Laws & Regulations

Actions Initiated by Month

From this page, you can learn about the rules and related actions we initiate each month. For priority rulemakings, we make monthly updates on the Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker (Reg DaRRT). Links to Reg DaRRT are provided in the tables provided below, where appropriate.


September 2014 Action Initiation List

Download the September 2014 AIL (PDF).

September 2014 (as of 10/14/2014)
Title

Abstract
What's This?

Projected Publication Date
What's
This?

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Electronic Reporting Interim Rule Change

NPRM, Direct Final Colin Boswell
919-541-2034
Boswell.Colin@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Technical Corrections to Final Rule

NPRM Bill Maxwell
919-541-5430
Maxwell.Bill@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Procurement Under Environmental Protection Agency Financial Assistance Agreements

NPRM Teree Henderson
202-566-2222
Henderson.Teree@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Modernization of the Accidental Release Prevention Regulations under Clean Air Act

NPRM Jim Belke
202-564-8023
Belke.Jim@epa.gov
Abstract More than 12 months

Top of page


October 2014 Action Initiation List

Download the October 2014 AIL (PDF).

October 2014 (as of 12/11/2014)
Title

Abstract
What's This?

Projected Publication Date
What's
This?

Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (304m Plan)

Final William Swietlik
202-566-1129
Swietlik.William@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Extension of the Laboratory and Analytical Use Exemption for Essential Class I Ozone-Depleting Substances

NPRM Jeremy Arling
202-343-9055
Arling.Jeremy@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for Setting Reasonable Progress Goals

NPRM Todd Hawes
919-541-5591
Hawes.Todd@epa.gov
Abstract More than 12 months

Revision to the Guideline on Air Quality Models: Enhancements to the AERMOD dispersion modeling system and incorporation of modeling techniques to address fine particulate matter and ozone

NPRM George Bridgers
919-541-5563
Bridgers.George@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Completion of the Requirement to Promulgate Emission Standards

NPRM Nathan Topham
919-541-0483
Topham.Nathan@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Stationary Compression Ignition Engine New Source Performance Standards Amendments

NPRM Melanie King
919-541-2469
King.Melanie@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

E-Discovery Privacy Act SORN and Privacy Act Exemptions

NPRM, Final Judith Kendall
202-566-0750
Kendall.Judith@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Top of page


Abstracts for the September 2014 AIL

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Electronic Reporting Interim Rule Change

This direct final rule change will allow sources to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) reporting requirements while the EPA revises the Emissions Collection Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS) to accept all reporting that is required in the MATS rule. This action will set up an interim reporting system for sources to comply with until a second rulemaking is finalized requiring the reporting through the ECMPS. Back

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Technical Corrections to Final Rule

This rulemaking will correct errors noted in the final rule, clarify sections that have been shown to be confusing to stakeholders, and complete actions promised but not finalized in the Response to Comments document. Back

Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Procurement Under Environmental Protection Agency Financial Assistance Agreements

This action is meant to ensure nondiscrimination in the award of contracts under EPA financial assistance agreements, to harmonize EPA's disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program objectives with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, to help remove barriers to the participation of DBEs in the award of contracts under EPA financial assistance agreements; and to provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of EPA financial assistance in establishing and providing contracting opportunities for DBEs. Back

Modernization of the Accidental Release Prevention Regulations under Clean Air Act

In response to Executive Order 13650, the EPA is considering potential revisions to its Risk Management Program regulations and related programs. This notice may propose changes to the list of regulated substances and threshold quantities, addition of new accident prevention or emergency response program elements and/or changes to existing elements, and/or other changes to the existing regulatory provisions. Back

