What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Jan. 3

chemical manufacturing

Today kicks off the start of the 115th Congress, and here’s a list of some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch for this week.

New name circulating for agriculture secretary. S​usan Combs, the rumored pick for the next agriculture secretary, has a track record with endangered species issues and pesticides. Tiffany Stecker is digging into the news. 

Names out on top Senate environmental panels. Senate Republicans released their rosters today for two key energy and environment panels for the 115th Congress: the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources panel. Dean Scott has a story coming.

What issues should the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tackle this year? Continuing to integrate renewables and battery storage onto the grid is one of the top agenda items, say stakeholders. Rebecca Kern is working on the list.

New strategies unveiled to predict chemical hazards. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issues a report Thursday that advises federal agencies about different means they could use to predict chemical toxicity and exposure. Pat Rizzuto will have the story.

EPA proposes notification requirement for sewer overflow into Great Lakes. Local public health agencies and the public should be notified no more than four hours after a combined sewer system has overflowed into the Great Lakes, according to a rule the EPA is proposing. Amena Saiyid is reporting.

EPA delays deadline for decision on Maryland emissions request. The EPA is using flexibility built into the Clean Air Act to delay an upcoming deadline to decide whether to grant Maryland’s request to further control power plant emissions. Patrick Ambrosio has the story.

Environmental justice advocates approve this move.  The EPA is withdrawing a proposed rule to wipe out deadlines for processing civil rights complaints. Rachel Leven is reporting.  

South Korea invests billions to cut back on coal. South Korea's government and energy providers sign a deal to phase out 10 aging coal plants and invest $9.6 billion over 15 years in efforts to slash contaminants including coal plant fine dust emissions in half. Elaine Ramirez has the story.