Category: Special Topics in Environmental Management

Diesel fuel, engine, emissions

Reauthorization Likely for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act

There is strong bipartisan support in the Senate to reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), which directs federal dollars into grants, rebates, and loans to public and private entities implementing projects that reduce emissions from diesel engines. As noted by sponsors of the reauthorization bill, as well as witnesses at a recent Senate hearing, […]

Pesticide safety

Pesticide Registration Bill Signed into Law

On March 8, 2019, President Donald Trump signed legislation to extend the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) through September 2023. An amendment to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the original PRIA, or PRIA 1, became law in 2004.

EPA Headquarters

President’s Proposed Budget Includes a 31% Cut for EPA

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2020 federal budget—a record-high $4.75 trillion—includes a 31% decrease in funding for the EPA, from $8.9 billion in 2019 to $6.1 billion. The proposal would eliminate 37 current EPA programs and four “subprogram projects” and reduce the budgets of 15 major programs. The president also proposes a new $50 million Healthy […]

flared gas

The Measuring and Reporting of Flared Gas on Public Lands

In September 2018, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) promulgated amendments that eliminated or replaced most provisions of the Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation final rule the Obama administration issued in 2016. However, several 2016 provisions were retained with modifications, including a provision relating to measuring and […]

exhaust coming out of car tailpipe

EPA Report Highlights an Upward Trend in Auto Performance

In its 2018 Automotive Trends Report, the EPA states that estimated real-world CO2 emissions from model year (MY) 2017 light-duty vehicles were at a record low and fuel economy at a record high. The report covers vehicles manufactured in 2017, the most recent year for which the Agency has complete data. The report is based […]

Wood building products

NESHAP: New Wood Coating Tech Isn’t a New ‘Development’

The EPA’s recent final rule based on its residual risk and technology review (RTR) of the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Surface Coating of Wood Building Products (Subpart QQQQ, Part 63) (March 4, 2019, Federal Register (FR)) provides an opportunity to consider how the Agency determines if […]

white house

Much of White House Infrastructure Request Centers on Environmental Changes

Reforming environmental laws, rules, and policies occupies about a half of President Donald Trump’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. Since moving into the White House, the administration has taken up the call to simplify and speed up the process of conducting environmental reviews of federal actions, including major infrastructure projects, as required under […]

CWA Discharge Dispute Headed to Supreme Court

Opposing opinions by three U.S. appeals courts (two issued by the same circuit on the same day) have led to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to address the core Clean Water Act (CWA) question—Is a point source discharging pollutants to navigable water via a groundwater pathway the functional equivalent of a direct discharge […]

Air Pollution Control Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Processing Industry

Capturing and destroying harmful emissions from pharmaceutical processes can be challenging. It’s not because the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are difficult to destroy, but rather their concentration spikes that complicate things. These process streams raise safety concerns, both when they’re collected in vents and when they reach the final combustion equipment. This article discusses the […]

Water discharge

NAS Report Recommends Sweeping Update of Multi-Sector General Permit

In a 2016 settlement agreement with 10 environmental groups, the EPA committed to providing funds to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) to convene a committee to study the effectiveness of the Agency’s Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). The NAS has now published its final report, which includes recommendations to put the MSGP […]