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On August 12, 2022, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of U.S. EPA’s proposed rule to designate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as CERCLA hazardous substances. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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By Allison A. Torrence In a compromise move many months in the making, on August 7, 2022, the Senate passed a spending bill dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which contains provisions aimed at lowering drug prices and health care premiums, reducing inflation, and most notably for our readers, investing approximately $369 billion in energy security and climate change programs over the next ten years. Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On the final day of its 2022 term, the Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated opinion in the case of West Virginia v. EPA, 579 U.S. __ (2022), addressing EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), but having much broader implications for the authority of all administrative agencies, signaling a significant shift in the standards used to review administrative actions. Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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U.S. EPA issued its long anticipated interim updated drinking water health advisories for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) that replace previous health advisories for these per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that had been set at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On May 18, 2022, U.S. EPA updated its Regional Screening Level tables to include five new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The five new PFAS compounds added to the RSL tables are hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt (HFPO-DA – sometimes referred to as GenX chemicals), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS). Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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Since early 2021, the SEC has emphasized that ESG-related issues are important to investors and a key SEC disclosure and enforcement priority. Although the agency’s heightened focus on these issues led to the recent proposal for new climate disclosures, the SEC also has made clear that it would seek to bring cases under existing law and not wait for new rules to be passed. Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On April 21st, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed into law Senate Bill 113 that provides a cause of action for medical monitoring for individuals exposed to toxic chemicals. Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.” While this ancient Chinese proverb most likely did not envision the construction of large-scale, offshore wind farms, its wisdom remains strikingly applicable to the United States’ energy and infrastructure policies in the 21st Century. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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However, while the war in Ukraine is one of the latest events causing a surge of refugees, those fleeing Russian aggression are by no means alone. As of the most recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (“UNHCR”), which counts until mid-2021, there were 20,835,367 people qualified as refugees under the UNHCR’s mandate – an uptick from the 20,661,855 recorded in 2020. Additionally, the UNHCR tracked 50,872,901 “internally displaced persons of concern” during the same period in 2021. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On the 60th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carlson’s groundbreaking book “Silent Spring”, the world continues to struggle to manage the human health and environmental risks associated with newly discovered emerging contaminants. Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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As we near Earth Day 2022, the United States may be headed toward a profound change in the way EPA and similar administrative agencies regulate the complex areas of environmental law. EPA began operating more than 50 years ago in 1970, and has been tasked with promulgating and enforcing some of the most complex regulations on the books. From the Clean Air Act to the Clean Water Act; to CERCLA and RCRA and TSCA; and everything in between. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On this 52nd anniversary of Earth Day, I am not writing yet another, typically not very funny, riff on one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines.[1] Instead, I am inspired by one of the most popular of our blogs, written in 2017 by our talented former partner, E. Lynn Grayson, “Imagine a Day Without Water.” To start our Earth Week series of daily blogs by our firm’s EHS department, I offer words of hope and gratitude for the vast amount of work that has been done to improve and protect the environment – work done by lawyers, scientists, policy makers, and members of the public, to name a few. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On April 8, 2022, U.S. EPA added the industrial solvent 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to its list of CERCLA hazardous substances; this listing was triggered by U.S. EPA’s decision to add 1-BP to the Clean Air Act’s list of hazardous air pollutants in January 2022. Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved the issuance of proposed new disclosure rules [cited as “PR, p. __”], titled The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors, that would require both domestic and foreign public companies to provide certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports and certain ongoing updates in their quarterly reports. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On March 22, 2022, U.S. EPA released a new web tool designed to ensure that information regarding environmental violations and enforcement actions is more readily available to the public. The new tool, called ECHO Notify, allows users to sign up for weekly emails when new information is available with respect to violations of environmental statutes or enforcement actions in a specific geographic area or with respect to a particular facility. Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On Thursday, March 17, 2022, the Ninth Circuit issued a critical decision in California Chamber of Commerce v. CERT, No. 21-15745 (9th Cir. 2022), reinstating a preliminary injunction against the filing or prosecuting of any new lawsuits to enforce Proposition 65’s warning requirements as applied to acrylamide in food and beverage products. Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is meeting this Monday, March 21, to determine whether to propose amendments to existing law to “enhance and standardize registrants’ climate-related disclosures.” Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On March 11, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced it was proposing new regulations that would require certain facilities located close to navigable waters create and submit Facility Response Plans for worst case discharges of hazardous substances. Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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In connection with the release of its 2020 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis which evidenced a 10% decline in environmental releases of TRI chemicals between 2019 and 2020, U.S. EPA also announced that it intends to initiate a rulemaking later in 2022 that will, among other things, remove the de minimis exemption for reporting the 172 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that were added to TRI by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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In what could portend significant risk to the regulated community, a recent “overfiling” by U.S. EPA in connection with a Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement between the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and a steel plant should at a minimum cause the regulated community to be cautious when entering into settlement agreements with state regulators. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On January 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on the scope and authority of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). The Court granted certiorari in the case of Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 19-35469, on appeal from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On January 10, 2022, U.S. EPA forwarded a proposed rule that seeks to designate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Although not unexpected since this was a key element of U.S. EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, U.S. EPA’s proposed rule is unique in that it represents one of the first times that U.S. EPA has by rule sought to designate a chemical as a CERCLA hazardous substance. Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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EPA faces continuing pressure to improve the way it protects communities from lead in drinking water. One focus of the current EPA has been the Lead and Copper Drinking Water Rule Revisions (“LCRR”), promulgated under the Trump administration. Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2022 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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Over the past week, several new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been added to California’s Proposition 65 list. In March 2021, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) selected perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and its salt and transformation and degradation precursors for evaluation by California’s Carcinogenic Identification Committee (CIC). OEHHA also selected perfluoronanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFDA) for evaluation by California’s Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC). Several industry groups submitted comments in opposition to adding these PFAS chemicals to the Proposition 65 lists. Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2021 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On Monday, October 18, 2021, U.S. EPA released its PFAS Strategic Roadmap (Roadmap) outlining the agency’s three-year strategy for addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Roadmap notes that U.S. EPA cannot solve the problem of “forever chemicals” by tackling only one route of exposure or one use at a time. Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2021 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer