In June 2023, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) adopted revisions to its petroleum bulk storage regulations 6 NYCRR Part 613. The amended regulations become effective on October 17.Continue Reading New York’s Spill Reporting Revisions Could Significantly Impact Environmental Due Diligence
On July 20, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) sent a letter to Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) applicants, consultants, and attorneys that provides an update regarding 2023 Certificate of Completion (COC) milestones and affordable housing deadlines. With respect to BCP submittals, the letter emphasizes the importance of applicants making the submittals necessary to obtain COCs in a timely manner, and warns that failure to do so could result in insufficient time for the NYSDEC to issue COCs by the end of the year. Pursuant to the letter, applicants must meet the following milestones:Continue Reading NYSDEC Sends Letter Outlining Upcoming BCP Submittal Milestones
EPA announced yesterday its intent to revise some portions of the 2020 Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guideline Reconsideration Rule (2020 ELG Rule). EPA’s press release and the pre-publication version of its Federal Register notice sent a clear message that the agency is aiming at membrane technology to control flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater discharges from coal-fired power plants. The notice also states that the agency will reconsider the technology selected for bottom ash transport, and it may revise or eliminate the subcategories created by the 2020 ELG Rule for high-flow facilities, low-utilization facilities, and for facilities that commit to retire or repower coal-fired units by 2028.
Continue Reading EPA Signals More Stringent Regulation for Steam Electric Power Generators
On January 8, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed to amend the short-form warning regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65. In August 2018, new Proposition 65 warning regulations became effective that significantly changed the required language and manner in which Proposition 65 warnings should be provided. Most significant was the new requirement to specifically list at least one chemical that a consumer could be exposed to in the warning. These regulations, however, provided an alternative warning option — dubbed the “short-form” warning — which does not require the identification of any chemicals in the warning. While OEHHA originally may have intended the use of the short-form warning only on products where space was limited, the actual terms of the regulation do not prohibit the use on products where space is not an issue.
Continue Reading California Proposes to Significantly Limit the Use of Proposition 65 Short-Form Warning
In light of the potential for distribution of the vaccine, employers are revisiting their plans for return to work and the many challenges that office re-openings might bring, including the requirement that employees wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, and the disposal of such equipment. Most companies (non-health care or COVID-19 treatment facilities) generally assume that masks and gloves are simply solid waste and can go in dumpsters per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. While this designation may be appropriate (based on the state and local requirements), however, it is prudent for even non-health-care-related employers to have a plan in place to maintain a clean workplace and manage PPE disposal procedures if an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. Moreover, many workplaces are contemplating the potential of offering COVID-19 testing and vaccination on-site, and employers interested in offering such services should be mindful of the potential for more stringent waste disposal requirements for used PPE. As you might expect, there are no straight-forward answers with the new phenomenon of PPE and COVID-19 as the federal Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 expired in 1991. Whether PPE is a medical waste will generally depend on a state’s rules and may depend on an employer’s knowledge about the potential for COVID-19 exposure.
Continue Reading Personal Protective Equipment Disposal Management in the Workplace
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently finalized long-awaited revisions to its hazardous waste regulations that will allow PV solar panels to be managed as “universal waste” beginning on January 1, 2021. This reclassification will have significant implications on how spent PV solar panels are managed in the state.
Continue Reading California Classifies Solar Panels as Universal Waste
Environmental justice has received greater attention in 2020, both because it is an election year, but also because of the increased focus on racial inequality since the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Many states are considering legislation on this topic, but on August 27, 2020, New Jersey passed a significant environmental justice bill, the first to require denial of a permit on environmental justice ground.
Continue Reading New Jersey Passes Significant Environmental Justice Legislation
The California State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) has issued Order WQ 2020-0015-DWQ, requiring Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) with dry weather design flows greater than 1 million gallons per day to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in influent, effluent, biosolids, and, in some cases, groundwater. POTWs with existing groundwater monitoring programs may be required to submit initial documentation for compliance as early as August.
The order covers thirty-one PFAS analytes (see table provided here), as well as eleven additional analytes listed for “optional analysis.” All treatment sampling and analysis and groundwater monitoring proposals and analysis must be uploaded to the Water Board’s GeoTracker system, and will be incorporated into the Board’s ongoing PFAS mapping project.
Continue Reading California’s PFAS Investigation Expands to Include Wastewater Treatment Plants
As businesses across the country begin to re-open, many will be hypervigilant about the safety of indoor spaces. While stay-at-home orders may be lifting, business owners and their employees may have significant trepidation about the risks of returning to their workspaces and public venues. Building owners and property management companies will be called upon to address concerns about the safety of their tenant spaces and public areas, and the adequacy of measures taken to ensure the protection of building occupants. However, while building owners and property managers must necessarily focus on addressing the concerns arising directly from potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, they should not ignore other potentially significant concerns associated with reopening their properties. One such concern is the stagnant conditions that may develop in a building’s water system during periods of extended disuse, which can lead to an enhanced risk for the spread of the Legionella bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s disease, creating potential health risks for tenant, worker, and other user populations.
Continue Reading After the Stay-At-Home Order: Water Management Best Practices for Re-Opening Buildings
The new hazardous waste pharmaceutical management standards established by EPA’s Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine (“Rule”) are already effective in some states. Other states must adopt the rule by July 1, 2021 or, if a statutory amendment is required prior to the state’s adoption, by July 1, 2022. Based on this, all “healthcare facilities” and “reverse distributors,” as defined by the Rule, will ultimately be required to comply with the Rule (as adopted in each state).
Continue Reading “Unauthorized Waste” Reporting Under EPA’s Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste Rule