Environmental & Safety Law Update

Category Archives: Environmental Compliance

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EPA Publishes Final Strategic Plan — Cuts Enforcement While Ratcheting Up Scrutiny for Regulated Entities

Posted in Citizen Suits, Environmental Compliance, Environmental Enforcement

By Andrew H. Perellis and Craig B. Simonsen The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just announced its Final Fiscal Year 2014-2018 EPA Strategic Plan (April 10, 2014). We had previously blogged about the Draft Strategic Plan. According to EPA’s Administrator, Gina McCarthy, “EPA will address the increasingly complex array of environmental challenges we face by advancing a rigorous research and development agenda that informs and… Continue Reading

Proposed Rule on Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act

Posted in CWA, Environmental Compliance, Permitting

By Andrew H. Perellis, Jeryl L. Olson, and Craig B. Simonsen EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Jo Ellen Darcy, just signed a proposed rule to “clarify” protections under the Clean Water Act for “streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.” We had previously blogged about the Agency’s… Continue Reading

EPA Puts Public and Commercial Building Managers on Notice About OSHA Lead Information

Posted in Chemical Safety, Environmental Compliance, OSHA Compliance, TSCA

By James L. Curtis, Jeryl L. Olson, and Craig B. Simonsen EPA has denied a January 28, 2014, petition by various housing industry groups, requesting EPA to develop a new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) section 8(d) recordkeeping rule aimed at building managers, building owners, and contractors that have or may need to disturb lead based paint in public and… Continue Reading

Federal Energy Advisory Board Seeks Comment on Draft “FracFocus” Report

Posted in Alternative Energy, Environmental Compliance, Renewable Energy

By Kevin A. Fritz and Craig B. Simonsen The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB)’s FracFocus 2.0 database houses information collected from Federal and State regulatory agencies required as part of their regulatory requirements to disclose the composition and quantities of fracturing fluids that are injected into unconventional oil and gas wells. In 2013, Secretary of Energy Moniz charged SEAB… Continue Reading

EPA Final Rule for Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System

Posted in Environmental Compliance, RCRA

By Philip L. Comella and Craig B. Simonsen The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently published its final rule for the national electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system, which upgrades the current paper-based system of tracking hazardous waste shipments and disposal.  79 Fed. Reg. 7518 (February 7, 2014). The rule indicates that it affects approximately 160,000 entities in at least forty-five industries that… Continue Reading

EPA Eyes Potential Impact of Fracking on Water Resources

Posted in Alternative Energy, Environmental Compliance, Illinois

By Philip L. Comella and William R. Schubert The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General, in a February 5, 2014 memorandum, stated that it intends to evaluate how federal and state regulation of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry has protected water resources and managed potential threats. “EPA’s Oversight of Hydraulic Fracturing Impact on Water Resources.” Currently the states… Continue Reading

EPA Rulemaking on Hazardous Waste Management in the Retail Sector

Posted in California, Environmental Compliance, RCRA

By Philip L. Comella, Jeryl L. Olson, and Craig B. Simonsen The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday released a Notice of Data Availability for “Hazardous Waste Management in the Retail Sector.” 79 Fed. Reg. 8926 (February 14, 2014). An impetus for the Notice was President Obama’s Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, “which charges federal agencies to… Continue Reading

EPA Extends Comment Deadline for Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels

Posted in Environmental Compliance, Green Marketing, Sustainability

By Ilana R. Morady and Craig B. Simonsen In November 2013 EPA released its Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement for public comment. The public comment period has now been extended until April 25, 2014. The Guidelines are the Agency’s criteria for assessing private sector standards and ecolabels in order to… Continue Reading

Illinois Pollution Control Board Rejects Emergency Rules for Coke/Coal Bulk Terminals

Posted in Environmental Compliance, Illinois

By Jeryl L. Olson and Craig B. Simonsen The Illinois Pollution Control Board just rejected Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (IEPA) proposed “emergency” rules that would have imposed additional Statewide requirements on the handling of coke and coal, including petroleum coke or “petcoke,” at bulk terminals and other specified facilities. Opinion and Order, January 23, 2014. The IEPA had filed the… Continue Reading

Illinois EPA Moves to Federally Integrated NetDMR Reporting System

Posted in CWA, Environmental Compliance

By Jeryl L. Olson and Craig B. Simonsen The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) had first introduced the “eDMR” (electronic Discharge Monitoring Report) system in April 2004. The eDMR system was developed so that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permittees with a computer and an Internet connection could complete, sign, submit, edit, and re-submit eDMR forms online. When… Continue Reading