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.


October 2015 Action Initiation List

Download the October 2015 AIL (PDF).

October 2015 (as of 11/20/2015)
Title

Abstract
What's This?

Projected Publication Date
What's
This?

Supplemental Finding that it is Appropriate and Necessary to Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

NPRM Nick Hutson
919-541-2968
Hutson.Nick@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Nonattainment Area Classifications and State Implementation Plan Requirements

NPRM Robert Lingard
919-541-5272
Lingard.Robert@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listings and Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

NPRM Margaret Sheppard
202-343-9163
Sheppard.Margaret@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Response to Petition to Revise the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrosivity Hazardous Characteristic Regulation

ANPRM Narendra Chaudhari
703-308-0454
Chaudhari.Nerendra@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Baseline Water Quality Standards (WQS) for Indian Reservations Without EPA-Approved WQS

NPRM Danielle Anderson
202-564-1631
Anderson.Danielle@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Federal Implementation Plan for Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation (Uinta Basin) in Utah

NPRM Deirdre Rothery
303-312-6431
Rothery.Deirdre@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Technical Amendments to Performance Specification 18 and Procedure 6

NPRM, Direct Final Candace Sorrell
919-541-1064
Sorrell.Candace@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or Before January 8, 2014

Final Toni Jones
919-541-0316
Jones.Toni@epa.gov
Abstract More than 12 months

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September 2015 Action Initiation List

Download the September 2015 AIL (PDF).

September 2015 (as of 11/09/2015)
Title

Abstract
What's This?

Projected Publication Date
What's
This?

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching, and Battery Stacks

NPRM Donnalee Jones
919-541-5251
Jones.Donnalee@epa.gov
Abstract More than 12 months

Stationary Engine National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants/New Source Performance Standards Amendments

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

Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Standards for 2017 and Biomass Based Diesel Volume (BBD) for 2018

NPRM David Korotney
734-214-4507
Korotney.David@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Baseline Water Quality Standards for Indian Reservations Without EPA-Approved WQS

NPRM Danielle Anderson
202-564-1631
Anderson.Danielle@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Completion of Electronic Reporting Requirements

NPRM, Direct Final Barrett Parker
919-541-5635
Parker.Barrett@epa.gov
Abstract 12 months or less

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Abstracts for the October 2015 AIL

Supplemental Finding that it is Appropriate and Necessary to Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

The U.S. Supreme Court remanded the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards or “MATS” rule to the DC Circuit Court after finding that the EPA had not properly considered cost as part of the "Appropriate and Necessary" Finding that was required under Clean Air Act section 112(n)(1)(A). The EPA will issue a notice that details how the Agency explicitly considered cost and that such consideration of cost does not alter the EPA's previous determination that it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutant emissions from coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units. Back

Implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Nonattainment Area Classifications and State Implementation Plan Requirements

This proposed rule will address a range of implementation requirements for the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, including the nonattainment area classification system, and the timing of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions. It will also discuss and outline relevant guidance on meeting the Clean Air Act's requirements pertaining to attainment demonstrations, reasonable further progress, reasonably available control measures, nonattainment new source review, and emission inventories. Other issues addressed in this proposed rule are the potential revocation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS and anti-backsliding requirements that would apply if the 2008 NAAQS are revoked. The items covered in this rulemaking have been covered in similar rulemakings for two prior 8-hour ozone NAAQS (1997 and 2008). Back

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listings and Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

This action would list a number of substances as acceptable, subject to use restrictions, where alternatives may be used safely in accordance with the proposed restrictions. This action also would list as unacceptable or modify the listing status for certain alternatives from acceptable to unacceptable or acceptable, subject to use restrictions where other alternatives are available or potentially available that pose lower overall risk to human health and the environment. Affected industrial sectors under consideration include refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion protection. Back

Response to Petition to Revise the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrosivity Hazardous Characteristic Regulation

The Agency was petitioned by the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) on September 8, 2011, to revise the current Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulatory definition for classifying a waste as RCRA hazardous because of its corrosivity (40 CFR 261.22). Key features of the current regulation include 1) including only aqueous wastes within the scope of the corrosivity characteristic; and 2) regulating wastes as corrosive if their pH, as measured by EPA Method 9040C, is less than or equal to pH 2, or greater than or equal to pH 12.5. The petitioner seeks revision of these two features of the current regulation. Specifically, the petitioner requests the Agency to 1) include both aqueous and non-aqueous wastes within the scope of the regulation; and 2) decrease the alkaline range pH value such that wastes with a pH of 11.5 or greater would be classified as corrosive hazardous wastes.

