EPA Hazardous Waste Rules Adopted in 39 States…and More
RCRA Update: Latest on Generator Improvements Adoption
March 24, 2023
As of March 28, 203,2 thirty-nine (39) states and Washington D.C. have adopted part or all of the RCRA Generator Improvements Rule. The following states have now incorporated part or all of the RCRA Generator Improvements into their state hazardous waste regulations: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
EPA Proposes Novel National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for Certain PFAS
March 14, 2023
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication version of its highly anticipated proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for certain PFAS that, if promulgated as proposed, would set Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) for six PFAS: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), hexafluoroprophylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt (GenX), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS). This nearly 400 page proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register shortly.
Source: Beveridge & Diamond
Data Quality Issues with Hazardous Waste Manifests Submitted to EPA’s e-Manifest System
March 14, 2023
EPA has issued a Compliance Advisory to remind hazardous waste generators and receiving facilities about the requirements for complete and accurate manifests to track shipments. When entering hazardous waste manifest data to the electronic system, the receiving facility must certify that the data submitted is accurate and complete. In the Advisory issued on March 14, EPA warns that enforcement action may be taken against facilities who submit incomplete or inaccurate data through the e-Manifest system.
Upcoming Deadline for MSGP Facilities to Report in NetDMR
March 24, 2023
Multi-Sector General Permit facilities must submit electronic Discharge Monitoring Reports of all required monitoring results by March 31, 2023.
Facilities must submit results through the NetDMR electronic reporting system if they:
Must meet federal effluent limits within sectors A, C, D, E, J, O, and S (find a full list of activities required to meet federal effluent limits in Part III.C.2 Table 3 of the MSGP, TXR050000).
Must meet numeric effluent limits for hazardous metals and must report exceeding a limit.
Must meet benchmark monitoring requirements.
Discharge a pollutant of concern at a level of concern directly into an impaired water body.
Submit your results for the monitoring period from Jan. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022.
Texas ERIG Open and Accepting Applications
March 7, 2023
The TCEQ Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG) Program can help with repowering or replacing:
commercial fishing boats,
line-haul & switcher locomotives,
stationary equipment like turbines over 25 hp, and
select non-road equipment like off-highway trucks.
Applications will only be accepted until April 4, 2023.
The Advocate: Renew Your Stormwater Construction General Permit (TXR150000) Authorization
March 8, 2023
Effective March 5, 2023, currently permitted construction sites with ongoing activities have 90 days to renew their Construction General Permit (CGP) authorization. The 90-day grace period ends on June 5, 2023, at 8:00 PM CST.
Determine what actions you may need to take for your construction project.
For operators of ongoing large construction activities that disturb 5 or more acres, or are part of a common plan of development that disturbs 5 or more acres:
Create, update, and implement your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3).
Submit a Renewal Construction Notice of Intent using ePermits in STEERS.
Submit an updated Delegation of Signatory form in STEERS if applicable.
Complete and post an updated Large Construction Site Notice for Primary Operators form (TCEQ-20961) or a Large Construction Site Notice for Secondary Operators form (TCEQ-20962).
For operators of ongoing small construction activities that disturb at least 1 but less than 5 acres, or are part of a common plan of development that disturbs at least 1 but less than 5 acres:
Create, update, and implement your SWP3.
Complete and post an updated Small Construction Site Notice form (TCEQ-20963).
Calculate the rainfall erosivity factor of the site, and if it is less than 5:
Submit a Low Rainfall Erosivity Waiver using ePermits in STEERS.
Complete and post an updated Small Construction Site Notice: Low Potential for Erosion form (TCEQ-20964).
If you no longer need coverage under the CGP you must submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) using ePermits in STEERS before your permit authorization expires on June 5, 2023.
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HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCE
How OSHA Decides to Inspect a Workplace
March 14, 2023
OSHA prioritizes its time and resources using a six-tiered system:
1. Imminent danger situations - An imminent danger situation is a hazard that could cause death or serious physical harm.
2. Severe injuries and illnesses - OSHA requires employers to report within 8 hours any work-related fatality and to report the most severe types of injuries or illnesses—those involving hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye—within 24 hours
3. Worker complaints - OSHA follows up on allegations by employees about hazardous conditions or OSHA violations on the job. Employees who report unsafe workplaces are treated as whistle blowers under the law; they may remain anonymous and are protected from retaliation
4. Referrals - OSHA receives reports from individuals, organizations, and all levels of government agencies. A media report about unsafe working conditions could catch officials' attention as well.
