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

Exercising one of its most important and far-reaching powers under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lowered the primary annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from 12 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) down to 9 ug/m3, changing the game on air quality permitting for much of the U.S. EPA’s February 7, 2024 final rule, which will become effective 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register, represents a reversal of the Trump administration’s decision to retain the PM2.5 standard of 12 ug/m3 set under the Obama administration in 2012. The lower standard will set off a chain reaction of additional requirements for state air agencies, and ultimately industrial sources, in places designated as nonattainment with the new standard, but one impact of the new standard will be felt almost immediately: increased difficulty in obtaining air permits.Continue Reading EPA Lowers Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, With Immediate Impacts for Air Permitting

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

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally withdrawn cybersecurity rules it promulgated in March requiring that states report cybersecurity threats to their public water systems (PWS). The reversal comes in the wake of lawsuits filed in the Eighth Circuit in July by Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa (the states), along with intervenors American Water Works Association and National Rural Water Association (the water associations). As a result of the withdrawal, the states and water associations filed to dismiss their suits.

Continue Reading EPA Withdraws Cybersecurity Rule for Public Water Systems

On October 18, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention submitted a final rule for publication in the Federal Register, amending 40 CFR Part 372, involving reporting requirements for per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) and supplier notifications for chemicals of special concern. The rule becomes effective 30 days after publication and applies to the reporting year 2024, with reports due July 1, 2025.Continue Reading US EPA Issues Final Rule on PFAS Relating to Community Right-to-Know and Pollution Prevention Acts

On July 25, Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa (the states), along with intervenors American Water Works Association and National Rural Water Association (the water associations), petitioned the Eighth Circuit to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new rule requiring states to review and report cybersecurity threats to their public water systems (PWS).Continue Reading EPA Cybersecurity Rule Challenged by States and Water Systems Associations

On August 7, Nebraska Attorney General (AG) Mike Hilgers and Iowa AG Brenna Bird joined forces to sue the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to fulfill the request by Iowa and Nebraska governors to allow the sale of year-round E15 gasoline.Continue Reading Nebraska and Iowa AGs Sue Biden Administration’s EPA for Failing to Fulfill Sale of Year-Round E15 Gasoline

On June 27, Illinois AG Kwame Raoul led a coalition of 13 Democratic attorneys general nationwide in submitting a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), supporting more stringent regulation of ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions. In their letter, the coalition urged the EPA to adopt proposed amendments to EtO standards under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants program (NESHPA), and also offered several recommendations for more regulatory requirements “based on several states’ experiences regulating commercial sterilizers.”Continue Reading Thirteen Democratic AGs Encourage EPA to Adopt Stricter Standards for Ethylene Oxide

On June 27, Illinois AG Kwame Raoul led a coalition of 13 Democratic attorneys general nationwide in submitting a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), supporting more stringent regulation of ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions. In their letter, the coalition urged the EPA to adopt proposed amendments to EtO standards under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants program (NESHPA), and also offered several recommendations for more regulatory requirements “based on several states’ experiences regulating commercial sterilizers.”Continue Reading Thirteen Democratic AGs Encourage EPA to Adopt Stricter Standards for Ethylene Oxide