The Biden administration is set to begin reversing Trump era policies that limited California’s ability to set vehicles’ emissions standards at a more stringent level than required by the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose a waiver empowering California to mandate zero emission vehicles and to regular greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes. Before being blocked by the Trump EPA, California’s requirement set a model for the nation and was expected to be followed by states representing more than one-third of the U.S. auto market. The transportation sector is now the largest single source of greenhouse gas… Read more
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.
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
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
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
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