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.


July 2014 Action Initiation List

Download the July 2014 AIL (PDF).

July 2014 (as of 09/03/2014)
Title

Abstract
What's This?

Projected Publication Date
What's
This?

Review of the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen and Oxides of Sulfur

NPRM Ginger Tennant
(919) 541-4072
Tennant.Ginger@epa.gov
Abstract More than 12 months

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August 2014 Action Initiation List

Download the August 2014 AIL (PDF).

August 2014 (as of 09/24/2014)
Title

Abstract
What's This?

Projected Publication Date
What's
This?

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: The 2016 Critical Use Exemption from the Phase-out of Methyl Bromide

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

Amendments to Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine, Equipment, and Fuel Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI Implementation

NPRM, Direct Final Tia Sutton
734-214-4018
Sutton.Tia@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Conforming Revisions to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Interim Final Elyse Steiner
202-343-9141
Steiner.Elyse@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Revisions to Regional Consistency Regulations to Allow Variances for Judicial Decisions

NPRM Greg Nizich
919-541-3078
Nizich.Greg@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Toxics Release Inventory Addition of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)

NPRM Daniel Bushman
202-566-0743
Bushman.Daniel
@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Implementation Rule

NPRM Jeffrey Kempic
202-564-4880
Kempic.Jeffrey@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines

Final Meghan Hessenauer
202 566-1040
Hessenauer.Meghan
@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Typographical Corrections to CWA Priority Pollutant List

NPRM, Direct Final Adrian Hanley
202-564-1564
Hanley.Adrian@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 12 months or less

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Abstracts for the July 2014 AIL

Review of the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen and Oxides of Sulfur

Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to review and, if appropriate, revise the air quality criteria for the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) every 5 years. On April 3, 2012, EPA published a final rule not to revise either the secondary NAAQS for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or the secondary NAAQS for sulfur dioxide (SO2). On August 29, 2013, EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) initiated the current periodic review of the secondary NO2 and SO2 air quality criteria with a call for information in the Federal Register (FR). As in the last review, the decision was made to review the oxides of nitrogen and the oxides of sulfur together, rather than individually, with respect to a secondary welfare standard for NO2 and SO2. This decision derives from the fact that NO2, SO2, and their associated transformation products are linked from an atmospheric chemistry perspective, as well as from an environmental effects perspective, most notably in the case of secondary aerosol formation and acidification in ecosystems. This review includes the preparation of an Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), Risk/Exposure Assessment (REA), and a Policy Assessment Document (PAD) by EPA, with opportunities for review by EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the public. These documents inform the Administrator's proposed decision as to whether to retain or revise the standards. It should be noted that this review will be limited to only the secondary standards; the primary standards for SO2 and NO2 were reviewed separately. Back

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Abstracts for the August 2014 AIL

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: The 2016 Critical Use Exemption from the Phase-out of Methyl Bromide

Methyl bromide was phased out under the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 2005, except for limited exemptions. This action would authorize critical uses for the 2016 control period, and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced or imported for those uses that year. Absent this rulemaking, production and import of methyl bromide for critical uses would be zero for 2016. EPA takes this action under the authority of the Clean Air Act to reflect consensus Decisions of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in November 2014. Back

Amendments to Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine, Equipment, and Fuel Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI Implementation

EPA is taking direct final action on three sets of amendments. First, we are making a variety of corrections to the Tier 3 motor vehicle emission and fuel standards. These changes generally correct or clarify various provisions from the Tier 3 rule without expanding the Tier 3 program or otherwise making any substantive changes to what was described in the April 2014 final rule. Second, we are revising the test procedures and compliance provisions for nonroad spark-ignition engines at or below 19 kW (and for the corresponding nonroad equipment) to conform to current practices. The changes to evaporative emission test procedures also apply to some degree to other types of nonroad equipment powered by volatile liquid fuels. Third, we are revising the regulations to more carefully align with current requirements that apply to marine vessels with diesel engines as specified under MARPOL Annex VI. Back

Conforming Revisions to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

This action would only be finalized if the DC Circuit Court grants EPA's motion to lift the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) stay. This is a ministerial action amending the CSAPR so that it would conform to the court's decisions. No changes would be made in the substantive requirements of the existing rule. Back

Revisions to Regional Consistency Regulations to Allow Variances for Judicial Decisions

This rule will revise the Regional Consistency regulations to allow an exception for judicial decisions. The outcome of these revisions will not affect the regional consistency requirements for regulations or guidance documents other than those related to judicial decisions. Back

