Category: Regulatory Developments

Discharges to Groundwater: Are They Subject to CWA?

In an action that parallels EPA’s rulemaking to write a new definition of the Clean Water Act (CWA) term waters of the United States (WOTUS), the Agency is soliciting comments on whether pollutant discharges into groundwater that has a hydrologic connection to WOTUS are subject to CWA regulation.

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Applicability Date for WOTUS Rule Issued

In light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have issued an applicability rule to clarify the applicability date of the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Water Rule (CWR) (also called the waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule). Specifically, the new rule sets the applicability date […]

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EPA Withdraws Proposed Determination on Pebble Mine Plan

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Agency had changed its mind about withdrawing the Obama EPA’s July 2014 proposed determination regarding Pebble Limited Partnership’s (PLP) plan to build a copper and gold ore mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

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Smokestack

MACT program’s OIAI Ended by EPA Air Chief

Under new Assistant Administrator William Wehrum, EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) has issued a memo withdrawing a 21-year-old policy on the classification of sources under Clean Air Act Section 112 (control of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs); also called the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) program).

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Prevent violence

General Industry Violence Standard to Be Proposed in California

Moving out ahead of federal OSHA, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is developing a general industry workplace violence prevention standard. In 2017, California became the first state to require all healthcare facilities to implement protective measures for workers who may be exposed to violence.

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Silica

Objections to OSHA Silica Rule Dismissed by D.C. Circuit

On December 22, 2017, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (panel) issued an opinion that denied challenges to all but one provision of OSHA’s March 2016 amendments to its 1971 standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

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Supreme Court on WOTUS: Challenges Must Begin in District Courts

In an unusual development, the U.S. Supreme Court, which is almost always divided over interpretations of U.S. environmental law, ruled unanimously that challenges to the EPA/Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) 2015 Clean Water Rule (CWR) must be heard first in U.S. district courts, not federal appeals courts.

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