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Regulatory Analysis
We are continually updating our state and national regulatory analysis to help you keep up with the changing regs. See the updated section on the what's new page to find all of the topics.
Recent Regulatory Activity
New Documents
Audio Presentations:
This training session is about Tier II reporting, more formally known as hazardous chemical inventory reporting. It is designed for personnel responsible for preparing and submitting a Tier II report to the appropriate emergency planners and first responders.
News:
Well-known conservative members of the Climate Leadership Council have issued a short paper urging Congress and the White House to develop a tax on industry carbon emissions.
There is no evidence that hydraulic fracturing has been causing earthquakes to the extent the public and the media seem to believe, but the link does appear to exist.
In a new report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) states that EPA’s discretionary grants program needs improvement in several areas.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which comprises 12 of the nation’s largest carmakers, is requesting that the EPA withdraw its final midterm evaluation (MTE) of the Agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model year (MY) 2022–2025 cars and light-duty trucks.
Five Republican senators from ethanol-producing states are hoping Scott Pruitt, EPA’s new administrator, will lift the current Agency restriction on the use of E15 (fuel that is 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol) from June 1 to September 15.
The deadlines to submit air emissions inventory reports vary by jurisdiction, ranging from early February through July. Do you know your state’s reporting deadline? Use this interactive map to see your state air emissions inventory reporting requirements, contact information, and important dates.
Legislation to amend the current regime of state and federal rules to control vessel ballast discharges has been reintroduced in both houses of Congress.
With remarkable efficiency, less than 1 month after inauguration, Congress and President Trump came together to nullify the Stream Protection Rule (SPR, December 20, 2016, Federal Register), a major regulatory action 6 years in the making at the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
OSHA announced its silica final rule last spring and it immediately received criticism from industry groups. These groups call the standard unobtainable and very costly, and claim that the rule isn’t really necessary to improve worker safety. But is the rule too costly?
The EPA is requesting public comments on its Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2015.
News media have reported that following today’s expected Senate confirmation of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, President Trump will issue a new executive order to further limit some as yet unnamed additional aspect of the Agency’s powers.
Today the Senate voted 52-46 to approve President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the EPA. Upon being sworn in, Pruitt will take the helm of an Agency he sued at least 12 times as AG, primarily alleging that the EPA issued rules that exceeded the Agency’s authority under federal environmental laws and/or the U.S. Constitution.
After waiting nearly 3 years, Wisconsin received the Agency’s permission to implement the state’s innovative multi-discharger variance (MDV) for phosphorus.
The deadline to submit Tier II reports is March 1. Do you know your state’s reporting requirements? Use this map to find out.

Does your facility need to submit a Tier II report? This infographic provides essential information to help you get started with that determination, along with some useful tips for preparing and submitting a Tier II report.

White Papers:
EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations include a provision at 40 CFR 112.8(c)(2) that requires that the secondary means of containment for the entire capacity of a container at a facility also have sufficient freeboard to contain precipitation.
As Americans—and most other countries—watch and wait for the Trump administration to reveal how it will change the Obama administration’s approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, California has stepped forward with a plan to raise the goals of its own climate program, already one of the world’s most aggressive.
EPA’s proposed Procedures for Prioritization of Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) comprises the Agency’s steps for selecting chemicals it will subject to full risk evaluations, as required by the June 2016 amendments to TSCA.
Chemicals play an important role in many workplaces. The inherent hazards of chemicals can be reduced by minimizing the quantity of chemicals on hand. However, when chemicals must be in-house, proper storage and handling can reduce or eliminate associated risks.
Guidance Documents:
Use this chart to check your state’s air emissions inventory reporting requirements and find contact information.
Review this table to see if your state requires an annual report, quarterly report, or monthly report in addition to the Biennial Report.
Updated Documents
Forms:
Operatosr of construction sites where one or more acres are disturbed, smaller sites that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale where there is a cumulative disturbance of at least one acre, or any other site specifically designated by the Director, must submit an NOT to terminate coverage under the Construction General Permit.
Guidance Documents:
Use this chart to check your state’s air emissions inventory reporting requirements and find contact information.
Review this table to see if your state requires an annual report, quarterly report, or monthly report in addition to the Biennial Report.
Use this chart to check your state's Tier II reporting requirements and find contact information.
This flowchart describes the process for importing RCRA hazardous waste under the revised 2016 regulations.
This flowchart describes the process for exporting RCRA hazardous waste under the revised 2016 regulations.
A site operator must provide certification to the EPA or to the permitting state that the construction activity will take place during a period when the value of the rainfall erosivity factor is less than 5. To determine a rainfall erosivity factor, see chapter 2 of this guidance document.
Large construction sites in Mississippi must have coverage under the large construction general permit or an individual permit.
This 2017 general permit covers stormwater discharges from construction activities.
This is a four-year research strategy designed to meet the following objectives: improve water utilities’ abilities to prepare for and respond to incidents that threaten public health; and advance EPA’s capabilities to respond to wide-area contamination
Review this list of the most common hazardous waste container violations to make sure you're in compliance.
Published in 2013, this guidance document covers the nature of petroleum, site assessment at tank closure, inspection equipment, field observations and analysis, planning and decision-making, and site closure.
This Federal Register corrects minor transcription errors in the notice at 61 Federal Register 28642 (6/5/96) that announced the availability of the NRT’s Integrated Contingency Plan Guidance (‘‘one plan’’), intended to be used by facilities to prepare emergency response plans.