Top of page


Abstracts for the October 2014 AIL

Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (304m Plan)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to establish national technology-based regulations known as “effluent limitations guidelines and standards” to reduce pollutant discharges from categories of industrial facilities. EPA similarly establishes technology-based regulations, termed “pretreatment standards,” to reduce indirect pollutant discharges-those that are discharged to publicly-owned treatment works. The CWA also specifies effluent guideline planning and review requirements. There are different requirements for direct and indirect dischargers, but both specify annual review of promulgated effluent guidelines and pretreatment standards. One requirement is publication of an Effluent Guidelines Program Plan every two years. CWA section 304(m) specifies that the Plan must: (1) establish a schedule for the annual review and revision of promulgated effluent guidelines, (2) identify categories of sources discharging toxic or non-conventional pollutants for which guidelines have not previously been published (“new categories”); and 3) establish a schedule for the promulgation of effluent guidelines identified under (2). The CWA requires that the Plan undergo public review and comment before being finalized. To meet this requirement, EPA typically prepares a Preliminary Plan one year, takes public comment and then finalizes the Plan the following year. This Plan is the Final 2014 Plan. The Final 2014 Plan will announce EPA's final decisions, actions and findings relative to those proposed in the Preliminary 2014 Plan, published for comment on September 17, 2014. The Final 2014 Plan will also announce EPA's proposed actions and findings based on the results of the 2014 annual reviews upon which the public will be given an opportunity to comment. Back

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Extension of the Laboratory and Analytical Use Exemption for Essential Class I Ozone-Depleting Substances

The Laboratory and Analytical Use Exemption allows for the limited production and import of small quantities of ozone-depleting substances for use in laboratories. Laboratory uses include equipment calibration; use as extraction solvents, diluents or carriers for chemical analysis; and biochemical research. This exemption is permitted under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer but is currently set to expire on December 31, 2014. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to renew this exemption in November 2014. The lab use exemption in EPA's regulations is currently in effect only through December 31, 2014, consistent with the date under the Montreal Protocol. This rule would extend its effectiveness to match the recent Protocol decision. Back

Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for Setting Reasonable Progress Goals

This proposal will establish guidelines for the states to follow in setting their reasonable progress goals and developing the long term strategies, both of which are required when they submit their regional haze state implementation plans. The current regional haze rule (promulgated in 1999) references four statutory factors from the Clean Air Act that states must consider when setting their reasonable progress goals: 1) the costs of compliance; 2) the time necessary for compliance; 3) the energy and non-air quality environmental impacts of compliance; and 4) the remaining useful life of any potentially affected sources. The proposal will outline a process for states to identify and address anthropogenic sources of emissions that contribute to regional haze that are jurisdictionally within their control to regulate. Back

Revision to the Guideline on Air Quality Models: Enhancements to the AERMOD dispersion modeling system and incorporation of modeling techniques to address fine particulate matter and ozone

This action would revise the Guideline on Air Quality Models, published as Appendix W to 40 CFR Part 51. The Guideline provides EPA-recommended models and other techniques for use in predicting ambient concentrations of pollutants for controlling air pollution sources in programs ranging from Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) to State Implementation Plans (SIPs). The Guideline fulfills a Clean Air Act mandate for EPA to specify models and techniques for air quality management purposes. This revision would incorporate new modeling techniques to more adequately account for the formation of fine particulate matter and ozone associated with precursor emissions from single sources. Additionally, there are important enhancements to the AERMOD near-field dispersion modeling system that will establish AERSCREEN as the recommended screening level model for simple and complex terrain settings, significantly improve the model performance under stable/light wind conditions, allow for the use of meteorological input data derived from prognostic meteorological models, provide additional options for the modeling of nitrogen dioxide, incorporate the treatment of buoyant line sources within AERMOD, and incidental modifications to the modeling system that have received adequate peer and external review. Other general revisions will be made to the Guideline based on experiences gained and issues resolved since the last revision of Appendix W in 2005. Back

Completion of the Requirement to Promulgate Emission Standards

Clean Air Act (CAA) section 112(c)(6) requires the EPA to ensure that 90 percent of emissions of certain hazardous air pollutants from stationary sources are subject to standards under section 112(d)(2) or (d)(4) of the CAA. This proposal presents an inventory of source categories counted towards meeting the requirements of CAA section 112(c)(6). Back

Stationary Compression Ignition Engine New Source Performance Standards Amendments

New stationary and nonroad compression ignition (CI) engines are equipped by the engine manufacturer with emission controls to meet the Tier 4 final emission standards, which generally begin with either the 2014 or 2015 model year. Many Tier 4 final engines are equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to reduce NOx. To ensure the engine does not operate if the SCR is not working, SCR-equipped engines include design features called “inducements” that limit the engine power and eventually shut down the engine if the SCR is operated without urea, or the electronic control module cannot confirm that the SCR system is operating properly. Engine operators raised concerns regarding engines shutting down during emergencies because the inducement is triggered, for example, if the owner/operator is unable to obtain urea in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. To address the issue for nonroad engines, EPA recently finalized amendments to the standards for new nonroad CI engines that allow the operator to temporarily disable the inducements and thus avoid engine shutdown during a qualified emergency situation, which is defined as one in which allowing the inducement to shut down the engine “poses a significant direct or indirect risk to human life.” This action proposes similar amendments to the standards for stationary engines. Back

