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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:
Seventeen states have decided to fight the EPA on the Agency’s June 2015 final rule governing the use of start-up, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) exemptions in state implementation plans (SIPs).
In a brief report, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) says that the Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) has developed a proposed rule regarding the management of pharmaceutical wastes, which has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Citing the emergence of new challenges since issuing regulations for water quality standards ((WQS), 40 CFR 131) in 1983, the EPA has come forward with final amendments in six areas of the WQS program.
In a final rule, the EPA has issued technical, monitoring, reporting, and work practice amendments to its 1996 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for both the phosphoric acid manufacturing and phosphate fertilizer production source categories.

In August 2013, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13650, titled Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, largely in response to the ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas. The EO directed actions to be taken on many fronts to address chemical facility safety, but two years later, what progress has been made on the front that most directly impacts industry—modernizing key policies, regulations, and standards?

Attorneys for 13 states in the western half of the country have asked a federal district court in North Dakota to issue an injunction to prevent the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from putting their June 29, 2015, Clean Water Rule into effect as planned on August 28, 2015.
According to recent polls, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker has lost some predebate backing that had him solely in third place with about 11 percent among GOP candidates. Walker is strongly pro-industry and development and has advocated for transferring U.S. EPA’s regulatory power to the states.
The EPA has revised its definitions of low-pressure gas well and storage vessel, which the Agency included in its August 2012 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) governing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from gas wells drilled by the oil and gas (O&G) industry.
With a package of three proposed regulations, the EPA is endeavoring to reel in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the massive and massively expanding oil and gas (O&G) sector.
With two related proposals, the EPA is endeavoring to require that more existing municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills control their emissions of methane and that new and modified MSW landfills meet the same, more stringent requirements.
State implementation plans (SIPs) and SIP revisions describing measures a state will take to bring areas into attainment or to maintain attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are forward looking.
The prepublication version of EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), requires that by September 6, 2016, states submit state implementation plans (SIPs) spelling out how they will meet their CO2-reduction goals for fossil-fuel power plants. The EPA says it will grant requests for a 2-year extension (to September 6, 2018) of the SIP submittal deadline.

Having a compliance roadmap will be advantageous as many industrial facilities bid adieu to summer and start preparations for more significant fall and winter precipitation events. Facilities that are not subject to the federal 2015 MSGP for industrial stormwater can still benefit from this same compliance roadmap because many of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) requirements and best management practices (BMPs) are similar for states.

Stating that it is concerned about acute risks to people from residential exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), the EPA is proposing a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) that would apply to the use of TCE in a consumer product.
White Papers:
Some of the most persistent questions about RCRA regulations involve the regulatory status of hazardous spent materials.
For years, environmental and public interest advocacy groups have been asking the EPA to add oil and gas (O&G) extraction to the list of industry sectors that must report under the Toxics Release Inventory ((TRI), Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)).
In July 2015, the EPA finalized updates to water quality standards. Use this EPA fact sheet to understand the new regulations for water quality standards.
This summary can be printed and folded for a quick reference guide to EPA's revisions to the Clean Water Act's Water Quality Standards.
This Special Report will help guide the regulated community through EPA's 2015 MSGP for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity. The 2015 revisions have significant deviations from the previous 2008 MSGP that warrant the regulated community's attention. This Special Report contains information on applicability, compliance deadlines, routine inspections and quarterly visual assessments as well as selecting and implementing control measures.
Property owners should refer to this quality assurance quality control guidance document from the EPA when sampling brownfields properties for contamination.
This comparison chart details the recent regulatory changes EPA made to the Clean Water Act's definition of "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS).
I have a question regarding the current management of oil absorbent pads at my facility AND the way I propose to start managing them in the future. Current Day: during the manufacturing process—transformers are filled with non PCB mineral oil and in about 20% of the transformers a vegetable based oil (FR3). See msds for the FR3 and the WEMCO mineral oil and the oil absorbent pads. If/when some of the oil is sloshed about on the manufacturing floor (no drains are anywhere near)—the employee used oil absorbent pads to clean up the mess and then place the pads in a 55 gallon metal drum. These drums are then collected and the pads are baled (similar to cardboard) and then managed as special waste. Proposed Path forward: I am working to a zero waste to landfill initiative and plan to begin placing the pads in the trash compactor with cardboard and normal refuse and then sending the entire contents to a waste to energy facility (i.e Covanta). I have submitted all the fo
Updated Documents
Forms:
The primary purpose of this federal notification form is to provide information about the installation, existence, changes to, and closure of underground storage tank systems (USTs) that store or have stored petroleum or hazardous substances. The information you provide will be based on reasonably available records, or in the absence of such records, your knowledge or recollection.