5. Targeted inspections - Inspections aimed at specific high-hazard industries or workplaces that have experienced high rates of injuries and illnesses. OSHA relies, in part, on injury and illness data submitted by employers to target sites under this enforcement program.
6. Follow-up inspections - OSHA will return to a workplace where they found violations to ensure the violation has been corrected since the initial (or most recent) inspection.
PHMSA Prepares to Adopt Hazmat Rule Petitions
March 3, 2023
US DOT PHMSA has proposed to revise the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) by adopting petitions for rulemaking from stakeholders to update, clarify, and improve the regulations.
Changes to the HMR proposed in this rule, based on stakeholder petitions, include revisions to:
Allow more flexible packaging options for compressed natural gas in cylinders.
Streamline the approval process for repairing specific cylinders.
Harmonize with international standards for de minimis amounts of Division 6.1, PG I materials.
Clarify exceptions for marking packages that contain lithium button cells installed in equipment.
Clarify rules for filling cylinders used to transport hydrogen and hydrogen mixtures.
Require a marking on cylinders to indicate compliance with certain HMR provisions.
Allow shippers to use additional descriptions for certain gas mixtures.
Update explosives safety documents incorporated in the HMR by reference.
Modify the definition of “liquid” to incorporate an additional test method for fluidity.
Incorporate-by-reference five Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publications.
PHMSA will accept public comments on the proposed HMR revisions until May 2, 2023.
SUSTAINABILITY, ESG, AND CLIMATE ACTION
Climate Disclosure Starter Guide: Measuring, Managing, And Reporting Scope 1, 2, And 3 Emissions
March 24, 2023
External forces, including pressures and mandates from regulators, investors, and other stakeholders, are driving many companies across sizes and industries to embark on the journey of emissions measurement, management, and disclosure.
Companies are increasingly establishing decarbonization targets with carbon neutral, net zero, and even climate-positive pledges. But it can be challenging to put together a sound decarbonization strategy before developing a robust process for measuring, managing, and reporting carbon emissions.
Chubb to Require Methane Emissions Reduction Plans from Oil & Gas Clients
March 23, 2023
Property and casualty insurance company Chubb unveiled new climate-focused underwriting criteria for oil and gas extraction projects, including making insurance coverage contingent on client adoption of evidence-based plans to reduce methane emissions.
Source: ESG Today
FCA Outlines Where Improvements Are Needed in ESG Benchmarks
March 22, 2023
In September 2022, FCA sent a portfolio letter to benchmark administrators highlighting the risk of poor disclosures for ESG benchmarks. High quality ESG benchmarks are important to support trust in the market for ESG products and the transition to a net zero economy. FCA has now completed a preliminary review on ESG benchmarks. This found that the overall quality of ESG-related disclosures made by benchmark administrators was poor:
Not enough detail on the ESG factors considered in benchmark methodologies.
Not ensuring that the underlying methodologies for ESG data and ratings products used in benchmarks are accessible, clearly presented and explained to users.
Not fully implementing ESG disclosure requirements.
Benchmark administrators failing to implement their ESG benchmarks’ methodologies correctly – for example, using outdated data and ratings or failing to apply ESG exclusion criteria.
Directive of The European Parliament and Of the Council on Substantiation and Communication of Explicit Environmental Claims (Green Claims Directive)
March 22, 2023
The European Commission has proposed the “Directive on Green Claims,” a new set of rules requiring companies to substantiate and verify their environmental claims and labels, aimed at protecting consumers from greenwashing.
Source: European Union
The U.S. SEC’s Climate Change Proposal Explained
March 14, 2023
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate-related disclosures proposal has received both backing and criticism since its March 2022 release. The potential mandate of Scope 3 reporting and the short time frame to enact could lead to many companies being underprepared.
Proposed US Climate-Related Disclosures – Looking Beyond The SEC
March 6, 2023
Corporations are eagerly awaiting finalization of the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule, which is expected to come by mid-2023. While the SEC’s proposal has garnered much attention – resulting in over 14,000 comments – several other governing bodies have also tendered pieces of legislation that, if passed, would significantly impact subject firms.