E-Discovery Privacy Act SORN and Privacy Act Exemptions

EPA is exempting its E-Discovery system (EPA-63) from certain subsections of the affirmative access and amendment provisions of the Privacy Act under 5 U.S.C. 552a. EPA-63 is a system of records maintained by the Office of Environmental Information, Office of Information Collection, Records and Content Management Branch on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Division, Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training. This EPA component performs activities pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws. Because the E-Discovery system is used for civil and criminal cases and investigations, this rulemaking seeks to exempt the system from certain affirmative access and amendment provisions under U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) for non-law enforcement agencies who bring civil and criminal enforcement actions, and U.S.C. 552a (j)(2) which is primarily for law enforcement agencies. Back

Top of page


What is an AIL?

Generally, AILs include those actions that 1) will appear in our upcoming Semiannual Regulatory Agenda and 2) have been approved for commencement by EPA's Regulatory Policy Officer. In rare instances, an action will not appear on an AIL before it appears in an Agenda.

The AILs are a snapshot of the rules EPA initiates each month. Each action appears on only one list. We do not update actions that were listed in previous AILs. For each action, more up-to-date information is available in our Agenda every six months. For those actions that meet the definition of a priority rulemaking, you can access monthly updates via EPA's Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker (Reg DaRRT). If an action is featured on Reg DaRRT, the AIL will indicate this fact in the "Contact" column by including a link to "follow this rule on Reg DaRRT."


How Do I Access a Past AIL?

Every available AIL may be found in our AIL docket (#OA-2008-0265) on Regulations.gov. AILs are added to this docket as they are posted on this website. AILs older than two months are removed from this Web page and are only available in the docket.


How Do I Know When a New List Has Been Posted?

You can sign up to be notified via email when a new list is added to our AIL docket. To do so:

  • Go to the Docket Details page for our AIL docket (#EPA-HQ-OA-2008-0265) on Regulations.gov.
  • Click the "Notification" icon found in the upper, right portion of your screen. Fill out the registration form that is presented to you.
  • Step 2 of the form asks you to select the types of documents you are interested in. To ensure that you receive a notification every time a document is deposited in the docket, place a check mark in the boxes next to every document type (Rules, Proposed Rules, Notices, Public Submissions, Supporting & Related Materials, and Other).
  • Once you have completed the form, click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the form.
  • You will receive an email with instructions for how to complete the registration process. Make sure you follow these instructions. You will not begin receiving notifications until you do.

Keep in mind that AILs do not post immediately. You can access a given month's list roughly 15 days after the close of the month (e.g., the April 2008 AIL will post sometime around May 15th).


What Does Each Column in an AIL Mean?

Title

Self-explanatory.

Stage

The stage of an action describes where we are in the rule writing process, from the very beginning when a rule (or other action) is just an idea to the end when it is published as a final rule (or other action) in the Federal Register. For example, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) stage announces a proposed rule or modification.

In the AILs, the following acronyms are used:

  • ANPRM - Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • Direct Final - Direct Final Action
  • NPRM - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • Section 610 Review - Agency review under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act
  • Supplemental - Supplemental NPRM

Contact

Provides the name, phone, and email address for the EPA staff person assigned to this rule. Additionally, if a rule is in EPA's Reg DaRRT website (www.epa.gov/regdarrt/), then a link to the rule's profile will be provided in this column.

Abstract

A brief summary of the action and its purpose.

Projected Publication Date

Since many variables affect how long it takes to write a rule or other action, it is impossible to predict a firm publication date when we have just started working on an action. Therefore, we insert one of two options in the "Projected Publication Date" column: 1) "12 months or less" and 2) "more than 12 months." These options give you some idea of how quickly we expect to complete an action. You may consult our Semiannual Regulatory Agenda every six months for updates to our estimates.

Top of page