Category: Regulatory Developments

PSM petroleum refinery refineries

A New Model for PSM at Refineries

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) recently made good on its efforts to establish strict process safety measures at oil refineries in the wake of a refinery explosion in Richmond.


Updated ASTM AAI Standard Referenced by EPA

In a direct final rule, the EPA is allowing the use of an updated nongovernmental consensus standard—American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E2247-16, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property—to meet the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) requirement applicable to purchases of forestland and rural […]

Environmental Protection Agency sign

Pruitt Defends Proposed Shrunken EPA Budget

At a hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was asked repeatedly how the Agency could meet its obligations to protect human health and the environment in 2018 under the $2.3 billion (31 percent) cut the administration has proposed. This is a bipartisan concern since the EPA cuts will impact popular […]


O&G Emissions: EPA Wants 2 Years to Reconsider

The EPA is moving to stay for up to 2 years requirements to meet provisions of its June 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas (O&G) industry. Several of those provisions are already subject to a 3-month stay the EPA issued June 2, 2017; that stay expires August 31, 2017. […]

Judge holding gavel in courtroom

Uproar in Alabama: One Unconstitutional Provision Invalidates the Entire Workers’ Compensation Act

Workers’ compensation laws vary by state—but sometimes, what happens in one state has an impact on what happens in another state. In this case, a ruling in Florida and a subsequent ruling by an Alabama Circuit Court Judge may have just invalidated the state of Alabama’s entire Workers’ Compensation Act—but, since this happened right before […]

Courthouse exterior

Showdown in Massachusetts: Workers’ Compensation vs. Municipal Employment Statutes

When a worker is injured on the job, the injury is generally compensable under workers’ compensation. But what two different employment laws are in conflict with each other? A recent case in Massachusetts pitted statutes governing the termination of municipal employees against state workers’ compensation law. In May 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled on […]


1-Year Extension for Ozone Standards Announced by EPA

Citing his authority under section 107(d)(1)(B) of the Clean Air Act, Administrator Scott Pruitt of the EPA has announced that he will extend by 1 year the deadline for initial area designations pursuant to the Agency’s 2015 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone (October 26, 2015, FR).


Reactions to the Paris Withdrawal

Limited vocal support from private sector In his 3,000-word address announcing that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris accord, President Donald Trump never once uses the phrase climate change, the singular subject of that accord. (Neither did EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speak those two words in his follow-up address, which praised the […]