SNIPSNot all news needs to be covered through an extended article. But it is still important that you know about activities and decisions that may affect your business, communities and families. To help keep you informed, the Division of Compliance Assistance (DCA) routinely compiles a short listing of state and federal topics that we call SNIPS. If you have questions about these items or need environmental assistance, contact DCA at 800-926-8111 or

  • EPA to Review Chemicals Entering the Marketplace – The EPA issued Significant New Use Rules that will require anyone who wishes to manufacture (including import) or process these chemical substances for a significant new use to notify the EPA 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals. This notice will provide the EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of the chemicals and, if necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the activity.
  • EPA Announces First National Regulations to Safeguard Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals – The EPA announced the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs or coal ash) from coal-fired power plants. The final rule establishes safeguards to protect communities from coal ash impoundment failures and establishes safeguards to prevent groundwater contamination and air emissions from coal ash disposal.
  • USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program Open for Renewable Energy Applications – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened solicitations for its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) along with minor program modifications. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources.
  • EPA to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Smog Standards – The EPA will hold three public hearings on the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog. The EPA has proposed to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion. The public may register to speak at a specific time at a hearing. The EPA will accept written comments on the proposed standards until March 17, 2015, and the agency will issue a final rule by Oct. 1, 2015.