Apr 14, 2021

Challenge to Trump Rule Relaxing Clean Car Standards Put on Hold by D.C. Circuit

A D.C. Circuit has put on hold a challenge to a Trump administration decision to scale back standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission for vehicles.  The Trump era rule lowered federal fuel efficiency standard reduction requirements from 5% to 1.5% annually through 2026.  A coalition of mostly democratic lead states sued to overturn the Trump rollback, and the Biden administration argued successfully before the D.C. Circuit to halt the proceedings while the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration review the regulations. For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.


Apr 1, 2021

OSHA Adopts National Emphasis Program (NEP) in Lieu of Adopting Emergency Temporary Standards to Address COVID in the Workplace

OSHA COVID order

On March 15, OSHA adopted an NEP in response to President Biden’s Executive Order directing the agency to come up with a national program for COVID-19 enforcement priorities.  The NEP directs OSHA to conduct programmed inspections at work sites where employees have a higher frequency of close contact exposures and COVID outbreaks.  Industries targeted for heightened scrutiny fall into two categories:  (1) establishments in certain NAICS Codes which OSHA has identified as having higher rates of exposure; or (2) industries having an elevated illness rate based upon 2020 OSHA illness reporting data.  Many NAICS Codes on the list are related… Read more


Mar 17, 2021

“Diesel Brothers” Clean Air Act Lawsuit Threatens to Greatly Expand Standing Under Citizen Suits

Truck Pollution

A Federal District Court in Utah ruled that a group of physicians had standing to sue the host of a popular television show, “Diesel Brothers,” for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act resulting from modifications to pollution control devices installed on trucks.  At issue on appeal, is whether the Utah physicians for a healthy environment (UPHE”) group can allege a justiciable harm and demonstrate “redressability and causation” both of which are required elements to establish standing.  The Diesel Brothers argue on appeal that the UPHE cannot demonstrate that they were injured by the excess emissions caused by the vehicle… Read more


Mar 3, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Application of Statute of Limitation in Superfund Cost Recovery Case

Superfund limitation

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to issue a decision in a Superfund cost recovery case which could provide clarity on whether non-Superfund settlements can start the clock on Superfund’s contribution claims’ statute of limitation.  In the underlying case, the U.S. struck a deal with Guam under the Clean Water Act in 2004 requiring the territory to stop waste in the formerly Navy owned ORDOT Dump from leaching into adjacent rivers.  Guam ended up with remediation costs of $160,000,000 for the clean-up of the dump, but waited too long to try to recover those costs from the U.S. Government, the… Read more


Feb 17, 2021

Environmental Groups File Suit to Overturn “Do Nothing” (Ozone Standards)

Ozone Quality

Environmental groups have sued the EPA to overturn its December 31st rule retaining Obama Era National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone.  The suit alleges that the Trump EPA ignored science and mounting evidence that serious health harms occur due to ozone exposure at levels below the current NAAQS.  Litigation is likely to focus heavily on the truncated NAAQS review process used by the Trump administration which allegedly failed to properly analyze the latest science on health risk, resulting in a predetermined outcome favored by industry which did not propose tighter regulation.  The EPA, in its December rule, retained… Read more


Feb 3, 2021

TSCA to Receive Broader Interpretation Under Biden Administration

The EPA is expected to use its authority under TSCA to make chemical manufacturers provide more information about toxicity, exposure and other data about chemicals manufactured and imported into the U.S. market.  A wide range of industries ranging from airplane and auto manufacturers to the oil, gas and rubber industry, should prepare to turn over more information about chemical releases into the environment, the presence of those chemicals in consumer products, and worker exposure to industrial and commercial substances.  TSCA requires the EPA to determine whether new chemicals’ intended, known, or reasonably foreseeable uses may put people’s help or the… Read more


Jan 20, 2021

OEHHA Proposes Amendments to Prop 65 Short Form Warnings

Warning labels

On January 8, 2021, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with respect to Article 6, Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, which adopt Proposition 65’s safe harbor warning methods and content. The proposed amendments  apply specifically to the short form warning, and would limit the use of the short form warning to labels with a total surface area available for consumer information of 5 square inches or less and a package shape or size that cannot accommodate the full-length warning. The proposed amendments would also change the safe harbor… Read more


Jan 6, 2021

DuPont Motion for Mistrial in PFAS Verdict Denied

DuPont Toxic chemicals

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on Thursday denied DuPont’s request to declare a mistrial after a jury awarded damages of $50,000,000 to Plaintiffs for exposure to a type of PFAS produced by DuPont. PFAS, which are known as “forever chemicals” for their ability to persist in the environment, have been linked to cancer and other serious health problems.  DuPont’s failed mistrial Motion is the latest development in a wave of litigation with hundreds of cases pending across the U.S. against chemical companies who produced PFAS. The Ohio case is part of a long running collection… Read more


Dec 17, 2020

Ten Northeastern States to Divide $120,300,000 in Proceeds from Cap and Trade Program

Renewable energy

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”), a multistate Cap and Trade Program, sold carbon allowances for $7.41 in the final quarter of 2020 – recognizing revenue of $120,300,000 which can be used to reinvest in energy efficiency and renewable programs in the 10 participating northeastern states.  Participating states have benefited from RGGI’s bipartisan, market-based approach to climate change, while consumers across participating states have benefited from local investments in clean energy and efficiency.  Prices for carbon allowances are expected to grow as more states petition to join RGGI, and as more states attempt to “decarbonize” their energy production. For more… Read more


Dec 2, 2020

Representative Dingell Will Make Regulation of PFAS Chemicals Top Congressional Priority

forever chemicals

Representative Dingell (D-MICH) said on Tuesday, November 17th that legislation which would require the EPA to regulate the so-called “forever chemicals” will be reintroduced in January as soon as Congress begins its new session.  Dingell was the sponsor of the PFAS Action Act that passed the House last January, and has indicated her intention to reintroduce the bill.  If the bill passes, it would require the EPA to set cleanup standards and enforceable drinking water limits for at least some PFAS chemicals, and would also ban the chemicals from materials that could touch food and cosmetics.  Representatives in Congress will… Read more