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Jun 16, 2022

EPA Releases Drinking Water PFAS Standards

The EPA has released drinking water health advisory levels for four per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”), including revised target levels for PFOA and PFOS.  The updated advisory levels are based on new science that indicates that some negative health effects may occur with concentrations of PFOA or PFOS that are near zero.  Accordingly, the new advisory levels are set at 0.004 parts per trillion for PFOA and 002 parts per trillion for PFOS, which are several orders of magnitude lower than levels set by the Obama EPA.  While health advisory levels are not enforceable in their own right, many states use… Read more


May 19, 2022

First Circuit Reverses Bar on CWA Citizen Suits

Drinking Water

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has overturned its bar on Clean Water Act (“CWA”) citizen suits seeking declaratory relief when a state is “diligently” prosecuting a violation.  In the opinion, the Court agreed with environmentalists and the EPA that its prior opinion was at odds with the text and congressional intent of the CWA.  In the language of the Court, “the limitations set forth in Section 309(g)(6)(A) bars only a citizen suit that seeks to apply civil penalty for an ongoing violation of the CWA and not a citizen suit for declaratory and prospective injunctive relief… Read more


Apr 25, 2022

Timber and Paper Industry Petition EPA to Ease Restrictions on Burning Paper Residuals

In December, 2021, representatives of the timber and paper industry petitioned the EPA to ease restrictions on the burning of railroad ties and paper residuals as fuel without triggering strict hazardous waste combustion emission requirements.  The EPA previously denied the coalition’s petition to revise the Nonhazardous Secondary Material criteria for treated railroad ties and certain paper residuals.  As outlined in its March 29 request for reconsideration, the issue is whether the railroad ties and paper residuals can be burned as “fuel” in boilers and avoid tougher emissions limits designated for incinerators. When a material is designated as fuel under the… Read more


Apr 7, 2022

EPA to Cease Accepting Expedited Corrections to TSCA Inventory

DuPont Toxic chemicals

On February 24, the EPA announced that it will stop accepting streamlined requests to correct entries on the TSCA Inventory of Chemicals in Commerce as of April 26, 2022.  Historically, the Agency has allowed corrections to chemical identities using the same forms and documentation used to add an existing chemical to the inventory.  This practice greatly streamlined and expedited the ability of industries to correct mistakes made in initial filings.  Under the EPA’s new policy; however, the Agency will require any changes to go through the same pre-manufacture notice (“PMN”) process required for completely new chemicals.   The decision has already… Read more


Mar 16, 2022

Liquid Terminal Industry Seeks Superfund PFAS Waiver

The liquid terminal industry which provides the infrastructure, storage and transportation planning for bulk liquid products such as oil, gas, industrial chemicals and fertilizers, is petitioning the EPA to consider exemptions to superfund laws for PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam.  ILTA which represents over 80 terminal companies is requesting that the EPA work collaboratively with the industry for research and development efforts which would give rise to clear guidance on disposal methods, while waiving superfund liability for releases of PFAS used for fire suppression.  For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.


Feb 14, 2022

EPA to List New Hazardous Air Pollutant

The Environmental Protection Agency has added a new chemical to the list of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) for the first time since the list was created in 1990. The chemical, 1 bromopropane (1-BP), is used as a commercial degreaser and in dry cleaning operations. Now that 1-BP is added to the list of HAPs, the EPA will begin the process of proposing final regulations governing emission limitations which could take several years. Companies emitting 1-BP should begin the process of accessing their emission potentials, and to consider alternative products to eliminate the use of 1-BP altogether. Specifically, facilities that are… Read more


Apr 28, 2021

Biden Administration to Restore California’s Authority to Limit Auto Emissions

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


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.


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