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Methane Emissions Mitigation and More…


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ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE


Federal


How U.S. EPA’s New Environmental Justice Initiative Impacts Manufacturing Operations

November 27, 2023


The Environmental Justice Initiative seeks to ensure that all Americans—regardless of race, color, national origin, or income—receive fair treatment and have meaningful involvement with respect to development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.



New NPDES Guidance on Discharges to Groundwater

November 27, 2023


New guidance stems from a Supreme Court decision (Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund) and is meant to clarify when an NPDES permit must be obtained to discharge pollutants to groundwater.


Source: Lion


New Part 60, Subpart Kc for VOL Storage Vessels Proposed

November 21, 2023


Thousands of facilities throughout the United States operate tanks storing volatile organic liquids. These tanks often need to comply with various CAA standards, one of the most common being Subpart Kb under the NSPS program. EPA has reviewed Subpart Kb, a standard nearly four decades old, and believes it is time for an overhaul.


Source: McCoy


Taking Stock of a Big Month for Methane Policy

November 20, 2023


November has been a big month for methane policy, featuring announcements of new international, domestic, and private sector initiatives. A common thread across all of the new initiatives is the aim of achieving more ambitious, credible, and internationally consistent standards for measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MMRV) of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.



Treasury Department, IRS Release Long-Awaited Section 48 ITC Proposed Regulations

November 17, 2023


The U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS on Nov. 17, 2023, released long-awaited proposed regulations dealing with the investment tax credit (ITC) under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code. Energy areas for which the regulations provide guidance include solar, wind and biomass, among others.



EPA Finalizes HFC Technology Transition Rule

November 8, 2023


EPA published a final rule restricting the use of certain HFCs in aerosols, foams, refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump products and equipment. This rule will have broad implications for manufacturers, importers, exporters, and retailers of products that contain HFCs.



EPA Proposes an HFC Emissions Reduction and Reclamation Program

November 6, 2023


EPA published a proposed rule to establish an Emissions Reduction and Reclamation Program to manage certain HFCs and their substitutes. The proposed rule, Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Management of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons and Substitutes under Subsection (h) of the AIM act 2020, is the latest rule proposed to be promulgated under AIM Act.



EPA Announces Plan to Modify and Expand the RCRA Universal Waste Rule for Lithium Batteries and Solar Panels

November 3, 2023


EPA recently announced that it is developing a proposed rule that would (a) modify the existing “universal waste” requirements under RCRA for lithium batteries and (b) expand the universal waste rule to cover waste photovoltaic solar panels. The Agency has indicated that the proposal might be ready for publication by the summer of 2025.



Safe Harbor Policy Bolsters Case for Strong Environmental Due Diligence in M&A Transactions

November 2, 2023


The new Safe Harbor Policy should encourage effective environmental due diligence because issues that are identified can now be corrected and disclosed with the presumption that DOJ will decline to prosecute acquiring companies. Progressive groups are pushing back, but DOJ appears to be standing firm in its decision, noting that the Safe Harbor applies only when an acquiring company takes corrective action.



A First Look at the EPA's Clean Ports Program

November 2, 2023


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Ports Program is a $3 billion program established by the Inflation Reduction Act to fund zero-emission port equipment and technology, as well as assist U.S. ports in developing climate action plans to reduce air pollutants. As part of the EPA's broader Ports Initiative, the program is created to work with the port industry to improve the environmental and public health impacts of U.S. ports, while retaining jobs and competitiveness.



EPA Proposes to Regulate Trichloroethylene (TCE)

November 1, 2023


EPA is proposing to address the unreasonable risk of injury to human health presented by trichloroethylene (TCE) with the following actions: prohibiting all manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE and industrial and commercial use of TCE for all uses; prohibiting the disposal of TCE to industrial pre-treatment, industrial treatment, or publicly owned treatment works, with a time-limited exemption for cleanup projects; and establishing recordkeeping and downstream notification requirements.


Source: EPA


Texas


TERP THIVE Program Now Accepting Grant Applications

November 29, 2023


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) is now accepting applications for the Texas Hydrogen Infrastructure, Vehicle, and Equipment grant program (THIVE). Grants are available in the Texas nonattainment areas and affected counties for the implementation of hydrogen refueling infrastructure and the purchase or lease of heavy-duty on-road and non-road equipment powered by hydrogen.


