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
As lithium-based batteries become more prevalent in everything from electric vehicles (EVs) to industrial-scale batteries, as well as e-scooters and personal electronics, more questions arise regarding how to properly manage and dispose or recycle them at the end of their lives. On May 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum titled “Lithium Battery Recycling Regulatory Status and Frequently Asked Questions,” clarifying how the EPA’s current hazardous waste regulations, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), apply to lithium batteries, and describing the handling requirements imposed on companies generating the waste batteries and recycling facilities ultimately receiving the waste batteries.Continue Reading U.S. EPA Issues FAQ Memo on Lithium-Ion Battery Management Under RCRA
On December 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its annual civil monetary penalty adjustments in the Federal Register. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to make annual inflation adjustments to federal statutory civil penalty amounts. The annual inflation adjustments are based on a cost-of-living multiplier determined by changes to the Consumer Price Index. This year’s inflation multiplier is 1.01182.
Continue Reading EPA Publishes Annual Inflation Adjustments to Civil Penalty Amounts
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
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
On April 20, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, limiting restoration damages claims beyond Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleanups at Superfund sites, while affirming the right of private parties to seek other kinds of damages under state law. The majority decision, penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, turns on a plain-text interpretation of the definition of “potentially responsible parties” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Over a dissent by Justice Neil Gorsuch joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court found that the affected landowners are potentially responsible parties and, therefore, restricted from challenging EPA-approved remediation plans.
Continue Reading Atlantic Richfield v. Christian Limits Property Owner Claims for Restoration Damages at Superfund Sites
On January 27, EPA published a preliminary list of manufacturers that are potentially subject to a fee obligation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). This is a follow-up notice to EPA’s designation of 20 additional substances as High Priority Substances in December, for which the agency will now go through a risk evaluation, including:
Continue Reading EPA Publishes Preliminary List of Manufacturers Subject to TSCA Risk Evaluation Fees
On January 13 and 15, 2020, EPA and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), respectively, published their annual civil monetary penalty adjustments in the Federal Register. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to make annual inflation adjustments to federal statutory civil penalty amounts. The annual inflation adjustments are based on a cost-of-living multiplier determined by changes to the Consumer Price Index. This year’s inflation multiplier is 1.01764.
Continue Reading EPA and OSHA Penalty Increases
On January 10, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published the long-awaited proposed rule to amend its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The statute, sometimes pejoratively referred to as a “paper-tiger,” requires a federal agency to take a hard look at the environmental impacts of certain proposed projects, but does not mandate any particular outcome.
Continue Reading Council on Environmental Quality Proposes Long-Awaited NEPA Regulations Overhaul