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Updated: Aug 22


ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE


Federal


EPA Proposes Revising the Regulatory Definition of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

April 29, 2022


EPA is proposing to exclude trans-1,1,1,4,4,4-Hexafluoro-2-butene (CAS number: 66711–86–2) from its regulatory definition of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) on the basis that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone (O3) formation.


Source: EPA


CEQ Reverses First Set of Trump-Era NEPA Regulatory Reforms

April 21, 2022


On April 20, 2022, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published a final rule rolling back minor regulatory changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process that it had promulgated in 2020. The new rule reverts to the language of CEQ’s original 1978 NEPA regulations but otherwise does not substantially alter the regulatory landscape. This is the first of an anticipated two-step process as identified in CEQ’s October proposed rule. The next regulatory proposal is expected to “more broadly revisit” the 2020 regulations and propose further changes to promote environmental justice, climate change, and other Biden administration “objectives.”


Source: CEQ


Proposed Certain Conditions of Use Regulations for Chrysotile Asbestos under Section 6(a) of TSCA

April 13, 2022


EPA is proposing a rule under TSCA to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health for conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos. Specifically, EPA is proposing to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos for diaphragms for use in the chlor-alkali industry, sheet gaskets used in chemical production, brake/linings, other vehicle friction products, other gaskets, and aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings and gaskets for consumer use. Additionally, EPA is also proposing disposal and recordkeeping requirements for these conditions of use.


Source: EPA


Supreme Court Issues Emergency Order on Clean Water Act 401

April 12, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court on April 6, 2022, issued an emergency order reinstating the Trump Administration’s rule governing Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The rule imposes limits on the timing and scope of a State or Tribe’s ability to add conditions related to water quality to permits issued by the federal government. The Court’s unusual ruling without much explanation reinstates the Trump rule, at least temporarily, until the Ninth Circuit rules on pending appeals challenging that rule. Regardless of the outcome of the appeals, a new rule is likely since the Biden Administration has proposed administrative action on Section 401. The Supreme Court’s rule clarifies how Section 401 will be interpreted in the near future, but the longer-term future remains clouded.


Source: BDLAW


EPA Proposes Chrysotile Asbestos Regulations

April 12, 2022


As a result of a TSCA Chemical risk evaluation, EPA has proposed regulations to address the “unreasonable risks” posed by chrysotile asbestos.


Source: EPA


EPA Revises the List of CERCLA Hazardous Substances

April 8, 2022


EPA is revising the list of CERCLA hazardous substances located in 40 CFR 302, Table 302.4 to ensure consistency with the statutory provisions that currently comprise this list. Revisions to Table 302.4 include: adding the Clean Air Act HAP 1-Bromopropane; removing RCRA vacated K-Code Wastes K064, K065, K066, K090, and K091; and making several technical and clarifying corrections.


Source: EPA


EPA Proposes Amendments to Manifest Regulations

April 2, 2022


EPA is proposing changes to the manifest regulations for shipments of hazardous waste that are exported for treatment, storage, and disposal. EPA is proposing regulatory changes to the RCRA hazardous waste export and import shipment international movement document-related requirements. Additionally, EPA is proposing conforming changes to the TSCA manifest regulations for PCB wastes to align with the RCRA manifest regulations and the e-Manifest program.


Source: EPA


EPA Re-Proposes Removal of Title V Emergency Affirmative Defense Provisions

April 2, 2022


EPA is re-proposing a document, first proposed in 2016 (81 FR 38645), which would remove the emergency affirmative defense provision found in the regulations for state operating permit programs under the Clean Air Act (CAA) because the provision is inconsistent with the CAA and court decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.


Source: EPA


WOTUS: What to Watch For in 2022

March 31, 2022


In 2022, the ongoing debate will continue over the hotly contested definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), a phrase that determines the scope of federal jurisdiction over streams, wetlands, and other water bodies under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The WOTUS definition is included in 11 federal regulations and affects, among others, NPDES and Section 404 permitting SPCC plans, and spill reporting. This year, both the executive and judicial branches of the federal government are expected to weigh in on this definition, without any guarantee that their interpretations will be consistent.


Source: JDSupra


Notice of Review of Nationwide Permit 12 for Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Activities

March 28, 2022


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice of formal review of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 for Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities.