Toxics Release Inventory Addition of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)

EPA is evaluating whether to add hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to the list of chemicals reportable under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (i.e., the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)). HBCD is a brominated flame retardant found world-wide in the environment and wildlife. Human exposure is evidenced from its presence in breast milk, adipose tissue and blood. It bioaccumulates and biomagnifies in the food chain. It persists and is transported long distances in the environment, and is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. HBCD is also of concern for certain chronic human health effects. EPA has developed the following Action Plan to address concerns for releases of HBCD to the environment: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/RIN2070-AZ10_HBCD%20action%20plan_Final_2010-08-09.pdf. The Action Plan includes the initiation of rulemaking to add HBCD to the TRI. Back

Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Implementation Rule

The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was enacted on January 4, 2011, to amend Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA or Act) respecting the use and introduction into commerce of lead pipes, plumbing fittings or fixtures, solder and flux. The 2011 “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” revised Section 1417 to:

  1. Redefine “lead free” in SDWA Section 1417(d) to:
    • lower the maximum lead content of plumbing products such as pipes and fixtures from 8.0% to 0.25%;
    • establish a statutory method for the calculation of lead content; and
    • eliminate the requirement that lead free products be in compliance with voluntary standards established in accordance with SDWA 1417(e) for leaching of lead from new plumbing fittings and fixtures.
  2. Create exemptions in SDWA Section 1417(a)(4) from the prohibitions on the use or introduction into commerce for:
    • “pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption;” (SDWA 1417(a)(4)(A))
    • “toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.” (SDWA 1417(a)(4)(B))

EPA will propose regulations to codify the requirements in the Act. Back

Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines

The existing effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) for the Alaskan Seafood subcategories of the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing ELGs (40 CFR Part 408) which were promulgated in the 1970s required new and existing sources to meet discharge requirements that reflected a facility's proximity to population and/or processing centers: “non-remote” and “remote.” As promulgated, all facilities except for those listed in the non-remote ELGs (i.e., Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Petersburg) are subject to requirements for “remote” locations. For remote locations, the ELGs established numerical limits on particle size discharged (1/2 inch) based on grinding to reduce the size of the pieces prior to discharge. For the non-remote locations, the ELGs established numerical limits for total suspended solids (TSS) and oil and grease based on screening the solids from the wastewater prior to discharge and solids handling of screened solids by some means other than near shore direct discharge. These regulations were litigated and upheld in the Ninth Circuit. However, in 1980, certain members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry subsequently submitted two petitions along with new data and information to EPA requesting that it suspend the non-remote ELGs for facilities located in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg and instead subject them to the less stringent requirements for “remote” locations. The non-remote ELGs would remain in effect for Kodiak.

On May 19, 1980, EPA temporarily suspended the existing requirements for facilities in the five “non-remote“ centers covered in the petition and instead subjected them to the less stringent limits based on grinding, until October 15, 1980. On January 9, 1981, EPA issued a proposal to deny the petition to modify and amend the ELGs for Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan and Petersburg, but to grant the petition to remove Juneau from the non-remote subcategories. EPA also solicited comment on subjecting additional geographic locations including two specific locations, Dutch Harbor and Kenai Peninsula, to the “non-remote” requirements. In the 1981 proposal, EPA stated that the May 1980 suspension would remain in effect until EPA made a final decision. The Agency has not made a final decision and the suspension has remained in effect since 1980.

On November 7, 2013, EPA provided new data and information gathered since the 1981 proposal. The notice described EPA's recent data and information gathering; provided EPA's preliminary analyses of the new data; and summarized what the Agency learned from the new data and analyses. It provided preliminary results of EPA's analyses of the updated data for the five petition locations as well as preliminary analysis for possible additional locations. Finally, it provided preliminary indications of how these results may be reflected in EPA's final response to petitions submitted in 1980 by certain members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry, and in amended effluent limitations.

EPA is reviewing the comments received from the notice and is preparing responses. A final preamble and rule is expected be signed and published in September 2015. Back

Typographical Corrections to CWA Priority Pollutant List

This action contains the list of priority pollutants, which was published in the Federal Register on November 19, 1982, with corrections made to typographical errors, standardization of formating, and the clarification of some of the outdated nomenclature with the addition of synonyms used by the Agency. It does not change the chemicals listed as priority pollutants. Back

Modernization of the Accidental Release Prevention Regulations under Clean Air Act

In response to Executive Order 13650, 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

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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."

You may track an action by its RIN, which appears in both the AILs and the Agenda.


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.

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