Category: Regulatory Developments

EPA Proposes Significantly Stronger MATS Standards for Coal-Fired Power Plants

In April 2023, the EPA announced a proposed rule to strengthen and update the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal-fired power plants, achieving important hazardous air pollutant emissions reductions and ensuring standards reflect the latest advancements in pollution control technologies. If passed, the rule represents the most significant update to date since the […]

Changing Underwriting Standards for Oil and Gas Projects

Last month, insurance giant Chubb Limited announced it will require evidence-based reduction of methane emissions from companies seeking underwriting for oil and gas extraction projects. It also announced it won’t provide insurance coverage for oil and gas projects in government-protected conservation areas in the World Database on Protected Areas that don’t allow for sustainable use. […]

D.C. Circuit Upholds CSAPR Update Rule

In March 2023, an industry challenge to the EPA’s April 2021 Revised Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Update Rule was rejected by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The rule required “power plants in 12 upwind states to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx), an ozone precursor, emissions such that those states did not inhibit downwind states’ […]

EPA Releases 2021 TRI Analysis

The EPA released its 2021 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis on March 16, 2023. The analysis data reveals that environmental releases of TRI chemicals from facilities covered by the program remained below pre-pandemic levels, and releases in 2021 are 10% lower than 2012 releases, even with an 8% increase from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, […]

EPA Proposes Stronger Wastewater Discharge Standards for Coal-Fired Power Plants

In March 2023, the EPA proposed strengthening wastewater discharge standards that apply to coal-fired power plants. The proposed rule would establish more stringent discharge standards for three wastewaters generated at coal-fired power plants: Flue gas desulfurization wastewater Bottom ash transport water Combustion residual leachate The proposed rule also addresses wastewater produced by coal-fired power plants […]

Cal/OSHA Proposes Indoor Heat Standard

On March 31, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board announced it will hold a hearing on May 18 regarding a proposed indoor heat illness prevention standard from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). The board will accept public comments until 5 p.m. on May 18. If approved, the proposed standard […]

National Drinking Water Standard for PFAS

On March 14, 2023, the Biden-Harris administration announced its proposal for a first-ever National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The legally proposed enforceable limits are 4 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). If finalized as proposed, public water systems (PWSs) have 3 […]

Z359.14-2021: Understanding the Biggest Changes to ANSI’s Self-Retracting Devices Standard

In 2020, one-fifth of all workplace deaths in the United States occurred in the construction industry. Of those deaths, more than one-third resulted from a fall to a lower level (Bureau of Labor Statistics). While it’s easy to dismiss these troubling statistics if your organization operates in a different industry, construction is far from the […]

DOJ’s Updated Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy

In March 2023, the Environmental Crimes Section (ECS) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) issued revisions to its Voluntary Self-Disclosure (VSD) Policy. The revisions set forth: Standards for what constitutes a VSD of misconduct to the ECS, A description of benefits ECS prosecutors will confer on companies that […]