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ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE


Federal


Another New WOTUS Definition Incoming

August 30, 2021


The agencies will hold a virtual public meeting on September 2, 2021, at 2 PM ET to hear recommendations concerning the definition of WOTUS. The docket closes on September 3.


US EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will soon initiate a rulemaking to strengthen Clean Water Act protections and establish a durable definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).


The new rule will restore the regulatory definition of WOTUS that was in place before EPA revised it in 2015 (with updates to reflect relevant Supreme Court decisions). The 2015 rulemaking was repealed in 2019 and replaced with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule or NWPR.


Source: Lion


Update: EPA Proposes New TSCA Reporting Rule for PFAS

August 30, 2021


Earlier this month, EPA extended the comment period on its new TSCA PFAS reporting rule to September 27, 2021. The extension appeared in the Federal Register on August 3.


Source: Lion


September 1 Deadline for RCRA SQGS to Re-notify EPA

August 20, 2021


September 1, 2021, is the first deadline for small quantity generators (SQGs) of hazardous wastes to re-notify EPA (or their state environmental agency) of their activities. EPA’s 2016 RCRA Generator Improvements Rule added a provision to the hazardous waste regulations to require re-notification from SQGs once every four years on September 1 (40 CFR 262.18(d)(1)).


Source: Lion


Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Summary of Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation

August 10, 2021


The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act legislation includes several environmental-related components, including the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (S. 914) and the Energy Infrastructure Act (S. 2377), among others.


Source: Holland & Knight


Biden Administration Begins Process of Revising Waters of the U.S. Rule

August 6, 2021


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced their intent to undertake a two-step process to issue a rule that defines "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) pursuant to the Clean Water Act.


The agencies will first set aside the Trump Administration's Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which the Biden Administration views as significantly reducing clean water protections. At that point, the 1986 definitions will control agency decision-making.


Source: Holland & Knight


PFAS Bill Passes Major Milestone In US Congress

August 2, 2021


On July 21, Congress reached a major milestone on environmental mandates for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The US House of Representatives passed the H.R.2467 PFAS Action Act of 2021 by a vote of 241 to 183. The bill is currently under review by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.


Source: Lion


Texas


Announcements for New Source Review

August 26, 2021


The TCEQ Air Permits Division has released an update to the Oil and Gas Vertical Fixed Roof Tank workbook.


Source: TCEQ


Pollution Prevention Waste Management Workshop (Virtual)

August 19, 2021


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), U.T. at Arlington (UTA), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a virtual Pollution Prevention Waste Management Workshop on September 16. Topics include Industrial Hazardous Waste program updates, TRI rule requirements, P2 rule requirements, and resources for pollution prevention projects. The early registration fee is $99. Fees will increase to $125.00 after August 31.


Source: TCEQ


Multi-Sector General Permit (TXR050000) Renewal Period Begins

August 18, 2021


TCEQ issued the new 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) effective August 14, 2021. The 2016 permit expired that same day. The MSGP regulates stormwater discharges from industrial activities.


Facilities with a Notice of Intent (NOI) or No Exposure Certification (NEC) authorization under the 2016 MSGP have 90 days to renew it. Submit a renewal application between August 14, 2021, to November 12, 2021, in STEERS. Facilities with NOIs must develop and implement an updated Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) before renewing coverage.


Source: TCEQ


Looking to Replace An Old, Heavy-Duty Vehicle or Piece of Equipment? Check Your Eligibility for a TERP Grant

August 11, 2021


If you’re located in Texas and have an older vehicle or equipment that is still in operating condition, you may be eligible for a replacement grant under the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan Program (TERP).


Source: TCEQ



HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCE


Lithium Battery Updates in the 2022 IATA DGR

August 27, 2021


IATA’s 63rd Edition Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) manual will incorporate two major changes for lithium battery air shippers. The changes impact IATA DGR Packing Instructions 965, 966, 968, and 969.


The new edition of the IATA DGR takes effect on January 1, 2022.


Source: Lion


What's New in the 2022 IATA DGR?

August 23, 2021


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is set to publish an updated edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations or DGR. Mandatory compliance with the new IATA DGR, the 63rd Edition, starts on January 1, 2022


Source: Lion


US DOT's Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling, and Placarding Guide

August 19, 2021


An updated and revised version of US DOT's Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling, and Placarding Guide, is now available.


Source: PHMSA


HazMat Shipper 10-Step Guide

August 19, 2021


Download this guide to preview critical requirements for every step of the shipping process—classifying materials, selecting shipping names, packaging, marks and labels, placards, DOT reporting, and shipping papers.


Source: Lion


OSHA Issues Updated "Protecting Workers Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace"

August 13, 2021


The most significant recommendation is that employers follow the CDC’s recent updated recommendations for fully vaccinated people including by:

  • wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission;

  • choosing to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if individuals are at risk or have someone in their household who is at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated; and

  • getting tested 3-5 days following known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wearing a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.

