) is Ranking Member. The text describing the new subcommittee’s jurisdiction does not directly mention “climate change” nor CO2 nor polar ice, for example. Subjects referenced are quite traditional: Clean Air Act, water, Superfund, nuclear wastes, drinking water, noise and links related to certain work of the Department of Homeland Security.
* US DOE’s “2019 Project Peer Review” is scheduled for March 4-8 in Denver and, wow, an expansive agenda: 24 pages, listing technology review sessions on 14 research topics, including “carbon dioxide utilization,” “co-optimization of fuels and engines,” “advanced algal systems,” and “agile biofoundry.” The listing of CO2 utilization projects takes up one whole page. Project Peer Review is held every two years. This year, more than 300 researchers will make presentations. As its title implies, projects presented are reviewed by experts from industry, academia, and federal agencies.