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Environmental Trends

05 April 2022

EPA Proposes “Good Neighbor” Plan Addressing Regional Ozone Transport for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

On April 6, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish its proposed Federal Implementation Plan Addressing Ozone Transport for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), otherwise known as the latest iteration of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule or “Good Neighbor” Plan. The proposal would subject 26 upwind states to the “good neighbor” or “interstate transport” provision of the Clean Air Act because EPA is proposing to find that nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, which are a precursor to ozone formation, from the upwind states significantly contribute to downwind states’ attaining and maintaining the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

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26 January 2022

EPA Enforcement Division Releases 2021 Statistics, Highlighting Higher Penalties and Commitment to Environmental Justice

On January 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) released its annual enforcement results for fiscal year 2021. OECA’s report provides some indication of the Biden EPA’s priorities for enforcement. Notably, OECA secured higher civil penalty amounts and financial commitments to injunctive relief in 2021 than in each of the previous four years, which supports the expectation that administrative enforcement actions in key priority areas will continue to increase during the Biden administration. (more…)

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28 October 2021

EPA to Initiate Rulemakings Addressing PFAS Under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as “Hazardous Constituents”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) announced that it will initiate two separate rulemakings to address PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated substances) under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) — the law that provides EPA with authority to address hazardous waste from “cradle to grave.” EPA announced these policy proposals in response to a petition submitted to Administrator Michael Regan by New Mexico Gov, Michelle Lujan Grisham on June 23 requesting that the Agency take regulatory action to list PFAS either collectively or individually as “hazardous waste” under Subtitle C of the Act. (more…)

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26 October 2021

PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA Releases Human Health Toxicity Assessment for “GenX” PFAS Chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) has released its final human health toxicity assessments for a subgroup of PFAS chemicals known as GenX (i.e., hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt). GenX is the trade name for a set of chemicals intended to replace another PFAS chemical called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). (more…)

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21 October 2021

Five Key Takeaways: EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap

On Monday, October 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) released its Strategic Roadmap for PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances). As we summarized in our previous post, the Strategic Roadmap outlines a number of key actions EPA intends to take over the next three years to address the human health and environmental effects of PFAS. (more…)

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19 October 2021

EPA Releases PFAS Strategic Roadmap, Commits to Numerous Regulatory and Technical Goals Through 2024

On Monday, October 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) released its Strategic Roadmap for PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances). The Strategic Roadmap outlines a number of key actions EPA intends to take over the next three years, including rulemakings and technical reviews that will involve a number of the Agency’s offices. EPA’s Strategic Roadmap builds on the work of EPA’s Council on PFAS, convened by EPA Administrator Michael Regan in April 2021. (more…)

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23 September 2021

EPA Drops Guidance From Previous Administration Interpreting Post-Maui Clean Water Act Permitting Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) Office of Water announced that it will be rescinding guidance (the “rescission memo”) prepared in the final days of the Trump administration that provided an interpretation of federal Clean Water Act permitting requirements in the wake of the Supreme Court’s significant April 2020 decision in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. (more…)

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30 July 2021

U.S. Senate Advances Bipartisan Infrastructure Package

This week, the U.S. Senate advanced a much-anticipated bipartisan infrastructure bill. After months of negotiations and a failed procedural vote last week, the White House and a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled a bipartisan infrastructure deal to provide $550 billion in new spending on July 28. That same day, in a 67-32 vote, 17 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill. Today, the Senate passed another bipartisan procedural vote to officially consider the bill on the Senate floor. While the Senate continues to work on finalizing the legislative text, the following topline funding provisions were released:

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