Register for EPA’s December 15 Webinar on TCE

On December 15, 2020, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST, EPA will host a webinar to educate stakeholders on the risk management process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the findings in the final risk evaluation for trichloroethylene (TCE). The webinar also provides the opportunity for the public to provide input on considerations the agency should take into account for managing these unreasonable risks.

Register for the webinar. If you would like to provide oral comments during the webinar, you must register by December 11 at 5 PM. Select “attend and make a comment” when registering. You may register as a listen-only attendee at any time up to the end of the meeting. For listen-only attendees, select “listen-only” when registering. Information on how to connect to the webinar will be provided upon registration.

Details on how to access the webinar and slides will be sent to participants after registering via Please ensure that emails from will not be blocked by your spam filter. EPA will provide a transcript and recording on EPA’s TCE webpage following the webinar.

Additionally, EPA will begin formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, environmental justice communities, and small businesses. There will also be an open public comment period on any draft risk management regulation.

EPA Seeks Small Businesses Input on Risk Management Rulemakings for Carbon Tetrachloride and TCE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) to provide advice and recommendations to two Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panels. There will be one panel for carbon tetrachloride and one panel for trichloroethylene (TCE). Each will focus on the agency’s development of proposed rules to address unreasonable risks identified in EPA’s recently completed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations for these chemicals.

Under TSCA, EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with exposure to existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science then take action to address any unreasonable risks identified. The agency issued a final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride in November 2020, showing unreasonable risks to workers under certain conditions of use. The agency also issued a final risk evaluation for TCE in November 2020, showing unreasonable risks to workers and consumers under certain conditions of use. EPA is now moving to the risk management step in the TSCA process by working to draft regulations to protect public health from the unreasonable risks identified in the final risk evaluations.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to establish a SBAR panel for rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBAR panel will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA.

SERs will be selected by the SBAR Panels to provide comments on behalf of their company, community, or organization and advise the panels on the potential impacts of the proposed rules on small entities. EPA is seeking self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.

SERs provide advice and recommendations to the panels. The SERs participate in consultations with the SBAR Panels via telephone, webinar, or in person in one or two meetings and are given an opportunity to submit written comments to the Panels. Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by December 14, 2020.

In addition to engaging with small businesses, EPA is executing a robust outreach effort on risk management that includes formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, and environmental justice communities. There will also be an open public comment on any draft risk management regulations.

Nominate yourself as a Small Entity Representative to the Carbon Tetrachloride SBAR Panel: 

Nominate yourself as a Small Entity Representative to the TCE SBAR Panel:

New Interim Strategy Will Address PFAS Through Certain EPA-Issued Wastewater Permits

Read the full story from US EPA.

Aggressively addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment continues to be an active and ongoing priority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today, the agency is announcing two important steps to address PFAS.

First, EPA issued a memorandum detailing an interim National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting strategy for addressing PFAS in EPA-issued wastewater permits.

Second, EPA released information on progress in developing new analytical methods to test for PFAS compounds in wastewater and other environmental media.

Study: Decarbonizing U.S. electricity by 2035 could cost less than expected

Read the full story from the Energy News Network.

Fossil fuel plants with nearly three-fourths of current generating capacity will reach the end of their typical lifespan by 2035.

Meet Biden’s Energy and Climate Cabinet Contenders

Read the full story in the New York Times.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s environment and energy team — facing a narrowly divided Congress and a hostile Republican leadership — will need creativity and perseverance if Mr. Biden is to follow through on his ambitious promises to address climate change.

In November, Mr. Biden announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry, who made climate change a signature diplomatic issue during the Obama administration, will become an international “climate envoy.” Mr. Biden also intends to name a high level domestic policy adviser on climate change this month.

But the agency heads, whose names will be announced in the coming days, will be the ones tasked to find a path around Congress with regulations that can cut planet-warming emissions and survive judicial review.

Trump ‘midnight regulations’ may hinder Biden efforts to advance energy efficiency, advocates say

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Energy efficiency will be a focus for the next White House, but Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., said Thursday that the tight balance of power in the House and Senate makes it impossible to know if comprehensive legislation can be passed in the 117th Congress.

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Tonko said a “top priority” of 2021 will be getting the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy “back on track” with regard to appliance efficiency standards. The Department of Energy has failed to review and update more than two dozen appliance standards under the Trump administration.

Energy advocates say inaction on appliance standards costs consumers billions of dollars annually. And the Trump DOE is working to hamper the Biden administration’s ability to strengthen standards in the future through a series of “midnight regulations,” according to Appliance Standards Awareness Project Executive Director Andrew deLaski. 

How effective stakeholder engagement shaped Samsonite’s ESG strategy

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In March, Samsonite announced “Our Responsible Journey,” a new global sustainability strategy that outlines its commitments across four priority areas: Product Innovation; Carbon Action; Thriving Supply Chain; and Our People, including engagement, development, diversity and inclusion.

To Tackle Plastics Pollution, Embrace a Circular Economy

Read the full story at Yale Insights.

Plastic waste is flowing into the oceans at a rate of a dump truck load every minute. What if that waste isn’t inevitable? Matt Kopac ’09, sustainable business and innovation manager at Burt’s Bees, argues for a fundamentally different approach to sustainability.

Embracing ‘marginal gains’ to shift the narrative on beef’s environmental impact

Read the full story in Food Navigator.

How do you reduce the carbon footprint of beef production efficiently both from an environmental and financial standpoint to offer supermarkets and consumers the products they demand? By doing 100 things 1% better, say producers.

Vegan sausages made from upcycled juice pulp achieve skin-free ‘snap’

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Researchers in Denmark have helped a start-up develop a recipe for plant-based skinless sausages that deliver that ‘snap feeling’ when bitten into.