News & Analysis as of

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

This monthly publication provides information on compliance deadlines, regulatory developments, and other developments in federal, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire environmental and land use laws. NEW REGULATORY...more

EPA Releases Clean Water Act Final 2012 And Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans

On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Final 2012 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Final 2012 Plan) and the Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Preliminary 2014...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of Transportation - Environmental Protection...more

EPA Proposes to Eliminate Affirmative Defenses for Excess Emissions During Startups, Shutdowns, or Malfunctions — Get Ready for...

This past April, the D.C. Circuit struck down the part of EPA’s cement kiln rule that would have provided an affirmative defense to civil penalties for excess emissions resulting from unavoidable malfunctions. As we noted at...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of State - Environmental Protection...more

EPA Promulgates Final SNURs, Including Several for Nanomaterials

On September 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated final significant new use rules (SNUR) under Section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 36 chemical substances that were the...more

EPA Reinforces Standards to Use "Representative Data" After Sierra Club

On January 22, 2013, in Sierra Club v. EPA, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion that addressed some Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program issues. Following this...more

EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

On July 9, 2014, the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Division in Region 9 issued a memo to staff setting an “operational framework” to address “inhalation exposures [to trichloroethylene] in...more

You Can’t Estop the Government — Even When It Wants to Be Estopped

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that arguably explains everything from why the Tea Party exists to why otherwise calm and sane executives suddenly lose all their hair. Perhaps most astounding,...more

EPA Refuses to Amend Its Backup Generator Rule: Demand Response Breathes Easier

Last Friday, EPA published notice that it would not be revising its regulations on backup generators in response to three petitions for reconsideration it had received after it promulgated its final rule in January 2013. The...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

Agriculture in Crosshairs as White House Targets Methane Emissions

In March 2014, the Obama administration released a 15-page interagency guidance document that laid out preliminary steps for reducing methane emissions. That document asserts that agricultural operations are the top methane...more

EPA Lays Out Its Vision for the Future of the RCRA Regulatory Program

Enacted in the bicentennial year of 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is approaching its 40th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, and to lay a path forward for the future of the RCRA program, EPA...more

Group Of Senators Weigh In On Biogenic Carbon Regulations

On August 7, 2014, a group of nine Democratic Senators led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) sent a letter to the EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, on the treatment of biogenic carbon emissions from stationary sources. The other...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (August 2014)

IARC Classifies Dichloromethane, Other Substances As Human Carcinogens: In June, an expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that dichloromethane, a chemical substance used to make...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Environmental Protection Agency 111(d) Proposed Rule - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of...more

EPA Approves Maine's NOx Waiver Request – VOC Waiver Request Still Pending

Since the mid-1990s, Maine has had an EPA-approved waiver from the ozone nonattainment new source review (NNSR) requirements for NOx covering, at a minimum, areas of the state that attain the ozone standard. The NOx waiver...more

EPA Outlines Options Under Consideration for Risk Management Program Modernization – Will the "Safety Case" Model Cross the Pond?

On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a request for information (RFI) on changes the Agency is considering for its Risk Management Program (RMP) accident prevention regulations under section...more

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

The United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must reduce its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. The EPA tried to increase two of its permit...more

EPA Guidance on Pesticide Drift Will Affect Product Registrations

How to address and manage potential risks posed by pesticide “drift” -- the unintentional movement of some level of pesticide outside of the intended area of application -- has long been a challenging, complex regulatory...more

How Much Deference Do States Get in Entering CERCLA Consent Decrees? Probably A Lot, But Perhaps Not As Much as You Thought

In Cannons Engineering, the First Circuit Court of Appeals famously stated that, when CERCLA consent decrees arrive at the courts of appeal for review, they do so “encased in a double layer of swaddling,” because both the EPA...more

10th Circuit Limits ESA Consultation Obligations To Boundaries Of The Agency Action

This past week, the 10th Circuit held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had no obligation to engage in consultation pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) where the potential effects on...more

Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate...more

The Slow Grind of Justice for EPA's Carbon Emissions Regulations

It was inevitable that EPA's Clean Power Plan, regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants was going to generate law suits. Even if the suits are ultimately unsuccessful, an injunction against the Plan's adoption...more

White House Launches Major Push To Shore Up Support for Proposed Clean Power Plan

This week the White House is launching a major effort to shore up support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The historic and ambitious rule, proposed by EPA on June 18, 2014, (79 Fed. Reg....more

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