The primary purpose of this notification form is to inform implementing agencies of ownership changes for underground storage tank (UST) systems that store or have stored petroleum or hazardous substances. This form is for USTs in states that do not have permitting authority.
Facility applicants seeking coverage under the 2015 MSGP for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity within the "critical area" of endangered or threatened species or critical habitat must complete and submit this form 30 days before submitting the NOI.
In July 2015, the EPA finalized updates to water quality standards. Use this EPA fact sheet to understand the new regulations for water quality standards.
This summary can be printed and folded for a quick reference guide to EPA's revisions to the Clean Water Act's Water Quality Standards.
This Special Report will help guide the regulated community through EPA's 2015 MSGP for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity. The 2015 revisions have significant deviations from the previous 2008 MSGP that warrant the regulated community's attention. This Special Report contains information on applicability, compliance deadlines, routine inspections and quarterly visual assessments as well as selecting and implementing control measures.
Property owners should refer to this quality assurance quality control guidance document from the EPA when sampling brownfields properties for contamination.
This comparison chart details the recent regulatory changes EPA made to the Clean Water Act's definition of "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS).
This special report will help guide the regulated community through EPA's new regulations for underground storage tanks (USTs). The new regulations come packed with operator training, monthly walkthrough inspections, and secondary containment requirements. This special report will help any UST owner and operator comprehend and transition through the updated regs.
This letter discusses who meets the definition of "hazmat employee" including persons who perform duties that are regulated under the hazardous materials regulations and persons who, in the normal course of their employment, perform or manage the work of those performing such duties.
This chart provides a side-by-side comparison of EPA's 2008 MSGP regulations and the updated 2015 MSGP's regulations.
This chart compares the 1988 and the 2015 regulations in detail. Users can view the 1988 regulatory topics and citations and compare them with EPA's recent revisions.
This 3 page EPA fact sheet illustrates the facts for the revised definition of the Waters of the U.S.
This 2 page fact sheet provides users with the basic facts of the Clean Water Rule's revised definition of the Waters of the U.S.
Farmers and ranchers should refer to this EPA fact sheet on the specific impacts the Clean Water Rule's updated definition of the Waters of the U.S. have on agriculture.
Those involved in manufacturing, farming, tourism, and recreation and others should refer to this EPA fact sheet on the specific impacts the Clean Water Rule's new definition on Waters of the U.S. will have on businesses.
Community members should refer to this EPA fact sheet to learn the basics of how the Clean Water Rule's revised definition of the Waters of the U.S. will impact the community.
Developers should refer to this EPA fact sheet to learn the basics of the Clean Water Rule's revision of the Waters of the U.S. definition.
Members of local governments should refer to this EPA fact sheet to learn the impacts of the Clean Water Rule's revision of the Waters of the U.S. definition.
Recreational users should refer to this EPA fact sheet to learn about the impacts the Clean Water Rule's revision of the Waters of the U.S. will impact recreational activities.
Utility facilities should refer to this EPA fact sheet to learn the impacts the Clean Water Rule's revised Waters of the U.S. will have on utilities.
This EPA technical support document addresses in more detail the legal basis and the existing scientific literature in support of the significant nexus determinations underpinning the Clean Water Rule. The Preamble, the Science Report, this Technical Support Document, the Response to Comments, and the rest of the administrative record provide the basis for the definition of “waters of the United States” established in the rule.
Do you find yourself meandering through the EPA and Corps' revised definition of "waters of the U.S." (WOTUS)? Use this flowchart to help determine whether a water meets the new definition of WOTUS.
