Category: Special Topics in Environmental Management

Prescribed burn

How Recurring Prescribed Fires Fit into the NAAQS

The EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards recently issued guidance on how information on prescribed fires on wildland may be factored into exceptional events demonstrations required by Section 319(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). If the Agency accepts a state’s exceptional event demonstration, air pollution resulting from the event is excluded from […]

Bald eagle

Amendments to the Endangered Species Act: The Three Final Rules

The Trump administration has issued three final rules that together may constitute the most sweeping revisions yet made to regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The revisions specifically clarify procedures and criteria used to add species to or remove them from the lists of endangered and threatened species and to designate species’ critical habitats; […]

EPA Begins Rulemaking on Streamlining NSR

The EPA is proposing to amend its New Source Review (NSR) regulations (40 CFR 51.166 and 51.165) to allow the emissions decreases from a single project to be included in Step 1 of the NSR applicability test. The EPA has interpreted existing regulations to indicate that only emissions increases may be considered in Step 1, […]

Green Chemistry

What’s the Definition of ‘Green Chemistry?’

Green chemistry and its close relative, sustainable chemistry, are concepts and practices that would seem to have no detractors, not within industry, not among environmental and public health groups, and not throughout the federal and state governments. And yet, while no one appears to publicly oppose these types of chemistry, their integration into the manufacturing […]

Hard-rock mining

Hard-Rock Mining Not Subject to Financial Responsibility Rule

If a federal agency proposes a regulation and then subsequently declines to promulgate that regulation, is the second action arbitrary and capricious because it is not a “logical outgrowth” of the proposal, that is, because the option not to regulate is not sufficiently discussed in the proposal?

Inspector is taking notes to a notepad in front of a facility.

EHS Enforcement Begins (and Ends) with Your Permits

No one looks forward to the day when the regulatory authority arrives at your facility for an inspection.  Will he or she find issues of noncompliance?  Will an enforcement action or penalty be forthcoming?  But remember, the ultimate goal of the inspector is not to write up a notice of violation but to ensure your […]