Photo of James Beers

Drawing on more than a decade of experience at the U.S. Department of Justice, James has experience in all the major environmental statues. He focuses in particular on helping clients navigate complex Clean Air Act issues.

On April 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a pre-publication version of the long-awaited final rule designating two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Cleanup, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This final rule comes right on the heels of EPA’s April 8 announcement of the final rule setting maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for six PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Our detailed summary of the MCL final rule is available here.Continue Reading PFAS Designated as CERCLA Hazardous Substances

On March 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the long-awaited Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule (Final Rule), which concluded a nearly decadelong process — spanning three administrations — to update EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA).Continue Reading EPA Makes Major Changes to Risk Management Program Under Clean Air Act

At the end of January, a federal judge issued a ruling in a high-profile environmental justice case, Louisiana v. EPA, brought by Louisiana against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The ruling temporarily blocks EPA and DOJ attempts to enforce disparate-impact regulations promulgated under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act against Louisiana state agencies. Beyond that, the decision has potentially significant ramifications for the Biden administration’s ongoing environmental justice initiatives.Continue Reading Louisiana v. EPA: A Turning Point for Title VI and Environmental Justice?

For anyone involved in the first round of the Clean Air Act regional haze program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) action on the first business day of 2024 came as no surprise: EPA proposed to disapprove the regional haze plan for Kansas. If the past is any indication of the future, this proposal foreshadows what will likely be many more regional haze state plan disapprovals over the next 12 months, given that EPA has already been hauled into court once again to force it back on schedule.Continue Reading And so It Begins…EPA Issues First Disapproval of Regional Haze Round Two

On December 26, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published an Interim final rule updating its October final rule restricting the use of some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a key substance used in refrigeration and cooling technologies in residential, commercial, transportation, and industrial settings. The Interim final rule to EPA’s Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Restrictions on the Use of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons Under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 gives the regulated community a new 45-day notice and comment period to provide input on EPA’s proposed adjustments to the final rule, which restricts the use of HFCs in aerosols, foams, refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump equipment.Continue Reading EPA Revises HFC Rule for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Products