Energy

EPA Teleconference: Science Advisory Board

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a teleconference meeting of its Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB will review their workgroup reports for the following proposed rules: (1) Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed and Modified Sources Review and (2) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions.

At the March 30, 2020 meeting of the SAB, the SAB reviewed  the scientific and technical basis of these rules and decided to provide advice and comments to EPA on the two proposed rules.

The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical advice to the EPA Administrator on the scientific and technical basis for agency positions and regulations. Under the SAB's authorizing statute, the SAB “may make available to the Administrator, within the time specified by the Administrator, its advice and comments on the adequacy of the scientific and technical basis” of proposed rules.

Members of the public may attend the teleconference. More information is available at this Federal Register notice and this EPA website.

NRC Comment Deadline: Retrospective Review of Administrative Requirements

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeks comments on its efforts to conduct a retrospective review of administrative requirements to identify outdated or duplicative administrative requirements that may be eliminated without an adverse effect on public health or safety, common defense and security, protection of the environment, or regulatory efficiency and effectiveness. The NRC is requesting input from its licensees and members of the public on any administrative requirements that may be outdated or duplicative in nature. The NRC will use five criteria to evaluate any public input under this retrospective review of administrative requirements initiative for possible revision or elimination to reduce burden on regulated entities and the NRC.

On April 2, 2020 (85 FR 18477), NRC extended the comment deadline from April 6, 2020, to May 6, 2020.

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov, or by email, fax, or mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

 

BSEE Comment Deadline: Platforms and Structures

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) seeks public comments on its proposal to renew an information collection regarding oil, gas, and sulfur operations in the Outer Continental Shelf.

The regulations at 30 CFR part 250, subpart I, concern platforms and structures regulatory requirements of oil, gas, and sulfur operations in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) (including the associated forms), and are the subject of this collection. This request also covers any related Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that BSEE issues to clarify, supplement, or provide additional guidance on some aspects of our regulations.

The BSEE uses the information submitted under Subpart I to determine the structural integrity of all OCS platforms and floating production facilities and to ensure that such integrity will be maintained throughout the useful life of these structures. The BSEE uses the information to ascertain, on a case-by-case basis, that the fixed and floating platforms and structures are structurally sound and safe for their intended use to ensure safety of personnel and prevent pollution. More specifically, the BSEE uses the information to:

  • Review data concerning damage to a platform to assess the adequacy of proposed repairs.
  • Review applications for platform construction (construction is divided into three phases-design, fabrication, and installation) to ensure the structural integrity of the platform.
  • Review verification plans and third-party reports for unique platforms to ensure that all nonstandard situations are given proper consideration during the platform design, fabrication, and installation.
  • Review platform design, fabrication, and installation records to ensure that the platform is constructed according to approved applications.
  • Review inspection reports to ensure that platform integrity is maintained for the life of the platform.

Comments on the proposed collection may be submitted via Regulations.gov, or by email. For more information on the proposed collection, please see this Federal Register notice

BSEE Comment Deadline: Open and Nondiscriminatory Access to Oil and Gas Pipelines Under the OCS Lands Act

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) seeks public comments on its proposal to renew an information collection titled "Open and Nondiscriminatory Access to Oil and Gas Pipelines Under the OCS Lands Act." 

The regulations at 30 CFR part 291 concern the Open and Nondiscriminatory Access to Oil and Gas Pipelines Under the OCS Lands Act (including the associated forms) and are the subject of this collection. This request also covers any related Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that BSEE issues to clarify, supplement, or provide additional guidance on some aspects of our regulations.

The BSEE uses the submitted information to initiate a more detailed review into the specific circumstances associated with a complainant's allegation of denial of access or discriminatory access to pipelines on the OCS. The complaint information will be provided to the alleged offending party. Alternative dispute resolution may be used either before or after a complaint has been filed to informally resolve the dispute. The BSEE may request additional information upon completion of the initial review.

Comments may be submitted electronically via Regulations.gov, or by email. For more information on the information collection, please see this Federal Register notice

NRC Teleconference: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a teleconference meeting of its Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). Agenda items, among others, include opening remarks from the ACRS Chairman, discussions of various licensing renewals, and preparing various ACRS reports. 

The ACRS is statutorily mandated by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. The Committee has four primary purposes:

  • To review and report on safety studies and reactor facility license and license renewal applications;
  • To advise the Commission on the hazards of proposed and existing production and utilization facilities and the adequacy of proposed safety standards;
  • To initiate reviews of specific generic matters or nuclear facility safety-related items; and
  • To provide advice in the areas of health physics and radiation protection.

Members of the public may attend the teleconference. More information is available at this NRC website.

NASEM Webinar: Illustrating the Impact of the Mathematical Sciences: Climate and Weather

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, will hold a webinar in their "Illustrating the Impact of the Mathematical Sciences" project titled "Climate and Weather." During this webinar, invited speakers will highlight the role analytics, mathematical modeling, and scientific computing play in climate prediction and forecasting.

The mathematical sciences play a critical role in advancing crucial innovations and improving our prosperity, health, and security. Join NASEM for a series of webinars featuring mathematicians telling the most important stories of how math has made an impact, from traffic simulations to personalized medicine.

Members of the public may attend the webinar with advance registration. More information is available at this NASEM website and this event registration website.

NRC Nomination Deadline: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeks public nominations to serve on the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS).The ACRS is a part-time advisory group, which is statutorily mandated by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. The ACRS provides independent expert advice on matters related to the safety of existing and proposed nuclear reactor facilities and on the adequacy of proposed reactor safety standards.

Of primary importance are the safety issues associated with the operation of commercial nuclear power plants in the United States and regulatory initiatives, including risk-informed and performance-based regulation, license renewal, power uprates, and the use of mixed oxide and high burnup fuels. An increased emphasis is being given to safety issues associated with new reactor designs and technologies, including passive system reliability and thermal hydraulic phenomena, use of digital instrumentation and control, international codes and standards used in multinational design certifications, materials, and structural engineering, nuclear analysis and reactor core performance, and nuclear materials and radiation protection.

In addition, the ACRS may be requested to provide advice on radiation protection, radioactive waste management, and earth sciences in the agency's licensing reviews for fuel fabrication and enrichment facilities, and for waste disposal facilities. The ACRS also has some involvement in security matters related to the integration of safety and security of commercial reactors.

Members of the public may submit nominations by mail or email. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

DOE Comment Deadline: Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Consumer Refrigeration Products

The US Department of Energy (DOE) seeks public comments on its proposal to amend the test procedures for consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, and miscellaneous refrigeration products (collectively “consumer refrigeration products”). The proposed test procedure amendments would, among other things, define the term “compartment,” and revise the method for including the energy use of automatic icemakers and certain other energy-using functions.

DOE is also proposing to adjust the standards for these products to ensure that this change in test methodology does not require manufacturers to increase the efficiency of already compliant products or allow previously non-compliant products to meet the current energy conservation standard. DOE is announcing a public meeting and comment period to collect comments and data on its proposal, and methods to reduce regulatory burden while ensuring the test procedures' representativeness of energy use during an average use cycle or period of use.

On February 19, 2020 (85 FR 9407), DOE extended the comment deadline from February 21, 2020, to April 6, 2020.

Members of the public may submit comments electronically at Regulations.gov, by email, or by mail. For more information on the proposed rule and subsequent comment deadline, please see this Federal Register notice