Environmental & Safety Law Update

Category Archives: Environmental Compliance

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Proposed Rule for Methane and VOC Controls in Oil and Gas Industry

Posted in Alternative Energy, Environmental Compliance

By Patrick D. Joyce and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. EPA announced earlier this week a proposed rule to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal is nearly 600 pages long. Proposed rule (August 18, 2015).

The proposed rule will add methane to the list of gasses … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Significant Change to Controlling Landfill Gas Emissions

Posted in Alternative Energy, Brownfields, Climate Change, Environmental Compliance, RCRA

By Philip L. Comella

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued two proposed rules lowering the threshold at which landfills must control methane gas emissions.

For active landfills, EPA proposes to reduce the threshold from 50 metric tons of non-methane organic compounds annually to 34 metric tons. As a practical matter, this means that roughly 100 active landfills – with … Continue Reading

Multinationals in China Should be Aware of Increased Enforcement of Environmental Law, Monitoring Requirements – and Fraud

Posted in China, Environmental Compliance

By Wan Li, Andrew H. Perellis, and Craig B. Simonsen

In the last twelve months the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been remarkably vocal about environmental law, monitoring, and fraud, especially under the new environmental law and supplemental measures.

For instance, the MEP announced on June 16, 2015, that … Continue Reading

EPA Adopts Significant Revisions to Underground Storage Tank Regulations

Posted in Environmental Compliance, RCRA

By Philip L. Comella and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated significant new provisions both to its 1988 underground storage tank (UST) regulations and to its 1988 state program approval (SPA) regulations. 80 Fed. Reg. 41566 (July 15, 2015). This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.

The revisions to the … Continue Reading

DHS Chemical Facilities Take Note GAO Suggested Need For Enhanced Enforcement

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

By Andrew H. Perellis and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just issued a report on Critical Infrastructure Protection with a finding that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) action is needed to verify chemical facility information and to better manage its compliance process. Report to Congress, GAO-15-614 (July 2015).

Risk Level for Facilities

The Report states … Continue Reading

EPA Finds Low Potential Impacts on Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing

Posted in Alternative Energy, CAA, Chemical Safety, CWA, Environmental Compliance

By Patrick D. Joyce and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment study last week showing that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activities in the U.S. may have potential impacts on the water lifecycle, affecting drinking water resources. 80 Fed. Reg. 32111 (June 5, 2015).

The report, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil Continue Reading

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

Posted in Brownfields, Due Diligence, Environmental Compliance, Investigations/Inspections, Superfund, Vapor Intrusion

By Jeryl L. Olson and Craig B. Simonsen

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion.

First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to add vapor intrusion to the pathways evaluated under the Hazard Ranking Scoring (HRS) System for … Continue Reading

EPA Publishes Final Rule Expanding Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act

Posted in CWA, Environmental Compliance, Environmental Enforcement

By Jeryl L. Olson, Andrew H. Perellis and Patrick D. Joyce

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers recently released its Final Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States.”

We had previously blogged about the Agency’s draft of the proposed rule that was distributed in November, 2013 as well as a “clarification” of the proposed ruleContinue Reading

Impact of California Appellate Decision on Proposition 65 Actions Unclear

Posted in California, Chemical Safety, Environmental Compliance

By Jay W. Connolly, Aaron Belzer, and Jared L. Palmer

On April 28, 2015, the Environmental Law Foundation (“ELF”) filed a petition in the California Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp., et al., No. A139821, 2015 WL 1212155 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2015) (“ELF … Continue Reading

EPA’s Draft Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda

Posted in Environmental Compliance

By Meagan Newman and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking “input” on its Draft Environmental Justice (EJ) 2020 Action Agenda framework (EJ 2020).

EPA expects that the EJ 2020 will advance environmental justice through EPA programs, policies, and activities, and it is intended to support cross-agency strategy for environmental justice in environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically … Continue Reading