Hazardous Substances Environmental Protection Agency

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

EPA Opens Nominations For The 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has opened nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA). Since 1996, these awards have honored companies...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

D.C. Circuit Upholds Boiler MACT

If there’s any good news for industry in the recent 162-page decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on the Boiler MACT, we can’t find it. The court rejected all challenges by industry...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

August 2016 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses new FAA reauthorization legislation, DOT awards for U.S. carrier scheduled service to Cuba, DOT’s decision to address consumer notification requirements...more

Lesson of Ninth Circuit CERCLA Decision: Prepare to Prove Recoverable Costs

On June 13, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that a party which has settled its liability pursuant to a CERCLA section 1071 cost recovery claim may recover any response costs not covered by the settlement under CERCLA section...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

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Reauthorized

The newly enacted legislation further bolsters PHMSA’s growing oversight of storage and pipeline transport facilities. On June 22, US President Barack Obama signed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and...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

Implications of New Lautenberg Act’s Sweeping Changes to Toxic Substances Control Act

President Obama signed HR 2576, the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), into law on June 22, 2016. The Lautenberg Act makes significant changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act...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

What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: Product Regulations and Importing into the United States - What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You...

What do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have in common? Each is, of...more

Recent Developments in the Gold King Mine Spill

On Tuesday, May 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chair, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and committee member, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally requested a federal criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine...more

EPA Poised To Make Sweeping Changes to the Risk Management Program Rule

Chemical manufacturers and petroleum refiners are closely tracking the latest activities of a high-level agency working group formed pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Order (13,650) responding to the West, Texas,...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

Environmental Compliance Basics - The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act

Does your business use or handle chemicals? If so, then read on. EPA recently released its 2015 enforcement report, noting thousands of enforcement cases, tens of thousands of inspections, and hundreds of millions of...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Drinking Water Contamination in Flint and Other Communities Reveals Much More Extensive Problems

Flint, Michigan’s problems with lead in its drinking water have been well documented, and this has prompted reports of similar problems detected in other communities, even though these are apparently not as extensive as 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 Plans to Ease Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component to be Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced a proposed rule to add a subsurface intrusion (SsI) component to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System (HRS). Addition of a Subsurface Intrusion Component to...more

The TCE Noncancer Reference Concentration: Changing the Method of Weighing the Scientific Evidence Without First Reaching...

Now is the time to reflect on what portion of these regulatory decisions should be science-based, what portion should be policy-based, and whether the nontransparent application of agency lore is appropriate at...more

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