Environmental Law Next

Reporting on the Evolving Field of Environmental Law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a decision last week stating that revisions to the federal regulations for the management of wastes from the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy (i.e. oil and gas wastes from hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling) are not necessary at this time.  EPA was required to assess the current regulations under a Consent Decree entered into with EPA and seven environmental advocacy groups. …
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a much-anticipated draft document to address groundwater contaminated with PFOA and/or PFOS. According to EPA, the guidance is based on EPA’s current understanding of PFAS toxicity and is intended to provide clear and consistent guidance for cleanup programs. Specifically, the guidance provides interim recommendations for addressing groundwater contaminated with PFOA and/or PFOS at sites being evaluated and addressed under federal cleanup programs, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability…
On April 15, 2019, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a new interpretation of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), stating that the CWA does not require permits for groundwater pollution. The CWA regulates pollution to surface water and requires permits for point-source discharges. However, the question as to whether a discharge of pollutants into groundwater can potentially trigger the CWA’s permitting requirements has been the subject of conflicting federal appellate court decisions. The Ninth Circuit…
On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that it will issue a draft regulation by the end of the year placing a limit on two chemicals frequently found in drinking water. The steps to eventually regulate two types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) known as PFOA and PFOS were announced by U.S. EPA head Andrew Wheeler. Other steps outlined Thursday include the initiation of a regulatory process to list PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances…
According to POLITICO, even Republicans in Congress are concerned that the EPA will not move forward with a rulemaking to regulate PFOS and PFOA.  It appears acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has already approved a decision, contained in the agency’s forthcoming chemical management plan, not to add the chemicals to the group of contaminants regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.  The decision follows controversy over the Trump administration’s suppression of a report
The longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history continues to affect around 800,000 federal workers and major agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). Despite the shutdown, however, many EPA employees are being called into work without pay. On January 14, 2019, EPA updated its contingency plan for shut down to increase the total number of “excepted personnel” to 891 or 6.37% of its total workforce. EPA’s contingency plan lists 486 HQ program…
The Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI ozone nonattainment area failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the attainment date of July 20, 2018.   The area, which is currently classified as “Moderate” for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, will automatically be bumped-up to a “Serious” classification upon the effective date of the final reclassification notice.  The Chicago area joins six (6) other Moderate areas that likewise failed to attain the standard, including Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Greater Connecticut, CT; Houston-Galveston-Brazoria,…
With EPA’s e-Manifest set to officially launch on June 30, 2018, companies need to begin preparing to register for the system.  Here is the latest information from EPA about how the registration will work. All receiving facilities must have an EPA ID number by June 30, 2018, regardless of whether they will be using paper or e-Manifests.  The receiving facilities are the parties that will be responsible for payment of the user fees and the EPA…
Last May, the Trump EPA issued a 90-day stay of two Obama-era landfill methane rules, namely the Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (NSPS Subpart XXX) and the Emissions Guidelines (EG).  EPA was responding to concerns by industry groups to reconsider portions of the rules.  After the stay was put into place, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and others filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of…
The cradle-to-grave scheme is at the heart of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. RCRA, after first defining what a “hazardous waste” is and requiring permits for facilities accepting these materials, then requires a manifest to accompany the movement of the waste from the point of generation – through transportation – and then finally to the “destination facility.” This manifest, completed by the generator, links a defined hazardous waste with a facility permitted to manage…