Although Congress is expected to remain gridlocked in 2014, federal agencies will have a very full agenda in the year ahead. President Obama appears to have given up on Congress, and continues to look to his own administration to implement new policies and establish his legacy. Below is list of top-tier issues that might be of interest to clients, as well as contacts with an interest in energy and environmental policy.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
U.S. EPA has a full plate with more than 100 items on its agenda, including high-profile regulations tightening carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants. The rule for new power plants—proposed last fall—is expected to be completed in 2014. [More ...]
Department of Energy (DOE)
The Energy Department is considering setting revised or first-time energy efficiency standards for wine chillers, residential dehumidifiers, residential boilers, and beverage vending machines. Secretary Moniz has vowed to accelerate the pace at which the department issues efficiency standards that set strict requirements on how much energy certain appliances can use. [More ...]
Department of the Interior (DOI)
The Interior Department plans to establish a competitive bidding process for solar and wind energy projects. The amended regulations planned by May 2014 for commercial solar and wind energy development on federal lands would establish competitive bidding procedures for sites within designated leasing areas, would define qualifications for potential bidders, and would structure the financial arrangements necessary for the process. [More ...]
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is developing about a dozen proposed rules and eight final rules. On the safety front, NRC is working through a host of regulations to update U.S. reactors' plans for withstanding flooding and severe earthquakes. [More ...]
Department of Transportation (DOT)
The 2012 transportation law, MAP-21 requires the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to set new benchmarks for the evaluation and approval of special permits for the transportation of chemicals and other hazardous materials. The agency will also consider stricter safety rules for the transportation of hazardous material by rail and regulatory changes that cover liquids transported in onshore pipelines. [More ...]
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has come under fire from safety groups, who say it is dragging its feet on long-sought standards for combustible dust. Citing scores of deaths and more than 700 injuries since the 1980s, OSHA began work on a rule to regulate the dust in 2009, but has not yet completed the process. [More ...]
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