New webinar Series for federal contractors on managing greenhouse gas emissions in federal procurement

A new series of webinars for federal contractors on managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is now available on YouTube. The webinars were developed by EPA and the General Services Administration (GSA) to help federal contractors aid the federal government in meeting its goal of net-zero emissions from procurement by measuring and publicly disclosing their GHGs, setting science-based targets and identifying opportunities to reduce climate impacts.

Read more about the Biden-Harris administration’s goals for sustainable procurement in Executive Order 14057 and the accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan.

EPA updates resources to help federal purchasers meet the Biden administration’s sustainability goals

Read the full story at National Law Review.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 4, 2022, the release of a “new and improved” Framework for the Assessment of Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing under its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program, as well as a webpage highlighting ecolabel criteria that address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). EPA states that “[t]hese actions are a key step in implementing President Biden’s Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability and the accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan.

Biden administration promises to buy ‘clean’ industrial materials

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The Biden administration on Tuesday will set out a strategy for buying “clean,” lower-emissions steel, cement, aluminum and other industrial materials for federal agencies and projects, part of its effort to reduce carbon emissions from industrial manufacturing.

White House launches low-carbon construction initiative

Read the full story in Construction Dive.

The White House announced Tuesday it will establish a “Buy Clean” task force to focus on the production and purchase of low-carbon materials made in the U.S. for use in federal construction projects. The move comes after a December executive order meant to make the federal government more sustainable. 

The task force will identify materials to consider and prioritize in federally funded projects, increase emission transparency through supplier reporting and incentives and launch pilot programs to boost federal procurement of clean construction materials. These include products with lower embodied emissions and pollutants across their lifecycle, including each stage of the manufacturing process, according to the release.

The administration claims that the new policies will create more jobs and boost the country’s competitiveness in the global market, according to the release.

Biden’s top science adviser resigns after acknowledging demeaning behavior

Read the full story in the New York Times. See also the story in Politico.

The adviser, Eric S. Lander, had apologized for his workplace conduct. The president had pledged to immediately fire any official who acted that way toward colleagues.

EPA: New mail-delivery fleet needs more electric vehicles

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

A U.S. Postal Service plan to replace its huge fleet of mail-delivery trucks has too few electric vehicles and falls short of President Joe Biden’s goals to address climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.

DHS unveils effort to recruit climate change professionals

Read the full story at The Hill.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Wednesday that it would create a new program to recruit experts focused on climate change.

The Climate Change Professionals Program seeks to attract recent graduates and current federal employees to work with DHS on climate-related goals, according to a press release from the department. 

Protecting the Integrity of Government Science

Download the document and read Nature’s take on it.

This report is the first product of the SI-FTAC. As called for in the 2021 Presidential Memorandum, it assesses scientific integrity policies of Federal departments and agencies and instances in which they have not been followed or enforced, and it identifies effective practices for strengthening scientific integrity in specific areas, including training and transparency in scientific integrity, handling scientific disagreements, supporting professional development of Federal scientists, addressing emerging challenges to scientific integrity, and effective communication of the results of Federal scientific activities. The report is intended to assist Federal departments and agencies in creating or updating scientific integrity policies and implementing effective practices. It was developed by the SI-FTAC with contributions from other Federal Government staff, extensive public engagement, and support from the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute.

Watchdog: Interior wastes resources on land never leased for drilling

Read the full story at The Hill.

The Interior Department is wasting money and other resources on applications for land that will never be leased for oil and gas drilling, according to a report released Friday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The analysis found that of 87 million acres nominated for leasing by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) between 2009 and 2019, 69 million were never offered at auction, and of the 18 million auctioned, 4 million were never leased.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland orders removal of derogatory terms from public land names

Read the full story at The 19th.

Haaland, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, said she is ‘proud to be in a position’ to start with a term offensive to Indigenous women on 650 different places on federal land.