By

Samuel Boxerman

16 September 2021

CARB Proposes 2040 Zero Emissions Mandate for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

On September 9, 2021, the California Air Resources Board (CARB or the Agency) released a draft proposal for the Agency’s Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation, which would mandate zero emissions for all new medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in the state beginning in 2040. The draft proposal provides an exemption for authorized emergency vehicles. (more…)

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15 September 2021

EPA Targets PFAS and Environmental Justice in Proposed Effluent Guidelines

On September 8, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) released Preliminary Effluent Program Plan 15 (Preliminary Plan 15), which outlines the Agency’s 2020 annual review of effluent guidelines and pretreatment standards (ELG), identifies new or existing industrial categories for ELG rulemaking, and provides an update on the Agency plan to improve its annual review and biennial planning process. (more…)

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14 September 2021

VW Cert Petition Raises Clean Air Act Circuit Split

On August 27, 2021, Volkswagen AG and several affiliates (petitioners) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States seeking to overturn a decision of the Ohio Supreme Court that held the Clean Air Act (CAA) did not preempt state antitampering law. Petitioners assert that the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision was wrong because the CAA preempts state laws regulating emission controls. In support of their request to the U.S. Supreme Court, petitioners argue that there is a growing split among lower courts on the issue of CAA preemption, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (and now the Ohio Supreme Court) holding that the CAA does not preempt state emission control laws and the Alabama Supreme Court and intermediate appellate courts in Tennessee and Minnesota holding that it does. (more…)

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09 September 2021

EPA Publishes Landmark Study on the Effect of Climate Change on Socially Vulnerable Populations

On September 2, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) released a 100-page report, entitled “Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the United States,” that analyzes the impact of projected climate change on four population groups within the United States. This report represents the Agency’s latest effort to further the Biden administration’s agenda to advance environmental justice and address the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations, as outlined in Executive Order 14008 on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. (more…)

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07 September 2021

EPA Announces Analytical Method for Testing for PFAS

On September 2, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the publication of a laboratory-validated analytical method (Draft Method 1633) for testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances. EPA reported that its Office of Water developed Draft Method 1633 in conjunction with the Department of Defense. The method is reportedly able to test for 40 PFAS compounds in eight different media, including wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue. (more…)

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02 September 2021

Ninth Circuit Sends San Joaquin Valley Ozone Plan Back to EPA

On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule approving the State of California’s plan for meeting the ozone air quality standard in the San Joaquin Valley and remanded the plan to EPA for further consideration. EPA approved the plan in 2019, which included a single contingency measure that would be activated if the plan did not achieve reasonable further progress toward meeting the ozone standard. A local environmental group, the Association of Irritated Residents (AIR), challenged the approval and argued that the single contingency measure was arbitrary and capricious because it provided for only nominal emissions reductions. (more…)

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31 August 2021

Massachusetts to Adopt Expansive List of PFAS Chemicals Covered by State’s Chemical Regulatory Program

On August 19, 2021, Massachusetts’s Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Administrative Council voted to add PFAS to its TURA List of Toxic or Hazardous Substances here. Specifically, following a public meeting, the council added to its list “PFAS Not Otherwise Listed,” which includes “those PFAS that contain a perfluoroalkyl moiety with three or more carbons (e.g., –CnF2n–, n ≥ 3; or CF3–CnF2n– , n≥2) or a perfluoroalkylether moiety with two or more carbons (e.g., –CnF2nOCmF2m− or –CnF2nOCmFm–, n and m ≥ 1 ).” (more…)

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19 August 2021

Environmental Protection Agency Takes Action to End All On-Food Use of Conventional Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) has issued a prepublication rule that will revoke all on-food tolerances for the conventional pesticide called chlorpyrifos and has announced that it will also issue a Notice of Intent to Cancel all food uses for the pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA stated that “taking into consideration the currently available information and the currently registered uses of chlorpyrifos, EPA cannot make a safety finding to support leaving the current tolerances for residues of chlorpyrifos in place” consistent with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. (more…)

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