Administrative Agency Environmental

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Progress Toward Renewable Fuel Standard Blending Mandates

The White House is reviewing EPA's proposed rules to set the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. The proposals are not currently publicly available, but EPA has committed to propose them by June...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose Regulatory Changes to Species-Listing Process Under Endangered Species Act

On May 18, 2015, the federal agencies that oversee the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service proposed significant changes to the process by which...more

EPA Issues SNURs For Several Biobased Chemicals

On May 8, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule for 25 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN), including several biobased chemical substances. The...more

MassDEP Has A Lot of Discretion in Implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act

Unsatisfied with the pace of the administration’s implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Conservation Law Foundation sued the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, seeking a court order...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Review of Representative Shimkus' Second Discussion Draft of TSCA Reform Legislation

On May 12, 2015, Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, released a new (second) draft of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (TMA2 DD). In April,...more

Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM...more

Federal Government Proposes Revisions to Endangered Species Act Regulations

While a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills continue to wind their way through Congress (see our May 6, 2015 post), Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)...more

Court Of Appeals Upholds General Permit Procedures For Storm Water Discharge

The New York State Court of Appeals, in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation , recently rejected a challenge to the general permit procedures adopted by New York...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, May 2015.

EPA Releases TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation, Initial Assessment For 1,4-Dioxane: On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan...more

PHMSA Steps Up Review of Pipeline Construction

Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement - The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction....more

How Dry You’ll Be: California Adopts Regulations for Mandatory Water Conservation

As California enters another summer under severe drought conditions, regulators are taking steps to encourage significant reductions in water usage. After years of a “carrot” approach, Californians may start seeing the...more

FREQUENT QUESTIONS: Form R Part II

As the July 1 deadline for filing the Form R for your facility approaches, these additional Frequent Questions may assist your preparation. Question: For purposes of Section 313 reporting, is ammonium nitrate in a...more

[Event] BakerHostetler Shale Symposium – June 4, Houston, TX (incl. Webinar Option)

There is little doubt that lower commodity prices have triggered changes in the oil and gas sector. While capital remains available, independent oil and gas producers will face challenges if prices do not rebound in the near...more

Is There Any End to Post-Closure Care Under RCRA?

Late last month EPA issued draft guidance on adjusting post-closure periods under RCRA. It’s not good news. ...more

California Water Law Update

To address the worsening drought, on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 (“Executive Order”), mandating a 25% reduction in potable urban water consumption. In response, the State Water Resources...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Analysis of Substitute Version of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

A new version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was considered for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on April 28, 2015. ...more

EPA Issues Interim Guidance Concerning Antimicrobial Data Requirements

On Thursday, April 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued interim guidance that it intends to clarify its toxicology data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides used on food contact surfaces....more

New Federal Oil-By-Rail Regulations Published

Today, May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule for rail transport of crude oil in the Federal Register. These rules come after several high-profile oil train derailments,...more

Far-Reaching Information Request on Nanoscale Chemical Substances Proposed by EPA

For the first time, and after multi-year negotiations with, and review by, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to use its authority under the federal Toxic Substances...more

The Department of the Interior does not list sub-population of greater sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered species, but...

On April 21, 2015, Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, announced that a sub-population of greater sage-grouse along the California-Nevada border does not require Endangered Species Act protection....more

Dispersants...Will We Ever Be Able to Use Them Again?

On January 22, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Proposed Rule on dispersants. The Proposed Rule drastically changes the EPA’s approach to dispersants and could imperil proven and effective means of...more

China Proposes Framework for Public Participation in Environmental Policymaking and Enforcement

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has proposed “Measures for Public Participation in Environmental Protection (Trial)” (Measures), which lay out a variety of mechanisms for public participation in...more

Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Another Chapter in Ontario’s Ostrander Point Wind Farm Challenge

In an important development in the ongoing saga of judicial challenges to wind farm developments in the province, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) has restored the finding of the Environmental Review Tribunal (“ERT”) that...more

EPA Embarks on First Major Rulemaking to Guide Regulation of Nanoscale Materials and Products

After almost a decade of study and input from stakeholders, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has proposed first-time reporting requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) for manufacturers,...more

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