This review includes a series of public and tribal virtual meetings to gather input to inform future potential decision-making related to NWP 12 as well as a public docket to gather written comments.


Written recommendations must be received on or before May 27, 2022. Public virtual meetings will be held on the following dates: May 10, 2022, May 12, 2022, May 17, 2022, and May 19, 2022.


In addition, the Army will hold tribal virtual meetings on the following dates: May 11, 2022, and May 18, 2022


Source: ACOE


EPA Proposes New Plan for Worst-Case Hazardous Substance Releases

March 28, 2022


EP has proposed to require certain facilities to submit a Facility Response Plan (FRP) for a “worst-case” discharge of a hazardous substance listed in the Clean Water Act.

Public comments are due May 27, 2022. The proposal would apply to onshore, non-transportation-related facilities that could reasonably be expected to cause substantial harm to the environment by discharging a hazardous substance.


Source: EPA


Texas


TCEQ Draft 2022 Annual Monitoring Network Plan

April 25, 2022


The public is invited to comment on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) draft 2022 Annual Monitoring Network Plan.


TCEQ


TCEQ IHW Fees Stakeholder Group Meeting

April 25, 2022


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be hosting the Industrial and Hazardous Waste (IHW) Fees Stakeholder Group Meeting on May 12, 2022, at 10:00 AM (CDT) to receive comments and information on the various industrial and hazardous waste fees administered by the agency. This meeting will include a presentation of information from TCEQ staff, a question-and-answer period regarding the IHW Fees, and then a stakeholder comment period. The IHW Fees Stakeholder Group is open participation, meaning anyone can attend the meeting and submit comments.


Source: TCEQ


Important Updates to the Permitting Process and Application Forms for Title VI Relating to Non-Discrimination Requirements

April 20, 2022


Applicants will now be required to provide a plain-language summary (PLS) as part of all applications subject to Chapter 39. When an applicant is required to publish their public notice(s) in an alternative language, a translated version of the PLS in the appropriate alternative language will also be required.


Source: TCEQ


TCEQ Releases Emission Reduction Credit Generation Workbook

April 18, 2022


The Emissions Banking and Trading Program has released Version 1.0 of the Emission Reduction Credit (ERC) Generation General Workbook. This interactive workbook is a tool available for point and area source ERC Generation projects to streamline the review process. Starting on October 1, 2022, all ERC Generation Applications must include the ERC Generation General Workbook. Applications with the workbook attached must be submitted through the State of Texas Environmental Electronic Reporting System (STEERS).


Source: TCEQ


TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair & Conference

April 1, 2022


Early registration is open for the TCEQ's Environmental Trade Fair & Conference. The conference will be held in Austin, Texas September 22, 2022.


Source: TCEQ


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HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCE


Regional Emphasis Program Will Target Respirable Silica Hazards in Six States

April 22, 2022


OSHA has developed a new Regional Emphasis Program (REP) to identify and reduce hazards in the cut stone and stone products industry, which OSHA alleges to have the highest documented overexposures to respirable crystalline silica in the Denver region over the past 10 years.


Source: OSHA


Shipping by Air: US DOT, IATA, ICAO Requirements

April 21, 2022


40% of shippers are unaware of the regulations for hazardous materials in air transportation, according to a survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2019.


Hazmat/dangerous goods shippers who don’t know the restrictive rules for air transport can easily make mistakes that lead to rejected shipments, customs delays, fines and penalties, and emergency incidents aboard aircraft.


In most cases, even shipments that travel by air within the US must be prepared according to international standards.


To ship hazardous materials by air efficiently, US-based businesses need to understand the relationship between three sets of rules, and how to apply them:

US DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR)

ICAO Technical Instructions (TI)

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)

Note: Dangerous goods or DG is a synonym for hazardous materials used internationally.


Source: Lion


Join OSHA to Discuss Protecting Workers from Heat-Related Hazards

April 8, 2022


On May 3, 2022, OSHA is having a virtual stakeholder meeting on the agency’s efforts to protect workers from heat-related hazards. Register in advance to attend, make verbal comments or ask questions. If you are unable to attend, submit written comments electronically to www.regulations.gov.