This EPA work plan describes the actions that the National Water Program is planning to take in 2015 to implement the National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its most recent final permit for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities, the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). This chart compares the 2015 permit and the preceding 2008 permit.
EPA published final updated ambient water quality criteria for the protection of human health for 94 chemical pollutants. These updated recommendations reflect the latest scientific information and EPA policies, including updated body weight, drinking water consumption rate, fish consumption rate, bioaccumulation factors, health toxicity values, and relative source contributions.
This comparison chart distinguishes the pollutants for the updated human health water quality criteria from previous water quality requirements.
This table summarizes EPA's updated water quality values for the 2015 final human health criteria.
This document provides technical information to regulatory personnel from the EPA and state, tribal, and local agencies for investigating and assessing petroleum vapor intrusion (PVI) at sites where petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) have been released from underground storage tanks (USTs).
This is a comparison table outlining the similarities and differences between the 1988 UST regulations and the new 2015 regulations
This booklet describes the 2015 revised federal UST regulation. If your UST systems are located in a state without state program approval, the requirements in this booklet and the state requirements apply to you.
The EPA published this notice in the Federal Register notifying industrial facilities that the 2015 MSGP for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities is now final.
This EPA Fact Sheet accompanies the 2015 MSGP for Stormwater discharges that went into effect June 4, 2015.
Industrial facility managers should use this quick EPA 2 page fact sheet as guidance for the updated 2015 industrial stormwater permit.
This document is intended for use at any site being evaluated by EPA pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, or the corrective action provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended; it is also intended for use by EPA’s brownfield grantees, or state agencies acting pursuant to CERCLA or an authorized RCRA corrective action program where vapor intrusion may be of potential concern. It is applicable to both residential and non-residential settings.
This document is intended for use at any site subject to petroleum contamination from underground storage tanks where vapor intrusion may be of potential concern. It is applicable to both residential and non-residential settings.
This fact sheet breaks down the complexities of the EPA and Corps' recent rule redefining "waters of the U.S." and identifies frequently asked questions on what the rule changed and its implications.
This draft report published by the EPA reviews, analyzes, and synthesizes information relevant to the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources at each stage of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle.
Regulatory Analysis:
Toxic air pollutants, also known as HAPs, are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer, other serious health effects, or adverse environmental effects. Other health effects can include damage to the immune system, as well as neurological, reproductive, developmental, respiratory, and other health problems.
In 1984, Congress responded to the increasing threat to groundwater posed by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) by adding Subtitle I to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), through the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments, creating a federal program to regulate USTs containing petroleum and hazardous chemicals to limit corrosion and structural defects. The federal UST program also established operating requirements and technical standards for tank design and installation, leak detection, spill and overfill control, corrective action, and tank closure.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires hazardous waste large quantity generators (LQGs) and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) to report every 2 years on the quantities, type, and management method of hazardous wastes generated on-site and hazardous wastes received from off-site sources. Referred to by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Hazardous Waste Report (EPA Form 8700-13 A/B), and by those in the environmental management field as the Biennial Report, the report must be submitted by March 1 of every even-numbered year with information of the facility's hazardous waste activities during the previous odd-numbered calendar year.
The regulation of wetlands in the United States involves a variety of regulatory schemes, including the Section 404 regulation for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act (CWA). In general, activities including placement of fill material, excavation, levee construction, land clearing or leveling, as well as road and dam construction projects, all require a wetlands permit under the CWA. For every authorized discharge under a wetlands permit, the adverse impacts to wetlands, streams, and other aquatic resources must be avoided and minimized to the extent practicable. For unavoidable impacts, compensatory mitigation is required to replace the loss of wetland and aquatic resource functions in the watershed.
Lead is a naturally occurring bluish-gray metal found in small amounts in the earth's crust. It has no characteristic taste or smell. Metallic lead does not dissolve in water and does not burn. Lead can combine with other chemicals to form what are usually known as lead salts. Some natural and manufactured substances contain lead, but do not look like lead in its metallic form.
Energy generation and the environment will always be very closely linked. The extraction and utilization of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, to meet our nation's energy demands have significant impacts on our environment. In an effort to mitigate those impacts, regulations have been or are being established, and viable, sustainable energy alternatives are being developed.
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