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Environmental Trends Contributors

02 July 2020

District Court: Risk Assessment Not Required Every Time EPA Revises Clean Air Act Technology-Based Standard

On June 26, 2020, a federal district court ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not required to perform a risk assessment every time it revises its technology-based standards for a hazardous pollution source. Rather, the EPA is required to conduct a risk assessment only in connection with its initial adoption.

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30 June 2020

California Air Resources Board “First-in-World Rule” Mandates Manufacturers to Increase Percentage of Zero-Emission Truck Sales

On June 25, 2020, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) regulation, which CARB describes as a “first-in-the-world rule.” Starting in 2024, the regulation requires medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers to increase the sales of zero-emission models. The ACT regulation follows the state’s longstanding Zero Emission Vehicle program and 2018 mandate requiring public transit agencies to transition to 100 percent zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.

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23 June 2020

EPA Grants Petitions to Add First Chemical to Hazardous Air Pollutants List Since 1990

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice granting petitions to add n-propyl bromide, commonly known as 1-bromopropane (1-BP), to the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Once EPA takes a separate regulatory action to add the chemical to the list of HAPs, the action will represent the first addition to the list since 1990, when it was created. 1-BP is found in degreasers, cleaners, spray adhesives, automotive refrigerant flushes and lubricants. In a draft risk evaluation conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA noted last year that the chemical could pose “an unreasonable risk of injury to health” under certain conditions of use but did not find any unreasonable risk of injury to the environment. The risk evaluation is ongoing and is expected to be finalized this year.

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18 June 2020

Texas State Implementation Plan Suit Stayed in the Fifth Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has stayed a lawsuit, Sierra Club v. EPA, brought by a coalition of environmental groups concerning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of two revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP). This stay is to allow the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to decide whether to hear an identical petition for review. (more…)

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16 June 2020

Fights over EPA’s Enforcement Discretion Policy Continue and May Expand

On June 10, 2020, three environmental groups sent a notice of intent to sue multiple federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The notice claims that EPA failed to take necessary and reasonable actions to address impacts on endangered and threatened species as allegedly required by the Endangered Species Act, before EPA issued its March 26 COVID-19 enforcement discretion guidance, discussed in further detail here. (more…)

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10 June 2020

EPA Releases New Proposed Rule on Clean Air Act Cost-Benefit Analysis

On June 4, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule for calculating costs and benefits from Clean Air Act rulemakings. The proposal would require EPA to undertake a cost-benefit analysis for all significant Clean Air Act rulemakings — that is, those estimated to have at least a $100 million impact on the economy or are otherwise deemed significant — using the “best available scientific information” and instituting other procedural requirements. (more…)

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04 June 2020

New Jersey Implements Strict PFAS Water Quality Standards

On June 1, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection promulgated water quality standards for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) at levels of 14 and 13 parts per trillion (ppt), respectively. Compared with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current federal advisory level of 70 ppt, New Jersey’s limits are some of the most stringent in the country. (more…)

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