Environmental News

Apr 24



Last week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the first-ever national legally enforceable drinking water standard for PFAS (also known as ‘forever chemicals’), which will protect 100 million people from PFAS exposure, prevent tens of thousands of serious illnesses (including cancers), and save lives. President Biden believes every community has the right to clean, safe drinking water – free of pollutants that harm people’s health and wellbeing.

The Biden-Harris Administration also announced an additional $1 billion through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help every state and territory fund PFAS detection and treatment systems to meet the new standard. These investments are covered by the Justice40 Initiative.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024: PFAS water standards announced at Hoffer Water Treatment Center, Fayetteville, NC. (L to R) Governor Roy Cooper (North Carolina), Brenda Mallory (Chair, Council on Environmental Quality), Michael Regan (Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency), Josh Stein (Attorney General, North Carolina), Mitch Colvin (Mayor, Fayetteville, North Carolina), Ken Cook (President, Environmental Working Group). Photo by EPA. 

Last Tuesday, April 9th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that will significantly reduce toxic air pollution from chemical plants. The final rule will reduce the number of people with elevated cancer risk by 96% in communities near plants that emit ethylene oxide and chloroprene, advancing President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot and commitment to environmental justice.

Also last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced final Renewable Energy rule from the Bureau of Land Management that will lower consumer energy costs and the cost of developing solar and wind projects, improve renewable energy project application processes, and incentivize developers to continue responsibly developing solar and wind projects on public lands. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland also announced that DOI has now permitted more than 25 gigawatts of clean energy projects – surpassing a major milestone ahead of 2025 – enough clean energy to power more than 12 million homes across the country.

On April 4th, Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced selections for $20 billion in awards to stand up a national financing network that will fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This investment is part of EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a first-of-its-kind and national-scale $27 billion program funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and covered under the Justice40 Initiative.


Other recent key Biden-⁠Harris Administration announcements:

Keep reading for more updates from the Biden-Harris Administration. If you were forwarded this email, or are not on our list yet, please visit our sign up page.



White House Council on Environmental Quality: Webinar on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Environmental Justice Progress

  • Date: Friday, April 19, 2024 at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET/11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT
  • Summary: The White House Council on Environmental Quality will host a webinar celebrating the first anniversary of a pivotal moment in our nation’s commitment to environmental justice – Executive Order 14096, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, signed by President Biden on April 21, 2023.
  • Registration Link: https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_LIM8E2vvSnmLxx_OhVI0xw

EPA: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Meetings

  • Date: April 23-25, 2024
  • Summary: The NEJAC will convene a hybrid in-person public meeting with a virtual option. The public meeting will start on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at approximately 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Central Time. The NEJAC meeting continues Wednesday, April 24, 2024, from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Thursday, April 25, 2024, from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Time. The meeting discussions will focus on several topics including, but not limited to, workgroup updates, final recommendations for council consideration, presentations, panels, and discussions on potential charges with various EPA national program offices.
  • Registration Link: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_XCcn6m9MRLayKStwN9Hr2w#/registration


Federal agencies are seeking public input to help inform the development of funding opportunities, grant processes, policy and program implementation. Below is a list of open Requests for Information and Public Comment.

National Park Foundation and National Park Service: Source Reduction x Circular Economy Initiative to Reduce Plastic Waste in National Parks – REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

  • Summary: The National Park Foundation (NPF) is excited to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new Plastics Reduction and Circularity Grant to reduce plastic waste in national parks. NPF, in collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking proposals that represent commitment and collaboration between a park, its concessioner(s) or commercial use authorization holder(s) and/or one or more organization(s) from the park’s gateway community to improve lifecycle management of products, with an emphasis on source reduction of plastics, used in and around National Parks and their gateway communities. The goal is to foster innovative approaches to plastics reduction and recycling from within parks, communities, and commercial operations that will lead to enduring change in national parks and beyond. Please see the Request for Proposals for more information about this opportunity and how to apply.
  • Link: https://www.nationalparks.org/uploads/2024-Circular-Economy-RFP_FINAL.pdf
  • DeadlineApril 18, 2024

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Stakeholder Engagement on Inflation Reduction Act Programs to Reduce Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Construction Materials and Products – REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President: Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Public Participation and Community Engagement with the Federal Government  REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

  • Summary: OMB seeks input on the experiences of individuals and organizations, including from underserved communities, with informing Federal Government decision-making and participating in engagement activities with government agencies; examples of leading practices in this space; and other recommendations on available methods, approaches, and tools that could assist in the effort to develop and implement a Federal framework for participation and engagement. OMB welcomes input from a wide and diverse array of stakeholders in the public, private, advocacy, not-for-profit, and philanthropic sectors, including State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments. OMB will review and consider the usability and applicability of responses to this RFI as OMB develops a Federal framework for participation and community engagement (PPCE) and supports agencies in their work to ensure that their policies and actions are responsive to all Americans.
  • Link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2024/03/20/2024-05882/methods-and-leading-practices-for-advancing-public-participation-and-community-engagement-with-the
  • Deadline: May 17, 2024

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA): President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Learning Agenda: Public Participation and Community Engagement Evidence Challenge

  • Summary: Through a multi-phased challenge that includes a technical concept paper and a detailed evaluation toolkit, OMB and GSA seek a toolkit that agencies can use to rigorously evaluate and continually improve the effectiveness of their Public Participation and Community Engagement (PPCE) activities. Challenge solvers are eligible for prize money up to $195,000.00 under this competition.
  • Link: https://www.challenge.gov/?challenge=pmala
  • Deadline: May 21, 20204 at 6:00 PM ET 

Department of Health and Human Services: Environmental Justice Community Innovator Challenge

  • Summary: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) are seeking community-led strategies and tools to address health disparities in communities disproportionately impacted by environmental risks and hazards including those related to climate change, and the cumulative impacts of other stressors. Applications open on March 19, 2024.
  • Link: https://www.challenge.gov/?challenge=hhs-environmental-justice-community-innovator-challenge
  • Deadline: Phase 2 open until June 30, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)  REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS


The Washington Post: In a first, EPA sets limit for ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

AP: Oil and gas companies must pay more to drill on federal lands under new Biden administration rule

AFAR: Women’s History Is About to Get a Bigger Spotlight in America’s National Park System

The New York Times: Environmental Protection Agency Gives $20 Billion in ‘Green Bank’ Grants

Bloomberg Law: White House Activates $20 Billion Climate Kickstarter Program

AP: New EPA rule says 200 US chemical plants must reduce toxic emissions that are likely to cause cancer