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March 31, 2021

On March 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a notice for public input on its current recommendations for disclosing climate risks and how it could change or supplement that process in the future.  The Commission currently relies on its 2010 guidance to help entities understand how to identify and report on climate risks that could impact investors.  Now, the SEC faces considerable pressure to revisit and expand the guidance to include more on material risks and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.  The SEC is asking for feedback on 15 topics associated with the regulation of climate disclosures---including how the rules should address private companies’ climate disclosures.

March 25, 2021

On March 16, bipartisan members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced the AGC- supported Water Quality Protection and Jobs Creation Act of 2021 (HR 1915). The bill would substantially increase federal funding assistance available to states and localities through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).

The legislation addresses America’s crumbling wastewater infrastructure and water quality challenges. It authorizes $50 billion in direct infrastructure investment and will create tens of thousands of utility infrastructure construction jobs.

March 11, 2021

In January, President Biden signed executive orders specifically charging federal agencies to focus on environmental regulations, climate change, and environmental justice. In the intervening weeks, the agencies have begun implementing those directives. We are seeing incremental steps taken as the nominees to head these agencies move through the confirmation process. The Senate just confirmed Michael Regan’s appointment to head the U.S.

March 1, 2021

The U.S. Department of Interior has proposed to delay the effective date of the Trump Administration’s final rule to decriminalize incidental take (accidental harm) under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) finalized in January.  AGC supports the Trump Administration's rule as it provides clarity and relief for industry and private citizens from prosecution for engaging in lawful actions that may result in the accidental injuring or killing of a migratory bird. 

February 5, 2021

On Feb. 3, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing for Michael Regan on his nomination for Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

January 29, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host two information sessions in February on the 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants.  

January 28, 2021

As part of his approach to addressing climate change, President Biden signed an executive order that directs a pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters, as well as a rigorous review of existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development and doubling renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030.

January 28, 2021

In a January 27 Executive Order, President Biden initiated steps to mobilize the entire federal government to address climate change from every sector of the economy – and to motivate states and other countries to do the same. The EO falls short of declaring a climate emergency; however, it tasks the federal agencies to make and act on recommendations related to climate policies, environmental justice, labor, national secu

January 28, 2021

On Dec. 23, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its penalty rule that increased the maximum civil penalties per violation of an environmental statute or agency regulation. These annual adjustments are required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015.  Below are the new penalty maximum levels to account for inflation. In practice, fines tend to track the perceived or actual economic benefit derived from the violation(s) – consistent with applicable EPA penalty policies.

January 21, 2021

On January 20, President Biden signed several executive orders to start work on his campaign promises to take steps on climate change and environmental justice as well as heighten enforcement. The transition team circulated a list of regulations to review include many that AGC has advocated on in recent years, such as waters of the United States (WOTUS), species concerns, and streamlining of federal reviews and approvals.

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