Hazardous Substances Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

EPA's New Enforcement Initiative Stumbles Out of the Gate

As a result of the D.C. Court of Appeals' (COA) ruling on September 26, 2016 invalidating a Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Memorandum, one of the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

New EPA Facility Safety Rule Faces Uncertain Future

On October 14, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent its final revised facility safety rule to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for pre-publication review. The rule would update EPA’s Risk...more

“Oh The Times . . . They are A-Changing:” EPA & DOJ Follow Through on Worker Endangerment Initiative

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that four Texas companies agreed to plead guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Air Act at oil and chemical processing facilities, and to collectively...more

Air Dud: Emitters of Hazardous Substances Not Liable Under CERCLA

In a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that facilities with air emissions that included hazardous substances could not be liable for remediating other properties contaminated by those hazardous...more

Environmental Notes - August 2016

Time to Pay More: EPA Increases Maximum Civil Penalties - Remember the days when the maximum civil penalty EPA could assess for a violation of environmental law was $25,000 per day? Those days disappeared 26 years ago...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

An Air of Change in CERCLA Liability? Pakootas v. Teck Cominco and CERCLA’s Federal Permit Shield

A case recently argued before the Ninth Circuit, Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., 9th Cir., No. 15-35228, could pave the way for a new theory of liability for parties who release air emissions during the course of...more

Feds Crack Down on Unsafe Asbestos Removal

The unsafe removal of asbestos by unprotected workers poses a huge health and safety risk in today’s workplace. Although asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is not banned and continues to pose dangers...more

EPA Proposes Significant Expansions of Its Risk Management/Accidental Release Prevention Program

On March 14, 2016, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed revisionsto the Risk Management Program (RMP) (also known as Accidental Release Prevention) rule at 40 CFR Part 68, under Section 112(r) of the...more

Proposed Rule Adding Vapor Intrusion Component to Hazard Ranking System Published in the Federal Register Today

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule in the Federal Register which would add a vapor intrusion component to the Hazard Ranking System, the system EPA uses to evaluate sites for...more

Risky Business: EPA Plans Enhanced Enforcement Focus on Chemical Safety

EPA has made reducing the risk of accidental releases of hazardous chemicals at industrial and chemical facilities one of its top enforcement priorities for 2017 to 2019. This increased enforcement focus on industrial...more

EPA Poised to Elevate Clean Air Act 112(r) Enforcement

Overview - In the wake of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent $5.6 million settlement with Bayer CropScience under Clean Air Act Section 112(r), companies should expect more from EPA in the...more

Supreme Court Tells EPA Cost Does Matter

The Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) placed national limits on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. The agency projected MATS to prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700...more

RMP and General Duty Clause Enforcement Continues at EPA Region 1

As we reported last year, the U.S. EPA has stepped up its enforcement activity under the risk management provisions of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), Section 112(r), focusing on both the Risk Management Plan (“RMP”) program rules...more

Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Costs in Power Plant Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Michigan v. EPA, reversing a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in...more

Wrap-up of Federal Chemical Regulatory Developments - June 2014

EPA Extols Pesticide Civil Penalty, But The Decision Could Be Problematic For Registrants And EPA: On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Liphatech, Inc. (Liphatech), a pesticide...more

Do I Have to Think About Environmental Compliance?

Electric utilities, pulp and paper mills, and manufacturers of all types are subject to a wide range of environmental requirements. Other businesses—like retail facilities, warehouses, and property management companies—are...more

EPA Conditionally Excludes CO2 Geologic Sequestration from RCRA Regulation

On December 19, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule revising the definition of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), to conditionally exclude carbon dioxide...more

Third Circuit Holds “Source State” Common Law Tort Claims Not Preempted by Federal Clean Air Act

In an opinion filed on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit held that the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) does not preempt common law tort claims grounded in state law and brought against a...more

Massachusetts Packaging Plant Pays Nearly $485K Penalty For Environmental Violations

A packaging company in Dudley, MA has agreed to pay $484,900 in penalties to settle EPA claims that the company violated numerous federal and state regulations. The violations occurred at the company’s liquid and aerosol...more

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