Source: Seyfarth Shaw


PHMSA Proposes Hazmat Harmonization Rule HM 215P

August 10, 2021


On August 10, 2021, US DOT PHMSA proposed changes to the 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) that will harmonize domestic hazmat shipping requirements with evolving international standards. PHMSA’s periodic harmonization rulemakings are significant, bringing changes for proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements.


Source: Lion



SUSTAINABILITY, ESG, AND CLIMATE ACTION


Google to Launch Energy Compact Calling on Commitments to Accelerate Electricity Decarbonization

August 24, 2021


Google and the international organization Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) announced today plans to launch the 24/7 Carbon-free Energy (CFE) Compact, looking to create a global coalition of companies, governments, and stakeholders interested in the decarbonization of their energy consumption.


Source: ESG Today


Federal Council Sets Parameters for Binding Climate Reporting for Large Swiss Companies

August 19, 2021


During its meeting on 18 August 2021, the Swiss Federal Council decided on parameters for the future mandatory climate reporting by large Swiss companies. The Federal Department of Finance is to prepare a consultation draft by summer 2022 and will be based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).


Source: The Federal Council


State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2021

August 12, 2021


This year’s report sheds light on how companies put their SCS promises into practice. Of the many ways to accomplish this, three common approaches emerged, including supplier development, supply chain visibility, and environmental impact reduction. Supplier development was the most common across all industries; however, visibility proved equally attractive in manufacturing and transportation.


Source: CSCMP


Organizing for Sustainability Success: Where, and How, Leaders Can Start

August 10, 2021


As sustainability becomes more of a strategic and operational imperative, executives must lead the way to set up a sustainability organization that’s right for their companies and design according to sustainability topics, not sustainability overall


Source: McKinsey


Platts Extends Suite of Voluntary Carbon Credit Assessments Across Seven Separate Project Types Including Avoidance, Removals, Renewable Energy, and Methane Collection Credits

Aug 10, 2021


S&P Global Platts ("Platts"), the leading independent provider of information, analytics, and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, commenced publishing a new suite of voluntary carbon credit assessments across a variety of project types including removal, avoidance, renewable and methane collection credits, effective August 9, 2021. This brings the total number of project types covered by Platts first to seven.


Source: S&P Global


A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us

August 9, 2021


Nations have delayed curbing their fossil-fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years, though there is still a short window to prevent the most harrowing future, a major new United Nations scientific report has concluded.


Source: The New York Times


Extended Producer Responsibility

August 9, 2021


The U.S. went from zero EPR bills related to packaging to one, when Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 1541 into law. While Maine has taken home the gold, Oregon is hot on its trail with its own packaging EPR bill awaiting the governor's signature. Additionally, nine other state-level EPR bills (not to mention a federal bill) are under consideration.


Source: Greenbiz


Climate Change Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying – IPCC

August 9. 2021


GENEVA, Aug 9 – Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change (IPCC) Report, released today. Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion—such as continued sea-level rise—are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. However, strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. While benefits for air quality would come quickly, it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize, according to the IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on July 26.


Source: IPCC


This Startup Helps Companies Price Carbon

August 5, 2021


Sinai Technologies differentiates itself from other carbon accounting startups by focusing on helping companies calculate internal carbon pricing. The San Francisco-based company, co-founded by Brazilian-born entrepreneur Maria Fujihara and early Uber techie Alain Rodriguez, closed a $10 million seed funding round led by Obvious Ventures along with Ajax Strategies, Valo Ventures, High Alpha, and Climactic. That’s on top of the $4 million it raised previously.


Source: GreenBiz


Biden Targets Zero-Emission Vehicles to Reach 50% of Sales by 2030

August 5, 2021


President Biden is expected to sign an executive order today mandating the initiation of the development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards and setting a new target for zero-emission vehicles – including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric – to make up half of the new vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.


Source: ESG Today


Climate Action Pathway – Finance

August 4, 2021


United Nations Vision Statement: By 2050, financial markets, institutions, and systems are in place to support and fund a resilient zero-carbon economy and society, ensuring that temperature rise remains limited to 1.5 °C. This market alignment has been achieved through the corresponding alignment implemented in all areas of government, business, and human settlements, in partnership with civil society. As a result, flows of capital have been redirected to sustainable and climate-resilient development.


Source: United Nations – Vision Statement and Action Table

United Nations – Vision Statement and Action Table V2


DOE Awards $60 Million to Accelerate Advancements in Zero-Emissions Vehicles

August 3, 2021


The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced $60 million for 24 research and development projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks. The projects will help decarbonize the transportation sector and enhance the infrastructure needed to support the growing adoption of zero-emission vehicles crucial to reaching the Biden-Harris Administration's ambitious goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.


Source: Environmental-Expert


Net-Zero Insurance Alliance

July 11, 2021


The UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) brings together eight of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers to play their part in accelerating the transition to net-zero emissions economies. They are committing to individually transition their underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.


Source: UNEP FI




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