As the Agency had not responded to the petition as of September 9, 2014, the petitioner submitted to the court a Writ of Mandamus, which argued that the Agency had unreasonably delayed its response to the 2011 petition. This action was stayed by the court through March 31, 2016, based on mutual agreement of the parties. Back

Baseline Water Quality Standards (WQS) for Indian Reservations Without EPA-Approved WQS

The EPA is developing a proposed rule to establish baseline water quality standards (WQS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for waters on Indian reservations that currently do not have EPA-approved WQS in place to protect water quality. The rule would address the existing gaps in CWA protection of reservation waters where there are no existing EPA-approved WQS. These standards would establish baseline human health and environmental goals as the basis for the CWA protection. This potential rulemaking effort is one of several initiatives the EPA is undertaking that recognize the importance of protecting tribal waters that tribes rely on. Back

Federal Implementation Plan for Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation (Uinta Basin) in Utah

Promulgating these Federal regulations will address an important initial step to fill the “regulatory gap” with regard to controlling VOC emissions from oil and natural gas production operations within the exterior boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. However, the EPA does not intend, nor does it expect, this gap-filling regulation to impose significantly different regulatory burdens than those imposed by the rules of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) for operations in the surrounding areas. This rule is intended to formally “level the playing field.” In other words, the EPA intends that the public within the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation receive equivalent air quality protections as the public outside the Reservation while oil and natural gas production operations within the Reservation are regulated in a similar fashion as those operations subject to the UDAQ requirements. This rule would apply to any person who owns or operates an existing oil and natural gas production facility within the exterior boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. The primary stakeholders are the oil and natural gas operators on the Reservation, the Ute Indian Tribe, State of Utah, and the public. Back

Technical Amendments to Performance Specification 18 and Procedure 6

Performance Specification 18 (PS18) and Procedure 6 were originally promulgated in the Federal Register on July 7, 2015. In this action, the EPA will make several minor technical amendments to PS18 and Procedure 6 which will help clarify several aspects of the original rulemaking. We are planning to issue a direct final rule with a parallel proposal to address those amendments. Back

Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or Before January 8, 2014

The EPA is planning to finalize federal plans for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Generating Units for states that do not submit plans or initial submittals by September 6, 2016. This plan is part of the President's June 2013 Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels. This federal plan serves to set in place a plan that the EPA can implement for states that do not develop a state plan. In a separate action, the EPA is finalizing model trading rules that the states can follow in developing their own plans in order to capitalize on the flexibility built into the final emission guidelines (EGs). The EPA intends to finalize both the rate-based and mass-based model trading rules in summer 2016. The EPA will finalize a federal plan for only a given state in the event that the state does not submit an approvable plan by the deadlines specified in the final EGs and the EPA takes action finding that the state has failed to submit a plan or disapproves a submitted plan because it does not meet the requirements of the EGs. Back

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Abstracts for the September 2015 AIL

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching, and Battery Stacks

This action will present the agency's residual risk and technology review (RTR) of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Coke Ovens that established emission limitations and work practice requirements based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for control of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) from pushing, quenching and battery stacks at new and existing coke oven batteries. The HAP emitted from pushing, quenching and battery stacks include coke oven emissions, as well as polycyclic organic matter and volatile organic compounds such as benzene and toluene. Exposure to these substances has been demonstrated to cause chronic and acute health effects. This action will implement the risk review requirements of section 112(f) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) by requiring all major sources to meet HAP emission standards reflecting an ample margin of safety and implement the requirements of Section 112(d)(6), to include rule amendments that reflect developments in practices, processes and technologies, if appropriate. . The EPA previously promulgated emission standards addressing emissions from coke oven charging, topside leaks and door leaks and completed the RTR of those standards in 2005. Back

Stationary Engine National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants/New Source Performance Standards Amendments

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the provisions in the Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants and New Source Performance Standards Amendments allowing emergency engines to operate for up to 100 hours per year for emergency demand response when an Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 has been called, and in situations where the voltage or frequency deviates by 5 percent or greater below standard. Subsequent to the court decision, EPA asked the court for a voluntary remand of provisions in the same regulations allowing emergency engines to operate for up to 50 hours per year to mitigate local transmission and/or distribution limitations in a local area or region. This action will amend the vacated provision regarding operation in situations where the voltage or frequency deviates by 5 percent or greater below standard for up to 100 hours per year, and also the provision for operation for up to 50 hours per year for local reliability, for which EPA has requested a voluntary remand. Back

Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Standards for 2017 and Biomass Based Diesel Volume (BBD) for 2018

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to promulgate regulations that specify the annual volume requirements for renewable fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. Standards are to be set for four different categories of renewable fuels: cellulosic biofuel, biomass based diesel (BBD), advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. The statute requires the standards be finalized by November 30 of the year prior to the year in which the standards would apply. In the case of biomass based diesel, the statute requires applicable volumes be set no later than 14 months before the year for which the requirements would apply. This action would propose the applicable volumes for all renewable fuel categories for 2017, and would also proposed the BBD standard for 2018. Back

Baseline Water Quality Standards for Indian Reservations Without EPA-Approved WQS

The EPA is developing a proposed rule to establish baseline water quality standards (WQS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for waters on Indian reservations that currently do not have EPA-approved WQS in place to protect water quality. The rule would address the existing gaps in CWA protection of reservation waters where there are no existing EPA-approved WQS. These standards would establish baseline human health and environmental goals as the basis for the CWA protection. This potential rulemaking effort is one of several initiatives the EPA is undertaking that recognize the importance of protecting tribal waters that tribes rely on. Back

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Completion of Electronic Reporting Requirements

This direct final rule completes a transition to just one electronic reporting systems for the Mercury Air Toxic Standards (MATS) requirements. This action was requested by electric generating unit owners and operators, who sought to expand the familiar Emissions Collection Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS) Client Tool already in use to handle all electronic reporting required by the MATS. This action will complete the steps necessary to merge electronic reporting requirements into the ECMPS. The rule package will also be issued as a parallel proposal. 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."


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?

Action 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 (www2.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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