Tom Ewing’s Regulatory Update

* Climate-smart ideas needed: On January 27, President Biden issued an Executive Order on “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” The EO laid out a series of actions for Federal Agencies regarding mitigation and resilience. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking comments on a climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy. The EO directs cabinet leadership to reach out to “Tribes, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, conservation groups, firefighters, and other stakeholders.” USDA seeks comments on a series of questions within four broad topics: (1) Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry; (2) Biofuels, Wood and Other Bioproducts and Renewable Energy; (3) Addressing Catastrophic Wildfire; and (4) Environmental Justice and Disadvantaged Communities. Each topic area includes additional questions and sub-questions; one inquiry is about emerging markets for carbon and greenhouse gases. Comments are due April 29.

* While you have your typewriter out…: Last October, FERC convened a technical conference on best ways to approach integrating offshore wind into mainland electrical grids. FERC followed up last week with a notice seeking additional information, “post-technical conference comments,” on the same questions presented in October. The post-tech comments are due May 17.

* EPA NOPR RE OCPSF PFAS regs: EPA published a NOPR (notice of proposed rulemaking) regarding additional data and analysis that could support potential future rulemaking applicable for industries within the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers (OCPSF) point source category. EPA’s more focused interest is on discharges of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic organic chemicals (EPA uses the term “man-made…” Can you believe that?!..). One popular use is in non-stick cookware (and men don’t even cook). You’ll recall PFAS are the compounds that wreaked havoc in Michigan’s drinking water programs. EPA is also considering rule changes for formulators of PFAS. The Agency has some basic concerns: who’s making this stuff and what are your processes and protocols for doing so? Comments are due May 17.

Tom Ewing “reply” or 513-379-5526 voice/text