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On June 26, 2019, EPA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comment on a proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Perchlorate is both a man-made and naturally-occurring chemical, most commonly found in industrial operations associated with the use or manufacture of rocket fuel, missiles and fireworks. Perchlorate inhibits the uptake of iodide to the thyroid and has been detected in certain public water supply systems, primarily in the western United States. In its Notice, EPA proposes an MCL of 56 µg/L, but at the same time requests public comment on whether the MCL should be set at a higher or lower standard, or whether the agency should re-evaluate its decision to regulate perchlorate based on updated data. This rule, if finalized, could affect thousands of public water systems that would be required to comply with the new standard, as well as state and tribal agencies responsible for drinking water regulatory development and enforcement.
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The GeoProfessional Business Association (GBA) – formerly known as ASFE – has released a new study on the standard of care for conducting Phase I environmental site assessments. This document is the fourth in a series of studies the organization has produced since the inception of the due diligence process in the early 1990’s. The study is an evaluation of approximately 200 Phase I reports from across the country, written between 2007 and 2010. The results of the study will be a valuable tool in determining whether a Phase I conducted during that time period meets the standard of care or not.

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On January 11, EPA proposed Superfund financial assurance regulations for the hardrock mining industry.  The proposal requires owners and operators of certain types of hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities to give financial assurances of their ability to pay for potential releases of hazardous substances from their facilities, including Superfund cleanup costs, health assessment costs and natural resource damages (NRD).

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On Monday, August 31, 2015, EPA released a pre-publication version of a proposed rule revising RCRA’s hazardous waste generator regulations. EPA’s stated goals for the proposal are to improve compliance, address regulatory gaps, give hazardous waste generators greater flexibility, and make the regulations more user-friendly. This summary highlights some of the changes proposed by EPA.
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As reported by Law360, Troutman Sanders LLP and members of its Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group assisted Safeway Inc. regarding its recent settlement of retail and pharmaceutical waste issues in California.  The Alameda County District Attorney’s office, along with 43 other California jurisdictions, filed a Complaint and Stipulation of Final Judgment resolving the case for payments of penalties, investigative costs and Supplemental Environmental Projects valued at $9.87 M. Prosecutors alleged that Safeway and its approximately 500 grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as two distribution centers, had improperly disposed of hazardous and medical wastes under state laws regulating the disposal of these materials.
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