Updated: Aug 16, 2022
EPA Issues Significant New Use Rules
December 10, 2021
EPA is issuing Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for 46 chemical substances. Persons must notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing manufacture, import, or processing of any of these chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this rule.
Source: Dakota Software
EPA Proposes to Revise Definition of Waters of the United States
December 8, 2021
EPA is proposing to revise the definition of "Waters of the United States" by restoring the 1986 definition (that which was in place prior to the 2015 Clean Water Rule (80 FR 37054)), with amendments to reflect the Agency's determination of the statutory limits on the scope of the definition, informed by Supreme Court case law. The proposed definition includes: traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and the territorial seas, and their adjacent wetlands; most impoundments of "waters of the United States" tributaries to traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, the territorial seas, and impoundments that meet either the relatively permanent standard or the significant nexus standard; wetlands adjacent to impoundments and tributaries, that meet either the relatively permanent standard or the significant nexus standard; and "other waters" that meet either the relatively permanent standard or the significant nexus standard. The proposed definition excludes prior converted cropland and waste treatment systems.
Source: Dakota Software
New Pipeline Regulations: Gas Gathering
December 1, 2021
U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule (“final rule”) expanding onshore pipeline gas gathering regulations on November 15, 2021. The language contained within the legislation has been in the makings for over a decade.
Pending Rule Adoptions
December 30, 2021
TCEQ is adopting the federal RCRA hazardous waste generator improvements rules and adding hazardous waste aerosol cans to the universal waste program, among other things. The pending adoption date is January 12, 2022.
New Process for Mailing the CY 2021 Air Emissions Inventory Courtesy Notifications
December 21, 2021
TCEQ has a new process for mailing the CY 2021 air emissions inventory courtesy notifications. A completed CY 2021 emissions inventory is required to be submitted in accordance with 30 TAC 101.10 by March 31, 2022, or as directed by the commission.
Emissions Inventory Workshop
December 16, 2021
TCEQ is hosting a half-day Emissions Inventory workshop on January 27, 2022. The workshop is online and offered at no cost. Topics to be covered include updates for the upcoming 2021 reporting year, basic terms and concepts, guidance for estimating emissions from equipment leak fugitive emissions sources, and Web-EI reporting.
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HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCE
U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments on OSHA ETS Vaccine Mandate on Jan. 7, 2022
December 28, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled expedited oral arguments on January 7, 2022, in key federal vaccine mandate cases. The cases involve the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires a vaccine-or-test mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees.
Source: JD Supra, LLC
Statement From the US Department of Labor on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Dissolving the Stay of OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard on Vaccination and Testing
December 18, 2021
On Friday, December 17, the Sixth Circuit Court dissolved the stay issued by the Fifth Circuit Court for OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard.
The next day, OSHA responded by releasing a statement addressing enforcement and compliance. OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates and will not issue citations for non-compliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard. Immediately following the decision, multiple State attorneys general and private entities filed emergency applications with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting stays.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
SUSTAINABILITY, ESG, AND CLIMATE ACTION
Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability
December 8, 2021
President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability on Dec. 8, 2021, emphasizing the federal government's role and initiative "[a]s the single largest landowner, energy consumer, and employer in the Nation," to "build, buy, and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings, and other operations to be clean and sustainable."
The Executive Order (E.O.) and its accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan follow and build upon two earlier climate-related E.O.s, Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (E.O. 14008, Jan. 27, 2021) and Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk (E.O. 14030, May 20, 2021), as well as an advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council in October 2021 (comment period extended from Dec. 14, 2021, to Jan. 13, 2022), which seeks feedback on a potential amendment to the FAR to ensure that federal agency procurements minimize the risk of climate change.
Source: Holland & Knight