Category: Special Topics in Environmental Management

Environmental Protection Agency sign

Take a Look at EPA’s Proposed National Compliance Initiatives for 2020–2023

Since President Donald Trump occupied the White House, the EPA has been methodically revising its approach to enforcement. One important policy change occurred in summer 2018 when the Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) announced that the National Enforcement Initiatives (NEI) program, the OECA’s triannual prioritization of the country’s top noncompliance problems, would […]

Air pollution

EPA’s NESHAP Proposal Includes No Emission Changes for HCl

The EPA is proposing minor amendments to its National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the hydrochloric acid (HCl) production source category. Required under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, the Agency’s residual risk and technology review (RTR) would find, first, that the 2003 NESHAP for the source category is protective of […]

State Court Jurisdiction Upheld by 7th Circuit in Environmental Case

Two types of jurisdiction were central to a case in which two plaintiff companies deposited hazardous waste generated in Colorado into industrial wells in Illinois. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) found that the injections were conducted without the required Class I permit and brought charges against the companies before the Illinois Pollution Control Board […]

USA! USA!

Shift in State AG Numbers Could Affect Environmental Policy, Enforcement

The results of the November 2018 midterm elections could have an impact on environmental policy and enforcement. Less noticed than the takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives by the Democrats, but also significant, were victories by Democrats in four state attorney general (AG) contests. Nationwide, the voting shifted the balance in favor of Democrats, […]

Sewage treatment plant

EPA Urged by OIG to Assess Unregulated Pollutants in Biosolids

Following a 14-month performance audit of the EPA’s biosolids program, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found what it believes to be significant gaps in the Agency’s implementation of its statutory obligation to protect human health and the environment. The major weakness identified by the OIG relates to the EPA’s regulation of pollutants in […]

wetlands

California Proposal Offers Broader Water Protections

In its proposed replacement definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS), the EPA emphasized that one of its goals was to “strike a balance between Federal and State waters and carry out Congress’ overall objective [in the Clean Water Act (CWA)] to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation’s waters in a manner […]

Wheeler EPA Nomination Hearing Takes Place Amid Shutdown

The federal government’s policy on climate change, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the Agency’s Clean Energy (ACE) proposal, its proposed CPP replacement; the EPA’s CO2 emissions and energy-efficiency standards for cars; the partial shutdown of the federal government; the EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) and E-15; its newly proposed definition of the Waters […]

Pesticide safety

Emergency Exemptions Under FIFRA

In a 2018 report, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said it found flaws in how the Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) managed the pesticide emergency exemption process authorized by Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Specifically, the OIG said the OPP does not use emergency exemption data […]