Use this chart to determine whether you are a large quantity generator (LQG), small quantity generator (SQG), or very small quantity generator (VSQG) of hazardous waste under the 2016 Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. The chart sets forth the quantities of acute hazardous waste, non-acute hazardous waste, and residues from a cleanup of acute hazardous waste which must be considered in determining each class of hazardous waste generator.
These guidance documents address the export of cathode ray tubes, as revised by the EPA's Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions final rule, effective December 31, 2016.
These EPA questions and answers concerning the regulation of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and CRT glass.
The 2017 EHS Salary Guide will help you evaluate if you are being paid a fair amount for the responsibilities you are shouldering. In addition, EHS managers can find the information to keep their departments competitive and efficient—an easy way to guarantee you are paying the right amount to retain hard-to-fill positions but not overpaying on others.
Use this table to determine the compliance dates for the various major provisions with respect to export shipments occurring under consents issued by the EPA before December 31, 2016 (the date the EPA's final Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule went into effect).
Use this table to determine the compliance dates for the various major provisions with respect to export shipments of excluded CRTs for recovery occurring under consents issued by the EPA before December 31, 2016 (the date the EPA's final Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule went into effect).
Use this table to determine the compliance dates for various provisions with respect to export shipments of excluded samples for characterization or treatability studies occurring under consents issued by the EPA before December 31, 2016 (the date the EPA's final Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule went into effect).
Use this table to determine the compliance dates for the various major provisions with respect to import shipments occurring under consents issued by the EPA before December 31, 2016 (the date the EPA's final Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule went into effect).
Regulatory Analysis:
Responsibility for the various actions that make up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement program is divided among different offices, EPA regions, and state agencies.
The CWA is the main federal law in the United States that addresses water pollution, and includes the National Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which grants federal permits to operations that discharge to the waters of the United States, and Section 404, which enables the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to grant permits for certain activities within waterways and wetlands.
The September 11 attacks increased concerns that terrorists might target businesses that handle hazardous materials, such as chemical manufacturers. While site security at these facilities previously targeted the isolated intruder or vandal, 9/11 highlighted the possibility that chemicals might be released or stolen as international weaponry. Site protection was suddenly entwined with national security, leading both legislators and the industry to step forward and address this threat.
When stormwater drains from a construction site, it carries sediment and other pollutants that harm lakes, streams, and wetlands. Controlling erosion from construction sites can significantly reduce the amount of sedimentation and other pollutants transported by stormwater runoff associated with construction activities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates stormwater discharges associated with construction activities through either the issuance of an individual permit or the Construction General Permit (CGP) in states where permitting authority has not been delegated. Most states are authorized to implement the stormwater NPDES permitting program.
Pretreatment standards are derived from a variety of sources. The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promulgate pretreatment standards and requirements with the purpose of reducing the level of pollutants discharged by industry and other nondomestic wastewater sources into municipal storm sewer systems. The EPA has established general and specific prohibited discharge standards that are applicable to all nondomestic users and categorical general pretreatment regulations that require publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) to develop local limits when necessary to implement the prohibited discharge standards. Limits may be met by industrial sources through pollution prevention techniques (product substitution, recycling, and reuse of materials), best management practices, or treatment of the wastewater. States and POTWs have the option of establishing more stringent requirements.
In the past, the regulatory burden associated with managing certain widely generated hazardous wastes (e.g., batteries, pesticides, and thermostats) discouraged facilities, particularly smaller facilities, from recycling these wastes. In order to encourage the collection and recycling of these wastes and to decrease the practice of their disposal in municipal solid waste landfills (MSWLFs), EPA developed a set of streamlined regulations to manage the hazardous wastes it deemed "universal wastes."
Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), from which it is often discharged untreated into local water bodies. To prevent such pollution, many MS4s, which are publicly owned or operated stormwater conveyance systems (including municipally owned storm sewer systems, systems operated by universities, local sewer districts, hospitals, military bases, prisons, etc.), are required to obtain coverage under a stormwater permit.
Effective December 31, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised its regulations for the export-import of hazardous waste with the publication of its final Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule (Export-Import Rule). The effective date, however, is slightly misleading, as not all provisions of the Export-Import Rule went into effect on that date. Several requirements, especially those related to electronic report filings, will be phased in.
Required by both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a hazardous waste manifest is the shipping paper for hazardous waste. The paper manifest travels with the hazardous waste from the point of generation, through transportation, to the final treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). Each party in the chain of shipping, including the generator, signs and keeps a manifest copy, creating a "cradle to grave" tracking of the hazardous waste. Hazardous waste shipments offered for transportation by a generator and shipped to a TSDF may, alternatively, be tracked with an electronic manifest.
Hazardous waste transporters have to follow both U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and applicable U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) management encompasses the regulation of all ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) that break down the stratospheric ozone layer through the reaction of chlorine and bromine with ozone. Sources of chlorine and bromine are both natural and man-made.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program was established under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and regulates discharges of pollutants from point sources (pipe, ditch, well, etc.) to U.S. waters. Under NPDES, all facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source into waters of the United States are required to obtain a permit. The permit provides two levels of control: technology-based limits (based on the ability of dischargers in the same industrial category to treat wastewater) and water-quality-based limits (if technology-based limits are not sufficient to provide protection of the water body).
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