Updated: Jul 21
Supreme Court Limits Power of EPA, Regulatory Agencies for Greenhouse Gas Emissions June 30, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-anticipated ruling on June 30, 2022, regarding the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. In my opinion, in West Virginia et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al. (Case No. 20-1530), the Supreme Court ruled that EPA had exceeded the authority granted by Congress under the Clean Air Act in issuing limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Proposed Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements Under The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
June 21, 2022
EPA is proposing to amend specific provisions in the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to improve the quality and consistency of the data collected under the rule, streamline and improve implementation, and clarify or propose minor updates to certain provisions that have been the subject of questions from reporting entities. These proposed changes include revisions to improve the existing calculation, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements by incorporating updates to existing emissions estimation methodologies and providing for the collection of additional data to understand new source categories or new emission sources for specific sectors. EPA is also proposing revisions that would improve the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule such as updates to applicability estimation methodologies, providing flexibility for or simplifying calculation and monitoring methodologies, streamlining recordkeeping and reporting, and other minor technical corrections or clarifications. Additionally, the proposed rule establishes and amends confidentiality determinations for the reporting of certain data elements to be added or substantially revised.
Spring Regulatory Agenda
June 21, 2022
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) just released the Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and De-regulatory Actions. The semi-annual Agenda details new regulations that Federal agencies like US EPA, US DOT, and OSHA have planned for the near future.
Source: EPA, DOT, OSHA
Frequently Asked Questions About Large Quantity Generator Quick Reference
April 19, 2022
In April, EPA published RO 14943, which answers frequently asked questions and clarifies RCRA regulations for the quick reference guide (QRG) provisions of the contingency plan requirements for large quantity generators (LQGs) in 40 CFR 262, Subpart M. The QRG provisions were added to the federal regulations by the 2016 hazardous waste generator improvements rule. [81 FR 85732] The new guidance answers over a dozen questions on the QRG
EPA Issues Health Advisories for PFOA, PFOS, GenX Chemicals, and PFBS
June 15, 2022
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on June 15, 2022, issued four-lifetime health advisories for several per- and polyfluroroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Source: Holland & Knight
Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Revised Clean Water Act Regulation
June 9, 2022
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule, anticipated to take effect in Spring 2023, to revise the requirements for water quality certification under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401. The proposed rule changes both the time in which certifying states and tribes must take action and what factors they may consider. The EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on July 18, 2022, and is accepting comments until Aug. 8, 2022.
Source: Holland & Knight
EPA Proposes Amendments to NESHAP for Miscellaneous Coating Manufacturing
June 8, 2022
EPA is proposing to amend the NESHAP for Miscellaneous Coating Manufacturing (MCM NESHAP) facilities (40 CFR part 63 Subpart HHHHH) to include hazardous air pollutant (HAP) standards for process vessels in order to complete the required technology review that was originally promulgated on August 14, 2020 (85 FR 49724).
TCEQ Air Quality Technical Information Meeting for Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Nonattainment Area
June 28, 2022
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will hold an air quality (AQ) technical information meeting (TIM) in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB), nonattainment area. The purpose of the meeting is to inform stakeholders of air quality modeling and other technical information relevant to the HGB ozone nonattainment area. The scheduled date and time of the HGB AQ TIM is July 28, 2022, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is Now Inviting Comments on The Texas Clean Fleet Program
June 14, 2022
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Texas Clean Fleet Program (TCFP) provides grants to encourage a person that has a fleet of diesel-powered vehicles to replace them with alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles. The program summary for the upcoming TCFP grant round can be found on the TCFP website. TCEQ requests comments on these no later than June 27, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. CST.
Final requirements for TCFP projects will be published in the TCFP Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) upon the opening of the program.
Submit comments to: email@example.com
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Template for MSGP Facilities
June 14, 2022
FREE is good! TCEQ's Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Template for the Multi-Sector General Permit is now available.
TCEQ Announcement on Permit by Rule Incomplete Process
June 3, 2022
Effective July 1, 2022, the TCEQ may not accept registrations submitted for Permits by Rule §106.261 and §106.262 if the accompanying workbook is not included with the submittal.
Effective September 1, 2022, the TCEQ may not accept Permit by Rule registrations that do not include Table 1(a) or equivalent emission summary table, emission calculations, or a process/project description. If registration is not accepted, the company will be notified, and the registration can be resubmitted within six months at no additional cost.
TCEQ: New Readily Available Permit (RAP) for Power Generation Engines
June 1, 2022
The Air Permits Division has released a new Readily Available Permit (RAP) for power generation engines. This RAP can be used to authorize an NSR initial action for the operation of up to ten diesel-fired engines and up to ten associated diesel storage tanks for the purpose of power generation at a new or existing site.
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HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCE
USPS Revises Publication 52 HazMat Postal Regulations
June 6, 2022
The US Postal Service has revised the regulations for mailing hazardous materials, including some electronic devices containing or packed with lithium batteries.
Effective immediately, the USPS Publication 52 standards for Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail are revised as follows:
Shippers/mailers must separate hazardous materials requiring marks or labels from other mail. The mailing of pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices containing (or packed with) lithium batteries is restricted to surface transportation only. Specific markings are required on mail containing lithium batteries in or with pre-owned, damaged, or defective electronic devices. The Interim Final Rule appeared in the Federal Register on June 6. USPS will accept public comments until July 6, 2022.
SUSTAINABILITY, ESG, AND CLIMATE ACTION
Real Zero or Net Zero
June 14, 2022
NextEra Energy announced Real Zero, the most ambitious carbon emissions-reduction goal ever set by an energy producer, committing to eliminating carbon emissions from its operations by no later than 2045, while leveraging low-cost renewables to drive energy affordability for customers. Reaching the goal would require significant investment by the company and transforming its generation fleet by eliminating all scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions across NextEra Energy's operations while enhancing reliability, resiliency, affordability, and cost certainty for the many customer groups it serves.
In The Race Against Time to Cut Emissions, Companies’ Supply Chains Are Key
June 8, 2022
With some 80-90% of emissions in corporate supply chains and in consumer use of their products, what is known as Scope 3 emissions, supply chains are where the greatest potential impact lies.
Regulators Ramp Up Scrutiny of ESG Funds
June 2, 2022
The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) oversight train continues to gain momentum with recent efforts aimed at “greenwashing” investment funds. Several actions reflect a confluence of global efforts to ensure that ESG-related actions, regardless of sector, are consistent, comparable, and transparent. Entities participating in the ESG investment sector should remain attuned to these emerging regulatory and enforcement trends, both in the United States and elsewhere.
The Impact of Policy Changes on United States’ Energy Transition
June 1, 2022
Addressing climate-related concerns head-on includes improvements to roads
and bridges, investment in public transport, the removal of all lead pipes, clean
drinking water for all, the modernization of airports, ports, and waterways—and
more jobs. However, President Biden’s proposed $1.75 trillion social spending
and climate mitigation Build Back Better (BBB) bill did not fare so well after it
stalled in the U.S Senate last November.