Source: OSHA


OSHA National Emphasis Program on Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards

April 8, 2022


OSHA issued a notice of a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards. This Instruction describes policies and procedures to protect employees from heat-related hazards and resulting injuries and illnesses in outdoor and indoor workplaces. This NEP expands on the agency’s ongoing heat-related illness prevention initiative and campaign by setting forth a targeted enforcement component and reiterating its compliance assistance and outreach efforts. This approach is intended to encourage early interventions by employers to prevent illnesses and deaths among workers during high heat conditions, such as working outdoors in a local area experiencing a heatwave, as announced by the National Weather Service. Early interventions include, but are not limited to, implementing water, rest, shade, training, and acclimatization procedures for new or returning employees.


Source: OSHA


OSHA Initiates Enforcement Program to Identify Employers Failing

to Submit Injury, Illness Data

April 5, 2022


OSHA is initiating an enforcement program that identifies employers who failed to submit Form 300A data through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Annual electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.


The program matches newly opened inspections against a list of potential non-responders to OSHA’s collection of Form 300A data through the ITA and reports all matches to the appropriate OSHA area office. If the area office determines that the establishment on the list is the same establishment where the inspection was opened, OSHA will issue citations for failure to submit OSHA Form 300A Summary data.


In addition to identifying non-responders at the establishment level, the agency is also reviewing the 2021 submitted data to identify non-responders at a corporate-wide level. This corporate-level review is being conducted for the nation’s largest employers.


Source: OSHA


OSHA Initiates Enforcement Program to Identify Employers Failing to Submit Injury, Illness Data

April 5, 2022


OSHA is initiating an enforcement program that identifies employers who failed to submit Form 300A data through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Annual electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.


The program matches newly opened inspections against a list of potential non-responders to OSHA’s collection of Form 300A data through the ITA and reports all matches to the appropriate OSHA area office. If the area office determines that the establishment on the list is the same establishment where the inspection was opened, OSHA will issue citations for failure to submit OSHA Form 300A Summary data.


In addition to identifying non-responders at the establishment level, the agency is also reviewing the 2021 submitted data to identify non-responders at a corporate-wide level. This corporate-level review is being conducted for the nation’s largest employers.


Source: OSHA


OSHA Proposes to Amend Recordkeeping Rules

March 30, 2022


OSHA is proposing to amend its occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulation to require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA that employers are already required to keep under the recordkeeping regulation.


Specifically, OSHA proposes to amend its regulation to require establishments with 100 or more employees in certain designated industries to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300, 301, and 300A to OSHA once a year. Establishments with 20 or more employees in certain industries would continue to be required to electronically submit information from their OSHA Form 300A annual summary to OSHA once a year


Source: OSHA


Hazardous Materials: Frequently Asked Questions—Applicability of the Hazardous Material Regulations

March 22, 2022


PHMSA is announcing an initiative to convert historical letters of interpretation (LOI) applicable to the Hazardous Materials Regulations that have been issued to specific stakeholders into broadly applicable frequently asked questions on its website. By creating a repository of frequently asked questions, PHMSA seeks to eliminate the need for recurring requests for common letters of interpretation. This Federal Register Notice introduces this initiative and its objectives to those subject to the Hazardous Materials Regulations. PHMSA’s objective is to gain insight regarding the utility of this initiative and topics to prioritize in the development of future frequently asked questions. PHMSA requests comments on the initiative and input on the prioritization of future sets of frequently asked questions.


Source: DOT/ PHMSA


SUSTAINABILITY, ESG, AND CLIMATE ACTION


Global Energy Perspective 2022

April 26, 2022


We’re in the midst of an energy transition that continues to evolve. An economic rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered price spikes for multiple commodities. The conflict in Ukraine has led to even further increasing energy prices and security-of-supply concerns. However, the transition to a lower-carbon energy system continues and accelerates, and the coming decades will likely see a rapidly-changing energy landscape. Our Global Energy Perspective 2022 provides insights into the longer-term trends that will continue to be essential in shaping future energy systems.


Source: McKinsey


Is Your Organization Ready for Mandatory Climate Risk Disclosure?

April 3, 2022


From McKinsey: The physical manifestations of climate change are increasingly visible across the globe. But in the absence of required climate-risk reporting, companies and investors have had to conjecture the impact on the economy. This was the case until last week when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to issue proposals that would require all public companies to report their impacts on climate change and lay out a concrete plan for the net-zero transition. How can your organization prepare for a new era of transparency in business? Check out these insights on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), the net-zero transitions, and more.


Source: McKinsey

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