Category: Special Topics in Environmental Management

Air pollution

EPA Releases a Fact Check on Ozone Transport Story

Last week, the EPA issued a news release that purported to fact-check a CNN article regarding an August 31, 2018, EPA memo regarding cross-state air pollution. The memo indicated that a state’s 1-part-per-billion (ppb) contribution threshold to ozone pollution in downwind states may be appropriate in state implementation plan (SIP) that states must develop to […]

Farm animal emissions reporting

EPA Proposes EPCRA Reporting Exemption for Farms

The EPA is proposing to extend an existing reporting exemption under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to release notification rules under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The CERCLA extension applies to air emissions from animal waste at farms.

exhaust coming out of car tailpipe

Rollback in Vehicle Standards Opposed by Industry Leaders

The 60-day public comment period for the federal government’s proposal to amend vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) tailpipe standards concluded with opposing views submitted by several members of industry. The proposed amendments were jointly issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] standards) and the EPA (GHG […]

WIFIA Update: Four Projects, $1 Billion

Drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects are beginning to receive loans under the federal government’s 2014 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), and we can expect to see additional lending in the coming year. We describe here the background and composition of WIFIA and which types of proposals appear to be receiving interest from […]

Fracking Oil Drilling Rig

Terms of Disagreement in BLM’s Waste Prevention Rule Revision

In a final rule published in the early fall (September 28, 2018, (Federal Register (FR)), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) withdrew or revised many provisions of the previous administration’s regulations to reduce waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production activities on onshore federal and Indian […]

President Signals New Rulemaking on E15

Multiple news media have reported—and a statement by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue made it semi-official—that President Donald Trump has directed the EPA to begin rulemaking to allow year-round sales of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15).

Cooling towers, water cooling

All Challenges to Cooling Water Rule Denied by 2nd Circuit

The EPA’s promulgation of multiple rules since 2001 to protect aquatic species that get swept into (entrainment) and against (impingement) industrial cooling water intake structures (CWISs) has met with legal challenges from both environmental groups and industry.

Asbestos danger

Asbestos Case in Virginia Defines ‘Duty of Care’

In a case originating more than 75 years ago, a 4–3 majority of Virginia’s Supreme Court ruled that a company was liable in the death of an employee’s family member who was exposed to asbestos fibers carried by the employee on his clothing into his home.

Plastic resin factory

Costs of Resin NESHAP Cut by EPA

In response to separate petitions for reconsideration from the Sierra Club and two affected companies, the EPA has amended its National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Manufacture of Amino/Phenolic Resins (APR). The primary changes involve revised emissions limits for continuous process vents (CPVs) at existing sources and a revision to emissions […]

Opioid epidemic

The EPA, Law Enforcement, and Waste Opioids

The EPA is playing a minor but important role in the federal government’s efforts to control America’s opioid overdose epidemic. In its latest action, the Agency’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR), which implements the EPA’s solid waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), issued a memo to encourage law enforcement […]