Apr 24, 2019

EPA Administrator Promises to Listen to Scientists

EPA Building

In an eight page letter to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (Board), EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler provided assurances to the Board that the EPA would continue to share information with the expert advisors in a timely fashion and be more transparent on key regulatory science issues by holding more rapid and frequent briefings.  The Board… Read more

Apr 17, 2019

Developments to Watch: State Chemical Regulation and Proposed Legislation

Toxic Chemicals

At least 22 States have had at least 97 pieces of legislation introduced in their legislatures to ban or regulate chemicals, over and above regulatory actions taken by EPA under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  In addition to complying with chemical registration requirements on the federal level under TSCA, manufacturers, importers and users… Read more

Apr 3, 2019

EPA Risk Management Plan Rule Update

EPA Risk Management

After losing a case in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on its attempt to delay the effective date of the Obama-era final rule strengthening EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program, EPA issued a proposed rule last Fall largely scrapping the Obama-era rule’s requirements.  However, EPA has not yet issued a final… Read more

Mar 27, 2019

EPA Citation to Chemours Shows Enforcement Push Under TSCA

EPA Penalty Notice

Last month, EPA issued notices of violation (NOVs) to Chemours, which manufactures per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), among other chemicals, for alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) at two of its facilities located in Fayetteville, NC and Parkersburg, WV.  The two NOVs, relatively rare under TSCA, may indicate an intent by EPA… Read more

Mar 20, 2019

Groundwater Pollution Liability Under Clean Water Act to be Reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court

Groundwater Pollution

On February 19, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review a unanimous decision by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that underground wastewater injection into a groundwater channel that flows to the Pacific Ocean requires a permit under the Clean Water Act.  The Ninth Circuit decision, Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, et al… Read more

Mar 13, 2019

California Moves to Block U.S. EPA Air Pollution Standards for Auto Emissions

California Pollution Standards: Low Emission Zone

Representatives for the California Air Resources Board have stated that they will take all legal measures necessary to block the Trump administration’s efforts to freeze fuel economy limits at nationwide 2020 levels. Under the Clean Air Act (“Act”), California has special authority to enact stricter pollution standards for motor vehicles than the nationwide standards set… Read more

Mar 6, 2019

USPS’s Defenses to OSHA Citation Rejected

work-related injury claim

In Secretary of Labor v. U.S. Postal Service, OSHRC Docket No. 18-0462, an administrative law judge of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission granted summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of Labor, rejecting two affirmative defenses put forth by the U.S. Postal Service to an other-than-serious citation issued by OSHA on February 26,… Read more

Feb 27, 2019

New Rules on Lead Drinking Water Standards Delayed

Lead Pipes and Drinking Water

The US EPA announced on February 25, that new drinking water regulations aimed at eliminating lead in water supplies have been returned to the US EPA’s staffers for revision. The announcement marks the eighth time that the EPA’s self-imposed deadline for revising the water quality standards has been delayed. Attempts to revise the standard began… Read more

Feb 20, 2019

New York Delays New Cleaning Product Labeling Enforcement Until October

Cleaning Product Labeling

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYS DEC”) has announced that it will not enforce the first required disclosure milestone under the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program (the “Program”) until October 2, 2019. The Program requires manufacturers of covered cleansing products to identify all ingredients and impurities in their products and their… Read more

Feb 13, 2019

Public Hearing Scheduled for Trump’s Water Rule Proposal

Trump's Water Rule Proposal - Contaminated Pond

The U.S. EPA announced on February 6 plans to hold public hearings in Kansas City on February 27 and 28 to discuss the Trump administration’s attempt to clarify which waters and wetlands receive protections under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The water rule proposal is an attempt to rewrite the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule… Read more