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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
In early November, eight Democratic senators wrote to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking that the Department of Interior (DOI) incorporate the cost of climate-related impacts into any revaluation of coal leases on public land.
The EPA’s January 2013 amendments to its maximum achievable control technology standards for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters (Boiler MACT) was a highly consequential action that prompted both industry and environmental groups to submit 13 petitions asking the Agency to reconsider certain provisions. In a final rule, the Agency has responded to those petitions and issued several revisions. 
Following through on a court ruling, the EPA has issued a final cancellation order for sulfoxaflor, a widely used pesticide active ingredient manufactured by Dow AgroSciences and registered by the EPA in May 2013.
With no opposing votes, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 (H.R. 1321).

As part of his Climate Action Plan, President Obama specifically referenced reducing carbon emissions from power plants, methane emissions, and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The EPA has been steadily moving forward to make these emissions cuts a reality with the Clean Power Plan and NSPS revisions for landfills and the oil and gas industry. Now EPA is turning toward refrigerants, specifically HFCs.

By identical votes of 52 to 46, the Senate passed two joint resolutions to block EPA rules that require reductions of carbon emissions from both existing and new fossil-fuel electric power plants.
Following attacks on civilians on November 13, 2015, the United Nation’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) addressing climate change will proceed on schedule in Paris, France, from November 30 to December 11, 2015.
The EPA is proposing a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to carry out its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) in states that do not have approved state implementation plans (SIP) showing how they will comply with the CSAPR.
The proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s wild Bristol Bay watershed entered the news again following release of an evaluation of EPA’s July 2014 proposed determination to use its Clean Water Act (CWA) authority to restrict mining activities.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) denied appeals from five parties to change parts of the agency’s Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFT) (May 8, 2015, FR).

Did you know that the EPA estimates the average cost to clean up a spill or release from an underground storage tank (UST) system is $125,000? To reduce the likelihood of a release or a spill, UST system owners and operators can take steps to analyze their risks by establishing a risk management plan (RMP).

Given that the states will do the heavy lifting to come into compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants (October 23, 2015, Federal Register (FR)), it seems fitting that the states also intend to assume major roles in the upcoming legal slugfest over the CPP, which will be referred by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
White Papers:
Public drinking water systems (PWS) have been meeting their legal obligations to provide their customers with annual Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR).
Organizations representing both airlines and manufacturers of aircraft are cautiously supportive of EPA’s plan to regulate aircraft emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
The phrase Chevron defense or Chevron deference comes from a 1984 opinion the U.S. Supreme Court issued in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council.
Guidance Documents:
Use this chart to check your state’s air emissions inventory reporting requirements and find contact information.
The 2016 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.
We collect certain hazardous materials, i.e. Ethidium Bromide and Formalin 10%, and label them as Non-RCRA Regulated Waste; are they still exempt from the OSHA HazCom labeling requirements as hazardous wastes are?
Updated Documents
Guidance Documents:
Use this chart to check your state’s air emissions inventory reporting requirements and find contact information.
The 2016 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.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gives the EPA the authority to require manufacturers and importers to provide the agency with information on the production of chemicals and their use in commerce. Under the Chemical Data Reporting rule, the EPA collects exposure-related information on the types, quantities and uses of chemical substances manufactured domestically and imported into the United States. The EPA collects this information via a Chemical Data Report (CDR), which is a complex electronic report submitted to the EPA every 4 years. And the next CDR is due in 2016! Are you ready?
The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was designed to enhance and, in many cases, build state and local governments’ emergency response and preparedness capabilities. EPCRA requires industry to provide information about certain chemicals and the quantities present at their facilities, so that state and local officials can plan for and respond to an emergency. This special report will help determine who is subject to the EPCRA emergency planning provisions and what actions must be taken.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established risk-based antiterrorism standards for chemical facilities, known as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). The CFATS program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure adequate security measures are in place to mitigate the risks associated with certain chemicals. This report will help you to determine if the chemical security requirements apply to your facility and calculate whether your facility possesses a threshold quantity of a chemical the DHS has identified as a “chemical of interest” (COI).
The 1990 CAAA established a program to prevent the accidental releases of hazardous substances. Facilities having more than a threshold quantity of a listed substance in a process must comply with the Risk Management Program, but the listed substances are not the only substances that pose hazards, and the established threshold quantities may not necessarily represent levels below which no hazards exist. It is for these reasons that the chemical accident prevention statutes contain a General Duty Clause, which greatly expands the universe of sources subject to 112(r). This report will help you determine if your facility is within the universe of sources covered by 112(r) and what you must do to comply.
This fact sheet provides guidance for persons who may be subject to the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule and provides information about issues related to changes to company ownership or legal identity which may affect reporting for the 2016 reporting period.
This table details some of the important differences between the 2012 CDR and the 2016 CDR.
This table details the reporting obligations for the 2016 CDR.
Review this chart to determine what requirements of the 2015 coal combustion residuals rule apply to existing, new, and expansions of solid waste landfills and surface impoundments.
Review this chart to determine the implementation timeframes (number of months after publication of the 2015 coal combustion residual disposal rule) for complying with certain new requirements applicable to CCR surface impoundments and landfills.
This EPA fact sheet assists NPDES permitees through the new electronic reporting rule finalized September 2015.
Facilities eligible for coverage under this permit are marine cold water net pen enhancement facilities raising fish species indigenous to the water body in which the facility is located, that are either located on Indian territory or owned and operated by an Indian tribe.
Abby Ferri, CSP, an independent safety and health consultant with expertise in SPCC compliance, discusses 2015 TRI Reporting. This webinar examines TRI changes, completing a TRI report, enforcement, and more.
UST owners and operators should refer to this EPA brochure to understand the compliance time frames for the new 2015 UST regulations
Regulated members of the oil and gas industry should refer to this EPA fact sheet on the proposed rule to prohibit indirect discharges of onshore unconventional oil and gas (UOG) wastewater to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).
Regulatory Analysis:
Although climate change remains a topic surrounded by controversy and debate that is zealously supported on both sides, actions are being taken that necessitate businesses evaluate their overall GHG management strategy. Regardless of whether you are a believer or nonbeliever in the climate change issue, regulations are being developed and implemented to monitor and control GHG emissions, and those taking note of these actions will be able to remain in compliance with any applicable requirements and avoid enforcement actions from regulatory authorities.
An environmental management system (EMS) is "that part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfill compliance obligations, and address risks and opportunities." (ISO 14001:2015, 3.1.2). An EMS is not a onetime process or exercise that a company goes through to comply with a regulation or standard. It is integrated into the organization's mission and daily operation.
This topic provides an overview of federal medical waste requirements, including the Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous material transport rules. Certain medical waste treatment technologies under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) also may apply.
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).
The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990 established P2 as U.S. public policy. The Act declares that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source, wherever feasible. In the absence of feasible prevention or recycling opportunities, pollutant by-products should be treated appropriately. Disposal or other release into the environment should be the last resort and should be conducted in an environmentally safe manner.
Agency inspections are visits to a facility or site for the purposes of gathering information to determine whether it is in compliance. During an inspection, facility and site owners and operators can expect to be interviewed, the review of reports and records, the taking of photographs, the collection of samples, and the observation of operations. Inspections are usually conducted on single-media programs such as the CWA but can be conducted for more than one media program. Inspections can also be conduced to address a specific environmental problem, a facility or industry sector, or a geographic area or ecosystem.
Laws have been passed in every jurisdiction requiring facilities to produce and retain records of various kinds. This ensures that state and federal environmental officials have access to documentation in certain critical areas of environmental regulation.
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