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Nov 28, 2022

EPA to Increase Chemical Manufacturer’s Fees

On Tuesday, November 14, the EPA issued a proposed rule which would increase fees charged under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to manufacturers and handlers of chemical substances. The proposed rule would more than double the annual revenue the Agency receives from chemical manufacturers. In addition, it will increase the pool of companies subject to the fees to include processors, who mix, repackage, and otherwise work with chemicals without manufacturing them. Chemical manufacturers are required to pay these fees under TSCA to help defray a portion of the EPA’s cost to review both brand new chemicals and new uses… Read more


Nov 7, 2022

EPA Issues Interim Environmental Justice (EJ) and Civil Rights Permitting FAQ

On August 16, the EPA released its frequently asked questions (“FAQ”) document advising state regulators to deny permits if applicants do not demonstrate compliance with the civil rights of affected persons and communities in addition to compliance with the environmental requirements of the permit. The document also includes details on how permit writers should measure and consider cumulative and desperate impacts to minority and disadvantaged communities. Multiple state authorities including those responsible for writing permits under Clear Air and Clean Water Act provisions have questioned the EPA’s authority to require them to consider factors beyond environmental compliance in permitting decisions…. Read more


Oct 26, 2022

EPA to Release Lead Strategy in Anticipation of Revised Soil Clean-Up Guidance

The EPA’s revised lead strategy has cleared the interagency review process, and is expected to be released later this year. The revised strategy outlines the EPA’s intent to work with other federal agencies such as the CDC to review and revise its lead soil policy which was last updated in 1998. The draft strategy states that it would set new recommendations for screening sites for remediation, and strengthen preliminary remediation goals to reduce lead exposure in accordance with the latest science. The new strategy is in keeping with the EPA’s current mandate which is designed to support all offices within… Read more


Oct 12, 2022

EPA Streamlines Review of New Chemicals for EV Vehicle Batteries

The EPA has announced that it will streamline review of new chemical substances that are used in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries, and that can be used in other, vital emerging markets. The Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) requires that new compounds which have not been made in or imported to the United States before must be reviewed and approved by the agency before production or importation. In order to make the needed safety review of such new chemicals simpler, the agency will offer a streamlined process similar to the one it launched earlier in 2022 for biofuels. For… Read more


Sep 26, 2022

EPA Set to Approve Canola Oil for “Advanced” Fuel under RFS

The EPA is expected to approve canola oil as a feed stock for the manufacturer of advanced, low‑carbon fuel which will be qualified to earn credit under the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”).  The Rule would provide economic incentives to create renewable diesel, jet fuel, naphtha and liquid propane gas made from canola, and is expected to boost bio fuel makers’ options to produce RFS. The EPA has already approved a pathway for generating RFS credits from canola oil used for biodiesel production, but the new rule would approve a pathway for renewable diesel, which is a different product. For more… Read more


Sep 12, 2022

Sixth Circuit to Review Decision to Certify Class in PFAS Litigation

The Sixth Circuit has agreed to review the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio’s decision to certify a class of millions of Ohio residents who may have “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, in their blood. The class includes residents who have “0.05 parts per trillion of PFOA or at least 0.05 parts per trillion of any other PFAS in their blood serum.” Plaintiff’s counsel justified the size of the class before the U.S. Court of Appeals by noting that its large size is due to the “enormous scale of the harm and damage.” The grant of CERT is… Read more


Aug 29, 2022

Environmentalists Sue EPA Over Regulation of “Inactive” Coal Ash Landfills

Several environmental organizations have sued the U.S. EPA in an attempt to force the agency to revise its coal ash rules to include inactive, coal ash landfills. Currently inactive, coal ash landfills are exempt from the coal combustion residuals (“CCR”) rule requirements which require monitoring and closure of CCR landfills that accept ash after October 19, 2016, existing surface impoundments, and to a limited degree, inactive CCR surface impoundments. Plaintiffs in the case allege that approximately half of the country’s CCR waste is contained in exempt landfills. The case, State-wide Organizing for Community Empowerment, et al. v. EPA, filed August… Read more


Aug 11, 2022

Georgia-Pacific Seeks Supreme Court Review of CERCLA Statute of Limitation

Georgia-Pacific is filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to clarify the appropriate application of CERCLA’s statute of limitation to contribution actions. In the underlying case, the U.S. District Court in Georgia Pacific, et al. v. NCR Corp., held that the three-year statute of limitation for contribution actions under Section 113 begins to run against parties who are not named in the original Consent Order with the U.S. EPA. Georgia-Pacific is seeking clarification that the three-year statute of limitations does not run against parties who are not identified as responsible parties by the U.S. EPA, and made a… Read more


Jul 29, 2022

EPA to Publish CWA Spill Rules for Chemical ASTs

The U.S. EPA is set to publish a long overdue proposed rule that would require certain facilities with above-ground chemical tanks to develop response plans for worst-case scenario spills. The “worst-case response plan requirement” will be in addition to the CWA’s older mandate for developing spill prevention rules for oil and hazardous substances, and is being hailed by state and local and local emergency planning officials as a great step forward in protecting state water and drinking water supplies. The proposed Rules, which are set to be finalized as early as next month, will require operators with bulk chemical storage… Read more


Jul 18, 2022

EPA Scrutiny of Self-Audit Policy May Discourage Self-Disclosure of Violations

On June 30, the EPA Inspector General directed the Agency to develop a more rigorous process for screening self-disclosure of violations made to the EPA’s electronic disclosure system (eDisclosure). The Director found that the Agency lacked adequate internal controls to ensure that the EPA screening process is effective and that significant concerns, such as criminal conduct and potential imminent hazards are identified and addressed by the Office of Enforcement.  Significant concerns are ineligible for the penalty mitigation shield available for minor noncompliance issues that are voluntarily disclosed to the EPA under the eDisclosure system. Companies are advised to review the… Read more