Source: TCEQ


HGB: Latest Ozone Planning Activities

November 20, 2023


On November 29, 2023, the commission will consider proposal of the executive director’s recommended HGB Severe Area AD SIP Revision for the 2008 Eight-Hour Ozone NAAQS (Non-Rule Project No. 2023-110-SIP-NR). The executive director's recommended SIP revision would include a photochemical modeling analysis, a weight of evidence analysis, a reasonably available control technology analysis, a reasonably available control measures analysis, motor vehicle emissions budgets for 2026, and a contingency plan.


Source: TCEQ


Emissions Inventory Registration Now Open

November 7, 2023


TECQ will have a virtual only, half-day, no-fee workshop on January 25th, 2024. Take a moment to mark your calendar and register.


Experts will share helpful information to help you get ready for the 2023 Emissions Reporting year. Topics will include common issues in reporting and submitting an Emissions Inventory (EI), Particulate Matter (PM) Reporting and Web-EI account setup.


Source: TCEQ


TCEQ Tier II Reporting 2023 Annual Training Schedule

November 2, 2023


The Tier II Chemical Reporting Program is hosting free training classes to assist filers with preparing for their 2023 Annual Tier II reports. Tier II requirements and reporting procedures will be the focus.


Source: TCEQ


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HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCE


10 Most Cited OSHA Violations of 2023 Revealed

November 17, 2023


The yearly ranking of the most common employer health and safety violations can offer valuable insights about which OSHA rules trip employers up the most.


Source: Lion


SUSTAINABILITY, ESG, AND CLIMATE ACTION


California’s Comprehensive Climate Accountability Regime: Setting an Aggressive New National Standard

November 25, 2023


On October 7, 2023, California adopted a new set of far-reaching climate laws in the form of SB 253, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (CCDAA), and SB 261, the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act (CRFRA) (collectively, the “California Climate Accountability Regime”). Because of the sheer size of the California market—the world’s fifth largest economy—the new legislation effectively will re-shape the Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) and climate transparency debate far beyond the state’s borders.



EU and Canada Establish A Green Alliance to Deepen Cooperation on Domestic and International Policies

November 24, 2023


The EU and Canada have established a Green Alliance at a bilateral Summit in St John's, Newfoundland. The Alliance will strengthen political, technical, economic and scientific cooperation between these two like-minded partners. It covers climate action, environmental and ocean protection, the clean energy transition, green industrial transformation, research and innovation and climate and biodiversity finance.



California Enacts Anti-Greenwashing Requirements

November 18, 2023


On October 7, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB-1305, the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act (VCMDA).[1] The VCMDA is intended to address “greenwashing” by requiring detailed disclosure of the methodology for tracking and verifying claims made within California by entities operating within California regarding net zero, carbon neutrality or emissions reductions, as well as disclosure regarding voluntary carbon offsets (VCOs) purchased, used, marketed or sold within California. The VCMDA will become effective on January 1, 2024 and will require any covered disclosures to be updated at least annually. Violations of the VCMDA are subject to a civil penalty up to $2,500 per day per violation, not to exceed $500,000.



The State of ESG Goal-Setting

November 15, 2023


In recent years, the prevalence of ESG metrics in executive compensation design has expanded. 72% of the S&P 500 companies include ESG metrics in their incentive plans, up from 70% last year and 57% the prior year. The implementation of ESG metrics has also shifted over time towards more formalized, weighted inclusion in plans such as discrete weighted goals and modifiers, away from discretionary measurement approaches.



EFRAG And CDP Announce Cooperation to Drive Market Uptake of European Sustainability Reporting Standards

November 8, 2023


EFRAG and CDP have today announced a collaboration to accelerate the market uptake of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), adopted by the European Commission on 31 July 2023.


Under the agreement, CDP will explore and implement alignment of its disclosure system with the ESRS as EFRAG provides technical expertise, access and guidance. This collaboration will support the market readiness for quality environmental reporting by accelerating the implementation of the European sustainability reporting standards.


Sourec: EFRAG

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