United States Ratifies the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment Six Years After Amendment’s Introduction

On September 21, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the Kigali Amendment, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that addresses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), six years after the Kigali Amendment was officially adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on October 15, 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda. While the Montreal Protocol originally sought only to phase out the consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, the Kigali Amendment established plans to reduce the production and consumption of HFCs — greenhouse gases with high global warming potential — by more than 80% over the next few decades. (more…)

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U.S. EPA Takes Additional Steps to Evaluate and Restrict PFAS in Pesticides

On September 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice proposing to remove 12 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its list of inert ingredients approved for use in regulated pesticide products. The 12 PFAS are listed below. According to EPA’s review, none of the 12 PFAS are being used as inert ingredients in any registered pesticide products; however, removing chemicals from EPA’s list of approved inert ingredients ensures that any future proposed use of these PFAS as inert ingredients would require substantiation with data (including, among other things, studies evaluating potential carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, adverse reproductive effects) and approval by EPA.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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EPA Bans Use of Chlorpyrifos (Pesticide) on All Food

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that essentially bans the use of chlorpyrifos on all food. With this rule, EPA is revoking all “tolerances” for this pesticide, which establish an amount allowed for use on food. (more…)

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