Environmental & Safety Law Update

Category Archives: Environmental Compliance

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Unsubstantiated Product Claims Bring Substantial Civil Penalties

Posted in Environmental Compliance, Environmental Enforcement, Green Marketing, Product Liability

By Philip L. Comella and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently ordered an orthotic shoe insert manufacturer to pay over $210,000 in civil penalties for making “unsubstantiated antimicrobial claims” about their orthotic shoe inserts – resulting in the sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide, a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). 

This … Continue Reading

EPA Request for Information on Clean Air Act Accidental Release Prevention Program

Posted in CAA, Chemical Safety, Emergency Planning, Environmental Compliance

By Jeryl L. Olson and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in response to Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (EO), is publically, through a Federal Register notice, requesting public comments on “potential revisions” to its Risk Management Program. 79 Fed. Reg. 44604 (July 31, 2014).

This request is part of an effort highlighted in … Continue Reading

Energy Industry Group Notifies EPA Proposed Rules for Existing Electric Generating Units Fail to Make the Grade

Posted in Alternative Energy, CAA, Environmental Compliance

By Jeryl L. Olson and Craig B. Simonsen

In a letter this week to Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, a coalition of business organizations provides initial feedback to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed carbon emissions regulations for existing electric generating units.

The National Association of Manufacturers serves as co-chair of the … Continue Reading

Energy Insights: An Update from the Second Quarter of 2014

Posted in Alternative Energy, Environmental Compliance, Environmental Litigation

By Robert J. Carty, Jr., Dennis A. Clifford, Philip L. Comella, A. Donald Lepore III, Esteban Shardonofsky, Clark Smith

We have just published Seyfarth Shaw’s Energy Insights Newsletter, prepared by the Energy and Clean Technologies team. It covers important developments in the second quarter of 2014 for the energy industry, including: 1) the Department … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Updated Methane Limits for New Municipal Landfills and Requests Comment on Whether and How to Update Emissions Guidelines for Existing Landfills

Posted in CAA, Environmental Compliance, Landfill Gas, RCRA

By Patrick D. Joyce

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a proposed rule that would update air standards for new municipal solid waste  landfills (landfills). 79 Fed. Reg. 41796 (July 17, 2014).

The Whitehouse had, earlier this year, issued an update to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan “Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.” The update specified that in the … Continue Reading

EPA, OSHA, and DHS are Collaborating on Chemical Facility Safety and Security

Posted in Catastrophe Response, Chemical Safety, Emergency Planning, Environmental Compliance, OSHA Compliance

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security spoke today at the Air and Waste Management Association’s Annual Conference, on their  collaboration on chemical facility safety and security.

The conference session speakers included Mathy Stanislaus, EPA’s Office of Solid Waste … Continue Reading

McCabe Addresses Supreme Court Decision and Other Topics – EPA is “Very Pleased”

Posted in CAA, Carbon Sequestration, Environmental Compliance

By Craig B. Simonsen

Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discussed yesterday’s Supreme Court opinion, and other topics, while speaking before the Air and Waste Management’s Association’s Annual Conference today.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled, in-part, that “EPA lacked authority to ‘tailor’ the Clean Air Act’s unambiguous numerical thresholds of 100 or 250 … Continue Reading

EPA is Considering Scenario-Specific Approach for Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Public & Commercial Buildings

Posted in Chemical Safety, Environmental Compliance

By Philip L. Comella

In a just-issued Federal Register notice, EPA states that it is making available a proposed framework for identifying and evaluating lead-based paint hazards from renovation, repair and painting activities in public and commercial buildings.

This proposed framework, in contrast to the approach the agency took with regard to target housing (i.e., housing constructed before 1978) … Continue Reading

Only You Can Prevent Climate Change: EPA Report Shows “Impact of Changing Climate” on Health and Environment in Anticipation of Release of Proposed Coal Plant Rule

Posted in Environmental Compliance, Greenhouse Gas

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

In anticipation of its proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions of existing electric power plants, expected to be released Monday, June 2, EPA just released its report Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2014, Third Edition (Report), showing some stunning data about climate change and … Continue Reading

NIOSH Investigating Worker Deaths From Acute Chemical Exposures During Fracking Activities

Posted in Alternative Energy, Chemical Safety, Environmental Compliance, OSHA Compliance

By Kerry M. Mohan and Craig B. Simonsen

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health blogged yesterday about reports of worker fatalities during oil and gas extraction flowback operations. Flowback refers to process fluids from the wellbore that return to the surface and are collected after hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is completed.

According to information collected by NIOSH, at least … Continue Reading