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Regulatory Activity
Stay up to date with regulatory information in your state. Here's where you can see all the final and proposed rules, and notices published in the federal and state registers within the last 7 days.
Recent Regulatory Activity
New Documents
News:
Disputes about environmental preemption usually make news in the context of disagreements over federal versus state statutory and constitutional authority. But preemption can also be a source of conflict between state and local governments.
In a final rule revision, the EPA has provided petroleum and natural gas facilities (Part 98, Subpart W) subject to the Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) with a burden-reduction option for detecting GHG leaks from equipment.
As it proposed to do in June 2016, the EPA is adding hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a widely used flame retardant, to the list of substances that must be reported under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), more commonly called the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
Asbestos—a known human carcinogen the EPA was virtually powerless to regulate under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—is the most noticeable member of the Agency’s list of the first 10 chemicals it will evaluate under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the 1976 law. 
Both railroads and federal agencies are doing more to ensure that state emergency response commissions (SERCs) receive information about rail shipments of crude oil and other hazardous materials.
The U.S. EPA has just published in the Federal Register the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule as well as the Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule, both proposed in 2015.
More than 300 companies that identify themselves as members of the “business and investor community of the United States” sent a brief statement to President-elect Donald Trump, affirming their continued support of U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Change Agreement and other government and private sector measures to address climate change.
In one of its major end-of-year actions, the EPA on Wednesday, released its final renewal fuel standards (RFS) for 2017 and, for biomass-based diesel, for 2018.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) and DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) jointly announced the proposed final plan for offshore oil and gas (O&G) leases for 2017–2022. According to the BOEM, the proposed final plan makes available areas containing approximately 70 percent of the economically recoverable resources in the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS). Of the 11 lease sales being offered, 10 are in the Gulf of Mexico; only one—in the Cook Inlet Program Area—is off the coast of Alaska.
The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has published its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on OSMRE’s proposed Stream Protection Rule.
As has occurred with previous changes in the political party occupying the White House, the outgoing Obama administration is working overtime to fill the Federal Register with rulemaking that, if not finalized before January 20, 2017, may not see action under the incoming Trump administration. This phenomenon—termed midnight rules—is evident with most major agencies, including the EPA.
In a notice and as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA has issued its fourth contaminant candidate list (CCL 4).
White Papers:
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA has established requirements that owners or operators (O/Os) of Class II underground injection wells associated with oil and gas production maintain financial responsibility and resources to properly close, plug, and abandon such wells.
The EPA recently issued its fall 2016 Regulatory Agenda, which lists 49 actions in “final rule stage.” Some of these actions are technical or noncontroversial or intended to reduce compliance burden (e.g., updates of testing procedures, elimination of outdated information, switching to electronic mandatory reporting). But a large number of them will increase or potentially increase regulatory responsibilities either for specific or multiple industrial sectors.
Many small and/or start-up companies first become aware of the federal hazardous waste regulations because of their use of industrial solvents.
In a prepublication the EPA published a final general permit on remand for MS4s that provides a "state choice approach" for NPDES permitting authorities to choose between two alternative means of establishing permitting requirements in general permits for small MS4s.
Small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) must obtain coverage under the NPDES permit program. The MS4 General Permit Remand Rule establishes two alternative approaches an NPDES permitting authority can use to issue and administer small MS4 general permits. This fact sheet helps guide the regulated community through the rule changes.
The EPA asks and answers 9 questions about the Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions Final Rule. The longest and most detailed answer is to the question "What are the compliance dates for the final rule and how will some of the electronic submissions of hazardous waste export and import documents be phased in?"
EPA announces on October 28, 2016 the finalization of the Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule and summarizes the new requirements.
The purpose of this guide is to assist EPA, states and local governments in developing new or improving existing long-term stormwater plans that inform stormwater management implemented by communities on the ground.
Is it a correct interpretation that the hydraulic oil in a boom lift is exempt from all SPCC requirements because it is an ancillary onboard oil-filled operational equipment?
Throughout our construction project, we have amended our SWPPP several times. What are our obligations now that we have altered our SWPPP?
Will the 2017 federal construction general stormwater permit change my current requirements?
We recently purchased an existing building, but renovations need to be completed prior to moving into the building. What types of indoor/outdoor activities would trigger the need for a permit?
Updated Documents
In a prepublication the EPA published a final general permit on remand for MS4s that provides a "state choice approach" for NPDES permitting authorities to choose between two alternative means of establishing permitting requirements in general permits for small MS4s.
Small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) must obtain coverage under the NPDES permit program. The MS4 General Permit Remand Rule establishes two alternative approaches an NPDES permitting authority can use to issue and administer small MS4 general permits. This fact sheet helps guide the regulated community through the rule changes.
The EPA asks and answers 9 questions about the Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions Final Rule. The longest and most detailed answer is to the question "What are the compliance dates for the final rule and how will some of the electronic submissions of hazardous waste export and import documents be phased in?"
EPA announces on October 28, 2016 the finalization of the Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions rule and summarizes the new requirements.
The purpose of this guide is to assist EPA, states and local governments in developing new or improving existing long-term stormwater plans that inform stormwater management implemented by communities on the ground.
Any operator of a point source discharge of pollutants resulting from the application of pesticides is eligible for permit coverage under the Clean Water Act to discharge into waters of the United States in accordance with this PGP.
Pesticide General Permit applicants should refer to this fact sheet from the EPA on the Clean Water Act and NPDES program for discharging pesticides into waters of the United States.
The 2012 construction stormwater permit expires February 2017. The EPA has proposed the 2017 construction stormwater permit to replace it.
Use this fact sheet to help understand the proposed changes in the 2017 construction stormwater permit due out February 2017.
Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule: Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems Offshore Information Sheet
Regulatory Analysis:
Responsibility for the various actions that make up the EPA enforcement program is divided among different offices, EPA regions, and state agencies. Headquarters is primarily responsible for setting national policy, investigating and pursuing some national cases, participating in cases raising nationally significant issues, monitoring regional and state activities, and providing technical support. The regions generally take primary responsibility for performing inspections, issuing administrative orders, preparing civil actions, monitoring compliance with administrative and judicial orders, and providing support to DOJ for ongoing lawsuits. In many cases, states have primary enforcement responsibility, although certain statutory programs cannot be authorized (e.g., the OPA program under Section 311 of the CWA). Even though states may take an enforcement action, if a state fails to take action, does not obtain acceptable results, or requests assistance, EPA may become involved.
Boilers are a common source of air pollutants that are used at a wide variety of facilities, such as power plants, manufacturing facilities, refineries, mining facilities, hospitals, schools, hotels, and laundries. Boilers burn natural gas, coal, wood, oil, or other fuel to produce steam, which is used to produce electricity or provide heat. The combustion of fuels results in emissions of numerous pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter, and various hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), including dioxins and furans, hydrochloric acid, and mercury.
Many federal environmental, safety, and transportation rules contain requirements to train employees to protect themselves, the public, or the environment from workplace hazards. A few requirements are very prescriptive (e.g., detailed steps to certification), but most are "performance-based" in that they set qualitative goals (e.g., effective, lead to understanding, demonstrate proficiency) that allow the employer to determine the best way to achieve the desired outcome.
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