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On Friday, February 19, 2021, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) rescinded prior draft guidance issued under the Trump Administration in 2019 (the “2019 Draft CEQ Guidance”), which had restricted the need for federal agencies to consider and quantify climate change impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On February 22, 2021, U.S. EPA announced that it was moving forward with implementation of several regulatory proposals issued in the waning days of the Trump Administration. First, U.S. EPA announced that it was finalizing its regulatory determination under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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In July 2020, we reported that Virginia, an OSHA State-plan State, was the first in the country to issue a workplace safety regulation specifically addressing COVID‑19. At that time, the Virginia standard was issued as a temporary emergency rule, which would expire by January 27, 2021, unless made permanent. On the expiration date, Governor Northam formally approved a revised version of the temporary emergency rule, 16VAC25-220, “Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID‑19, applicable to all regulated workplaces in the Commonwealth (the “Permanent Standard”). Although described as permanent, by its own terms, within 14 days of the expiration of the Governor’s temporary declaration for the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board must meet to determine whether there remains an ongoing need for the COVID-19 workplace safety regulation. § 20B.[1] The Permanent Standard is immediately effective, except that the program documentation and training requirements go into effect on March 26, 2021. The Permanent Standard will be enforced by the Department of Labor and Industry operates the Virginia State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health (“VOSH”). Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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U.S. EPA recently has approved two new products for use on surfaces in the battle to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID‑19. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2021 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On February 4, 2021, in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 13,990 (Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis), DOJ directed its ENRD Section and Deputy Section Chiefs to withdraw nine environmental policies that were put in place by the Trump Administration. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2021 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On January 19, 2021, four days after the close of the comment period, U.S. EPA issued its final guidance document to aid in implementation of its Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances (PFAS). Not surprisingly, the final guidance document remained largely unchanged from the draft version. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2021 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On December 18, 2020, U.S. EPA issued its long awaited interim guidance on disposal and destruction methods for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The guidance, which U.S. EPA was required to issue pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, discusses three disposal/destruction technologies—thermal treatment, landfilling and underground injection. Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On December 7, 2020, EPA completed its five-year review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for Particulate Matter (“PM”), a criteria air pollutant under the Clean Air Act. In a final action set to be published in the Federal Register in the coming days, EPA decided to retain the current NAAQS for PM, which have been in place since 2012. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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The Trump administration continues its efforts to issue new regulations in advance of January 20, 2021, with the Department of Energy (DOE) issuing a final rule that will exempt certain liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects from National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review. Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On the afternoon of November 30, 2020, the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) issued the final approval, allowing the emergency COVID‑19 regulation proposed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) and approved by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board) on November 19. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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The chemical industry has received some relief from a November 30th deadline to submit information to U.S. EPA pursuant to the Chemical Data Reporting Rule (“CDR”). Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) authorizes U.S. EPA to promulgate rules pursuant to which manufacturers and processors of chemical substances must maintain records and submit information to U.S. EPA. Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On November 2, 2020, Judge Cogan of the U.S. District for the Eastern District of New York dismissed the amended complaint of workers at Amazon’s Staten Island JFK8 fulfillment center (“JFK8”) against their employer over its alleged non-compliance with state and federal public health guidance and law during the COVID 19 pandemic. Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On October 21, 2020, the CDC published a new definition of “Close Contact” for contact tracing purposes. This new definition will affect how employers determine Close Contacts for purposes of internal contract tracing to limit and prevent exposures and spread of the coronavirus within the workplace. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On October 8, 2020, the Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging a DOJ policy that barred the use of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in federal enforcement settlements with private parties. Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On Friday, October 2, 2020, the United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to review of a decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that climate change litigation brought against various fossil fuel were not subject to federal court subject matter jurisdiction. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On August 30, 2020, the California legislature passed the Toxic Free Cosmetics Act making California the first state to ban certain chemicals from cosmetics. Governor Newson signed the bill into law on October 1, 2020. Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On September 14, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) issued a final rule intended to promote transparency and establish consistent requirements procedures for the issuance of guidance documents. Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On August 13, 2020, EPA issued two final rules that will have a significant impact on methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas. The final rules were issued under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) for the oil and natural gas industry and rescind Obama-era rules issued in 2012 and 2016. Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On July 30, 2020, New York’s Public Health and Planning Council voted to establish maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS, two of the more common per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS. Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Trump Administration announced the publication of comprehensive updates to federal regulations governing the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The updated regulations—issued by the Center on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”)—are provided in the agency’s final rule titled “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act” (the “Final Rule”), which is expected to be published in a forthcoming Federal Register publication. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On July 8, 2020, Judge McMahon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the Natural Resources Defense Counsel and other environmental organizations (“Plaintiffs”) failed to show that they were injured by EPA’s purported “unreasonable delay” in responding to the petition. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On June 29, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") issued a termination addendum to the COVID 19 temporary enforcement policy previously issued on March 26, 2020. As further discussed below, EPA’s temporary enforcement policy will now terminate no later than August 31, 2020. Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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As we have discussed in our previous blog posts, a growing form of climate change litigation in the United States consists of lawsuits filed by states or municipalities against private industry, and more specifically, the fossil-fuel industry. States, cities and other units of local government have filed lawsuits alleging state common law theories, including nuisance, trespass, failure to warn of the known impacts of climate change, and unjust enrichment. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On June 22, 2020, U.S. EPA issued a final TSCA significant new use rule (SNUR) for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemical substances. Specifically, the SNUR designates as a significant new use manufacturing (including importing) or processing of (i) an identified subset of LCPFAC chemical substances for any use that was not ongoing as of December 15, 2015 and (ii) for all other LCPFAC chemical substances for which there were no ongoing uses as of January 21, 2015. Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer
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On June 18, 2020, U.S. OSHA issued its “Guidance on Returning to Work,” (“Reopening Guidance”) compiling best practices and existing regulatory standards to assist employers and workers return to work and reopen businesses characterized as non-essential in the earlier weeks of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2020 at Corporate Environmental Lawyer