On October 28, the EPA published the Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA is required to publish a new Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) every five years. The CCL contains a list of contaminants that are currently not subject to any national primary drinking water regulations but are anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation.

Continue Reading EPA Publishes Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL)

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection posted interim soil remediation standards for several per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (collectively PFAS) to include perfluoro nonanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS), and hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt (GenX). Posted in the October 17 NJ Register, the interim standards pertain to the direct contact and migration to groundwater exposure paths, and apply immediately.

Continue Reading NJDEP Interim PFAS Soil Remediation Standards

HDR Utility Services Director Trent Stober joins Dave and Anna to close out their PFAS miniseries, focusing on the real-world application of regulatory developments in the water sector. Trent provides perspective on how engineering consultants advise their water and wastewater utility customers on risk management, integrated planning, and other response strategies to the developing PFAS regulatory framework.

Continue Reading PFAS in Focus: Forever-Engineering With Trent Stober, HDR

On August 1, the Supreme Court of California upheld a decision by the Court of Appeal, which found that the Federal Power Act (FPA) preempts application of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when the state is acting on its own behalf as licensee of a hydroelectric project.

Continue Reading Supreme Court of California Finds FERC License Preempts Challenge to FERC Order

On September 22, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued an order on rehearing (Rehearing Order), denying the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (Interior) request to include a requirement for a hydroelectric project to notify resource agencies if any activity may affect a federally listed Endangered Species Act (ESA) species and had not already been considered in the issued license (Notification Recommendation).

Continue Reading FERC Denies Interior’s Requirement for Ongoing Species Notifications

Dave Ross and Anna Wildeman provide high-level reactions to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the Sackett v. EPA case, the latest legal battle in a long-running dispute over the meaning of the phrase “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. They discuss the Court’s surprising focus on a little-known parenthetical in the section 404 program, EPA’s potential reactions to the arguments, and whether anyone can reasonably predict the outcome of the case in what may be the most closely watched environmental decision of the current term.

Continue Reading Reflections on <i>Sackett</i>

Anna and Dave continue their Missouri Water Seminar PFAS miniseries with Assistant Director of Engineering-Environmental Compliance Jay Hoskins of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. Jay, Anna, and Dave discuss integrated planning, source control, rate setting, and risk communication in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.

Continue Reading PFAS in Focus: Wastewater Utility Perspectives From Jay Hoskins, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published its much-anticipated proposal, updating the regulations governing permits for incidental take of bald and golden eagles, as well as take of their nests. This proposal is the culmination of efforts to improve the effectiveness of the eagle take permitting process, particularly for wind energy projects. The rule was last updated in 2016, but it was challenged by the Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition. In 2019, that challenge was settled with a commitment from the FWS to amend the rule. In September 2021, the FWS issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking comments on potential revisions to the eagle take permitting process.

Continue Reading Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Long-Awaited Eagle Rule Proposal

The Biden administration has enormous climate and carbon management goals, which rightfully include the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide as a core part of its climate adaptation strategy. The administration, to its credit, has worked with Congress to provide tax credits and billions of dollars of new funding for programs targeting the transportation and sequestration of carbon, but without equal commitment to the regulatory side of the house, the administration’s ambitious goals are at risk.

Continue Reading EPA UIC Class VI Program Administration Creates Potential Weak Link in Climate Adaptation Strategy

On September 14, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a proposal to list the tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) as an endangered species.

Continue Reading Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Tricolored Bat as Endangered