The House passed Wednesday a bill that would make it easier to file Freedom of Information Act requests through a centralized portal.
The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on whether the Environmental Protection Agency can unilaterally modify pollution thresholds that require permits and base them on the type of pollutant – a case that could challenge President Obama's executive authority at a time when he's called for more action through executive powers. Clean Air Act requires permits for all sources that can annually emit 100 to 250 tons of pollutants.
Federal agencies must complete the next round of fuel-efficiency and carbon-emissions standards for large and medium-sized trucks by March 2016, the White House said in a Feb. 18 fact sheet.
Under a planned sole-source award, the FBI will buy 12 kits from Cellebrite USA, Inc., to obtain call histories, text messages, pictures, videos, passwords, location data and more – including deleted data – from Apple, Android, Blackberry and Microsoft devices.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today over a thwarted effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce pollution that travels downwind from one state to another. Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog said much of the outcome will hinge on imprecise language in the Clear Air Act. "The crucial phrase that needs to be interpreted is the mandate that states may not 'significantly contribute' to their neighbors' inability to meet air quality standards," he writes.
Environmental issues such as climate change are not as visible as those that faced the country in the past, which has made public support for the Environmental Protection Agency more elusive, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Dec. 2. "Most people don't see the environmental challenges the way they used to, because we've been very good at the work we've done," she said.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants to clear up standards about sustainability claims for products the government is purchasing and it is looking to private sector standards to do that. The EPA released draft guidelines, Wednesday, to establish standards that would help agencies implement sustainable acquisition requirements of a 2009 Executive Order.
Late last month the Environmental Protection Agency experimented with a new social media tool designed to amplify a single message across social networks called Thunderclap. The tool is open to all agencies for use based on federal-friendly terms of service recently negotiated by the General Services Administration.
The Labor Department fails to communicate in plain language with the public, while the Social Security Administration is the easiest to understand, says Center for Plain Language in its annual report card.
The Environmental Protection Agency needs more congressional authority to collect data on its efforts to ensure unpolluted water, an Aug. 21 EPA inspector general report says. Currently, the EPA office of water doesn't have statutory authority to collect data from water utilities, which means the agency doesn't know how effective its efforts are in assisting in protection against terrorism and natural disasters, the report (.pdf) says.