Category: Regulatory Developments

SCOTUS Decision is Blow to EPA CAA Authority

The energy industry celebrates while environmental advocates weep on the heels of a June 30, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision severely limiting the EPA’s authority to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for existing power plants. The decision is a heavy blow to the Biden administration in its quest to transition the United States […]

A Closer Look at Proposed Changes to the 401 CWA Water Quality Certification Rule

In June 2022, the EPA issued a proposed rule to update regulatory requirements under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Trump administration issued the first changes to these rules in 50 years, known as the 2020 Rule. Many felt the 2020 Rule removed long-standing state and tribal rights to block federal water […]

OSHA Weighs Massachusetts State Plan

On June 30, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed granting initial approval for a Massachusetts state safety and health plan covering state and local government workers (87 Federal Register (FR) 39033). The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) has submitted a developmental state safety and health plan for initial OSHA approval. OSHA proposed […]

CARB Releases Draft Scoping Plan

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public comment on May 10, 2022. These updates describe the state’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are required every 5 years under Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The state’s current reduction goals […]

SCOTUS Refuses to Reinstate Order Blocking Use of Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) declined to reinstate an order blocking the Biden administration from utilizing the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions (SC GHGs) as a key climate metric in Louisiana v. Biden on May 26, 2022. In February 2021, the U.S. Interagency Working Group (IWG) on the SC GHGs issued “Technical Support Document: […]

Washington Heat, Smoke Rules Take Effect

Washington’s state outdoor heat exposure and wildfire smoke rules became effective June 15 and remain in effect through the end of September, the Department of Labor and Industries announced. The department has adopted emergency heat exposure requirements that include: Providing adequate shade (or alternatives) and water suitably cool for drinking; Encouraging and allowing workers to […]

Proposed Rule Puts States Back in Power Under the CWA Permitting Process

In following President Joseph Biden Jr.’s Executive Order (EO) 13990 on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, on June 2, 2022, the EPA announced a proposed rule to update the regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification Rule. The proposed rule will strengthen […]

PVC Under Scrutiny as Hazardous Waste

As a result of a legal agreement reached on May 3, 2022, with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the EPA has nine months to analyze the toxic impact of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC, also commonly referred to as vinyl, is widely used for many functions, and there are currently 7 billion pounds of the […]

Cal/OSHA Addresses COVID-19 ETS Updates

On May 7, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued new employer guidance on the state’s COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS). On April 21, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board renewed the ETS a third time. The revised ETS is effective May 6 through December 31, and it applies to employers […]

ASSP Releases New Safety and Health Metrics Standard

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has published a new voluntary consensus standard for measuring health and safety performance. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASSP Z16.1-2022, Safety and Health Metrics and Performance Measures, updates a standard (ANSI Z16.1) first released in the 1960s as “Method of Recording and Measuring Work Injury Experience.” The updated […]