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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
News:
E. Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA, began the afternoon session of his hearing before the Senate and Environment and Public Works Committee by noting three additional legal actions he has initiated against oil companies in Oklahoma.
The EPA has proposed three rules that, collectively, map the Agency’s approach to fulfilling its obligation under the June 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to conduct risk evaluations for existing high-priority chemical substances.
E. Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general (AG) and Donald Trump’s choice to head the EPA, says he believes that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activity are a factor in climate change and that the Agency has an important role to play in regulating those emissions.
Do you know what’s in store for the Environmental regulatory agenda in 2017?
In a FR notice, the EPA has indicated its intention to begin rulemaking that may impose financial assurance requirements to ensure that sufficient funds are available to clean up hazardous waste generated by three industrial sectors: (1) chemical manufacturing; (2) petroleum and coal products manufacturing; and (3) electric power generation, transmission, and distribution.
Upon the imminent publication of a notice of final permit issuance in the FR, all 10 EPA regions will issue the 2017 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities to waters of the United States, better known as the construction general permit (CGP).
On December 31, 2016, the EPA's new regulations for exporting and importing hazardous waste went into effect. Are you aware of the new requirements and how they affect you?
The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a scoping report that, says the BLM, is the first step in a process that will produce a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in 2019 on the management of coal leasing on public land.
In a proposal that will likely be viewed by the new administration as another attack by the Obama administration on fossil fuels, the EPA is seeking to add natural gas processing (NGP) facilities to the industrial sectors that must report under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), better known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
In a nomination hearing convened by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson fielded multiple questions about the science of climate change and America’s role in international climate actions, particularly regarding the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
EPA’s final revisions to the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions under 40 CFR 68, also known as the Risk Management Program (RMP), were published in today’s Federal Register.
As required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA has completed its third 6-year review of existing drinking water standards and announced that eight standards are candidates for regulatory revisions.
There has been considerable interest in how the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) would address the Corps/EPA June 2015 final Definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in its reissued set of nationwide permits (NWPs). 
On December 5, 2016, the American Water Works Association and the National Association of Water Companies (AWWA/NAWC) filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, asking the court to order the EPA to reopen its Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category (ELGs, November 3, 2015, FR).
On the first day of the 115th Congress, Republicans promptly introduced legislation to explicitly weaken the powers of federal agencies in promulgating regulations.
The 115th U.S. Congress commenced with Republican Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) taking over as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), the legislative branch’s most influential environmental committee.
White Papers:
EPA’s final revisions to its 1992 Worker Protection Standard ((WPS), November 2, 2015, FR) included revisions to qualification requirements for trainers of agricultural workers and pesticide handlers.
Federal, state, and local governments have become acutely aware of the risks associated with rail transport of hazardous materials (hazmat).
Guidance Documents:
Large construction sites in Mississippi must have coverage under the large construction general permit or an individual permit.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
This fact sheet describes the changes the EPA has made to improve the regulations for generators of hazardous waste.
The EPA asks and answers 8 questions about the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule. One important Q&A is "What changed in the final regulations since the proposal"?
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.
Regulatory Analysis:
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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