For the first time, the EPA has proposed a rule setting an emission standard for nearly all commercial aircraft for greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA’s proposed standard closely follows the standard adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2017, which was the world’s first global design certification standard governing CO2 emissions for aircraft. The EPA standard would apply to all covered aircraft for which a new design type certificate is requested on or after January 1, 2020, and would apply to in-production aircraft beginning January 1, 2028. The proposed rule is expected to have little impact on manufacturers as… Read more
On Monday, the U.S. EPA issued a new rule relaxing the Obama era requirements for treating waste produced by coal-fired power plants. Under the new rule, companies would have more time and flexibility to treat power plant wastewater that contains mercury, arsenic, and other toxic heavy metals. The new rule achieves this by allowing plants that are reducing, or eliminating the use of coal to continue to use outdated water treatment technology to cleanup emission control equipment inside the coal-fired plant’s smoke stakes. The byproduct of this process is water that is contaminated with heavy metals which has historically been… Read more
The U.S. EPA has taken steps to provide additional flexibility to manufacturers of disinfectants in an attempt to increase the availability of products for Americans to use against the novel Coronavirus. To address supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic, the EPA is allowing manufacturers to obtain certain inert ingredients, like sodium chloride or glucose, from different supplies without first checking with the agency for approval. In addition, the agency is also continuing to expedite the review of submissions from companies requesting to add viral pathogen claims to their already registered surface disinfectant labels. The agency continues to be able… Read more
On Wednesday, July 21, the EPA proposed a new rule to set greenhouse emission standards for certain types of aircraft under the Clean Air Act. Under the proposal, the EPA will adopt domestic standards that conform with the International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines which require reduced carbon dioxide emissions from new aircraft starting in 2028. The proposed rule is welcomed by most major commercial aircraft manufacturers who already comply with the ICAO standards. For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.
In collaboration with some of the nation’s largest transit authorities, scientists at the EPA are collecting information on longer-lasting disinfectants that could revolutionize how we minimize COVID and COVID-like risks in public spaces. EPA is working directly with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of North America on evaluating EPA-registered anti-microbial products in the New York City Transit system to determine their ability to provide effective anti-virus protection over time. EPA will make the results of this research available to help inform decisions on the use of longer-lasting disinfection products, including information on the frequency of use to maintain disinfection capabilities over… Read more
On June 19, 2020, the EPA released its final EPA methylene chloride risk analysis which concluded that workers working with the hazardous solvent face greater risk of both neurological issues, and cancer. The agency’s findings mean that it must propose some type of regulation by June 19, 2021 to reduce the risk. Under TSCA, the EPA has a number of options to address the unreasonable risk including a ban of commercial uses, or a training, certification, and limited access program for certain workers. For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.
The EPA is exploring whether it can offer some form of financial relief to manufacturers of 20 chemicals who are being required to pay chemical risk evaluation fees in 2020. In December of 2019, the EPA announced that it is requiring manufacturers of 20 priority chemicals to pay a total of $27,000,000 towards the EPA’s cost of evaluating those chemicals’ potential to injure people or the environment. In light of the economic impact of COVID-19 on the chemical manufacturing sector, five chemical trade associations requested that the reimbursement request be pushed to 2021. The EPA has expressed doubt as to… Read more
The EPA’s largest union is pushing back against the agency’s plans to start the process that could reopen some of its offices. The EPA announced last week that it has decided to take steps to reopen three of its 10 regional offices. Those offices are in Atlanta, Seattle, and Lenexa, Kansas. According to the agency, that decision is based upon local data about Coronavirus infection rates and conditions, and the agency intends to proceed carefully as more data is revealed. No precise date for reopening has been announced, but the EPA has decided to start the process based in part… Read more
On March 12, 2020, the head of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that the DOJ will no longer allow the use of supplemental environmental projects (“SEPs”) to offset the payment of civil penalties in the settlement of enforcement actions brought by the DOJ on behalf of the U.S. EPA. SEPs have long been utilized in the settlement of governmental enforcement actions—specifically, settling defendants have agreed to fund projects that provide environmental and community benefits to areas and natural resources impacted by the alleged violation of environmental laws in exchange for a… Read more
Consistent with OMB guidance, the EPA has authorized telecommuting and voluntary unscheduled leave for all of its eligible workers across the country in response to the corona virus pandemic. While the EPA acknowledges that it does not have any confirmed cases of employees at the agency’s headquarters with COVID-19, the decision to rollout telecommuting across the nation is consistent with guidance issued late Sunday from the White House. The EPA also stated that leaders at each office and region are holding daily calls and commuting with staff about region specific information regarding the virus. For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.